pocket guns


March 28, 2004, 07:24 PM
Recently, I've been thinking about a smaller gun to supplement my two "carry guns." The Makarov is nice and small enough and my Forty-Nine provides a larger, more powerful round with good ergonomics in a smooth sided DAO pistol. Sadly, I can't always take them everywhere I go depending on what I wear. I've been looking at a few small pistols (mostly in .32 or .380), but am having trouble deciding between manufacturers. Kel-Tec seems to be a popular brand, but quality seems sketchy at best. Some are great, some are garbage. If I'm going to carry this, it MUST be reliable in all conditions. The Jennings/Bryco pistols are OUT. I don't know much about NAA and their pistols, nor do I know anyone who owns one. My rather limited expierience with these has been from a buddies jamb-o-matic Walther PPK in .32. He didn't take care of it, hence the jamming problems. With proper care, I'd assume they work just fine. The other small pocket auto I have fired is a Fabrique Nationale model 1910. This is a pleasant little auto pistol that my grandfather picked up on Okinawa near the end of WWII. My father inherited it at my grandfathers death. They are relatively cheap although parts are not readily available. The simple design (I've field stripped and cleaned it several times) and rugged build make it seem ideal, although it is a bit heavy (considerably more than the Kel-Tec) I don't think it would make a bad pocket gun. If you didn't catch this, the gun will be going in my pocket.

I would like some opinions on the models I've mentioned as well as some I may have missed.

http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg95-e.htm -a pic of the FN model 1910

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March 28, 2004, 07:28 PM
Given that you're on THR, and I presume know a bit about handguns, I wouldn't have trouble saying that getting a KelTec isn't a bad idea.

Yes, they are rather "spotty". I have a P3AT I purchased a few months ago and it did pretty well, except for failures to eject. So long as you know enough to communicate the problem to KelTec you WILL get a running gun pretty quick. A new extractor (or extractors) are on their way with an updated shape to take care of my eject problems.

Failures to Feed can probably be taken care of at home if you're willing to tinker with a Dremel and some polishing work. Hey, it sucks, but it's a good gun for the price if you ask me.

If you want to just ship it back when it's got a problem out of the box they WILL make it right.

Now, I wouldn't buy one, load a mag, and toss it into your pocket as a BUG and expect it to work. You have to test the thing.. but in testing it you'll prove to yourself if it's a good gun or not.

If you're willing to go a bit larger, the Bersa Thunder in .380 gets rave reviews around here. A buddy of mine has one and swears it's a great gun.

March 28, 2004, 07:38 PM
...as I already own a superior soviet designed pistol ;)
my Makarov already has the sub-compact size taken care of. I'm specifically looking for a pocket pistol. Right now, the PPK and FN 1910 are front runners.

March 28, 2004, 07:43 PM
I've got the Kel-Tec P-11 in 9mm and the Kel-Tec .380. Both are top notch for what they are intended for. Just got the the AT380 yesterday for Ohio CCW and shot it today...it's great like the P-11. I could use a S&W 36, a Colt Cobra, a Makorov, a PPK or spend $500 and buy one of the best CCW pistols available. Thats what I did, it was a Kel-Tec 380 but I only spent $219. I could have paid more but I wouldn't have a better CCW pistol.

March 28, 2004, 07:47 PM
I ran into that same problem today.

The clothes I was wearing didnt allow me to carry either my Kimber or Glock and I wish I had a pocket pistol to throw in my khaki shorts.

So, I will be shopping for a pocket pistol soon.

I think Im gonna go with a Kel-Tec P11.

March 28, 2004, 08:43 PM
I carry the P3At everyday...I recommend it to anyone

I carry the P-11 in a pocket holster when I cant carry my Springy XD-9compact...again I recommend it to anyone

NAA is a good gun...a bit on the heavy side but a nice weapon..

March 28, 2004, 08:56 PM
On a budget? Try the CZ70 in .32....all the features of high priced guns, with a fraction of the cost - usually about $120.

March 28, 2004, 09:45 PM


March 28, 2004, 10:41 PM
One thing to consider would be a Kahr PM9. Small, decent caliber, excellent build quality.


March 28, 2004, 10:49 PM
I got a good P32, and I wouldn't consider anything larger/heavier to be a 'pocket pistol' - at least not if we're talking about trouser pockets and not jacket pockets.

Craig M. Arnold
March 29, 2004, 12:27 AM
I have a KelTec P3AT. I have about 700 rounds through it without one failure. I carry it in my front pants pocket evereyday and sometime forget I have it. I would highly recommend the little P3AT.

March 29, 2004, 12:47 AM
I second the Kahr PM9 and would add a Fist K5 pocket holster. Works well for me.

March 29, 2004, 12:51 AM
Why a pistol, specifically? I prefer a decent snubby as a pocket gun - either a Colt Cobra or S&W 442/642, both in .38 Special, both with hammer shrouds or concealed hammer, both in lightweight alloy frames.

Brass Balls
March 29, 2004, 01:21 AM
Another vote for the Kahr PM9. It's a nice small, slim, pocket gun that still fires a good defensive cartridge. They have a good trigger and are accurate compared to other pocket guns. They also are available with good quality night sights.

Kahr PM9 Black Diamond

March 29, 2004, 04:32 AM
I thought he said "pocket" gun guys... something smaller than a Makarov...

I found myself in a very similar situation. I carry a Makarov, but sometimes it's too big. And sometimes I want to carry a spare gun just because. So I too went pocket pistol hunting...

And this is what I found:


The Beretta "Jetfire" model 950BS. I picked one up used for $150 and have been very pleased with it.

As far as size and weight, it's similar to a Kel-Tec P32. The main differance is that the Kel-Tec has most of it's bulk in the slide, where the Beretta has most of it's bulk in the grip. I like it that way, because it gives me more to hold onto, and it ballances better.

I've got about 300 rounds thur it now with no jams or malfucntions. I've fired about 250 rounds of various factory ammo (Winchester FMJ, S&B FMJ, Speer Gold Dots...), and the rest were my own handloads (using Hornady XTPs). My own reloaded ammo seemed to be the best, but the Winchester FMJs seemed to hit pretty hard too. All of them worked however...

Accuracy, while not great, is pretty darn good for a Pocket gun. I think thats probably because of A: it has sights (alot of pocket-guns don't), and B: the light single action trigger pull. At about 15 to 20 feet I can hit a 20oz pop bottle without much trouble...

Another nice feature is the tip-up-barrel. You can load and unload a Jetfire without racking the slide. I think thats pretty cool...

The only drawback to these little guns is the caliber. While .32 isn't very impressive, .25 ACP is even worse. On the bright side, it beats .22 LR (I don't think I've ever heard of a reliable .22 LR pocket pistol). Another nice thing about .25 is that you can get real JHPs for it, .22 LR JHPs are really just lead bullets with a hole drilled in them...

Overall it's a great little pocket gun, it's both accurate and reliable. If you can live with the wimpy caliber, it's probably the best pocket gun out there...

March 29, 2004, 06:55 AM
The Beretta "Jetfire" model 950BS. I picked one up used for $150 and have been very pleased with it. Great quality but I have to draw the line at 32acp caliber. The claim to fame of .25's was there UNIQUE small size, that is no longer a valid point. Not when you can get the more powerful Kel-Tec .32 and .380 pistol.

March 29, 2004, 07:32 AM

March 29, 2004, 08:23 AM
LOTS of great suggestions thus far.......Ive carried the following guns in pocket in the past and would trust me life to any of them.......

Model 60, Taurus CIA, Ruger SP101, Kahrs, Keltec P11, Makarov's and the CZ Rami.......

The Rami is in my pocket as I type.......its a tad large for tighter pants but when you carry in pocket you have to dress around the gun......man that sounds familiar. :D

Shoot well.

March 29, 2004, 01:49 PM
The claim to fame of .25's was there UNIQUE small size, that is no longer a valid point. Not when you can get the more powerful Kel-Tec .32 and .380 pistol.

I could have gotten a Kel-Tec, but I honestly think the Jetfire is the better pistol. Caliber is the ONLY advantage that the Kel-tec has. The Jetfire is more reliable, more accurate, more pleasant to shoot, and it looks cooler :cool:

A hit with a .25 is better than a miss with a .32

March 29, 2004, 03:02 PM
:cool: :cool: Very nice Colt P-9!
Is that an SMA melt and grips?

Whole Hog
March 29, 2004, 03:25 PM
I own three of the pocket guns mentioned here, a S&W 337 (the aluminium and titanium Chief's Special) that I've owned for years, a Kahr PM9 that I got last week, and a KelTec P3AT, which required three trips to the factory to become reliable.

I'm a revolver fan, I like the 337, and it's very light, but the PM9 may just be everything that people have been saying about it. It's not quite as light as the 337, but it's close and it's actually a little shorter. It's also seven rounds of 9mm vice five of .38 Special. It's easier to shoot, fits the pockets of my jeans and shorts (I almost never wear slacks), and the spare magazine isn't much larger than a Speed Strip. I'm about ready to decide that, for me, it qualifies as a main gun.

That said, the P3AT, with a spare magzine, in a K&D holster (forget the model) is about the same length and width as the PM9 in a soft Uncle Mike's holster, but thinner and lighter. If it really has to disappear, the P3AT may be the best bet.


March 29, 2004, 04:58 PM
Regarding the Kel-Tec/Kahr comparison. The P3AT is much better suited for pocket carry. I had them both in my pocket before buying the KT. I wanted to "fit" the PM9 because I like the Kahr and felt good about the 9mm, but for what I was looking for (all-day, every-day, no matter what I'm wearing) the KT was a better fit. I often carry it in elastic-banded shorts and sweats without worrying about it "printing" or pulling my pants down!

They may be close in length, muzzle-to-rear and height, bottom-of-mag to top of the rear site but I find the Kahr much thicker, "blockier" and more obviously read as a gun in the pocket. Not a knock against the Kahr. I have a K40 and for a pure self defense/concealed carry gun I think it's hard to beat (ON THE BELT). I don't think the mini Kahr's are comfortable riding in the pocket for any length of time. I feel the same way about snub revolvers. I have a S+W model 640 that FITS in my pocket. But other than a quick trip to the stop 'n rob, I don't carry it that way for any length of time because it's a little too big and heavy.

That being said, I wouldn't argue the PM9 or MK9 as a choice for a main gun. The 9mm gets "dissed" by some but packs more punch than a .38. An article by Evan Marshall in July '98 Handguns Magazine (One of the issues I saved because I had the 640 and was considering the MK9) compares the MK9 to a S+W model 640 very favorably vs. both .38's and .357's, with all of the 9mm +P and +P+ loads in 115 and 124/125 grain achieving velocities over 1,100 FPS. This was about equal with the .357's from the snub and the .38 +P's barely clocked 900. (All 'one-shot-stop' discussions aside, in this test the 9mm looks good strictly by the numbers.) The MK9 or PM9 would wear with extreme comfort in a good holster ON or IN the belt and could still be carried on ocassion in the pocket as well.

If you were looking for a gun that could serve both purposes, the mini-Kahr or snubby are both excellent choices. If you are looking for something stricly for pocket carry as an only gun when it absolutely has to be that small or as a back-up, I recommend the Kel-Tec. I've been very happy with mine and shoot the .380 better than the P32 I traded in for it.

March 29, 2004, 07:56 PM
Another vote for the Kel-Tec P-3AT. Had a Jetfire years ago. It was a little ammo sensitive and certainly is at the bottom of the barrel for effectivness!
Had a Berretta 32 caliber that was just to fat for concealed pocket carry. Next came the NAA 32. It was way to heavy, to fat and very punishing to fire. The Kel-Tec P-3ATs are a pleasure to carry at .77" width, just over 7 ounces lite and with very reasonable re-coil from the locked breach design.

March 29, 2004, 08:23 PM
A lot of nice pistols mentioned here, most of them too large or too expensive for my taste. I know Khar makes a great gun, but they command such a premium that they are out of my range for now. Right now, the FN 1910 looks like one of my better bets. My father has one that he would be willing to trade for a Makarov. His justs sits in a safe not doing much. Unless something else really good comes up, I think I'll be picking that up.

March 30, 2004, 02:42 AM

This many replies and no one has mentioned the Seecamp???

Shame on you all!

Do a search on "Seecamp."

General consensus is its the finest pocket pistol out there.

I'm getting one soon...

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