Identify true pocket pistols


July 26, 2012, 11:11 AM
My brother-in-law is looking for a CC gun and he would like a 9mm but they are ALL a tad large for front pocket carry.

What are his choices? Is the .380 sufficent for self defense? Should he be looking for a revolver like a J-frame in 38 mag?

It seems frustrating that the manufacturors can't seem to build a 9mm that is small enough for carry in your pants pocket.


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Prince Yamato
July 26, 2012, 11:19 AM
For a true "carry at all times" pocket gun, he's basically looking at the Kel-Tec p3at and its clones. The Rohrbaugh is about the biggest you can go and still comfortable carry it in the pocket of any pants. It's also the most expensive at ~$1200.

July 26, 2012, 11:37 AM
It all depends on the size of his pockets. I could carry an XDm compact in my shorts pockets if I found a holster I liked for it.

July 26, 2012, 11:46 AM

That might help.

Nothing wrong with .380, if your BIL is dead set on pocket carry then .380 pocket pistols tend to be the smallest you can go and still have a decent caliber. Revolvers like the J frame are classic pocket guns, but even they aren't all that small compared to some .380s, and they're pretty thick to boot.

Like Skribs said, it all depends on your brothers pockets. If he wants a 9mm, maybe try and steer him towards IWB/OWB carry?

July 26, 2012, 01:13 PM
I'm waiting for the diamondback db9 to become more reliable if thats posible!

July 26, 2012, 01:26 PM
I carry a P3AT in my front pocket with cargo style pants and I can carry it in my regular jeans front pocket though drawing quickly would be iffy. I use a basic Uncle Mike's pocket holster so printing is not a problem. I can carry a Jframe in my cargo pants as well as the PF9 but both are a bit more bulky than the P3AT. I have never had anyone notice any of these carry guns but I feel better with the P3AT as far as size goes. If I felt that the DB 9mm was reliable I would carry one but, in my limited experience, they are not dependable with JHP.

July 26, 2012, 01:29 PM
The. sig 238 in .380 is the best pocket gun I've found. Thin, reliable accurate.

July 26, 2012, 01:32 PM
So are you carrying cocked in your pocket or are you going to rack the slide? :rolleyes:

July 26, 2012, 01:40 PM
So are you carrying cocked in your pocket or are you going to rack the slide? :rolleyes:
I carry mine cocked and locked in a pocket holster, just as safe as anything else I figure.

July 26, 2012, 01:42 PM
The smallest .380 is the Seecamp. It is a true pocket gun, not requiring cargo pockets, clown pants or a Hong Kong tailor. Much smaller than a Keltec/Ruger. Expensive but it works.

July 26, 2012, 02:26 PM
I've tried a lot of them and finally settled on the Kahr P380. Of course the Micro Desert Eagle is small, but it's brutal to shoot for any length of time.

July 26, 2012, 02:30 PM
A Kahr CM9 or PM9 is probably your best bet, all things considered (size/weight, cost, reliability).

July 26, 2012, 03:41 PM
The. sig 238 in .380 is the best pocket gun I've found. Thin, reliable accurate.

And downright sexy to boot. Love mine, the only one piece I never leave home without. Others may tag along, but the 238 is always coming.
I have Kahrs. They may look comparable in size to the P238 on paper, but in real life it is a world of difference.

July 26, 2012, 03:43 PM

This may help as well.

On the sig P238/P938, my Dad's had something fall out of the slide (think it was the Firing Pin Block, or something) and actually lock the slide back. He had to send it back to Sig to repair it.

July 27, 2012, 11:09 AM
Right now I have a Sig P238, Taurus TCP, Desert Eagle Micro, P3AT, Kahr PM9 (too big for regular pocket carry) and have frequently shot my Son's LCP and IMO the P238 is by far the best of the bunch, but I also like and frequently carry the Taurus TCP.

Beach Nut
July 27, 2012, 11:33 AM
Would the Ruger LC9 qualify as a pocket pistol? I've got the LCP and the
LC9 is not that much larger, it would fit nicely in the pockets of most
pants and 9MM would give the shooter more punch than the .380.

July 27, 2012, 11:50 AM
There are VERY few pants pockets in which you COULD carry a P3AT/LCP sized .380 but you COULDN'T carry a Kahr PM/CM9. Very few. Think skinny jeans and too-tight boot-cut Wranglers and VERY lightweight running shorts. I used to own a PM9 and I routinely carried it in the pocket of my fitted slacks...nobody was ever the wiser.

July 27, 2012, 12:04 PM
I like the S&W BG380.

July 27, 2012, 12:08 PM
For me it’s more about weight than size and 16oz is too heavy for pants pocket carry, so I carry an LCP, for coat pocket carry I’m comfortable with my BDA and that’s 28oz loaded

July 28, 2012, 10:01 AM
The small 9's I own: PM9, Nano, Solo, PPS, XDsc, PX4sc. Of these guns, the PM9 is the easiest to pocket carry followed by the Nano and Solo. The PPS can be pocket carried, but IMO it is a belt gun as are the XDsc and PX4. I carry in a DeSantis Nemisis holster. If you drop down to a 380, the Kahr P380 is an excellent choice. The P380 is so small and lightweight you want realize you are carrying.

July 28, 2012, 10:29 AM
I have a couple of 9s that I can, and do, pocket carry but the P3AT is so much lighter. I do not feel undergunned with it as I am competent and it has been flawless with every ammo I have tried. A 45 would be better but then again so would a 12g with buckshot. Let me know when someone comes up with a pocket carry 12g.

July 28, 2012, 10:53 AM
Now a days, many shorts & pants have cargo pockets (bilateral thighs). My Shield .40 in a DeSantis Superfly pocket holster inside my cargo pockets is a perfect fit, as well as my PF-9. Otherwise, I'd rather carry using IWB holster. Of course, since being 5'6" my front pockets are most likely smaller than you folks over 6'.

... my 2 cents

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