Say, is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
Carrying a firearm in concealment is very common. One of the most popular and effective ways of carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), is with the use of a pocket pistol. These are primarily lightweight weapons, they come in different sizes and calibers, and are so named because most of them can literally fit in your pocket.
Interestingly enough, for many years CCW was outlawed in the US. In the later-20th century, things started to change, however, and nowadays many states will allow it alongside open carry.
Keep in mind that states still vary with regards to their local policies and any implementation of the relevant legislation, aka ‘May Issue’ or ‘Shall Issue’ states.
Legal pocket carry allows you to conceal a weapon easily, and then to engage at the drop of a hat should the need arise. One second you’re a regular Joe with your hands in your pockets, and the next you’re going pew-pew-pew – that’s the idea behind pocket guns.
Whether as a main defense or a backup weapon, they are useful and effective for many scenarios. The following is an unranked list of what we consider to be the best pocket pistols around.
Bond Arms Snake Slayer
Bond has been in business for 25 years now, and small derringer-style guns are their specialty. The Snake Slayer (SS) is something of a polarizing gun, in my experience anyway. It was first released a decade ago, in 2009, and it re-introduced the idea of sacrificing lower capacity for bore-size and modularity. Hence the polarization.
Like many other Bond Arms guns, the Snake Slayer is indeed modular. It accepts barrels and calibers of all kinds, providing they were designed for use with the SS. As a self-defense CCW and/or a home defense gun, it is a neat subcompact shooter which occupies the pocket holsters of many American shooters.
Featuring extended rosewood grips and fixed sights, it is a gun which requires a user to train and get used to it. It may not come to you as easily as other firearms.
I can’t say if there is an “ideal” user for this gun, really, but seeing as how it is labeled a slayer of snakes, I am going to say that outdoors-loving people (hikers, campers, and hunters come to mind) will certainly find uses for it. The low capacity is indeed a factor, but it is a solid quality item designed for a quick response when the chips are down.
The Snake Slayer IV (SSIV) is the newer model. It is basically the same as the SS with one key difference: a longer, 4.25” barrel. The longer barrel offers some benefits, like a tighter spread, higher bullet velocity, and reduced recoil. MSRP of the SSIV is $648.
- Caliber: 357 Mag / 38 Special OR 45 LC / 410 Bore
- Capacity: Single shot per barrel (two round capacity)
- Action: Single action
- Barrel Length: 3.5” (dual barrel)
- Overall Length: 5.5″
- Weight: 22 oz
- MSRP: $603
NAA 22 Mag
North American Arms (NAA) is a company which found its niche with pocket guns and miniature revolvers. Their 22 Magnum revolver series includes over 20 different models. They vary in styles, grips, finishes, sights, etc., but basically they all center on the key idea that ‘less is more’.
NAA was founded in 1972 as Rocky Mountain Arms, in Utah. The name may have changed a couple of times since then, but the company’s passion for smaller guns has only continued to grow and intensify.
Those who are into pocket pistols will appreciate this weapon. Some compare revolvers to semi-autos, but I feel the comparison is needless. There is a lot you can do with five rounds of ammunition, but there is no denying that pistols usually have a higher round count, and hence are seen as better. In truth, the best weapon is the one you trust and can operate with, be it a revolver or semi-automatic.
- Caliber: 22 Magnum
- Capacity: 5 rounds
- Action: Single action, revolver
- Barrel Length: 1.63”
- Overall Length: 5.13“
- Weight: 6.5 oz
- MSRP: $236
This is a gun that looks and feels a little off the beaten track. This was precisely the point that Taurus wanted to make when this gun came out officially in 2015. At the time, those who saw it knew it was going to be something of a novelty.
The question on people’s minds was: it is just a novelty?
I short, the answer is no.
This thing is as real and deadly as any other firearm. The Curve is a concealed carry gun, through and through. It is meant for no other purpose. From its unique design to the caliber it shoots, Taurus wanted to make it clear that this is a pocket gun built purely for the aim of carrying it in concealment.
Okay, one thing I need to bring up now is that this gun is, well, not very attractive, in my opinion. Feel free to have yours, and feel free to disagree. It is a matter of personal taste and aesthetics, and nothing more. A gun doesn’t need to be attractive – it needs to shoot when you want it to shoot, period.
So, to sum up: it’s comfortable, ergonomic, and easy to handle, but it looks like a polymer potato. I am not judging it in any way because of that, mind you. As I said, Taurus made a complete statement when they released the Curve, and good for them. But it is a grower, let’s put it that way.
- Caliber: 380 ACP
- Capacity: 6+1 rounds
- Action: Double action only
- Barrel Length: 2.5”
- Overall Length: 5.18”
- Weight: 10.2 oz
- MSRP : $392
In 1994, Glock introduced the ‘Baby’ Glock 26, chambered in 9mm. It is called the Baby, but in truth, it is much more than a pocket carry version of its elder 9mm brothers (the Glock 17 and 19). It has become one of the world’s most popular CCW firearms, and many men and women in uniform carry it as a backup gun.
Being a Glock, it is compatible with many Glock accessories and aftermarket products. However, it’s meant primarily for concealment purposes, so chances are you don’t want to overburden it with bells and whistles that add to its weight and bulk.
What’s there to say? It’s a Glock – You either love it or hate it.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 10+1 rounds (Many extended-capacity options available)
- Action: Recoil-operated
- Barrel Length: 3.43”
- Overall Length: 6.42”
- Weight: 19.40 oz
- MSRP: $499
Kimber Micro 9
The Micro 9 was first introduced in 2015. It was a 9mm addition to the company’s Micro series. At first, the 9 included the Stainless, Two-Tone, and Crimson Carry variants.
Later on, more models were made available. It’s now been several years since the pocket gun was released, and it remains a best-seller of Kimber’s lineup. Marketed as a “micro compact 9mm”, it has picked up plenty of praise and awards along the way.
It’s not the first gun to merge 1911 controls with a semi-auto 9mm package, and it will not be the last, I am sure. There is a lot of convenience there, so it appeals to many shooters.
The Micro 9 features an aluminum frame with a stainless steel slide, rosewood grips, and a match grade trigger. It is the most expensive item on this particular list, but the MSRP is just that – you will undoubtedly be able to locate a cheaper deal if you look for it.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 6+1 rounds
- Action: Single action
- Barrel Length: 3.15”
- Overall Length: 6.1”
- Weight: 15.6 oz
- MSRP: $654
Coming back to the opening question of this article, the answer is ‘yes’ – I have a gun in my pocket and I am happy to see you! The best of both worlds, as it were.
The second amendment solidified our right to keep and bear arms. I wouldn’t presume to know all the figures but eventually, the constitution wins. This is why permit-free and unrestricted carry of civilian arms is also called ‘constitutional carry’.
Some of the claims against gun laws are justified. I am simply of the opinion that bad people with bad intentions will find a way of getting their deeds done, and it is for this precise reason that law-abiding citizens should exercise their right to carry, be it openly or in concealment.