The smaller the better?? Maybe….Maybe not.

My dear brother is probably one of the most knowledgeable firearms experts I know.  For as many years as I can remember he would tell me:  “I’d rather be caught with no underpants than to be caught with a pistol smaller than my Glock 19.”  So imagine my surprise the last time we were in our local gun shop and he decided to try the feel of a Sig P938!!!  Many staunch supporters of 4+ inch barrel pistols are converting to the smaller pistol craze.  It’s no wonder though…shooters can now have a trusted duty caliber in a pistol smaller than the traditional .380 ACP pistols.  But are these pistols all they are shot up to be?  We will delve into some of the drawbacks of these micro-pistols and let you guys make your own decision!

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Sig Sauer P938….not much bigger than a cell phone….

Although these pistols come in most attractive duty-rated calibers, understand that due to their size, this makes them extremely harder to shoot and control than their larger cousins.  The sight radius is a lot shorter which may cause deficiencies in accuracy, and the shorter grips mean a less than ideal handle on the pistol.  This will undoubtedly affect trigger finger placement, trigger control/follow-thru, and recoil management.  This may be the most glaring downside to pistols this size.

Another major drawback to these smaller pistols (and possibly one of the simplest) is magazine capacity.  Most of these small pistols with flush fitting magazines will hold 6 rounds of 9mm (7 if you have a rabbits foot in your pocket), and even less in larger calibers.  Now, if you’re a believer in the Rule of 3’s (3 seconds, 3 rounds, and 3 yards) then this is not a problem.  But, if you live in the rational world, you understand that your defensive situation may necessitate more than 6 or 7 rounds.  If this is the case and you’re carrying a Glock 43, you may be outta luck!

The list doesn’t stop there….  In smaller pistols like these, terminal ballistics also tend to suffer.  Many tests have been conducted with some resulting in nearly a 100 f.p.s. loss in velocity.  In defensive ammunition this means that the rounds are not going to have the full desired effect of expansion and thus energy transfer (especially if the bad guy is heavily clothed).  Understand this one point clearly guys….the ultimate goal of defensive ammunition is the transference of energy into the target.  These smaller pistols greatly reduce this effect.

Now….let us take the time to say this….  We see no problems in toting these little pistols.  Heck, we even have several in our EDC regimen!!  But trust and believe that we have devoted hundreds of hours training on these platforms.  If you choose to carry one of these little buggers, we suggest that you do the same.  Safety should be NEVER be compromised and if you are not familiar with operating these smaller pistols, especially in stressful situations, you’re compromising the safety of yourself, those you are protecting, and possibly innocent citizens.

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Glock 42…..popular compact carry pistol

***  If you are unfamiliar with firearms and/or their accessories, and want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course. Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.  

We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!!  We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates!  We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!!  We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!

And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!

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