Pocket pistol vs. Compact pistol for CCW


702XD45

New member
I've already made up my mind that eventually I would like to own three handguns for CCW use. I already own a Springfield XD 45 Service model. While the XD is an awesome handgun and I love shooting it, I would like something smaller to carry during the summer months. I've got my eyes set on a Kahr PM9 and a Micro Desert Eagle. The idea is that I will carry the XD during the winter, carry the PM9 on a pretty much daily basis, and carry the DE when I absolutely have to go light. It could also serve as a grab and go gun to throw in my pocket. My problem now is that we are headed into summer weather (already there in Vegas) and I don't own a handgun small enough to reasonably conceal with just a t shirt and shorts. This may be an unorthodox approach but I've decided I am not going to change my clothes for my guns but rather change guns according to how I dress. I don't want to have to wear more clothes just because I don't have a small enough gun. My idea is that I will grab the biggest gun I own that I can conceal under what I decide to wear. With limited funds I am not able to buy both at the same time, as much as I would like to. I am trying to figure out which one to buy now. I am ready to buy as soon as I decide; I've just been contemplating this for about a month now and wanted an outside opinion.
 

old salt

New member
I've already made up my mind that eventually I would like to own three handguns for CCW use. I already own a Springfield XD 45 Service model. While the XD is an awesome handgun and I love shooting it, I would like something smaller to carry during the summer months. I've got my eyes set on a Kahr PM9 and a Micro Desert Eagle. The idea is that I will carry the XD during the winter, carry the PM9 on a pretty much daily basis, and carry the DE when I absolutely have to go light. It could also serve as a grab and go gun to throw in my pocket. My problem now is that we are headed into summer weather (already there in Vegas) and I don't own a handgun small enough to reasonably conceal with just a t shirt and shorts. This may be an unorthodox approach but I've decided I am not going to change my clothes for my guns but rather change guns according to how I dress. I don't want to have to wear more clothes just because I don't have a small enough gun. My idea is that I will grab the biggest gun I own that I can conceal under what I decide to wear. With limited funds I am not able to buy both at the same time, as much as I would like to. I am trying to figure out which one to buy now. I am ready to buy as soon as I decide; I've just been contemplating this for about a month now and wanted an outside opinion.

For me I have a Glock 23 (40S&W) for my house gun and CCW on the few cold days. A Glock 27 (40S&W) for warmer days and a little S&W 442 (38) I carry in my pocket on hot days. I find myself carrying the S&W 442 loaded with 158 grain JHP with an extra five rounds in a speed strip more and more.

Goog luck
 

gvaldeg1

NRA Member
I too am faced with hot weather like Las Vegas. (I live in the Phoenix area.) I have several guns that are a little big for concealed carry in t-shirt and shorts weather (which is most of the year in Phoenix). For hot weather, I carry a Kel-Tec P3AT loaded with 7 rounds of Buffalo Bore (BB) 380 +P 90 gr Gold Dot HPs. This gun only weighs 11 ounces fully loaded and just disappears in the pocket of cargo shorts with an in-pocket holster. Here's a link to an interesting test of BB ammo in a P3AT compared to a 40 S&W:

Link Removed

In the article the author says "The P3AT with BB Gold Dot is a formidable defensive weapon - penetrating almost 14 inches of plaster with a half inch+ diameter wound path after going through denim and rib cage. Compare the P3AT with BB Gold Dot at 236 ftlb actual measured energy with a S&W SnubNose 38cal +P Double Tap Gold Dot at actual measured 199 ftlb. I'll take the P3AT any day." The BB ammo helps turn the little P3AT (or the Ruger LCP which is a P3AT clone) into a very credible defensive weapon. Anyway, it's perfect for t-shirt and shorts carry.
 

prplflh71

New member
I've already made up my mind that eventually I would like to own three handguns for CCW use. I already own a Springfield XD 45 Service model. While the XD is an awesome handgun and I love shooting it, I would like something smaller to carry during the summer months. I've got my eyes set on a Kahr PM9 and a Micro Desert Eagle. The idea is that I will carry the XD during the winter, carry the PM9 on a pretty much daily basis, and carry the DE when I absolutely have to go light. It could also serve as a grab and go gun to throw in my pocket. My problem now is that we are headed into summer weather (already there in Vegas) and I don't own a handgun small enough to reasonably conceal with just a t shirt and shorts. This may be an unorthodox approach but I've decided I am not going to change my clothes for my guns but rather change guns according to how I dress. I don't want to have to wear more clothes just because I don't have a small enough gun. My idea is that I will grab the biggest gun I own that I can conceal under what I decide to wear. With limited funds I am not able to buy both at the same time, as much as I would like to. I am trying to figure out which one to buy now. I am ready to buy as soon as I decide; I've just been contemplating this for about a month now and wanted an outside opinion.

I just went through the same decision making process and went with the S&W M&P 340 CT with a Desantis Super Fly pocket holster.

13.3 oz 5 shot 38+p/.357 revolver. Crimson Trace grips and XS Trintium night sights. I decided against the even lighter 340 PD due to some questions about the Ti cylinder with cleaning proceses and lock up. It also lacks the XS sights.

Link Removed

I also considered Ruger's new LCR and some of the pocket sized semi auto's but fell in love with the M&P. I placed a back order last week at my local dealer. Can't wait! Pricey little bugger, but it had everthing I was looking for (except for a 15 rd cylinder) ha ha! :sarcastic:

"Will Work For Ammo"
 

2beararms

New member
Since it's always sort of summer in South Florida I wound up with three guns. A Beretta Vertec, a Kahr PM9 and a Kel-Tec P-3AT with the same thought in mind. After five years with the combo the Beretta lives permantly bedside, the Kahr goes out every now and then mostly in a fannypack, sometimes IWB but the Kel-Tec has settled in as my primary carry gun.

I carry it in a pocketholsters.com covertible pocket holster with a wallet backer. I usually carry right front pants pocket with the wallet backer facing outward that way the gun never prints, it always looks like a wallet in the pocket. Since most shorts have nice loose front pockets it is very easy to slide your hand between the wallet backer and the gun making for a quick draw and because the backer blocks the print, you can even have you hand around the guns handle and no one can notice. With most shorts the presentation is loose enought even to draw (though not a quick draw) from a seated position such as in a car (practice a bit). I find it no slower than getting around the seatbelt when IWB. Front pocket carry does not work well in tight jeans, rear pocket carry is a good alternative but IWB is the better option.

The debate of "bigger is better" will go on forever but .380 is a formidable round for self-defense and that is all CCW is about. Recently I obtained a Ruger LCP with the CT laser and the same holster for this setup. It is really pretty cool adding both the aiming aid and the fear instilling "red dot" of laser to this mini-pocket pistol.

So if your summer wear is shorts, I can highly recommend the P-3AT or LCP as the most concealable and comfortable carry and when it is cold out and you decide to slap on the big iron you will likely find the little one still in your pocket because, like a watch or a cell phone, you start to feel naked without it.

Good Luck ...

ps: I love Vegas, I may have to come visit one of these days soon:biggrin:
 

utimmer43

New member
If you are planning on eventually buying both, I would go with the pocket pistol first. This way you will be able to carry no matter how hot it is, and you can take your time saving up for the compact.
 

prplflh71

New member
If you are planning on eventually buying both, I would go with the pocket pistol first. This way you will be able to carry no matter how hot it is, and you can take your time saving up for the compact.

I couldn't agree more. My Kimber Custom CDPII has sat at home since warm weather kicked in. I'm not carrying most days until my S&W J frame arrives at the dealer from back order status.

"Will Work For Ammo"
 

utimmer43

New member
If you are planning on eventually buying both, I would go with the pocket pistol first. This way you will be able to carry no matter how hot it is, and you can take your time saving up for the compact.
OH, BTW... Having said that, also take note of the ammo that is available in your area, or what you are willing to pay for it online. Aside from having half the impact of 9mm, .380 will almost never be found at Wally World, and will run about 50% more in price than 9mm (online).

Also, I read alot on here of people pocketing the PM9, so maybe going with the Kahr first would be the better option. Then you can see if it is indeed small enough for your pocket. You might not need both after all. You might also try renting one or borrowing a friends to see how it feels before you buy one of your own.

I realize I just contradicted myself, welcome to my world.:hang3: I have stuff like this running through my head all day long. I too am considering a hot weather pocket gun, and am currently leaning toward a Rohrbaugh R9.
 

Old Zebra

Member
I've gone back and forth on this issue...whether to buy a a pocket pistol or a compact. My primary pistol is a 5-inch 1911 which is utterly reliable and accurate. I'm concerned about compromising reliability and/or accuracy when going with something smaller. But the reality is, I live in the Phoenix metro area and my 1911 is not only a bit of a load for carry, it's also more difficult to properly conceal during warm weather...which is most of the time. I want/need something smaller.

My preference is a 1911 platform. I've looked at compact 1911s and worry that I won't be able to adequately control a compact model (.45) for fast, accurate follow-up shots. Birthday number 69 is rolling around this year and I probably won't get any stronger. So I persuaded myself to consider a .380 pocket pistol. I looked at the Ruger LCP, a Walther, and the Kel-Tec, but didn't get that warm, fuzzy feeling. Nothing against any of these little pistols...it's just my bias for a single action 1911-style pistol. For the present, I'm waiting to get my hands on the new Sig P238, which seems to be based on the Colt Mustang. Hopefully, that will fill my need. Until then, it's my government 1911 or nothing.
 
W

wolfhunter

Guest
Zebra, take a look at the Para Warthog. It is a 1911 platform .45, with a ten round magazine. 3" barrel, 24 oz., 6.5"OAL, 4.5" high. There is no smaller, more powerful 1911-style, 10+1 semi-auto .45 ACP in the world, and I find mine great to carry, and both fun and accurate to shoot.
Para-Ordnance, High-Quality Handguns: Products
 

702XD45

New member
If you are planning on eventually buying both, I would go with the pocket pistol first. This way you will be able to carry no matter how hot it is, and you can take your time saving up for the compact.

I agree. Everyone keeps talking about the Kel-tec P3at. Perhaps I should look into that model as well. The price is attractive at half the price of the MDE. My local dealer has a MDE for $495 and it has been there for months.
 

GeneralSumter

New member
I live in warm weather too, but feel that I can conceal my XD service with shorts and a t-shirt in my crossbreed just fine. I'd rather have my muscle memory and reflexes trained for one gun than to have to think about which gun I have on me. I don't want to think "where's the safety on this gun" when I need to just react. Single gun for CC. Separate gun for home defense is fine, but i say only one for CC.

$.02
 

old salt

New member
I've gone back and forth on this issue...whether to buy a a pocket pistol or a compact. My primary pistol is a 5-inch 1911 which is utterly reliable and accurate. I'm concerned about compromising reliability and/or accuracy when going with something smaller. But the reality is, I live in the Phoenix metro area and my 1911 is not only a bit of a load for carry, it's also more difficult to properly conceal during warm weather...which is most of the time. I want/need something smaller.

My preference is a 1911 platform. I've looked at compact 1911s and worry that I won't be able to adequately control a compact model (.45) for fast, accurate follow-up shots. Birthday number 69 is rolling around this year and I probably won't get any stronger. So I persuaded myself to consider a .380 pocket pistol. I looked at the Ruger LCP, a Walther, and the Kel-Tec, but didn't get that warm, fuzzy feeling. Nothing against any of these little pistols...it's just my bias for a single action 1911-style pistol. For the present, I'm waiting to get my hands on the new Sig P238, which seems to be based on the Colt Mustang. Hopefully, that will fill my need. Until then, it's my government 1911 or nothing.

Old Zebra

I went through the same dilemma you are going through. I have a Kel-Tec, p3at nice little auto until I had the opportunity to shoot the S&W 442. I’m an auto guy but when I put my new S&W 442 loaded with 158 grain +P JHP in a #3 Uncle Mike’s pocket holster, it disappears in my pocket. Love that little revolver. It’s the first thing I put in my pocket in the morning and the last to come out. If I’m washing the car, cutting the lawn (even without a shirt on) it’s only my hand in my pocket away. If you get the S&W 442 you will not be sorry.
 

thunderlounge

New member
My G23 goes everywhere with me. Rain, shine, heat or snow. For me, shorts don't make a difference other than well, they're shorts.
 

Piece Corps

New member
I also have an XD-40 4" and a Crossbreed SuperTuck, and I wear shorts and T-shirts most of the time here in Florida with no problems. Sometimes I use the QwikClip instead (it goes on and off a lot easier).

But I just bought a Kel-Tec P-11 for those times I'd like to carry a little lighter. It's a little big for a pocket gun, but it works nicely with my tac pants, and I have 10+1 of 9MM (and an extra mag, just in case). Matter of fact, I might just find myself carrying both at times. And the Kel-Tec had a great price.
 

Glockster20

Clinging to God and guns
I agree. Everyone keeps talking about the Kel-tec P3at. Perhaps I should look into that model as well. The price is attractive at half the price of the MDE. My local dealer has a MDE for $495 and it has been there for months.

Check out the Diamondback DB380! My daughter and son-in-law both have one and they love them! Check em' out;

Diamondback Site

By the way, they fit perfectly in the DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster.
 

Glockster20

Clinging to God and guns
The Diamondback DB380... This one is my daughters, but since they sell for under $400, and her piece performed flawlessly at the range, I have decided to buy one myself! Great for hot weather carry! 6+1 of .380 ACP... Very light!!

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tcox4freedom

New member
A nice pair of Chinos and a Polo shirt is not going to to anything to help you in a SD situation.

When facing 8-10 BGs a 6-7rd pocket pistol might not help much either. (This happened to me a few months ago.)

My wife had her 7rd 380acp and I had my 10rd 45. I would have been in a world of hurt if the BG's hadn't decided against their actions. So, I vote stay away from pocket pistols unless it's a BUG.

IMHO; buy a high capacity "Compact" like a Taurus 24/7 ProC or XD. XD also offers a high capacity "Sub" compact as well.

During the HOT Carolina summer I carry my 24/7 ProC 45 and an extra 13rd magazine in a "Smartcarry". This works fine as long as I'm not wearing skin tight shorts. I can easily conceal and still have fast access to my firearm while I wear Cargo shorts, gym shorts or any other "Summer" clothing.
 

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