Most robust (true) pocket pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by defjon, Jun 9, 2022.

  1. defjon

    defjon Member

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    Just as the title suggests, what do you think are the most durable pocket pistols? It's important to practice and many smaller pistols may not hold up to large volume shooting.

    I know the Springfield hellcat, upon launch, boasted a ten thousand round torture test. Impressive for something so small- small clearances etc.

    It is a bit large for a pocket, though it could be done.

    I know the Beretta tomcat is not made to be shot much. It is a more reasonable pocket sized gun.

    The NAA minis can break mainsprings with heavy shooting.

    The Beretta 21a can shoot itself loose over time, "wear out" if you will.

    I've heard many anecdotal cases of the Ruger small autos not holding up, the lc/ec/max 9s. I know I am not a fan of the lcp style take down system. My own 2008 lcp didn't seem to be holding up all that well, I benched it as a carry lots/ shoot little.

    By all accounts the airweight revolvers fall under that same heading. I am not sure about lcrs. They may last longer.

    I remember the sig 238/938 noting in the manual the need for frequent recoil spring changes. After trying that platform, they have their merits. Excellent accuracy, reliability was good for me. Single action pocket carry did not end up working for me( queue the gasp as I found one day my holsters cocked and locked 938 had somehow swiped the safety off in my pocket...).

    Is it safe to say, for a truly robust pocket gun the Glock 380 would be best? I've never owned or shot one, but I've looked at them. I think they would fit in a pocket. They take down like big boy guns, and seemed to be made quite stout. I don't see one falling apart in an intense pistol course and regular practice.

    What do you feel is the best pocket gun as far as still being pocket sized but able to handle regular training?

    I was thinking the Glock 380 for tiny pistols and the Smith m60 for 38/357. The all stainless construction should hold up well to regular pressure 38s.
     
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  2. Ethan Verity

    Ethan Verity Member

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    My Ruger LCP 1, gen 2 from 2016 has around 6,000 rounds through it thus far, and is still in good shape... however it's only ~50% the original gun at this point, so not sure if that counts. I have replaced all the springs at one point or another, the extractor, the firing pin, and the whole polymer frame when it cracked (around the 5k point)...
    But still, despite needing some maintenance here and there the gun is in great shape. The slide and barrel are perfect apart from finish wear. The rails are good. Even the original guide rod is good. It's as robust as I think someone could want in a tiny (cheap) gun.
     
  3. defjon

    defjon Member

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    I know everything mechanical breaks down and wear and tear is cumulative.

    I suppose I'm moreso talking about something that can hold up. I don't think the lcp would survive many hundreds of rounds over an intense backup pistol course.

    As proven, it can be rebuilt and fixed up like you say, designed more for ease or carry than durability.

    Accepting everything is a trade off, I'm looking for the most durable pocket pistols. While a Glock 380 isn't as small or light as an lcp, I do think it would hold up better.

    I wonder about some of the metal pocket 380s. Remington made one, IMI desert eagle made one I think.

    I don't remember the sig p365 mentioning round counts or torture tests but from briefly owning one I think it would probably hold up. Like the hellcat, a bit big for the pocket.

    Durability for frequent practice, beefiness of internal parts/springs, and ease of takedown are something of value to me even in a pocket gun. I'm just wondering with the proliferation of these small guns how they are holding up and what people are seeing out there.
     
  4. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    For robust, Sig 365 and Glock 43 would be my pick for 9mm, followed by Kahr PM9. IMO 9mm is a good minimum for self defense.
    If I was forced to go 380 then the Glock 42 or Ruger LCP Max - neither of which I own but speculate they would be comparatively robust.

    22/25/32 - can't force me to carry that. :neener:
     
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  5. defjon

    defjon Member

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    I had the max for awhile...for me the practical accuracy wasn't there.

    I liked the idea of it, the night sights, the capacity. But it felt cheap, and I hate the lcp take down. Ruger should look at the advent of the takedown lever. It's a better method for field stripping imo.
     
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  6. defjon

    defjon Member

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    Oddly enough, I had a stainless interarms ppk in 32 acp (a rarity I hear). Foolishly sold it, but it rode in the pocket quite well. It held 8 rounds of 32 acp I believe.

    It fed everything, and liked 32 flat point rounds. It was the best gun I've ever shot for point shooting. If you watch real self defense encounters it is very rare to see proper range form, it's pretty down and dirty.

    From the hip and moving that ppk would put them like a Lazer wherever you looked, placing rounds on top of each other etc.
     
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  7. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    Pocket carry a Kahr K9---over 20 thousand rounds and still going strong.
     
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  8. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

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    I don’t think 9mm subcompacts count as true pocket pistols. We have to define what a pocket pistol is.

    I think many historic all metal pocket pistols hold up, such as the old Colts, Berettas etc. Maybe not the 21 A if you are right.

    For modern micro .380’s, Glock 42 or Sig 238?

    If we are including subcompact size, which I don’t usually, the original Shield 1.0’s are utterly reliable tanks. Quality snubbies usually are too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
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  9. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

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    Your 9 mm examples aren’t pocket pistols, except the Kahr.

    Ive desperately tried to pocket carry subcompacts and it barely works with a large bulge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
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  10. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Well, at least we agree on the Kahr.
    If I had to pocket carry with my shirt tucked in (I don't) then a small pocket hand sanitizer helps break outline. (And its handy for germs)
     
  11. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    None finer or more durable than the legendary Seecamp.

    Finest pocket pistols ever made IMHO.
     
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  12. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

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    Yeah, it can be done, especially with with some clothes and pockets.
     
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  13. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    If the Hellcat is not of a size that qualifies it as a pocket pistol, I'm not sure you'll be good with a Glock 42 in the pocket.


    The reality is that 50 rounds a week is 2600 a year. At $0.25 per round, that's $650 a year. How much are you shooting your pocket gun? Either you are unlikely to shoot enough to be concerned with reliability, or compared to the money spent on ammo, the cost of wearing out the gun will be inconsequential.

    My advice is to buy what you're most likely to carry, and practice with it regularly.
     
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  14. defjon

    defjon Member

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    It's the regular practice that I wanted to hone in on, something that holds up to that.

    I do agree with autodidactic, we should probably define a max size and weight for a true pocket gun.

    I should scop out that website, was it handgun hero? Compare the Glock 380 to hellcat.

    I do pocket the ol kitty on occasion, but it sure is a heavy lump in the pocket and draws a lot slower than a j frame. I think part of it's benefit (capacity) is part of what works against it in that role.
     
  15. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    NAA Guardians made by Kahr.
     
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  16. defjon

    defjon Member

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    I've not really familiar with that kahr mentioned, but 20k rounds is a great endorsement.
     
  17. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    Yes, handgun hero. The Glock was taller by .13, the Hellcat longer and thicker by .06 each. I haven't pocket carried either, and sometimes the feel is different than the measurements, but those are very similar measurements.
     
  18. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    My Kahr K9 is an all steel (not stainless) 9mm that I got around 1995. They came with a black finish (that wore off easily) or satin nickel (cost more). Came with 2
    magazines ( 7 rounds). After a few years I sent it to Kahr and had it satin nickel plated (plating is holding up well).
     
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  19. Atavar

    Atavar Member

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    8053BEBD-20E7-4DEE-BC88-2706E8488693.jpeg I know real gun people chuckle when they see it but my Beretta BU9 has a couple thousand rounds through it and nary a problem. Less than an inch thick and 5.6” long makes it quite pocketable. Zero external safeties which is a plus for a carry piece. The trigger is smooth and crisp but long as a country mile, which might count as a safety. Lol
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
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  20. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    My Kahr CM9 is suitable for pocket carry but I haven't run that many rounds though it yet to get an idea as to it's overall durability. Now my choice in a pocket revolver would be a S&W Model 649. Not a lightweight by any means, with all stainless steel construction, it's definitely what you could call "robust" in a J frame revolver!
    l0n5vwZ.jpg
    KpigCsK.jpg
     
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  21. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Ruger SP101 too large? It is a robust little beast; worth buying trousers with larger pockets, IMHO. When I do actually carry inside a pocket, the weapon is likely to be a Seecamp LWS-32, these days, but there a time that I was likely to carry more than one SP101, and I do still have a Kramer pocket holster to accommodate the SP101. I used Diamond Gusset jeans, made in TN, USA, which had sufficiently voluminous front pockets.

    I actually do not want my only handgun to be carried inside a pocket, but the reasons are more-suited to Strategy & Tactics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
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  22. defjon

    defjon Member

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    That Beretta looks like it would hold up
     
  23. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Your SIG 938 problem with the safety was a holster issue not a pistol issue.
    I made Kydex holsters for my SIG 938 and Beretta 71, heated and bent the kydex to lock the safety inplace while holstered.
    Go back to square one.
     
  24. commygun

    commygun Member

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    Don’t have a ton of rounds through it, but my RM380 certainly seems like a sturdy pocket pistol.
     
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  25. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have one of the early production Sig P238. Until Sig changed the main recoil spring to a flat wire spring, the P238 was HARD on recoil springs. They apparently did not allow for enough room in the gun for the round wire recoil spring. Reliable operation of the gun became excellent after the spring design was changed.

    I'm happy with the reliable operation of my S&W 642 and 442. But, I consider them to be bordering on the large size for pocket carry. Mine are machined to accept moon clip reloads.

    I have a Colt Mustang from the mid 1980's which has been extremely reliable and a good pocket size. It was my carry arm for many years. The Sig P238 and the Kimber Micro are nice pistols but I prefer the Mustang.

    I have a Colt Mustang Pocket-lite purchased in 2016 to replace the 1980's vintage Mustang but I have not put enough rounds through the newer Mustang to consider it a replacement for the older one.

    The KelTec P3-AT (380 ACP) I have is very reliable and a great pocket size but I find the recoil is bit snappier than I prefer. The P32 version, 32 ACP, has a more comfortable recoil at the same size as the P3-AT. It depends on your opinion of the capabilities of the 32 ACP round.

    I have a Glock 42 and find it is ammunition sensitive. Maybe mine actually is not a "Glock" since it is not "Perfection".

    I like my S&W Walther PPK in 380 ACP but find it a bit heavy for pocket carry. It borders on large for pocket carry but given a choice, I'd rather carry the S&W Airweight 642 or 442. But I do like the DA/SA action of the PPK.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2022
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