min read

Reasons why Pocket Pistols are not ideal

Ruger LC380

With the rise on concealed carry we have seen the rise in conceal carry pistols, holsters and accessories. Conceal carry has exploded in the past few years and the rise has met with the industry with open arms. Every big name in the pistol industry is releasing some micro version of one of their popular weapons. Companies have even risen to solely make pockets pistols, two than immediately come to mind are Diamond Back and Boberg Firearms.

Let’s count down the popular pocket pistols out there, the Taurus TCP, the Glock 42, the XDs series, the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard, The Ruger LC380 series and these are some of the more popular manufacturers. Of course, you have the Double Tap Derringer, NAA Mini revolvers, the Kahr CW 380, the Kel Tec P32 and the Seacamp Pistols.

The problem with these small weapons is that they give their owner a false sense of confidence. I get it, some people have no choice but to carry a teeny, tiny gun for whatever reason.

I do agree it’s better than nothing, but I don’t trust a seat belt rated better than nothing, or a fire extinguisher smaller than a shot glass cause it’s better than nothing. Pocket pistols are a niche pistol that have been branching out of their niche just a bit too much.

People are beginning to see pocket pistols as the only option. Most assume they will never need their concealed carry weapon and they probably won’t, but that’s a dangerous way to think. Carrying a weapon is like having a spare tire, you don’t plan to use, but when you have to a bicycle tire just isn’t going to work.

Pocket pistols are best used for back-ups or a situation where it is literally the only option a person has. The only option isn’t, "I’m just too lazy", it’s "I could only afford this gun", or "I’m at the beach", or a physical disability stops me from carrying a bigger gun. You should have real reasons, not excuses.

Before we go into the problem with small pistols let me tell you why I came to dislike them. First off, was an event that took place when I was just out of the Marine Corps.

I was working a job that had all sorts of bad places at all times of the night. One night I found myself in the local projects in a shirt and tie carrying my pocket pistol.

After I finished what I came there for I found what appeared to be several men drinking and smoking weed congregating around my car. They started insulting me and generally being obnoxious. I stopped short of my vehicle and put my hand in my pocket to grip my gun, and pulled my cell phone with the other.

I calmly asked them to step away from my vehicle, when they did not, I told them I was calling the police. I dialed the non-emergency line and they decided it was time to be idiots somewhere else and left. Good night, right? Well if the situation had gone sour, I didn’t have enough rounds to deal with all of them, and consider the fact one of them could be armed with a firearm. I didn’t feel safe with a tiny, underpowered, low capacity handgun, not matter how comfortable it was to carry.

This situation left me really wondering why I chose a small gun and I summed it up to myself as laziness. I didn’t want to deal with a big gun; I didn’t to face the realities of a real scenario in which I’d have to draw and fire, and possibly fight for my life. I’d placed hope in thinking my gun was enough to deter most attacks. I had the mind set to pull the trigger, and to carry every day, but not to face the reality of why I carry a gun. I don’t carry for most days, or most attacks, I carry for that one day and that one attack.

The next day I invested in two things, a high quality IWB tuckable holster, and a Glock 29. You see I’m not against sub compact weapons at all.

Weapons like the Glock 26 or Smith and Wesson shield, and even the new Walther CCP are excellent compromises of size, comfort, and firepower.

The average subcompact is capable of holding 10 rounds of 9mm, which is an adequate round and an adequate capacity.

I’m not advocating buying a full sized 1911 and trying to rock that every day, but kudos to you that do. I’m advocating for carrying a weapon seriously, I’m advocating for carrying as big of a weapon as often as you possibly can. You can keep your .380s, your 32s, and 25s for backups or the range, but if mentally I can’t see myself winning a fight with it I’m not carrying it.


About The Author

Travis Pike is a veteran Infantry Marine and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. He lives deep in the woods of North Florida, where he can shoot at his leisure. He has been hunting since he was 8 and has always enjoyed the outdoors. He splits time between writing and working with the Florida Forest Service. He is a vocal gun rights activist. When he’s not writing, shooting, or working he is often found sipping craft beer on his porch.