Todd G. - who I will readily admit more than likely has forgotten more about shooting that I will ever learn, makes a pretty good argument for carrying a larger firearm. His point, and there's a lot of truth to it, is that the time it takes to toss an LCP in a back pocket is only a minute or so less than the time it takes to toss a G19 or similarly sized arm in an inside-the-waistband holster. His points are that the larger guns are easier to shoot, carry more ammunition, have real sights, and are easier to reload than a smaller gun (he uses the J-frame as the standard "small" gun).
Well, Imma speak up for the smaller gun.
Smith & Wesson J-frame/Ruger LCR and a S&W Bodyguard 380/SIG SAUER P238. 5 rounds of .38 Special +P; 6+1 rounds of .380 ACP. Yes, a G19 with 15 rounds of 9mm +P and two 17 round backup magazines is a heckuva lot more firepower in a gun that's easier to aim and shoot. I can't - won't - argue that. What I will argue, though, is that for a good number of us, that blocky, heavy G19 might get carried in the fall and winter months, but as soon as it's T-shirt weather, the pocket gun makes a comeback in a big way.
The secret is for the gun to always be there.
The harder it is to use a tool, the less likely you're going to be to use it at all. Yes, with the right holster (and there are a lot of folks out there making great holsters these days) and the right wardrobe you can conceal a mid-sized gun with little effort. Or you can be constantly tugging at the shirt tail because it's not sitting right and it keeps getting caught up in the grip and why the heck didn't I wear my vest oh, yeah, that's right it's 80º today. If it's a pain in the behind, you won't do it.
And it won't matter what gun you have if you leave it at home.
I've had my permit to carry for nearly 20 years. I've carried everything from a Government model 1911 to a 4" Smith & Wesson K-frame revolver and everything in between. I have found that I am most likely to slip that S&W Bodyguard into my back pocket than anything else. Yes, .380 ACP is a pretty anemic round. Yes, there are other much higher capacity options. But when all is said and done, that 380 is there. It's frickin' good neighbor State Farm, baby. It's not sitting in the safe at home because the last time I carried it it just wouldn't sit right and wound up poking my right kidney 750 times.
Todd is absolutely right - you can carry a larger gun. I don't mean to sound like I'm arguing that point - I've done it; heck, I've carried a 6" barrel revolver in a shoulder rig. With the right gear (and don't get me started on how many different holsters I've tried in my quest to find "the right one"), most compact pistols will carry with minimal effort. But that's the point, isn't it? If you've got to stop and think, okay, I'm running out to gas up the car and swing in and grab a pizza before the babysitter gets here, and yeah, stop at the ATM to get some money for the movie, and when was the last time we had the furnace cleaned out ... Oh, yeah, gotta grab the G19 out of the safe and grab the Crossbreed and darn it, change the belt, and ...
I know, I'm exaggerating. But it sure feels like that sometimes, doesn't it? If you're busy and being pulled in 20 different directions, it's a lot easier to toss a J-frame in your pocket and go than to gear up. And while, yes, no one ever got in a gunfight thinking "boy, I wish my gun held less ammo", I'll bet the same could be said that no one ever said, "boy, I really like lugging this heavy, blocky gun around all day". Let's face it, we're human. We like the path of least resistance. Todd writes it off as lazy. Guilty as charged. I'll bet there's a lot more of us lazy folk out there, though.
Now, Todd was forthcoming and upright with his biases - he is a pistol trainer living in a permissive state (VA, IIRC). I'll do the same. I'm a sales weasel who lives in one of the worst states for 2A rights in the country. The outcomes couldn't be more different if Todd got "made" while carrying vs. someone in my situation - so it is quite possible that I am overly sensitive to printing/accidental exposure. I do know, though, that even in pro-gun states like Florida and Texas it's a big no-no to expose your carry piece. Little chance of doing that in a front pocket.
I don't mean to downplay Todd's excellent essay. He makes some great points, both about the shortcomings of the micro-380s and J-frames as well as the easier operation of the larger pistols. The fundamental difference as I see it is that Todd is telling us to overcome our laziness, whereas I've long come to accept that, yes, I am a lazy bastard and I will embrace it. Chemical reactions need to reach their activation energy to happen, and they are far more likely to happen if the energy of activation (EA) is low. J-frames are low EA. G19s are high(er) EA.
The real trick, though, is to know yourself. If you are one of the smart, non-lazy people that can take the time to gear up with a mid-size handgun, power to you, that's fantastic. You will have a firearm with you that's easier to shoot, carries more ammunition, and is easier to reload than the lazy person with the J-frame. If you're like me, and don't always have the time to assemble and don the right gear, consider a pocket gun so that you obey the first rule of gunfighting - have a gun.
And the one thing that Todd and I have in common is that we will both have a gun if - G-d forbid - we ever need it.
That is all.