Taking the classic backup derringer concept into the 21st century, the Bond Arms Backup features a low-profile black crinkle powdercoat finish on the frame mating up with a matte-finish on the twin barrels. Weighing in at 19 ounces, the Backup measures 4.5 inches in overall length and is a slim 1.19 inches in overall width. And, like all Bond Arms designs, 20 different barrels (including the .410 gauge/.45 LC) will interchange on the Backup’s frame.
The XSP is the 21st century Colt Mustang Pocketlite, a total reinvention of the classic 1980s Colt .380 pocket pistol. The XSP begins with a modern polymer frame with a squared-off triggerguard and bolder grip profile. It also features an integrated accessory rail under the dustcover, molded in rough textured checkering to the front- and backstraps, and an ambidextrous manual safety. The pistol sports a 6+1 capacity, a 2.75-inch barrel, a compact length of 5.5 inches, a height of just 3.98 inches and a weight of 11.8 ounces empty.
The newest Glock model offers all the advanced features of the armsmaker’s Subcompact line in the smallest frame, slide and barrel combination ever. The .380 G42 employs a dual recoil spring unique to the new model and a cold-hammer-forged 3.25-inch barrel. For ease of carry, the new Glock .380 measures only 5.94 inches in overall length, a very narrow 0.94 inches in width, 4.13 inches in height, weighs 13.76 ounces (empty), and has a capacity of 6+1. Additionally, like all Glocks, the G42’s slide locks back on an empty magazine.
The P380 pistol in .380 from Kahr has a 2.53-inch Lothar Walther match-grade polygonal rifled barrel, overall length of 4.9 inches, a width of 0.75 inches and height of only 3.9 inches. Weighing in at just under 10 ounces without a magazine, the 6+1 capacity P380 uses a polymer frame with 4140 steel inserts molded into the front and back for added rigidity and strength. The black frame is handsomely contrasted by the gun’s matte stainless steel slide.
Having helped fuel the resurgence in popularity of the .380 ACP round, the Kel-Tec P-3AT changed the way people view pocket pistols. By employing a locked-breech system of operation rather than straight blowback, the double-action-only, hammer-fired compact pistol packs in impressive power in an 8.3-ounce pistol that measures only 5.2 inches in overall length. Featuring lightweight polymer in its construction, a short 2.7-inch barrel and a 6+1 capacity, the P-3AT is a paradigm-shifting design.
The steel and alloy 9mm Kimber Solo weighs a mere 17 ounces, measures 5.5 inches in length, 3.9 inches in height and 1.14 inches in width. Sightly larger in overall dimensions than most .380s, the striker-fired Solo looks like a very small Model 1911. The result is a rock-solid handgun that is a true “pocket-sized” pocket pistol. Featuring a 6+1 capacity, the Solo has ambidextrous magazine releases and safeties that are easy to operate and designed to minimize any edges that can catch on clothing or impede draw or re-holstering.
The exciting new 9mm Ruger LC9s employs a striker-fired system. The new model features a blued, through hardened, alloy steel slide; a high performance, glass-filled nylon grip frame; a grip extension magazine floorplate; and a windage adjustable, three-dot sight system. The LC9s has a 7+1 capacity and a slim, lightweight design. The compact, 17.2-ounce Ruger pistol has a 3.12-inch barrel, overall length of 6 inches, height of 4.5 inches and a slim 0.9-inch width.
Now part of the M&P line of firearms, the M&P Bodyguard 38 is a small-framed .38 Special +P revolver that features a five-shot capacity. The concealed-hammer revolver is extremely lightweight through its use of a polymer- and aluminum-frame design, and the short 1.9-inch barrel makes for a very concealable carry gun. An ambidextrous cylinder release is located on the top rear of the frame. An ambidextrous Crimson Trace red laser unit is located on the right side of the frame.
The new .45 ACP Range Officer Compact from Springfield delivers compact firepower at a reasonable price. It features a 4-inch, match-grade stainless barrel with a fully supported ramp. The compact frame is made of lightweight forged alloy and features a beavertail grip safety. Capacity is 6+1, weight is 28.5 ounces and overall length is 7.6 inches. Sights consist of a white-dot rear unit mating up with a blade front with a red fiber-optic insert.
The Taurus 738 TCP is a small yet capable .380 that weighs in at a mere 10.2 ounces empty. Featuring a 6+1 capacity, the pistol’s polymer frame has a large triggerguard, integral ambidextrous thumb rests, contoured slide and molded in grip serrations all around. With an overall length of 5.25 inches, height of 3.75 inches and width of just 0.87 inches, the DAO (double action only) hammerless semi-auto is extremely easy to conceal.
The new polymer-framed, striker-fired 9mm Walther CCP features a combination of established Walther designs and an innovative gas-piston technology. Utilizing a Walther-designed Soft Coil gas-delayed blowback action, the CCP offers the benefits of reduced recoil as well as the use of a significantly lighter recoil spring for ease of slide operation when chambering a round. With an overall length of 6.41 inches and a weight of 22.33 ounces, the 8+1 capacity pistol is ready for covert self-defense.
Measuring a mere 5.63 inches in length, 4.17 inches in height and 0.90 inches in width, the striker-fired Nano is Beretta’s smallest 9mm. It is also light in weight at 17.67 ounces due to the gun’s polymer frame construction. The Nano uses a one-piece polymer shell surrounding an independent stainless steel fire control sub-chassis. It has no external (manual) safety or even a slide release lever, which basically makes it ambidextrous. There is also an easily depressed magazine release that is reversible, and the Nano has no magazine disconnect.
Carrying a cartridge pistol in a coat or trouser pocket goes back to the Civil War days, and in the ensuing years modern classics such as the Walther PPK and the Smith & Wesson Model 36 have earned an enduring popularity with shooters.
In addition, today’s armsmakers have developed innovative manufacturing techniques that combine polymer, steel and alloy, to bring forth enhanced-capacity, lighter-weight concealed carry subcompact firearms.
In the gallery above is a list of six new models and six top-rated pocket pistols that will provide options to suit almost every need.
For More Information
Bond Arms Backup
Colt Mustang XSP
Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38
Springfield Range Officer Compact
Maxpedition continues their string of exciting releases with the introduction of two new concealed carry...
by Andrew Berry / Nov 5, 2014