I know I'm going to catch it for this , but here goes : Charter Arms Undercover stainless .38+P . Good bang for the buck and you are not going to get upset when the finish gets worn from pocket carry or iwb .
I shy from recommending semi-autos just because of most folk's failure to do daily maintenance on their CCW piece . C'mon , is the average guy going to field strip , clean and oil that piece every day ? A very small bit of pocket lint can make an autoloader inoperative at a most embarassing time . Wheel guns are a bit more forgiving .
My wife got an LCR .38+P today so I thought I'd check it out this afternoon in my jeans pocket. Very comfortable and light, hardly remember it's there.
KLCR in a Uncle Mikes #4
Size and weight as 10th mentioned. I say weight being the higher concern. The other major factor is geometry. Pistols are L shaped for the most part. Once the size reaches a certain mass they become very difficult to pocket carry. Depends on pocket size but directly relates to ease of draw and comfort.
What makes j frames so special? The geometry is more of a slopping triangle rather than the L shape of a pistols. This allows for ease of draw and great comfort.
Smallest are the LCP class of pistols, followed by PPK's, then PPS, and G26. Others fall in between these.
Revolvers - nothing beats a j frame. Smallest are the Air Weights closely followed by the all steel frame 60's aka Chief's Special. Lightest are the punishing to shoot Scandium. Chiefs are the heaviest.
I have a LCR .38 and a Kahr CM9.
- Fits the pocket great. The lump doesn't scream gun like a semi-auto's block shape.
- Draws from the pocket very fast and easily
- .38+P capable.
- Capacity. Five rounds is five rounds. Some people are happy with that, some are not.
- Reload time. Let's face it, we aren't Jerry Miculek. We can get fast with practice, but a mag change is almost always faster.
- Capacity. 6+1 with the options for 7rd (my preferred) and 8rd spare magazines. That's good firepower for the size.
- 9mm+P capable.
- Easy and fast reloads. Also flat mags are easier to hide than speedloaders, but more obtrusive than revolver speed strips.
- Good trigger. Seriously, if you work with the gun more than pulling it out of the box and saying "This trigger is heavy, it's going back" it will smooth waaay out. Mine is lighter than the LCR trigger by now.
- Reliability. Some people have had nothing but problems, I have had absolutely none. Take that for what you will.
- Heavy. Not heavy for a pistol overall, but for a pocket pistol it is hefty. This is one reason I don't pocket carry it often.
- Blocky. It just does not draw as smoothly from the pocket as the LCR. That is reason number two as to why I don't pocket carry it often.
I picked them up for roughly the same price, have had no reliability issues with either, and get good accuracy from both.
I've pocket carried a S&W 642 in either a Nemesis or Mika pocket holster every day for the past 5 years. I've never even been tempted by the new small 9mm or the pocket .380's. The 442/642 is in many eyes the quintessential pocket gun. It may be a little larger, but not by much. I find the rounded shape of the cylinder actually makes it look more natural in the pocket. YMMV. .38+p rounds are strong medicine. I prefer the 135gr +p Gold Dot short barrel rounds designed for the snubbie.
Sig P238. Mine has been ultra reliable, easily drops in my front pants or shorts pocket, and comes with a lifetime warranty if I ever need that. Oh, can be equipped with 7 rounds of life-saving ammo versus 6 from a revolver.
Bodyguard 380 acp
I mostly carry the LCP, but like the J frame 642 as well. Both are easily carried in a pocket.
I occasionally carry NAA .22 mag with folding grip (especially when it's very hot and I am lightly dressed) but find myself going with the LCP most often.
There are pluses and minuses with each, and as others have pointed out, personal preference should come into play when making a decision. Good luck with your search!
the three I pocket carry:
they all three work for their intended purpose.
LCP's a great gun. Only negative thing I can say about it is the trigger has a bit of a long pull. All you need for that is practice, though.