Pocket pistols (specifically the small, semi auto handguns), are a great option for people who choose to carry a concealed weapon regularly or daily. Some consider them to only be backup weapons for a larger, more powerful self defense handgun, but sometimes that larger gun isn’t feasible to carry regularly. That is where the pocket pistol thrives. It’s small enough to conceal in the front pocket of jeans or dress pants, so it can be a great option to wear daily. While some may think that they are inadequate for actual self-defense situations, newer pocket pistols are shooting some higher handgun calibers, which provide plenty of stopping power (9mm, .40 S&W, and even the .45 ACP). I would recommend nothing less than a .380 ACP round for self defense, with the 9mm being more preferable. But what gun should you get? What pocket pistol can claim the title of the Best Pocket Pistol?
With the categories of size, caliber, price and popularity in mind, we have chosen the Kahr Arms PM9 as the Best Pocket Pistol. Some of the others we looked at were the Kel Tec P3AT and the Rohrbaugh R9.
The PM9 is on the larger side of the pocket pistol size category, but still is very small and easily concealable. Its measurements are height-4 ¼”, length- 5 5/8”, thickness 0.92” and 16.5oz. All of those measurements are a little bit bigger than the Rohrbaugh and significantly bigger than the Kel Tec. But a little bit bigger in pocket pistol category is actually a plus for me, because of the higher ability to shoot. A heavier gun will handle the recoil of a larger 9mm round better than the feather light counterparts, and the length of the barrel will only make aim that much easier, which is usually one of the faults of the pocket pistols (A Crimson Trace laser sight would be a great addition to this gun).
One of the biggest reasons the PM9 was chosen over the Kel Tec P3AT is the bullet caliber. The Kel Tec only comes in the .380 Auto cartridge, which in my opinion is a little bit small, even for a pocket pistol. I would prefer at least the 9mm round for a self defense weapon, just for the added stopping power, as well as price, availability and prominence. The Rohrbaugh R9 also comes in the 9mm cartridge. Kahr also offers the model PM40 and PM45 in the .40 S&W and .45 ACP calibers, but in my opinion, those are both a little bit big for a pocket pistol.
The price category is where the Kahr PM9 pulled ahead of the Rohrbaugh R9. The Rohrbaugh is an amazing gun all around, but for the price (usually over $1,000), it would be a better idea to go with the Kahr. It easily functions well enough to compete, and at around $500-600 is a much more economical option.
For a pocket pistol, the PM9 is a very popular gun. Many people swear by it as their daily concealed weapon. Many people have shot it, and are very comfortable with it. The Rohrbaugh isn’t nearly as popular, probably because of the significantly higher price tag.
The bottom line is that if you are looking into a pocket pistol, I would highly suggest the Kahr PM9. It’s a great balance of size and power, and at a fairly decent price. That’s why we’ve named the Kahr PM9 the Best Pocket Pistol available today.