POCKET AUTOLOADING PISTOLS for Personal Defense

Discussion in 'Gun Control' started by DonGlock26, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. DonGlock26

    DonGlock26 New Member Past Donor

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    POCKET AUTOLOADING PISTOLS
    for Personal Defense


    Small autoloading pistols, whether referred to as pocket pistols, hideout guns, backup guns, or mouse guns, get no respect. Frequently maligned by firearms trainers as too small, inaccurate, and not powerful enough, they are the red-headed stepchildren of the firearms community. Nonetheless, these little guns represent a major segment of the firearms sales market. The Ruger LCP has represented over 50% of Ruger’s total handgun production for the past several years, according to the BATFE Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report. And centerfire mouse guns represented 39% of centerfire pistol production in the U.S. for 2010.

    Obviously, everyday gun carriers are ignoring, in droves, the common industry advice that small pistols are inadequate for personal protection. In years past, the snub-nose revolver was the favored choice for pocket carry, but the latest generation of small autoloaders has made a significant dent in the dominance of the revolver. Chances are that anyone who shoots regularly either owns a pocket autoloader or knows someone who does. Many people who own no other gun own a pocket pistol.

    Reasons for Pocket Pistols

    Why would someone go against “conventional wisdom and common knowledge” and choose a pocket-sized autoloader for personal defense? Size and weight are the obvious reasons. The average, or what I call “median,” person is simply not going to carry a service pistol or even a compact version of a service pistol on a regular basis. Ordinary people want a pistol that fits their lifestyle, not a lifestyle that is tailored around their pistol.

    Holster guns require a sturdy gun belt and belt loops that can support the gun belt. Many current fashions, especially womens’, simply aren’t suitable for holster carry. In Non-Permissive Environments, concealing a gun in a belt holster is often problematic. Small purses don’t have enough room in them for even a compact service pistol.

    Limitations of Pocket Pistols


    .22 Long Rifle penetration. Note bullet in second block.
    Obviously, pocket pistols have their limitations. They are generally less powerful than service pistols. How important is that in the context of a private citizen and personal protection? It depends on the criteria and context chosen. When a Beretta 21A in.22 Long Rifle was fired into ordnance gelatin at a recent tactical conference, it penetrated 17 inches of gelatin, as much as any service-caliber load. Verifiable examples of criminals being shot by private citizens in self-defense and failing to cease their attack are few and far between.

    Pocket pistols can be somewhat less reliable than service pistols. In many cases, malfunction clearance may require some modification to standard Immediate Action and Remedial Action procedures. For example, many pocket pistols do not have a slide hold open feature. They may also have a different placement of the magazine catch. Being familiar with a specific pistol and its particular manual of arms is important. Pocket pistols of .22 Long Rifle caliber may not have an extractor or ejector because they depend on the pressure of the generated gases to eject the fired case. The addition of a malfunction clearance tool, e.g., wire in the grip, can help solve this shortcoming.


    Front sight painted orange and rear notch deepened.
    Small pistols tend to have less usable accuracy than service pistols. Two factors influence this: 1) the short sight radius and small sights common to pocket pistols, and 2) trigger actions that are difficult to use well. To a certain extent, sights can be improved by using paint, and in some cases by reshaping the sights with a file. While lasers are somewhat costly in relation to the price of a small pistol, they add a tremendous amount of functional accuracy to the little guns. Sometimes the trigger pull can be smoothed out by a gunsmith, but often you’ll just have to learn to manage it.

    In centerfire calibers, pocket pistols can be uncomfortable to shoot. In particular, the few pocket-sized pistols in 9mm caliber can be brutal on the shooter. Even many .380s are not pleasant to shoot. If the gun is painful to fire, it will lead to a strong temptation to not practice with it. Failure to practice is a major mistake.

    Considerations for Pocket Pistols

    Atlanta PD Second Weapon Qual with LCP. Under three-yard hits in red.

    Snap caps and dummy round.

    The ability to practice with 50 rounds at a time is a major consideration in selection. A pistol that can’t be fired 50 rounds at a time is unlikely to lead to proficient use. Little guns can be shot quite quickly and accurately, but only if you practice with them on a regular basis. There are synthetic grip sleeves that go over the grip of the pistol and noticeably decrease the felt recoil of the pistol. Get one if you need it.

    Dry fire is a good way to learn to manage the triggers of these little guns. However, many pocket pistols will not stand up to dry fire well without using a good quality snap cap, so it’s best to always use a snap cap in pocket pistols. In general, .22-caliber handguns should not be dry fired with a snap cap. It’s important to understand the difference between snap caps and dummy rounds in this context. A dummy round only simulates the functioning of ammunition through the feeding and ejection cycles. Snap caps protect the firing pin and, in the case of .22s, the breech face. Some snap caps will not function through the normal feeding cycle. For example, a #4 drywall anchor makes a good snap cap for .22s that have a tip-up barrel, but it will not feed through the magazine of other .22s.

    If you shoot a service pistol regularly, consider choosing a pocket pistol that has a similar operational system. For example, if your service pistol has a double action/single action system, a pocket pistol with the same characteristic may allow at least some of your practice to translate. Similarly, shooters who regularly use a 1911 pattern pistol are probably best served by choosing a pocket pistol whose manual of arms mimics the 1911.

    Smaller pistols are less forgiving of infrequent maintenance. They need cleaning and lubrication more often than service pistols. This doesn’t have to be extensive, but they should be disassembled, wiped down, and lubed at least once a week if carried daily. After each shooting session, run a bore snake down the barrel and apply a little lube before leaving the range.

    Test your carry ammunition for function. Many people shoot only range ammunition through their guns and then assume that anti-personnel ammunition will work just as well. That’s a dangerous assumption. Break in and test your pistol with range ammo, but be sure to fire at least one box of carry ammo through your gun periodically, so you know it works. You may find that your carry ammo also shoots to a different point of impact, which is important to understand.

    Carry Methods


    Pocket holster and Covert Carrier belt clip.
    While we generically refer to them as pocket pistols, there are many ways of carrying them discreetly. If you carry in the pocket, you should still use a holster. The holster helps keep pocket items and lint out of the pistol’s mechanism, which enhances its reliability and your safety. A pocket holster also helps keep the pistol oriented in the same direction all the time. This is important when you need your pistol in a hurry. There are many pocket holsters out there, and you will probably find yourself using two or three, depending on the size of the particular pocket you are putting it in.

    Belt clips are available, either as factory accessories or aftermarket add-ons. These attach to the pistol so it clips to your clothing without a holster. Due to the light weight of these pistols, the clips can go over the waistband but behind the belt. Having the clip behind the belt can be a very discreet way of carrying a small pistol. Clips also allow carrying with clothing that does not have belt loops, such as athletic shorts and many female fashions.

    Probably the second most common method of carrying a small autoloader is in a purse or other case. A purse for carrying a pistol should have, at a minimum, a dedicated pistol compartment that is secured with a zipper or Velcro. Just tossing a pistol in a main purse compartment has several disadvantages. First, the pistol and its trigger are not protected from the other contents of the purse. An exposed trigger can result in a Negligent Discharge while the gun is in the purse. The outcome of such a discharge is never pretty. Second, purses are seldom on the owner’s person 100% of the time. Having the pistol loose among the purse’s contents can draw unwanted attention to it from others. Your pistol is for you alone, not for anyone else to see or touch. Third, as in a pocket, it’s important to maintain a constant orientation of the pistol so you can quickly obtain a grip on it when necessary.

    Ankle holsters also work well with pocket pistols and are an extremely discreet way to carry them. A small autoloader is probably the most comfortable gun to carry in an ankle holster. The ankle draw is complicated, so it needs to be practiced regularly with an unloaded pistol. Frequent pistol maintenance is imperative with ankle carry, because this is a very dirty environment to carry any gun in.

    Conclusion

    Pocket pistols have a place in the battery of anyone who carries a gun on an everyday basis. As the saying goes, “A mouse gun in the pocket beats anything at home in the safe.”


    http://www.personaldefensenetwork.c...ket-autoloading-pistols-for-personal-defense/


    I've got a LCP, which I like alot. It goes everywhere with me, and I hardly notice it in my pocket.

    I highly recommend having an "always" gun with you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06DXksPzX3k

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  2. PeakProphet

    PeakProphet New Member

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    After all of that, I guess I'll just stick with my LC9. But in the winter, its a Glock 17 for concealed carry.
     
  3. DonGlock26

    DonGlock26 New Member Past Donor

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    It's all good. Rule #1 of gun fighting must be met.


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  4. Bondo

    Bondo Well-Known Member

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    Ayuh,.... I've been carryin' a Jennings, J-22 for a couple of decades now,...

    Sometimes in an angle holster, or more often just dropped into the back pocket of my jeans...

    The trouble with in the back pocket is, insteada the rednecks skoal can imprint, I get a pistol imprint over time...
     
  5. Hoosier8

    Hoosier8 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I run on a rail trail that has had some problems. Legislation recently just passed allowing carry on the park trail so I run with a "pocket pistol", a P3AT which fits nicely in a SmartCarry holster that I wear on my strong side. I don't even notice it there. I certainly hope I never have to pull it but even then, hopefully just showing it would make someone think twice. I would shoot if I had to but it would not be my first choice, I would rather avoid a situation if I could.

    A gentleman my age walking home from work was shot several times in the leg and robbed while on the same trail by two teens. both 16.
     
  6. leftysergeant

    leftysergeant New Member

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    I really do not recommend a semi-auto for concealed-carry unless you are willing to spend a lot of time on the range. They do not tolerate a limp wrist well. It is easier to learn to control a revolver. A .22lr revolver firing 40gr lead bullets is adequate to deal with most targets one has any business engaging and takes less training to fire and maintain.

    Frankly, if you are not up to at least a monthly visit to the range, I'm not sure I want you packing in my neighborhood to begin with.

    Small semis break down rather more easily than do cheap .22 revolvers, so you are not likely to get as much range time with a small semi as with a revolver.

    With speed loaders, i can put about the same number of rounds down-range as can an average shooter with a semi who can just swap out mags and contine shooting. But that takes practice.

    Please plan on practicing a lot if and when you buy any new weapon.

    Really. Please practice.

    I mean, don't you think we would all be happier if you were sure to get an attacker, and not some innocent by-stander?
     
  7. Patriot911

    Patriot911 New Member Past Donor

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    My wife and I practice at least every other week, but mostly because we both enjoy shooting. She has a revolver (S&W model 60-9 .357) in a purse specifically designed to hold a pistol. She likes the simplicity and elegance of revolvers, but wants more stopping power than that of a .22. Even with .357 magnums loaded hot she is a crack shot out to about 20 yards with the little snub nose. Past 20 yards, the perp might stand a chance, but up close he won't stand much of a chance.

    I usually carry a .45 Bersa that I practice with (and then clean) every time I go to the range. Practice helps on so many levels, not the least of which is the one you mentioned of being able to get your shots on the target you intend. Your point about semis being higher maintenance is a very good one, but everyone I know who carries takes care of their guns regardless of type. I hope it is like that elsewhere in the country.
     
  8. DonGlock26

    DonGlock26 New Member Past Donor

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    There are wallet holsters that would help with printing.


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  9. FrankCapua

    FrankCapua Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don't think a .22 is adequate for self defense. Not much stopping power on an adult. Penetration, but not enough trauma and shock.
     
  10. Bondo

    Bondo Well-Known Member

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    Ayuh,.... Not to argue, 'cause yer right,...

    But,... I feel that if I'm gonna pull it outa my pocket, it's gonna be very up close, 'n personal,....
    'n at fist fightin' ranges, I'll take my chances with hollow points in my .22....
    At point blank range, the muzzle blast alone will make an attacker think twice, 'bout his mistaken folly...

    Good point Don,... I've considered makin' a leather flap type holster, just for that reason,.... ;)
     
  11. FrankCapua

    FrankCapua Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Take a look at the Kimber Solo Carry in 9 mm. 17 ounces, 5.5 inches long.
     
  12. Silverhair

    Silverhair New Member

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    I carry a Kel-Tec P3AT in my right front pocket with a pice of hard leather over the gun so that it doesn't print. NOTHING else goes in that pocket.
     
  13. Silverhair

    Silverhair New Member

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    Accidental duplication. Sorry.
     

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