Breaking Leather while in the Vehicle

There’s more to it than Drawing your Pistol in a Vehicle

Just a Note: The following topic is talked about in small groups of CCW carriers that are defensive minded and it involves gunfights while in a vehicle. Many people have written about it and we’re not the first.Take this article as a grain of salt. By all means take every tactical courses of fire that you can to learn about it first hand.

Drawing a pistol while in a vehicle is nothing new. The perspective from this is for the private Joe. Not from a contractor conducting exec-protection for a VIP or as a response force member for a nuclear convoy. Just you getting into your vehicle going to the store down the road.
There are many great readings on this, such as this one from Guns and Ammo. Matter of fact Kyle Lamb(author) goes into the intricacies of drawing but with the seat belt on.

I gotta admit thats another take on the subject, but it is also true that most of us do wear a seat belt while driving. Kyle goes into the different draws based on the type of carrier that you are and what can slow your draw down.

(Lukas Lamb photo)

What about the Pocket Pistol Carrier?
As you can see appendix carry is the fastest method to draw from in this illustration. Obviously, a quicker way if you were aware with the ability to see the future before the Sh!# hits the fan, is to have the pistol already out.
Which comes to mind another minority group of concealed carriers, they are the pocket pistol carrier.
This of course can be even more of a challenge to get your p shooter out. Struggling to get your hands into your pocket and fumbling to get a grip of the gun to pull it out.

If you’re the die-hard pocket pistol carrier, no worries there are special pants that caters to your needs. The special pants with specialize pockets with easy access can quicken your draw time. Something like this from CCW Breakaways, their pockets are designed to be a pocket holster. Breaking leather, in this case is breaking pockets that makes it easy to get to your pistol safely.

Which carry is best for a Vehicle?
I am not going to try and commando this keyboard to tell you that X is better to use than Y. The short answer is have the pistol out and ready, but be sure it can be quickly accessed. This can be from your crotch, secret bat compartment, the crevice between the door and your seat, etc.. You decide and play with that.

Last if you want more information from that have trained people from all sorts of background. Look into Craig Douglas of ECQC, Tony Blauer of Blauer Tactical Systems, Matt Graham of Graham Combat. They cover everything from gunfights while engaged in a vehicle to extreme close quarter where you can smell the bad guy/gal’s bad breath. Just to give you an idea of extreme close=quarter, here’s a fight in a vehicle that involves a pistol. Btw, its a female thats defending against the male passenger.

Best .22 Magnum Pocket Pistols [2021]

For Personal Defense, Would You Carry one?

Having a reliable pistol that you’re comfortable with is ideal for pocket carrying. If you’re a newbie and want to start with a reliable pistol while working on your skillsets before going onto a higher caliber. Why not start with a .22 cal snub nose?
Before we get into the nittty gritty of pocket carrying a .22 caliber pistol. Here’s the quick list of some of the best .22 caliber pocket pistols that shoots the LR and WMR.

  • Ruger LCR 22

    The Ruger LCR line of revolvers is one of the most modern revolvers on the market. Ruger makes heavy use of polymer in the construction of their revolvers. This reduces the weight of a revolver and more affordable than using materials like Scandium. This Ruger LCR is a snub nose which has an enclosed hammer that makes the revolver easier to draw.
    The Ruger LCR series is an excellent everyday option for someone looking for a small, but low recoil pocket pistol. The LCR weighs in at 14.9 ounces and is superbly small. This makes carrying the weapon very easy and very comfortable.
    The LCR in 22LR holds 8 rounds, giving the user a good capacity for a revolver. The LCR 22 Magnum houses 6 rounds, which is one more than most snubbie revolvers. This increased capacity gives the user more shots and allows more forgiveness if a round fails to ignite.
    The Ruger LCR line of revolvers has one of the best triggers out there. While the trigger pull is as long as a traditional DAO revolver, the pull is much lighter than a standard rimfire revolver. If a shooter has reduced hand strength and needs a 22 caliber round then they probably don’t have the strength for a heavy DAO trigger.
    Even though the Ruger LCR is light and small there is almost zero recoil in both 22 LR and 22 Magnum. The 22 LR version has about as much recoil as a squirt gun. The 22 Magnum version has just a little more recoil, but it’s pleasant and tame.
    If you’re into red laser, you can attach a Crimson Trace Laser grips. You can also attach a laser unit to the frame with the LaserMax device.
  • Smith & Wesson 43 C

    This snubby at first glance can pass as a .38 Special, which is probably why its overlooked by plinkers. Consider a lightweight double-action revolver, weighing in at 12.3 ounces fully loaded with 8 rounds. This snubby comes with XS white dot front sight and a large U-shaped notch for the rear sight. Which really helps picking up the flash sight picture quickly.
    The trigger break is not smooth pulling at 12 pounds which is common for j-frames. (stiff double action trigger) For some that have shot this are saying, “Its a hoot to shoot!”
  • Beretta 21A Bobcat

    A semi-auto .22 pocket pistol size from Beretta. The pistol has a tip-up barrel that lets you chamber without racking the slide. Has a manual safety and a mag release on the left side of the grip. This gun has a very small sight and is a double action/single trigger. Weighs in at 16 ounces, smaller than a Ruger LCR and holds 8 rounds.
    Clearing a malfunction in this Bobcat can be a pain.
  • Taurus PT-22

    Another truly pocket size semi-auto pistol. This Taurus PT22 is very small and lightweight, easy to shoot, and has very little to no recoil. Similar to the Beretta Bobcat 21, the barrel tips up to load/unload the first, chambered round. There are no advantages to carrying this but a really nice gun for a newbie to learn to shoot with.
  • NAA LLR Revolver

    NAA revolvers are excellent pocket guns that can go anywhere you couldn’t normally use a larger gun. The price is easy to justify for the level of quality, especially in the fit and finish.
    The gun may seem slightly unsafe with the spur trigger, but the gun is surprisingly innovative on the safety aspects. The hammer can rest on a full chamber safely, due to the hammer lock and the small footprint and simple operation allows you to always be prepared. This is an excellent small backup gun for self-defense.
    With all that said, and if you’re still seriously want to carry this, you would need to practice with it. Shooting this NAA revolver takes some time getting used to, especially while under stress.
  • Trailblazer LifeCard .22 LR

    The LifeCard is small. Smaller than a deck of playing cards. The LifeCard is 1/2-inch thick and is 3.375 inches long when it’s closed, around 4 inches when open.
    The LifeCard is a single shot .22 and has storage for 4 more rounds of .22LR in the grip. To reload, you need to tip the barrel, load a round, then manually cock the hammer. Think of it loading like the classic side-by-side double-barrel shotguns. On the practical side of things, we’re not sure if this is worth having. Yes, the LifeGuard hands down is the ultimate James Bond concealed backup gun.
There are others with longer barrels that just did not make the pocket pistol category. (2 inch barrel & under) Such as the Kel-Tec PMR30, SIG SAUER 938 .22 Pistol and S&W 63 due to its bigger size.
For the rest of this article we look at the different .22LR and WRM loads that were tested against the ballistics gel with these smaller pocket pistol.
If you know of a truly decent pocket size pistol please let us know.

Prices on the .22 LR and WMR are really affordable, even the premium ones. The first two are ballistic gel test results were collected from Lucky Gunner Labs. These were sorted to view from the short barrel results.

From this testing we see the Winchester 37 gr Varmint HE 3 average 5-shot depth is 12.7 inches of penetration.
The CCI 40 gr Velocitor CPHP 3 average 5-shot depth was at 13.1 inches.


These magnums penetrations were much better than the LR. The best came from CCI 40 gr Maxi-Mag JHP 5-shot average depth at 15.8 inches. The next best was Fiocchi 40 gr Performance JSP was at 15.1 inches.

This chart below on .22 WMR gives you another set of numbers from different brand ammo – its just to see where the numbers fall into place from two different sources.
ballistic charts w different loads

Its still Manly to Carry a .22 Caliber Pocket Pistol

For the intermediate to advanced shooters, we’re not saying to drop your 45’s and convert over to .22s. For some of us that are budget challenged and some how the .22 caliber just fits the bill for personal defense and survival. (preppers)
Our pick almost hands down is the snubby from Ruger and/or S&W 43C for reliability over the semi-auto pocket pistols. And, the extreme joy of shooting.

Personal Defense
Some may argue that the .22 WMR is too small for personal defense. Those that think this way are looking at it from a hunter mindset, that is one shot one kill.
However, for self-defense purpose the primary objective is stop the bad guy from doing bad things.
There are three ways to stop a threat with a pistol:

  1. Causing enough pain that the bad guy submits or voluntarily decides to stop
  2. Incapacitation, which is an involuntary reaction on the part of the bad guy in response to being shot, this can be instant or it can take some time.
  3. Using Fear as a psychological deterrent, no one wants to get shot at when there is gun pointed at them.

Let’s move onto the cartridge itself, yes, its not a .357.
The .22 WMR does not have the stopping power of a .357, it does have velocity. Back to this later, many gun experts will test out these cartridges against a gel. Its simply a ballistic test medium which is thought to offer the same resistance to a bullet as would muscle tissue.
However, it does not replicate skin, ribs, cartilage or fat and, in fact, very often the way a bullet performs in living tissue is quite different than how it performs in gelatin.
Ok, you’re still stuck on the different calibers and how a .22 compares.

Caliber Comparisons
Here an interesting comparison that pitted the .22 WRM, 9mm and a .45 ACP. The penetration from the heavier slugs was deeper at 13 inches. The .22 WRM was going in at a little over 12 inches. One inch differences.

The average 9mm Luger velocity ran about 1,175 fps.
The average .45 ACP ran at 1000 fps.
The .22 WMR fps came in at 1,050 fps.
Again not much differences

Terminal Performances
When looking at terminal performances its about expansion but on a short barrel we’re not going to see this. Unless, its from a higher caliber or from a longer barrel.

Expansion is important because if you have two holes that are the same depth, the hole that has the largest diameter will also be the one that is likely to do the most tissue damage.
Penetration is the length of the bullet path after entering soft tissue, in this case we see it in the ballistic gel. The goal is to see the depth at 12 inches, according to the FBI standard. (image below)

The average frontal diameter of the .22 WMR bullets is about 0.27 inches.
The 9mm Luger was at 0.55 inches.
The .45 ACP came at 0.61 inches.
The damage is translated into cubic inches of tissue.
9mm Luger = 3 cubic inches
.45 ACP = 3.79 inches
.22 WMR = 1 inch
If you’re a statistical person and just going by terminal performances, obviously you wouldn’t pick the .22 WMR as a choice to carry.
What’s misleading in the world of self-defense is that people seem to think the one shot that incapacitates normally doesn’t happen. True that the .22 WMR does not bring instant incapacitation.
But for deterrent and quick shooting a .22 WMR can still be effective to put some pain on a bad guy to get them to stop so you can run away to get help.

Sources: Featured image, Video and chart from Lucky Gunner

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Springfield Armory Hellcat Review

Move Over Sig P365 for a New Micro-Gun

Most CCW full size 9mm pistols carries 15 + 1 in the pipe, which has become the norm. Springfield Armory has come out with the Hellcat pistol. This pistol is considered to be the smallest compact with the highest capacity ever.
With 11+1 in the chamber, this CCW pistol is not just a rinky dink pocket gun. Hellcat also comes in 13+1 extended magazine as well.

Springfield Hellcat Sights

Another thing that you’ll see on this great piece of micro-compact 9mm, is that the slide is cut for 2 micro red-dot. The 4 MOA Red dot aligsn with the iron sights. The rear sight sports a deep “U” notch which makes sight alignment easy. The front sight has a high visibility tritium lamp with yellow/green ring for quick acquisition during day and limited lighting.

One of the first thing about shooting pocket size guns is that its usually not comfortable. Shots are usually snappy, with the gun wanting to jump out the hand.
With the Springfield Hellcat ergonomic design, the shooting is comfortable according to those that have test fire. Springfield design the polymer frame with a high beavertail that protects the shooter’s hand and negates the muzzle flip.

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Springfield grip technology has whats called “adaptive grip texture”, fancy words for secure firing grip at the index points on both sides of the frame. With a wide grip backstrap (wide as the gun) this spreads the recoil over a broader area.

Test Run
With a three inch barrel and short sight radius, shooters took this out to 15 yard for accuracy shooting. Nothing fancy or stress test shooting just boring shooting/plinking at the paper target. For an average shooter with 5 shots, you should be able to get .70 to .80 inch group.
There are many good 9mm ammo to choose from, here are some good ones:

Ammunition Velocity Energy Group
COLT DEFENSE 124-GRAIN JHP 1140 358 .82”

This is not the complete list, just the ones that have gone thru the Hellcat pistol. Notice the +P for Hornady round? The Hellcat was rated for use with these loads. If you’re not familiar with +P, it is simply a cartridge that has been loaded with a higher amount of gun powder. … Essentially, if you have a gun that takes 9mm ammo, you can increase your velocity and power with 9mm.

Many EDC junkies looking for a micro-pistol, (pocket gun) with high capacity, reliability and accurate. This may be your thing, or if you’re looking for an extra carry to your primary pistol, this is it. The down size may be the MSRP $600 but for those that can afford another toy, its there for all.

Springfield Hellcat Specs
Model: Hellcat OSP
Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 11+1 (flush fit); 13+1 (extended)
Barrel Length: 3 inches
Overall Length: 6 inches
Height: 4 inches (flush fit); 4.5 inches (extended)
Grip Width: 1 inch
Weight: 17.9 ounces (flush fit); 18.3 inches (extended)
Front Sights: Tritium Luminescent
Rear Sights: Tactical Rack “U” Notch
Frame: Black Polymer, Adaptive Grip Texture
MSRP: $599 (Tested OSP Model); $569 (Standard Model)

Here’s Hickok45 taking the Hellcat for a run.

If you want to see how this fared against the Sig P365 see it here – Sig P365 vs Hellcat.

Snub Nose or Semi-Auto Pocket Pistols?

When you gotta have a Pocket Back-Up

When we dive into pocket guns, one big advantage is the concealment due to the smaller pistol size. Pocket semi-auto and small revolvers like the snub nose type can be a never ending debate to which is better to carry. Both have their pros and cons. If you’re old school (old timer), you may opt for the snubby .38. For the newer generation, probably opt for the semi-auto .380 pocket pistol. We need to point out its easy to distinguish the idea of carrying a smaller pistol when there is something bigger is a better fighting tool. (Just to be clear, we’re talking pocket pistols with a two inch or less barrel and for this post we’re leaving the micro 9’s for another day.)
Let’s go over some factors with these pocket guns. The no-brainer is that with a snub nose – you’ll get top reliability and easier to get to the gun.
With the semi-auto pocket pistol you’ll exchange those qualities in favor of a smaller gun that’s easier to conceal, at least thats what the consensus says.

Here are some factors between the two pistols to consider:
  • Caliber – Most pocket mouse will be be a .380 or .32 ACP, Snubbies do come in .38s but, when shooting with a short barrel less than 3 inches at close range. The differences between the .32, .380 and .38s are relatively none. Its all about shot placement. Though, .38s have more power, we need to put this into the context for personal defense purpose.
  • Ammo Capacity – Snubbies are 5 rounds while semi-auto are 6 to 8 rounds.
  • Lightweight – With the current technology both pistols are now lighter than their predecessors.
  • Costs – This can be within $200 to $400 range, this is a plus for either type of mouse gun.
  • Shootability – Recoil, shoot-ability and ergonomics. Being able to shoot a gun well is a good thing. This when viewed from a newbie standpoint, can make the learning curve easier if they choose to go with a pocket gun. Intermediate to advance shooter is a different story based on bias feelings and experiences. Some will say its more comfortable to shoot the semi-auto than a revolver.

Many concealed carriers have stated revolvers have proven to be more reliable than the semi-auto pistols. That is true and with a more curious younger generation wanting to be factual they have gone out and tested this. Findings have found that revolvers can be unreliable as the semi-auto.
Revolvers require more maintenance to keep the running smoothly. Durability with revolvers is not good, especially when dropped. However, in a personal defense scuffle to get the gun out they do outperform the pocket semi-auto. Semi-auto feeds have failed to operate during this hand-to-hand entanglement.

Now, bear in mind the pocket carrier will have these snubbies and/or mouse guns at the waist (IWB) or pocket carry. Sometimes its not easy to get to it while under stress and securing a good grip to fire. With a snub nose doesn’t matter squeeze the trigger and it goes bang. This bang can be from 6 feet away or even when a 300 plus pound guy is on top of you that’s ready to pounce you to submission. Now of course if someone grabs it and keep the cylinder from moving then the snubby won’t go off.


Getting your snubbie or mouse gun out quickly and easily is a very important factor to consider. Easier said than done. You would need to overcome the obstacle of clearing your garment to dig out your equalizer. But, the fact is when you decided to carry a pistol for personal protection. Getting your gun out is a deliberate action that needs to happen.
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Which brings us back to the snubbie revolver, its shape and grip offers a better choice than a semi-auto pistol for accessibility. A decent snub nose with a Pachmayr grip is a lot easier to pull out than most semi-auto. Grabbing the pistol from an odd position is no problem. Especially, from the belt, ankle, handbag or even from your pocket.

Most snub nose revolvers are a little bigger than a pocket gun. Have a look at the comparison below. The image below is from Lucky Gunner, its a size comparison between an AirLite snub nose and G42/Kel-Tec P32.

As you can see the snub nose is a little taller and longer in length.

Another Way to View Stopping Power
We need to address this, even though we all know that having a bigger caliber will have more stopping power without looking at the ballistic numbers. Instead we’d like to show you this study from Greg Ellifritz who did a detailed study several years back on the stopping power of various rounds in real word incidents. Looking at the chart below you will see that while the number are not great when compared to bigger handgun rounds they are in the ballpark with much more powerful rounds.

The average number of rounds to incapacitation (counting only center mass hits) is 2.2 which is worse than .22 LR but actually right in line with 9mm and .40 caliber ammunition. The percent of fatalities from .25 ACP is also very comparable, statistically, to both of these rounds as well. Also note that this study factors out the “psychological stops” where mere fact that the victim was armed ended the attack. That number, regardless of the caliber of the firearm, was around 90%.

Looking at the .32 to .38 Special “rounds to incapacitation”, theres not much differences. The bottom line here is that even tiny rounds out of mouse guns can stop an attack and having a gun is far more important than the caliber of the gun you carry.
So yeh, we’re talking about the Indian here and not the arrow. If you’re a skilled shooter that can place shots rapidly in the right spot, you can stop the attacker. Also, remember we’re not cops, we’re just Joe citizen that want to defend ourselves. Whether you do this with your .32 or a rock (to the head) and made the bad guy stop. You’re golden!

Ammo & Performances
The following ballistics information is from Lucky Gunner Lab. Their information is invaluable to have for the pocket carriers. Hopefully, this gives you a realistic look at the ammo and expectations. This is not a complete list of ammo brand/loads and pistols.

.32 Ammo
Here’s the gel ballistics results from decent loads take look below, keep in mind these were shot from a short (2 inches) barrel.

.32 ACP Long

.32 H&R Magnum

Ruger LCR 327 Federal Magnum

If you’re sticking with the .32 then this Ruger can fire all of the .32 family (short, long, H&R Magnum and Federal Magnum).

Smith & Wesson 332 Ti

Aluminum J-frame, aluminum frame with Titanium alloy cylinder, lightweight at 11.5 ounces. Shooting this is in .32 short is like shooting a .22 magnum, very soft on recoil. Still softer than shooting a .38.

Beretta 3032 Tomcat

The magazine holds 7 with one in the pipe. If you’re challenged getting the slide back, no need to worry. Just press the lever forward to pop the barrel up and insert a cartridge into the chamber. Snap the barrel down and insert a loaded magazine and you’re good to go. Pretty nifty!

Kel-Tec P32

A deep concealment semi-auto pocket pistol weighing in at 7 ounces unloaded. Holds 7 +1 in the magazine, trigger pull is 5 pounds. Being this small, the hammer block axis pin near the rear of the gun can be a problem for some shooters. It is rough around the edges and sits right on the metacarpal joint of the thumb.

.380 ACP Ammo
Speer 90 gr Gold Dot average 5 shot penetration is at 11 inches.

.380 Auto – 99 Grain JHP – Federal Premium Personal Defense HST

Hornady Critical Defense 90 grn
Sig V-Crown 90 gr

.380 ACP Pocket Pistols

Kel-Tec P3AT

Pocket size for deep concealment, chambered in .380 power with a smooth trigger pull and 6+1 capacity. Warning, being a small pistol, has a tendecy to jump out of the hand while shooting.
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard

If you’re looking for decent power in pocket size, this Bodyguard is not bad. Some shooters have said must have a good grip on the gun to shoot accurately.
Glock 42

Though this Glock is slightly bigger than most semi-auto pocket pistol. G42 was made easy to shoot for its size.

Felt Recoil Performances
Quick word on “felt recoil“, just like the name that recoil. Comparing a light caliber to a heavier one gives you a sense of what you can control and shoot quickly.
In order to do this you would need to shoot the two different calibers and time yourself. Its not just blasting away but how fast can you get back on sights between the shots.
Using a drill like the 5×5 we can evaluate the effects of recoil. Again its all about how quickly one can recover their sights from recoil and fire the next shot. Take a look at the timed results below:

Note the bigger the caliber the longer it takes to get on target for the next shot. Within the context of self-defense, the more rounds you put into the target accurately and quickly, is what counts. Not the bigger caliber. However, we’ve all been told to stick with the bigger calibers and not really training to get more proficient with it.

Do Real Men have to Pocket Carry?
There you have it, this comparison can be debated into the next decade and beyond. Think the bottom line goes back to the shooter experiences and preferences and this can be difficult to be un-biased.
Understanding pocket pistol role in the bigger firearm picture can help you decide on what you’re willing to carry. Accept the plus and minus for stopping power over concealment, may be hard for the biased shooters to swallow.
We’re not here to say that the pocket pistol calibers (.32, .380) rules over the bigger 9mm or .45 ACP. But, to understand what a shooter can do if you have a smaller caliber pocket pistol to carry when you’re in that non-permissive environment.

Featured Image from

Best .380 Pocket Pistols for Personal Defense

The .380 pocket pistols also known as mouse guns or “get off me” guns can be a good choice for personal defense. Prices vary from $200 to $700, some current full size handgun model may be a better choice to go.
But, if you’re looking for good concealment carry with a decent bite, then the .380 caliber is a good choice to consider. Before we get into the list, a quick word about .380 pocket size pistols and a pragmatic opinion.
Besides the concealment attribute, most of these pistols aren’t that great. Full size semi-auto pistols are reliable, but the child size pistols are hindered with malfunctions during that melee.

While fishing to get the gun out of your pocket and wind up with a weird grip or you’re trying to create space when this 250 pound guy is hammering you from above – these are the things that tends to lead to malfunctions.
Ok, lets get to the meat of this – Here’s a quick list of good .380 ACP pocket pistol for concealed carry to see if it works for you:

  • Bersa Firestorm .380
  • Ruger LCP II .380
  • Kahr CW 380
  • Sig Sauer P238
  • Glock 42
  • S&W Bodyguard 380
  • Kel-Tec P3AT

Let’s go over some pros and con.
Down Side
The .380s are usually light in weight, this makes it harder to dampen the recoil thus affecting the accuracy of the shot.
Another thing that can affect the recoil is the design.
Having a high grip helps in handling recoil better than low grip.
The grip size also helps in better control of the gun. The bigger the better.
Last its obvious that the caliber is not the same caliber power compared to a .45.

So the positive is that its a highly concealed gun, but you still need to be aware of deep concealment. This would make it harder to access in a stressful situation.
Another upside is the caliber, I know what we said earlier about bigger caliber.

38 special vs 380
38 Special vs .380 slug

But a closer examination against a .38, a .380 velocity is faster. Yes, it doesn’t hit as hard as the .38 due to the different grain weight. (158 grain vs 95 grain)
In the context of personal defense shooting, its all about putting multiple shots to the vital points (center mass) of the body is the way to go.
Quick Word on Ammo
Another equation to add to your equalizer is the ammo.
Go with a decent hollow point ammunition. If you’re experienced with hollow points, then you know that all hollow points are not the same in terms of expansion when it hits the target. The only real answer is for you to get some and test it out then choose which ones to go with. Check out these .380 ACP self-defense rounds here.

Ok, here’s the description on these fine .380 pocket pistols:

    • Bersa Firestorm .380

      Similar appearances to the Walther PP/K, considered reliable and accurate. Can pack 8+1 with an extended mag otherwise its 7+1.
    • Ruger LCP II 380

      The newer LCP II 380 version is made from polymer with a 2.75″ barrel. A lightweight at 10.6 ounces can pack six with one in the chamber.
      If you’re looking for a bargain then this is it – MSRP $299.
      The only complaints is that it has a long and heavy pull.
      If you like lasers, it does come with a Veridian pre-installed.
    • Kahr CW 380

      This is also a polymer frame gun and the smallest from this list. The barrel is only 2.5″ with a weight of 10 ounces.
      This trigger is smoother than most with good sights.
      One thing to know is that you really gotta play with a variety of ammo, its not exactly plug and play. Some ammo makes the cycling awful on this piece.
      Some folks have said using the regular ball ammo is fine.
    • Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380

      This Bodyguard weighs in at 12.8 ounces, sports a long heavy trigger pull with double-strike capability. This means if you squeeze the trigger and all you get is a “click”, pulling it again allows the cartridge primer to be struck a second time, hopefully firing it this time. This also comes with a Crimson Trace laser.

  • Glock 42

    Everyone knows Glock makes good reliable guns.
    Their G42s performs very well.
    The barrel is longer than the other at 3.25″ and weighs more than the others at 13.76 ounces.
    This may be the reason why you can shoot quickly and accurately and not have your muzzle flip too much.
    This obviously has a higher price tag at $440.
  • Sig Sauer P238

    This is more expensive than the G42, MSRP at $629.
    With a great name brand, the gun also performs well.
    The P238 “is 1911 Inspired”. This is an all metal gun which gives you extra control on the recoil, very accurate.
    Weighs in at 15.2 ounces with a 2.7″ long barrel.
    If you’re not used to taking a 1911 apart, then don’t get this gun.
  • Kel-Tec P3AT

    One of the lightest .380 subcompact at 8.3 oz empty and 11 oz when loaded. However, many owners are saying though this little sucker is not a .357 Magnum but shooting this thing does bite. Its not fun shooting it. Trigger pull is at 5 pounds.

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Final thoughts
Mouse guns that roars with .380s are good if that’s what you want for personal protection but bear in mind. Realistically, you will need to rain down multiple lead to stop someone. So if you’re going to carry a pocket-sized .380, make sure you test fire it as much as possible, keep it clean, well-lubricated and practice your malfunction clearance drills.
Do you pocket carry a .380?

.32 ACP vs .380 ACP – Pocket Pistols

Are they Worth having?

In the early days 1900’s pocket pistols were very popular, especially in .32 ACP caliber. This was developed by John Moses Browning which featured in the first reciprocating slide of the FN Model 1900.
European police and military used the .32 as their duty handguns. The U.S. used a larger caliber pistol but the .32 was a big hit for the private Joe.
Some of the common pocket hammer-less guns that many carried were the Colt 1903 and Savage Model 1907. Shooting these single-action steel frame pistols in the lightweight caliber was really easy. Which is probably why many liked it.
Unfortunately, as time goes by the .32’s have gone out of favor, which most are going for a bigger caliber. There isn’t many gun manufacturers making the .32 ACP, even in this current pocket gun trend. Here’s a list of some .32 ACP that you might find at the gun store or online.

  • Beretta 3032 Tomcat
    This .32 caliber is a version of the Bobcat 21A. Its a double action/single action with the tip-up barrel. This gun is consider wide and heavy for a pocket gun.
  • CZ 83
    CZ makes them in other caliber as well, but the 83 is the better buy. Has a double-stack magazine (15+1).
  • Beretta 81FS
    The 81 is a double-stack compact, magazine holds 12+1. If you’re familiar with the full standard 92FS (9mm), this is the smaller version.
  • Kel-Tec P-32
    This .32 ACP Kel-Tec may be the lightest out of the bunch. It’s a polymer-framed internal-hammer double action that holds 7+1.
  • Signal 9 Reliant
    The four barrels makes this 32 stands out. Signal design this with no moving external parts for reliability.
  • North American Arms Guardian
    Designed to be convenient and reliable. Holds 6+1 rounds, has fixed sights and DAO triggers. Lifetime warranty backed by Guardians.
  • Seecamp LWS
    Could be one of the smallest pistol out on the market. Packs 6+1 rounds, uses a delayed blowback action to cycle the rounds. No sights.
This obviously, isn’t the complete list there are some that we didn’t mention like the Beretta 1935, the Llama Especial (1911 style) or the Walther PPK.



So far the only positive thing about the .32 ACP is the recoil. The recoil is lighter than the .380 ACP. So is this a big enough difference between the two calibers that has an impact on how well one shoots? In order to test this out, there needs to be a side-by-side testing (shootout). One of the best gun drill is the 5X5 drill. This test as design to measure performance.
The drill consists of 5 shots at 5 yards into a 5 inch cirle in under 5 seconds from a low ready position.

The following test results was conducted from Chris Baker of Lucky Gunner. Chris shot the Kel-Tec P32 and the .380 S&W Bodyguard. The main objective was to see if there were any difference in the times between the .32 ACP and .380 ACP. Here’s the results below.

The time as you can see is not much of a differences. Now if we look at this maybe from a lesser skill shooter. The times would obviously be slower, but we can still logically deduct that the .32 ACP tame recoil is still the easier caliber to manage.

We live in a bigger is better world. So one of the thing that many gun enthusiasts are concern with is the perceived lack of power of the .32 ACP. It is true if one compare the .32 to a more powerful .45 ACP – totally big differences. But, lets look at some ballistic gel to give us an idea of what the .32 ACP is capable of.

This test shows the following ammo used from Speer Gold Dot, Federal AE and PMC.
Speer Gold Dot – This 60 grain penetration was at 11 inches with no expansion. This is typical for a smaller round that doesn’t have enough energy.
Federal AE FMJ – This 71 grain full metal jacket round had better penetration than the Speer Gold, going in at 15.5 inches and 20 inches. The gun experts will say this is over penetration, chances are the smaller caliber energy will be lost when it exits the target.
PMC JHP – This 60 grain bullet penetration averaging around 13 inches. This is considered the ideal level.

This next illustration below shows a comparison between the .32 ACP and the .380 ACP gel test.

At first glance the .380 ACP has the better penetration. The Glock 42 was used for the .380 with a longer barrel than the .32 ACP Kel-Tec.
The Hornady Critical Defense round performed great in terms of penetration and expansion. So ballistic wise, the .380 has an edge. But, if you’re pouncing FMJ in a shorter barrel pocket pistol, there isn’t much a difference between a .32 and a .380.

Final Shot
The .32 ACP has the potential to be a lot more if ammo manufacturers develop more powerful loads. Unfortunately, the mass aren’t interested in the .32’s as much as the .380 ACP. If you’re adamant about carrying the .32’s, here are some .32 ACP ammo for you to check out from Lucky Gunner, these were tested from a pocket pistol short barrel (KeltecP32):
  • Buffalo Bore Tac-XP +P – 60 gr HP
  • CorBon – 60 gr JHP
  • Federal Hydra-Shok – 65 gr JHP
  • Fiocchi XTP – 60 gr JHP
  • Fiocchi XTP – 73 gr FMJ
  • Hornady XTP – 60 gr JHP

Photos from LuckyGunner and Wikipedia

P365 vs Hellcat

Micro 9’s Showdown

The Sig P365 and the Hellcat pistols are considered to be two of the most popular micro 9mm (pocket pistols) out on the market. Youtuber Ian and Karl of In Range demonstrates this comparison.
The purpose of this is to see and feel how both of these guns shoot. They are looking at it from a performance level but nothing too technical and this is not a valid way to test a handgun. This is just heresy from two people with differing skill level.
The only differences between the two pistol is that the Hellcat has a Red Dot attached for sighting. If this is better to have than iron sights, that is to be debated at another time.


This test involves two targets which must be hit twice per target at the 10 yards and 15 yards. This is a time event which has the shooter holding their pistols at the low ready position and commence firing at the sound of the buzz. There is no time from the 25 yard, shooter have 10 rounds to see how many they get on target.

10 Yard

Both shooters average times were faster with the Hellcat.

15 Yard

25 Yards

Hellcat won at the 10 yard close range. At 15 yards the P365 seems to be better without a Red Dot. Ian is definitely the long range marksman, where Karl is the faster shooter at closer range. Having the red dot seems to be a plus when getting on target.

Both guns run really well. At the 15 yards the P365 won. Both shooters have a different makeup, one has more aptitude for precision shooting than the other.


Ian prefers the Sig P365 trigger being much cleaner, while the Hellcat trigger was more stiff. The reset may have been better on the P365 than the Hellcat. (both shooters agreed on this)

Karl prefers the Hellcat, even though its considered a copycat of the P365. Incorporating the Red Dot is a huge plus not only for close range quick target acquisition but if needed to sighting a target 25 yards also helps having. Having an extra round may be just a cool feeling that you have one more round. The grip texturing feels more sticky, so much better than holding the P365.

Remington Model 51

A 20th Century Pocket Gun that was ahead of its Time

At the beginning of the 20th century semi-automatic magazine fed pistols were a novel concept. However, this era gave us the iconic M1911 and the German Luger just to name a few. There were many others that popped up into the scene but were left behind as time went by. One pistol that was forgotten but had a really good design was the Remington Model 51 which was developed during the prohibition era of the United States.

At this time John Browning may have been the most well known firearms designer. But, a lesser known John Pederson, who in his own right should have had the same notoriety. John Pederson had collaboratively worked on many successful guns with different designers (including J Browning), his most successful is the Remington Model 51 that reached full production level.


Pederson designed the Model 51 in 1917 as a pocket gun which at the time the market was dominated by the cheaper and reliable revolvers. The pistol was somewhat successful, it did not dominate the market.
The U.S. military did take a look at the Model 51 as a possible combat handgun before WWII. From a production level perspective. The more cheaper and reliable direct blow-back design was the order of the day. The Model 51 production eventually wound down.

Remington Model 51 Features

The Model 51 was design as a pocket pistol. The exterior is sleek and smooth. -The sights were filed down to be snag free when drawn from the user’s pocket.
-Another fine feature is the “safety,” which was created from the entire back strap of the pistol, held in the hand comfortably with no sharp edges. When depressed, it lines up smoothly with the rear edges of the grip.
-The grip uses a smooth single stack magazine like the M1911.
-The original Model 51 houses 7 rounds of .380ACP cartridge and the magazine release the same as the M1911.
Due to the Model 51 sleek design, the revolvers were no match from a concealability stand point.

Marvelous Internal
Many people like the looks of the Model 51 but gunsmithers will appreciate the internals design of the gun. The design uses a fixed barrel design vs a barrel-base short-stroke recoil system of the time. The breach itself tilts to impart momentum so the slide can effortlessly carry through the operating cycle.

Disassembly – Breaking down the Model 51 is really different and can be looked at as a little complex to the newbies. Here are the steps from N Leghorn of TruthAboutGuns:
  • -Remove a crossbar pin to unlock the barrel.
  • -The user then grips the end of the barrel and pulls it forward to unlock the mechanism and remove the slide.
  • -From there, the internal components can be removed by sliding it back and tilting it out, which allows the firing pin and the spring to fall free.
So here’s why gunsmiths will appreciate the internal designs that was created for better concealability:
The barrel doesn’t tilt, so there’s no need for a separate guide rod for the return spring. In the operating cycle most semi-automatic pistols of the era used an under-over placement for the return spring that provided the forward pressure to chamber the next round. This increases the height of the handgun (a bigger pistol), and makes it a little harder to conceal in a pocket or holster.

With the recoil spring around the barrel the gun could be much thinner with an extremely low bore axis…an edge over the competition. A huge advantage for concealed carry.
Another advantage is the felt recoil. The original Model 51 lower bore axis reduces felt recoil, makes it softer shooting and allowing for quicker rapid shots.

Not many gun enthusiasts or collectors had the chance to run this gun, so we can’t say what the majority would say. This perspective and experiences is from N Leghorn when he took this original Model 51 out on the range.
“The Model 51 is chambered in the .380 ACP cartridge which was considered more powerful than the .32 ACP – which was the pocket gun competition at the time.

The recoil is incredibly tame. It feels like you’re shooting a rimfire cartridge than the centerfire .380 ACP.
There’s a tiny bit of take-up in the trigger. After that, the break is crisp and clean. Once cycled, a short reset gets you back in firing condition. Something noticeable in this design: there’s a tactile reset. You feel and hear a small “click” when the trigger is back in firing position. That removes all doubt about whether you need to release the trigger any further and discourages “short stroking” (where the shooter will try to pull the trigger again without fully resetting the gun)”.

This shooter claims the 103 year old pistol runs like a charm and was able to put a 2 inch groupings at 15 yards. Which is efficient for personal defense.
Another writer/gun enthusiasts (E. Buffaloe) claimed:
“Very few guns feel so much like an extension of the hand as does the Remington 51. W.H. B. Smith says: “With the sole exception of the Luger, and the new German Walther P38, the Walther PPK, Sauer-38 and Mauser HSc (all foreign developments) this Remington 51 is probably the best-balanced, most-instinctive-pointing pistol ever made.”

Re-Design Model 51
Parting Shots
The Remington Model 51 may have been lost through the times, but Remington did release a remake design of this awesome pistol a while back, thanks to the efforts of a couple of its employees. Here are the good points of this awesome pocket gun which is ahead of its time.

Accuracy – 4 Star
For a pocket pistol with tiny sights the gun isn’t half bad. Two inches at 15 yards is nothing to sneeze at in the compact handgun world, even among modern firearms.
Functionality – 5 Star
Runs every single time. The action is smooth and the recoil is light.

Here’s what some are saying about this awesome pocket gun:
PeterK says:
Such a cool piece of engineering. I can see why JMB thought so highly of Pederson.
Andrew Lias says:
A gun on my bucket list. I have 2 savage 1907s that need a friend. I hope parts are easier to find.


Tom in Oregon says:
Sweet piece of nostalgia. Also on my “need to have if the price is right” list.
jwm says:
It looks remarkably like a hammerless Makarov. From that era I judge pocket pistols when compared to the Colt 1903/08.
Michael Case says:
One of the classics, I would love to add this to my collection if I can find a descent one.
Charles Gallo says:
I have a well functioning M51 ! My fathers daily carry ! We head to the range with a 357 SnW 19 too and my guns I just keep loading for 20 minutes straight while pops shot them , I’ll treasure my M 51 the memories at the range with dad ! RIP 5/27/19 Korean Veteran Air Force.

Review by J Hines and Photos from Sources from E Buffaloe, N Leghorn, Wikipedia

Top Pocket Pistols

There are many good handguns out in the market to choose from.
Many lawful gun owners have different perspectives on which is best. So it can be a challenge not only for the newbie but the seasoned carriers as well.
Handguns do come in different sizes, such as the full standard that LEO’s carry to a mini snub nose revolver. Currently, the micro 9mm’s are some of the hottest on the market. Here are some top handgun choices to consider for compact size.

  • Springfield Armory Hellcat

    It is a micro 9mm pistol with huge capacity. It holds 11+1 rounds of 9mm with a flush magazine and 13+1 rounds of 9mm with the extended magazine. The Hellcat is a bit “snappy” but very accurate. Price will be a little higher than the others.
  • Sig P365

    Its reliability, light weight, one inch narrow width, tight slide to frame fit, excellent tritium day/night sights, comfortable grip, nice trigger with short reset, and overall ergonomics makes it one of the favorite micro 9mm pistol out on the market. Yes, 10+1 mag capacity for a micro 9mm!
  • Mossberg MC1sc

    Yes, Mossberg does make handguns, the subcompact MC1sc is a polymer, striker-fired pistol. Mossberg chambered the new pistol in 9mm. It comes with both six-round flush and seven-round extended magazines. The pistol is reliable and accurate.
  • Glock 26 Gen 4 (9MM)

    This particular Glock is for concealed carry and it may be the most popular among CCW. Its small frame, short barrel makes it easy to conceal and the high magazine capacity is heaven sent with 10+1 rounds of 9mm.

    One thing that stands out when compared to other compact guns is that while shooting the pistol it won’t jump out of your hand. This is because of the full width size, this allows a shooter to have a good hold of it.
  • Glock 43

    We didn’t forget about this Glock, this G43 does live up to its name. At 6.26 inces in overall length and 17.95 ounces unloaded, the 6+1 pistol runs on the larget side of micro pistols, yet is concealable as ever.
  • Springfield XDs (.45 ACP)

    This Sprinfield XDs is a .45ACP and considered one of the best on the market. The downside is that its a single stack which only holds 5 rounds of .45ACP. The size is perfect for the concealed and the quality of the gun and operation is perfect. Overall considered reliable, consistent, easy to shoot, easy to clean and enough fire power to take down any bad guy.
  • Ruger LC9

    This baby is a 9mm caliber, recoil-operated, locked breech, Hammer fired, semi-automatic pistol. Striker-fired with a short, light, crisp trigger pull for faster, more accurate shooting.
  • Ruger LCRx .38 Special

    LCR stands for “Lightweight Carry Revolver”, the whole LCR series comes with its patent-trigger system. The reduced friction trigger system is designed to give the double-action shooting a smooth even trigger pull. This all helps in getting a more accurate shot every time.
    Ruger has been attentive to their customers one request was to make a LCR pistol with an exposed hammer to enable single-action mode, and they listened.
  • Smith & Wesson M&P 40C

    Smith&Wesson produces some of the best handguns no matter the size. This M&P 40C is reliable, accurate and easy to carry makes it a great choice for CCW. The pistol comes standard with a trigger safety and optional thumb safety. Another thing that stands out from the other pistol is its affordable pricing.
  • Taurus PT111

    The Taurus PT111 is not well known but its great for CCW. The compact frame and 13-round capacity makes it ideal to tuck under your shirt with your favorite IWB holster. Something that stands out with this PT111 is the double-action/single-action mode.
    When the slide resets the internal striker to get ready to fire the next round, the trigger is then in single-action mode. If the round fails to fire, the PT111 automatically switches into double-action mode – which will allow you to strike the same primer again. This feature could potentially save your life if you were ever faced with a light primer strike in an emergency situation.

    The SCCY may be one of the most affordable carry gun on the market with an excellent customer service and lifetime warranty.
    Its slim design, lightweight, easy to use and 9mm pistol holds 10+1 rounds – has more than enough stopping power for you.
    Many are saying the gun is super comfortable to hold, a pleasure to shoot, and a fantastic carry firearm for the price.
  • Springfield XDM Compact .40 S&W

    The Springfield XDM Compact is another awesome compact carry gun – and you can have your choice of carrying either 11+1 rounds of .40S&W, or 16+1 rounds when you carry the extended magazine.
    This gun is a bit pricier than some of the other guns, but it sure is quality. It’s 6.26-pound trigger pull makes this gun a dream to shoot – and it’s extremely accurate.
  • Smith & Wesson M&P Shield .40S&W

    The slim, lightweight Smith & Wesson M&P Shield comes in both .40S&W and 9MM and extremely accurate.
    The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is one of the top selling guns. The 6-pound trigger pull makes for a crisp and accurate shot placement, and the sights on top of the gun are fantastic. Due to the demand for these guns, the M&P Shields are hard to find – if you see one, grab one!

This isn’t the complete list but these are some really good pistols for personal defense to check out.

Savage Model 1907

10 Quick Shots from an Early 20th Century Pocket Pistol

Before concealed carry was the norm, Savage Arms produced the Savage Model 1907 semi-automatic pocket pistol in .32 ACP is from 1907 until 1920.
Although smaller in size, it is derived from the .45 semi-automatic pistol Savage submitted to the 1906-1911 US Army trials to choose a new semi-automatic sidearm. After several years of testing the Savage pistol was one of two finalists but ultimately lost to Colt, which became famous as the Colt Model 1911.

Savage felt that a scaled down pocket pistol would be a better seller than a large bore handgun so the .45 ACP model never made it into Savage’s consumer catalog. Some gun collectors speculated how the .45 Savage would have been received if it was put into wide distribution. There was no need to wonder how the 1907 .32 fared. It was a home run and Savage ultimately produced 235,000 model 1907 pistols.

Something cool about this pocket pistol is that its also a striker-fired gun. From the looks of the safety it seems to be external, but its really a cocking lever.
Model 1907s made from 1913 until 1917 had a collared barrel and a loaded chamber indicator, allowing the shooter to tell by touching the shell ejection port whether a cartridge was chambered. The Model 1907 uses no screws (even the grips snap into place) and is simple to strip. The grips were made from gutta-percha, though some early production examples had metal grips. In 1912 the Model 1907 underwent a major design revision modifying almost every major component.

As with most semi-automatics, the pistol is readied for firing by pulling back and releasing the slide, which inserts a cartridge into the chamber and cocks the pistol. The recoil from firing a cartridge automatically extracts and ejects the empty shell, cocks the firing pin and loads another cartridge into the chamber, ready for firing.

It was chambered for the .32 ACP cartridge, which was popular at the time and considered a fairly potent round. With its 71-grain FMJ bullet moving at about 900 fps, it would penetrate 5 inches when fired into stacked 0.875-inch soft-pine boards from 15 feet, a standard test at the time.
That was good performance compared to the .32 S&W and .38 S&W cartridges, which were also used in small-framed pocket revolvers of the period.

The pistol had many unique features.

  1. The circular knurled knob at the top is not a hammer as the model 1907 is a striker-fired pistol. The knurled knob is actually a cocking indicator. As pictured above the knob indicates that the pistol is not cocked. If it was in the rearward position then the striker is cocked.
  2. The slide rides inside the frame, as do the modern CZ pistols, rather than riding on top or outside of the frame.
  3. As the slide rides inside the frame, little of the slide is left to grasp in order to rack the slide and charge the pistol. To help that function Savage put large and well spaced cocking serrations on the slide to assist with its manipulation.
  4. The magazine holds 10 rounds in a double stack configuration. I’ll bet you didn’t realize that double stack magazine go all the way back to the early days of the last century.
  5. The magazine release sits at the bottom of the front strap.
    One is supposed to be able to operate the release using your little finger.
  6. The safety lever swings up to make the pistol safe.
  7. The sights are small and representative of an era where shooting was done quickly without taking the time to obtain an ultra precise sight picture.

Taking Pistol Apart
Taking the pistol apart is as easy as pulling back the slide fully and put the safety lever to lock the slide in position. Turn the breech block containing the cocking lever (hammer) clockwise about 45 degrees, then, squeezing backward on the cocking lever, fully rotate the breech block 90 degrees, which lets you pull it straight back and remove it from the slide.
With a firm grip on the slide, move the safety to “fire” and pull the trigger. The slide can be moved forward off the frame. The barrel can now be removed.
Putting the pistol back is in the reverse order, but you must squeeze the cocking lever hard as you reinsert the breech block, and make sure you put it in the same way it came out.

Out on the Range

For the lucky ones that had a chance to shoot one, all stated the 1907 was very pleasant to shoot. The .32 ACP has a minimum of recoil but before we look at the target. Just so you know the sights are really tiny and the pistol is over 100 years old.

The target above was shot with Remington FMJ ammo at 21 feet from an unknown shooter. This pocket pistol was designed for close quarter contact, they stated they did not fire it beyond the 7 yard marker. Shots were at the middle and top two diamonds. The rounds in the southern hemisphere were shot at the equatorial target. Still, for what this pistol is designed for, it serves the purpose well.

Some shots were from a sandbag rest from the bench, the results wasn’t bad. This shooter produced a decent five-shot groups with the Remington ammo. The best measured 1.64 inches, and the average was 1.98 inches—again not too bad for a gun over 100 years old. The recoil was non-existent and rapid firing was a breeze.
So if you ever get a chance to get this pocket pistol that you can pipe with 10+1 from the early 20th century, why not!

Bulk Ammo In-Stock

Savage 1907 Specs
Caliber: .32 ACP
Barrel: 3.75 inches
OA Length: 6.5 inches
Weight: 19 ounces (empty)
Grip: Checkered rubber
Sights: Blade front, integral rear
Action: SA
Finish: Blued
Capacity: 10+1