The Pico is the thinnest .380 ACP pistol available, making it very concealable. It also enjoys some distinct features like a quick-change polymer frame and barrel system that allows the user to customize colors and caliber choices. For being so small, it also has full-sized gun features like adjustable sights and a slide lock. This double-action-only pistol has a 6+1 capacity, a slide and barrel made of stainless steel for corrosion resistance, and it comes standard with a spare magazine and an ambidextrous magazine release.
The Bond Arms Backup is an all-business derringer designed for the ultimate in concealment and durability. This pistol is among the lightest and smallest guns Bond Arms offers and features all stainless steel construction, although at first glance you might think the frame is polymer. In fact, Bond Arms has bead-blasted the entire surface to eliminate glare, and the frame is blackened and carries rubber grips for an improved hold even in inclement conditions. The short 2.5-inch barrels are available in either .45 ACP or 9mm.
The XSP follows the great tradition of Colt pocket pistols. Chambered in .380 ACP, the XSP is a polymer-framed pistol with a grip design that makes it comfortable to fire as well as easy to conceal. The slide is made of stainless steel and the controls are set up just like on the 1911 platform. It offers a 6+1 capacity, a 2.75-inch barrel and high profile sights. It weighs 11.5 ounces unloaded and is only 5.5 inches long.
The new 9mm, single-stack Glock 43 offers a 6+1 payload in one of Glock’s smallest subcompact pistols. Designed for more comfortable shooting, the G34 has a trigger reach similar to Glock’s larger 9mm pistols, plus it has a built-in beavertail for a high and tight grip. At 6.26 inches in length, 4.25 inches in height and with a slim width of only 1.02 inches, the G43 is an ultra-reliable candidate for concealed-carry or backup duty. This diminutive yet powerful Glock weighs only 17.95 ounces unloaded.
For those looking for more simplicity in form and function, Heizer Defense has the PS1 Pocket Shotgun. This is like a single-shot, break-open, .410 scattergun that you can literally put in your pocket. It will not only take 2.5-inch shotgun shells, but also chambers .45 Colt cartridges. The grip portion of the receiver is hollow, so you can store two extra .45 Colt cartridges inside. With the many choices offered today in .45 Colt/.410 ammunition, you can match your load up with the anticipated need, be it defense, hunting or plinking. The PS1 is all stainless steel and can be had in silver or black finishes. Its operating latches are recessed and snag-free, while the entire gun is about the size of a smartphone.
Advancements in design are what highlight Kahr’s contributions to concealed carry pistols. The 14-ounce, DAO, striker-fired PM9 use 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 that requires 0.7 inches of movement to rotate a cam, unlocking a spring-loaded striker safety and drawing the striker to full-cock position before releasing it to fire a round.
The first of Kimber’s .380 semi-autos, the Micro CDP features an aluminum frame finished in matte black, a stainless steel slide in satin silver, the company’s “Carry Melt” treatment, Meprolight tritium three-dot night sights, an aluminum match-grade trigger and rosewood grips along with all of the standard Micro Series upgrades. It is also available with optional Crimson Trace Lasergrips.
The smallest handgun you’ll find for your kit will likely come from North American Arms (NAA). For versatility, the version I chose has a 2-inch barrel with a red ramp front sight and a fully adjustable Millet rear sight. It’s also a conversion model, so it comes with both .22 LR and .22 Magnum cylinders, which each hold five cartridges. To load the revolver, the cylinder must be removed, and one advantage of the Black Widow is its “pull-down” cylinder pin latch. This rugged little gun is made of stainless steel and has oversized rubber grips. For outdoor carry, I’d use the .22 Magnum cylinder for more useful cartridge power and reserve the .22 LR cylinder for practice and plinking. You can also get a laser sight that replaces the cylinder pin latch.
This diminutive pistol is a mating of steel and aluminum alloy. It weighs a scant 12.2 ounces unloaded while offering a 6+1 capacity of .380 ACP ammo. It has a smooth, 10-pound DAO trigger; a fully functional slide stop; an ambidextrous magazine release; and glass-filled nylon grips that are checkered like the frontstrap. It can also be had with a Crimson Trace laser sight mounted on the triggerguard, which adds little weight or bulk.
Ruger has completely redesigned its renowned LCP in .380 ACP. The LCP II features a short, crisp, single-action trigger pull with a blade-style safety toggle that must be fully depressed for the pistol to fire. This way shooters can get a lighter trigger pull without the need for a manual safety. The slide features new contouring for easy racking, and the grip frame has new texturing to provide a comfortable and secure grip. The frame is also larger to help spread recoil forces better. Ruger has also included taller fixed sights with serrated rear faces to reduce glare.
SCCY makes some of the smallest subcompacts in 9mm, and now the company has entered the .380 ACP market with its new CPX-3, which has a unique feature the company calls the “Roebuck Quad Lock” system. The barrel locks to the slide in four distinct areas, making the barrel and slide almost a solid piece for enhanced accuracy. With a polymer frame and stainless steel slide, the CPX-3 weighs just 15 ounces unloaded. The top of the slide is laser etched to reduce glare and is finished in black nitride or a natural matte finish. The DAO trigger is set at the factory for a pull weight of 8 pounds.
The market’s booming with .380s, but none so elegantly crafted as the Sig P238. This is the smallest .380 Sig has ever designed. The Sig is all-metal construction, slim, compact and solid in the hand with just enough heft to make its recoil manageable. What sets the P238 further apart from most of the competition is Sig’s decision to use a stainless steel slide with an anodized alloy beavertail-style frame. With an overall length of just 5.5 inches, a height of 3.9inches and weighing just 15.2 ounces, this is one of the go-to .380s on the market for fit, finish and reliability.
Over the years, S&W’s Kit Gun variations have come and gone, and today the only S&W retaining the Kit Gun moniker is the Model 317. Still built on the J-frame, it has an empty weight of just 12.5 ounces due to its aluminum alloy frame and cylinder. With a 3-inch barrel, its overall length is just 7.19 inches, and it has a fully adjustable rear sight paired with a green Hi-Viz fiber-optic front sight. The revolver has a matte silver finish and black synthetic grips. Unlike its Model 34 predecessor, the Model 317 is not a six-shooter, but has a cylinder with eight charge holes for .22 LR ammo.
What may be the gun of the year, Springfield Armory has unveiled a groundbreaking ultra-compact .45 ACP. A truly “pocketable” 5+1 capacity .45 Auto, the XDS measures only 6.3 inches in length, 4.4 inches in height and 1.0 inches in overall width while tipping the scale at only 21 ounces. Despite its compact dimensions, recoil is surprisingly manageable and accuracy with the 3.3-inch barrel is exceptional. Standard features include two interchangeable backstrap panels, integral Picatinny rail, ambidextrous magazine releases, and a loaded chamber indicator. Suggested retail is $599.
Offering a light weight, more power and less burden on the belt is the Taurus Model 605 PLY. This DA/SA revolver has a 2-inch barrel, a lightweight polymer frame and a stainless steel cylinder and barrel, giving it a weight of only 19.75 ounces and overall length of 6.7 inches. Its construction makes it virtually weatherproof, and control in rapid fire is aided by its hand-filling Ribber grips. It also sports a red fiber-optic front sight that mates up with a fixed rear sight for rugged dependability. Chambered for the .357 Magnum, it also takes .38 Special +P and can be used for sport, defense or plinking.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and you know what that means. Presents, and lots of them. We get it. Sometimes it can be tough figuring out what to buy for loved ones. If there’s a firearm enthusiast in your family, that decision-making process can be even more daunting when you haven’t done your research. Or perhaps you want to treat yourself to something nice, but aren’t sure what should go on your “maybe” list. If it’s pocket pistols you’re looking for, we’ve got your back.
- RELATED STORY: Be Discreet – Common Sense Concealed Carry Tips & Techniques
From the concealable Beretta Pico and subcompact Glock 43, to Ruger’s just-released LCP II, Remington’s tiny RM380 and many more, there’s a slew of big-time gun manufacturers offering cool and innovative pocket pistols that put a premium on concealed carry and self defense. Looking for a great stocking stuffer? You’ve come to the right place. Without further ado, here are 15 pocket pistols perfect for Christmas.
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For more information about the pocket pistols featured in the gallery above, please visit the following sites.
North American Arms
Smith & Wesson
The brand new Stevens 555 Compact from Savage Arms features a 24-inch barrel, a...
by Personal Defense World / Dec 5, 2016