Help me select the best choice in a pocket pistol...


January 17, 2003, 04:23 AM
I have been thinking about a true pocket sized pistol... something I could carry in a coat pocket or jeans pocket. I've heard good things about the Kel-Tec .32 and the Seecamp .32. But I think I'd prefer a .380 over a .32 for a defense round. I know I don't want a super mini .45. My Kimber Compact CDP is as small as I want to go in a 1911 pistol and I do want something smaller than that. Even a Kahr MK9 9mm may be too big for jeans pocket or coat pocket, which is where I want to carry the pistol.

So, what are your:

Top picks in small 9mm :_____
Top picks in small .380 :_____
Top picks in small .32 :_____

Of these, what would be your #1 choice of all?

Thanks guys.

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January 17, 2003, 06:34 AM
9mm: The very thing you have rejected. The Kahr MK9!!!!

9mm kurz: Walther PPK/S

7.65mm: Walther PPK/S or Kel-tek P32, although I would pick the PPK, because it has sights!!! I have a hard time with point shooting, so the P32 is a carry it to smoke on the balcony of my apartment gun!! :D

Of the three, the Kahr is probably the best in terms of having a mouse gun that actually will get you out of a jam!! :cool: I understand it comes in a polymer flavor now too!!

January 17, 2003, 07:44 AM
You could wait until May and get the new Kel-Tec P-3AT. They will probably sell for ~$250 and if they are as reliable as the P32 and the P11, you'll have a real winner.


January 17, 2003, 08:52 AM
The other thing to keep in mind is for a pocket gun, you may want to try to keep weight down and that is probably gonna mean plastic.

The P32 is the only KelTec I have but I have shot a P40. Too much recoil for me. The P11 should be fine but I don't have any personal experience with it. The smallest Kahr (PM9?) is pretty light weight and is pretty small for a full power pistol but filled with ammo is getting pretty heavy and more than twice as pricey as the P11.

For the 380, I'd be tempted to wait a little while before buying one. I'd prefer to have them work the bugs out on the first 5,000 or so. But I'll definately be getting one.

So my recommendations are:

32 - KelTec P32
9mm - KelTec P11 (on reputation alone)
380 - The New KelTec in about June

The P32 is truly a take it anywhere gun. It is so light weight that you will be hard pressed to come up with a situation or dress style wherein you cannot be in possession of the pistol. No reason to leave it at home, EVER!

January 17, 2003, 02:01 PM
I'd hold out for the Kel-Tec .380. That one's definitely on my list.

January 17, 2003, 03:23 PM
Check out a Colt Mustang Pocketlite in .380.

These are getting difficult to find, but they are just FANTASTIC guns! You won't find anything smaller in that caliber and you'll have the same manual of arms as your Kimber.

The thing about the Mustang is that they are a locked breech system instead of a blowback like all the other mouse guns. This makes them much controllable (and hence accurate) in real-life rapid shooting.

I went through a number of pocket pistols before happening onto the Mustang and this gun beats all others I've tried and owned hands-down!


January 17, 2003, 03:28 PM
Since you're "thinking" about it right now instead of ready to buy, time is on your side.

I know better than to say never, but I have no intention of ever owning another blowback pistol. The NAA and Seecamp pistols are blowback designs, even though they are in the pocket pistol physical size category essentially defined by the ubiquitous Kel-Tec P-32.

I'm adamant on the size category because, IMO, a pocket pistol must be carried in a pocket holster, and that ups the total size somewhat.

At this moment, there are NO 9mm pocket pistols AFAIK, but next month there will be. The Kahr PM-9 is a bit big for the category, but it's close.

All guns must be locked breech designs and have a full, free, lifetime, manufacturer's warranty.

My picks:

Choice for a 9mm pocket pistol: Rohrbaugh R-9. Same physical size as the diminutive Kel-Tec P-32. 9mm Luger, locked breech, and weighs 12.3 oz empty. It will debut at the SHOT Show in Orlando on Feb 13. Available in Feb/Mar About $800

Choice for a .380 pocket pistol: Kel-Tec P-3AT. Same physical size and weight (almost exactly on both) as the diminutive Kel-Tec P-32. .380 ACP, locked breech, 6+1 capacity. Debuts at the SHOT Show. Available in May. About $300

Choice for a .32 pocket pistol: Kel-Tec P-32. Tiny. Light. Proven. Available now. About $250

I have a P-32. As soon as possible, I plan to get an R-9 and a P-3AT.

January 17, 2003, 03:48 PM
Top picks in small 9mm : kahr mk9 98 elite
Top picks in small .380 : walther ppk
Top picks in small .32 : naa guardian

Best out of all: walther ppk

January 17, 2003, 05:16 PM
The Walther PPK in .380 (The PPKS is too big.) You would need to obtain a very hot loading with a semi-wadcutter bullet (expanding bullets do not work reliably under mach I.) You can get loads that have very good penetration characteristics that will make the PPK an excellent choice for self defense.
If you have larger pockets, the S&W 3953 is my choice (Fits in the side pocket of a Carhart jacket nicely.) Mine has been changed to 9X21, and it delivers .357 magnum level loads with 124 or 147 grain bullets.

concerned citizen
January 17, 2003, 05:20 PM

My pics are...

9mm PP = Kahr pm-9.
380acp PP = Colt mustang.
32acp PP = Seecamp.

For those that live in a state where you will be allowed to by a kel-tec 380 or Rohrbaugh R-9 these could end up the hollygrail of pocket pieces..

January 17, 2003, 06:33 PM
Chalk up another vote to hold out for the Keltec 380.

January 17, 2003, 06:40 PM
I'm adamant on the size category because, IMO, a pocket pistol must be carried in a pocket holster, and that ups the total size somewhat.

At this moment, there are NO 9mm pocket pistols AFAIK, but next month there will be. The Kahr PM-9 is a bit big for the category, but it's close.

Blackhawk, I disagree. My Cop .357 is the same size as a PM9, but twice as heavy. It serves it's purpose well in an Uncle Mike's front pocket holster. A PM9 will most likely be my next pocket gun. And perhaps the only one I will ever need to buy again.

January 17, 2003, 07:18 PM
I think that the highest caliber current guns that are TRUE POCKET GUNS are the 32acp semiautos. The smallest 380 and 9mm pistols are still too big for my pockets.

I've got a Seecamp and a Guardian. Both great pistols, both fit easily in a back jeans pocket. The P32 just doesn't impress me.

Safety First
January 17, 2003, 09:35 PM
That was interesting info on the new company Rohrbaugh and the R-9.. I had never heard of the company or gun, I for one will be watching and giving serious thought to the R-9.also, when I checked out the site,there was mention of larger caliber guns on the drawing board,i.e .357, .40 and yup the .45..So it seems there may be a high quality pocket power- house coming to a gun dealer near you soon...:) " Happy carrying and hopefully not HAVING to shoot"

January 18, 2003, 12:11 AM
Forget the .32 and .380 (and I carried a .380 for nine years)--buy a 9mm or .38 snub. Are the Kahr PM9's 100% reliable? If so then get that. In a .38 choose a S&W 442 or 638 or 642. Or look for a used S&W 37 or 38 or 42. For a gun to be carried a lot and shot little, save some money and get an older (pre 1991) Charter Arms Undercover or Off Duty. I just bought an older Undercover for pocket carry. You should be able to pick up a nice one for around $150.

January 18, 2003, 01:27 AM
Best choice, for me, in a small .380 ACP is the Mustang PocketLite.

January 18, 2003, 04:24 AM
FYI, the Kel-Tec P-32 IS a locked breech.

For a true pocket gun, the P-32 is hard to beat. If you have large baggy pockets then the ultralight S&W snubbies are nice (10-12ozs) or maybe the Kahr P9 but I have not experience with the plastic Kahrs yet.

The one I will get to replace my P-32 is the P-3AT!:D I have never owned a .380 but I will soon.

January 18, 2003, 12:18 PM
SiG 230

and Colt Detective Special

January 18, 2003, 04:00 PM
9mm - Kahr PM9, though the price isn't down far enough for me yet so I opt for the Kahr P9 Covert. Same grip, but slightly longer barrel. If wearing jeans I can use my Kahr MK9, though I usually save that for the ankle.

.380 - SS Colt Mustang Pocketlite, second choice is an American Arms Escort (good luck finding one, mine isn't for sale)

.32 - Seecamp, though I carry the Autauga MkII

The pistol I pocket carry most often? That would be my S&W 342 Ti in .38 Special, but you didn't include .38 in your question.

Blackhawk, believe me that Rohrbaugh is much bigger than a P32.

January 18, 2003, 07:36 PM
Blackhawk, believe me that Rohrbaugh is much bigger than a P32.

Let's see about that:

Length:--- 4.9"--------- 5.1"
Width:---- 0.81"-------0.75"
Height:--- 3.6"--------- 3.5"

Sorry, Jeff, but I've got to go with the numbers. The critical dimension, IMO, is length, and the R-9 is SHORTER by 0.2"! :D

January 18, 2003, 08:02 PM
Don't even get me started about the Rohrbaugh. That Safety device they offer is a good way to get killed.

I will say the conventional peice looks good.

January 18, 2003, 10:52 PM
Here is my take on it:

9mm-Kahr PM9
.380- Kel Tec 3-AT
.32- Kel Tec P 32

I own the PM9. Great gun. Just polish the feed ramp and put an extention on the 6 round mag and your good to go.

Heard nothing but great things about Kel Tecs. I am holding out for the 3-AT. The weight and size is REALLY close to the P32.

If you are looking for a gun that is light and one you can carry in a pocket, I would go with the 3-AT.

The PM9, is light but just a little bit to heavy to me when I put it in a pocket holster and drop it in a cargo pocket. I think the P32 or probably the 3-AT will work out just right being at half the weight of a PM9 which is already light in my book, 15oz

I am in the same boat as you. I am looking for a gun that is light enough and small enough, but still has good power for a cheese eater. I have decided to go with the 3-AT when it is released. So #1 choice for what you want to have the gun for.....Kel Tec 3-AT (.380) Happy hunting!

January 18, 2003, 10:57 PM
Well a Delta Elite of course. ;)
Out of your choices, I would go with the polymer Kahr 40.

January 19, 2003, 01:17 AM
yayarx7 wrote:That Safety device they offer is a good way to get killed. They're not even going to offer the MS-9 initially. It's the one with the Magnetic Safety, and I'd have to be well convinced to use it, which I'm not now.

Initially, the guns were going to be convertible with the MS being removable from the MS-9s or installable on the R-9s. I think that plans gone by the board so that the guns will be permanently in whatever condition they ship in.

As I understand it, the R-9s will come out first, and the MS-9s later IF the demand for them is proven.

January 19, 2003, 02:35 AM
Hmmmmmm, I guess the numbers don't lie, but it sure seemed bigger when I held it. I only wish my girlfriend thought that ;)

January 19, 2003, 09:25 AM
All Kel-Tec.


January 19, 2003, 11:54 AM
My picks would be:

1. 9mm (hopefully the) Rohrbaugh;

2. 380 the NAA Guardian 380;

3. 32 the NAA Guardian 32 or Seecamp.

Kahr carrier
January 20, 2003, 03:21 AM

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