Conversation about pocket pistols

Chris Baker of Lucky Gunner was so kind as to interview me about pocket pistols and their role in Personal Protection at the 2018 Rangemaster Tactical Conference.

It was an interesting interview and he makes a number of worthwhile points in the video.

I’m actually looking forward to the series because I agree with him 100% that pocket pistols have characteristics that make them harder to run than larger handguns. That fact has been driven home several times to me about running snubs. There’s often the perception that knowing how to operate, not just shoot, a full size K, L, or N frame revolver translates 100% to the J frame. Sorry folks, that’s just not the case.

Small size autoloaders have their idiosyncrasies, as well. Pocket pistols show up frequently in the Ladies classes I do in conjunction with The Complete Combatant. As Chris says, shooting isn’t the only task that we have to be ready to deal with during a Defensive Gun Use. I’m interested in seeing the solutions he comes up with.

FTC Notice: I have purchased ammo from Lucky Gunner and the shipping was very fast. It was purchased with my own money and I receive no promotional consideration for any comments I make about the company.

14 responses

  1. There’s a time for smaller guns . From what I’ve seens lot is when a lot of people think of concealed carry. They automatically think about putting a pistol in their pocket. It’s almost like wearing a holster is a sin

  2. “Carrying a pocket pistol is not a death sentence.” Quotable.

  3. Reblogged this on Gun Culture 2.0 and commented:
    Interesting start to a promising series from Lucky Gunner. Quotable: “Carrying a pocket pistol is not a death sentence.”

  4. You are exactly right. Thank you for spreading this message. The importance of this is in getting people to focus on training for the most likely encounters. Mass casualty active shooters are rare, armed robberies aren’t. By definition, in an armed robbery you most likely don’t have time, distance or cover. You are drawing from a disadvantage, in close proximity with a gun pointed at you. You will probably have to start firing from retention, and hopefully have enough time to back up, then drive the gun out and get accurate shots. The chance of getting in a lengthy gun battle in these situations are incredibly small. If you do you are very likely getting shot. Trading a lot of rounds at 5 feet is a recipe for disaster. I have watched video of a lot of robberies, a suspect never laughed at a gun because it was small. If a gun shot in the bad guys direction doesn’t change his mind, you are in for a bad day.

  5. Claude, once again your wisdom based on reality trumps opinion based on supposition;

    “There’s often the perception that knowing how to operate, not just shoot, a full size K, L, or N frame revolver translates 100% to the J frame. Sorry folks, that’s just not the case.”

    Running a tiny gun with tiny hands tends to be slightly easier than trying to run a tiny gun with average to large size mitts. Very little of K/L frame proficiency will automatically carry over to a J frame, IME, about the only thing that naturally carries over is the operationi to open/close the cylinder and maybe realize you have next to nothing for an ejector rod in the 2″ J frame.

  6. The gun you have when you need it, is far better than not having one when you do.

  7. Great comments. Nice to hear reality and not tacticool. Thank you. This is why your material is so valuable. I’ve realized practicing with my LCP, LCR, and J Frame is key as that’s what I carry.

  8. Impactful perspective within this blog post. Thanks for sharing, Mr. Werner.

  9. There are reasons why you and I have come up with TTPs for snubs and small auto pistols that are different than what is used for service sized guns.

  10. Mr. Werner, as you said, “There’s often the perception that knowing how to operate, not just shoot, a full size K, L, or N frame revolver translates 100% to the J frame. Sorry folks, that’s just not the case.” That belief runs rampant in the circles of law enforcement. Just watch what is brought to a departments in-service qualification course. Cops that carry a snub everyday, the two inch J-frame is very popular, will show-up with their 4 or 6 inch heavy frame revolver. Why? … They want to make sure they shoot a passing score and they know that qualifying with the snubby won’t be easy. They’ll even tell you that it may take them multiple runs through the course before they pass and that’s embarassing.

    During those quals, I would tell them that mindset sets you up for failure and you have no skills with that snubby you carry. But what did I know; I was just “the firearms guy.” It’s rare than you’ll find a police administrator that thinks differently, they too usually show-up with their department issued 4 incher.

    As you mentioned, women are likely to be steered to the little snubs because they are told they are easy to carry and conceal. Their husband or boyfriend dreamed that up or he agreed with the Gun Shop Commando that sold them the snub.

    Usually before class is over someone, generally the husband/boyfriend has scrounged up a K or larger revolver for her to work with, but when she leaves, not unlike the coppers mentioned above she’ll be packing the snub, at his behest of course. She now knows it demands more skill, more training, more practice, but that’s what she’ll carry because she thinks he knows best.

    They are clueless to the fact that those stubby little handguns require expert skills. Nevertheless, you’re on the right track Professor, big hat tip to you, Sir! Stay after them and your Watch-Six …

  11. Just was watching this video in which you talked about pocket pistols as opposed to military grade giant clunkandtickers.

    I studied the statistics in college (I did not get the highest grade on my paper because I was not politically correct, but the statistics were sound–standard deviation, all those sorts of very careful analysis of the data)

    At that time more convicted felons committing a felony recidivist crime were killed in the act by private citizens carrying –of all things– .25 ACP pocket pistols– than all other guns combined. With the upward shift in calibers that probably has changed.

    I had developed my point of view that “the gun to have is the gun you have.”

    In other words any gun that effectively sends bullets into the target is better to have than having something that will kill everything in the Western Hemisphere but which must be left at home because you cannot carry it effectively concealed

    A good example of that is the .25 caliber Raven automatic I used to carry… not perfect, but better then having a 454 Casull that’s so large that someone notices the profile of the gun as I’m carrying it…and therefore can neutralize my ability to defend myself by acting when I’m not aware, or “getting the drop on” me as it were.

    I would think that would be common sense, but too many people are willing to mock the “underpowered” calibers, not realizing that most criminals are stopped before the trigger is pulled …because they are intimidated by the idea of having a hole put into them, however small.

  12. One more thing to consider… my other favorite gun to carry was a .32 ACP hammerless Colt…enough shots but what you might call under powered
    except for the ammunition that I chose to use. I looked at reviews in which testing Personnel used gels and puttys to simulate human flesh and they showed a .32 ball round .45 ACP ball around and .32 Winchester Silvertip rounds. The comparison between the Silvertip .32 rounds and the .45 acps was starling. Basically it converted the energy from the .32 into a result equal to that of the .45, so a lot depends on ammunition. My local gun dealer ordered for me the silvertips but in hollow-point form. I always carried my .32 with a silver tip round in the chamber, a ball round on top of the magazine ,and the rest of the magazine Silvertip–that way I always had two shots for sure. If shot number 3 would jam, at least there were the two shots: the first one equivalent to a .45 ACP round in actual damage to the Target.

    The .32 I currently have is a Savage automatic (10-round magazine extra shot in the chamber)–all these Devastator hollow points that are supposed to be that much worse than what the Winchester silver tips were .In addition to that there is the feature designed in the Savage automatic that makes it a locked breech firing mechanism whereby all the propellant gas is behind the bullet as it leaves the barrel so that way each .32 bullet is given that much more energy than it would have in the Colt.

    Not a nice thing to be on the receiving end up when it comes time to punch holes.

  13. To support a previous post I can tell you that 25 Auto was the largest selling Centerfire pistol cartridge at the ammo plant I worked for in the mid 1980’s. As time went by that cartridge fell by the wayside but lots of folks were buying them.

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