As one of the most popular pocket-pistol cartridges today, the .380 ACP round is actually quite long in the tooth. Dating back more than a century to its creation by John Moses Browning, the .380 has a long and storied history. However, it was not until the combination of the round with locked-breech systems (rather than straight-blowback systems that require bulkier pistols with heavier recoil springs) that the .380 really took off with concealed-carry users. Now a .380 pistol could be exceedingly small and lightweight. Following is a round up of 12 of the more interesting .380 pocket pistols available on the market today. Have a favorite .380-cal. of your own? Let us know in the comments section.
Beretta Pico While many shooters might associate the Beretta name with large service pistols like the M9, the company has a long history of producing compact pocket pistols. One of the newest is the Pico, a tiny little .380 ACP pistol that practically disappears in a jacket or pants pocket. Featuring a 6+1 capacity, the pistol weighs in at 11.5 ozs. and is a mere 0.7" at its widest point. The double-action-only pistol does not have an external safety, making it simple to use. Also of note is the modular polymer frame design that can be swapped out for different colors and configurations (including ones with lights and lasers). For more information, visit beretta.com.
Colt Mustang Lite While a lot of .380 pistols on the market today hew to the line of ultra-modern styling and design, there is still a lot of appeal for a simple single-action pocket .380 for many shooters. Colt's popular .380 Mustang from the 1980s captured this perfectly, and the new Colt Mustang Lite continues the tradition. Configured much like a tiny 1911, the single-action Mustang Lite sports a lightweight polymer frame with an integral accessory rail and squared-off triggerguard. An ambidextrous safety rounds out the package of the 6+1 pistol, which measures 5.5" in overall length and weighs just 11.5 ozs. For more information, visit colt.com.
Glock 42 Better late than never, they say? While Glock may be one of the latest to the pocket .380 pistol party, its new G42 is still one of the most popular. Applying the winning formula of Glock design (namely simplicity, reliability and low cost) to the new design, the G42 packs full-size Glock performance into a compact package. Measuring 5.94" in overall length and weighing 13.76 ozs., the G42 still features high-visibility sights and controls that match those of its larger siblings. Packing in 6+1 rounds, the new Glock 42 is ready to ride with you for concealed-carry duty. For more information, visit Glock.com. us.glock.com.
Specifications: Barrel: 3.25” Weight: 13.76 ozs. Overall Length: 5.94” Grips: Integral Sights: White outline/dot Action: Striker-fired Finish: Black Capacity: 6+1 MSRP: $480
Kahr CW380 It would be difficult to discuss pocket pistols without including Kahr Arms, considering its broad line of compact and powerful pistols. And the CW380 in .380 ACP is no exception. Part of the company’s “Value Series,” the CW380 is designed to offer the most bang for the buck possible. Sporting a lightweight black polymer frame and a stainless steel slide, the pistol features a 6+1 capacity and weighs in at 10.2 ozs. (without magazine). With an overall length of just 4.96", the double-action-only pistol can fit easily and unobtrusively into a pants pocket or inside-the-waistband holster. For more information, visit kahr.com.
Kel-Tec P-3AT Any discussion of ultra-compact .380 ACP pistols must include the P-3AT from the mad scientists at Kel-Tec. Establishing the concept of a locked-breech .380 ACP pistol to deliver the smallest practical dimensions, the P-3AT set the standard for compact yet powerful concealed carry. With a lightweight polymer frame and an overall weight of just 8.3 ounces, this pistol is so light it is like you are not even carrying it. Despite this it still packs a 6+1 capacity, and the double-action-only trigger system ensures it is safe to carry. For more information, visit keltecweapons.com. Specifications: Barrel: 2.7” Weight: 8.3 ozs. Overall Length: 5.2” Grips: Integral Sights: Low-profile Action: Double-action-only Finish: Black Capacity: 6+1 MSRP: $338
Kimber Micro Advocate Kimber is a company that understands the tastes of traditional gun enthusiasts, but ones that like their firearms to have a bit of a twist. Having made a name for itself offering custom-grade 1911 pistols at factory-gun prices, it should come as no surprise that they are offering a new .380 that represents a similar approach. Configured much like a tiny 1911, the single-action Kimber Micro Advocate provides familiar design and operation in a compact package. Featuring an alloy frame, the two-tone pistol weighs in at 13.4 ounces and has a 7+1 capacity. The grips of the pistol are made of G10 and are available in brown or (for the more adventurous) purple. For information, visit kimberamerica.com.
Remington RM380 New from Remington is the RM380, a compact .380 ACP that combines light weight with all-metal construction (featuring an anodized alloy frame). The heart of the pistol is its double-action-only trigger system, which is described as averaging 10-pound pulls. With a short 2.9" barrel and an overall length of 5.27", the RM380 can easily fit in a pocket or in a low-profile holster for unobtrusive carry. The magazine capacity of the pistol is 6+1, and the replaceable glass-filled nylon grips feature grip-enhancing checkering that mate up nicely with the frontstrap grooves on the pistol. For more information, visit remington.com.
Ruger LCP Custom Based on the popular LCP, the LCP Custom from Ruger takes the design to the next level—and for a mere $10 increase over the standard pistol’s MSRP. Measuring a scant 5.16" in overall length and weighing a feathery light 9.7 ozs., the double-action-only LCP Custom adds several enhancements to the 6+1 .380 ACP pistol. To add some visual flare, the slide of the pistol has a polished blue finish and houses an upgraded stainless steel guide rod. Topping off the slide is a set of enhanced sights (with a luminescent center dot at the front) and glare-reducing horizontal serrations. The most notable change is the red skeletonized aluminum alloy trigger. For more information, visit ruger.com.
SCCY CPX-3 SCCY has developed a loyal following with those looking for a high-quality pistol for not a lot of money. Establishing this reputation with its CPX-1 and CPX-2 series of 9 mm pistols, the company has recently developed the new CPX-3. The company’s first .380, the pistol employs the new “Roebuck Quad-Lock” system that offers enhanced barrel stability and improved accuracy. The pistol features a lightweight polymer frame, 10+1 capacity and a hammer-fired, double-action-only system of operation. For more information, visit sccy.com/handguns.
Specifications: Barrel: 3” Weight: 18 ozs. Overall Length: 5.5” Grips: Integral Sights: White dot Action: Double-action-only Finish: Black or stainless Capacity: 10+1 MSRP: $314
SIG Sauer Spartan P238 The P238 series of pistols from Sig Sauer has proven to be extremely popular with concealed-carry enthusiasts. The Spartan variant of the compact .380 ACP pistol is intended to offer shooters something a little bit different. Featuring all the positive characteristics of the parent line (including a 7+1 capacity and a solid single-action system of operation), the Spartan sports a distinctive oil-rubbed bronze PVD finish over its stainless steel construction as well as SIGLite night sights. Topping it off is slide engraving with the Greek phrase Molon Labe (“come and take them”) and grips inlaid with an image of the Spartan helmet. For more information, visit sigsauer.com. Specifications: Barrel: 2.7” Weight: 20.1 ozs. Overall Length: 5.5” Grips: Spartan logo Sights: SIGLite night sights Action: Single-action Finish: PVD Capacity: 7+1 MSRP: $834
Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 Smith & Wesson has a long tradition of making high-quality pocket guns (for just its line of J-Frames alone). One of the newer offerings from the company is the M&P Bodyguard 380, a sleek and compact pistol ready for concealed carry duty. Packing a 6+1 capacity and an overall length of 5.25", the double-action-only, hammer-fired pistol weighs in at a light 12 ozs. High-visibility sights, slide stop lever and a manual safety round out the package. The all-black pistol employs a polymer frame and a blackened stainless steel slide for low-key carry. For more information, visit smith-wesson.com.
Taurus Curve Thinking outside of the box is an understatement when describing the Curve from Taurus USA. Designed for maximum comfort, the Curve features an arched shape that hugs the body when carried. Despite its idiosyncratic appearance, at its heart the Curve is a relatively straightforward and simple design. Featuring a double-action-only trigger and a locked-breech system, the pistol weighs in at 10.2 ozs. and has a 6+1 capacity of .380 ACP. The dustcover area of the frame features twin Laserlyte tactical lights and a red laser. For more information, visit taurususa.com.