The essential idea behind a pocket pistol is to carry it concealed on your person in the event of immediate need. During an active SHTF event, a prepper-survivalists may have multiple opportunities to engage their pocket pistol for a wide variety of reasons. It might be needed to get out of the office and home or out of the driveway to get on the road toward your Bug Out destination. It may be needed to thwart a threat at the front door or in the parking lot.
When things go south during a natural or unnatural event, self-defense and family/team protection can quickly become a top priority. For this reason, a pocket pistol has to be chosen very carefully with deliberate intents in mind at all times. A pocket pistol has to be small enough to be carried easily, but it must be retrieved quickly to put into play. Then it has to carry enough power to be an effective defensive threat. The shooter has to be trained and proficient in doing this.
The first round of the debate starts with the size of the hole in the end of the muzzle. The primary contenders are the .380 ACP, .38 Special, 9mm, and maybe with a select few shooters, the .45 ACP. See, I have already stepped on somebody’s toe by not mentioning this round or another such as the .40 Cal. Some 10mm fans might be offended. And if you are just getting into shooting handguns, start with the .22 rimfire from the get go, but then move up. Skip the rimfire for self-defense as it just has too many limitations for serious protection work.
The bottom line here is to choose a caliber with which you are confident in using and in a handgun you can shoot well. Any one in this first list will perform well in the right hands of a properly trained and experienced shooter. The days are gone when the .380 and the .38 Special were considered wimps. Even the 9mm was slighted not all that long ago. Forget that. Ammunition manufacturers have stepped up the game with new highly potent and accurate self-defense loads new on the market. Many new offerings by Hornady, Remington, Winchester, Federal and others have laid to rest the arguments about these rounds being too weak for self-defense protection. Make your choice.
To simplify things I generically used the term “pistol” when I am really talking about both semi-auto pistols and revolvers as well. Believe it or not, a good revolver in the hands of a competent and confident shooter becomes an awesome defensive combination. The “pistol” is certainly a popular choice but by no means the only one or even the best one in every instance.
A top of the line revolver such as many by Smith and Wesson, Ruger, Charter Arms, Taurus, and a few select others are good choices for prepper pocket pistols. An intriguing new revolver that I have yet to see or handle is the Kimber K6s Stainless in .357 Magnum, which of course can handle .38 Specials including hearty +P loads. This ought to be a grand pocket pistol, pricey, but extremely well made as all Kimber’s are.
Pistol wise there are just so many choices, the average or new prepper to the horse race is going to quickly get bogged down in decision-making over features, fit, grip, handling, magazine loading, pointing, slide cycling, sight alignment, safety mechanisms, weight, size, carry and concealment considerations. These are a lot of things to think about when picking out a good pocket pistol. Among the competitive leading makers of pocket pistols, you have to look at the Glock 42 and 43, the Ruger models LC9 and LCP, several from S&W including the Bodyguard and their 9mm series.
Remington has out a new .380 pistol to look at in earnest. Others worthy of a look include the Kimber Micro Pistols, the Solo, Ultra models, and some of the downsized 1911 versions. In this marketplace, there is no shortage at all of models, brands, and versions to examine for use as pocket pistols.
Check with reputable gun dealers, and nose around at shooting ranges, and gun shows. Handle and inspect as many different gun models as you can get your hands on. Shop where the inventories are large, selections and prices are competitive. If you know a cop, then ask them their opinions as well as other preppers and survivalists. Gather all the information you can as you make your choice or choices.
The pocket pistol profile is a lightweight, small, 2-4 inch barreled handgun designed to be easily carried actually in the pocket or in an IWB (inside waist band) or OWB (outside waist band) holster. It has to ready to be drawn quickly and deployed into action at a moment’s notice. Besides picking the right gun in the right caliber for you, proceed to knowing your gun. Learn it, clean it, take it apart, and get intimate with it. Spend a lot of quality time on the shooting range running it through the paces. Shoot your new gun at realistic confrontational distances.
Forget 50 yards. Concentrate on 7 feet to ten yards. Punch those paper plates in the center. Practice quick reloads with a fresh magazine or a 5/6-round speed loader. This is a learned talent all its own that requires lots of practice to perform smoothly and securely. Practice, too, withdrawing your pistol from your pocket and carry holsters. Dress up in the role of concealed carry to see how all that works out. Get in and out of your vehicles to test those moves. It all takes practice. Just keep at it.
Get your concealed carry permit so you’ll be legal. Start to tote your pocket pistol on a regular basis. Carry it around some to get used to the weight, feel and tug of it on your body. At home or discretely work with drawing your pocket handgun in practice, unloaded of course. Learn that sight plane down the barrel and pointing that muzzle nose to the target. If you have to depart your office, home, or vehicle during a SHTF event of any kind, you are going to want some measure of protection. A pocket pistol can help fill that role. Make your selection with earnest consideration, then move full forward to learning to use it effectively. It could save your life or the lives of family members, a prep team, or others caught exposed.