No matter how big they make em, there is still a group of gun owners that like to shrink things down to size.
Pocket size that is.
And with that in mind, we are looking at a pair of some of the most popular super concealable handguns on the market: the Beretta pocket series and the Ruger LCP. Let's see who comes out on top.
Going back to 1952, the Italian firearms firm of P Beretta in Gardone came up with a pocket-sized handgun that proved extremely popular. Dubbed the Model 950 Jetfire, this little .25ACP had an 8-shot magazine, used a simple blowback action, and loaded from a tip up barrel. Snappy and compact with a 9.87-ounce weight, the gun was under 5-inches long, which made it just perfect for a pocket or handbag.
Over the past six decades, the 950 was made in a .22 Short Minx, and now comes in the Model 21 Bobcat in either .22LR or .25ACP. The magnum of this series, the .32ACP caliber M3032 Tomcat is the same size but tips the scales at over 14 ounces empty. New models can be had for around $350-$400 while used versions, especially of the older 950-series, can be picked up for closer to $200.
They make great little hide out guns for when you don't want to (or cant) carry something bigger. Let's compare them Ruger's more powerful offering in the same package.
Introduced in 2008, the Ruger Light Compact Pistol (LCP) changed the world of .380ACP fixed barrel blowback-action handguns. Its polymer frame dropped the weight down to even less than the smallest of Beretta's all-metal handguns-- at 9.4 ounces unloaded. Speeding past the smaller Beretta caliber offerings, the LCP fires a much larger 80+ grain bullet that is offered in more personal defense loads than you can find in the less commonly relied upon .32/.25 chamberings used by the Italian mice.
For the sake of close comparison, we have a Ruger LCP next to a Model 21A Bobcat. You can see they are quite evenly matched in size. The LCP is only marginally (about an eighth of an inch) longer, while the Beretta is slightly thicker around the grip.
Weight wise, the Ruger comes out ahead with a total weight. The gun, loaded with a 7-round flush fit Magguts modified magazine and one in the chamber (for 8 shots of .380ACP) came in at 12.1-ounces on my postal scale.
The Beretta, crammed with 7+1 .22LR CCI Stingers, weighed 13.3 ounces.
Both fit almost interchangeably in a number of different pocket holsters, draw, and point roughly the same. Both have cheese and rather ineffective sights, but when you consider these are emergency self-defense guns, not long-range marksmanship, it's all good.
We call it in the air
Granted, the Beretta series benefits from some 60+ years of research and development and is just about one of the simplest designs you can imagine. I mean have you really worked with a tip-up barrel? Suffice it to say, the little Italian pony is pretty sweet. However, the Ruger also draws from (albeit other manufacturers) lessons going back to the Walther PPK and earlier Kel Tec designs-- but does it better.
Since these guns are virtually the same size in length, width, weight, and basic 'point and shoot' operation at bad breath range, this contest really comes down to a caliber game.
Like the Beretta, when coupled with reliable ammo, the LCP just continues to work round after round, delivering .380ACP ammo that is far and away more effective than the smaller rimfire, .25 and .32ACP rounds.
We have to say that end the end; the LCP gives us a better prospect of protection with its 6-7-8 shots of .380 than the Beretta's 7-8-9 shots of .22LR/.25ACP/.32ACP.
And come on guys, it's a Ruger forum, what did you expect?