Monster-sized pistols and revolvers can be a blast – pun intended – but there are circumstances that make using a hefty handgun impractical, if not impossible. For the other end of the firearm spectrum, manufacturers have engineered pistol punch into tiny packages, perfect for concealed carry.
Here are five of those sensational small-frame guns:
One of America’s favorite concealed carry options, the Ruger LCP, or Lightweight Compact Pistol, is a subcompact semi-automatic pistol chambered in the popular .380 ACP round. Measuring just 5.16 inches long and 3.6 inches high, and built of strong steel and lightweight-yet-sturdy glass-filled nylon, the LCP is capable of deep concealment and comfortable carry for long periods of time. Unloaded, Ruger’s little pocket pistol weights less than 9.5 ounces. The popular pistol comes in a variety of finishes and frame colors, from standard black-on-black to sherbet-colored raspberry, and even special editions featuring ornate slide engraving.
A unique-looking two-shot pistol, the DoubleTap Pocket Pistol is one of the thinnest pistols on the market, measuring a skinny .665 inches wide. For comparison’s sake, the rim of a .45 ACP round is .480 inches wide. The diminutive DoubleTap is 5.5 inches long and 3.9 inches high, with smoothly machined sides and no controls to snag, making it a great concealed carry candidate. The DoubleTap comes in 9mm and .45 ACP, and users can swap barrels between the two calibers. Even with its small footprint, DoubleTap has engineered space for two spare rounds in the grip on a speedloader to allow for quick reloading.
The Seecamp LWS .380, now manufactured by Whalley Precision of Southwick, Massachusetts, is a double-action only, semi-automatic pistol chambered in .380 ACP. This tiny pistol weighs a mere 10.5 ounces unloaded, and is only .91 inches at the grip. At 3.25 inches tall and 4.25 inches long, the Seecamp can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, all while delivering seven rounds of the popular .380 ACP round in a pinch.
The smallest offering in this list, the North American Arms .22LR Mini Revolver is true to name – mini! The wee wheelgun is only 4 inches long and 3.75 inches high, featuring a 1 1/8-inch barrel chambered in the beloved .22LR. The little revolver is ammo-flexible, chambering both .22LR and .22 Short rimfire cartridges. The small bird’s-head grip is likely just enough to get a finger or two around; for those that need a little more real estate, a folding grip holster is available. The Mini Revolver is single action and doesn’t feature a rear sight, but for a gun this small, NAA does a great job of fitting a lot of revolver into a tiny package.
The final pistol on our list is the Kel-Tec P-3AT, a double-action only polymer-framed pocket .380. Often compared to the later-developed competitor (and seen by some as the inspiration for the) Ruger LCP, the P-3AT is the world’s lightest production .380 ACP pistol, barely tipping the scales at an airy 8.3 ounces empty, making it comparable in size and weight to .22-caliber pistols. Kel-Tec strengthened the polymer frame with an aluminum insert, and the steel slide and barrel add durability to the firearm. With a 6+1 capacity and very low profile – 5.2 inches long, 3.5 inches tall and only 0.77 inches in width – the P-3AT continues to be a favorite for concealed carriers.