Smallest, most concealable gun powerful enough for defense...


December 27, 2005, 10:48 AM
This is obviously a variation of other discussions, I've searched and got some good information, but am interested in getting your opinions tailored to my situation.

I'll check out EVERY GUN you mention, and take it from there. Thanks in advance.

My first pistol was a ruger sp101. We're keeping it because both my wife and I are comfortable with it. I don't take it with me when I leave her at the house. It's our "nightstand" gun if you will...

Now I need a semi-auto that I can take with me. I'm a big guy, and no traditional holster that I've tried work with my build and the way all my clothes fit. Pocket carry seems to be the way to go for me. (I will buy a pocket holster). So please steer me toward a small, but powerful enough pistol for CCW. I am willing to sacrifice some power for concealability, because a powerful handgun that I never want to take with me will do me no good. Your opinions on different calibers are also welcome. Thanks again!

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December 27, 2005, 10:57 AM
I'd try looking at a Glock 26, or any Glock subcompact.

Also, you can look at the Kahr line. Very small package in 9mm and .40

And there is also the Kel-Tec 3AT, the KT P11 in 9mm may also work for you.

Good luck, and don't rule out another revolver or another SP101.

December 27, 2005, 11:06 AM
My wife got her pistol before I did and she chose a S&W 640, 2", internal hammer, 357. She chose it because of the hammerless design and the fact that she carries either in her purse or in her pocket and there is no hammer to catch. Practice is always with 38's and it has plenty of recoil even then. Carry load is Cor-Bon 125 JHP 357's.

I chose the same pistol for compatability. If something ever happened the guns and ammo are interchangable without having to think about any differences.

I too am a bug guy (actually the doctor referred to it as "morbidly obese" :( ) but I have found that the 640 rides comfortably just above my right back pocket in an Uncle Mike's Sidekick IWB holster. For $10 you might want to check one out.

Before we bought we got with a friend who has a large selection of concealable handguns and spent a day trying them out. The guns we thought that we wanted we ended up not liking. The gun has to fit and feel good in your hand and shoot well too. We had looked at guns online and in stores, but until you feel the recoil you really don't know how you are going to like it. Try to find a range that rents guns that you think you will like, or a REALLY good friend. The few dollars you spend in rental will probably save you a lot latter.

December 27, 2005, 11:09 AM
Wow did you ever open a hornets nest....
The big questions would be just how much firepower would you be willing to sacrifice for concealability and have you really tried every carry method?

If you set a standard that the weapon must be able to meet a minimum standard of penetration (ie. 9" into balistic gelatin such as set by the border patrol) you would not want to go with anything less than a 9mm. yep .380's and .32's need not apply.... (here we go with the hornets nest)

here is a pic to illustrate the point.

Have you tried deep concealment methods such as "thunderwear" etc...?if anything around the waist is a problem this method although not as quick on the draw will hide small cars relatively comfortably.
Maybee the method of cary will be your real answer... there are some inovative alternatives to a OWB pancake holster out there . I'm sure your going to get alot of suggestions on this thread

December 27, 2005, 11:11 AM
I recommend you check out the S&W 640. Hammerless J Frame chambered in 357 magnum. Plenty of power in a small snagproof package. It's a great pocket gun and it's stainless so you won't have to worry about the finish.

December 27, 2005, 11:14 AM
For a start, I'd recommend against anything less than 9mm. or .38 Special in caliber. The smaller, less powerful rounds are simply not adequate for defence against a determined attacker, as has been proven countless times in real-life encounters.

Secondly, I'd recommend going bigger in caliber if you can control it in accurate, rapid fire. I personally don't trust the 9mm. and/or .38 Special to be more than marginally acceptable in terms of stopping an attack before you get hurt yourself, and this opinion is based on actual gunfights, not theory. However, there are plenty who disagree on this, so feel free to make up your own mind.

For pocket carry, bear in mind that your pockets may need some modification to adequately conceal your handgun. I've posted about this before, here (, and you might find this useful.

I routinely pocket-carry a Glock 27 in .40 S&W, using a DeSantis Nemesis ( pocket holster. I find this easy enough to conceal in a decent-size pocket. Other possibilities, by caliber, are:

9mm: Glock 26, Kahr MK9 or MP9 or P9 Covert, Taurus PT111

.40 S&W: Glock 27, Kahr MK40 or MP40, Taurus PT140

.45 ACP: Taurus PT145, Taurus PT745, Kahr P45

December 27, 2005, 11:16 AM
If you're going for ultra-small you'll probably want to check out the KelTec P11, Kahr PM9, and the Rohrbaugh R9. If you want a .45, Springfield makes nice Micro and Ultra Compact 1911s.

December 27, 2005, 11:18 AM
That's an excellent start, and like I said, I'll check out every single suggestion.

No, I haven't tried EVERY carry method, but I feel like by going pocket carry, I'll establish the habit of always carrying, (Just like my wallet and cell phone) and then I can go from there.

Also, I didn't want to tell you where I was leaning, but I'm pretty sure it is toward a 9mm or .40, nothing smaller.

W Turner
December 27, 2005, 11:27 AM
For primary pocket carry, an alloy j-frame is the standard. There are good reasons for this as it is a compact, lightweight, adequately powered package. However I would stress the "adequately powered" part. You do give up both power and capacity with the 5-shot snub as compared to semi-autos. IMO, the trade off is better concealability. Speedloaders and speedstrips help, but they don't make the round any more powerful.

You say that all conventional OWB holsters haven't worked for you. Have you tried carrying a sub-compact weapon (Glock 26 for example) on your belt instead of larger weapons? I am a big guy too (6'8"/325) and have always caught flack from my friends for carrying sub-compact weapons. Funny thing is I ALWAYS have one on me even when their magnumblaster4000 is in the truck because it's too much hassle to carry. I am not down on pocket carry, but there may an alternative.

A Kahr PM9, Kel-Tec P11, Taurus Millenium Pro (of any caliber), or similar could pull double duty as both a pocket peice when necessary and a belt piece when possible. Any smaller than that and you're back in the realm of the 5-shot revolver.

When you say that all conventional methods don't work with your build/clothing fit, do you mean that they print a little, show the outline of the gun, are not comfortable, or what? What brands and type of holsters have you tried and with what weapons? Have you ever considered IWB?

I'm not trying to be a 4th point of contact, just trying to get a clear picture. There is a big difference between a Glock 21 in a Fobus paddle and a 1911 in an quality IWB holster when it comes to concealability and comfort.


December 27, 2005, 11:29 AM
If you're going for ultra-small you'll probably want to check out the KelTec P11, Kahr PM9, and the Rohrbaugh R9. If you want a .45, Springfield makes nice Micro and Ultra Compact 1911s.
If you really want small & .45 ACP, thiere's the Kahr P45. A bit of a handful recoil wise, but completely manageable.

December 27, 2005, 11:33 AM
Pocket + money is no object - Rorhbaugh(sp?) 9mm
Pocket + money IS an object - Keltec P11 9mm
IWB either CZ Rami or CZ PCR/PO1 9mm

Really small, money is no object, weird is no object, willing to learn a very strange/awkward operating system for a big caliber - Semmerling .45.

December 27, 2005, 11:36 AM
no traditional holster
Pocket carry
small, but powerful enough pistol for CCW
willing to sacrifice some power for concealability

I personally wouldn't carry anything less than .380 for primary carry. The Kahr line would be good to check out, especially the PM/MK series; available in 9x19 or .40S&W. KelTec's are popular, and they offer guns in .380 and 9x19. North American Arms makes a Guardian .380 that'll fit in a pocket. Seecamp makes a pocket concealable .380, but it's out of my price/availability range.

Lots of other pocket guns, but those seem to fit what you've asked for.


December 27, 2005, 11:37 AM
To clarify, I am overweight, and for 15 years I've worn my pants lower than I should. My gut hangs over my pants. I wear a size 46, but would wear a 48 if I pulled them up over my belly. I also think it looks funny. Many would surely disagree. All my pants are 46, so a brand new wardrobe and a less comfortable (for me) style of dress isn't an option. I tuck most of my shirts in, and the ones I don't, aren't long enough to conceal a belt holster on my belt that's a little lower than most. I live in Indiana. (Varied Climates).

As you can probably picture, OWB doesn't work because it digs into my gut. I haven't tried small of back. Anyone built like me do that?

W Turner
December 27, 2005, 11:53 AM
I was writing my post when you submitted your last one.

In 9mm and .40, there are a lot of good options. Some better suited to pocket carry than others IMO.

For me a pocket carry semi-auto pretty much means a single stack of one flavor or another. Double stacks can be pocket carried, but most are too bulky for my tastes.

Single stacks...

Kahr PM series- lightweight, tiny grip if you have big hands, stout recoil, and there have been some teething issues with the .40 models

Kahr MK series- great, no real issues that I am aware of, but they are heavy due to the all-stainless construction.

Taurus Millenium PRO- some calibers are made in single stack configurations, the newer PRO series has been getting rave reviews, stay away from the plain Milleniums

Sig P245, P232- as big as some double stacks, expensive, high quality

STI LS9/LS40- 1911 style, high quality, expensive, single action

Rohrbaugh R9- the cream of the crop in this market niche, light enough to carry, decent capacity, handmade quality, and expensive ($900 +/-)

Double stack

Glock 26/27/33/39- pick a caliber, any caliber, glock reliability, glock ergonomics, good capacity (10+1 in 9mm, 9+1 in .40 and .357sig, 5+1 in .45 GAP), decent price, bulky for pocket carry, but doable

Taurus Millenium PRO- the double stack versions are slightly less bulky than the Glocks, offered in 9mm, .40, and .45 right now, again-avoid the plain Millenium series

Kel-Tec P11- slightly more compact package than either the Glock or the Taurus, long/heavy trigger pull as compared to most other sub-compacts, inexpensive, but not cheap

Springfield XD- good trigger, comparable capacity to the Glock and others, a bit more bulky than the Glocks, IMO, better suited for a S/C belt gun

I am sure there are more double-stack subcompacts, buit that is all I can think of right now.


Sleeping Dog
December 27, 2005, 12:03 PM
A pocket-type gun might work, S&W 642 or 442 is light and small. .38 Special +P should be ok.

Glock 26 is nice, too, but I would never carry it without a hard molded holster. I just don't trust the so-called safety in the trigger when there's a round in the chamber.


December 27, 2005, 12:05 PM
It all depends on your definition of "powerful enough" and your wallet, or how fat your wallet is. :D

My personal carry weapon is a Kel Tech P11, and I love the thing. But, you might prefer the "safe action" trigger of a Glock 26/27. Get a GOOD pocket holster for a Glock that covers the trigger for safety reasons. A pocket holster is never a bad investment with any pocket carry firearm, but the Glock demands it.

Everyone has pretty much covered the gamut, just putting in my $.02. I like the little nines a LOT. If you can shoot it, Corbon 115 grain +P is an awesome performer out of a 3" barrel.

My bottom basement SD caliber is .380, personal decision. I do carry a .380 pocket gun from time to time, a Grendel P12 that is no longer made. The P12s were good shooters, but not beloved by many due to the trigger is rather weird. Long, skinny fingers are required, it seems. The P10, its predecessor, was a POS apparently with a lot of feeding problems, but my P12 uses a different magazine set up. If you have "rotund" fingers, I'd pass on a used P12, though. You could probably get a good purchase on a P11 or G26 'cause there's more room in front of the trigger.

I've never tried the Millenniums or, really, any other of the compact nines. I've dry fired a few Kahrs. For what they cost, they'd BETTER work and everyone seems to like 'em that actually shoot them, so they must be okay. They're no more expensive than the Glocks.

Personally, my Kel Tech doesn't work for me in a jeans pocket. Slightly bigger pockets are required. I do have some slacks that swallow it, though, so long as I don't have the finger extension magazine in it. I put a "handall" finger groove grip thingy on it, too, that I wouldn't have on it if I pocket carried it.

beaucoup ammo
December 27, 2005, 12:31 PM
..there's a KAHR P9 in the front left pocket of my baggy cords. Light weight, less than an inch wide with 7 - 9mm in the mag..124 Gr. JHP.

For my money it's the perfect CCW weapon. Check out the others..most all are excellent.

Take Care

December 27, 2005, 12:48 PM
As others have indicated - check out the R9 - it's simply the best!!!

December 27, 2005, 01:16 PM
I had a Kahr P9 for a while. To call it a troublesome POS is an understatement. It was so bad that after several (unsuccessful) attempts to repair it, the factory replaced it.

Being of the "once burned, twice shy" sort, and resentful of being Kahr's unwitting beta-tester (though he company did try to make it right, I'll give them that) I immediately traded the new replacement P9 for a Glock 26, which has the virtue of actually working first time, every time, though it's not as neat a package.

For pocket carry, I have an S&W 340SC . . . light and, so far, totally reliable.

December 27, 2005, 01:37 PM
I am 6-2, I weigh 275, and my waist is a 44. I use a Mika pocket holster in front pants pocket. I've been carrying an old model Charter Arms Undercover .38, but just ordered a new S&W Model 642. The 642 is a .38 special that holds 5-rounds. It has an internal hammer, a stainless steel barrel and cylinder, an empty weight of 15 ounces, and it is rated for +P ammunition. I like the 158 gr. lead hollowpoint. I can use this combo in any long pants or short pants I wear--from jeans, to shorts with a string tie (instead of a belt). If I wanted a semi-auto it may be a 9mm Kahr PM9. It costs about $150 more than the 642. If you're okay with five shots of .38 special than a snubby is a real good choice

December 27, 2005, 01:50 PM
342pd. Same size as the 642, but only 10.8 ounces.
Probably the perfect pocket-gun.
Check this review:

Good luck,


December 27, 2005, 02:00 PM
I'm going to hold and shoot all the guns you all have mentioned, but aren't most of these semiautos less bulky than the revolvers? That, plus the added capacity are the reasons I'm pretty sure I'm getting a semiauto.

December 27, 2005, 02:24 PM
I'm going to hold and shoot all the guns you all have mentioned, but aren't most of these semiautos less bulky than the revolvers? That, plus the added capacity are the reasons I'm pretty sure I'm getting a semiauto.
semi-autos less bulky...well, no.
Hold a 342pd, and compare it to any semi-auto .380 cal and higher. As for capacity, the highest capacity you'll find in something as packable is 8 rounds. And when you reach that number...well, there will be a trade off in reliability and weight.
Good luck, and let us know what you select.

December 27, 2005, 02:26 PM
Pokerpro, there are pro's and con's. I find the G27 to conceal just about as well as a J-frame S&W: the butt is a bit fatter, but then, there's no cylinder bulge, so what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts. One thing, though: the flat, squarish-profile butt of a pistol can be hard to grasp in a hurry for a rapid draw, as the pressure of the pocket will press it into your leg. A rounded butt like a J-frame's is easier to grip under pressure of time. You'll need to practice this until you're smooth and fast, while walking, etc.

December 27, 2005, 03:51 PM
I'm going to hold and shoot all the guns you all have mentioned, but aren't most of these semiautos less bulky than the revolvers? That, plus the added capacity are the reasons I'm pretty sure I'm getting a semiauto.

For the most part, the compact nines are smaller, lighter, flatter packages than the revolvers, and some of 'em like the Glock and Kel Tech carry a lot more power and more ammo than any .38. A +P 9 is closer to .357 snubbie ballistics with a lot less flash, bang.

It's just hard to beat a 14 ounce (Kel Tech) 9mm that fits in a pocket, shoots 3.5" 25 yard groups, and holds 11 rounds, 13 with the new optional mags. I like revolvers, carry one from time to time, but I can't say it's preferable to a good compact 9 or .40. Either you're a revolver guy or you are an auto guy most times. I have the rare privilege of being both. :D But, I do think my little Kel Tech is the absolute BEST CCW gun in MY collection. If I had a Kahr or Glock 26 that worked as well, the same would hold. The compact 9s are perfect for CCW IMHO.

The movement to CCW "shall issue" laws across the country and the 10 round limit of the Clintonian era conspired to bring us the handiest, most powerful line of handguns I, personally, have ever known. The funny part about all that is the gun grabbers shot themselves in the foot with their 10 round limits (actually a Bush 41 era law as I recall) . When CCW laws got movement from the 94 elections, it made for the most advanced and powerful "Saturday night specials" the world has ever known. BWAAAAA, ha, ha!:evil:

December 27, 2005, 04:15 PM
A "tuckable" holster may work. Particularly if you get a hammerless revolver instead of an auto, since the shape of a revolver makes it less prone to digging into your side than an auto.

December 27, 2005, 09:46 PM
For pocket carry I use a Kel-Tec P3AT. In the ultra small guns, I wouldn't want a larger caliber due to recoil management. And the 380 is a suitable caliber, shot placement is the key.

December 28, 2005, 10:13 AM

Just another option to toss your way.

I'm 6'5", 320, and have the same "gut"
and "spare tire" issues that you're probably
dealing with. IWB's and OWB's gouge into
my sides or are simply uncomfortable when
held tightly against me.

My solution was pocket carry with a j-frame
equipped with a Barami Hip Grip and Tyler
grip adaptor.

90% of the time it's in my pocket in a holster,
the other 10%, I have the option to tuck
it in my waistband in a comfortable area.

I sometimes think everyone wants to be
armed for "war zone" battle with the highest
capacity guns they can get, when in reality,
ccw use is last ditch, save your life, all else has
failed use.

For that purpose, 5 shots of 38+P LSWCHP
is enough for me.


December 28, 2005, 10:28 AM
Thanks BigMak. I'll post back for those interested in what I choose.

December 28, 2005, 11:35 AM
++++++++++100 for Rohrbaugh R9 ultimate pocket carry in 9mm auto!!!:banghead:

December 28, 2005, 11:59 AM
You'll find that most pocket autos will appear similar in size, even smaller than a snubby when looked at side-by-side. But they carry differently. Size matters, they say but so does shape! The autos are more square which, IMO, makes them more likely to 'print' in your pocket. (Unless you're carrying a P3AT or P32, which are so small and light, your pockets look and feel empty!) I had a P3AT for quite a while and carried it everywhere, a real advantage. But I haven't carried it since I got a lightweight .38. (Mine is actually a M37 with a bobbed hammer.) I feel that the shape breaks up better and is less obvious in your pocket. I also feel like it draws a little easier because of its rounded lines. They are becoming so common they are almost boring but there are reasons for that. They work, every time. In my opinion a heavy +P 38 is preferable to a lighter .380 or .32 and, although they don't carry quite as easily as the KelTec mini's, they are still small, light and carryable enough to have with you all the time.
Good Luck with whatever you choose.

December 28, 2005, 12:55 PM
IMHO - you have two levels:

1. The real deal and small:

J frames in >= 38 SPL

2. The intermediate little guys:

a. The 380s - little Colts, Kel-tecs, NAAs
b. The 32s - Seecamp, Kel-tecs, Berettas, NAAs
c. The forthcoming NAA 32 HR revolver and the SW and Taurus 32 HRs

3. The tinys:

a. NAA 22 Shorts,LRs/Mags
b. Beretta 22s and 25s
c. Taurus similar guns (note I've found them unreliable but YMMV)

There are crappy derringers in these calibers also - they have worked for folk.

My suggestion is one from Column one and one from Column Two as a BUG!

December 28, 2005, 02:24 PM
I believe that you said you wanted this to be a semi-auto. If so,I greatly favor the KAHR pistols for concealed carry,with the PM9 and PM40 being PERFECT for pocket carry. If you have very large hands you may have to go with the "full size" KAHR, which is still a HIGHLY concealable pistol.
Also, don't neglect the use of a belly band in addition to a good pocket holster. It adds a lot of versitility to whichever gun you chose if you have several ways in which to carry it.
Justin Moon......uh...I mean...SKIP

December 29, 2005, 01:32 PM
Colt Pocket Nine... err I mean Kahr. Yeah Kahr.

December 29, 2005, 01:50 PM
Glock 26 or 27 in a Desantis Nemesis pocket holster.

December 29, 2005, 05:47 PM
Check out a paraordnance warthog, pretty nice gun, very compact.

beaucoup ammo
December 29, 2005, 06:02 PM
.45 ACP that can ride in your pocket..I've been looking at those..anyone know the number of rounds in the mag?

Take Care

December 29, 2005, 06:35 PM
I recommend the Kahr PM9 or the Rohrbaugh R9. I prefer the PM9 because it can shoot +P ammo and can have night sights installed. If you can't conceal these two guns, I suggest a Kel-Tec P3AT.

December 29, 2005, 09:53 PM
My Kimber Ultra Carry II is almost exactly the same size as my .38 Snubby. Both fit comfortably in my pocket.

December 29, 2005, 10:44 PM
glock 26 in a deep cover IWB holster

December 29, 2005, 11:26 PM
i would like to carry a larger caliber but the kel-tec .380 seems to be as large as i can go without feeling like i am carrying an anvil. i also carry a freedom arms.22. i own a j frame .38 and a colt gvmt mod. .45 the j frame loaded with + p .38s is my night stand gun, the .45 is my range gun. love them both but not for carry. i am 66 years old 5' 6" 170 # bad back and cataracts. but can still hold my own.

December 30, 2005, 12:32 AM
Try a Kahr. I had my P-9 on today while I was getting a haircut. After the barber was finished we started talking guns and I asked if he would like to see my 9mm. He asked something like "You have it with you?"
I popped the mag out, pulled it out of the IWB holster behind my right hip, checked the chamber (I carry with an empty chamber), and handed it to him. He was suprised to see that I was carrying any gun at all.
Although the P-9 isn't really THE MOST power you can fit into that size of package, it is enough for me. It has completely replaced my P-225 as a carry gun. It also beats the crap out of both J-frames that I owned and carried.
Try a Kahr.

beaucoup ammo
December 30, 2005, 07:47 AM
The KAHR P9 is a joy to carry..sometimes I forget it's in my pocket..but always glad it's there! Less than an inch wide with 7 - 124 Gr. JHP's.

I love my S&W model 65, but she's primarily for bedside protection.

Re the get what you pay for, and the P9 is worth every cent I paid..can't beat it for concealment.

Take Care

Bettys Nephew
December 30, 2005, 12:11 PM
>Smallest, most concealable gun powerful enough for defense...<

If you want concealability and plenty of power the Glock 29 seems to fit the bill. The 10mm is at the top of the pile power wise, but it might be a bit much in the recoil/noise department. The best part is that your backup mags can be from a full size G20 and have 15 rounds each.

December 30, 2005, 01:52 PM
There are a lot of great responses here.

I'll pile on with a recommendation for:

1. Officer-sized single stack 1911.
2. Para Warthog looks pretty interesting, but no experience with one.

I'm thinking a list of all the responses would be an excellent resource, but I would have to do it by hand.

Anyone with better technology or less laziness than I willing to compile a list from this thread?:)

December 30, 2005, 08:29 PM
Small but a very big bite. Versa max 2.

December 30, 2005, 09:59 PM
I've heard Kel-Tec is coming out with a single-stack 9mm in February of 2006. This gun may turn out to be slightly larger than the P3-AT. If this is true, then it might be similar in size to the Rohrbaugh.

December 30, 2005, 11:30 PM

I carry a KelTec P-11 in the right front pocket of my khakis. It's about the minimum quality of pistol that I would trust my life to. I've put about three hundred rounds through it with no malfunctions except for once with a bad aftermarket magazine. It is about the largest pistol that will conceal well in my pocket, and it carries 10+1 of 9mm. It is small and light and powerful and comfortable and stealthy enough that I am not the least bit inhibited from wearing it everywhere. The small size is both good and bad: it conceals well, but the light weight makes it a bit difficult to recover rapidly from recoil and get back on target. The long, heavy trigger pull is no help here, but it can be improved. The accuracy is easily "minute of bad guy", rapid fire, at a range of fifteen yards. Adequate, in other words.

It takes S&W double stack 9mm magazines, so if you want to carry more hardware, like a S&W 6906 or 5906 as I do sometimes, it will accept their magazines. The vice versa won't work though; the KelTec magazines are too short for the S&Ws. My chief concern with it is not reliability, but durability. I would expect it to start wearing out after a few thousand rounds. For my money it is a better pocket pistol than the Kahr or Rohrbaugh.

If you dress around the gun, that is, wear clothes that are a size large and generously cut (this is considered stylish these days), you can conceal a lot more gun in your pocket than if you wear skin-tight blue jeans. Khakis like Dockers or Land's End come with a pleated front which increases concealability. They also have a pocket opening that runs along the seam, making it easy to get at the pistol. These days, you can wear them out to dinner almost anywhere without looking like a bum. Use a pocket holster to cut down on printing, to keep the gun free of pocket lint, and to keep it properly positioned for easy access.

I guess it boils down to what is simultaneously the largest pistol you can conceal well, the smallest pistol you can shoot well, with the most powerful cartridge you can tolerate?


December 30, 2005, 11:59 PM
I spoke with Nick at Charter 2000 yet again this morning. He said that he was looking into obtaining an "I" frame for further investigation. I spoke to him of the 9mm and the .38 Super as well. If he is a thinking man, (as I believe he is) he will look into producing the diminuitive "I" frame size in the following 4 calibers: 22 WMRF, .32 H&R Magnum, 9mm Parabellum and .38 Super.

These should be manufactured with both 2", 3" and 4" barrels. The 4" barrel should have the option of adjustable sights. This revolver will "fill the gap" left when S&W discontinued the "I" frame in 1961, and provide more potent chamberings in the frame size to boot! What could be more desirable than that?

By the way, Nick said that he believes that the 9mm version would, in his words, "sell like crazy". I believe that he's right! Either way, anyone that wants a potent "pocket" revolver is going to benefit from these developments, don't you think?


December 31, 2005, 01:04 AM
My Smith 940 is an excellent small carry. 9mm internal hammer J-frame. Difficult to find and worth it for Smith to bring back with the current trend of CCW.

"I" frame sounds interesting.

December 31, 2005, 02:10 AM
I do not own either yet but I have been doing the research you are inquiring about and found that a Firestar .40 or .45 is the size I am looking for and really inexpensive. Hell I will buy both if I find the right deal or someone who has them both. They are both heavy for their size because of the all steel construction but that is not my concern. They ar ebuilt like tanks! I just like their size and they are tanks and if it shoots like ???? I am not out that much money. I am starting with the Firestar .40 imported by Interarms. Here is a .45
If I can find it in 10mm I will jump on that one.:cool:

December 31, 2005, 10:19 AM
The Rohrbaugh R9s is the smallest gun that I consider powerful enough to carry for self-defense.

Iron bottom
December 31, 2005, 07:17 PM
I like a Colt Dective Special over a S&W. Reason being the Smith will advance the cylinder and not cock the hammer if the trigger is not allowed to reset fully. A good gunsmith can fix this, but it will cost you some. The Colt does not do this.

December 31, 2005, 07:37 PM
Now I need a semi-auto that I can take with me...
So please steer me toward a small, but powerful enough pistol for CCW.

Taurus PT145... Meets ALL of your requirements AND it is less than $300.00 out the door...

PLUS it is a BLAST to shoot!

Good Luck and Enjoy!

January 1, 2006, 07:02 AM

I have a 9mm Firestar. It's small but heavy; not difficult to shoot well in the context of CCW. It is a bit too heavy for me for pocket carry, but it is well built overall.

They don't import them anymore, and parts availability is likely to be spotty. If you're going to carry one, better buy or duplicate some of the more failure prone parts, especially the extractor and spring.


January 1, 2006, 10:47 AM
I am a big guy and I have carried a glock model #27 40 S&W in my front pocket with no problems. I have also carried a Keltec 380 which is so light I have forgotten it was in my pocket several times.

Jeff Timm
January 1, 2006, 11:25 AM
My solution, yeah, I'm a big guy too, has been the .38 Bodyguard Smith and Wesson, shrouded hammer in a pocket holster. I have an older revolver and I don't use +P rounds in it. I have been using 125 gr Nyclads, which are no longer made, so I'm switching to 110 gr Winchester Silver tips, which are standard pressure rounds. I practice with 130 gr Winchester White box .38 Special full metal jacket, because of price and slightly greater recoil.

I'm working with a new Kahr 9094N

It will take awhile before I'm as confident with the Kahr as I am with the S&W. The 9mm has almost 50% more power, and has 7 rounds fully loaded.

Who needs more practice, practice and practice. :cool:

January 1, 2006, 07:53 PM
Another vote for the Kimber Ultra Carry .45.

January 1, 2006, 08:25 PM
I own a .45 warthog, well made and works well. It holds ten of .45. It would make a very nice compact carry gun, looks nice also.

January 1, 2006, 09:42 PM
I'm curious about this one - is it terribly unpleasant to practice with? Seems like a practical pocket pistol with respect to size and calibre, and seems to be well made.

1 old 0311
January 4, 2006, 01:54 PM
Hi Shootist,

With my .380 Guardian I can fire 4-6 mags before I notice the 'hand sting.' What I usually do is shoot the first 4-5 mags then put on my PAST Shooting Glove. With the glove you can shoot all day. Get a Guardian you will love it.


January 4, 2006, 05:30 PM

If you set a standard that the weapon must be able to meet a minimum standard of penetration (ie. 9" into balistic gelatin such as set by the border patrol) you would not want to go with anything less than a 9mm. yep .380's and .32's need not apply.... (here we go with the hornets nest)

That's not true - 380ACP with FMJ can easily exceed 9" of penetration in (bare) ballistic gelatin. Some 380 ACP JHP loads can also meet 9" . See the table at the following links:

January 5, 2006, 12:14 AM
Rohrbaugh R9- the cream of the crop in this market niche, light enough to carry, decent capacity, handmade quality, and expensive ($900 +/-)


+1 on the Rorhbaugh. It cost me a P239 and a G27, but filled a niche that neither could; it's a true pocket gun, superbly built, firing a useable caliber each and every time that I pull the (smooth) trigger. Get your hands on one and you'll see what I mean.

January 5, 2006, 02:27 AM
Taurus PT145... Meets ALL of your requirements AND it is less than $300.00 out the door... PLUS it is a BLAST to shoot!
Couldn't agree more.

There are a lot of folks here missing out on the concealed carry bargain of the decade.

January 5, 2006, 02:03 PM
In reply to thread title... I have to report...Kel-Tec handguns.

January 6, 2006, 12:41 PM
I don't think that you should completely dismiss the .380 and .32 as self defense weapons. Obviously 9mm is a more effective round and obviously there are others more effective than 9mm.
But if it's ultra deep concealment that you want, I think a gun like the Seecamp LWS 32 or LWS 380 makes a great choice. They're very small and disappear in your pocket. Sure, I'd like to have a .45 on me when if a threat arises, (or a shotgun or AR15 for that matter) but the fact is, I can't always carry one of those.
My Rohrbaugh R9 is very concealable and I can carry it most of the time. But a Seecamp is even smaller (and of very high quality) and there are times when I need something as small as possible if I'm going to carry at all. Squeezing off several quick rounds of .32 at very close range is going to be effective, in my opinion. Heck, I'd rather be carrying a .22 than nothing at all.
All I'm trying to point out is, you should also look into a Seecamp since you did say, "smallest, most concealable".

February 16, 2006, 12:42 PM
Walther PPK/S .380 in Don Hume pocket holster. Yes, the .380 is enough if it makes the difference between carrying and not.

February 16, 2006, 01:12 PM
I think the .32 is probably the smalles caliber I would carry. I have carried a .22 before, but really didn't have a lot of confidence in it.

February 16, 2006, 03:26 PM
Another vote for the 642. IMHO, it is the best carry piece.

February 16, 2006, 04:41 PM
Kahr PM9 or PM40--small, light, pocket capable. I have a PM9 and will probably add a PM40 when I find one for the right price.

Warthog--looked at it, tried it for pocket-fit. Being a 10-round double-stack 45, it is wide. It is also heavy when empty--add 10 rounds of 45 (or 10+1) and I hope you have a belt and suspenders.

J-frames--I have a 340 and like it. Usually carry it with Gold Dot 135gr "snubby load" JHPs instead of 357s.

Glock 26/27--I want one, but it falls into the same category as the Warthog for me--not a true pocket carry.

Rohrbaugh--maybe someday, but the non +p rating in a 900 pistol is inexcusable.

February 16, 2006, 05:17 PM
OK - WOW , a lot of guns to look at isn't there ?

Mentioned at least once in a previous post is the new Kel-Tec single stack in 9mm. Personaly I want to check that one out. I have looked at the P-11 and do not consider it a good choice for a pocket gun for me.

I presently carry a Kel-Tec in .380 and I often forget it's in my pocket . That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. J-frame airweights might be OK but they are in fact thicker than the Kel-Tec . I'm not sure that is a big deal, but going to the steel frame J-frames is a weight consideration for pocket carry - for me.

Love to try one of the $900 + guns but my budget doesn't allow that.

Good luck and have fun with it, I have found that fitting the right carry gun to your lifestyle is important . For me, pocket carry is the only way that fits.

February 16, 2006, 10:59 PM
I have a S&W CS9 that I bought mainly b/c it was too good a deal to resist, and I'm starting to think it's the ultimate carry gun- small, easy to hide, 8+1 rounds of 9mm. Never tried a Kahr, so I won't knock them, but look at the CS9.

BTW, I used to have a Firestar- great design, good gun, way too heavy for its size with the solid steel frame. Rumor is that the firing pins are weak and hard to find replacements for. Mine showed "primer wipe" on fired cases, and I got rid of it before the pin actaully broke.

February 17, 2006, 08:07 AM
Couldn't agree more.

There are a lot of folks here missing out on the concealed carry bargain of the decade.

AMEN Brothers,

Mines been flawless for over 3000 rounds and I carry it in my front right pocket in every pair of pants I wear. It is also the BUG when I primary carry one of my 1911's.

and accurate enough for this long tall Texan. Here is 21 rounds at 15 yards freehand.

February 18, 2006, 03:39 AM
You want pocket power?

AMT Backup .45 ACP
(about the size of a Khar .40. Plus being a single stack it doesn't print bad. And, if you can find one, they tend to costs less than $350.)

February 18, 2006, 04:38 AM
Another vote for the 642. IMHO, it is the best carry piece.Now, I'm not surprised that our friend fiVe would say that. (See below for why.)

In fact, I agree.

I own a Kahr K9. Haven't owned the P9; read enough bad critiques about it before I bought one to dissuade me, thankfully, so bought the K9 instead.

The K9 is a great pistol. I love it. It fits me. I can shoot it well. I wear it in my High Noon Topless OWB holster in my studio every day. It's there right now.

But for concealed carry outside my studio (once I'm qualified to do so, which I haven't had the time to qualify for yet), I'll carry my 642.

Doesn't shoot as well or as easily as my K9. It's not a 'fun' gun to shoot, IMO.

But loaded with +P, as a belly gun at 5 - 7 yds, I'll trust it. And, it's very small, very concealable, very light. And with proper shot placement, it will do nicely, thank you very much. (Meaning you've got to do your part, too. Practice, practice, practice ... or as we say over in the shotgun forum, BA-UU-R.)

I'm a small guy. It fits me. I can put it in my vest pocket or even my pants pocket. I'll be able to grab it without putting on my OWB holster (even though the latter STAYS on my belt regardless of whether my K9 is in it or not).

Since you said you would explore all recommendations, I recommend that you surf over and read some of what's written in the thread called "the 642 club (" (hosted by fiVe). Maybe even post your question there. I think you'll find a LOT of folks who like that little mule as an SD CCW weapon.

Best of luck in your search. Please let us know what you decide.


<subliminal message> 642 ... 642 ... 642...</subliminal message> :evil:

February 19, 2006, 02:35 AM
Kel-tec P32, P3AT and P11 are all good carry guns. S&W J frames, CS9, 39xx or 69xx guns. Kahr if you have the money. I like DAO guns for carry purposes so no safeties to worry about! :)

More important then the gun is the belt and holster for concealed carry. I have 2 to 3 ways to carry most of my guns.

Deer Hunter
February 19, 2006, 04:20 PM

WSP, or World's Smallest Pistol. 11 ounces, chambered in .357 magnum or .45 ACP. Single shot, DA only.

February 19, 2006, 07:04 PM
Glock 26, 27,33
Kahr PM9
J frame Smith

February 19, 2006, 10:42 PM
Any subcompact Glock is your best bet. They make them in 9mm, .357sig, .40, and .45. For concealment and power, the Glock 30 slimline in .45 is my recommendation.

February 19, 2006, 10:46 PM
In an auto I'd carry a Combat Commander in 9mm or .45acp. Don't care for the super compact Glock.
Any of the sub 9mm caliber pistols-I don't consider them powerful enough to trust to stop an aggressor bent on killing me, so 9mm para is the least auto and a good caliber too.
Revolvers-the Ruger sp101 is both compact and powerful in .357 mag. It is reasonably easy to control with it's heft, even with full power magnums, and is very accurate.... BUT-I prefer my round butt Ruger Speed-six 2-3/4" bbl .357 over my sp101 though. It is short, and has a full size frame and carries a full 6 rounds. It is as easy to conceal as a sp101 or j-frame Smith for me.
Just my opinion.

February 27, 2006, 06:06 PM
Here's my line of carrys...

Day-to-day IWB = Kimber Ultra CDP II w/lasergrips in "The Answer" holster
Dress pants = Rohrbaugh R9s (version with sights) in RJ Hedley pocket holster
Left hand pocket BUG = NAA .22mag revolver in leather slip holster (occasionally on belt buckle for fun).

Remember that reliability is job #1 for a carry piece, not low price or concealment

I would never use less than a 9mm as my primary pocket gun. Balistic gellatin tests are nice and all, but gellatin rarely wears a modern motorcycle jacket or a leather jacket over a couple layers of clothes. ;)

February 27, 2006, 08:47 PM
I like my SP101 a lot, but it's not small or light. It's medium size.

My Bersa-Firestorm .32 is small and light. It carry well in some of my slacks right front pocket with the barrel and trigger guard in the small inner watch pocket with the rest of the gun in the larger pants pocket. This works quite well in all my Claiborne slacks that have watch pockets. The watch pocket supports the weight of the gun and keeps it from "printing" against the outside of the main pocket.

Bersa and Firestorm .380 are the same size and weight and should work well too. I prefer the Firestorm guns over the Bersa because the Firestorm have a rounded triggerguard that slides very nice into a pocket without ripping or wearing holes in the pocket. The Bersas have a recurve triggerguard that might make them a bit easier to shoot than the rounded Firestorm triggerguards, but the rounded triggerguard Firestorms don't make holes in my pants or coat pockets.

The Firestorm .32 also works well in most of my different coats' pockets.

The Ruger SP101 .32 Mag also fits some of my coat pockets, but is to heavy to carry that way. Same with my CZ-83.

I don't own a Kahr, but I think they'd be very nice. The only thing I don't like about Kahr is that they don't have a double strike capability. Otherwise they're great. I especially like the Kahrs with the 3.5" barrels. Kahrs are much thinner than Glocks, but otherwise very similar.

I don't own one, but I think the Taurus .32 Mag snubby with 2" barrel and 6 shots would be a fantastic pocket gun if the hammer were bobbed. It's smaller than the Bersa-Firestorms and lighter too. I'd like to get one of these Taurus .32 Mags.

pete f
February 27, 2006, 11:52 PM
I too have a case of dunlaps disease and i will tell you the easiest way to carry is on the belt in a OWB and get to wearing overshirts. I wear a lot of sweat shirts, pull overs, and big flannels shirts in the winter and hawaiians and golf shirts in the summer. i have no trouble hiding with those.

Dunlaps disease, where the suffers belly done laps over his belt.

January 24, 2008, 10:00 AM
A R9 9MM is the same sizes as the P3AT in length same width as the PF9 Keltec making it the smallest 9MM:cool:

beaucoup ammo
January 24, 2008, 10:02 AM
Deer Hunter..How are things on Chimney Hill?! That's one for the books..smallest I've ever seen!

Class of '69

beaucoup ammo
January 24, 2008, 10:06 AM
Wbond..I've had my KAHR P9 for 2.5 years and love it. Less than an inch wide in 9MM. 8 or 9 with 1 in the tube depending on magazine. Highly recommend it.

January 24, 2008, 10:11 AM
Thread from the Dead... Not the oldest resurrection I've seen, but pretty impressive <grin>.

January 24, 2008, 10:12 AM
I like the Kel-Tec PF9.......

January 24, 2008, 11:53 AM
Seecamp .380. Is there one smaller?

January 26, 2008, 11:26 PM
I can get a P10 .45 ACP Para Ordnance easily in and out of my cargo pocket, and not the huge baggy pants either. I owned them before I started carrying, but I have a reputation of having a lot of things in my pockets, so having any kind of bulge isn't surprising to anyone now. I'm not big either, which I discovered required some creativity as I normally just wear t-shirts.

I also have a Davis P-380. Good working order, however their crappy history. I generally use an ankle or pocket for this one. It was my Uncle's back up piece on the force before the force standardized their back up pieces to 357 snub nose revolvers. And he was getting his extra guns out of the house while going through a divorce, originally started with me just holding a few of them to...just keep em, we'll go shooting from time to time. Can probably pick these up for $20 if someone is even trying to feel evil enough to try selling one to you.

January 27, 2008, 05:26 AM
Glock 26, or
Taurus Pro .45 compact

January 27, 2008, 09:36 AM
I can't believe I've seen more recommendations for Taurus then for Springfield XD subcompact. The XD sub is a every bit the gun as the glock, but fits my hand better and I like the mag extentions better. It's also very accurate.

My last Tuarus, was my last taurus. Never again unless I have money to burn and need something to drag behind my truck.

Shoot safe -


No Quarter
January 27, 2008, 09:31 PM
Bond Arms .44 mag derringer. Smallest and most powerful gun I can carry in my pocket. Two shots - but if you hit what you need to hit, will definitely get it done. 240 grain jsp hits 1100 fps out of it.

January 27, 2008, 09:50 PM
If it comes down to it, it's 2 to 3 seconds of dirty work, within the span of two to three minutes of chaos. If you are a professional LEO w/ five or more years, maybe a lesser measure of chaos.

Stick w/ the small concealable 38, 357 - five shot palm pistol of some type. Don't loose the element of surprise jacking in a round, or releasing some saftey on a semi-auto.

If it has to come out, it ain't show and tell time.

January 27, 2008, 10:02 PM
GLOCK 21 in .45 acp, DAO, and a ROSSI 352 in .38 spl, 5-shot, both loaded w/ WINCHESTER Silvertip Personal Protection Rounds, = big and nasty hollowpoints. (:evil:JMOHO = :evil: :fire: Try' em, your enemy w/ hate you for it. :fire::D:fire::D:fire::D:fire::D)

January 28, 2008, 09:28 PM
well I like many on this board have tried several different carry guns.
Glock, 1911, HK, SA etc..
While I still think my Kimber Compact CDP is the ideal size pistol (short grip,
4"bbl) for carry and the fact that the 1911 is my handgun of choice 99% of the time.
I have found myself carrying one of my two Kahr PM9's almost exclusively now. It is just so easy to carry and in my clip on FIST holser with the Ultra THin Kydex I dont even have to wear a belt if Im just running out real quick.
So for me the smallest handgun for self defense is the PM9. Neither of mine have ever failed and the are extremely accurate for a pistol with a 3"bbl.

March 10, 2010, 12:18 PM
When I think about put down power . i think about Pit Bull dogs. or worse my 27 Lb boston that i called a boston terrorist. . Meanest dog I ever met. died at age 17 did not have the heart to put him down but could not give him away.

Any way that is how i define put down power.

March 25, 2010, 12:14 AM
The originator of this thread wrote it in December of 2005 . . . and last posted here in early 2007.

You guys are talking to a ghost.

March 25, 2010, 10:48 PM
Smith & Wesson 908 or 3913, in 9MM

March 26, 2010, 09:27 AM
Cutting and pasting from another thread...

Hi all,

I am looking for a new gun (at the wife's request!) for her to use in her "cocktail" dress. You know when women carry those teeny purses. I was thinking something along the lines of a derringer type 2 shot or a NAA mini with 5 rounds. It HAS to be tiny and 22LR mini mag HP is the round and no semi-autos. She is 5' 2" and 100lbs. Yes I know its a small shot but its something to make the attacker pause and her able to haul ass.

Understand that she usually carries a Stainless S&W Airweight +P .38 with her - pink handle of course. So please no debate on 22's stopping ability! IT's something small or shes unarmed. If we go out together I'll be carrying so this is only for those remote occasions that might happen.


BTW - I carry and XD Sub 9 with 124+P Golden Sabers and its accurate and I like the 2 safetys because I feel better carrying it hot - so I wont shoot my ass off.

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