There are times when you can’t carry a “proper” handgun — not even a sub-compact. Times when you need the teeniest, tiniest, lightest firearm money can buy. Something you can hide in a pants pocket. An ankle holster. A thigh holster. A belly band. While we all know any mouse gun is far from an ideal choice for armed self-defense, we’re also aware than a tiny gun is better than a sharp stick. So which micro-pistol is top of the pops?
The six-plus-one four-star Ruger LCP (Lightweight Compact Pistol) is just 5.16″ long and 3.60″ tall. Equally important, it’s less than an inch wide. That makes the pistol both pocketable and perfect for straight leg jeans ankle carry.
You’re sacrificing very little to schlep Ruger’s little gun, save money (around $250). Yes, the LCP is a snappy little bastard with a trigger pull longer than War and Peace. But the LCP is more than accurate enough at bad breath distances, reliable as Gaston’s gat and, with modern .380 hollow-point ammo, plenty damn deadly.
The Bond Arms Backup is a full 2.5 inches shorter than the Ruger LCP, significantly less tall and almost twice as heavy — although at 18.5 ozs. it’s hardly what I’d call ponderous. Built like the proverbial brick outhouse, the Backup is the soul of concealed carry discretion. A not insubstantial gun at a non-insubstantial price: $490 msrp.
In terms of payload, this two-shot derringer’s available in 9mm or .45. Our ham-hock-handed man Foghorn tested the Bond Arms Backup in .45, sacrificing epidermis on TTAG’s behalf. The 9mm version should be somewhat less painful, but the Bond Arms Backup isn’t a range toy. It’s a puny pistol for the direst of dire situations, delivering an effective short-range one-two punch.
The NAA 22S is a full half-inch shorter than the Bond Arms Backup and a lot less bulky. The NAA revolver fires .22 Short cartridges; “stopping power” being an obvious trade-off for carrying America’s smallest and lightest production pistol. Then again, you do get five — count ’em five! — bites at the bad guy cherry.
While we don’t recommend neck holsters for NAA’s $226 ballistic bauble, there are plenty of carry options. [Click here for an excellent article on deep concealment carry.] In fact, one can hide the diminutive 22S just about anywhere on the human body. A gross thought but there it is.