This newest version of the Bond Arms Backup is distinguished by a new black crinkle powder coat finish on the frame and a bead-blasted, non-reflective matte finish on the barrels. The 19-ounce handgun has a length of 4.5 inches and overall width of 1.19 inches (the frame and barrels are less than 1 inch wide). And, like all Bond Arms designs, 20 different barrels (including the .410 gauge/.45 LC) will interchange on the Backup’s frame. For more information, visit bondarms.com or call 817-573-4445.
With the debut of the .380 ACP Glock 42 we have a new Glock subcompact with the smallest frame, slide and barrel length the company offers. The G42 employs a dual recoil spring unique to the model and a cold-hammer-forged barrel. It measures 5.94 inches in overall length with a 3.25-inch barrel, a very pocket friendly 0.94 inches in width, weighs 13.76 ounces (empty), and has a capacity of 6+1. This is one new pocket pistol that we can all agree was long overdue! For more information visit us.glock.com or call 770-432-1202.
With an overall length of 6.2 inches, a 3-inch barrel, a height of 4.8 inches, a width of 1.4 inches and a carry weight of 26.1 ounces (empty), the Beretta Px4 Storm offers all of the key features that are desirable in a subcompact pistol. It offers a single-action/ double-action trigger system, a second- strike capability and an ambidextrous thumb safety, which also functions as a decocker for carry with a loaded chamber. It is available in either 9mm or .40 S&W. Suggested retail is $575. For more information, visit beretta.com or call 800-929-2901.
The P380 pistol from Kahr Arms, chambered for the .380 ACP, has a 2.53-inch Lothar Walther match-grade, polygonal-rifled barrel, an overall length of 4.9 inches, a width of 0.75 inches and a height of only 3.9 inches. Weighing in at just under 10 ounces without a magazine, the 6+1 P380 uses a polymer frame with 4140 steel inserts molded into the front and back for added rigidity and strength. The black frame is handsomely contrasted by the gun’s matte stainless steel slide. For more information visit kahr.com or call 508-795-3919.
Packing a 9mm barely larger than a .380 Auto has ballistic advantages and Sig Sauer’s P938 has all of them. With an overall length that is just 0.25 inches greater than the .380 Auto Sig P238, the P938 offers a 9mm in a true pocket-sized semi-auto. Based on the design of the P238 .380, the P938 uses a 1911-style single-action-only trigger, 3.0 inch barrel, and 5.5 inch slide with full-size SigLite night sights. The P938 packs six plus one rounds into an all-metal frame, and the ambidextrous safety makes the gun suitable for all shooters. For more information, visit sigsauer.com or call 603-610-3000.
While many think of NAA as the manufacturer of .22 LR and .22 Magnum (.22 WMR) mini-revolvers, NAA also builds one of the best concealed-carry .380 autos on the market, the Guardian. With a 2.49-inch barrel, an overall length of 4.75 inches, height of only 3.53 inches and a mere 0.93 inches of width, the pistol is designed for deep-cover carry. Weighing only 18.72 ounces, it is reliable and very effective with today’s .380 ACP loads. Capacity of the double-action-only design is 6+1 rounds. For more information visit northamericanarms.com or call 800-821-5783.
The Rossi 461 has been chosen to be among the top 12 pocket pistols because it takes a page from the past when snub-nose revolvers were six-shot guns, not five-shot. The traditional-style .38 Special/.357 Magnum 461 features all-steel construction, large, rubber, combat-style (finger groove) grips, an external hammer, a brightly polished blue finish, an overall length of 6.5 inches and a weight of 26 ounces (empty). The six-round cylinder harkens back to the Colt Detective Special, which was the first six-shot snub nose chambered in .38 Special. For more information, visit rossiusa.com or call 305-474-0401.
The .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) cartridge fired from a small, lightweight handgun like the Ruger LCR is an effective round with only moderate recoil. Another advantage is that Ruger’s Lightweight Carry Revolver (LCR), when chambered in .22 WMR, holds six cartridges rather than the usual five in .38 Special and .357 Magnum. The Ruger’s modular construction, combining aluminum, stainless steel and polymer (glass- filled nylon), produces a gun that weighs only 16.6 ounces and measures 6.5 inches in length, 4.5 inches in height and 1.25 inches in width. For more information, visit ruger.com.
Capacity has always been an issue with smaller revolvers but if one steps up just slightly in size, with a gun like the S&W Model 327, capacity can surpass some small semi-autos by as many as two rounds! The Performance Center S&W 2-inch snub nose revolver has a titanium barrel shroud and an 8-shot titanium alloy cylinder chambered for .38 Special/.357 Magnum. Even though it is slightly larger than a conventional .38 snub nose, with an overall length of 7 inches, S&W’s Scandium frame contributes to reducing weight to just 21.4 ounces. For more information, visit smith-wesson.com or call 800-331-0852.
Making a smaller 1911 that would be compact enough for concealed carry yet strong enough to withstand the energy produced by a .45 ACP round, the stresses placed on the barrel lug, recoil spring and slide, just to mention a few, has complicated the manufacture of truly compact 1911s for years. Springfield Armory finally found the solution in 2007 when the EMP (Enhanced Micro Pistol) was introduced. Over the last seven years the gun has acquitted itself with exemplary performance and durability, making it a top-12 choice for 2014. For more information, visit springfield-armory.com or call 800-680-6866.
With a 6+1 capacity, the 738 TCP weighs just 10.2 ounces (empty). The polymer frame has a large trigger guard, integral ambidextrous thumb rests and molded grip serrations all around. With an overall length of 5.25 inches, the double-action-only, hammerless semi-auto is easy to conceal with rounded surfaces to prevent snagging on clothing. It is also one of the most affordable concealed-carry pocket pistols on the market. For more information, visit taurususa.com or call 800-327-3776.
Kimber, known for its high-quality 1911-style pistols, produces one of the world’s smallest ultra compacts, the Ultra CDP II. The gun features an overall length of just 6.8 inches, a height of 4.75 inches, and a weight of 25 ounces (empty), yet it retains a 7+1 capacity. The matte black aluminum frame and stainless steel slide have rounded edges for easier carry and draw, and the Ultra CDP II comes with an ambidextrous thumb safety, a skeletonized match-grade trigger and Meprolight tritium night sights. For more information, visit kimberamerica.com or call 888-243-4522.
The pocket pistol concept began with a single shot—literally one barrel and one round. Among American armsmakers who made pocket carry possible was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, gunmaker Henry Deringer. Not long after, other gunmakers began copying the design. Some competitors even went so far as to call their guns Deringer pistols, or, as became common, “derringer” with a double “R”. Modern ver sions of this classic design offer plenty of defensive capability, and the derringer is one of three distinct categories that make up this top-12 list of deep-cover pocket pistols, along with revolvers and semi-autos.
In Case You Missed It
This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE TM Fall 2014 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.
Rediscover a simpler time, meet great folks and shop the trade blankets at Maryland’s...
by Real World Survivor Editor / Aug 26, 2014