Firearm: SIG Sauer P365 (MSRP: $599)
There’s a reason the SIG Sauer P365 is one of the reference standards for small, lightweight 9 mm pistols. With its Tardis-like magazine that packs 10 rounds of 9 mm into a pistol not much larger than a single-stack .380 ACP, it has become one of the staples in the minimalist-carry tool kit. For times when you need ultimate concealment, such as warm-weather carry, it’s hard to beat a small, lightweight pistol in a decent-power offering.
But, how small is the P365, really? Let’s get our math geek on, and run the numbers against the most popular pocket 380 out there, the Ruger LCP. Barrel length? The SIG’s at 3.1 inches, while the Ruger’s at 2.75. Overall length? Again, the SIG is larger – 5.8 inches to the LCP’s 5.16. Height? 4.3 to 3.6 inches. Weight? 17.8 ounces to 9.6. Width? 1.03 to .82 inches. So, yes, the P365 is larger – it’s .64-inch longer overall, .7-inch taller, and just a hair over half a pound heavier. Realistically, the weight is the only significant difference between the two – the rest is so close it’s of minor importance.
Now, look at what you get for that extra .6 inch in length, .7 inch in height and 8.2 ounces: 11 rounds of 9 mm compared to 7 rounds of .380 ACP. Four rounds alone is enough to give you some food for thought; going up in power from 380 to 9 starts to make this somewhat of a no-brainer—especially considering the P365 is rated for +P ammo, too. And guess what? Those slight differences in height and weight? They make the P365 no harder to shoot than the LCP – while the 380 is hardly a powerhouse, trying to hold onto a gun that small and light isn’t a walk in the park.
The upgrade in power and capacity isn’t the only advantage, though. The P365 comes with real, honest-to-goodness sights, not little vestigial nubs like something from the early 20th century. There’s a model with a thumb safety, if that’s something that’s important in your consideration of a pocket pistol. And, while both pistols come with magazine floorplates that extend the grip somewhat, on the 380 it means you can get the second finger of your strong hand on the gun, whereas on the SIG it means all three fingers. Bottom line here, a gun that’s easier to shoot is a gun you’ll practice with more often, and that’s significant.
Holster: Henry Holsters Flint Compact (MSRP: $75)
While you might be tempted to toss the P365 in a pocket holster and call it a day, that method’s only real benefit is in the concealment realm. Drawing from a pocket holster requires different training and practice than a holster carried on the belt, so you’ll need to double up on that portion of your training. Repetitions with your larger pistol won’t carry over into the pocket realm, so why not keep the same method? Henry Holsters offers its excellent line of Flint appendix/inside-the-waistband holsters in a smaller size for guns like the P365.
For this particular kit, we’ve opted for the excellent Discreet Carry Concepts Monoblock clips and Modwing, a $20 upcharge. The Monoblock clips allow the Flint to be tuckable, meaning you can clip it to your belt and tuck your shirt in over the rig, an important consideration if ultra-concealment is your goal. The Modwing helps keep the grip of the pistol turned into the body to further aid in concealment. Lastly, you can adjust ride height thanks to the Monoblock clip.
Knife: Buck Knives Budgie (MSRP: $85)
Bearing in mind that the theme for today’s kit is discretion and concealment, we’ve opted for Buck’s new Budgie EDC pocketknife. Featuring a 2-inch-long, S35VN-steel, drop-point blade, G10 scale and a lanyard loop, the Budgie is perfect for the daily tasks we most often need a pocketknife to accomplish. The S35VN steel is robust and takes an extremely sharp edge, which comes in very handy for many reasons.
The Budgie opens via a generous thumbhole slot and stays open via a frame lock, one that, unlike others we’ve come across, does not impinge on getting the knife opened. A small stainless steel pocket clip only allows tip-up carry, although the Budgie is certainly small enough that it could be used as a money clip for even more discreet carry. It’s small, but still quite useful and won’t attract attention like a larger knife might.