Top 10 Pocketguns Review
Written by: Jed Henson
You’ve decided to buy a pocketgun for self-defense, and now you face the daunting task of identifying the best one among the 200+ subcompact handguns currently on the market . You aggressively filter them down, first by caliber (goodbye weaker-than-.380 ACPs), then size (so long, revolvers), and finally capacity (adios, derringers). That helps, but unfortunately a whopping 42 semiauto pocketguns remain in contention, and you aren’t sure how to further whittle them down to a manageable number.
My advice: Factor in user ratings. Today, online goods from Amazon.com to Yelp.com are awash in star ratings, the ratings systems other shoppers use to rate products and services. And it turns out the wisdom of crowds can indeed do pretty good job of helping us identify the best products, and avoid the worst.
My handgun review, rating and info Web site, GunsGunsGuns.net, offers star ratings on every handgun’s page, and I’ve used it to identify the top-rated semiauto pocketguns out of the aforementioned 42. Here are the top 10, listed from highest rated to lowest:
1) Kel-Tec P-3AT 8.1 ±0.8 32 votes
2) Rohrbaugh R9 7.5 ±1.1 18 votes
3) Kahr Arms CM9 7.1 ±0.6 74 votes
4) SIG Sauer P238 6.9 ±0.3 306 votes
5) Kahr Arms CT380 6.8 ±1.4 18 votes
6) Beretta Nano 6.6 ±0.5 152 votes
7) Ruger LCP 6.4 ±0.5 148 votes
8) Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 6.2 ±0.8 35 votes
9) Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 6.2 ±0.3 221 votes
10a) Colt .380 Mustang 6.1 ±0.5 98 votes
10b) SIG Sauer P290 6.1 ±0.3 412 votes
A few explanations are in order. The first number to the right of each gun is its average star rating on a scale of 1–10. The second number (accompanied by a plus/minus sign) is the average rating’s margin of error. Each gun’s true rating will fall within that margin of error 95% of the time.
Also, I deleted two high-rated guns from the list because their currently low vote counts produce unacceptably high margins of error: the Kahr Arms MK40 and the High Standard AMT Backup. I think those guns will ultimately prove to be at least above average, but the jury’s still out. I almost deleted Kahr’s CT380 for the same reason but decided to keep it; just remember, that gun’s average rating remains a bit fluid.
Finally, you may have noticed this “Top 10” list actually contains 11 guns. I included both the Colt .380 Mustang and SIG P290 because they sport the same average rating.
That’s it! I think this list not only makes your search manageable, it also features a nice assortment of gun styles, manufacturers, prices, etc. Each gun’s name is a clickable link to that gun’s info page. If you want to see the full list of all 42 pocketguns (which includes specs, prices, etc.), here’s a link to the spreadsheet. And if you want more detail on my process and reasoning, check out the full article, Survey Says: the Best Pocketguns.
BIO: Jed Henson
Jed runs the review and rating sites GunsGunsGuns.net and HandgunLasers.net.