10 Best Pocket Pistols (in 2023 and Beyond)

Gun News

Pocket Pistol Reviews

If you need a compact, small-caliber semi-automatic handgun, the pocket pistol is the way to go. Designed for concealed carry in either the front or back pocket of your pants, the pocket pistol is a suitable option for those who want to protect themselves and/or their family at any given time. Read on to see our top picks for the best pocket pistols.

Personally, I purchased a pair of pocket pistols before going on a hiking trip. When you’re lugging sleeping bags, supplies, and tent poles up a mountain, the last thing you want is the hassle of having to carry around long rifles.

So how do you settle on a decent pocket pistol? Today, we’ll talk about my top ten picks for modern, cutting-edge pocket pistols for self-defense. We’ll break down pocket pistol features, price points, and more.

In the end, I think you’ll agree that there are plenty of excellent pocket pistol options at your fingertips.

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The Bond Arms Backup features a patented rebounding hammer and is designed to fire heavy duty .45 ACP rounds.

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This snub-nosed revolver is tailor-made for conceal and carry. It features a patented rebounding hammer and is designed to fire heavy-duty .45 ACP rounds.

The textured frame and bead-blasted anti-glare barrel make for accuracy as well as discretion. By taking the traditional black derringer and perfecting it for the modern age, Bond Arms have created one of the best pocket pistols around of the 21st Century.

The black crinkle powdercoat finish gives it a classic artisan design that runs parallel to its contemporary inner workings. The Backup’s got a cross-bolt safety, retracting firing pins and a spring-loaded, cammed locking lever.

At $490.00, this lightweight piece is a midrange choice that will get the job done in a pinch. If you head on over to Cabela’s, they have Backups on sale for $449.99.

the Colt Mustang XSP offers clean shooting, a 6 + 1 capacity.

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In 2000, Colt ceased production on the .380 Colt Mustang, but in recent years, they’ve gotten back into commercial production with a vengeance, releasing not one but two new models designed to accept the original Mustang’s parts.

This means that you can purchase the old parts for a song and use them in Colt’s new, cutting-edge pocket pistols.

My personal fave is the Colt Mustang Pocketlite, a polymer .380 redesign that offers clean shooting, a 6 + 1 capacity, a .757-inch wide slide, and an overall gun length of just 5.5 inches.

Indeed, the largest, clunkiest part of the Pocketlite is its plastic grips which come in at a mere 1.075 inches.

While the tiny safety on this piece is a bit on the stiff side, everything else measures up to other single-action pocket pistols on the market.

The Pocketlite boasts a handsome aluminum alloy frame with an electroless nickel finish and the slide has a high brushed gloss. It also has high-profile sights and a Commander-style hammer.

The MSRP on the .380 Mustang should be around $499, placing it in the same class as the Backup in terms of price point.

The Glock 42 the smallest Glock pistol

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This .380 ACP automatic pistol is a bit large compared to most competitors’ pocket pistols, but it’s still a viable conceal and carry option. It’s got a 5.5 lb trigger pull and, at 5.94 inches in length, it’s the smallest pistol Glock has ever produced.

A lot of people have dismissed the .380 caliber as being inferior when it comes to taking out an opponent, but it has gained in popularity in recent years because it’s the most effective cartridge for a smaller-size firearm.

The .380 is also ideal for beginners as you can learn how to fire one in a fraction of the time it takes to train with a larger higher velocity/higher recoil weapon. In this avid shooter’s humble opinion, the Glock 42 is one of the absolute best .380 concealed carry pistols.

Guns.com has offers on the Glock 42 starting at $499.00. Sometimes it is on sale for $399.00

The Kimber Micro provides shooters with a smooth trigger pull and moderate recoil.

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The Kimber Micro 9 with Crimson Trace Lasergrips is a 9mm 1911 model that is perfect for conceal and carry. It’s just 4.07 inches in length and 1.06 inches wide.

With a 6-bullet capacity, the Kimber Micro provides the shooter with a smooth trigger pull and moderate recoil. It features a flush-fitting mag with finger grip extension and comes with a soft padded case.

It’s got white dot sights and a 16 lb recoil spring. An excellent firearm for defensive purposes, the Kimber Micro 9 is hardly a piece for competitive shooting or most outdoorsman’s needs, but it will have your back in a self-defense scenario.

Most vendors sell the Kimber Micro 9 for around $600.00. Cabela’s has sales prices starting at $659.99.

The North American Arms Mini Revolver is the most popular miniature revolver ever mass produced

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If you’re in the market for the best pocket revolver, NAA’s mini-revolver may just be the concealed carry pocket pistol for you.

North American Arms’ .22 LR is, by far, the most popular miniature revolver ever mass-produced. It is specifically offered in a holster grip configuration for conceal and carry purposes.

With a 1 1/8-inch barrel and a 5-shot capacity, the .22 LR is a mean little machine. The grip folds up to ensure optimal concealment and folds into a locked position for control when shooting.

At $581.00, it’s one of the smallest concealed carry pocket pistols around.

The Rock Island Armory Baby Glock cuts down on recoil and offers users an easy to handle experience

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Finding a way to make a 1911 run dependably can be a bit tough. It’s not an exact science. But, somehow, Rock Island Armory has achieved just that.

This shrunken .380 model cuts down on recoil and offers users an easy-to-handle experience thanks to the squared serrations on both the front and rear of the slide.

A bit clunky for proper pocket carry, the Baby Rock is nevertheless a worthy conceal and carry gun that can serve as an IWB (Inside the Waistband) carry.

Its soft rubber grip panels make it comfortable to hold and a short trigger pull. The Baby Rock sells for $369.00. It also fits great in one of our recommended range bags.

The Ruger LC9 has a superior trigger, a snag-free profile and drift adjustable white 3-dot sights

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As a lifelong shooter, I was never as impressed with Ruger as I have been in the last couple of years. They really seem to have their finger on the pulse and their ear to the street because they keep coming out with the things that every gun consumer is looking for.

With the LC9, they have proven that they’re really paying attention to what gun owners are saying in online forums and consumer feedback.

Previous models suffered from subpar triggers and cumbersome safety measures. The new LC9s have none of that. We’re talkin’ superior trigger, a snag-free profile, and drift adjustable white 3-dot sights.

With a 7 + 1 ammo capacity and striker-fire action, the Ruger LC9 gives a lot of other concealed carry pistols a run for their money.

Each unit comes with a 7-round magazine and two mag base pads. At 1.08 lbs, it’s a lightweight pocket pistol with a 5.5 trigger pull, placing it firmly within the pantheon of perfect compact pocket pistols.

The MSRP on this one is $449.00, but Cabela’s has some on sale for $429.99.

the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard is a compact and easy to conceal pocket pistol with drift adjustable sights

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I’m just gonna be real with you, the Bodyguard is simply the coolest-looking gun on this list. With this one on your hip, you feel like a character straight outta Blade Runner.

Smith & Wesson’s M & P Bodyguard is another worthy .380 model with a sleek design and a stainless steel slide and barrel.

Weighing in at 12.3 ounces, it’s a compact and easy-to-conceal pocket pistol with drift adjustable sights and an ergonomic grip. Each unit comes with two magazines with finger grooves and a flat butt plate.

The high-strength polymer frame makes for firearm longevity while the double action fire control provides 2nd strike compatibility.

This iron-sighted double-action semi-auto pocket revolver has a 6 + 1 capacity and a smooth, flat plastic trigger.

The only drawback to this one is the heavier trigger pull. Most of the guns on this list have a trigger pull within the range of 5.5 whereas the Bodyguard has a 9.5 lb trigger pull.

Cabela’s sells the Bodyguard for a starting price of $399.99.

The Taurus Model 617 is a double action seven shot snub-nosed revolver

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This double-action seven-shot snub-nosed revolver is the only wheelgun on this list, but it’s every bit as functional and reliable as the non-wheelgun models listed above.

It’s an extremely powerful little beast that’s cut from corrosion-resistant steel. The DA/SA trigger provides top-of-the-line precision.

This .357 Magnum‘s only real drawback is the six-shot limit, but it’s still head and shoulders above much of the competition and the serrated front sight provides superior visibility when compared to many of its counterparts.

At an average price point of $479.99, it won’t break the bank, but you’ll know that you’re getting your money’s worth at the same time.

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The CCP stands for Concealed Carry Pistol and this Walther model lives up to its namesake. A 9mm Luger, the CCP utilizes soft coil gas technology for gas-delayed blowback.

Directing gas pressure through a small port in the barrel, it slows down the rear motion of the slide.

This ensures that the empty cartridge casing will be properly ejected when fired.

With an 8-round capacity, the CCP is at the top of the heap when it comes to a concealed carry pistol that allows for rapid fire.

Its unique non-slip grip is a handy feature to have on rainy days or in other outdoor situations. It’s also got a reversible magazine release for left-handed or right-handed shooters. The front sight is interchangeable while the rear sight is adjustable.

Cabela’s stocks this one at a price point of $399.99, making it every bit as affordable as the other pocket pistols on our list.

What is the Best Pocket Pistol for Concealed Carry?

While any of the pocket pistols above can be used for concealed carry, we like the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield and the Glock 43.  The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield comes in a variety of calibers.  Most notably the 9MM and the .40 S&W, if you want to combine stopping power with a slim profile and excellent ergonomics. If you are a Glock fan, the Glock 43 is a popular choice due to its reliability and widespread availability of Glock accessories.

How Much is a 380 Pocket Pistol?

The price of a 380 pocket pistol on our list averages around $380. $387 for the M&P Shield, to $368 for the Rock Island, to $390 for the Glock 42.

How Lethal is a Pocket Pistol?

Don’t let the name fool you, a pocket pistol can be very lethal.  Even the smallest caliber can be deadly at close range.  However considering the are several pocket pistols on our list that came in calibers with plenty of stopping power. The Glock 42 comes in .45ACP model.  Also the M&P Shield comes a .45ACP model. 

Why Pocket Carry is a Bad Idea?

We should call out why pocket carry is bad idea for some people. Retrieving a firearm from a pocket can be slower and more difficult compared to other methods of carry, such as inside-the-waistband (IWB) or outside-the-waistband (OWB) holsters.  When it comes to “concealment”, pocket carry can result in the firearm printing, meaning it creates a noticeable bulge or outline in your pocket. This can potentially alert others to the presence of a firearm, compromising the element of surprise and defeating the purpose of concealed carry.

Last, but certainly not least why pocket carry may be a bad idea is about safety. Pocket carry can present safety issues if the firearm is not securely holstered. Without a proper holster, there is a higher risk of accidental trigger manipulation, causing a negligent discharge.

Best Pocket Pistols – Conclusion

So there you have it, these are my top ten picks for the best modern, cutting-edge pocket pistol. Each of them is a viable option for concealed and carry needs. I urge my readers to shop around and do their homework.

Although I’ve given you plenty to think about, it always helps to see what other reviewers and customers have to say about their personal experiences with any given firearm. Research is key when settling on the pistol that fits your preferences.

If you have any additional comments or suggestions please drop a comment below. Thanks and remember to protect yourself and your ears when shooting.

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Chris Browning

Hey everyone I’m Chris. Founder and editor at Gun News Daily. This site was originally started by my father who passed it on to me. Gun News Daily has been reporting on gun news and conservative politics since 2001. We are the original gun news source. Life-long Second Amendment Supporter.

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