Today’s deep-cover CCW pocket pistols and revolvers pack extra power in sleek, next-gen designs!

Small, reliable pocket pistols and revolvers have taken the firearms industry by storm, with more states enacting concealed-carry legislation than ever before. In the upcoming 2014 issue of Complete Book of Handguns, author Massad Ayoob takes you through some of today’s best offerings, from micro .380s to big-bore .45s.
Ayoob writes, “The 21st century has brought us a new generation of powerful handguns that are more “shootable” yet more concealable than ever… In the spring of 2013 at the NRA convention in Houston, I got to examine the Beretta Pico, the latest manifestation of one of the hottest new trends in defensive handguns, the miniature .380 ACP semi-auto.

Among gun experts and police departments, the .380 ACP is generally the smallest caliber recommended for personal protection. Some draw the line just above there with the .38 Special revolver cartridge. Many years ago the late, great Charles ‘Skeeter’ Skelton determined that with the ammunition of the time—95-grain, full-metal-jacket (FMJ), round-nose .380 ACP and 158-grain, round-nose, lead .38 Special—the two calibers were equal. The coming of high-performance hollow-point ammunition benefited every caliber, including both of these. It made the .380 better, but it made the .38 Special dramatically better. This means that with today’s ammunition, a .38 Special snub-nose is going to give you more ‘stopping power’ than a .380 ACP.”

Ayoob then goes on to discuss the best 9mm, .40 and .45 ACP semi-autos, as well as snubnose revolvers, popular among today’s self-defense-minded civlians. To learn more, check out the Complete Book of Handguns 2014, available on newsstands and digitally December 31, 2013. To subscribe, go to

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