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This is a discussion on Pocket Pistol? within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Hey guys so I've been on a quest to find the perfect concealed carry/self defense firearm. I'm essentially a firearms newbie. Never fired a semi ...

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Old March 6th, 2017, 03:20 PM   #1
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Pocket Pistol?

Hey guys so I've been on a quest to find the perfect concealed carry/self defense firearm. I'm essentially a firearms newbie. Never fired a semi auto in my life. Only revolvers, which I like a lot, but don't think are practical for self/home defense that much. So, as someone totally new to autos, can you guys recommend a good smaller sized one for occasional carry and also to double as a home defense gun? Preferably below 400 bucks or so? I've thought about the LCP or the Kel Tech 32 or something similar. Maybe a Glock 22. Anyway, the other day, I ordered a Bulldog in 44 spl, a round I've had great luck with and can shoot well, and had one a few years ago, but let it go. It's a good size in a good caliber that I can shoot, and I had my local gun shop order it for me. But now after thinking it over, I'm thinking I'd be better served by an auto for self/defense/home defense. Because of the greater capacity of an auto. So I'm considering getting an LCP or Kel Tech or something along those lines instead. Done a lot of thinking and just think an auto is better for a life and death situation. What do you guys think is a good pocket/self defense pistol for a first time auto user?

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Old March 6th, 2017, 04:04 PM   #2
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A good pocket pistol will depend on the size of your pockets. A Glock22 is a full size duty pistol not a pocket gun. There's nothing wrong with carrying a revolver.

Your criteria, IMO, should be what do you shoot well and what will you carry every day.

I usually carry an LCP but sometimes its an LCR or Glock 26.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 05:40 PM   #3
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You should rent a few at the range. I have an LC9s that I consider a great gun but it's just a little too big for me to comfortably pocket carry. Everyone's mileage varies. I also have an LCP that is a great pocket carry. .380 is a compromise caliber. It's also pretty dog gone small to get a grip on. I'm happy and comfortable with mine now that I have a lot of rounds down range. So... you gotta decide on your own what you can shoot well and how you'll carry it.

Also, don't know why you're ruling out revolvers? Many of the pocket pistols are limited in capacity too (LCP 6+1)- although you can carry extra mags. Again, It's what you are comfortable with.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 06:00 PM   #4
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nothing wrong with a revolver
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Old March 6th, 2017, 06:14 PM   #5
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The OP sounds a little bit confused. A pocket pistol (LCP, Kel Tec, etc) is a last-ditch, no other option type of gun. They are perfect for shorts and tee shirt weather, but the small caliber of the weapons combined with the small sights and difficulty of holding onto the little things make them poor choices for a primary defense pistol. I have a Taurus TCP and it is the most difficult gun I own to shoot well. The Glock 22 on the other hand is a full-size duty pistol. It is a perfect house or truck gun, but it is kind of large to try and conceal. Glock makes many compact handguns that will be much easier to use as a CCW pistol, as well as offerings from every other major maker. The general purpose carry gun falls in between the two types of gun the OP mentioned. The Bulldog .44spl falls right into that category. I'm baffled why anyone would even think of a Kel Tec .32acp as being a better carry gun than a short barreled .44 revolver. Thunder Ranch's Clint Smith asked the question "Would you rather be throwing rocks or throwing bricks?". In a short-range defensive engagement I'll take five bricks over six rocks every time. The well-heeled armed citizen would be well served by a large bore snub-nose revolver in a good holster AND a .380 pocket pistol to serve as a "New York Reload".
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Old March 6th, 2017, 06:18 PM   #6
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A S&W 642 is what I carry in a pocket holster in the front pocket of jeans or cargo shorts.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 06:57 PM   #7
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I think a pocket gun and a home defense gun are two different guns. I own both semi-autos and revolvers. My carry pistol is a Bersa .380 but my nightstand and home defense guns are both revolvers (.38/,357). I like to know that if I have to get up in the middle of the night and grab a gun, I don't have to think about a safety or if there is a round in the chamber. I can just point and squeeze.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 07:03 PM   #8
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It's just a tool. Pick the right tool for the job.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 07:07 PM   #9
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Just my experience: I have carried the LC9 (original, with Lasermax) in the pocket, even in shorts (Dickies with deep pockets and in large pocket in cargo shorts), but now have a P238, which is thicker but smaller overall. It's in the pocket whenever I go that route.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 07:32 PM   #10
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I love revolvers but I feel it's highly advantageous and high time I start familiarizing with autos. Because my primary purpose in handguns is for self defense and home defense and such an incident would likely occur in the middle of the night with little to no warning, and may involve more than one perpetrator, I just don't despite my love for revolvers feel comfortable any more that they could be enough firepower alone in a sudden, adrenaline filled incident. For pocket carry, I'm leaning towards an LCP either in 380 or 9mm. Or a keltech. Something that wouldn't print much or any (although I usually don't wear baggy clothes so that could be an issue but I wouldn't be necessarily carrying everywhere anyway. Just as a backup. I'm going to have to hit the range and do some serious practicing though, to learn about autos and figure out how to use them effectively much less carry them. The name of the game is practicality. A friend told me, I know you like revolvers, but trust me, don't depend on a revolver in a dangerous, sudden incident where firepower is critical. He said, get a pistol that you can shoot and than holds several rounds you can quickly discharge. So, I've pretty well decided after some serious thought that I'm going to go with an auto instead.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 07:59 PM   #11
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I struggled with pocket carry for several years. I spent a lot of money on just about every small auto pistol I could afford(budget $500). I never found something that was small, light and had enough firepower to make me comfortable. The lightest little pistol I still own is a Kel-Tec P32, and it is very nice in the pocket, but the 32 ACP isnt a round I want to be in a gun fight with. It might get you to cover during an attack, but barely.

I have owned the Ruger LCP, Ruger LCR 357, Ruger LC9, Ruger LC380, Sig 238, Sig 938, Kahr CM9, Kahr CW9, Kahr CM45, Kahr CW45... Im going to stop there. There are others, but I think you get the idea. If a pistol has a reasonable amount of firepower, it was too large and heavy for my comfort, for pocket carry. I finally decided pocket carry just isn't a good method of carry for me.

I started looking at other methods of carry. I found the Kangaroo Carry. I think its perfect. You can comfortably carry a larger pistol than anything you can carry in your pocket, plus extra magazines, and you never feel like your carrying a brick. I settled on the Kahr CM45, and have been very happy with that pistol, and holster(Kangaroo Carry)

Since you would like one pistol to do double duty of Concealed Carry, and Home Defense, I would recommend something that has an abbreviated grip, like the Ruger SR9c or SR40c, and carry it with the small mags, then order several of the full size mags, and grip adapters. When you get home, take out the 10 round mag, pop in the 17 round mag. You now have the best of both worlds.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 08:40 PM   #12
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I concur on carry and home defense are two different things. I use different guns myself.

Personally, I carry the LCP because a) I avoid dangerous situations so I'm not likely to need a hand cannon and b) it's light and easy to carry. To me self-defense is "last ditch."

I would not recommend it to a newbie. It's a bitch to shoot, and shoot accurately, until you figure it out. Remember, every gun is a compromise depending on what the designer is prioritizing. The LCP is optimized for slipping in a pocket, not shooting.

My suggestion would be to look at a Glock 42 or 43. I don't own either, but I have other Glocks. Should be almost as reliable as a revolver, flatter and therefore easier to carry (thickness is the most important dimension for concealed carry), and a breeze to field strip and clean. Just practice. A lot.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 01:10 AM   #13
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If you are one a budget and can only get 1 gun and are definitely set on an auto, I would consider what I carry. Walther P99C-AS. 10+ or 15+1. Trigger is good for a newbie. It's compact and has enough capacity to get the job done. It's not a pocket pistol though.
LCP Custom if you want a strict pocket carry.
Having said all this, a 44 Special Bulldog is perfect for a beginner. Very effective round. Most fire fights are over in two shots. Don't get too hung up on the capacity argument. Shot placement is it.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 01:36 AM   #14
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For pocket carry, my LC9s and Kahr CT380 work well. From what I've seen it's a matter of your clothes. If your pants are too tight pocket carry can be a problem.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 03:00 AM   #15
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My true "pocket gun" (as in arms length provider of enough pain to get an assailant to retreat) is a Seecamp .32. I agree with others re; a nightstand gun-mine's a Model 64 S&W .38 revolver
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