Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380 ACP Barrel

Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380 ACP Handgun Review

The Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380 ACP handgun is a pint-sized thoroughbred that breaks out from the pack!


In Samuel Colt’s lifetime his guns always bore simple names; Paterson, because the first Colts were manufactured in Paterson, New Jersey, and sub-classifications such as Holster Model or Belt Model. The first use of an individual’s name was in 1847 as a posthumous tribute by Colt to honor fallen Texas Ranger Captain Samuel Walker, who had collaborated on the design of the .44 caliber Model of 1847 Army Pistol made famous during the war with Mexico.

Aside from that exception, Colt generally gave his guns numerical designations based upon the year in which they were introduced and caliber: .44 for Army, .36 for Navy, or by size, such as the 1848 Pocket Revolver. There is one other notable exception, the entire line of .44 caliber revolvers produced after the Walker, all known as Dragoons in honor of the U.S.M.R. (United States Mounted Rifles). Colt’s personal naming process accounts for popularly known examples like the 1851 Navy, 1860 Army, Pocket Model of Navy Caliber, and Pocket Police.

It wasn’t until almost a decade after Sam Colt’s death that the company again used an individual’s name to designate a new model, and as before, it was that of the designers: Alexander Thuer, C.B. Richards, and William Mason, respectively. The first use of a popular name didn’t occur until the 1873 Single Action Army picked up the catchy epithet “Peacemaker.” In 1877 Colt took the idea to heart and introduced a double-action Colt named Lightning; in 1894 the Bisley target model; and by the early 20th century the New Service, Police Positive, Banker’s Special, Detective Special, and Woodsman, all now legendary names. The Colt play on the “horse” theme didn’t come along until 1986, for a little .380 auto named the Mustang.

A dozen years after being discontinued the Colt .380 Mustang Pocketlite is back. Reengineered to new standards combining an aluminum alloy frame and stainless steel slide, the Pocketlite falls right into the heart of the current CCW trend for small .380 ACPs.

Gun Details

Small, lightweight and carrying six rounds of .380 ACP, variations of the Mustang were manufactured until 1999, including the original Pocketlite. Although often regarded as a sub-standard round for self-defense, the .380 ACP has nevertheless managed to prevail as a staple in self-defense sidearms for more than 100 years and recent improvements in both bullet design and ballistics have increased the velocity and terminal performance of .380 ACP ammunition, making the cartridge a viable option for today’s self-defense and concealed carry use.

As it turned out, Colt was the first American armsmaker to see the wisdom of building a pocket-sized .380 ACP. Unfortunately, the company was well ahead of the curve for popular demand and had discontinued the gun a few years before the current CCW trend emerged in the early years of the new century. With the Colt’s Manufacturing Company celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2011 it was determined that the originator should get back into the game and an improved Colt Mustang Pocketlite is now available.

With a loaded magazine the new Mustang Pocketlite weighs less than a pound. It measures 5.5 inches long, including the gun’s extended beavertail, with a 2.75-inch barrel. The minimal weight and length of the gun, combined with the short single-action trigger, proven frame and grip design, and firing pin safety block, make this an ideal small caliber handgun for personal protection and concealed carry. The magazine holds six rounds, so capacity is seven with one in the chamber, and cocked and locked, just like a Model 1911. Additionally, the Mustang Pocketlite does not use a magazine disconnect, so it will fire a chambered round even with the magazine removed.

Load Comments
  • angel dura

    where can i buy one

  • I love my “old” Mustang It was my second gun while a LEO.

  • I have yet to find a better action than Colt’s revolvers.