Monday, June 06, 2011

Mouse Guns - Part II

The term "mouse gun" comes from the sneering definition by guys who haul big hardware around -- the little 'uns are useful for naught save hunting mice, worthless for all else, so they say.

For these folks, any handgun caliber smaller than a 9mm or .38 Special–and even those on the sissy side–is not something a Real Man™ would ever carry–unless, of course, he was hunting mice ...

For stopping a charging rhino, they are right. Bigger and faster are better than smaller and slower. More people have been killed with .22's than anything else, but killing is not stopping, and the first isn't as important as the second if some miscreant is trying to put you six feet under and you are protecting yourself. 

Shot-placement is, of course, primary. A .22 round in the pupil of an eye beats a .44 Magnum locked in the drawer at home all to hell and gone ...

Bigger is better. A rifle beats a pistol for punch. Still, if you are dressed for a hot summer day, T-shirt and shorts, that full-sized Colt 1911 is hard to hide without looking silly, and good luck on hiding a rifle. When it's ninety degrees out, if you are wearing a coat, over-shirt, vest, or anything else long and thick enough to conceal a full-size pistol on your hip, you will stand out to anybody looking for a gunslinger. Might as well put up a neon sign: YO. GUN HERE! 

There are inside-the-waistband holsters you can cover with a baggy T-shirt worn outside your belt, but a larger gun will print more, i.e., you'll see the bulge even if it is disguised with a bit of leather or whatnot.

What's wrong with that man, Mama? Is he a hunchback? 

No, dear, that's just his poorly-concealed rhino-stopper handgun.

A belly pouch that big is, well, that big. 

So, the mouse gun, tucked into a pocket. First rule of a gunfight and all.

There are various styles of pocket holsters, and for the flatter little semi-autos, there are leather things you can slip into your hip pocket like a big wallet that look like, well, big wallets. 

No, you can't outdraw Bob Munden from the pocket, but you can't outdraw him no matter what rig you have, so that's a moot point. Move along. 

Most of the newer pocket pistols are double-action-only polymer-frame, .380s, .32's. That little chart in the previous posting shows them. 

Over the years, I owned, then sold several 1911-pattern guns, ranging from the Colt slabside in .45 ACP; to a Spanish Star and a Firestar, both nines; and a Coonan Cadet, in .357 Magnum. It's a hundred-year-0ld design, sturdy, and time-tested, and usually you love them or hate them. I wasn't too far down the road either way. Didn't love them, didn't hate them. I prefer revolvers, which are older and even more simple. Carrying a double-action revolver, all you need to know is if it's loaded or not.

If it is loaded: Point it, pull trigger, bang.

Single-action revolver, cock the hammer, point it, pull trigger, bang. 

With the semi-auto pistol, it can be all kinds of things: 1) Empty magazine in the gun, empty chamber; 2) magazine loaded but not in the gun; 3) magazine loaded, in the gun, but nothing in the chamber; 4) chambered round, hammer down; 5) chambered round, hammer cocked, safety on ... or 6) safety off; 7) Israeli carry ...

That list goes on. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

You could carry it cocked, loaded, and without the safety on. And if you do, someday, you will probably shoot yourself in the ass.

Every other carry condition with a M1911 style pistol takes longer. 

Fastest way to safely carry and get it into action is Condition One, i.e. cocked-and-locked–loaded magazine, round chambered, hammer back, safety on. Draw, wipe the safety off with your thumb, point and pull the trigger. Bang. Repeat the last step, PRN.

People argue this one out the wazoo. 

Whichever way you choose, you have to remember it for when the shit hits the fan and you have to go for your piece. For me such pistols are better left to people expert in their use who always haul it around the same way. 

 I do like the single-action auto better than DA or DAO. Trigger pulls are generally better, and you don't have to adjust between a short pull and a long one as you do on a DA. Most of the small DAO guns I've shot have a stiff trigger action, which doesn't help the generally- rudimentary sights stay on target.

Of the current crop, the one I think is the most fun-looking is the SIG P238, which is more or less a clone of the old Colt Mustang. (These were Colt 1911-pattern guns chambered for the .380 ACP round, aka, 9mm Short.) It looks pretty cool.

Below, from the Bobo Chart, a comparison of the full-sized Colt with the SIG. The dotted-line box is 4" by 4", to give you the scale. 

The picture at the bottom is a tricked-out version of the SIG with a bumper plate magazine. Neat-looking little gun, and the best part, no Tupperware™ in it ...


Todd Erven said...

Some of the .380's on the market are downright minuscule. I was shocked after holding the Ruger LCP and the Kel-tec variant. There are not many outfits that you couldn't conceal one of those in.

I still like the Ruger LCR better than them, if you can deal with it being larger and wider. Nice trigger and it's light enough that I started laughing when I picked up. I've had Nerf guns that were much heavier.

As reliable as the newer .380's are, I just have so much more faith in a revolver.

Captain Tightpants said...

Steve - well written articles on this from my perspective as both an instructor and a carry advocate. Thanks for sharing this with folks.