Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380 w/ LaserMAX – New Gun Review

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The Colt Mustang Pocketlite is today's version of the original pocket pistol, 1911 style. This version comes with a LaserMAX Centerfire laser on it, and that laser is also available to buy for your existing Mustang.

The Colt Mustang Pocketlite is today’s version of the original pocket pistol, 1911 style. This version comes with a LaserMAX Centerfire laser on it, and that laser is also available to buy for your existing Mustang.

Colt Mustang Pocketlite w/LaserMAX
On GunsAmerica:
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Colt Branded LaserMAX:
From Colt $139:
http://www.colt.com/ShopOnline/tabid/62/ProdID/358/Default.aspx”>http://www.colt.com/lm

On Midway $102:
http://www.midwayusa.com/lasermax

I almost didn’t write this review because there have already been two reviews of the Colt Mustang here on GunsAmerica already. But this gun is very different from the others because for one, it is the shortest barrel that Colt makes for this gun, at 2 3/4″. But more importantly, this gun came with a factory Colt branded LaserMAX mounted on the gun. There were very few of these put out, but currently there are a few for sale on GunsAmerica right now, though I don’t know if they still will be by the time you read this. More importantly though, this LaserMAX accessory is being sold separately, by Colt, Midway and others, so if you have a Mustang Pocketlite, you can put this Colt branded nifty laser on your stocking stuffer list for Santa.

The LaserMAX is branded with the Colt logo, and if you notice in the picture, the laser adjustment screws are on the right and front of the unit. It came from the factory about 6" off at 7 yards.

The LaserMAX is branded with the Colt logo, and if you notice in the picture, the laser adjustment screws are on the right and front of the unit. It came from the factory about 6″ off at 7 yards.

The Colt Mustang is not a unique design, but it is the original 1911 style .380. It feels great, shoots great, and it is about as reliable as a small gun could be. I carried one in the early 90s in my front pocket for about two years, and it is one of the few guns I ever carried that always shot and cycled correctly after sitting for some time. If you don’t oil the heck out of them so that they collect a ton of pocket lint, the Mustangs will serve you reliably as a pocket pistol.

Remember, however, that there is no grip safety device on the Mustang. A 1911 style pistol is carried cocked and locked, with a round in the chamber, and on a regular 1911, the grip safety is an added protection against accidental discharges should the safety switch get knocked into the off position. Therefore, if you plan to carry a Mustang, you have to of course carry it in a holster with a good trigger cover, and you also have to be aware when you draw the gun that your finger shouldn’t go into the trigger guard until you are ready to fire. An accidental slip from this practice will more likely lead to an accidental, and perhaps even negligent discharge. The Mustang is not for the casual carrier. Get a revolver and leave this highly collectible firearm in the safe.

I was able to keep a 6 round magazine into about 3-4 inches at 7 yards, offhand with no rest. At 14 3/8 ounces, this Mustang is a soft shooting and very accurate .380 that is a pleasure.

I was able to keep a 6 round magazine into about 3-4 inches at 7 yards, offhand with no rest. At 14 3/8 ounces, this Mustang is a soft shooting and very accurate .380 that is a pleasure.

And on that note, if you can find a Mustang that shipped with the LaserMAX, like this one, you may not want to subject it to pocket wear anyway. Colt records every firearm that leaves their factory with all of the details of how it left, and that original condition carries an additional collectible and quantifiable value. I bought this test gun from Colt, and it will never be carried for that reason. If you buy the LaserMAX as an aftermarket collectibility isn’t a concern for the gun, but because it is marked Colt on the laser attachment, the LaserMAX itself may become highly collectible down the road. These things are never made in huge runs, and you generally never see them again after the initial batch.

The performance of the Mustang Pocketlite is superb. My test gun weighs only 14 3/8ths ounces empty, with the LaserMAX. It shot to point of aim with the sights out of the box, and the laser was about 6 left and needed to be adjusted a bit. This model holds 6 rounds of .380 ACP in the magazine, and it worked perfectly with several different hollow point brands, as well as Fiocchi roundball, and even those flat Winchester white box rounds that Walmart sells. Any gun that shoots those, as well as the pointy FTX Hornady Critical Defense bullet will usually shoot anything.

Note that I didn’t “bench rest” this gun for this article. Ultimately, the gun is as “accurate” as you can shoot it, and I was able to keep most 6 round mags of shots into about a 3-4″ circle at 7 yards. This is my “across the bedroom” distance, and while .380 ACP is deadly at much further distances than that, most people would agree that you don’t want to be looking for across the parking lot kinds of gunfights with it (you shouldn’t go looking for gunfights at all!). At 7 yards the Mustang is easy to shoot well, with or without the laser.

My test gun trigger breaks crisp and clean at 6 plus pounds.

My test gun trigger breaks crisp and clean at 6 plus pounds.

As this is coming out as a pre-Christmas article, I decided to run it this week because this is one of those guns that are a real treat to own, and something you might want to ask your significant others to treat you with this year. They are generally available in the market right now for just under $600, and your local dealer may be able to order you one from distribution, even with the LaserMAX, so ask before you start clicking around the web to pay an unnecessary shipping and transfer fee. A Colt is always a sound investment and will only make you money when you or your heirs, or their heirs, decide to let it go. If there is a classic concealed carry gun, it is the Colt Mustang, and no gun nut gun safe should be without one.

The LaserMAX Centerfire laser was a little off out of the box, but easily adjusted. You turn it on with a front ambidextrous switch.

The LaserMAX Centerfire laser was a little off out of the box, but easily adjusted. You turn it on with a front ambidextrous switch.

My test gun came in a lockable plastic case with two mags.

My test gun came in a lockable plastic case with two mags.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Gary Wallace February 11, 2015, 7:58 pm

    What is the price for the weapon and also a in the pants holster?

  • Rocky December 29, 2014, 4:13 pm

    I’ve got a SS Colt Government Model in .380, that I absolutely love. I carry it concealed, in the warmer months that we have here in SC and at reasonable ranges, you can’t miss with it. Recoil is low, due to the weight of the stainless steel weapon, yet the weight is light enough, due to it’s small size.
    note; I was weaned (by my Uncle Sam) on a M1911A1 .45ACP, so nostalgia is apparent in my choice. I still prefer a full size M1911A1 .45ACP in colder weather, although I’ve since compromised and bought a .40 cal. FNS.
    I do Not like the laser that the gun in this article has on it. If I wanted to have a pistol in .380ACP that had a laser, I would get a S&W Bodyguard .380ACP, which has an integral laser, that doesn’t diminish from it’s size or looks. My wife has one and loves it. Although it is not as heavy as the stainless steel Colt, it still has a reasonably mild recoil, as opposed to, say my Keltec P3AT, backup gun, that wants to leap out of your hand, if you don’t hold on tight to it’s minimal grip, with the two fingers space allowed for it.
    A lady friend has a Colt Mustang in .380ACP, while the shorter barrel makes for a bit easier concealed carry, it takes away from it’s accuracy, in the process. I’ll stick with the slightly longer barrel on my Government Model .380 ACP.

  • Tim Martin December 10, 2014, 8:49 pm

    As a small framed person I have occasionally carried a .22 auto & when I saw this report I had to have one. My sister has a S&W .380 with laser and loves it. The one I purchased today doesn’t have the laser sight but it is one of the best handling autos I have ever held. I can hardly wait to try it out! Thanks Guns America for a great article. I read years ago where someone killed an charging elephant with a .22 in Guns & Ammo I believe and anything in your hands is better than nothing. Lucky shot? Perhaps but the chances are better if you are armed with any weapon as opposed to nothing. I have a Kimber and have never shot it. I bought it for its beauty!

  • Randy Boswellr December 3, 2014, 3:29 pm

    Interested in the midway. What is the price and does it come with a case?

  • Dick December 2, 2014, 9:31 pm

    Does anyone make a laser sight for the polymer Colt Mustang? The trigger guard is totally different and I have not found one that will fit.

  • Jim December 2, 2014, 6:05 pm

    Perfect response Rocky . I own a Gov’t Pocketlite in SS . I bought it in Ariz in the early 90’s for $295 ? I think .
    ( Now they are worth $800 !? as they only made them 2 yrs ?) & before anyone asks , ” No , you can’t have it .”
    I have big mechanic hands , but it fits SO NICE , SO light , narrow on the slide but the grip is good ( esp with a new grip sleeve). I used it for my first concealed carry license ( now on my 4th) & the first two shots were thru the same Hole ! . Wish I could put night sights on it . I tried a Sig P938 with night sights thinking “If Colt only made a 9mm version of this !”, but it’s heavier ( of course it is , it’s 9mm) + the slide is wider and the recoil is WAY snappy – so I traded it for a Kahr , my 4th ( wide trigger , low recoil ) . I have tried SO many Concealed carry pistols. Everyone has been making gobs of .380’s , most are DAO , the others are Colt .380 clones . Finally , Colt made a poly remake of the Mustang (XSP) If I didn’t already have a .380 I love , I’d look at an XSP . Not sure why Colt is slow to follow market trends that are profitable . Hmm , maybe I’ll look for one of these “Colt” lasers , If it fits a Mustang ……. But then again , I didn’t like a laser on a Kahr . /shrugs

  • Jim December 2, 2014, 6:05 pm

    Perfect response Rocky . I own a Gov’t Pocketlite in SS . I bought it in Ariz in the early 90’s for $295 ? I think .
    ( Now they are worth $800 !? as they only made them 2 yrs ?) & before anyone asks , ” No , you can’t have it .”
    I have big mechanic hands , but it fits SO NICE , SO light , narrow on the slide but the grip is good ( esp with a new grip sleeve). I used it for my first concealed carry license ( now on my 4th) & the first two shots were thru the same Hole ! . Wish I could put night sights on it . I tried a Sig P938 with night sights thinking “If Colt only made a 9mm version of this !”, but it’s heavier ( of course it is , it’s 9mm) + the slide is wider and the recoil is WAY snappy – so I traded it for a Kahr , my 4th ( wide trigger , low recoil ) . I have tried SO many Concealed carry pistols. Everyone has been making gobs of .380’s , most are DAO , the others are Colt .380 clones . Finally , Colt made a poly remake of the Mustang (XSP) If I didn’t already have a .380 I love , I’d look at an XSP . Not sure why Colt is slow to follow market trends that are profitable . Hmm , maybe I’ll look for one of these “Colt” lasers , If it fits a Mustang ……. But then again , I didn’t like a laser on a Kahr . /shrugs

  • Jim December 2, 2014, 4:08 pm

    It’s a beautiful pistol, and if it had a grip safety, I’d buy one in a minute.

  • Rocky December 2, 2014, 1:14 pm

    I have owned a Colt .380 ‘Government Model’, for over a decade now. It is stainless steel, as the one pictured above, but has a somewhat longer barrel (3″?) and the magazine holds 7 rounds instead of 6, as in the Mustang. The pistol is a pleasure to shoot and my favorite carry weapon, in warmer weather, or whenever I’m not expecting much trouble. At those times I carry anywhere from a 9mm to a .40 cal. up to a .45ACP or even a Taurus Judge loaded with either .45 Colt Long, or .410 shot shell in 000 or 0000 Buck. The .380 JHP is not recommended for assailants wearing heavy clothing or perhaps heavily muscled assailants, as it might not achieve enough penetration to reach vital organs, in hollow point configuration. Using FMJ ammo can help to offset this problem. Someone, I believe, makes a 102grn .380 round, that has been recommended by certain experts, for colder weather usage, that is capable of deeper penetration.
    As a NRA Pistol Trainer, I do not advocate carrying this pistol cocked and locked in a concealed carry inside the belt holster, manner. The hammer is easily pulled back, in a moment, as compared with it’s full sized, .45ACP grand pappy, which takes a bit more effort to achieve, in short order. It would be alright to do so with an good on the belt holster, but even there I carry it with one in the chamber but hammer down, due to the lack of a grip safety.
    I do not care for external lasers… Aesthetics, primarily. I bought my wife a S&W Bodyguard .380 cal., with an internal laser that is slick as cat excrement on a linoleum floor. She just loves it. It is double action only and can be carried anywhere you care to put it, safely.
    I had a friend who had a Glock .40 cal. with an after market internal laser that was fantastic (if you like Glocks, which I don’t). The trouble was, they cost about $400.00 ! (the laser). Which is why I really like what S&W came up with, in their Bodyguard model.
    In the end, it’s all about what an individual likes or is comfortable with. Even the cheapest, ugliest guns usually work, with a favorite ammo, once deburred/debugged and adequately lubed.

    • Carl Lange March 31, 2015, 12:51 pm

      I would not recommend carrying a Colt Mustang with the hammer down on a loaded chamber. And neither does Colt. The “Condition 2” carry you advocate has been debated for years for regular 1911’s. (I would never use it.) If you are that concerned that the safety will be knocked to the fire position, carry the Mustang with an empty chamber. Unlike my regular 1911’s, my Mustang Pocketlite allows the slide to be racked with the safety on. So one could carry it with an empty chamber, hammer cocked and safety on. Racking the slide to load the chamber is then very easy and the safety is still on.
      The method that you describe, with the hammer down on a loaded chamber, is putting all your faith in passive (hidden) safety mechanisms (and that your thumb does not slip when you are decocking the hammer). On a Mustang, if you have the safety in the “safe” position, you will have to move it to the “fire” position before you can cock the hammer. Now, unless you plan on firing immediately, you need to move the safety back to the “safe” position. Except that it can be performed with one hand, this method is slower and less safe than racking the slide.
      Hopefully, you are not suggesting that you are walking around with the safety in the “fire” position (which you would have to do on a regular 1911 in “Condition 2”). If so, perhaps a person should not be carrying a 1911 style gun.

      • Carl Lange March 31, 2015, 5:51 pm

        To clarify my last statement.
        If a person does not understand how to safely manipulate and transport a particular gun, perhaps that is not the gun they should carry. Not all guns have the same safety features, so a practice which may be fine or required for one gun, may not apply to another.

  • LINDA GARONE December 2, 2014, 11:19 am

    I would like some more info. if I can purchase one in California

    • Russ December 3, 2014, 11:55 am

      Hi Linda,
      I’m from CA, and when I wanted a Walther PPQ, (not on the roster) I found someone who SSE it for me.
      @ http://www.calguns.net/
      I didn’t check out the colt’s status, but you might want to join CALGUNS to find the best help with firearms in California.
      Good luck!

  • Russ December 2, 2014, 10:57 am

    How cute!

  • Clem December 2, 2014, 9:24 am

    Before everyone gets a Boehner here lets remember this is only a .380. Now until they come out with one in a 30mm its all a waste because I have never yet to this day met someone who has survived a body shot by a 30mm which provides the maximum penetration and knockdown performance. Plus the 30mm comes in a variety of models and conceal carry holsters allowing the future perp a huge surprise when you draw it on him. Sarcasm!

    I think it’s great this comes in a model people can comfortably carry. I carry a Ruger LCP everyday 365 days a year, even at work which is a school, at church, or sitting in the recliner. The general rule, if I have a belt on a gun is attached. I have so many friends who went out and bought a 40 or 45 and never carry. If you feel comfortable with a 22 then carry it since it’s better than a 45 in the gun safe when needed.

    • Kodiak December 1, 2015, 11:34 pm

      Clem,

      What 30 mm are you talking about???? This is a caliber that has been used as an anti-aircraft and anti-armor round and whatever fired a 30 mm would have weighed a ton and most likely two tons.

  • Charles L Bloss Jr December 2, 2014, 8:24 am

    Why take a chance on shooting yourself with a SA only pistol? I prefer a Walther PPK & PPK/S.

    • quinn December 2, 2014, 12:23 pm

      oh awesome….charles L bloss Jr prefers a ppk/pps. Wait, why does this matter again?

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