Pocket Pistols

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MadMaximus
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Pocket Pistols

Postby MadMaximus » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:46 pm

So I have a question about a CCW gun...again. My current carry lineup is as follows: LCR .357, Glock 42 .380, and a H&K P30 9mm (for when it's cold out). I do really like the G42, but I feel its a bit too large for the firepower. I was thinking of downsizing to a Kel-Tec P3AT or a Ruger LCP custom (I really dig Rugers). I've heard a lot of really great things about both, but I can't decide. Things to consider are: mode of carry (IWB, Pocket, and even belt clip) and price (Kel-Tec is a bit cheaper).

Just wondering if anyone out there has any experience out there with either one (preferably both) to sort of guide me with this. I've held both of them and like their egos and trigger pull. Help me make a choice!
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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby MichaelScott » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:51 pm

Been carrying an LCP since they first came out. I now have the newer generation with the improved trigger pull. It's never failed. I use Gold Dots or Hornady Critical Defense ammunition. I carry front pocket with a Remora, rear with an Uncle George, or AIWB with a Kusiak with attached mag pouch, or strong side with a Bullard Bodyguard. I would recommend sticking with the Ruger.
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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby SpyderNut » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:21 pm

All of the models you mentioned would be good for what you are looking for, however, I would highly encourage you look at the Kahr P380 (or its less expensive sister, the CW380) before you make your final selection. (Here's a link to Kahr's page: https://www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-CW380.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). Both models feature Kahr's buttery-smooth DAO trigger action, weigh an impressive 10.2 oz. unloaded, and are very easily concealed (just like the LCP). The CW380 sells for $419 directly through Kahr. I have the Kahr CW9 and have been very pleased with its function--even after shooting several hundred rounds at the range. Best $400 I've spent to date on a handgun. Nothing against Ruger (I'm a fan too), but the Kahr .380 will be a noticeable upgrade to the LCP. True, you will feel recoil more in any gun this small (especially pocket guns shooting +P rounds in a polymer frame), but they are usually meant for last-ditch personal protection vs. every-day target practice anyway. I like the ergos on the Glock 42, but I also agree that it seems to be a bit, well, "big" for a pocket .380. It is a nice little gun, though.

Now if money is not an issue, I would highly suggest looking at the Sig Sauer P238 (.380 ACP). My wife has EDC'd the P238 for about the past five years and has been very pleased with it as a small carry gun. (Drawbacks: It is heavier and slightly wider than the LCP and P380 and it is also quite a bit more expensive, around $550--$700 depending on the model). However, the P238 makes up for the added weight by improving the accuracy (at least in my experience). I imagine you will find this to be true when shooting an alloyed-framed handgun vs. a polymer. Also, the P238 seems to digest a broader array of ammo as compared to my Kahr. Additionally, I can literally drive tacks with her P238 with very little effort. That single-action is a joy to shoot!

If you can, I would go to a gun shop and see if they have a few used models you can try out before you buy. I've seen more than a few LCP's end up back in the display case because people didn't like the recoil. (The same could be said about the CW380 and P380 I'm sure). Hands down, my money is on the Sig Sauer P238. I've been threatening to buy a SAS P238 model for a few years now, but other stuff keeps popping up whenever I get close to buying one. Haha!

Let us know what you decide! Good luck!

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby Pinetreebbs » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:41 pm

Another vote for the Ruger LCP. Shoots well, easy to carry and very reasonable to buy.
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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby farnorthdan » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:49 pm

I've also been carrying the lcp since it came out, carry in a pocket holster in back pocket, don't even notice it there any more, great gun. I also carry IWB a 3" 1911 at times but the lcp is always on me.
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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby Dr. Snubnose » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:57 pm

Go with the Ruger....They are built like Brick Houses.....you will never regret the purchase...I like all the guns other people here have mentioned.....but if you laid them all down on a table and said to me choose one.....I'd walk away with the Ruger....Good luck in whatever you decide......Doc:)

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby TomAiello » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:09 am

I like the Kahr trigger better than the Ruger.

My usual warm weather carry is a Kahr PM9. I own a P380, but I generally prefer the 9, and it's not much larger.

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:27 am

I have had a couple of the KelTec P3AT and a P32. The Ruger came out later and copied the design pretty closely. I would have bought the Ruger if it had come out earlier, more than likely. However, on my past P3AT I had a gunsmith mount a shotgun silver bead on it for a front sight and painted the dot on the rear with some day glow paint. It worked well. Once I used it to defend my life from a pack of dogs. I survived thanks to the Keltec. It never failed.
If I were to buy a Ruger or a Keltec I would take it out to the range and shoot the fool out of the gun with ball ammo and the intended carry ammo to make certain the gun is reliable. I put about 300 rounds through my Keltec before I would carry it daily.

However, though I know you have the Ruger LCR, S&W makes a revolver in .38 Special that is as light as either the P3AT or Ruger .380. http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/ ... rrorView_Y" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby paladin » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:02 am

my better half is humpbacked & overweight... :rolleyes:

guys at the range always tell me that she's buttugly... :mad:

She's a S&W 649 no dash with T Grip...

my ol humpback can fire SA or DA -- bonus...

i have even practiced firing it from the pocket of an old overcoat...flawless-- another bonus to know that option is on the table, if I ever need it.

and as for the added weight, a few extra ounces are not always a bad thing ;)

she may not win any pageants, but she's beyooouteeefulllll to me :D

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby twinboysdad » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:17 pm

Airweights make good bludgeon instruments if shot dry as well

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby The Deacon » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:24 am

My carry gun of choice is a S&W J Frame, most days a 642. I've tried IWB, OWB, shoulder and pocket holsters and have found that a pocket holster to be the most versatile.

OWB is comfortable, and doesn't require "one size up" jeans, but offers the least reliable concealment. IWB is somewhat better in terms of concealment, but adds a couple inches to my waist. Plus, I don't like the feeling of a holster or gun against my skin, so it only works for me when I can wear an undershirt. That's not a viable option when it's 95º out, at least not for me. Same deal with a shoulder holster, it's very comfortable, but only works with two layers of clothing.

OTOH, the pocket holster works in winter, when I'm wearing a heavy jacket, sweater, shirt, and fleece lined jeans. Placed in the jacket pocket, it even works without removing my glomitts. It works in summer when all I have on is cutoff jeans and sandals and nothing else offers any concealment. It also works with everything in between. Plus, there are no "what am I going to do with my pistol" issues if I need to take a dump while away from home. The only time access is severely restricted is when I'm in the car, and I imagine that would be even worse for a right handed shooter, but there are a couple ways around that.
Last edited by The Deacon on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby RexGig0 » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:54 am

I briefly owned a P3AT, and sold it, unfired, after I could not find a gripping method that allowed me to hold it reasonably steady during the trigger stroke. Part of the problem was that I had thought the P3AT had a bit wider grip than the P-32, but I was mistaken on that point. I had fired my wife's P-32, and knew I could not shoot it one-handed with any practical accuracy. I want a gun to fill my hand, to the point I can reasonably expect to place shots reliably, when shooting one-handed, into the vital zone.

I got my money back out of it, as this was when they were new on the market, and difficult to find in stock. Small revolvers (J-frame & SP101) maintained their place as my smallest normally-carried guns.

I also have a Seecamp LWS-32, which has the "right" combination of grip dimensions, trigger reach, and trigger stroke length, to allow for this reasonable accuracy, at least minimally. A PPK/s works MUCH better, in my hands, regarding the handling aspect, but finding a reliable sample can be frustrating, as a sufficient amount of ammo for proper function-testing is quite expensive. I now have a very nice West German PPK/s that is a candidate, but I just might sell it and try a G42, or perhaps abandon .380, and stick to my 9mm Glocks, as pocket carry is something I largely abandoned long ago, for tactical considerations. (When one is bent at the hips/waist, getting a gun out of a pants pocket can be problematic, and fights cannot always be anticipated.)

Edited to add: I place a premium on one-handed shootability, because at work, I will usually have a light in the support hand, and during personal time, am likely to have a dog leash, snake stick, or other item in one hand. In the past, I had to be able to use one hand to get a child out or elderly father-in-law out of the way. I am perceiving the not-so-distant-future need for a walking stick. Therefore, I like a grip size/shape that tilts more toward filling the hand, than providing maximum concealment. My preference; not trying to convert anyone. :)
Last edited by RexGig0 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby twinboysdad » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:57 pm

Paul,

I often pocket carry a J as well but it immediately get moved to the center console as soon as I enter the car. Before sitting down actually.

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby DansGunBlog » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:34 pm

MadMaximus wrote:So I have a question about a CCW gun...again. My current carry lineup is as follows: LCR .357, Glock 42 .380, and a H&K P30 9mm (for when it's cold out). I do really like the G42, but I feel its a bit too large for the firepower. I was thinking of downsizing to a Kel-Tec P3AT or a Ruger LCP custom (I really dig Rugers). I've heard a lot of really great things about both, but I can't decide. Things to consider are: mode of carry (IWB, Pocket, and even belt clip) and price (Kel-Tec is a bit cheaper).

Just wondering if anyone out there has any experience out there with either one (preferably both) to sort of guide me with this. I've held both of them and like their egos and trigger pull. Help me make a choice!
@MadMaximus If you're talking Pocket Carry (I'm actually in the middle of writing an article for my blog comparing the top pocket pistols lol), definitely consider the Ruger LCP and Kahr P380 and it's cheaper (but otherwise almost identical) cousin, the Kahr CW380.

I really like the G42 (love Glocks, have relied on them for many years), and like how it feels and operates like a REAL Glock, not like a toy.

But it's indeed a bit large for pocket carry... at least if you're not trying to be super obvious about it.

Years ago I had the original Kel-Tec P32 - long before Ruger "borrowed" the design. What's cool, like it or not, Ruger basically made the same thing, but better implemented, to tighter tolerances, better implemented overall. Folks love their LCP's, especially since the 2nd gen came out a few years ago with the improved trigger.

The only real concern i've seen in my research for the Ruger LCP has been rust... talking hot climates, sweat, etc. But they recently came out with a stainless slide model, so there you have it. Yeah, I prefer matte Glock black, but you make your choices lol.

I'd go LCP over Kel-Tec any day, the price difference is quite negligible for the quality difference.

Enter the Kahr P380... on paper the Kahr P380 is Exactly the same size as the Ruger LCP. so it should fit in your pocket fine. It's at touch heavier, but still under 10oz, should be just fine in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster.

But the Kahr P380 has actual sights, less felt recoil, and it "feels" to be a different class of gun than the LCP, as in feels sturdier. Google the P380 and read the reviews... folks love it. They even seem to love the lower cost cousin, the CW380.

I recommend test firing both the LCP and the P380/CW380.

FYI Bud's has a good price on all 3... the Ruger LCP, the Kahr P380, and the Kahr CW380.

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby The Deacon » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:53 am

twinboysdad wrote:Paul,

I often pocket carry a J as well but it immediately get moved to the center console as soon as I enter the car. Before sitting down actually.
I've done that, but it's not quite as easy to do discreetly when you left handed. Keeping a second gun in the console is another option.
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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby DansGunBlog » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:30 am

The Deacon wrote:
twinboysdad wrote:Paul,

I often pocket carry a J as well but it immediately get moved to the center console as soon as I enter the car. Before sitting down actually.
I've done that, but it's not quite as easy to do discreetly when you left handed. Keeping a second gun in the console is another option.
Hmmm... not a fan of having to juggle the gun position when getting in and out of the car, lots of variables there were something could go sideways, i.e. handling a hot firearm, inserting back into pants, trying to do it discreetly so as not to wave around a firearm, etc, etc...

A good goal is finding a comfortable enough carry method so it stays put. to each their own of course. :-)

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby twinboysdad » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:40 pm

I am less of a fan of drawing a pocket pistol from slacks while seated! Situation dictates.

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby DansGunBlog » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:59 pm

twinboysdad wrote:I am less of a fan of drawing a pocket pistol from slacks while seated! Situation dictates.
LOL definitely not ideal. :-)

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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:24 am

The problem with cars is seat belts. Once you are strapped in, you cannot easily reach anything in your pockets or at your waist. Some people carry a larger pistol in a cross draw holster for this reason, but they are not as concealable and I am not a fan of putting a gun on and off whilst getting in and out of a car. Too much chance of flashing and going to jail. One easy way to counter that is to carry a pocket gun in an ankle holster. This makes the gun easy to reach when sitting in a car.
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Re: Pocket Pistols

Postby The Deacon » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:33 am

DansGunBlog wrote:Hmmm... not a fan of having to juggle the gun position when getting in and out of the car, lots of variables there were something could go sideways, i.e. handling a hot firearm, inserting back into pants, trying to do it discreetly so as not to wave around a firearm, etc, etc...

A good goal is finding a comfortable enough carry method so it stays put. to each their own of course. :-)

Dan
No argument there, Dan.

Still, I think you'll have to agree that what's "ideal" is not always "realistic", and vice-versa. The "same gun, same place, every day" mantra sounds great, but unless you live in one of those rare spots where the temperature doesn't vary more than 20 degrees year round , or somewhere that a week of 60º weather is considered a heat wave, it isn't really practical. At least that's been my experience.

For me, the reality is that I need to satisfy three often conflicting goals; concealment, comfort, and accessibility. Like it or not, concealment has to be paramount. It's not just a question of politeness, it's the law and a condition of my CWP. Comfort has some importance as well. I don't know about you, but I tend to leave that are uncomfortable to wear at home.

Carry options that work really well for me when it's 10º and I'm walking the dog dressed for a polar expedition aren't really practical when it's 98º in the shade, and shady spots are few and far between. For me, pocket carry comes closest to that ideal, but even there, the best pocket while walking on a summer day would be inaccessible in the dead of winter and, while jacket pocket carry ticks all the boxes in cooler weather, it starts becoming impractical once the mercury goes much above 70º. The cargo pockets on cargo pants and shorts allow better access when seated, but not when walking, and I hate the feeling of anything banging against the side of my knee with every step.

A gun in the pocket and another in the console would be close to ideal if I never had to go anywhere with a "No concealable weapons" sign, but the Post Office, vet, and doctor are difficult to avoid completely. So, for those trips, the choices are leave it at home, console carry only, or juggle the gun at least once. Console only works fine if it's a "dedicated run" to one of those places and home again, but even my fairly tidy life is not always quite that tidy.
Doc Dan wrote:The problem with cars is seat belts. Once you are strapped in, you cannot easily reach anything in your pockets or at your waist. Some people carry a larger pistol in a cross draw holster for this reason, but they are not as concealable and I am not a fan of putting a gun on and off whilst getting in and out of a car. Too much chance of flashing and going to jail. One easy way to counter that is to carry a pocket gun in an ankle holster. This makes the gun easy to reach when sitting in a car.
Seat belt isn't as much of an issue if you're left handed but not having much room to maneuver the gun once you draw it can be. As for ankle holsters, they're about the only holster type I don't own because I can't imagine even my lightest J being comfortable in one. Plus, they don't work well with shorts.
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