Some people want to carry as little a gun as possible and some folks like having a small backup in case their primary gun fails. And plenty of gun owners just want to carry a pistol that’s small, light and slips into a pocket for easy concealment. The good news, however, is that today’s purchaser of pint size pistols has a lot more to choose from than they used to.
In previous eras, there were some tiny guns out there but most of them were cheap Saturday Night specials. (Got a barrel that’s blue and cold, ain’t good for…never mind.) However, manufacturers have significantly stepped up their quality when it comes to fun-size firearms.
Today, there are a good number of these guns that can easily be relied on for concealed carry and self-defense. It’s a good idea to stick to guns that are at least chambered in .380 ACP, as .25 and .32 calibers (though exception could be granted to .32 H&R and .32 Federal, but that’s for another time).
Some people disparage mouse guns as underpowered, but there isn’t any such thing as stopping power short of an elephant gun, so we won’t get into that here. Yes, it’s true that .380 ammo doesn’t perform as well as 9mm in terms of penetration and expansion. However, it works well enough that it can get the job done if need be provided you do your job and place it properly. So, if you’re committed to a tiny gun, be sure to train with it.
Also, if you mean to carry a pocket gun, do it in a pocket holster. Yes, my main gig is at Alien Gear Holsters and yes we sell pocket holsters, but carrying a loaded handgun in your pocket without protecting the trigger guard is an accident waiting to happen.
Google “accidental discharge.” Find ten individual instances, and note how many of them are people who were pocket carrying without a holster. You’ll find plenty of them. So if you’re going to pocket carry, get a holster. Even if it’s someone else’s…ours is better, but that’s beside the point.
Anyhow, what are some great choices in pocket pistols? Here are a few you need to consider.
One of the most popular is the SIG SAUER P238. It’s a micro 1911 in .380 ACP, basically SIG’s clone of the Colt Mustang though with some differences. It’s a single-action with a thumb safety for Condition One carry, and it holds 7+1. Typical of Sig Sauer, there are a plethora of options of finish and other baubles, but the black Nitron carry model can be had for around $600.
Yes, you’re paying the SIG premium, but this tiny pistol is easier to shoot and more accurate than you’d think it had any right to be. All models come with SIGLITE night sights, so you are getting something for it. If SIG’s aren’t purty enough for you, there’s also the Kimber Micro…which is the same darn gun.
Another solid choice is the Springfield Armory 911 in .380 ACP (commence to grumbling, comments section). The 911 is basically the same thing as the SIG P238 (micro 1911, .380 ACP, single-action) but the 911 Alpha model has a much friendlier MSRP at $429. Street prices will be lower.
The specs are almost identical, save the standard magazine capacity (6+1, but you can buy a 7+1 extended magazines for it) and it shoots just as well as the P238. You have to deal with white dot rear sights and a fiber optic front sight, but that’s very do-able.
Not everyone likes the single-action operating system, though. Fair enough. Some great options exist in DAO guns. You might think that double-action only is the best operating system for a tiny gun. Some gunmakers agree, and there are some excellent options there, too.
First up is the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380. It’s a barebones pistol, with a DAO trigger and internal hammer. There is a tiny manual safety, but it’s so small and stiff that you’re better off not using it. The 8-lb trigger pull acts as a passive safety. You can pick one up pretty easily for $400 or less. Sights are drift adjustable white dots, but you can get a laser-equipped model for about $30 more.
Another good option is the Kahr CW380. Kahr pistols are all DAO, single-stack pistols. You just choose size, capacity and what trim level you want. The CW380 is a micro-size pistol in their budget line. It carries 6+1 of .380, has an 8-lb trigger pull, and has white dot express sights, with a bot at the bottom of the rear sight notch and a white dot front sight. MSRP is $419, but Kahr pistols have a quiet fanbase that revels in their no-nonsense design and build quality relative to the price point.
If you want real budget friendliness, Ruger makes a few pocket .380 pistols. Of their offerings, I would recommend the LCP II. It’s a micro .380 pistol just like the original LCP, but the tabbed trigger is better than that of the original LCP. You get 6+1 of .380, textured grips, a pinkie rest and…that’s about it. Sights are fixed, though you can get a laser if desired. MSRP is $350, so you’ll find it in-store for a song.
If you haven’t heard, the Taurus Spectrum can now be bought in stores rather than looked at on websites. Though it lacks the Pittman trigger system of the TX22 (in-joke from SHOT Show; don’t ask) the Spectrum is a striker-fired .380 micro. It’s small enough to carry, holds 7+1 of .380, is surprisingly ergonomic, and costs less than $300. Say what you want, but Taurus’ quality has been improving a lot in recent years.
There are others, of course. If there’s a pocket pistol you felt merited inclusion but didn’t get in, sound off in the comments!
Weren’t those discontinued (for the US consumer) a while back for a diplomatic gesture about Columbia?
What about the Versa Thunder .380?Great little firearm for the price.
Yeah, but most of those same pistols are available in 9mm and size difference is negligible. So begs the question; so .380 why?
You clearly have not actually owned any of these guns. As someone who has owned a Kahr PM9 and a Kahr P380, as well as a Glock 42 and Glock 43, I can tell you that while the numerical differences may look minimal on pape, the difference in real life makes a big difference.
The real issue is that most of the 9mm variants are just a bit too big and/or heavy for comfortable pocket carry, which is the real point of .380s.
If you are going to bother with an OWB or IWB holster, I couldn’t agree more, that you might as well get a 9mm. Because a difference of 6 ounces is nothing in a good holster carried by a good belt.
but 6 oz is a huge difference in a pocket gun.
BS. I have pocket carried a Beretta Nano and you don’t even notice it.
Correct. I don’t notice the extra weight of your pocket pistol at all. 😂
I’ve had three “pocket 9s” and they are not. Granted, the nano, the 938, the cm9, and the 290 all have smaller form factors than any I owned, but I don’t think any are lighter than the pf9. (Which I have owned.)
19oz loaded is my personal acceptable max weight for pocket carry. And a 6 round mag sized grip. There are a few that fit those criteria. None carry as easily as a 12oz loaded .380
You’re right, but, if you had a really bad, sensitive, back like I have, I can really tell the difference in a pistol that is 6-8 oz’s heavier. When I was younger and no back problems, I could carry a full size, steel, 1911 with no problem, but those days are gone now that I have this really, really, bad back. I have to carry something like the Glock 42, Ruger LCP ll, etc. And, not only the weight of the gun, but the 9mm ammo weighs more than .380 ammo.
I second everything that Don in CT said in his comment.
I third it.
Don, I have experience with both the 42 and 43 when carrying. Couldn’t tell the difference. Very little difference when shooting. The steel targets could sure as shit tell the difference between 9mm and .380 though.
This makes no sense. A 9mm has 3x the energy of a .380. The 43 recoils MUCH harder than the 42. Not to the point of being painful.
But remember, defensive shooting is all about sending as much lead down range as possible as quickly as possible with acceptable accuracy.
Shot to shot recovery time with the G42 will be much faster if you are smaller/lighter/weaker/less skilled.
the weight difference between a 238 and a 938 is less than one ounce unloaded. obviously this difference rises some when loaded, especially
some of the mustangs and clones are polymer framed at which point it may begin to become noticeable.
I am a 1911 man,but have SADA pistols adn DA only Pistols.Any gun will do.
As far as your opinion I say B.S.The Author never covered the 1911 custom Kimber.I have a Kimber Micro in 9mm 2 tone black nitride slide, and Coyote tan frame with night sights,.and one in Custom SSS with Blue sky bluing on the frame with laser cut logo stock grips in cal,380.No difference in size and the weight difference is no issue.I have a IWB I do not like pocket carry.
You’re talking a couple of ounces and .5″ between a P238 and a P938, and a marginal increase in recoil from the P938 for a substantial ballistic improvement.
Maybe you can’t tell the difference but there are a few hundred thousand other folks that can.
Smaller, slimmer, and lighter is easier and more desirable for most folks to carry.
If you wanna tote more iron, let your freak flag fly.
Yeah, but most of those same pistols are available in 9mm and size difference is negligible. So begs the question; .380 why?
Out running or on the bike a P238 is a lot less noticeable compared to a P938.
I had a Bodyguard 380 but got tired of the firing pin breaking so I traded it. ( happened twice)
The P238 is heavier but so far has always gone bang when I pull the trigger.
I don’t have a 380 but I hear they are quicker to get “back on target”.
Not when they are tiny. A larger and heavier one like a Sig 230 series is though.
Depends on the gun and the ammo used. All my .380’s are quicker than my 9mm’s about getting back on target.
I only ever fired a P230 and and LCP. There was an enormous difference in recoil control. The 230 was wonderfully controllable. Maybe the LCP is a bad example?
I have an LCP ll and it will “jump” a little if you use ammo that’s a little”hotter” that a regular load. Example…..I love Federal 90 gr. Hydra-Shok and it’s not bad recoil, but if I shoot Federal HST 90 grain Hydra-Shok it seems to have more recoil. I’m guessing the HST’s are a little “hotter” load.
I was referring to Gadsden Flag’s comment about “most of those same pistols are available in 9mm and size difference is negligible”. With all else being the same i.e. size/weight, then the 380 should be quicker back on target.
You’ll need to.
Need to what? Buy a 380? Stop it! I’m trying not to get into trouble for spending money again. ;P
Seriously though, I keep peeking at that Spectrum.
Like others have said, it depends on the size of the gun.
The Glock 42 is the best shooting .380 I’ve ever handled. Its also the lightest recoiling centerfire gun I’ve ever shot. So compared to the similar sized Glock 43 in 9mm, its much easier to shoot well.
New shooters or smaller shooters are able to get back on target much faster with it.
However, some of the very smallest and lightest .380s like the Ruger LCP and KelTec P3AT are snappy little buggers and are absolutely no fun to shoot. I know, I have owned all of these guns.
Of the tiny guns, what I call “always guns” , the Kahr P380 / CW380 are the best shooting tiny guns.
I ignore the absolutely fantastic Sig P238 for most people simply because most people don’t bother to actually train properly with it.
If you watch most people at the range, they take it out, put the safety off, shoot 100 rounds and then put the safety on and reholster it. If you choose to carry this kind of gun you MUST continually practice coming out of the holster and up and sweeping the safety off until it is absolutely reflexive. You must also practice sweeping the safety on when you come off target.
95% of 238 owners don’t bother with this and would be better served by a striker fired gun. Which is really too bad. Because the 238 has the lightest recoil spring of any .380 I know and is easily manipulated by a small or weak person. In contrast, the Kahr P380 has the stiffest recoil spring of any gun I own. Including an officers ACP 1911
Terry, you’ll need to get back on target quicker because you’re likely to need to keep shooting. As I’ve said before, handgun rounds are woefully underpowered for what we ask of them. Why hamstring yourself from the start?
Yeah we get it, Capt. Obvious.
I have a P238 Scorpion which is great but for some reason when I grab something to carry I reach for my Rock Island Baby Rock instead. It feels better in the hand and has been extremely reliable. I recommend handling one.
When there no small 9s the pocket 380 was the only way to go but with advent of the pocket 9 there really is no reason to carry a marginal round. Yes, there are 12 oz pocket 380s and pocket 9s run about 5 oz more but if you tell me that 17 -18 oz is too heavy for you to carry then you are in really poor shape. We aren’t talking steel frame 1911s here.
I do know there is a missing verb.
18 oz is too heavy for me to carry in dress pants in a pocket. The gun swings around when I walk and slides to the back of my body when I sit.
I’m talking solely about pocket carry. And for me, that extra 6 oz or so makes the difference.
If you are going to carry IWB or OWB, you might as well carry a 9mm. The .380s sweet spot is in the pocket.
Nothing to do with shape but how and where they are carried.
Tell us what you carry and let the posters tell you what a dumbass you are for your choices.
I can carry a 1911 in a pancake holster but I dont want to because it is a pain in the ass for everyday carry for me.
I carry a 380 LCP in my pocket everyday and sometimes supplement that with small 9mm or 38 snub.
If you can carry a desert eagle on your ankle, then good for you. Dont be butt hurt when other people dont carry what/ how you do.
Exactly. So many mall ninjas also poo poo the pocket snubby, but for many people it’s the only thing that WILL fit properly in a pocket, and many people would not be able to carry otherwise. A small increase in size can be significant for pocket carry. Anything is better than nothing, and if it’s the difference between carrying and not carrying it’s not even a conversation.
I agree 100%.
When I first got my carry license in 1990, I went out and bought a S&W 6906. Its the size of a G19. I found that I never carried it because it weighed me down and was uncomfortable.
Of course I now blame myself for that, I used a regular belt and a cheap holster. I didn’t know any better back then.
Shortly after buying the 6906, I bought the best pocket gun there was at the time. A Seecamp .32. I found that I carried it EVERYWHERE. I was still in college and carrying on college property was not illegal, so I carried it when i walked or rode my bike the mile or so from my apartment to my school through some sketchy neighborhoods.
In fact the only time I didn’t carry it was when I was going to be drinking. The Seecamp was ALWAYS on me. And that is the beauty of a pocket gun.
Also, because I got so much use out of a pocket gun, I was always interested in having the best. When the KelTec P3AT came out, I bought that, hoping it could replace the Seecamp. It sucked. So it went into the back of the safe. Then the Ruger LCP came out. It was totally reliable but not fun to shoot. Either way, it was lighter than the Seecamp. So I sold the Seecamp and the KelTec.
Then I shot a friends Kahr P380. The Kahr is only slightly heavier than the Ruger and a bit smaller. But it shoots MUCH MUCH better. In fact in the 4 years or so I carried the Ruger, I had put about 1000 rounds through it.
I put 1000 rounds through the Kahr in its first year. It was actually fun to shoot.
Then I got a Glock 42 and realized it was a bit too large to carry in my pocket. But I also realized its an amazing shooting little gun.
In fact between the Kahr and the Glock, I started shooting so much .380 that I swapped a guy locally a bucket of 9mm brass for roughly a half bucket of .380 and started reloading .380.
Like the saying says, Its better to have a .380 in your pocket than a 1911 at home.
Note – just one thing I forgot. I owned a Ruger LCP. I have heard the LCP 2 is a better shooting gun. I don’t know, but it might be worth a try.
I’d also be curious to hear from anyone who has shot a LCP and an LCP 2 . Unfortunately the 2 is UGLY. Whereas the original LCP is a handsome little gun.
Fuggitttaboudt carrying ANY handgun in your pocket. You need a secure, repeatable draw every time you present your firearm. Fishing around in a pocket for your pistol is the LAST thing you want in a stressful defensive shooting situation. At a minimum you need a sturdy belt and a secure holster to attach to said belt.
Get a holster, even for little guns!
Clark – have you ever used a good pocket holster? It holds the gun upright and slides right off when ou draw it.
Clark carries a phone both and is bullet proof so I don’t know why .380 vs 9mm is relevant to him…
That’s right. Because no reputable company makes holsters for your pocket.
And pockets are so big you can dump a Glock 17 and have trouble finding it.
You need a study belt so you wear a leg holster and get that perfect repeatable draw.
My BUG is in .45acp and not much bigger than those, thankyouverymyuch:-) Not criticizing .380s, or their carriers, just saying no for me. I like even my pocket guns to be good bludgeons.
Kahr’s aren’t double action though, they just feel like it.
Beretta Pico is my pocket pistol, in a stay-put holster.
My ruger LCP2 is Great, perfect C.C. I can easily hide it, if you want just throw in you pocket with the holster that comes with it. I may just maybe get a 9mms
I have a Ruger LCP ll also. Great little gun. No problems at all.
Same here, I really like my LCP2. I carry it in the holster it came with when I really can’t (or don’t want to) carry anything else. I put some fluorescent orange paint on the front sight, and that makes all the difference in the world.
Did any of you guys own a LCP? I ask because the LCP was a reliable, easy to carry gun, but no fun to shoot. I’ve heard the LCP2 is better.
I’d like to hear feedback from someone who has owned both.
Don, I’ve owned all 3 LCP’s that Ruger has made…….LCP, LCP Custom, & LCP ll. The LCP ll is by far the better gun because of the improved trigger. The 1st LCP I bought when they came out had such a hard trigger that it was impossible to hit anything with it. The Custom (with red trigger) was an improvement over the regular LCP, but when I checked out the newer LCP ll, I traded my Custom for the LCP ll and have never regretted it. It has a great trigger compared to the other two. If you’re thinking of getting an LCP, make sure you get the LCP ll.
How about the Taurus 738 tcp?
It’s an excellent option, but no longer produced, so only available used.
The TCP 738 has been discontinued by Taurus. Too bad as they are sturdy, reliable little firearms. I like the 738 much better than the Spectrum which, I think, is the replacement. I’m also quite fond of the Remington RM 380. Solid metal, no plastic other than the grips. Good shooter. Whether the 738 or the RM 380, in a Sticky pocket holster they disappear in a front pocket.
I have the tcp 738, have to force the slide into battery every time for the first round, tried fixing the magazine as described on YouTube videos didn’t help a darn bit.polished the feed ramp, ground off part of the slide stop… nothing.
Having said that, I love to shoot it at the range, extremely accurate up to about ten yards. and once you fire that first round the rest of the mag performs flawlessly.
Just for sh*ts and giggles, try putting one less round in the mag and see what happens. Other than that, try a new mag. They are good little guns. Good luck.
I’ve had 2 Springfield 911’s and both were pieces of crap ! Sent the 1st one to Springfield and they admitted that they were having problems with these gun’s and sent me another new gun. It was a piece of crap too ! Couldn’t shoot a mag without jamming up. I got rid of it and got a Glock 42 and love it ! No problems at all and it’s very accurate !
I’m working on a gun review for the Spectrum at this very moment. Hopefully will be submitting it by the end of the week.
For 380 I carry a Walther PPK, heavy but classy.
I wear cargo style pants/shorts most of the time so a Glock 26 fits, and the big magazines fit.
Huh….surprised to see the Seecamp missing from this list. It’s absolutely the smallest 380 you can get. Amazing solid stainless steel construction. With a pocket holster it is indistinguishable from a wallet.
From my experience the Seecamp is noticeably smaller than any of these other pocket .380s, although the weight is similar due to the all-SS construction. Some people are bugged by the lack of sights and the trigger pull, but that doesn’t bother me. I have an LWS32 and it’s fun to shoot (for me). The LWS380 is reportedly a beast to shoot, and the last time I checked it was still pretty pricey.
I know that Seacamp is still in business, but I haven’t seen one of their guns “in the flesh” in 10 years. Their website states that their handguns come with an 11 1/2 pound trigger. And the MSRP is about twice what the Ruger LCP street price is.
I owned a Seecamp and carried it from roughly 1990 to 2008, when I bought a Ruger LCP.
The seecamp is solid, reliable and tiny. But it is noticeably heavier than the plastic framed gun. The trigger was fantastic for what it is. Buttery smooth.
It was also like a large piece of man jewelry. When I cleaned the lint out of it every couple of weeks, I’d marvel at how nicely made it is. Not the case with the LCP.
One other down side to the Seecamp. Because its a straight blowback design, the .32 seecamp recoiled harder than most lighter .380s.
I can shoot my current pocket gun, a Kahr P380, much faster with reasonable accuracy than I could the Seecamp.
But with that said, I really regret selling the Seecamp.
Did I miss the Glock 42 recommendation? Really………
I love mine. In the end the “best pocket gun” debate tends to boil down to personal ergonomic preferences. The Glock 42 is a bit bigger than most in the pocket .380 segment but, for me, it falls in the sweet spot of being just big enough feel like a conventional handgun while still being small enough to slip into a pocket holster and carry concealed. I had the opportunity to handle and test both the 42 and 43 when I made my purchase decision and the 43 was a just a bit too large and heavy for me as a pocket gun.
Clarson, I have a G 42 and love it. I don’t use it for pocket carry though. I always carry it in a IWB holster and it’s very comfortable. Recently, I bought the new G 43X and I love it also, but I keep it in the glove compartment of my SUV. I love the size of the 42 and it’s my everyday carry gun.
I’d feel better served with a bar of soap in a sock. I’ve figured out how to successfully hide firearms of a useful caliber, I’m around a fair amount of police and armed response security officers on a regular basis..I’ve never been made. Like the 9mm VS .45 argument, the hardware exists, take advantage of whatever gets you home at the EOW. F-K-A.
I also carry the PPK/S. One in the classic blue, one a stainless. Accurate as all get out. Love it.
No Walther? What the hell?
You are talking about putting a 1911 style pistol in your pocket. Are you effing suicidal?
Not if its in a pocket holster.
I bought a 380 body guard and the trigger is so problematic I can’t wait to sell it at the next gun show.
Maybe a dumb question, but have you sent it back to S&W. They will pay shipping both ways, so it might be worth a shot.
With that said, I’m not a big fan of the Bodyguard. I’ve owned Kahrs and Glocks and they work for me. Although I just picked up a Ruger LC9S Pro ridiculously cheap. ($230). That means its a striker fired gun without a manual safety. It shoots well and is very reliable. I use it for hiking with Buffalo Bore hard cast flat nose ammunition. I got it so cheap that I don’t care if it ends up damp for a couple of days while outside hiking or camping.
One additional point. While searching(duckduckgo or goodgopher are better than google) for “accidental discharges”, without holsters, pocket or otherwise, be sure to take note of how many are with DA revolvers, and how many are with striker fired semi autos.
Granted, most of the time it takes some digging to even find out what gun the guy in question shot himself with. But when you can, it’s never with a DA revolver. In fact, I challenge anyone to find even a single instance of an accidental self-shooting with a DA revolver. I don’t think it can be done.
And while I’m ranting away, why is it that most of the time, even DGU stories won’t mention what guns were in use? That’s one of the main things I’d like to know. Why won’t the stories ever tell me? Is it that tough to read the barrel or frame? All they generally say is the cartridge, if even that.
Omaha, Nebraska cops used to carry 4″ S&W Model 10s. One night, a cop was running after a suspect, revolver in hand. He must have had his finger on the trigger because he stumbled and shot himself in the leg. It takes some effort but you can shoot yourself unintentionally with a revolver.
I also heard about the owner of a .357 Ruger Blackhawk who didn’t remember it was loaded. While sitting down, he aimed it at his feet and pulled the trigger. He got both of them.
A revolver holster prevents the cylinder from turning. So even if something pulls the trigger, it won’t go off.
This is why a rigid, well made holster is absolutely necessary for most of these striker fired guns.
The LCPII is nice IMO. Accuracy goes downhill for me after 15 yards but it will still reliably put a round on a person sized target in the torso at 25 yards and I can’t really think of very many situations where I’d be relying on it past 10 yards.
As a deep concealment or BUG it works fairly well and without the thick profile of a snubbie.
With respect Strych….you won’t get to decide the distance your defensive gun is needed.
That will be determined by the situation and your adversary.
Yes, but if someone is 25 yards away, they most likely are not a threat. Or at least they have not let on that they are a threat.
25 yards is plenty of distance to move to cover.
I would defy you to find a single real world instance of a defensive gun use beyond 10 yards.
I agree it is less likely.
Any shooting in parking lot, mall, or inside a Walmart could stretch past 10, 15, or 25 yards pretty quickly.
I have never seen distances reported for the shooting at Twin Peaks in Waco, or any of the mall shootings.
Coverage of gunfights in open spaces rarely detail the distance.
My point is….if someone was was shooting at you from 75 feet, would you not consider that a threat? Would you move to get closer before returning fire? Would you nonchalantly walk to you car?
I know how I perform at 25 yards with my LCP, Glock 43, and 38 Snubs. Would i rather have bigger gun at that distance? Sure. But I carry what I carry and could put it to use if needed.
Unfortunately, the bad guys dictate the rules of engagement….we dont
I’ve had a front pocket on several pants replaced with heavy canvas. My snubby is absolutely undetectable.
Bersa Thunder 380 should have been mentioned. Best price and with a fixed barrel, the most accurate of any of them.
Yes! Excellent comment. The Bersa Thunder 380 CC is also good…you just need to be a bit clever with orange glow paint, a fine toothpick, and clear nail polish to enhance the nearly-nonexistent sights. I made really good sights for mine in about an hour!
They don’t ever mention Bersa. Bersa Thunders are great firearms, the Bersa TPR9c is an awesome 9mm. I am looking at starting to pocket carry my Thunder 380 because I am a tall guy and sometimes I don’t have a tall shirt clean and that means I can’t carry my TPR9c because it would be easily seen if I wear a regular shirt.
I rented an M&P 380 Bodyguard at the LGS/range I use. Observations:
(1) It has real sights that you can replace with others if you prefer.
(2) Trigger is heavy but smooth. Even though I’m a mediocre shooter, I had no problem keeping shots within a 7″ circle at 10 yards.
(3) Recoil is significant but less than painful. By comparison, recoil of a Ruger LCR is vicious when loaded with standard pressure, 158 grain cartridges. (In my opinion, the LCR is better suited to .32 H&R magnum or .32 S&W long.)
(4) Although the grip is longer than some, it’s still a two-finger gun even with my small hands.
(5) I got a few light strikes. It’s good the gun has second strike capability.
(6) The slide locks back on an empty magazine. However, the jar of setting it down was enough to drop the slide.
I’d like to find a Kahr CW380 or P380 for rent. It’s what I would buy over the M&P.
May I suggest that instead of .32 H&R Mag or .32 Long that the .327 Federal Magnum is a much better defensive choice in the LCR? The .32 H&R Mag or .32 Long can still be fired but when it comes down to business, of the three the .327 is the go to.
The problem is that .327 Magnum falls between .38 Special and .357 Magnum in power and I’ve already concluded that .38 Special is too much for the LCR. When I rented one, the range gave me standard pressure 158 grain cartridges. I fired five, gave the LCR back and finished the box with my 6″ S&W Model 19. Lighter bullets help so, maybe, Federal 85 grain Hydra-Shoks would be tolerable in .327 Magnum.
Here’s a suggestion, practice with the H&R Mags and .32 longs. Run a couple cylinders of .327 Mags through it so there are no recoil surprises. Yes, the .327 does have more recoil but I do not find it painful or objectionable. It would be worth it in a testy situation. I keep 100 grain in mine although I have some 85 gr. Give it a try.
The Kahr is an awesome gun. I’ve owned many many pocket guns. The Kahr has the best combination of size, weight, shootability and reliability.
One thing though, it is picky with ammo. So expect to spend $100 finding out what hollow points work best in it. Mine needs pretty hot ammo to run right. It likes the Hornady XTP bullet. Fiocci makes a defensive load with the Hornady XTP bullet that is a bit hotter than the Hornady ammo. The Kahr eats it up. This round has also done well in several ammo tests.
I have a P3AT I’m happy with. Everyone hates these guns and has a bad story about them. But mine works great.
PA-63 9X18 the hot rod .380
I have one of those. Pretty snappy but goes bang every time. Try a Radom P-63. They’re neat little 9×18’s (9mm Makarov) as well and reasonably priced at Classic Firearms or J&G Sales. Either one of the guns fit nicely in a pocket holster and, IMO, the 9×18 has a little more punch than the .380 (9×17). Hornady makes good defensive ammo in that caliber (9 Mak) too, and my LGS carries it.
One advantage of a .380 acp vs 9mm is less effort required to rack the slide since the .380 needs less spring pressure. That is the main advantage I see in the G42 vs the G43 debates. .380 makes sense for weaker handed folks. No matter to me though, being old school, I pocket carry a 38 SPL revolver.
M&P 380 Shield EZ
Agreed, unless you go for a really small 380. The Kahr, Ruger, and KelTec are all harder to rack than a 9mm like a G19. But certainly easier than a G43.
I own a G42 and G43. The G42 is just easy. Easy to rack, easy to shoot. Its a great, “friendly” defensive gun.
I’ve got a Glock 42 and love it ! I recently bought the new Glock 43X and love it also. The 42 is my favorite “carry gun”.
Y’all forgot about the Taurus Spectrum.
Wife bought one, the in-laws shot it, and they promptly bought two more.
Found outstanding hand-tooled leather model-specific IWB holsters on Etsy, of all places, for $33 .
We’ve easily put 300+ rounds out of each since then; the few rounds that didn’t fire were old Monarchs with really hard primers.
I don’t know why people complain about the triggers, our examples don’t feel like stapleguns and have 6-7lb pulls. The mag release is also reversible, which every YouTube reviewer has missed so far.
They’re also missing that the rubber panels are molded *into* the grip, and on the slide they’re integral with separate parts that form part of the slide’s internals. There’s no way they’re gonna peel off, without taking a tool to em.
The takedown on the Spectrum is insanely easy too, I can’t think of anything that’s similar.
I used to bag on Taurus, but I appreciate what they’ve done and they’re easy shooting, especially with them Liberty Civil Defense 50gr. screamers.
I don’t like mouse guns. I don’t like them, because the barrels are all so short, that I’ve never fired one without so much muzzle flash that it looked like it was firing Dragons Breath. I don’t want to deal with that in the dark.
Bersa Thunder. Wife carries the CC model, I carry the Combat version. Easy to conceal, go bang every time you pull the trigger, extremely accurate so long as you do your part. Purchased each one for well under $300.
Bought a .380 Bodyguard for my wife, she didn’t like it (she carries Ruger LCR in .38), i’ve carried that BG in my pocket for three or four years nearly every day in a DeSantis Nemisis. Absolutely zero problems. A little snappy with Buffalo Bores but I don’t shoot it a helluva lot. It’s there if i need it as a BUG. Pretty sure if i shot somebody in the face with it they’d stop doing whatever it is they were doing. I have the G19 9mm on my hip or in my truck console. I really don’t give a damn what people think about either.
Bersa 380CC great gun, great price.
Lots of opinions of what everyone else should think and do.
Sometimes I pocket an LCP. Sometimes I carry a single stack 9. On some occasions something else or none of the above. Depends on different factors.
My reasons, my choice.
Don’t give a shit what or if anyone else chooses to carry.
Everybody has a favorite. My daily pocket carry is a Diamondback DB380. It’s lighter than 99% of the .380’s out there and mine has been 100% reliable with Critical Defense as my carry load. My pocket holster and the gun are the only things allowed in that pocket.
I’ve got a SA 911. I guess someone else on this thread had problems with the 911, but after six or seven failures to go into battery or light primer strikes within the first 200 break-in rounds, mine has been absolutely reliable since and I’ve got at least 900 rounds through it in less than a year.
The original poster made a mistake, though. It’s not a fiber optic sight up front and two white dots in back; it’s three tritium “Ameriglo” sights, yellow green in front and green in back. The sights are excellent and one of the main features that sold me on this gun in the first place.
With a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster and in 7+1 extended mag configuration, my whole package weighs in at 17 1/2 oz. With that loadout in jeans or cargo shorts, or 6+1 flush mag in a suit or dress slacks, it is hard to detect and very comfortable to carry. It’s an accurate shooter, too; I recently put 10 rounds out of 14 (mag change drill) in a 3” circle pretty rapidly at seven yards.
My carry ammo is Winchester “D” 95 gr. BJHP. That’s because my practice round is Winchester White Box flat nose 95 gr. ball; both are easily had locally and cycle flawlessly. I know there may be a little better carry rounds out there, but the Winchester “D” is an excellent expander and I have confidence that it won’t hang up on me.
I’ve got friends with 9mm carry guns but they seem a bit too bulky and heavy for my tastes. One has a nice trim Sig P938 but he complains it is hard to get back on target after the first shot, and he is a big fellow.
For me at least, the SA 911 in .380 is the way to go.
I also own the springfield 911.had the same issues but after the breakin it runs great every so often a hangup but overall great little gun and much cheaper then the sig or kimber and they are pretty much the same gun just different grips.
I had 2 different SA 911’s and had so many problems with both of them that I got rid of them and got a Glock 42. I’ve shot it about 300 times with 4 different Glock mags and not had a problem at all with it. I’m sticking with my G42 as my carry gun as its very dependable.
R9. Sadly no longer available.
Rohrbaugh sold everything to Remington, which sells the RM380.
That’s as close as we can get now.
Gen 4 Diamondback DB9. Smaller than some 380s.