Help me pick a new pocket gun.

Help me pick a new pocket gun.

This is a discussion on Help me pick a new pocket gun. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am trying to find a good pocket gun. I currently have a Sig 220 for full-size carry and a Kahr PM40 for pocket carry. ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    Help me pick a new pocket gun.

    I am trying to find a good pocket gun. I currently have a Sig 220 for full-size carry and a Kahr PM40 for pocket carry. The Kahr conceals easy enough and I like the amount of firepower I have in my pocket, but I now dislike polymer framed guns (Thank Sig for that and the fact that the Kahr is the only gun I've ever had a problem with).

    I have heard of some mebers getting their polymer framed Kahrs replaced by Kahr for metal ones if they have had to send it back several times. I bet it unlikely, but worth a shot. And I would like to exchange it for an MK9 if I could. MK9s are a little under an inch thick at the grips, weighs 22oz, and carrys 6+1 rounds of 9mm up to +P+.

    My other option is the S&W 360PD, which is an 12.5oz alloy J-framed 5 shot 357mag. This would undoubtedly be easier to carry, but carrys less rounds and is much harder to shoot quickly and accurately. I already have a buyer for my PM40 for $400 if I want to sell it.

    Help me decide which way to go. The NAA guardian is an option also, the Rohrbaugh is out of my price range, no Seecamp b/c of mag release, PPKs are too big and heavy, no-steel J-frames.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    Seems to me that the even though the PM40 is a handful to shoot, there wouldn't be that much of a difference in felt recoil of the 360PD in comparison for you. Others will argue this point, but I think it holds water...
    I'm for the 360PD...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    Yes, the the recoil is stout on the PM40. I fired 5 rounds through the concealed hammer version, 340 I think, and it was a bit worse with light 38 loads. Of course the action of the PM40 absorbs some of the recoil, like any semi-auto while you'll get all of the recoil with the J-frames. But it's nothing that couldn't be overcome with practice and some good grips.

    I guess I might be able to go with a Model 60 S&W. They weight 22 oz which is the same as the MK9 and it would make carrying full-power 357mag loads or 38+p more of an option. But I am concered thet the MK9 or Mod 60 are still too heavy for comfortable pocket carry. I have pocket carried the Kahr around the apartment and find it to be on the limits for me. I have always loved the looks of the J-frames and they are certainly more romantic looking. Not that looks should matter, but if I don't like a gun for any reason I am less likely to ever carry it. Looks for me is certainly part of the equation.
    Last edited by '75scout; August 31st, 2006 at 11:06 PM.

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    New Member Array jarhead1833's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Pocket Pistol

    The operative phrase here seems to indicate you want a pistol you can carry in your pocket. I would go with a hammerless revolver since you can actually shoot with it without taking it out of the pocket if you had the need.

    In your situation, I would be looking for an older alloy hammerless or shrouded hammer .38spl j-frame. Reason being, I really don't want a pistol with a lock on the sideplate. Just one more thing to go wrong, or you "forgot" you locked at some point. Find some 158grain SWC/SWCHP loads for it and you are good to go. 5 serious chances to save your life.

    Now you have something with some serious energy, but without major flash and blast like the magnum, that you will actually carry in a pocket because it's convenient.

    Hope this helps,

    Steve
    "When only the police are armed, it's called a Police State"... Robert A. Heinlein

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    I dislike the hammerless because I like the option of shooting SA and I will use this feature much more often than shooting from my pocket. I'm pretty sure I would never shoot from my pants pocket, given the body parts nearby that I am quite fond of. The only way I could hit somebody is if they were directly underneath me. From a jacket pocket sure, but never pants. Plus I just don't like the looks of them.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    S&W 638. Shrouded hammer allows SA or DA.
    maxwell97 and SWIll like this.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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    Member Array estimber's Avatar
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    I daily carry a 2nd Generation Kel-Tec P3AT (.380), while not the most potent "man stopper" out there, it is easily concealed and comfortable to carry. This translates to a gun that I will always have with me, and I do. With Remington 102gr Golden Saber, it is a fairly potent package. Another attractive point about this pistol is the price. I have the Hard Chromed version, which is a polymer frame with a HC slide. This seems to be the most expensive of the line for the P3AT's and it was right around 250.00. This savings translates into more ammo for practice, pocket carry gear and extra magazines for right around 300.00 total. They also have an unconditional life time warranty and their customer service is excellent.

    Most people knock kel-tec's but I have found that this is done by those that usually have never shot or owned one. My P3AT is a constant companion as either a BUG to my LE Glock 19 or as a summer carry gun when it is 115 degrees here! Either way I never have to give up being armed.

    Just my .02 worth of carrying a Kel-Tec daily for over 3 years.

    p.s. mine has been 100% flawless with close to 1,000 rounds through it and has eaten every HP that has ever been run through it.
    If we treat every gun as if it was loaded, then why not treat every individual as if they are armed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    I would consider the KT but I much prefer all metal firearms. Thats why my choices are so limited. I did fire a P3AT and I hated it. But it was a 1st gen and I hear the 2nd gens are better.

  9. #9
    Member Array Rickstir's Avatar
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    I carry a Bersa Thunder Concealed Carry .380. Nice and thin, goes bang everytime. I use as back up most of the time, but primary when dress dictates.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    The Beretta Tomcat is all metal and is DA/SA. The biggest you can get them in is .32 though, so I'm not sure if you'd want to carry that. It would fit your requirements and would truly disappear in a pocket.

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    My 2 cents:
    Bersa is a great gun but not a pocket pistol by any stretch unless you have either very baggy pants/pockets or very large ones, or some combination of both. I know a lot of guns can be stuffed into a pocket but a real pocket piece IMHO has to fit comfortable and be small enough in relationship to the pocket so it can be slipped out easily without a wresting match.

    Next; if you didn't like how a 1st gen P3AT shot, you won't like a 2nd gen any better. They shoot/feel the same. Once is perhaps a bit more reliable because of differences in the ramp and the extractor set up.

    Third; revolvers are an option but the cylinder bulge is often uncomfortable (I'm talking pants pocket, not coat) and may print depending on fabric. Add a pocket holster to conceal the outline of a revolver and it's starting to get thick.

    Finally; the choices for true pocket carry that carry a suitable (nominally) round are VERY few. No 1911's, glocks, etc. I won't consider the NAA mini because of the round and how difficult it is to grip and do so consistentely. So you have the R9, NAA .380 guardians, Keltec P3AT, maybe the Keltec PF9 when it comes out but if you don't like polymer (too bad, it's ideal for all day pocket carry) then the last two are out. Your PM40 is actually one of the best upper limit guns out there although I still think that's a stretch for most people to consider it a pocket pistol. So you're very accurate in that you're very very limited on choice. I think you'll find that all pocket pistols exhibit lot's of muzzle flip and in general just aren't the most pleasant things to shoot due to small size.

    Well, I'll stand by for the roasting, but if I was you and didn't want to work with the PM40, I'd look at a shrouded .38 (as someone else mentioned). It allows SA but won't snag like an S&W 637 that I have. If not the revolver, I'd hang on and consider the new Keltec PF9. I know, polymer, but if you really want a pocket piece. Anyway, it's smaller than the Kahrs, only slightly bigger than a P3AT and will likely be more comfortable to shoot than the P3AT due to size/grip/configuration but that's only a guess.

    I've been frustrated myself trying to find the idea pocket pistol. There just aren't many out there, period. I finally settled on a P3AT and it's works great now that it's reliable.

    Good Luck!

    Gideon

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    Thanks, Gideon and agree with you on Bersas. Just too big for pocket carry, IMO the only Walther style guns good for pocket carry are the very rare and very small .22lr and 25acp models. I forget the actual name. And I know I'm limiting myself a great deal and I realize polymer makes pocket carry much easier. But I just don't like it much anymore. I like the feel of high quality all metal firearms. I also feel I can get more attached to a metal gun, I know it sounds wierd.

    I am pretty sure I am going with the airweight S&Ws, either the 360 or the 340. I like the look of the exposed hammer but the fully enclosed offers some advantages I didn't originally consider like I pocket lint could work its way into the trigger mechanism and lock it up on the exposed/shrouded hammer. This won't happen on the enclosed hammer. Also the hand can ride a little higher without fear of hammer bite. This will help tame recoil.

  13. #13
    Member Array JackJ's Avatar
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    I have used a J frame for pocket carry for quite a while. My preferred one is the Model 49. It is commonly referred to as a "humpback" due to the shroud around the hammer. You will need to check it weekly to make sure that there is not too much lint in the mechanism.

    There are a number of variations with steel, aluminum alloy, titanium and scandium. The recoil increases as the weapon gets lighter. The shrouded hammer permits a smooth draw from the pocket. I prefer the older one with no internal lock. I also suggest getting a quality pocket holster to keep the weapon in place for a proper draw, stay away from the flimsy one that collapse when you draw from it.. Do not just drop it into your pocket. Also keep spare change, pens, reloads, etc. out of the pocket.

    This is one of the best means to low profile carry a reasonable potent sidearm.

    Jack

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array dimmak's Avatar
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    What about SW 642....
    "Ray Nagin is a colossal disappointment" - NRA/ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.


    "...be water, my friend."

  15. #15
    New Member Array gyro jock's Avatar
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    S&w 642

    In the first few years I had a CCW, I tried to carry a number of handguns.

    First was the full sized Colt 45 auto. Then I tried a Beretta 40 Centurion. Next a Ruger SP101. Full sized or heavy weapons are easy to leave at home, which is what I did 99% of the time.

    Finally I bought a S&W 642. When I decide to go somewhere I just grab the little beast and drop it into the front pocket of my jeans. Now I carry 99% of the time.

    The downside of this weapon is the stiff recoil; the short sight radius and the trigger pull (double action only). Lots and lots of practice may help, but most people will agree that the 642 is not a fun gun to shoot.

    The upside of the weapon is that it is so light and convenient you will carry it. With the right ammo it can pack a punch. And if things get tricky, you can put your hand in your pocket and be ready to draw if necessary.

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