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Reasons why Pocket Pistols are 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.

The truth about pocket pistols is a bit complicated. On the one hand, the mouse gun you have on you is better than the service pistol at home in your safe. The point of carrying is to have a gun on you in case of the direst of circumstances, and these guns do allow a person to do that.

However, proficiency with a micro pistol is not as easily come by as with a full-size gun, so you will have to put in some work if you mean to carry one. Additionally, some people can be overcome by hubris and don't carry with a pocket holster, which is one of the worst follies when it comes to gun safety.

Pocket Pistols Are Easy To Carry

snubbie revolver

For obvious reasons, pocket pistols are very easy to carry. They're small, they're light and can easily be concealed. This has made guns like the Kimber Micro, Ruger LCP, S&W Bodyguard and so on very popular in terms of sales. This was also the reason why snubbie revolvers such as the S&W J-frame family, Charter Arms and Colt Detective Special and Cobra revolvers so popular in times gone by.

The obsession with an ever-smaller EDC gun has led some people to think of pocket pistols as the only option. I won't likely need it, the thinking goes, so why not get the easiest gun to carry I possibly can? It isn't without logic, to be certain.

The prevailing wisdom, though, for the longest time has been to carry the smallest gun you can carry and conceal that you are proficient with. In other words, carrying a small gun is fine, but you had better be able to run it well. You need to be able to score hits in training, and do so reliably. Bigger guns are easier to do that with.

That's why pocket guns were regarded as a back-up gun by police officers for so long; tiny guns were a last-ditch option after everything else had been exhausted.

Getting Proficient With A Micro Pistol

pocket gun

Can you get proficient with a micro pistol or snubbie revolver? Of course you can. Will it be easy, though? Compared to the math that NASA does, sure...but it won't be a walk in the park.

First is the recoil force. Felt recoil is influenced by the mass of the pistol and the grip you're able to get on it. A full grip that fits the shape of the hand well will be easier to shoot than a pocket gun that does not. You'll have to learn how to shoot with the gun that you buy, which will take a good amount of time.

The .380 round is considered underpowered by many people. The snap on the wrist in a tiny gun is anything but. You'll have to learn how to work with the increased recoil and muzzle rise, gripping tighter and getting the sights back on target. If you have larger hands, watch out for the slide or else your gun may demand a pound of flesh along with everything else.

Additionally, accuracy will be a challenge as well. Smaller sights, a shorter sight radius and a less-sure grip will make you less accurate on the range. This is why so many old-school CCW trainers referred to the snubbie revolver as a master's weapon; it took people time and skill to get to the point where their groups were smaller than the broadside of a barn.

If you mean to conceal and carry, you have to be proficient with your carry gun.

That said, proficiency CAN be gained with micro pistols. Today's pocket guns, like the S&W Bodyguard, Ruger LCP, Sig P238 or Kimber Micro are miles ahead of what such guns were like in previous eras.

Don't be too anxious about carrying .380 ACP, either. Modern ammunition has made .380 a viable carry round. If you carry a quality hollowpoint and can place it accurately, then pretty much have everything you need.

Pocket Carry Requires A Pocket Holster

pocket gun

Just because you have a "pocket" gun doesn't mean you don't need a pocket holster. If you're going to pocket carry, you absolutely need a pocket holster. It is not an option.

One of the most common causes of negligent discharges is people who pocket carry without a pocket holster. The fabric of the pocket can snag the trigger, and with the light striker trigger pull of many modern pistols, that is a recipe for disaster. The same thing happens when someone is pocket carrying without a holster and tries to adjust their gun to be more comfortable.

Ergo, if you're going to pocket carry...you HAVE to carry with a pocket holster. The trigger guard must be protected at all times while carrying in ANY position. Remember, the onus is on you to stay safe.


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.