March 31, 2012
Remember the old cartoon, Tom and Jerry? Tom, the cat, was always in hot pursuit of his mouse nemesis, Jerry. As Tom closed in, the cartoon mouse would reach into his cartoon pocket and pull an oversize cartoon gun. This quickly became a game-changer for our friend, Tom.
Well, a giant mouse gun like that would be awesome, but that's not the real world. "Mouse gun" is a slang term, fashioned by Gun Culture 1.0 for a derringer-style gun, also known as a pocket gun. To confuse you even more, all pocket guns aren't "mouse guns", and all derringers aren't "mouse guns".
I consider "mouse guns" to fall into the size range of a derringer or pocket gun, and the caliber is usually .22, .22mag, .25ACP and .32ACP. But most quality "mouse guns" (i.e, North American Arms) are .22 or .22mag.
North American Arms makes a high quality line of single action, 5-shot derringers that we carry when it's not practical to carry our Glock 9mm carry weapons. I'm almost always able to fit a mouse gun in my purse, and my husband always has his in a front pants pocket.
But you need to realize that mouse guns are almost always a compromise. Their short sight radius, small grip, single action, and deep (or inconvenient) carry properties mean that a mouse gun probably isn't your best option, or first option. But they are one of the most concealable fall-back options available. But there are other options out there.
Ruger's LCP and S&W Bodyguard have moved to fill pocket carry niches that the mouse guns (derringers) used to have sole claim on. And all things being equal, the LCP and Bodyguard in .380 are the better choice, in the knock-down category. But the mouse gun is much smaller and more concealable than either of these other choices.
If you choose to carry a mouse gun, for whatever reason, several rules apply. The first and foremost is Practice, Practice, Practice! It may sound redundant, but mouse guns require lots of practice --- practice, shooting; practice drawing; and practice reloading. Having to reload a mouse gun during a fight is not a good idea, so consider your 5 friends in the cylinders the entire party.
If you're bringing a mouse gun to the fight, consider yourself already behind the curve. Gunfights with mouse guns are dangerous business. To increase your odds with your tiny friend, you must "Go to the gun early!"
Pocket draws are slow so, if trouble presents itself, discreetly move to the gun and get your grip. (Did I mention "Go to the gun early?") Some pockets are tighter than others and require even more time for an effective draw.
Don't get me wrong --- mouse guns have their place, but they are a compromise from the beginning, so keep the limitations in mind. But there are times when that little mouse in your pocket might just be your best friend around.
2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."