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 Colt Mustang XSP (courtesy

Colt introduced the now-iconic Mustang pocket pistol in 1983. Three years later the Connecticut-based manufacturer introduced a PocketLite version. The small semi was beloved by owners but a damp squib commercially. Colt revived the PocketLite in 2011— just in time to miss the .380 craze. And now that Ruger’s sold twenty trillion LCPs (and LC9s) Colt’s rolling out their polymer Mustang XSP. “The new XSP takes the best of its predecessor models and adds features that will make it appealing to an even wider customer base,” Colt Marketing Veep Joyce Rubino proclaims in her presser. Specifically, Colt reckons the XSP (also the IATA code for Seletar Airport) has ergonomic advantages over its Ruger and SIG SAUER competition . . .

Taking advantage of the polymer grip frame, the most noticeable features of the XSP model revolve around optimizing grip comfort and utility. A molded thumb perch under the safeties lets the gun sit easily and comfortably in hands of all sizes. A special enhanced cut behind the trigger guard also helps the gun sit lower in the user’s hand. Blended safety and sidestop profiles, as well as enhanced texturing on the front and back strap, provide increased comfort and create a snag-free profile.

While some basic features of the Mustang Pocketlite, such as size, magazine and slide, continue in the Mustang XSP, numerous changes to the new model reflect customer sentiment. This includes upgrading the front sight on the XSP to a dovetailed design that is more visible to the user. The slide serrations on the XSP have been enhanced to offer an improved grip when working the slide. The XSP also features ambidextrous safeties, rather than the typical single sided safety. Two additional changes are an integral 3/8” accessory rail below the dust cover, and a squared off trigger guard that will allow for easy mounting of lasers and lights to enhance personal protection capabilities.

The Mustang XSP is constructed of an ultra-durable engineered polymer, making it the lightest-weight of all the Mustang models at less than 12 ounces.  The slide and barrel are machined from stainless steel bar stock, and the slide has a blackened finish. The XSP has a 6-round magazine capacity, is chambered in .380 Auto and has a recommended retail of $649.

Whoa. Six-and-a-half bills? You can get a slim and trim 9.4 ounce Ruger LCP for $379. Not the same, obviously. But it fires the same cartridge and does so reliably. You pays your money . . .

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  1. A single action pocket pistol for twice the price of it more modern designed competitors? Winning formula, that.

      • And it’s got the ever so necessary picatinny rail. Sort of like GM putting wings on the trunks of Chevy Cavaliers. Marketing.

    • I don’t know about this new poly version…

      But as anyone who has shot either the Sig or the Colt version of the Mustang will attest, they blow the more “modern” competition out of the water.

      Modern doesn’t always equal better, those tiny little plastic guns with practically no sights and long+heavy DA triggers are not easy to shoot well.

      • I purchased a Sig P238 HDW for my wife to carry, and I bought a Sig P238 Blackwood for me to carry. What sets thes apart from the full-polymer models is that they are solid and have some decent weight to them making gripping more solid, and reducing muzzle flip comparatively. And the single action is what sold my wife. It makes all the difference for her since she had huge problems with other double-action models, but she just loves the P238. They are compact yet easy to shoot, and they disappear in my N82 Tactical IWB holster.

  2. Never fired the LCP, but the LC9 is a snappy little beast. I can see the advantage of a slightly heavier .380, the few ounces of difference between my Ruger .357 and my FIL’s Ruger .357 makes a world of difference in fatigue and follow up shots.

    But not for almost twice the price.

  3. I think its funny people are shocked by the price, you know this is Colt your talking about here. Interesting concept, though. Reminds me of those RRA polymer 1911’s that got announced a couple years ago, what heck ever happened to those?

  4. Eh… for that money I’d take a Sig P238 over it any day. Too, I prefer an aluminum frame as a better compromise between ruggedness and weight than polymer.

  5. “The new XSP takes the best of its predecessor models and adds features that will make it appealing to an even wider customer base,”

    Like a squared off trigger guard? Ugh!

    Bring back the Star .380.

  6. For a pocket gun I’ll stick with the Ruger LCR in .38 Special +P. It can even be fired from within your coat pocket.

  7. Don’t like the looks. The regular Mustang and the P238 are much more appealing. Even those two aren’t as beautiful as the Colt 1903 and 1908 pocket autos. True classics!

    • +1. That ugly trigger guard in particular. And still not sold in California (no LCI.)

    • Thank you! That is one butt-ugly gun, and this coming from a Kel-Tec owner. (Actually, I kind of like the basic no-nonsense look of the P3AT). I had a pre-PocketLite Mustang and it was gorgeous. I would have kept it if it were DA/SA and I wasn’t so stupid.

  8. I’m liking the fact we are seeing more gun reviews than doom and gloom gun grabber articles. Let’s just hope the senate and the mayors against legal guns can fade away so we can see even more. Having said that, I thought this was A neat little gun. Then I scrolled to the end of the article and saw the price! Dang!

    • Agreed on the “more gun reviews” part. Politics is important but can be overdone.

    • Six pack, get your head out of the sand. They are never going to go away. Doom and gloom? How about reality? You want happy time? Crack open another of your namesakes. Don’t sound to me like you got much fight in you anyway. Come on RF tell me another happy gun story.

  9. So colt sells the mustang to Sig. Sig makes a metric asston of money with it. Now colt releases a worse version for more money….I’m missing something here right?

    Anyway pocket .380’s are old hat now. With better designed 9mm and even the XDs/Kahr in 45 ACP. This is a product 3-4 years too late to market.

  10. Things that would make the P238 better. Check all that apply.

    [] double action with decocker (remember it’s for carry, not IDPA)
    [] uglier
    [] plastic frame
    [] higher price

    It’s probably a great gun, but the competition is very stiff for .380’s at the moment, regardless of which price point you’re looking at.

  11. Colt is going to have to make up their minds on whether they’re interested in serving the civilian shooting public, in a timely, meaningful way, or not. As a relatively new shooter, they’ve never really been on my radar because they didn’t have a strong lineup of guns designed for the civilian/concealed carry operator and marketing exposure to make them accessible to me. Instead, I got the impression that they’re a military/le company and that’s how they like it.

    Day late offerings that cost twice as much as the known quantities their competitors went out of their way to get us years ago isn’t exactly going to reverse that opinion.

  12. With the tilting barrel lock up system the Colt has less felt recoil than straight blowback 380’s, that has always been an advantage. Colt should bring back the double action 380 and 9mm versions of the Pony only with a polymer frame. That would be a great seller IMO based on the popularity of the long discontinued and sought after aluminum framed Pony.

  13. Picked up a nice little Colt “Government Model .380” many years ago, for about $250. A bit larger than the Mustang, but it was more accurate, and looks more like a scaled-down 1911. Somehow it just “looks right”. Fairly heavy for concealed carry compared to most of the newer poly .380’s. but it sure is a neat little gun.

    This Mustang XSP seems kind of clunky compared to that older steel.

  14. Okay, $650 sounds like a lot of money, but it has a molded thumb perch. A molded thumb perch, people! That’s gotta be worth a two, three hundred bucks right there. I’m sure that the instant you snuggle your stubby digit into that seductively molded thumb perch, you’ll know why you spent the extra coin.

  15. Their AR-15 rifles are reasonably priced these days but their pistols are insanely expensive.

  16. And yet it is still wider than a .45 XD-S, and most pocket 9mm pistols.

    I mean, seriously, over an inch, for a .380? Meh. If you go with that caliber, it better damn be compact.

  17. This makes my Star PD 45 look so Cutting Edge”, and don’t even get me started on my Charter Arms Bulldog 44!
    BTW how long after the S&W M-29 and the Ruger Redhawk did Colt come out w/a 44mag?

  18. $650 is reasonable compared to the Mustang’s two offshoots now on the market, the Sig Sauer P238 and new Kimber CDP Micro Mustang clone. These pistols aren’t really in the same class as the Ruger, S&W Bodyguard, or Kel-Tec polymer pocket pistols in the same caliber and with the deliberately ‘old-school’ single-action mechanism and 1911 style controls I don’t think may customers actually cross-shop these two groups either, at least I really didn’t when I purchased the Sig P238. The all-metal construction was a primary selling point for me and I think that similar thoughts may leave the Mustang XSP, and its odd mixture of ‘old-school’ ergonomics/manual safety and decidedly ‘new-school’ polymer construction without much of the mini-.380 market.

    Please note that what I said above is not a knock against the Ruger in the least, it is a capable pistol, just my own thoughts since I personally found it easier to adapt to the ‘miniature 1911’ style, especially considering situations when I would be carrying my Government Model with the P238 as backup and wanted similar controls between the two to assist muscle memory. However, I found out the expensive way that all of these pocket pistols are not really suitable as primary defense/carry guns – this is not due to the .380 cartridge (having made leaps and bounds in effectiveness especially in the comparatively heavy 102gr Remington GS load) but rather the short sight radius, recoil control, and mediocre triggers that all pistols in this class share. My P238 spent time at the Sig Sauer custom shop and benefited from a few Cylinder and Slide parts with only moderate trigger improvement, and I realized I had spent $1250 building a backup gun. It remains true that any gun is better than no gun, but if you must carry only one the P238 – and by extension all the Mustang variants – strays a little to far towards ‘comfortable’ rather than ‘comforting’ for me.

  19. My Kahr P380 was about the same price. Worth every penny. My theory is: save up and buy the best stuff. I don’t know if this one is the best stuff but if it is I wouldn’t let the price stop me.

  20. I have used a Colt Mustang +II in stainless for quite sometime as my carry. No problems or concerns. Seems like they are trying to reinvent the wheel here.

  21. Oh goody. Another .380 at a time when you can purchase a full blown 9mm that is only a little larger and heavier for about the same price.

    I’m going back to sleep now

  22. “My mind is a raging torrent, flodded with rivulets of thought…”

    Put this in “quotes you won’t hear from the guys who designed this pistol.”

    First, .380? Really? If you’re going .380, then make it as concealable as possible. Get rid of the external hammer, or bob it down. Smooth out the profile of the piece to make it as non-printing as possible. That means “no stupid squared trigger guard.”

    The only reason why you’re carrying a .380 is that you’re carrying a very concealable, small, light pistol, or you’re a European cop and you can’t (or won’t) carry a real pistol. The Europeans we can leave to their own devices, because they don’t matter and won’t matter for the next 500 years for reasons too depressing to enumerate here.

    Second, OK, it’s chambered in .380… but this needs a wanker rail on the frame for… what, exactly? My mind is totally blank. I either cannot conceive of a plausible reason for a wanker rail on a compact pistol, or else I need to start reading more glossy gun magazines to discover the recent fit of the stupids wherein this has become fashionable.

    OK, enough bellyaching on my part. I think I know what would be a nice idea for Colt to pursue. If they’re going to make something in .380, then bring back the Colt Pocket Hammerless in .380. Or, better yet, shrink the dimensions a tad and bring it out as the “New Colt Pocket Hammerless.” The Pocket Hammerless pistols were de-horned, nice, svelte little pistols of JMB’s design genius. Could they be made better with today’s machining technology? Of course they could. They’d actually be in the class of “nice guns” and they’d have a prancing pony on the side for all the Colt collectors.

    Instead… we get a piece of plastic with a thumb shelf. Insert face-palm here.

  23. I am sure Colt and Beretta for that matter make fine 380 calibre pistols, but if you are paying more than 3 bills for an LCP that does the same thing, you paid too much.

  24. For that much I can get a Glock 26 with more capacity, a more powerful round and still have enough cash left over to buy a …box…of 9mm. Assuming it can be found.

    The real winner in this marketplace will be a reliable, concealable handgun that shoots otherwise-orphan calibers that are still available. Like .45 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, 10mm Auto and the 4.6x30mm that for some reason was present in ludicrous quantities at my local Academy a few weeks ago. Seriously, 19 boxes of a caliber that no weapon sold to civilians uses sitting on the shelf at Academy while they limit you to a single BOX of 50 .22LR at a time…when they have it. I think the ammo company just threw those in for S&Gs, hard to believe anyone at Academy would have just snapped those up.

  25. I think it’s nice that they’re offering design opportunities to blind people. This shows the same commitment to forward thinking business planning as the Ford Edsel.

  26. I got my new Sig P238 with Sig Night Sights and a Truglo front sight for $500 out the door with a box of ammo in 2012. I absolutely love it and as far as looks go it’s a 10 compared to this Colt.

  27. If one likes the look of this new XSP, and doesn’t mind paying the extra $200, would you guys recommend it for a newbie’s first gun if said newbie is 63 years old? Thanks. My doggie is very old and I need to find a new protector quite soon as he won’t be around much longer.

  28. Feels better in the hand shooting (stability) and on the ankle (comfort). First magazine at ten yards was a six-inch group. Pretty good.

  29. Just bought my second colt mustang XSP. Fired 50 rounds out of box no problems. My first was a mustang plus two for 350 bucks in 1984 it’s worth around 1000 bucks today if you can find one. No jams ever from the plus two. I love me some colt pistols.

  30. I own the all-metal Pocketlite version. It has been as flawless as a pocket pistol can be. Yesterday while my wife and a friends wife were shooting some small guns lookng for CC choices, i got the chance to handle the polymer version.

    The polymer version is only 1 oz lighter than the aluminum alloy version, and feels so much crappier. the controls are cheap feeling, although the ambi-safety is an advantage over the Pocketlite’s right-handed safety. the grip is ever-so-slightly thinner but not as grabable. It’s cheaper than the all-metal version, but it doesn’t feel as good in the hand.

    The two ladies liked shooting the all-metal Pocketlite, and commented on how easy it is to shoot for such a small gun. I might get one for my wife.

    IMO, the Pocketlite feels better in the hand than the Sig P238, too.

    Bottom line: if a “tiny 1911” appeals to you, my recommendation is to save up a little more get the metal version Colt Mustang Pocketlite. Hey, it’s cheaper than a Kimber micro!

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