We reached deep into the Lucky Gunner archives and uncovered another vintage episode of Shooting Outdoors. This time, Manny Mansfield tells us why small-caliber pocket pistols are worthless for personal protection. You could read the transcript below instead of watching the video, but that wouldn’t be any fun at all.


I once met a young man who told me about the time he was approached by a knife-wielding hoodlum in a dark alleyway. When the criminal demanded his wallet, the young man responded by pulling a .32-caliber automatic. Much to the young man’s surprise, the criminal was not impressed with his pea-shooter, and actually burst out laughing. Fortunately, the young man held a more dangerous weapon in his other hand — a scalding hot cup of coffee. He flung it into his attacker’s face and escaped unharmed.

That young man should thank his lucky stars, but every year, thousands of pocket pistol packing Americans are not so lucky. In fact, more often than not, these sub-caliber mouse guns are responsible for getting their owners killed in the street.

Criminals won’t run from a pint-sized pistol because experience has taught them something that medical science has only recently been able to explain. Thanks to high-tech computer simulations, doctors can now measure a human being’s capacity for sustaining injury in terms of “health points.” A normal healthy American adult has 100 health points. Studies show that being shot with a .45 ACP depletes a person’s health by, you guessed it, 45 points.

A double tap to the chest with one of these babies and he’s not getting back up any time soon.

In comparison, a single bullet from a 9mm does only 15 points worth of damage. Men shouldn’t waste their time with a pop gun like this, but women and Europeans might appreciate the lighter kick. In that case, a high capacity clip can help compensate for the lack of stopping power. With a dozen or more shots on hand, you can probably get the job done eventually.

But now let’s look at a pocket pistol caliber like the popular .32 ACP. Each round wounds the target by a measly six health points. With an average clip size of seven shots, these guns are lacking in stopping power and capacity. Seasoned criminals know that even if you manage to hit them with the full payload, it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a band-aid and a stiff drink.

Proponents of these puny people poppers usually point out how convenient they are to carry on one’s person. Now, I’m not normally one to judge, but that sounds to me like plain old laziness. A businessman’s suit jacket provides ample cover for a real sidearm. In more casual attire like this, a inconspicuous fishing vest keeps my .45 out of sight. And when it’s too hot for a vest? Well, I’ve always got a snub-nosed magnum ready to go in an ankle holster.

So there’s really no excuse for betting your life on a pathetic underpowered pocket rocket. All it takes is a strong back and a little determination, a custom made holster, a premium leather gun belt, a completely new wardrobe, and plenty of expert advice, and you never have to be without a full-size man-stopper by your side.

The second amendment was written by men, for men. And if you’re not man enough to carry a real gun every day, then maybe you don’t deserve to carry a gun at all. I’m Manny Mansfield, thanks for watching Shooting Outdoors.

Did you enjoy this article?

Share this article with your friends!

Leave a Comment Below