How much difference does it really make?

How much difference does it really make?

This is a discussion on How much difference does it really make? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm on the hunt again for an all the time pocket gun. I have a 642 but have been looking at P3ATs, LCPs, and TCPs. ...

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Thread: How much difference does it really make?

  1. #1
    Member Array khukuri's Avatar
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    How much difference does it really make?

    I'm on the hunt again for an all the time pocket gun. I have a 642 but have been looking at P3ATs, LCPs, and TCPs. I still have reservations about the reliability of any of the little 380s. My question is how much difference do these 380s make over the 642 as far as concealability and ease of carry. I had one of the 380s previously and traded because of reliability issues and it seems like it was a little easier in the pocket but I didn't have it long. So do they really have that big of an advantage or are the advantages worth giving up the reliability. I will say I am an automatic not revolver guy but I know I wont carry all the time if its not "easy". Otherwise I would just settle for my XDSC40. Please though I'm asking about carry not debates on caliber, brand reliability, auto vs revolver etc.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    How much of a difference depends on your body type and pants. I have a hard time concealing a revolver in my pocket because it prints horribly in virtually all of my pants due to the fact that I have muscular thighs. The revolver's grip also pokes out in a few pairs of khakis that I own. I don't have any such problems concealing a Ruger LCP or Kahr P380. The best way to find out if it makes a difference to you is to go to the gun store and try pocket carrying a few.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Another guy with large thighs here. Revolvers don't work in my pockets either.

    The LCP will fit in any (men's) pants pocket. The PM9 will fit in most, but not all - I had some pockets deepened and squared off at a tailor to help it fit better.
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    Member Array joepa150's Avatar
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    I pocket carried my 642 for about a year. I then bought a Ruger LCP about 4 months ago. I haven't carried my 642 since (only a few times maybe just to bring her out).
    I really really like my 642 but LOVE my LCP. My LCP is more accurate at the distances I practice at (15 yards or less), has less recoil imo, is lighter, smaller, thinner, and hasn't had 1 failure yet (knock on wood). I have only shot maybe 300 rounds through it though using 3 different brands of ammo. I also shot 25 rounds of Hornady Critical defense without a problem. This is what I carry.

    The 642 has never failed me either and is also much easier to IWB or pocket carry than my Glocks or 1911s.

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    Member Array kmagnuss's Avatar
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    In "most" of the jeans I wear a 642 actually conceals easier for me than a small 380. But, I can carry a small 380 IWB much easier than a 642 (I know... not your question).

    Best thing you can do is go to a local gun shop and 'try one on'. Just make sure to ask before you go dropping it in your pocket. :)

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    I've had the SW 638 (basically the hammered version of the 642). It was not near the slim P-3AT KelTec I have used for a front pocket gun.
    The 642 would certainly have more power, but that KT .380 just disappeared in the pocket.
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    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    The difference between a small revolver and say an LCP is considerable IMO. The LCP simply disappears and is no longer even a thought, the revolver will generally fit bit is...noticeable. I think the .380's tend to be more finicky than a full size gun, but as long as it proves itself to you, go with it.
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    Member Array khukuri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmagnuss View Post
    In "most" of the jeans I wear a 642 actually conceals easier for me than a small 380. But, I can carry a small 380 IWB much easier than a 642 (I know... not your question).

    Best thing you can do is go to a local gun shop and 'try one on'. Just make sure to ask before you go dropping it in your pocket. :)
    I'm open to other carry suggestions too. I've actually got a remora holster coming for my 642 that may be the answer. I'm hearing similar experiences. I don't have a problem with the 642 in my jeans as far as showing but I do if I throw it in my Khakis and I don't want to sew longer pockets. However it seems really bulky. I guess I'm going to have to get one of these autos. I would like to ask the question s little diff then. Although all 3 autos show to be basically the same size the TCP looks bulkier and is a couple oz heavier. Any opinions on if there is enough diff there to concentrate on the P3AT or LCP?

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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    I prefer the J frame. I foolishly sold one and picked up the Keltec PF9. The Keltec is a wonderful gun, its just that for ME, the j frame conceals better. I do not pocket carry unless its a jacket or vest, never in my pants, I have large legs also.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I apparently buy my pants at the big pocket store...I can carry a Howitzer in my pocket. My 442 carries easily in my pocket without thought or concern.
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    Member Array ponchsox's Avatar
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    The LCP fits in any of my pockets including dress slacks. Looks nothing more then a wallet or a cell phone. It is the perfect pocket carry IMO.

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    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    Tell ya the truth I gave up on pocket carry and just slip a p238 IWB or I will do the same with the NAA I have in 32NAA. The NAA will conceal easily this way with the Stoner holster and just a T-Shirt. I also find them easier to get to then in a pocket.
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    Senior Member Array boatail's Avatar
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    You ARE concerned about reliability issues, you dumped the .380 because of that. IMO it is the most important issue. Pick the one that you know will work and is the most concealable. I like the Glock 36 and the S&W 642 for both concerns. Sometimes you'll need something smaller maybe, so you'll have to find a 9mm or .380 that you can depend on. Looking for it can be half the fun!
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    Member Array khukuri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatail View Post
    You ARE concerned about reliability issues, you dumped the .380 because of that. IMO it is the most important issue. Pick the one that you know will work and is the most concealable. I like the Glock 36 and the S&W 642 for both concerns. Sometimes you'll need something smaller maybe, so you'll have to find a 9mm or .380 that you can depend on. Looking for it can be half the fun!
    Yes reliability is why i traded several and ended up with the 642 and my XDSC40. It would be a lot easier if you could just carry anywhere if you had a license and if accidental flashing wasn't a problem in a lot of places. What makes it hard too is you can research every one of the 380's and find somewhere in a review or a forum that says that they jam on every shot and are junk. As much as I like them, it seems like a shot in the dark. The 380 that I had shot perfect every round until the 2nd or 3rd time that I took it to the range and then nothing because the trigger broke. My biggest fear is being in a self defense situation and that happening but my second biggest fear is being in a self defense situation and not having anything at all. So there's that eternal balance between reliability and carryability.

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    Senior Member Array Chesafreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponchsox View Post
    The LCP fits in any of my pockets including dress slacks. Looks nothing more then a wallet or a cell phone. It is the perfect pocket carry IMO.
    That's why I was missing my LCP this morning on my commute to work. I had traded my LCP in for credit on an LC9. It was very warm this morning so I didn't wear a jacket. I stopped at Starbucks and had to make a choice between semi open carrying my LC9 IWB without a jacket to cover it, or slipping it in my pocket. I don't want to open carry. The LC9 does fit in the pocket of my dress pants, but it looks like I'm REALLY happy to see you. Now that I can't conceal under a jacket because of the warm weather, I miss my LCP. When I got to work I went online and ordered an ankle holster for the LC9.
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