Question of the Day: What’s the Best Pocket Pistol (Excluding the GLOCK 42)?

“Glock is still billing the new Glock 42 as a pocket pistol. Its not,” Eric writes at “It’s still too long (0.47″ shorter than Glock 26) and still to tall (0.04″ shorter than the Glock 26) to be considered for true pocket pistol use. Yes, a Glock 26 can be pocket carried, but its hardly a practical EDC [Every Day Carry] method. The same will also ring true with the Glock 42. People are going to have to carry it in a traditional holster. What Glock basically did was to produce a Ruger SR380 with a Glock pedigree that will be probably be a little bit better… Whoopideedoo! Its still going to cost $50-$100 more than the Ruger.” So . . . what IS the best pocket pistol? For me, it’s a Ruger LC9 or a Smith & Wesson 642 (hammerless). You?


  1. avatar Swarf says:

    After some tweeking, my LCP is pretty great.

    I also really like mi LCR in .38.

    1. avatar Marcus says:

      LCP for me, as well, with a few tweaks as mentioned above. Night sights really help and can be done with simple glow-in-the-dark nail polish. Huge boost to the barely-there sights on the LCP. I found the Hogue HandAll grip to be a cheap (under ten bucks) upgrade, as well. Gives the gun a little more heft, but man does it improve comfort when shooting. There’s the Sweet Pea trigger for those who really don’t like the existing trigger, but I haven’t gone that route yet. Personally, I got comfortable with the long trigger after several trips to the range. LCP fits comfortably in any pocket. If winter ever ends, it will drop right into the pocket of my cargo shorts, if I need to leave the IWB behind. Love it.

      1. avatar BillF says:

        LCP carried in a $20 wallet holster. Can manipulate slide, switch mags and fire–all while in the holster. Holster eliminates “gun outline”.
        Not my ultimate concealed carry piece, but my fav for pocket carry. Runner-up is any small hammerless revolver. LCR, 642, etc.

        1. avatar Marcus says:

          Well, dang. Do you have a link to that holster? I was going to go with the Uncle Mike’s, but this one sounds pretty sweet.

        2. avatar BillF says:

          It’s on the front page of Bud’s Guns.

      2. avatar Swarf says:

        Yeah, that grip. Surprised me how much it helped my groups.

        I also got the spring kit and stainless rod from Galloway Precision. I’m not convinced its not all placebo, but whatever.

        It halved my group size, so I’ll take it.

      3. avatar Philip says:

        +1 on the hogue grip. Best 999 pennies I ever spent. Added a crimson trace and this little sucker visits a state university with me every day. Great set up!

        1. avatar Marcus says:

          I’ve yet to hear from anyone who DOESN’T like the Hogue. You’re right, the laser is nice, too. I’ve got the LaserMax on mine. It came included so I sometimes forget that the LCP doesn’t have it out of the box.

  2. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    My S&W 642 in an Uncle Mike’s Sidekick.

    1. avatar PhilWilson says:

      Don’t know about “the best,” but that’s what I usually carry, too. In a Remora pocket holster, loaded with the Buffalo Bore version of FBI load.

      I wouldn’t mind having something like an LCP or TCP for occasional use. Or maybe a NAA .22 mag. Not in any hurry to buy either, though.

      1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

        The TCP isn’t bad. I carry one daily in a wallet holster, myself. Plus, you get a free annual NRA membership with purchase, which I used to sign up my 20 year old niece.

        The firearm itself isn’t the lightest .380 out there (that’s probably the Kel-Tec); but it is on the lighter side of the spectrum compared to the S&W, Ruger and Sig .380’s. So it’s not necessarily an ideal range gun, but that’s not why I bought it, anyway.

        It’s definitely a “break it in” type firearm, however, which I dislike. You’ll have to find the right ammo and lube for it to operate reliably. I’m not quite there yet, myself, as I’ve only had this particular model for six months or so. What keeps it permanently on my suspect list is that the first time at the range, it jammed, and jammed badly, in a way that couldn’t be cleared by racking the action and wouldn’t even allow removal of the slide. It then took me about twenty minutes with a screwdriver and a Leatherman to clear the offending round. It’s been better since, with trial and error ammo/lube combinations; but not 100% problem free like my Glock 26.

  3. avatar theunholyharrod says:

    Sig 938.
    SAO trigger wins every time

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      double down on that. Wish California would let me have one.

    2. avatar PhilWilson says:

      I was lucky enough to shoot one of those last month. Very nice indeed, and I know that it would be perfectly safe to pocket carry with the right holster. Still, I have this weird psychological hang-up about pocket carrying a SA pistol in condition 1.

    3. avatar Roland_1911 says:

      Another vote for this as a PP.
      My XDs .45 and 938 rotate as BUGs regularly.

  4. avatar Tom jones says:

    Glock 42

    1. avatar Noishkel says:

      I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  5. avatar Don says:

    CM9 is pretty good.

    1. avatar Other Don says:

      +1 on the CM9…..I love my PM9

    2. avatar Wood says:

      +2 on a PM9 with CT. I use a Mitch Rosen clip on IWB at 1 o’clock or a Recluse pocket holster.

    3. avatar PW in KY says:

      +3 on pm9, I vary between a crossbreed micro tuck and a nemesis pocket holster. Most of my friends can’t believe a 9mm is so small!

    4. avatar Mike D says:

      The CM9 is just a little too big for me to use as a pocket pistol (and the Glock 42 is just about the same size in a lesser caliber, meaning I have no use for it).

      I use a Kahr P380 as my pocket BUG.

    5. avatar David says:

      +1 on the CM9, I carry my PM9 nearly everywhere in a pocket holster… I always fire it first at the range after sometimes weeks unserviced in my pocket.. Reliable, 9mm and tiny

      1. avatar Louie T. says:

        nearly is the key word word

    6. avatar moveableDO says:

      CM9 is my EDC pistol, but I still would not call it a pocket gun. My Kahr P380 is really more of a pocket pistol size.

  6. avatar David says:

    I would have to go with a Sig 938. I’m not a fan of the .380 round.

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      I’m not either, but given the realities of my job, it’s what I can carry. Even my LCR would be too bulky.

      I’d rather carry .380 than nothing.

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        And no, I’m not a male stripper.

      2. avatar Loyd says:

        For a long time all I could manage to carry at work was a LCP in my pocket. Recently started with the Shield on my ankle. So far so good.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    A little Airweight you can count on.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      442 Smith and Wesson.

  8. avatar MikeL says:

    For true pocket carry, the Ruger LCP can’t be beat. I can carry it while wearing a suit without any worry that it’ll print — and it’s not too heavy for the pockets in dress pants.

    While I’d rather have something larger, it’s still true that a .380 in the pocket is better than a .45 in the nightstand.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      Or Kel-Tec P32, if you want something even lighter.

      P32 is, to the best of my knowledge, the lightest semi-auto ever, and the lightest handgun if you exclude .22 LR (if you don’t, then that crown would pass to NAA minis). 7 oz unloaded, and 0.75″ thick.

      Is it “enough gun”? That depends on what you consider “enough” (some people would claim that nothing short of a .45 is). Bear in mind, though, that something like 97% of all defensive gun use doesn’t actually involve firing the gun in question. OTOH, small size and weight make it possible to carry a gun conveniently where a bigger size solution would not be an option.

      I’m thinking of getting an LCR .38, though. For pocket carry as well, but in cases where I’m wearing cargo pants and such that permit a larger and heavier gun.

  9. avatar Keith in TX says:

    Taurus TCP .380.

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      +1 Been carrying one for two+ years now. Felt better in my hand than the LCP.

    2. avatar Lauderdale Vet says:

      Taurus PT-709 Slim might be a little large, but can still work.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        Bought one when they first came out, it was an outstanding training gun, lots of practice clearing malfunctions.

        1. avatar Lauderdale Vet says:

          Once I figured out I was limp wristing it, I haven’t had a failure since. The problem was me.

          Thing eats whitebox ammo all day long. Very reliable shooter, for me.

        2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Light primer strikes made up the bulk of my issues.

          Turned me off from Taurus all together, I’m a tough customer, you don’t get second chances with me.

    3. avatar Swarf says:

      You know, I looked at one of those when I was shopping for a pocket pistol a few years ago and liked a lot about it (last shot hold open, etc) but Taurus’ reputation for unreliability scared me off.

      I’m glad to see people having positive experiences with Taurus. They said they were going to improve and it seems they have. Are you listening Marlin?

      …although now I want a TCP.

        1. avatar spacecoaster says:

          The TTAG review of the TCP sold me. The trigger is not bad for a DAO. In a Sticky brand pocket holster. Even works in gym shorts.

        2. avatar Swarf says:

          I’ve read it, but sadly it came out about a year and a half late for me.

      1. avatar VaqueroJustice says:

        My TCP has been incredibly reliable. Not a single failure to feed, fire, extract or eject, ever.
        It’s had somewhere around 500 rounds through it, from various shooters, as well. It worked
        no matter who’s hands it was in.
        Mine is the stainless version, and I run mainly premium hollow points through it, in case that matters.
        I didn’t even clean it before it’s initial day at the range. I walked from the counter to the
        range and put 200 rounds through it.
        For a weapon of it’s type it’s pretty accurate, but you aren’t going to be shooting any
        competitions with it. It is, after all, a pocket pistol. It carries comfortably, conceals well, hits what you aim it at, and goes bang when you pull the trigger, What more could you want ?

    4. avatar freedom says:

      The TCP is three best .380 pocket gun on the market, beats the LCP and bodyguard and its also cheaper. I shoot 3-4 mags every range trip and shot 150 rounds it’s first time out before I carried it. At this point it’s got at least 600 through it and it’s been flawless. The trigger is long, but smooth and it manages recoil better than any other micro .380 I’ve handled.

  10. avatar Aaron J says:

    S&W 340pd w/XS Big Dot front sight and CT LG-405 grips in DeSantis Superfly pocket holster.

  11. avatar scooter says:

    642 in my right front pocket as I type this.

  12. avatar Too close to chicago says:

    Ruger LCP. Any thing bigger has ended up in a holster in my experience. I bought a kahr CM9 hoping it would be a pocket 9, but it was just too big IMO.

    1. avatar jerry says:

      Love my Ruger LCP

  13. avatar dwb says:

    If you are lucky enough to live in Maryland, then you know the answer to this is Glock 7. It’s is the best ever made. Unfortunately, its kinda pricey and it tends to shatter with +P loads. The new Glock 72 coming out later in 2014 will have tempered porcelain rated for .44 Mag. The best part will be the porcelain bullets, no more worrying about airport security.

    1. avatar BillF says:

      “Unfortunately, its kinda pricey and it tends to shatter with +P loads.”
      But if you survive the encounter, you can gather the pieces and repair with crazy glue.

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      Kinda pricey? I’d say so. I bet even a Head of Airport Security doesn’t make enough in a month to buy one.

      1. avatar Captain Carmine Lorenzo says:

        You’d be surprised what I make in a month.

        1. avatar Det. John McClane says:

          If it’s more than $1.98, I’d be surprised.

          Yippee-ki-yay, Mister Falcon.

    3. avatar SteveInCO says:

      ‘The new Glock 72 coming out later in 2014 will have tempered porcelain rated for .44 Mag. The best part will be the porcelain bullets, no more worrying about airport security.”

      Wow that’s a new frangible bullet technology there. Imagine, Glaser Glass slugs.

      Actually I don’t think Glock is oing to make up enough silly new calibers (10.5 mm GAP anyone?) to get up to model number 72 any time soon, even if they release full size, compact, subcompact and single stack versions of each. (I suspect the 42 is going to find itself in a run of single stack model numbers with the 40 being 9mm, and the 41 being in 40, paralleling their run of numbers for subcompacts, before too much longer).

  14. avatar DV says:

    Beretta Nano — works fine in a desantis or N82

  15. avatar Ross says:

    Pocket carry I choose a S&W 340pd in .357MAG but carry .38 in it.

  16. avatar Wayne says:

    LCP– I just forget it’s there. It’s been flawless.

  17. avatar tdiinva says:

    Is it small enough to go in pocket or be easily concealed? Does it come in 9mm? Is it reliable? If the answer is yes to all three questions then the specific pistol is irrelevant. The best one is the one that you shoot the best with. What’s good good for me isn’t necessarily good for you.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Thanks, that’s very helpful…

      I think you’re missing the point. The idea behind asking “What’s the best…?” isn’t to actually determine an absolute winner. It’s to foster discussion, and maybe allow someone to bring attention to a lesser-known option that will work for someone else. I’ve discovered guns and gear that I never even knew existed from these kinds of online “Best Of” discussions.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Give me a break. Naming names comes down to “mine is better than yours.” That really fosters meaningful discussion. The best small pistol is the one that provides the most effectness in a small reliable package. There are many pistols out there that meet this objective. Ok, I will name names. The Beretta Nano. Why? Because it’s the one I chose to buy.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          This is the internet. Every discussion, on any topic from weather to spatulas, will devolve into “mine is better than yours”. That doesn’t mean there’s not information to be gathered. On this post alone, I’ve learned about two different holsters I wasn’t aware of, and found enough positive comments about the Taurus TCP to make me give it a second look.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          And how does my post inhibit discussion? It lays out three parameters that go into determining “the best pocket pistol.” It’s kind of like DoD source selection criteria that is used in selecting the best entry. If that doesn’t engender a discussion I don’t know what will.

  18. avatar Shwiggie says:

    S&W Bodyguard .380 in a DeSantis Pocket Shot holster.

    1. avatar Ed Rogers says:

      I too, love the Bodyguard .380. We own a 642 and it’s a good firearm. I just prefer the advantages of the ergonomics and a couple more rounds. The low recoil is also a plus.

      I must admit, after reading the article about the “Rabbi”, I am considering adding an ankle holster. Perhaps I’ll start carrying the Airweight too…

    2. avatar DJ says:

      Got one for my wife as a Christmas gift. Just ordered a replacement trigger bar, trigger and springs from Galloway Precision. Nice little firearm, but I’m not crazy about the trigger.

      1. avatar Tominator says:

        You won’t be sorry there! Galloway trigger and bar…Frog Lubed it completely as well…made the BG 380 one of my favorite pistols ever. I traded off a 640 Centennial just before buying the BG…and the BG is just so much lighter. Very accurate for a BUG. About 1000 rounds through it and only one failure to feed. I’ll take that!

      2. avatar Rambeast says:

        The trigger smooths out after a couple hundred rounds. Even dry firing it at home does the trick. If you are mechanically inclined, you can get some valve lapping compound and polish it to a glass finish, just don’t forget to clean it thoroughly afterwards.

        I suspect those that complain about the recoil are habitual shooters of full framed 9mm service pistols. I am a lover of the .45, and shoot it in sub compact and 1911 platforms. This makes the BG’s recoil feel like a .22 by comparison.

        The only issue I had with the BG was the lack of pinky on the grip. Garrison grips are comfy, but extend the grip too far for reliable pocket carry. Adams grips makes a short and long extension. I prefer the short for my small paws. Corso Inc. makes a spring set for the mags to boost them to 7 rounds as well.

    3. avatar Shwiggie says:

      Lots of people dun the thing for its trigger and recoil, but while I see plenty of room for improvement I don’t have problems with it. Even my mother handles the Bodyguard well, and she’s an arthritic septuagenarian who’s had surgery for trigger finger…IN her trigger finger. Capacity-wise, I keep two spare mags for it, since they’re small enough themselves.
      Admittedly, if I know I’ll be outside my home or vehicular armories for any length of time, I carry something around my waist that shoots copious amounts of lead in calibers of 9mm or higher. But we are talking pocket guns here.

  19. avatar rammerjammer says:

    Ruger LCP and or LCR. The LCP especially is the pistol that leaves no excuse to leave home unarmed.

  20. avatar Colby says:

    Remington R51. 😉

    If that doesn’t suit you, I like a “no lock” 642 or LC9, but I still feel like those are too large to practically “pocket carry.”

    That being the case, maybe an LCP or Mini 22mag revolver might fit the “pocket gun” title better.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Removing the lock on the 642 takes no more than ten minutes and does not leave a hole in the frame — only the little internal gizmo is removed.

      There are plenty of YouTube viddys that show how it’s done.

      1. avatar Colby says:

        True, and that is an option.

        But there are plenty of 642s currently being manufactured without the lock and I’d just as soon spend my money on one of those instead.

        1. avatar SD3 says:

          Agree the lock is retarded, but being on active duty, I basically have no control over where I’m stationed, so I ‘bought the lock’ just to ensure I’d never be prohibited from having the 642.

  21. avatar Hondo Gibbs says:

    The post at seems to be by a person named Eric, not Rob Pincus.

  22. avatar michael says:

    Beretta Nano in a desantis nemesis. although, i’m sure the pico is nice too.

  23. avatar Tom in Oregon says:


    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Hows the thing treating you? I’ve heard nothing but horror stories.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        You don’t want to shoot more than a box at a time. It’s loud as heck and hurts my middle finger (trigger guard)
        But it’s very reliable. I haven’t shot any really wide mouths out of it, but standard gold dots run great.

  24. avatar ChuckN says:

    SP101 with a 2.25″ barrel, bobbed hammer, Meprolight
    Tru-Dot sight and a Jim Badger boot grip.

  25. avatar Thomas Pain says:

    1911 commander. front pocket. slim fit jeans. chicks dig the bulge.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      This one made me laugh, but my wife would know the sad truth.

  26. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    The G26 is a pocket gun for the tactical pants and tactical vest folks, but for a Levi’s and t-shirt guy, like myself, the LCP is best pocket gun.

    That being said, I very rarely find myself in a situation where I can’t accommodate, at least, a subcompact pistol on my waist.

  27. avatar tomodachi says:

    NAA Black Widow with Hornady Critical Defense 45 grain 22 mag; nine ounces.

  28. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    plasma rifle in a 40 watt range

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      Just what you see, pal.

    2. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Is that different from a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range?

  29. avatar Hal says:

    P238, with Precision One hollow points (thank YOU shooting the bull .380 shoot off).

  30. avatar Noishkel says:

    I… just don’t really believe in pocket pistols myself. The closet thing to that would be my CZ-82. Or my modified .38 S&W snub nosed Webley. Both fit well in a pocket.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      CZ-82? You must have some roomy pockets.

      1. avatar Noishkel says:

        I do. I mostly wear ‘combat pants’. BDUs and the like.

      2. avatar Dogman says:

        With the standard Tru-Spec tactical pants I wear almost every day, I can carry a Glock 30 in the front strong side pocket. The G30 fits perfectly in the Uncle Mike’s #4 pocket holster I use with my G26.

      3. avatar int19h says:

        Size of pockets is dictated by the circumstances. When I’m hiking out in the woods, I wear roomy cargo pants. Roomy enough that I can (and do) fit a .357 Chiappa Rhino with a 2″ barrel in a pocket holster in one of them – of course, you also need a solid belt to support 25 oz of weight, but when done right, it doesn’t print prominently (I mean, it does bulge a fair bit, but it’s nigh impossible to tell from the shape that it’s a handgun).

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Well, sure, but it’s nigh impossible to tell from the shape of a Chiappa Rhino that it’s a handgun when you’re holding it in your hands, too. 🙂

        2. avatar Lauderdale Vet says:

          My wife has one. She loves it.

  31. avatar JamesB in TN says:

    The Ruger LCP is the one I most often carry (in a Desantis SuperFly holster). I added a LaserMax laser to it, which has proven to be a really nice addition but added hardly any bulk at all. I also sometimes pocket carry my S&W M&P Shield, but the Shield is just large enough and heavy enough that pocket carry only works with certain pants, whereas the LCP can be carried effortlessly in the pocket of any pants, which is why, even though larger pistols like the Shield are certainly easier to shoot, the LCP gets my vote as best pocket pistol.

  32. avatar PeterC says:

    For accuracy, my Kahr P380 in a DeSantis holster. As an up-close-and-personal backup backup, my Seecamp LS380 in a Strong pocket holster.

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      Oh well, Seacamp, la-te-da!

    2. avatar SpecialK says:

      Amen on the Kahr P380. Mine comes with me wherever I go. I have found it to be the most shootable pocket .380. Pricey, but worth every penny, although if the CW380 had been available when I bought mine I might have gone in that direction.

      1. avatar Mike D says:

        I got tired of trying to find a CW380 this past Summer, and ended up getting the P380.

  33. avatar Larry says:

    I am still partial to my Dad’s WW2 bring back Walther PPK. HE CARIED IT FOR 40 years and when he died in 85 I switched from a revolver and have carried it ever since. Dad was very very big on accuracy and practice practice practice. The ammo shortage has cut way down on the 25 rounds a week practice in the basement range but I still go through about 500 rounds a year with the little thing. Nothing like the thousands of rounds of 45 colt I shoot in practice and compitition for SASS but a Colt SAA is tough to conceal other than in winter time.
    Total confidence in every aspect of the little PPK from carrying with one cambered and safety on to accurate double tap when the first shot is double action and the rest are single is vital with a small caliber, and I am well aware of the compromise but given where I live concealment is paramount for me.
    Dad never had to use it in a situation and I hope I never do either but in all the thousands of rounds that have gone through it I am not aware of any stoppages and Dad never mentioned any from the years when I was too young to notice.

  34. Kahr PM 9/40.

    Smallest 9/40 you can carry. Smaller than many (most?) 380s.

  35. avatar FortWorthColtGuy says:

    Glock 43, Practical/Tactical, full size frame, double stack mag in .25 ACP.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      For the operator operating operationally.

  36. avatar LKB says:

    With cargo pants or CCW Breakaways, G26 in a DeSantis Nemesis.
    Otherwise, LCP in one of these:

    (And/or M&P Shield in a Galco Ankle Glove).

  37. avatar Dan says:

    bodyguard 380.

  38. avatar Myrton Sussbaum says:

    Disappointed with Glock, this is what happens to a company when the creator is in a legal battle with his wife, everything goes downhill.

    The latest Glock should have been a G26/G27 slide on top of a G19/G23 frame. Basically a snub G23. Easier to conceal, still high capacity, still plenty of grip to grab.

    KelTec and Ruger have the 380 market cornered anyway, so this was just a wasted effort by Glock.

  39. avatar Highwayman says:

    The best pocket pistol for me, would be the combination of my Ruger LCP and Diamondback 380. The Ruger eats just about all the ammo it is fed, and conceals well with a pocket holster. The trigger on the Ruger is an abomination, I am not sure I could hit the floor with a round if I was aiming at it.
    The Diamondback has it all over the Ruger for shootability. It points well and the trigger breaks predictably. For me the recoil from the Diamondback seems less harsh and the gun comes back on target quicker. If the Diamondback would only feed and discharge reliably it would be the hands down winner.
    Hopefully, the Beretta Pico will have the best attributes of these two guns. I like Berettas, I own a bunch of them, but if the Nano is any indicator of reliability I wont hold my breath.
    Finally, In my experience, pocket carry of a 9mm is stretching it. I am 6’3” and 225 lbs and I cant conceal a nine in my pockets. I guess I could if I wore clown pants though;)

  40. avatar mountocean says:

    Best I own is my Boberg XR-9S. Normally in home-made belly band but fits nice in pockets with either a Remora or au naturel.

  41. avatar gabba says:

    jetfire. not bobcat

  42. avatar george reed says:

    Still trying out my new p238. It is a little closer to fun size though. (P938 really is bulkier). Miss my 1st generation keltec p32. I don’t think anything newer actually compares. In a poorer day, as a night worker in a cracker barrel, I always had my .22lr NA revolver. I just wasn’t checking out in a meat freezer, ya know.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      What’s wrong with current production Kel-Tecs?

  43. avatar george reed says:

    I can’t help but think that the glock (bah) 42 is going go make the Plaxico Burris thing a daily occurrence.

  44. avatar Chuck in IL says:

    LCP or Kimber Solo. But neither is as comforting as a 1911 on your hip.

  45. avatar Hasdrubal says:

    LC9 works great for me, the .380s are often so small that I have a hard time getting a grip on them. I know, train more and I could get used to it. I have the added disadvantage of only getting support at work for 9mm, .40, and .45, though, so it’s not worth the effort for me.

    My biggest gripe with the LC9 is that the safety is stiff. I like to leave it off, but sometimes it gets bumped on in my pocket. Trigger that heavy doesn’t need an external safety on a revolver, this should be no different.

  46. avatar Kent Thompson says:

    I carry a S&W 637 Wyatt Deep Cover in my front pants pocket.

  47. avatar Garrett says:

    Ruger LC9? Crap. Ruger LCP? Crap. Cheap (not in a good way), horrible triggers. Why people continue to buy these two guns with so so many better choices on the market amazes me. Also surprising is how many people claim to LOVE these guns. Obviously exposure to other quality pocket guns has been extremely limited. Kahr P380, Bodyguard 380, Smith 340PD, Taurus TCP, I could go on and on, all are so far above LCP’s and LC9’s it is almost a joke. Want the best? Rohrbaugh R9S for maximum concealability and power. Want something cheap that works? Taurus TCP. Want the best cheap 9mm that is still comfortable to shoot all day? How about a Shield for $420? How about and XDS? Admittedly newer LCP’s do have improved reset, but still absolute CRAP. And yes, I speak from experience. I own and have shot and have sold all of the guns mentioned above. My choice of carry guns? Depending on weather and clothing. Rohrbaugh R9S, Shield 9mm, HK P7M8, Smith 340PD, Sig 938, Bodyguard 380, NAA Pug. Now that is a list.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      >> Cheap (not in a good way), horrible triggers. Why people continue to buy these two guns with so so many better choices on the market amazes me. Also surprising is how many people claim to LOVE these guns. Obviously exposure to other quality pocket guns has been extremely limited. Kahr P380, Bodyguard 380, Smith 340PD, Taurus TCP, I could go on and on, all are so far above LCP’s and LC9′s it is almost a joke.

      I can’t say for LC9, but LCP is lighter and more compact than any of the other guns that you’ve listed, sometimes by a significant margin. For example, Taurus is 11 oz, and Bodyguard is 12 oz. LCP is 9.5 oz. And yes, when pocket carrying, you very much feel the difference.

      340PD is a gun in its own category. It’s still heavier, but it’s also so much more powerful that it more than justifies that – but paying $1k for a pocket handgun is not something that many people are willing to do.

      Anyway, the only real problem with LCP is its trigger. Which, yes, is long and hard and creepy, but for the intended use, considering the distances, it’s perfectly adequate.

      1. avatar Garrett says:

        If I absolutely had to have the smallest, lightest 380 it would be a Kahr P380. 9.9oz unloaded. Sights anyone? That being said good sights are not a requirement for me on this type of gun but definitely nice. The LCP works, I give you that. But thats like saying that eating leftovers out of the trash can of a Mcdonalds works too.

  48. avatar racer88 says:

    Am I the only one with a Colt Pony Pocketlite? Carried in a DeSantis Superfly on those rare occasions I can’t or don’t want to do the G27 IWB.

  49. avatar dlj95118 says:

    …the best one, is the one you have.
    For me it’s a Ruger LC380 loaded with one of ShootinTheBull’s .380 Winner’s Circle.

  50. avatar chainsawferret says:

    best for us is the Sig P238. my wife has small hands, and it fits her better than anything else. Better to have something that she’s actually comfortable with training with, than something that’s not, and never practiced.

  51. avatar Dogman says:

    I pocket carried a G26 for years until I read on gun forums that it wasn’t a pocket pistol. So I started carrying a 442, then a 642. But gun forums kept telling me that 5 shots wasn’t enough in today’s climate of violent street crimes. So I tried a .380 but gun forums told me it wasn’t powerful enough to stop a charging Yorkshire Terrier. Then I went to a single stack 9mm but gun forums told me that my particular gun wasn’t reliable even though mine had worked perfectly for nearly 1000 rounds. After a while, I picked up the G26 again and started carrying it in an Uncle Mike’s #4 pocket holster and it seemed to carry pretty good right there in my pants pocket despite it NOT being a pocket pistol.

    So I stopped reading gun forums.

  52. avatar anonymous says:

    A blog post asking “what’s the best”, and not a single joke about crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamenations of their women?

    What is wrong with you people?

  53. avatar MrPotatoHead says:

    The article wasn’t written by Rob Pincus unless he’s using a pseudonym and has devolved on a basic maturity level. It says “Eric” on the Gunmartblog…

    My carry gun preference is the PF9. I’ve modified mine quite a bit with new sights, Talon grip, Laserlyte side laser, etc. It’s been 100% reliable. I can’t say the same about my M&P Shield. Right now it’s sitting in my safe waiting to go back to S&W. The slide/guide rod/barrel is catching or binding on something. Can’t cycle the gun by hand, it won’t chamber a round, and I can’t get the slide off to field strip it.

  54. avatar Vhyrus says:

    I used to pocket carry an XD 40 subcompact, so I am going to say that is the best pocket gun.

    No I’m not kidding.

  55. avatar Dave says:

    Seems like the G42 would fit in a pocket just fine. I have been carrying a Bersa Thunder 380 combat in my pocket since Christmas. It fits just fine, and is bigger than the listed dimensions of the G42.

  56. avatar LC Judas says:

    Kahr MK 9. Why all metal? Easily controlled in rapid fire with numb hands. Then after its empty it makes a nice brass knuckle. Keep the shooting grip and shoot your jab.

  57. avatar Kevin says:

    Sig p290

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Thank you. No one gives any love to the 2nd smallest (after the PM9) serious +P capable 9mm pistol out there. It is indeed small enough for the pocket, although it’s still pushing it.

      For true pocket carry, I favor my P3AT. Haters gonna hate, but I picked it over the LCP because of the grip texture. It has been 100% for me, except with steel-cased ammo.

    2. avatar LK says:

      P290 for me as well. I don’t pocket carry much (only in the pocket of my Carhartt jacket, usually it is on my belt or I carry it appendix style.

      Love it’s weight, size and reliablity. And sights.

  58. avatar Phil says:

    LCP w/ viridian laser. LC9 was too big, heavy and unreliable for EDC.

  59. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

    S&W Model 36 Chief’s Special. 50 years ago…

    Heavy steel frame, original bluing, and a giant hammer to catch on my pocket. Perfect.

  60. avatar Katman says:

    I like the M&P Shield 9mm but the SA XDS-45 seems like a pretty enticing option.

  61. avatar Rank Hank says:

    I love my little S&W Bodyguard .380..
    Fits damn nice in my front pocket and even better in my coat pocket with it in my hand.

  62. avatar LJM says:

    LC 9. With a nemisis

  63. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    SIG P238, in a wallet holster. I’m a carpenter. It disappears in my overalls. Great work gun.

  64. avatar Too close to chicago says:

    Love my Ruger LCP. Extremely reliable and accurate. Super easy to pocket carry and it comes with me when ever it is legal to do so, but difficult to carry IWB.

  65. avatar Joel says:

    Most of the time a S&W BG-380 in a Safariland wallet profile holster, but sometimes a Bersa Thunder 380CC which gives me 8+1 rounds instead of 6+1. It depends on what I’m wearing and since I live in Florida lightweight clothing is usually standard and presents a range of challenges. Of course, that just means I have a range of holsters.

  66. avatar JeffGC says:

    Primary: S&W 340 PD with a trigger job and a Crimson Trace laser. Second choice (tight trousers or small pockets): LCP with CT laser. Both in custom pocket holsters.

  67. avatar Calvin says:

    Bought a P3AT, hated it. Bought a TCP after reading about them here, love it. I only wish I had heard of the TCP sooner. I could have bought the P3AT and the TCP at the same time, put the P3AT in a drawer without ever shooting it and I’d be money ahead with all the rounds I put through the KelTec searching vainly for something it would eat reliably.

    It’s amazing how the guns are so similar and yet so different to shoot. The Taurus has just tiny bit more bulk in the grip and a little more room in the trigger guard. These two together actually make it enjoyable to shoot. Also, the Taurus eats everything, even steel case Wolf.

  68. avatar Jeff says:

    Beretta Nano in a Desantis holster. Some people have had problems with them but mine has been highly reliable. I think Beretta had some QC issues in the early production, and some people had feed issues. The Nano is what I would expect a single stack 9mm Glock to be like. Its nice and clean with no protrusion and functions exactly like my Glock 17, but in a pocket pistol.

  69. avatar Closet Gun Nut says:

    I carry Jackie Chan in my back pocket. I’m totally safe at all times.

  70. avatar Mark Horning says:

    Mustang Pocketlite Plus II

    Single action trigger wins every time. Mine even came with night sights.

  71. avatar SteveInCO says:

    Desert Eagle in .50 AE. I have BIG pockets.

    Seriously, I am personally vacillating between a Makarov and a Beretta Nano as far as “small” guns go, but even they I won’t carry in a pocket.

  72. avatar Eric L says:

    I know I’ll probably get some flack but I pocket carry a feg pa-63. For me, its reliable, light weight, small, and with a change of springs, comfortable to shoot. As far as my accuracy with it…. I can hit what aim at

  73. avatar Albaniaaaa says:

    Micro Desert Eagle.

    Small enough (2nd smallest 380) to easily fit in a pocket, hefty enough to make it very controllable.

  74. avatar UnapologeticallyAmerican says:

    Truly depends on the pocket? Are we talking slacks or jeans on a man or shorts on my petite wife? There is no way a Bodyguard is fitting in some of the front pockets of some of my wife’s shorts, and if she is wearing a form fitting top and sandles that rules out hip/appendix/ankle carry or in essence you are open carrying at that point. A big purse on a woman in sandles screams please take me because I can’t chase you down. So either she goes unarmed, or she has to wear clothing that is more bulky than she wants in the summer. The NA .22mag Black Widow isn’t the most powerful round by any stretch and certainly won’t have the knock down power of a 1911, but if you have ever shot one especially with Gold Dot self-defense ammo, you can understand how it is a very good option. With a little practice she was able to get a group in the torso/kill box at 21 feet (not to bad with a revolver and no rear sight and a very short barrel). And if the person attacking is withing a few feet, if the round doesn’t stop them the fireball out the end of the barrel will burn their eyebrows off.

  75. avatar Fred says:

    For years I’ve front pocket carried an LCP in a Recluse holster. I have to wear pleated chinos with a tucked in button-down dress shirt at work, and my combo never prints, and no one has ever asked what is in my pocket.

  76. avatar aaron says:

    Pocket carried a micro desert eagle for about 3 years. Even in slim jeans the odd outline combined with a pocket holster made it look like a bulky wallet. Heft made for good controllability. Carry it occasionally now in bathing suits but now mostly using a P938 in a Kusiak IWB holster.

  77. avatar One If By Land 1776 says:

    Kahr P380 with a low profile slide lock lever…

  78. avatar brianinca says:

    I was working range officer duty yesterday. At one point, 4 of the 5 shooters had their LC9’s out, and counting me that made 5 LC9’s in CALIFORNIA. That’s an astronomically high percentage to my mind.

    People can criticize Ruger for making a carry pistol that “panders” to the nanny state laws, but it sure helps people like me. I was glad to see that much money in Ruger’s bank account just from a half-dozen of us (including a woman shooter).

  79. avatar Luke says:

    Ruger LCR .38
    I do not trust removable magazines. Especially in a last-ditch holdout weapon.

  80. avatar Wally says:

    Smith and Wesson Model 442 Guaranteed to go “Bang” 5 times. ( and from inside a pocket!) semi autos need not apply.

  81. avatar pete criminger says:

    I think the best 380 besides the glock is the sig P238 380 it is a tack driver ! Easy to pull the slide back and with the power ball amno it a good gun !

  82. avatar Don from CT says:

    The answer to this question is easy. But first exclude guns like the PM9. While these micro 9mm guns are great and small, and the PM9 even is fun to shoot, they are simply too heavy to carry daily in your pocket. Sure they work fine with jeans, but if you are wearing dress pants or suit pants, they flop all over the place, and pull your pants down.

    Nope, .380 rules the true pocket gun world. The LCP is about as good as it gets, except for one thing, its a miserable little gun to shoot. Its small, light and reliable. What if you could get all that and also throw in a smooth, light trigger with a nice reset. What if you also added nice sights and almost no recoil without any extra weight or bulk?

    But wait there’s more . . as Ron Popeil used to say. Actually there isn’t more. A gun as small, light and reliable as a LCP with a better trigger, sights and almost recoil is enough. That gun actually exists. Its the Kahr P380. Yup. the Kahr is the king of pocket guns. It is ammo sensitive, but once you find what works, it is totally reliable. The trigger is a joy to use. Its got real sights and Kahr used the same magic to warp the laws of physics they also used on the PM9.

    The P380 is the king of the mouseguns.

  83. avatar Galen Gentry says:

    Assuming you mean pocket pistol. One that’s coming out of a pocket –then I say the S&W 442 (I prefer blued firearms). I think that a revolver’s simplicity is something one would want in the circumstance you’ve presented in your question. Although some say it’s too big Gock 26 is also a decent choice. It depend on the size of your pocket and which pocket. I haven’t fired the SA XDs in 9mm but it seems to be getting good reviews. Back to my choice–the snub nose decreases the speed of the round, so you have to ensure that that rounds you use expand. You have to ensure that you can use the round you choose–hit effectively with it. Some magazines have done comparisons of various ammunition including ammo being fired from short barreled pistols and revolvers. Gun Tests Magazine has done a series of articles on .38, 9mm, .40 and .45 defensive ammo plus they did an article on .38 and 9mm from short barrels. Still. your results may vary. So even though the ammo is expensive you should find the right combination for you by shooting some into your homemade ballastic gel–water jugs, wet newspaper and by shooting for gun fight distance accuracy. With both the weak and the strong hand and two handed. (I think there’s a decent chance you’ll only have one hand available, so practice that way.) This holds true whether you pick 9 or .38. As for .380 while it is better than no gun at all it doesn’t make sense to me to choose it given the plethora of loads for .38 and 9mm that are designed to minimize recoil, maximize expansion, and in some cases minimize flash. Why you would ever, ever choose a .380? Those of you who say there’s no real world difference are wrong, maybe DEAD wrong.

    And of course you have to practice. With any set up. You have to try to add some some sort of stress in your practice. Whether it’s a class or an IDPA match or whatever. Punching paper alone won’t cut it.

  84. avatar Louie T. says:

    Diamondback db9, 16 oz fully loaded with 7 rounds of critical defense ammo. Its the glock that glock did not make. Carry it 24/7 front pocket in a desantis holster and a spare mag , it cant be beat !

  85. avatar Frederick G says:

    I enjoy the reliability and concealability of the Diamondback DB380. It’s 6 inch accuracy at 25 yards is amazing. Try that with a Walther PPK or NAA .32! I have shot the DB9, but too much recoil for my arthritic hands. Diamondback customer service is great, too!

  86. avatar NealR says:

    I’d tried a number of the small pocket carry semi-auto .380s and I ended up going with the TCP. Felt the best in my hand, and I liked that it has last round hold open. I have about 200 round through her so far without a hiccup. The only issue that I’ve had is that a couple of times I released the mag while shooting. I have now learned to make I keep my right thumb away from the mag release button while firing. Great little pistol! I paid $199.99 at Academy, which is practically a steal.

  87. avatar Bob Springfield says:

    Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, particularly based on their own experience and body habitus, but I have carried a Glock 27 or my Glock 30 in my pocket in Kydex pocket holsters from Kytac or Condition Orange Holsters, literally every day that I’m not in a suit/off duty. 5.11 pants/shorts (in South FL) make this easily possible, and I have no problem with standard Khaki pants either. Jeans might be more problematic. As a result, I had never previously been interested in a .380, until I actually shot (and thereafter purchased a Glock 42 “blue label”). While it’s still “just a .380” balistically, I had never fired a gun (including the LCP, TCP, and Smith .380 bodyguard) that had such insignificant recoil impulse for the caliber and yet remained completely reliable for the 200 rounds I have put through it thus far.

  88. avatar Obersaber says:

    accurate, light recoil, +P rated
    If you wear a Rolex and not a Timex, this is the gun will want!

  89. avatar Boris Badenov says:

    Go out and buy a Springfield XD-S 45ACP. Get a pocket holster from Robert Mika or a IWB that comes in the case with 2-5round mags and 1-7 round mag. You can carry 8-45 ACP’s in the PERFECT pocket pistol!!! Its thin, doesn’t print and NO ONE knows your carring. Again…. 8 ROUNDS OF 4 ACP!!!!!!.

  90. avatar Justin says:

    You make no sense?!?! You say the Glock 42 is too big for pocket carry yet then you say the Ruger LC9 is your favorite?!?! The LC9 is larger. I used to carry the LCP and when the LC9 came out I tried to fit it in my pocket and couldnt cause of the 7+1 made it too big. But the G42 fits in my pocket pants fine. Width and height is to me the biggest in fitting in a pants pocket comfotably. Going from the LCP to the G42 is like night and day difference. I hated that trigger, and non existant sights. I have the G42 in the super fly but about to get the clamshell recluse for it. Also I feel with this G42 i can make the shot if lord forbid I ever have to. With the LCP i never felt 100% with that I could. The other gun i almost got was the Kahr CM9 or kahr 380 but i like the simplicity of Glocks and this fits my jeans and khakis just fine. And the main thing when the time comes I CAN MAKE THE SHOT with this little baby.

  91. avatar Mr Bob says:

    I like my SCCY, although it is heavy and fat. It fits well when I wear cargo pants or painter pants. I like having 10+1 and 9mm is a fine defensive load. Especially when it’s loaded with

  92. avatar Larry says:

    For me the new Ruger LC9S. Has to be one of the smoothest trigger pulls I have ever felt. I ignore the manual saftey. I have many different brands of semi auto pistols. I would put this striker LC9S at the top of the list as far as striker fired . Pick one up and feel for your self !

  93. Whatever ya carry , remember ya might be charged and go before a jury. Carry the gun as it comes from factory, use same ammo as your local police “zombi blasters”. No extended mag, laser, mounted flashlight, no trigger job..etc. George Zimmerman’s prosecutor even used his flashlight as proof he was “hunting”. I know everything above is legal, but would a jury look better at a tiny .32 or .22 compared to a desert eagle?

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