The Pocket Gun

The Pocket Gun

The pocket gun…

This seems to be an interesting point of contention among the weapons aficionados out there. Some seem to think the whole concept is ludicrous… no self respecting Yosemite Sam would dare cary anything other than a full size firearm. (That, and a minimum of three extra magazines…. thank you very much).

(If you arrived here from the email…continue reading here:)

Others, see the value in a micro gun… and take micro to the extremes. Seeking to balance the stopping power of 45, 40 or 9 with the petite novelty of a .22 Derringer.

Ok… first off let’s get the orthodoxy out of the way. Any gun in a gun fight is waaaaay better than no gun.

That does not mean that you should not put some thought into what works for you as a pocket gun. (Note I did not use the term “back up” gun…. a back up gun may or may not be a pocket gun…. for the purposes of this discussion, a pocket gun is just that… a firearm that is small enough to fit in your pocket. If it is your only firearm, so be it… if you figure that it is going to be used as a secondary firearm that is cool too. Remember the old adage: (“One is none and two is one.”)

We have some clients that exclusively carry what I would call pocket guns. They are small enough to carry in a pocket but some choose to carry them in traditional methods… usually employing IWB holsters (in the waist band). Their logic is that the ability to conceal their firearm is paramount… and these tiny little pistols tend to conceal better than a larger cousin.


Frankly, I think this logic is a little silly. I will be the first to tell you that I shoot a larger firearm more accurately than a smaller one. Many of you have seen that I carry a full frame 1911 (with a tac light)… and I do it with an OWB (outside the waist band) holster. Once you make the decision to carry, focus on changing your wardrobe… not your firearm to accommodate the necessities of concealing. Now… if you are going to carry a pocket gun… and for full disclosure, I do carry a Smith and Wesson Airweight revolver as a pocket (back up) gun… you must make two very critical determinations:

1) Can you shoot the damn thing with your grossly oversized hands?

2) Are you prepared for the limitations associated with your choice of firearm?

I have seen problems with both issues above.

We have a client… the guy could have been a lumberjack in an alternate universe, who wanted to see my revolver…. he was considering getting one himself. I unloaded it and handed it to him. I literally watched it disappear in his fingers. Frankly an AR-15 might be too small for this guy. My gun… while it “fits” me, is way too small for him. While he was impressed with the ability for it to conceal in his pocket, there was no way he could ever get his hands around it in time for it to be a useful tool.

Sorry cowboy… size does matter… and this time it might have worked against him.

From a practical standpoint, he is going to need a larger gun.The second point from above takes a little bit more explanation.

Sig Sauer has a neat little Equinox model that looks like someone took a 1911 and put it in the dryer. The first time I saw one, I thought it was a toy. A cool looking toy… but a toy. It has the same slide stop and thumb safety of a traditional 1911, but with a much tougher trigger pull. While you can easily conceal this gun, virtually all of the muscular functions necessary to make it work are by definition fine motor skills.

(Actually for me I probably would need to put my reading glasses on to find the mag release). Since we know that in “condition red” we’ve lost our fine motor skills this gun tends to beg the question: When would I be able to use it effectively”?

Since most of you know, I’m not a huge revolver guy. So I do tend to get the question “why a revolver for you pocket gun”. For me, this is simple. If this gun ever comes out, it is because my regular cary gun either did not work or was not available to me. It also probably means that the threat has closed the distance and is essentially on top of me. If I have to make a contact shot, I don’t want the slide of a semi-auto to be pressed back causing a failure to fire. A revolver eliminates this problem.

One point that I do want to make though….a naked pocket gun is a dangerous gun.

If you choose to carry in the pocket… PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you get a holster to carry it in. The holster will act as a pattern break up (the whole idea is concealment right?)… and it will also be a secondary barrier to a negligent discharge.

In the end though always remember: times, tastes, and comfort levels change. Find the gun you like right now… but don’t be a slave to it. You might just need to make sure you have room in your safe for the “next one” too!


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