In the culture war known as “gun control,” those who would abolish the cherished American right to keep and bear arms see a pocket pistol as a tool of the devil suitable only for committing murder. But history is replete with cases where a handgun small enough to fit inside a pocket has averted tragedy and saved innocent lives.

Let’s go all the way back to the Old West and look at Example One. Marshal Dallas Stoudenmire tamed the town of El Paso, Texas, with a pair of cut-down, short-barreled Colt six-shooters that he carried concealed in leather-lined hip pockets. Stoudenmire won multiple gunfights with that equipment before his luck ran out in his final shooting affray.

Scroll through the gallery above in order to learn about 10 cases from the past and the present where a pocket pistol saved the day. Hopefully, this short list of 10 “saves” will be helpful to you the next time you are debating with someone who mistakenly thinks pocket-sized handguns are only for the black of heart.

This article was originally published in ‘Pocket Pistols’ Spring 2017. To subscribe, visit

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