The Best Pocket Pistols for Packing in Your Pocket

Pocket carry may not be as popular as carrying on the belt. But pocket carry is a legitimate option, if you do it correctly. And, like any sort of concealed carry, you should use one of the best pocket pistols you can get if you’re going to carry in your pocket.

Now, the best pocket pistols aren’t always the smallest. You have to use a pocket holster to carry in a pocket.

So it’s worth having a slightly larger handgun, that’s more capable and easier to shoot, because the entire package isn’t going to be as small as the tiny pistol itself, anyway.

But, even the slightly larger pocket pistols are still very small. And you could carry them in a relatively small pocket, even with the holster.

Size and holster considerations aside, we dug up all the best pocket pistols for you to draw your own conclusions.

Our Best Choice

Glock 43

WHY YOU SHOULD BY THIS

This gun is small enough for pocket carry, stupid reliable, and super simple to use.

BENEFITS

  • Small enough that you won’t need a cargo pocket to carry it.
  • No manual safety for the simplest operation.
  • Outstanding reliability.
  • Relatively affordable.
  • SPOILERthe Glock 43 is the best pocket pistol that we found. It’s small, simple, and reliable. That’s what you need from a pocket pistol. The full review is further on. Go ahead and draw your own conclusions.

    If a different pocket pistol is more your speed, we’ve got a whole bunch more reviews. Read on.

    Top Pocket Pistols on the Market Today

    The Best Pocket Pistols Reviews: How to Carry a Gun in Your Pants

    The overall best pocket pistol will get reviewed first. The other best pocket pistols will be pocketed in order of price.

    The best priced pocket pistols are reviewed first.

    The best performing pocket pistols, with no regard to price, are near the end.

    Read the reviews that are friendly to your budget.

    1. Glock 43 - Overall Best Pocket Pistol

    • Model: Glock 43
    • Slide length: 6.26 inches
    • Height: 4.25 inches
    • Barrel length: 3.39 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 6 rounds

    The Glock 43 is kind of the minimum viable pistol. Yes, there are some guns that are better in certain aspects. But this model kind of sets the baseline for most defensive handgun characteristics.

    First, this handgun is just 6.26 inches long and 4.25 inches tall, including the magazine. It’s also just 1.06 inches wide at the thickest point. It’s definitely small enough to carry in your pocket.

    Even though it’s small, the grip is still long enough to hold 6 rounds in the magazine. It’s pretty tough to get more rounds in the magazine without a longer grip.

    Also, the barrel is 3.39 inches long. Overall, you’re getting about as much performance per inch as possible.

    Where this gun rests on the baseline for defensive handguns is the comfort. The grip shape is comfortable enough.

    However, this is such a small gun that the recoil is a bit aggressive. It’s kind of unavoidable, because it’s such a small, lightweight gun.

    However, there are some pocket pistols that are a bit more comfortable.

    But this gun is incredibly reliable, it fits in your pocket, and it’s decently priced. It checks all the boxes for a pocket pistol, even though it may not check every box perfectly.


    2. Mossberg MC1 SC 9mm - Budget Pocket Pistol

    • Model: Mossberg MC1 SC 9mm
    • Slide length: 6.39 inches
    • Height: 4.11 inches
    • Barrel length: 3.4 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 6 rounds

    The Mossberg MC1 SC 9mm is physically small. And the price is also small. That’s a good combo for a pocket pistol.

    This pistol is about as small as you can get without losing performance on one front or another. The grip is just long enough to pack 6 rounds into the magazine. And the slide is 6.25 inches long, which is enough space for a 3.4 inch barrel.

    The dimensions give you about as much performance as you can get from a pocket pistol.

    Where this gun stands out is the comfort. The grip shape and texture are both excellent. The grip shape produces a relatively comfortable recoil impulse, even though the grip is short.

    Also, the grip texture is enough that you’ll have no problem holding onto your gun, even when your hands are all slippery. But it’s not so aggressive that it’s going to tear up your hands during a long shooting session.

    Additionally, the trigger is actually pretty good. It’s no polished single action only trigger. But the movement is smooth. And the break is impressively crisp, especially considering the striker fired design.

    My only complaint about the trigger is that it’s got fairly long travel. It’s not a deal breaker. But it takes quite a bit of movement to fire the gun.

    You may be skeptical of this gun’s reputation, because it’s so new. I encourage you to check your gun’s reliability before you put it in your pocket. But, so far, the reports are that the reliability is solid.

    Relatively long trigger aside, this Mossberg gun is impressively comfortable and easy to shoot for such a small gun. And the price is incredible. That’s a good deal on a pocket pistol.


    3. Walther PPS M2 - Value Pocket Pistol

    • Model: Walther PPS M2
    • Slide length: 6.32 inches
    • Height: 4.4 inches
    • Barrel length: 3.2 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 6 rounds

    Walther striker fired pistols haven’t been around quite as long as some other models. But the Walther PPS M2 and Walther’s other striker guns look pretty good, so far.

    This gun is a bit on the large side.

    It’s 4.4 inches tall. And the slide is 6.32 inches long. That’s large enough for a 6 round magazine and a 3.2 inch barrel. It’s not too big to fit in a pocket. But there are smaller handguns by a tenth of an inch or two.

    However, the slide is shorter than most pistols in the super small size range. That can be helpful for fitting in a pocket. But it does mean the barrel is a bit shorter.

    The real star of the show is the trigger, though.

    Walther striker-fired triggers are some of the best you can get. The trigger on this gun is not only super smooththe break is also incredibly clean. There’s almost zero mush or creep.

    If you want a pocket carry gun with an outstanding trigger, this gun is an outstanding option.

    As I mentioned at the start, this pistol might not have the sort of reputation that other striker fired guns have. So you may want to check this gun’s reliability before you throw it in your pocket.

    But, based on what people have seen so far, there’s no reason to suspect that this pistol would fail any reasonable reliability check.

    Overall, this Walther model isn’t the absolute most compact pocket pistol. But you get a lot of reliability and a great trigger for that little bit of extra size.


    4. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 - Versatile Pocket Pistol

    • Model: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0
    • Slide length: 6.1 inches
    • Height: 4.6 inches
    • Barrel length: 3.1 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 7 rounds

    The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 is kind of a crossover pistol. It’s small enough that you can carry it in a pocket. But it’s capable enough that you could use it for other self-defense duties.

    This might be the largest gun on this list. But it’s small enough to use as a pocket pistol if you have somewhat generous pockets.

    The dimension that makes this gun one of the largest pocket pistols is the grip length. The overall height of this gun is 4.6 inches.

    Now, that extra grip space isn’t going to waste. The flush fit magazine holds 7 rounds. The grip might be longer than other pocket pistols, but you also get more rounds in the magazine.

    In other dimensions, this S&W model is just 0.95 inches thick. And the slide is 6.1 inches longBoth of these dimensions help minimize printing in your pocket.

    The short slide does limit the barrel length to 3.1 inches. But it’s only a tenth of an inch or so shorter than most other pocket pistols.

    Now, the added size comes with another benefit: you can add the extended magazine to make this gun more viable as a home defense or belt carry gun. That gives you 8 rounds and a more ample grip for better control.

    There are other nice things to say about this gun. But I’m running out of space here.

    Overall, this is an exceptionally well priced gun that might require a slightly larger pocket, but also gives you the flexibility to use your pocket carry pistol for other self-defense duties.


    5. Glock 42 - Low Recoil Pocket Pistol

    • Model: Glock 42
    • Slide length: 5.94 inches
    • Height: 4.13 inches
    • Barrel length: 3.25 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 6 rounds

    The Glock 42 is slightly smaller than the Glock 43. And it’s a .380 Auto pistol. So the recoil is more manageable than the Glock 43 recoil.

    This gun is only slightly smaller than the Glock 43. But it is indeed smaller.

    This model is only 4.13 inches from the top of the sights to the bottom of the magazine. And the slide is only 5.94 inches long. Overall, this gun is super easy to hide in a pocket.

    Even though this gun is small, the barrel is 3.25 inches long. That’s actually longer than some larger pocket pistols. The performance per inch in this model is pretty strong.

    The small size means that you only get 6 rounds in the magazine, though. But that’s pretty normal for a pocket pistol.

    Unfortunately, this is a Glock. And that means you get a Glock trigger. It’s not great. But it’s totally usable for a defensive gun.

    The other struggle with this gun is that .380 Auto is just barely powerful enough to be viable for self-defense. It works. But carrying a reload is a good idea.

    On the upside, this gun has a very gentle recoil. Unlike many 9mm pocket pistols, this one is relatively comfortable to shoot and easy to control.

    This may not be an ideal option if you don’t need the lighter recoil. But it’s a great option for shooters with grip strength issues.


    6. Sig Sauer P365 - High Performance Pocket Pistol

    • Model: Sig Sauer P365
    • Slide length: 5.8 inches
    • Height: 4.3 inches
    • Barrel length: 3.1 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 10 rounds

    The Sig Sauer P365 is one of the most capable concealed carry guns to be released in recent years. There are very few pistols that offer more capability in such a small package.

    The big deal with this gun is that the flush fit magazine holds 10 rounds. That’s more rounds than almost any other pistol that’s small enough to carry in a pocket.

    And this model is shorter than some pistols that hold fewer rounds. It’s just 4.3 inches tall. Additionally, the slide is only 5.8 inches long. Also, this handgun is only 1.06 inches wide, including the controls.

    To sum up the dimensions, this model is incredibly compact, especially when you consider the magazine capacity. This gun is smaller than guns with less magazine capacity.

    Then, the barrel is 3.1 inches long. That’s just as good as most other pocket pistols.

    But what about the trigger?

    Well, the trigger is very good.

    Yeah, the break is a tiny bit spongy. However, the movement is super smooth and there’s very little travel and over travelThe trigger is very easy to manage for precision shooting.

    Lastly, the factory sights on this model are also pretty solid. It’s a flat black rear with a high visibility green front sightThe sight configuration is one of the best for taking quick shots using your sights.

    As if that weren’t enough, this model is also really well priced.

    The only downside to this gun is that it had some recalls when it was first released. But those have been corrected. If you get a new one, you shouldn’t have any issues. Feel free to do a reliability check, though.

    Ultimately, if you want to keep a lot of rounds (in a gun) in your pocket, this  Sig Sauer handgun is one of your best options.


    7. Springfield Armory Hellcat - High Capacity Pocket Pistol

    • Model: Springfield Armory Hellcat
    • Slide length: 6 inches
    • Height: 4 inches
    • Barrel length: 3 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 11 rounds

    The Springfield Armory Hellcat is the newest pistol in this article. But it’s based on a proven design, the Springfield XD. It’s got some reputation behind it. And the initial impressions are very positive.

    The big deal with this gun is the magazine capacity. This pistol holds 11 rounds in the flush fit magazine. That’s the best magazine capacity that you can get in a micro pistol. And you can get an extended magazine to bump the capacity up to 13 rounds.

    But is it going to be a brick in your pocket?

    Well, this model is just 4 inches tall, 6 inches long, and 1 inch wide. So… No, it’s not a brick. It’s actually smaller than many comparable handguns. It will fit in your pocket better than some handguns with smaller magazines.

    And it comes with decent hardware.

    The sights are a U-notch design with a high visibility front sight. I could take or leave the U-notch rear sight. It’s not really any better than a standard square notch.

    However, the high visibility front sight is very nice. It gets your attention, helps you get focused on your front sight, and line up your sights quickly. Overall, the sights are reasonably fast.

    Additionally, the trigger is pretty solid.

    This Springfield model is a bit heavy, like the other XD pistols. But the movement is smooth. And the break is pretty clean, once you push through it. It’s a totally manageable trigger for a defensive gun.

    The main downside is that this gun is very new. So far, it looks like it will be a solid defensive firearm. But you should probably run a thorough reliability check on this model before you pocket it.

    If it passes your reliability trials, though, it’s an incredibly capable pocket pistol that gives you more rounds in the gun than any other model.


    8. Kimber EVO SP - Metal Framed Pocket Pistol

    • Model: Kimber EVO SP
    • Slide length: 6.1 inches
    • Height: 4.03 inches
    • Barrel length: 3.16 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 7 rounds

    All the contenders up to this point have been polymer pistols. That’s because heavy pocket pistols tend to pull your pants down and feel very heavy in your pocket.

    The Kimber EVO SP is a pocket pistol with a metal frame. But it’s not all that heavy.

    Since I’m already on the topic, this model weighs just 19 ounces. Yes, that’s heavier than most polymer pocket pistols.

    But this model has an aluminum frame. It’s metal. But it’s a very lightweight metal. That makes this gun relatively lightweight and very durable.

    Additionally, this is a striker fired gun without a safety, which makes it simple and reliable.

    It’s a fairly new gun. So you should verify the reliability for yourself. But, so far, it looks like it should pass whatever vetting process you like.

    All that’s left to cover is the size.

    This model is just 4.03 inches tall and 6.1 inches long. That’s on par with most other pocket pistols. And this model is just 1.06 inches wide to minimize printing.

    Even with the small size, this barrel is 3.16 inches longThe barrel on this Kimber model is a tenth of an inch or so longer than some similarly sized handguns. It’s not much. But every little bit helps.

    Lastly, the trigger on this gun is really nice. Kimber is known for their 1911 triggers, and they’ve managed to bring that experience to their striker fired guns.

    The trigger movement is super smooth. There’s very little travel. And the break is crisp. The pull weight is between 6 and 7 pounds, which may be a bit heavy for your taste. But it’s a totally appropriate pull weight for a defensive gun.

    This one is a bit pricey. But the durability, size, and excellent trigger totally justify the higher price point.


    Pocket That Blaster

    There are reasons to carry a pistol in your pocket. Maybe your wardrobe doesn’t work for carrying on your belt. Maybe you’re not wearing a belt. There are a lot of possible complications with other modes of carry.

    Most clothes have pockets. So it’s pretty convenient if you can drop your pistol into one of them and go.

    Glock 43

    Want to spend more time making sure your concealment is perfect instead of choosing a gun? Just get the Glock 43. It’s affordable, simple, and reliable. If you have to get it out of your pocket, it’s going to do its job.

    Still buying pants that are six inches too large so you can fit a gun in your pants? Maybe it’s time to try putting your gun in the part of your pants that’s designed to carry stuff.