In the search for a concealed rifle, lots of people choose a single or double stack 9. The reason is that they find it stressful to carry a large handgun every day. It is no surprise as carrying a large handgun every day is often challenging. Convenience is one of the features people look out for in their choice of rifle.
I usually recommend pocket pistols for use at home and practice. They may not be the best-concealed options, but they are efficient. Pocket pistols are often challenging to shoot, train with, or operate, making it uncomfortable to use.
I’ve come to a summary of three of my favorite pocket guns in this category from my seven years of experience. If you want to get a portable gun, I advise you get a pocket holster that can easily be kept in your pocket as you go about your daily activities. I have narrowed my options to three pocket carry guns, although this depends on the situation. In the meantime, I’ll talk about one, but I will discuss others much later.
The other rifle options range in the waistband carry category includes Block 26 and Smith & Wesson shield. Sometimes, I use the Bravo concealments, a sturdy Kydex holster, which I carry on weekdays. You can slide a small rifle into your pocket on an average day, especially if you don’t feel like getting the biggest guns strapped to your body.
A pocket carry gun is a necessary requisite for days when carrying big guns isn’t required. It may be the weather, the situation you find yourself in, or maybe the clothes you have on that day makes carrying a big gun inappropriate. In my opinion, having a rifle is way better than having an over-hyped carry gun sitting in your gun safe or nightstand. Below is a list of my 3 top pocket carry guns.
Best Pocket Pistols
1. S&W 642 And 442
We’ll start with the first pocket carry handgun I’ve ever had. I was an amateur using concealed carry guns, and I wanted fewer worries about safety or different handgun styles. When I first started using handguns, I needed a direct and straightforward rifle that is easy to use. So, I chose Smith & Wesson 442 and 642.
Why would you want this? My analysis of these handguns showed that the features of this rifle, including its ease-of-use and the double action, hammerless revolver, make it a beauty to have for your gun collection. As per my expertise, it is described as a hammerless revolver; however, it has an internal revolver, and it is just double action. It also features 38 specials held in five shots, but the downside is that it is difficult to load, with five shots holding 38 specials.
Another fantastic thing about this 38 special is that you can upload it using plus P hollow points or download it based on your recoil sensitivity. Both 442 and 642 rifles have a lightweight frame. The difference is in the colors, either stainless or blue. I chose the black version because its look caught my fancy, and it also came with rubber grips. But they started sticking into my pocket anytime I wanted to draw it, so I opted for rosewood grips instead.
My primary reason for making a switch wasn’t the color because it was cool, but I wanted to draw it quickly from my pocket without snagging on anything. It is a slick option that offers simplicity. All you have to do is slide the rifle into your pocket holster, and when you want to draw it, keep your finger far from the trigger.
I found out after lots of testing that when engaging your target, line up your sights. Although that is pretty basic, they carry out the job effectively and pull the trigger consistently five times until you either eliminate the threat, need to reload or run out of ammunition. It is another downside. The process of loading a gun is a stressful one, but this method is a comfortable and fashionable way to carry your handgun.
My observations say if you’re an amateur shooter, using this handgun does not mean you won’t practice or understand gun functioning basics. A lot of practice is required, especially when you’re using the double axe trigger pull, which is more extended and stiffer.
Many people look for the recoil because it is small inside a lightweight gun, and a long trigger may miss close up shots. So, there’s a need to train using pocket pistols because they are more challenging to use in shooting than using a full-size handgun to the range like you often do.
For someone who wants to practice a couple of times monthly, and understand how a revolver works, its mechanics and limitations, this is a good option. Another limitation of this rifle is its size. Here is a gun more massive than a regular pocket carry gun, but you can use it on jeans or cargo shorts. It is challenging to use it with dress pants.
2. KAHR P-380
The Kahr P-380 is the longest pocket carry gun I have used. I have used many 380s, and this is my second or third in this category because I have not seen any that I liked for shooting. After trying out many small 380s, I found that many are “snappy”, and holding them is difficult, especially for new shooters. Therefore, I recommend a 380 for experienced shooters with adequate knowledge of proper loading and recoil management to manipulate slides. If you want to give a newbie this rifle, the person should understand the mechanics of chambering or loading the gun and the best way to clean a malfunction or jam in a critical life or death or situation. At this point, the amateur may not know what to do and the best way to manipulate it if they don’t undergo sufficient training. In such a situation, the 39 special revolver is useful. It is preferable for an intermediate user with a basic understanding of handguns, which can handle recoil management.
Over time, I discovered that the Kahr P-380 is, in fact, the smoothest 380 for shooting that I’ve ever used besides the Taurus spectrum. But, you won’t find it on the list because of all the struggles I experienced with it. The Kahr P-380 is very reliable, with unique metal sights that are efficient, and this particular one shoots like a big handgun. It is possible to get a two-finger grip on the rifle, and the trigger is also very smooth. It has a long reset, with a smooth trigger and impulse recoil. The metal slide is slightly more massive, and it sucks the recoil without stinging your hand so badly. I can shoot at a greater distance with this gun than I could with a 38 special revolver, and I feel like it is possible to shoot a bit further than most pocket 380s available.
If you want a hammer-fired pocket 380 or striker-fired pocket 380 without a safety small compact 6+1, this Kahr P-380 is one of the best available in the market; it cost about 400 to 440 dollars. However, you can also find used ones in excellent condition at a bargain price.
I may not be sure, but many people purchase the 380s as their first handgun, and I wonder why. Probably, they realize the importance of learning to shoot a handgun before delving into a rifle with a big recoil impulse in a small grip. Then they trade it for something bigger. That’s why there are lots of pocket 380s flooded in the market right now, so you can choose one for a good deal.
3. Beretta 3032 Tomcat
My research found that this pocket carry gun has become a favorite for me. The Beretta Tomcat in 32 ACP is an efficient pocket carry gun. Let me throw more light on the 32 ACP cartridge because it’s a controversial topic.
This cartridge is a centerfire compared to the 380 pocket carry gun. In my opinion, I feel the 32 ACP is the smallest when it comes to cartridges that I can use to defend my life. Anything smaller may just be pushing it excessively. Besides, I see no reason to choose anything smaller than this. I usually use the Beretta Tomcat as my ideal concealed carry gun.
It can hold seven rounds in the magazine, and one in the tip-up barrel, so and I found that you may likely encounter problems with racking a slide. All you have to do is load the magazine, insert it, put one into the barrel and close it. Then, put the safety options on or off, and you are good to go.
When shooting with this gun, I shoot very well, about the scope of 10 yards and 15 yards opening up my hand’s size. If I pay more attention and take more time, I can get more scope.
With a single-action trigger, I can shoot with these guns by a mile. The feel it gives on my hand can get a three grip finger. When the magazine is inside the gun, I can get my pinky finger in. The sights are essential but are precise if you take your time and aim well.
The new addition to this handgun, which is safety, is a good one. Usually, I’m not too fond of safeties because they can be stressful. Manipulating them is often tricky, but this gun performs well. You can instantly flip it down when you take it from your pocket, and while training, practice this flipping very often for safety. It won’t bump off mistakenly, but it has lots of ridges that help you swipe off quickly and engage your target even if your hands are wet or slippery. If there’s a need to reholster, flip back the safety and holster your gun. This option is good because it takes the hammer back to a single-action mode. You won’t want to reholster the hammer around the chamber if you don’t engage the safety.
A downside to this gun is that it cannot shoot the 32 ACP cartridges, and it is a bit bulkier in size than pocket 380s. That is one factor to consider. On the bright side, it can hold an additional round than 380s most times and holds two rounds more than the 38 special. The recoil impulse is almost inconsequential, and the sky is a tack driver.
Any recall sensitive individual can utilize this gun to its peak because although the 32 ACP has a smaller cartridge, it lacks recoil of the larger cartridge that enables you to shoot on-target.
What you carry is your decision. I no longer use the 642 and 442. Now I carry both guns based on the situation that presents itself.
Sincerely, I have been more in tune with this Beretta Tomcat because of the eight rounds in 32 ACP. These pistol features make it a better option than the P-380 with seven rounds in it.
There are other things to consider when choosing a handgun, but for me, one of my best picks was a gun I can shoot with it well. Shot placement is critical to me, and I often shoot this gun because I love shooting with it. To me, having eight rounds feels a lot better for any situation I may find myself in.
I carry the Kahr P-380 anytime I want something smaller and lighter. I feel it is sufficient to defend my life, so I’m not abandoning this gun in any way. If I were to make recommendations for a pocket carry for a person exposed to handguns than a first timer, I would recommend any of these options above.
If you’re a newbie to handling handguns, with no idea how to manipulate slide safety, controls, and other things, and you need something to carry to the range, practice, and not worry about, then I recommend Smith’s 442 or 642. All these pocket carry options are within a $450 price.
There are also cheaper options sold for about $200 to $250. However, my favorites are the ones I trust to defend myself with anytime. Within this price category, you get the value for your money, and you are also guaranteed safety with any of these handguns. I have more of these pocket guns on me than large guns because they fit in so well in my pocket. You, too, can get one for yourself at a reasonable price, and enjoy your shooting experience.
More reading see: best 1911 pistols and our write up on upgrades for you Glock pistol.
Jeramy Smith is a writer, avid hunter, outdoor enthusiast, and firearms enthusiast. He grew up in both Virginia Beach, Virginia and rural Michigan. He has soaked up as much information as possible about everything firearms related. He currently builds firearms and spends his days at the range and writing. He currently lives in rural central Michigan, with his wife, 2 daughters, and 2 stepchildren. You can find more info on me here.