For the September 2014 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS, author Dennis Adler detailed his top 12 compact handgun designs, both new and old, from manufacturers such as Colt, Glock and Kahr Arms. Citing key features such as pocket-friendly design and caliber in each of the listed models, Adler makes the case for any of these designs to serve as a reliable self-defense firearm.

“What sets the Glock 42 apart from its Glock siblings is its size and caliber. It’s the smallest Glock ever and is chambered in .380 ACP,” said Adler in his description of the Glock 42. “Endearing it to Glock enthusiasts, and setting it apart from its industry peers, is its bevy of tried-and-true Glock-style features—a dual recoil spring assembly, cold-hammer-forged barrel, the Safe Action trigger system and a reversible magazine catch.”

Moving over to examine the Colt Mustang Pocketlite, Adler offered a brief history of how the current design came to be offered by the legendary arms maker.

“A lot of small-caliber semi-autos were produced in the mid- to late 20th century, but none were as innovative as the Colt Mustang, introduced in 1986. Based largely on the legendary Colt Model 1911, the scaled-down Mustang .380 was produced in a variety of models from 1986 until 1999, including five versions of the Pocketlite. In 2011, Colt reintroduced the .380 Mustang Pocketlite, combining an aluminum alloy frame and a stainless steel slide, and in 2013 introduced the Mustang XSP, which features a lighter, polymer frame.

Another concealed-carry contender from Adler’s list was the Kahr PM9, a lightweight, easy-to-conceal 9mm design. “Advancements in 
design are what highlight 
Kahr’s contributions to 
concealed carry pistols. The 14-ounce, DAO, striker-fired PM9 uses a lightweight polymer frame, a stainless steel slide, which rides along steel frame inserts, and a polygonal rifled barrel for extreme accuracy. Ideal for concealed-carry use and quick to get into action, the gun has no external safety mechanism. The PM9 employs the Kahr trigger system to provide a smooth, light and stage-free trigger stroke.”

To read the full article, check out the September 2014 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS, available on newsstands July 1, 2014. To subscribe, go to

Up Next

Tulsa’s G3 Martial Arts to Host Free Self-Defense Seminar for Women

G3 Martial Arts in Tulsa is hosting a free self-defense seminar for women. Participants...