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Would like advice choosing a pocket pistol.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Demitrios, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Demitrios

    Demitrios Well-Known Member

    Hello all. I would like some reccomendations to get me into the wide world of pocket pistols.

    To start my budget is no more than $500.

    Since I want low recoil the calibers go I'm interested in the .32 NAA, .380 and 9mm. I'm well aware that 9mm is stronger than .380 and that both are easier to find in Walmart than the .32 NAA, however I reload so it's a moot point.

    Reliability, I need something with not only a good reputation but something you guys have personal experience with.

    A good trigger, I'd really like to avoid a 12 lb. trigger with a huge amount of length of pull. Also DA/SA or just SA would be preferable.

    Lastly no revolvers and preferably no double stacks. Nothing against them at all but I'm looking for something slim. The slimmer the better.

    What I've been considering is the Ruger LC9, Beretta Nano, Kel-Tec P series and Diamondback Firearms. I'm completely open to suggestions on other firearms, I only named those four off as examples.

    Thank you in advance for all your help and advice guys, I really appreciate it.
  2. Ledgehammer

    Ledgehammer Well-Known Member

    Easy enough. Get the Kahr CM9 - it's slim, reliable and the trigger is smooth like butter. I love mine. Also it fits in your pocket better than the lc9
  3. tlatoani

    tlatoani Well-Known Member

    sig p238? may push the $500 a bit.
  4. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    S&W Bodyguard is a little smaller than the Lc9
  5. momano

    momano Well-Known Member

    Right now I'm got the Ruger LCP and LC9 in my carry rotation. I had the Kel-tec P3AT and the P-11. The Rugers are heavier than the Kel-tecs they copy; but the recoil is much easier and the reliability is much better in my experience. With a little practice on their long trigger pulls, the Rugers are very accurate for me. Good luck in your choice; I'm very satisfied with my Rugers.
  6. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member


    That's about it
    mouse guns have a DEFINITE bite
    they are hard to hold due to short grip
    they are sometimes difficult to sight due to type (or lack of) sights
    they have a heavy recoil due to light/small frame and poor grip

    past that it's all personal preference:cool:
  7. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    Good advice here. ^
  8. jahwarrior

    jahwarrior Well-Known Member

    If you're looking for low recoil, you're looking at the wrong guns, especially in .380ACP and 9mm. I've owned both the Keltec P3AT and the PF9, and they had some of the worst felt recoil of any gun I've ever shot. Also, their trigger pulls are about 20 miles long. The Diamonback is close to feeling like a Glock, as far as the trigger is concerned, but the recoil is still a bit much.

    My pocket gun of choice is a Baby Browning clone, made by PSP/PSA, and is chambered for the .25ACP round. It's all-steel construction, but is lightweight, accurate, reliable, and easy to take down for maintenance. It's probably the smallest gun I've ever had. I can conceal it in my hand, and it fits in just about any pocket I can find.


  9. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    Sig P238 in .380 single stack sao
    Sig P938 in 9mm single stack sao

    Both are unfortunately more than 500 but, well worth it.
  10. jbr

    jbr Well-Known Member

    Your trigger desc. sounds right up my alley so I will tell you what I have found so far as i started my search over a year ago. I agree with Shadow, you need to try them for your self once you gather some info here. I tried the ruger LCP and the trigger bit my finger every shot - long trigger pull also - horrible accuracy. Tried the Kahr - long trigger pull - not accurate with it. I settled on the Taurus PT738. Decent trigger and though I never would have believed it, I shoot it very accurately and fast out to 10 or 15 yards. I actually like shooting it at the range. I am not bashing any of the guns I mentioned, they just didn't work for me.
  11. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Deep pockets are good.
  12. gearhead

    gearhead Well-Known Member

    I carry a Taurus 709 Slim. Trigger is SA/DA (rather than the other way around) with a long pull and trigger safety plus a thumb safety on the frame. Very manageable recoil and it's been quite reliable so far.
  13. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    I was about to trade in my LC9 for a Khar due to the trigger until the LGS selling it told me about the number of issues customers have had with feeding HP ammo even after break in period. Upon breaking one done the reason become apparent. The feed ramp is simply far too steep in my opinion. So i'm stuck trying to make the LC9 work. If you won't at least go for a nine then i'd say get a Makarov.
  14. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Well-Known Member

    My Kahr P380 is the best shooting .380 mousegun I've ever shot. I've gone through a few mouseguns over the years.

    Gentle recoil, requires no real skill at all. I shoot it one handed, or tea cup. It's so small you can't use a regular pistol grip stance, you'll char your support thumb off. But the mousegun world is a one handed world anyways.

    It runs 100% on Corbon Powerball. Weaker recoiling WWB causes it to choke sometimes.

    I like Kahrs trigger. It's smooth like a J-frame, but breaks sooner. It has good sights, and as long as Im careful with the trigger, I can keep all my shot on notebook paper at 13 yards. I'd like to try a thinner Dawson front sight and a plain black rear sight.

    Avoid the Keltec and the Ruger-tec. They have a harsher recoil.
  15. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member

    I really like the size, weight, SA trigger, and night sights on my SIG P238. The gun is a natural pointer for me and is very easy to conceal. A friend of mine has a S&W Bodyguard .380, and while I'm not a big fan of DAO semi-autos, the trigger on his particular gun is quite smooth and manageable. The only problem he has had with it has been the laser module moving around within the frame. Recoil is minimal with either pistol.
  16. qcsmitty

    qcsmitty Well-Known Member

    I pocket carry the LC9. I need to get a Nemesis pockets holster with the bottom/back hook to keep it in place. This Blackhawk wants to come out with the pistol. I also carry the LC9 with the standard floor plate; not the finger extension plate pictured. The std plate allows the pistol to slide out of the pocket without catching. As long as I am wearing pants with a good size pocket, (i.e. cargo shorts or 5.11 type pants) there is no problem. I like having this much firepower in the pocket. Currently I have 150 rounds of 115g Fed Champion FMJ rounds through it with no issues.

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  17. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    Other than extreme reliability (the first consideration when deciding on any pistol to get for self-defense), when it comes to choosing the best pistol for pocket carry, possessing relatively light weight and having a snagless configuration become very important factors. Personally, any pistol weighing much more than ten ounces or so is too heavy for long term pocket carry and pocket carry, in my book, constitutes a true "niche" pistol.

    My recommendation for a reliable, relatively snag-free pistol weighing ten ounces or under and costing (considerably) less than $500.00 is the Ruger LCP, chambered in .380 ACP.
  18. Ledgehammer

    Ledgehammer Well-Known Member

    Lol - Don't believe everything the lgs tells you. My cm9 has been 100% with fmj and jhp. The barrel tilts up so feed ramp angle is perfectly fine. Look at the feed ramp on a glock 36. It's about the same steepness.
  19. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Well-Known Member

    I own both the Ruger LCP and the S&W Bodyguard. The LCP makes a fine backup but the BG is hands down a much better primary carry. It's the perfect pocket pistol in my book. Any of the small nines like the LC9 are just a little too big for me to draw easily from my pocket with my meaty hands. If I were to where it IWB I would rather carry my S&W 3913 or my M&P 9C.
    BTW both the LCP and the BG are much better shooters than you would think based on their size and weight. This weekend I was breading pieces of broken clay pigeons at 25 yards with my BG. I'm not capable of that all the time but the BG is capable of it when I am.

    The small Kahrs might be an exception for pocket carry if you can shoot it well. IWB I would still lean towards a larger weapon.
  20. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    I carry the PF9, and have done so for two years now, having switched from the more-pleasant-shooting Bersa Thunder .380 (great gun, BTW; I still own and enjoy shooting it.)
    The PF9 can indeed be snappy to shoot, but I found it easy to acclimate to. It's trigger pull is substantially improved over the one on the P-11.
    If you like the .380 round, the Bersa Thunder CC might fill the bill as a heavier gun in that caliber. That makes it, as well as the one I have, much easier to shoot and return to target than many people find the "keychain" .380s to be.
    Incidentally, I also own on of these "keychain" guns, but it is in .32 ACP. It's the Kel-Tec P32 and usually rides along with the PF9 and is rarely carried alone.

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