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CrazedJava 12-04-2012 09:39 PM

Looking for some advice on some specific pocket autos
I'm looking for some advice on a good pocket auto. I don't have my CHL yet but am starting to get serious about it. I've got a decent handgun that could easily work as a self defense handgun but I'm thinking about a second gun that would work as a "carry at all times no excuses" weapon. Most of what I'm looking at are .380 autos since they appear to fit in a pants pocket with no problem but I'd really prefer a 9mm. The only issue I have with most of the 9mm's is that they may be better as an IWB holster and maybe just a little big for pocket carry. I also don't want to spend a mint, so I'm looking at around $400 or less.

Bersa Thunder .380 ACP -
I really like this gun aside from the caliber, but I'm afraid it might be the worst of both worlds. Is it small enough to pocket carry still? I'd much prefer the DA/SA setup with manual safety as that is what most of my experience is with. I've also been told that these are surprisingly accurate and I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't like theirs.

Ruger LC9 9mm -
My experience with Rugers is rock solid reliability and terrible triggers. I'm not sure about the size or the accuracy, but I feel confident that I could load this up with anything and it will fire. Seems a little big for what I'm looking for though. I like the manual safety.

Ruger LCP .380 ACP -
I know the LCP is the current king (queen?) of pocket autos and it's definitely on the short list. Not sure there is anything I don't like about it other than it's .380 and I've heard the slide does not lock back on the last shot.

S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP -
Really could give a crap about the laser and I've heard it's not the most reliable weapon but has no problems with the common self defense rounds so maybe it is good enough? Aesthetically it's a winner for any of the .380's but when it comes to guns looks aren't everything. On the list because I'd like to hear what other people have to say about it.

S&W M&P Shield 9mm -
By far my favorite and my local range will rent it out so I plan on shooting one soon. Almost impossible to find around here but wondering if I can find one before I get the CHL. Again, seems a little big for pocket carry and didn't try to stuff it in my pocket when I was handling one the other day because I didn't want to make the (armed) store clerk nervous. I'm not a huge fan of striker fired pistols but I think I could learn to love this one.

Taurus PT709 Slim 9mm -
Size and form factor seem about right but also seems a little larger than the Ruger LC9 which I am already concerned about. Also, Taurus quality is real hit or miss. Too big? Also, ugly, but the price is right.

Taurus PT738 TCP .380 ACP -
Dirt cheap and know a lot of owners who love them but a few who have had catastrophic failures. Actually looks smaller than the LCP or the Bodyguard so I feel positive I'd have it on me at all times but wonder if the Taurus quality control gods will send me a blessed weapon.

Would love to know any thoughts or first hand experience. Would really like any experience from anyone who has actually carried any of the above 9mm's or something similar in a front jeans pocket.

Sniper03 12-04-2012 09:42 PM

1 Attachment(s)

I like the Kahr P-380 very well! Nice Pistol.


NOVA 12-04-2012 09:47 PM

S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP - I've got one. LOOONNNGGG trigger pull. Good gun for what it is designed for, close in self defense. You should be able to hit target at 21 feet rapid fire, with practice.

BeyondTheBox 12-04-2012 10:22 PM

The 709 is the one you want! It's compact, super thin with 9mm power, with the best double/single trigger I've ever experienced.

I was once like you, worried about size, but the reality I came to was that as long as you go with a single stack you'll be hard pressed to find a 380 of any size easier to pull out of a pocket than a 9. The difference that matters is width, and 380 to 9mm is tiny in that department.

For reference, LCP is .82in wide, LC9 is .90in wide & 709 is .95... Don't waste your time or money on an underpowered 380. I'd rather carry a 22lr. I mean if size is truly that important you can't beat that caliber.

I've owned the LCP and LC9 carried the Pea until I found the 9 fit just as well so gave the Pea to a buddy. Then I found better triggers were key to better accuracy. So I moved to SAO, but was still worried about pocket carry with larger framed steel guns. I bought a Firestar in both 9mm and 45acp and can carry both just as easily in front pocket as I could my Elsie's but now have a gun I shoot well too. The only gun I had trouble pulling out was my Glock 30, double stack. The Firestar 45acp is a little thicker than my 9, so I prefer to carry the 9mm, but I'm confident with either that I would be able to use one for self defense of needed.

And for reference I wear Levi 505s, straight fit jeans. So no loose or baggy pockets. Take my word on this, get the 709. I'm thinking seriously about adding one to my collection!

Rick1967 12-04-2012 10:29 PM

I have a Kahr PM9. Awesome pocket gun. Great trigger. Nice groups at 10 yards. You can forget it is in your pocket. And with 7 rounds of 9mm it has plenty of power.

Dizzll 12-04-2012 10:36 PM

I like that Kahr 380 but don't think you can find one in that price range. Out of you rlist I'd lean toward the Shield simpply becuz it's the only one I don't hate yet lol...

Hollander 12-04-2012 10:41 PM

Another vote for the Kahr PM9. I have had one for three plus years and love it. Also have the Kahr P380 but prefer the ultimate reliability of the PM

BeyondTheBox 12-04-2012 10:51 PM

Also, the LCP has no manual safety. That's a huge downfall to me.

WeeMan9194 12-04-2012 11:21 PM

I'm not sure about any of the specific guns your looking at but absolutely everyone that try's the m&p shield seems to fall in love with it. Only downfall seems to be that it's hard to find.

BeyondTheBox 12-04-2012 11:32 PM


Originally Posted by WeeMan9194 (Post 1039064)
I'm not sure about any of the specific guns your looking at but absolutely everyone that try's the m&p shield seems to fall in love with it. Only downfall seems to be that it's hard to find.


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