Pocket pistols for concealed carry?

Pocket pistols for concealed carry? Absolutely, that’s what we’re looking at today. The idea of pocket pistols is always great, right? It fulfills the first rule of gunfighting: have a gun. But are small pocket pistols really the optimal choice for self defense?

First let’s define what we mean by pocket pistol. In this case, we’re talking about a small semi-automatic pistol, chambered in 380 ACP or smaller cartridges, that can realistically be put in a pocket holster and then a pants pocket for concealed carry. I have some experience with pocket pistols, as my first civilian DGU was with a Beretta Jetfire that I carried in a pants pocket at the time. It was…not a pleasant experience trying to fish that gun out of my pocket when I needed it. That’s the biggest drawback to pocket pistols for concealed carry – they’re slow to get into action.

But the flip side of that is that nothing conceals better. If you’re choosing a pocket pistol for concealed carry, it’s likely because your use case makes concealment outweigh quick access to your gun. That makes sense, and it’s a valid concern for people, especially people who want to be armed in environments that restrict or prohibit guns. For deep concealment in non-permissive environments, nothing beats a small pocket gun.

Back to the disadvantages, you have to be aware when choosing a pocket pistol for concealed carry that they often struggle with reliability. The more you shrink a gun, the more difficult it gets to make them run well. Of course, we also don’t expect pocket pistols to last for 1,000 round weekend shooting courses, either, so trying to get it to conform to the same standards as a Glock 19 is a little unrealistic.

Ultimately, whether you choose a pocket pistol for concealed carry comes down to your individual circumstance. While I’ve moved away from small semi-autos in favor of space-age metal revolvers in goofy calibers, a pocket pistol may make sense for you. What’s important is to evaluate your daily carry scenario, your likely threats, and make an educated choice based on that information.