I Want a Gun So Small I Can Conceal It Well

I Want a Gun So Small I Can Conceal It Well
I Want a Gun So Small I Can Conceal It Well
I Want a Gun So Small I Can Conceal It Well
I Want a Gun So Small I Can Conceal It Well

How many of you have heard someone say his? Said it yourself? I hear it a lot, having been instructing Arkansas concealed carry classes for over 9 years. I’m also not surprised when someone says, during or after the live fire section of the class, “I don’t really like this gun! My friend has one and said this is what they carry all the time but I think I need something bigger to control it better”, or “This gun kicks worse that I thought it would! It’s only a .380 and I didn’t think they kicked like this”

In reality, the small ‘Mouse Gun’ (MG) is definitely better than a sharp stick! IF you can get it out, quickly and safely, it can stop most situations without being fired. Many a woman and man have told me they only like shooting/carrying a .22 caliber pistol. (Most .22 pistols do not fall into MG status) I would rather see someone carry a .22 pistol than NOT carry something more powerful. On the same hand I would rather see you carry your MG than NOT carry your more powerful, bigger, easier to control pistol. But IF you have to fire it, can you hit what needs to be hit? I believe this is the question you need to ask yourself.

Proactive Gunfight:
If you have time to get your pistol out, have time to line up the sights, have time to take time…you’ll probably be ok and do well, as long as the adrenaline, fear or conscience don’t overtake you.

Reactive Gunfight:
When at first you notice your bad-guy (BG) from the corner of your eye and he is charging you from 20 feet when you start reacting, you may be able to stop BG by simply producing your mouse gun with a flick-of-the-wrist-spring assisted holster injecting the small pistol instantly into your hand and just pointing the pistol toward his face!! Just might do it. If your BG is a blood-shot-eyed, slobbering, snarling, whacked-out-for-your-a$$ PIT BULL terrier, either charging or stalking you… just pointing your double barrel 12 gauge shotgun into his face is NOT going to help you! You are now going to have to be able to hit what needs to be hit when you shoot. Stopping this BG may take more than 1 shot! (12 gauge shotgun here would be much better than a mouse gun, just not a practical CCW piece)

So let’s examine more reasons for and against carrying only a ‘mouse gun’, and what defines a ‘mouse gun’?

A mouse gun is not necessarily a .22 caliber pistol. Generally speaking though, size, caliber and weight are all considerations to be listed in the ‘mouse gun’ category.

  • Size: A pistol of small size that can be carried inside a pants, shirt or vest pocket or concealed with only the hand. These sized guns are easy to conceal but generally don’t fit the hand very well and to get 2 hands on the pistol is a challenge which can result in less accuracy/controllability.
  • Weight: The lighter the pistol the more felt recoil is perceived. You will feel more ‘kick’. A pistol that is heavier absorbs more of the recoil. The weight makes it more difficult for the fired cartridge to push the pistol backwards into your hand.
  • Caliber: We all know a .22 caliber pistol ‘kicks’ a lot less than any larger caliber. A .25 caliber kicks a little more, even though the energy in foot pounds is about 67 from a .25 caliber, average .22 long rifle foot pounds of energy is around 90, because it is lighter yet faster than the heavier, slower .25. A .380 fired from a Ruger LCP produces more felt recoil than a a little larger and heavier .380 like a Bersa Thunder, or a 9mm fired from a Glock 26.
  • Bullet weight: The heavier the bullet weight the more kick. A 9mm in 115 grain bullet weigh will have less felt recoil than a 9mm in 147 grain bullet weight. The heavier bullet will generally penetrate more but not an absolute. A +P cartridge will kick more in the same gun, with the same weight projectile and penetrate more because it is faster.

Friends, the reality is this… you can carry and conceal a Glock 19/23 or 17/21 size pistol if you WANT to. A pistol that holds 13 to 20 rounds of fire POWER (FN FiveseveN holds 20, which is almost same size as Glock 21) generally have less felt recoil, can be controlled easier and more accurately by simply pointing, has the power when you need it to not just start, but finish the job more reliably than your mouse gun.

I don’t carry a gun to be comfortable. I carry a gun for comfort.

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Scott Vaughn has been teaching CCW classes in Arkansas Since 2002 and has been shooting since 1965. He is also a Suarez International Staff Instructor. "Trained people prevail more than the untrained!" You can visit his training site and contact him at Vaughn Firearms Training
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Amen from the choir, preacher! When I can’t conceal a 1911, the .380-sized pistol I carry chambers 5+1 rounds of .45acp and five more in a second magazine. The recoil is awful, but if I ever need it in an emergency, recoil would be the least of my concerns.


I like the article, except the part when he emphasized about PIT BULL. Couldn’t he have just said canine?


Sorry, not picking on pit bull dogs, just for effect. Point taken.


“Any gun will do, if you will do.”


i’m not picky as long as it does the job

Jc Riley

My wife was interested in the LCP but didn’t like the recoil.  We decided on a .22 for just what you said.  A .22 that she’ll carry is better than the .380 or 9mm that she’ll leave at home.


I agree. I am a long-time proponent of 1911 45’s and .357 carry’s, but I now own an NAA .22 Magnum mini revolver purely because it means I will TAKE it with me. Even on a quick jaunt out back. I have my ‘rea;’ guns, but this is a practical addition I will never regret.


Try the KelTec P32 -.32 Cal, It only weighs 6.6 ounces, or the KelTec P3AT-.380cal. It weighs , I believe 7.2 ounces or 7.6 ounces.
Very comfortable, you don’t even know you have them in your pocket or on your belt.


The KelTec P3AT, weighs 8.3 ounces and the Ruger LCP weighs 9.6 ounces, I was wrong on the weight.


I carry my Ruger LCP far more often than my Glock 19 simply because it is easier to conceal and more comfortable to carry.  I couldn’t agree more about the uncomfortable recoil of the .380 but then I don’t consider the LCP a range gun.  The LCP is there to do a job, stay by my side at all times and be there when I need it.  My solution to the inaccuracy of the smaller .380 is to add a laser site to the gun.  With the laser I can put 7 rounds in a three inch circle at 3 yards, very acceptable in my book.


I believe in quality laser sights, too.  They’re an obvious advantage but laser sights still require training.  It’s obvious that the 3″ group at 3 yards man knows that.  One can pull a laser sight off target the same as conventional sights. 


for ppl complaining about recoil in either keltec P3at or ruger lcp , I recommend getting the keltec and getting the 9 round magazine….yes it makes the firearm larger…but allows MUCH better grip and reduces felt recoil by half……..not to mention u now have 10 rounds of .380 ammo instead of 7 at ur disposal….


Thats rite! buy toy guns for protection and that ‘ flick of the wrist” too many James West shows. You will be at the ER having that ‘small gun’ removed from your rectum- if you live that long. If your gonna carry carry a real stopper. 22 cal is for the films and 380 is for plinkin The BG will take 10 rounds of what you got before he drops- Hell he can run downtown with those still in him!


As someone who has carried for 30 years I am a big believer that the first rule of self defense is “have a gun”. I have carried Colt 1911s in shoulder holsters when the weather allowed a coat (too often here in Michigan) and a North American Arms .22 on a string around my neck under my t-shirt when I’m jogging in the summer.

I still have the scar from the time I needed a gun and didn’t have it, but that was in Chicago long before I got my CPL license.  

Joe O'Sullivan

So much of this denigrating of mouseguns is so logically flawed. The scenariosame posited are nonsensical followed by “but better to be safe”. The gun control arguments quickly evolve into distances of twenty feet. Caliber arguments evolve into stopping power. Lets get real.

I am not a cop or caped crusader, I do not get into arguments or altercations that could escalate into personal attacks. The bad guy I ecounter will not be a psycho meth head or Mad Max in leathers. It will be a mugger or drunk or sexual deviant with a normal will to live.

Given that assumption here is the reality, I will not be firing my gun at a distance greater than 10 feet. probably much less if the person is advancing. So let’s take the gun control crap off the table. Center mass a little more than an arms length away, not an issue.

Stopping power. The gun, regardless of size, IS the stopping power, I am not looking to arrest the guy, only inctivising him to stop and go away. I grew up in the city and know these guys. They become downright charming when the tables turn, They know they play the odds every time they do it. This is not Hollywood with glib one liners and steely eyed villians, This is ” whoa dude, chill. My bad. Sorry”. There is no percentage in hanging around or escalating if a simple mugging goes sideways, Only cops and movie stars encounter people who advance on people pointing guns at them. Sorry but that is the truth.

And if you face that one in million or billion who ignores the most basic of human instincts and moves toward certain death for no good reason you pull the trigger as you back away. I don’t know what universe you have to be in to imagine any human being who just experience the sudden explosive sound of a gun at close range and the impact of any size bullet and may be within minutes of dying, especially if he will be shot more times not having survival instincts kick in and flee.

I now keep handy little Beretta 22lr in my pocket at all times. It is a well made firearm as reliable as any larger gun. It is loaded with the most powerful copperclad bullets that will consistently penetration to the required 12 inches, The round is appropriate for its size and it handles well. With so many small high caliber guns dominating the market the bad guy isn’t going to assume a small round from a small gun. Because it is a pleasure to shoot I go to the range often. Far more than when I Han my mini nine. And the gun is loud as hell, Gunshots attract attention and sound travels a long way, Bad guys like a few things: easy money, to be in control, and no attention, The diminutive little buddy that travels everywhere in my pocker will deny him of all there just as surely as a street cannon will, With the added advantage that j the little guy is nestled in my palm and all but impossible to grab or dislodge, Ideal for a real close physical encounter.

Weigh the odds of facing the one in a million psychopath vs, the chances of not having your heavier gun with you.