Sometimes you need to be able to grab and go when it comes to handling your firearm.
You don’t want to be weighed down with a clunky, heavy gun, which is why you should consider buying a pocket pistol.
What, exactly, is a pocket pistol?
As its name suggests, a pocket pistol is a gun that you can carry in your pocket. More specifically, it’s a small semi-automatic pistol (or sometimes revolver) that can fit into your pocket.
While it’s convenient to have a small and compact gun at hand should you require protection, it’s only one thing to consider when you want to purchase a pistol. With that in mind, let’s explore the best pocket pistol for concealed carry.
As we can see in the above table, the best pocket pistols will vary quite a bit when it comes to their weight. Choosing the lightest gun you can find will obviously make the most sense to better conceal your gun, but that’s just one element to consider.
The rounds can vary quite a lot – in this table we have a pistol that fires two rounds and another that can fire 17, so there’s quite a range that’s available. That’s important to consider, depending on what activities you want to use the gun for.
The barrel size of the pistols is pretty much the same thing and they all hit the mark when it comes to ensuring better concealment. This is because a gun that has a barrel length of around four inches will be considered compact, therefore easier to hide.
However, it’s worth considering what pants you’ll be wearing when concealing this weapon to ensure that it’s big enough.
Right, with that in mind, let’s move onto the best pocket pistol on our list.
Best Pocket Pistol – Reviews & Buying Guide for 2021
Best overall: M&P Bodyguard
This baby Glock is easy to conceal and comfortable to use. Let’s explore its features.
- This pocket pistol has an ergonomic design and grip to make handling it much more comfortable. Since its controls are easy to grab, you can do a fast draw when pulling it out of your pocket.
- It’s durable because it’s made out of a high-strength polymer frame. Polymer frames also help to keep the gun’s weight low, and that’s definitely something important to consider when purchasing a pocket pistol.
- This gun has all the features you’d find on a full-size gun, but it’s just a convenient size to carry in your pocket. It has a length of only 2.75 inches so you won’t struggle to conceal it or store it.
- You can buy it with a thumb safety as well as with a laser if you wish.
- While both of the above features are worth including in your gun, the laser is worth knowing a bit more about. It’s a Crimson Trace laser and it gets activated when you press the front activation button after holding the gun in a normal firing grip.
- This sleek pocket pistol comes with two magazines included: flat butt plate and finger groove.
- Something you might not like about this pocket pistol is that it has a long trigger pull. This means that you have to pull the trigger all the way back before you reach the break.
Runner Up: Glock 42
This gun is part of Glock’s G42 series. An important thing to know about it when compared to the G43 is that it’s not as wide or tall, making it a much more convenient pocket handgun. Here are some of its notable features.
- While this gun is really small and lightweight, it has excellent grip, thanks to its textured design and how it has a deep recess so that your shooting hand will always be in control of it.
- The frame has a compact design that not only makes it easy to conceal but also helps to ensure better recoil control.
- While some small pistols can feel uncomfortable, this one has a slide and magazine release that are both easy to use. So, while it’s small in size it doesn’t compromise on comfort.
- This gun has a backstrap that’s designed in such a way that it’s almost flush with the bottom of the magazine. What this does is give you more space for your hand’s palm so you can hold the gun comfortably while still getting the mag to drop when you press the release.
- This gun doesn’t come with a manual safety mechanism.
- It’s not as small and compact as other pocket pistols you can find on the market.
- This gun has a 380 ACP caliber. When it comes to self-defense, the 380 doesn’t contain a lot of stopping power so it’s not ideal if you need it for self-defense. In that case, you should choose a 9mm instead.
Alternative 1: Sig Sauer P365 Tacpac 9mm pistol
Sig Sauer is a reputable gun manufacturer that’s known for making some of the best guns on the market. This gun is an award-winning micro-pistol that has become one of the most popular firearms on the market. So, how does this 9mm pistol really fare? Let’s check it out.
- This gun has a striker-fired design. It’s said that striker-fired guns will perform better in defense situations. How they work is that the gun’s frame doesn’t contain a hammer. The mainspring is inside the slide and activates the firing pin directly.
- It has a clean and crisp trigger.
- It’s easy to conceal and very light to carry, which makes it the best pocket handgun. It only weighs around 17 ounces.
- It’s chambered in 9mm and accommodates +P ammo, so it’s quite versatile and excellent for self-defense.
- It has great ambidextrous features that make using it much easier. These include its manual safety and magazine catch.
- It has a polymer grip. Polymer guns are lighter than steel, which can make them easy to handle.
- It has a Nitron finish on the slide and frame. This is durable and extends the lifespan of your gun.
- Some people who have purchased this gun have reported that when they gripped the gun very hard they activated the mag release with their palm. If this occurs, it causes the magazine to drop a bit, which prevents the slide from stripping the next round of bullets. So, you might have to practice handling this pocket pistol a bit to get comfortable with it and avoid that problem.
Alternative 2: Tara Defense TM-9 9mm Pistol – TT001
This Tara Defense pocket pistol is focused on safety and technology, and the blend of these two elements makes this gun a top pocket pistol. Let’s see what it has to offer.
- This pocket pistol is constructed with an anti-corrosion slide that can be disconnected from the lower receiver without having to pull the trigger. This is an extra element of safety on the gun.
- On the topic of safety, this gun allows consecutive striker action without you having to rack its slide.
- The gun makes use of what’s known as the DARE system – Double Action Rapid Engagement. This resets the gun’s firing pin after a 3mm release of the gun’s trigger, contributing to greater accuracy.
- It has a Picatinny rail so you can mount tactical lights to the gun.
- For increased comfort when using this gun, it has an ambidextrous magazine release button.
- To help reduce recoil, this best pocket gun has a low bore axis – it’s 10mm lower than other pistols on the market. What this achieves is that it lowers the gun’s recoil and results in more comfortable shooting.
- Something you might not like about this pistol if you’re a Glock fan is the finish on its slide. While the Glock has a glossier appearance, the Tara one is a bit duller and doesn’t look as aesthetically pleasing.
Alternative 3: Bond Arms Backup
Bond Arms guns are manufactured in Texas, and one of their guns that you should consider is the striking Backup pocket pistol. At first glance it’s clear to see this pistol displays a classic double-barred design, but it’s got lots more to offer. So, let’s see its pros and cons.
- This gun has a rubberized grip to give you better control over the gun. This makes it easier to pull out the gun without having to look down at your pocket, and it’s especially useful in home security situations.
- It’s really easy to assemble and disassemble this pistol, which makes it very beginner- and user-friendly. Simply use the lever next to the frame that unlocks the gun’s barrels. This swings out so that you can reach the chambers.
- When we talk about having a concealed firearm, we usually think about how we can hide the pistol in our pocket. But you also want the gun itself to be less visible. This Bond Arms Backup pistol ensures that because its barrels have been made out of bead-blasted stainless steel.
- This gun comes in 9mm or 45ACP and these are interchangeable, making the gun quite versatile.
- This good pocket gun has some stainless steel components, such as its frame and barrels. Its barrels have been bead blasted and, as a bonus, they have an anti-glare finish.
- You can replace the gun’s standard grips for extended ones that can help you feel more in control when handling the pistol.
- While the trigger is crisp and clean, this best pocket carry pistol is quite heavy to fire. This makes it a little tricky for beginners to get used to.
- This pocket pistol has much lower round capacity as compared to other guns we’ve featured in these good pocket pistol reviews – it only has two rounds.
- You need to ensure you use the right hand position when handling this gun. You have to ensure that the cocked hammer is placed about a quarter of an inch above the hand web. The user manual states that you should avoid having a high handhold that causes the hammer to make contact with the hand web as this can increase your hammer pull. But, if you’re not used to this hand position, it can feel uncomfortable.
- This gun is a derringer, which isn’t considered to be of high enough quality for use as a primary weapon but it does make a good backup… hence this gun’s name.
Pocket Pistol FAQ
After reading our reviews of the top 5 pocket pistols, you might have some questions.
Let’s explore what you need to know before you put your pistol in your pocket and leave your home.
Is pocket carry a good idea?
Pocket, or concealed, carrying of a gun can make it easy to hide your gun in a more comfortable way. If you keep it in your belt or under your shirt, it can make you sweat, while also being uncomfortable because the gun will be rubbing against your side.
Keeping your gun on your belt can also be a bit awkward at times or it just gets in the way of your movements. That said, it’s important to consider some important things before you decide to carry your gun in a pocket.
- It’s essential to have a holster for the gun you’re carrying in your pocket. This helps to protect the gun’s trigger guard, so it makes pocket carry much safer.
- You should also ensure that the pocket in which you’re carrying your gun is completely empty as this will make it more comfortable as well as keep it safe.
- Your pocket obviously needs to be big enough to accommodate your pistol, otherwise it won’t only be uncomfortable to carry but you could end up not being able to grip the pistol easily in an emergency situation.
- There’s always the risk that your pocket will reveal what’s known as pistol print. This refers to the outline of the gun being visible even though it’s completely concealed inside your pocket. To prevent it from happening, make sure you have the right pocket for your gun and it should be large enough to accommodate its size. Choosing a really compact pistol, such as the M&P Bodyguard that we featured in our reviews, can help to reduce the risk of pistol print because it’s the smallest one in our buying guide.
Can I carry a gun in my pocket?
You can carry a gun in your pocket, but it’s important to know that you should follow some gun safety rules. These include the following:
1. Never carry anything else in the same pocket as the one in which you’re carrying your pocket pistol. Just imagine this scenario: you reach into your pocket for your keys and your gun gets pulled out, and you accidentally fire it in the process. It’s not a situation anyone should ever find themselves in!
2. As we touched on earlier, always keep your gun safe by ensuring that you’ve put it into a pocket holster and the holster covers its trigger guard. This makes pulling it out and putting it back into your pocket much safer.
3. Follow the rules in your state. Not every state in the U.S. allows people to carry guns in their pockets. Some states have much stricter gun laws in place than others and these need to be adhered to. It’s essential to know what the concealed carry laws are in your state. For example, you will need to find out if concealed carry is allowed where you live and if you need a concealed carry permit for your gun.
There are places in which you can carry a gun without first requiring a concealed carry permit. The 16 states in which you can carry a concealed weapon without needing to get a permit for it are Arizona, Alaska, Kansas, Maine, Kentucky, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Missouri, Oklahoma, Vermont, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Is it safe to carry a revolver in your pocket?
It can be safe to carry a revolver in your pocket, but you have to ensure that the gun’s trigger is protected – you don’t want the gun to accidentally fire. Dropfiring is what can happen in that case.
This is when the revolver strikes a hard surface, such as a concrete floor, and it accidentally fires. This can put yourself, and others, in grave danger. While it’s pretty rare for this to happen, it’s still an important reminder that you have to be careful when carrying a revolver in your pocket.
When carrying a revolver in your pocket, the safety rules we featured earlier in this article apply, such as when it comes to ensuring that you have the property holster for the gun to keep it secure and you keep it in a pocket without other items being stored in the same place.
Is pocket carry considered open carry?
Although you might assume these terms are the same thing, pocket carry and open carry of your firearms actually mean quite different things. Let’s take a look at both of them to see what they’re about.
Open carry is when you carry a gun on your person in a completely visible way. Some U.S. states require gun owners to have a concealed weapon but many don’t have any restrictions when it comes to open carry.
There are dangers associated with open carry, such as that research has shown it can make people feel more aggressive towards you and how it makes it difficult to know who’s the victim and attacker in a shooter incident. Some people might also see your gun and be afraid, unsure of whether or not you’re one of the good guys.
Pocket carry, on the other hand, can be regarded as concealed carry because you’re keeping your pistol in your pocket so it’s not visible on your person. As long as it’s inside your pocket and you’ve probably secured it in a holster, it will be considered concealed carry.
What can make this matter a bit confusing is that some states will have different rules when it comes to concealing your gun. Basically, concealment means that someone on the street or with whom you interact would not be able to see the weapon on you.
If the gun’s only partially hidden from you, some states might see this as not concealing your gun. That’s why it’s so important to try to keep your gun out of sight when it’s in your pocket, and doing this will ensure that you’re sticking to the laws in your state.
A pocket pistol has many uses. The most obvious one is that it allows you to carry your gun on your person without letting the whole world know about it.
These guns are also compact, easy to store, and usually come with features to make them easy to handle, such as textured grips. In this article, we’ve outlined five of the best pocket pistols on the market, and what you should know about each of their pros and cons.
We’ve also looked at some important questions related to pocket pistols so you can ensure that whenever you carry a gun in your pocket you do so responsibly.