Monday, April 14, 2008

The new toy

Before I tell you what exactly I did buy, let me tell you what my criteria was in looking for a pocket pistol.

To fully understand you need to know that I carry a pistol with me everywhere I go(with a very few exceptions), except when on duty, or where not allowed by law. My normal carry is a Glock 26 in a Don Hume IWB holster. I have found this very comfortable and easy to carry concealed. In fact, it is so comfortable I have actually forgotten I have had it on on more than one occasion. I'm not saying that I have worn it anywhere I am not allowed to, I'm just saying I'm so used to it being there that I could have.

Now, those few exceptions I mentioned. Most of the time off duty I am considered "dressed appropriately" if I have on a t-shirt tucked into my pants, and a cover shirt such as a long sleeved Wrangler Denim shirt worn untucked . I even wear untucked "Hawaiian" style shirts, mostly from Big Dogs. You can imagine I don't hang out with the fashion police. In the cooler months, a pull over fleece brings me closer to "in style", as if that mattered.

There are, however, a few situations that make it difficult for my normal carry. I call those the "in-between dress ups". Times when I need more than a clean t-shirt, but less than a sports coat, or Heaven forbid a suit. For me those times are Sunday morning Church, taking my wife to dinner (she hates it when we go somewhere nice and I wear my shirt untucked), and a few other times. For those times my attire is more along the lines of nice jeans and a western shirt, both pressed and starched thank you, tucked in and a nice pair of boots or chukkas.

So I truly wanted a pistol I could carry inside my jeans pocket.

The only thing I found in a 9mm or larger that was even close to the right size was the Kahr PM series. They were so very nearly what I wanted, smaller than my G26, and powerful enough. But once inside the pocket I found them to be just a little too big.

Likewise the revolvers. Overall length was close, but the cylinder pushed them over the edge. Inside the pocket the cylinder really printed and made it obvious that something was in the pocket.

The group of pistols firing the 9X18 makarov round was a small one. Unfortunately, they all were as big or bigger than the Kahr in 9mm.

That left me with the .32's and .380's, which was what I had expected to end up with anyway. In this group I found the NAA Guardian, Colt Mustang, Kel-Tec P3AT, and Rugers LCP.
The Mustang was nice, but large for the caliber (to me) and larger than I wanted. The NAA was also nice, but heavy. Size was about right. The Kel-Tec and Ruger are virtual clones and the lightest and smallest of all.

In the end it came down to the Ruger and Kel-Tec. In all honesty based on size, design, weight, construction and even looks, they are the same. The biggest difference I could see was the 'plastic' material of the grip. The Ruger was a smoother finish than the Kel-Tec. It was almost like the difference between say 120grit sand paper for the Kel-Tec, and 200 grit for the Ruger. The difference in price was about $100, the Ruger being more expensive.

I bought a Kel-Tec. Not based on price though. I know 3 people who have P3AT's, they swear by them. They have been around a while, and are well known. The Ruger is new, and to me unproven. That and the fact that they look so much alike, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I went with the original.

Photos and a range report later this week.

I am happy with my choice, but invite comments about it.

Mr Fixit

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