New Improved Colt .380 Mustang Pocketlite Pistol

Colt has reintroduced the .380 Mustang Pocketlite. The original Mustang used cast parts and was all steel. This new model is CNC-machined and has an aluminum frame with a light tan finish.

The gun measures 5.5″ in length, has a 2.75″ barrel, weighs 12 ounces. Colt has not published pricing, but one forum user said he purchased his for $609. Read his range report (and the problems he faced) here.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Woodroez

    Gallery of Guns has it listed at $599. And no, they’re not in stock.

    The Mustang is awfully handsome little guy; I feel the little cut that Sig does to the slide of the P238 takes away from the look. Despite already owning a couple of guns that I might choose first if I take the plunge and get the CCW license (Glock 26, CZ 83) I just can’t help but want to get my paws on this.

    Hope that fellow’s issue with the mag release was an aberration.

  • West

    Nice looking pistol.
    I might pick one up if I were not already up to my neck in .380’s (S&W Bodyguard, Sig P238, PPK/S, Colt Government, etc etc).
    I really like the size, its perfect for the deep front pocket of my cargo shorts – I live in a tropical climate.
    I also like the Colt rubber grips. I sometimes wish my Sig had similar grips instead of smooth wood even though the rubber sometimes hangs a bit in my pocket.

    • John

      I wish Sig would make thier other grips available, there are aftermarket ones though. Sig also came out with the HD after I purchased my blackwood. The all stainless (not pocketlite) was my favorite Mustang. I have that in the Gov, but could it make it reliable enough to carry. I like the Sig but thier barrel had tool marks on the ramp (seemed cheeper than the colt) and some other poor finish to the mags. I could not get the colt mags to work well in my sig..

  • I guess Colt got tired of watching Sig P238s fly off the shelves.

    • Sian

      I was going to say this but you beat me to it. Well played.

      to be fair the P238 is awful nice for a pocket 380.

  • Lance

    If it was .45 auto id be interested.

  • Netforce

    I’d rather go with Colt Defender.

  • MJM

    I owned two of these, in the earlier models, one Mustang, and one of the Pony Pocket Lite (double action only) models.
    Got rid of both. Both malfunctioned often. Often might be one malfunction every 30–50 rounds. That’s after several hundred through the guns.
    The Pony Pocket Lite concept was good—DAO, wide trigger, long, heavier trigger pull—but it did not work ergonomically for me. Tended to trap a portion of the trigger finger pad between the trigger and the frame upon pressing the trigger. OUCH! That hurt. Shooter needs more finger in trigger guard to move that heavier trigger pull.
    On the Mustang, yes, the controls are like the 1911. Ho, hum.
    One advantage: the pistols are very flat, very slim, but, of course, you would expect that in a single stack magazine weapon.
    IMHO the world has moved on, but fans of Colt and the Model 1911 will create a demand.
    My recommendation for a buyer would be to get a mag loader and get to the range with 500 rounds as soon as possible, and shoot them up. Mix in some of your personal defense rounds (That will cost you.) to make sure that the weapon feeds them reliably.

  • Jerry Sussman

    Perfect .380 for a person who has no intention of every firing it. Let’s see: single action only with a mechanical safety and no grip safety. Yeah, that’s perfect for self defense. Either you keep it cocked and locked in a purse (and risk unintended discharge as you struggle to retrieve it) and the mechanical safety disengages) or keep it in an unready state and try to rack, aim and fire in the middle of an adrenalin rich crisis. Good luck.

    And if plan on practicing with this light-weight gem before you face a real-life need, figure on about one magazine before the snap wears a deep gouge in the soft tissue between your thumb and forefinger. Pretty to look at, but poorly suited for its intended purpose.

    In my opinion, yet another ill-conceived effort to improve on what Browning got right: If you’re gonna go with SAO, have one safety that secures the slide and another in the grip so that the firearm may be safely carried in the ready state (cocked-and-locked). SIG already had one recall because the mechanical safety sometimes might fail. As with the SIG P238, in my opinion, merely an accident–and lawsuit–waiting to happen.

    • Dan Foreman

      I disagree. I’ve carried a Colt Mustang for years and I absolutely love the little thing. You must not have fired one of these… because it’s an absolute dream to shoot. You can shoot that thing all day without any ill effects… and I have!

      I carry it behind the back, inside the waistband. I keep a round in the pipe, and have the hammer down (it has a semi-cocked position that keeps the hammer off the firing pin for occasion like this). As I draw, I grasp the weapon with my middle, ring and pinky fingers, my thumb goes directly to the hammer to assist in drawing the weapon… and I cock it as I draw. It took very little practice, and over the years I’ve never had an issue with it. Even if you were to have your thumb slip off at half-cock, the hammer will never fall and hit he firing pin unless you have your finger on the trigger.

      Sadly, years of concealed carry have taken their toll, and she is showing her age. I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement, but really haven’t been too keen on dropping $800+ for another… especially since I would end up feeling guilty for carrying what is now a collector’s item. If you haven’t had much experience with one… you might want to pick one up. Even if you don’t plan to carry it… it’s still tons of fun to shoot!

      • John

        I have to agree with Dan. I’ve carried the Government Model .380 for 25+ years now. It’s a great little close-up gun. It’s capable of 2″ groups @ 25 yards out of the box. After what would have to be several thousand rounds now, I can’t recall a single misfeed or malfunction. It’s the most intuitive point and shoot pistol I’ve ever used. One of the safest I’ve ever seen to carry with a round chambered and the hammer at half-cock. The thumb safety on mine has almost never been used. Cock the hammer as you draw it and squeeze the trigger. And it’s the perfect size for both children and adults. My 6 year old grand-daughter had no problems learning to shoot with it.

  • George

    Yay! I can retire my current SS Pocketlite and get a new production one. I carry mine nearly all the time in front pocket. Only exception is in winter time when I have multiple SIG tac jackets that allow me to carry something a little bigger (.40 HK USP C). Only real reason I upgrade in winter is because people are wearing more layers here in NE USA. A 380 might not penetrate adequately, so the .40 is appreciated.

    Never had any issues with my Pocketlite, and like it so much I put ivory stocks on it 5 years ago. I’m sure they will work any bugs out of this design.

  • The useless front sight seems exactly the same as my 15 y/o Pony Pocketlite. Trigger pull from hell and POI is 7/10 inches high at 5 yards. Plastic guide rod and a slide lock/takedown lever that walks more than I do. Only 450 rounds of FMJ’s, Rem 102 gr. golden saber and cor-bon 90 gr. +P. I have switched to my Sig P232 and P238. The 238 has a more than acceptable trigger and the best small gun sights I have ever used. Everything the Pocketlite series should have been. It is hard to realize and accept when one makes a bad purchase but I did not do my homework and the weapon is well aquainted with the darkest part of my safe. There it will stay untill someone is stupid enough to buy it. My opinion alone and wish those that are happy, Good for You.
    John L

  • Gopher45

    I own numerous vintage (1983 – 1997).380 Colt governments. I have a full guiderod in the one I carry. I would prefer another older .380 Colt Government or 9mm commander, before ever considering any of the new models. The Sig 238 is a excellent copy of the Colt Government, but lacks the comfortable longer grip. I enjoy shooting my .380 Colt Government almost as much as my 9mm commander.

  • Jim C

    I love my early Colt Mustang 380 MKIV/Series 80 in stainless. Bought the pistol new at a gun show many years ago and never fired it till 2 or 3 years ago. Had spring problems right away and magazine dropping out issues as well. I read a little about the mustang having these problems and the fixes involved, so I went about doing the required changes. I bought a Wilson Combat 1911 magazine release spring and cut 1 or maybe 2 revolutions off the spring to shorten it to size and that fixed the magazine dropping issue instantly and gave the little gun a more positive magazine lock. I then replaced the safety spring with one from wolff that I got from Brownells and that gave the safety a much more positive latch lock. The plastic trigger had to go as too much play was in that, so I got a cylinder and slide aluminum replacement… a big difference there and great looks too. The trigger pull is great now and very consistent, Colt should have done that. Next I replaced the plastic guide rod with a stainless one, again from Brownells or Midway. That made a world of difference in accuracy of the little mustang. Also, I did manage to find an original set of Colt Pachmayr grips for the mustang with Colt emblems on it that they say Pachmayr never made. Pistol is one of my favorite guns, shoots without jams or failures now and is very accurate for its size. I would post a few pictures, but not sure how. I will never sell this little mustang, as it is now a collectors item and I will enjoy it whenever I take it to the range to shoot.

    • Joe

      Does the C & S aluminum trigger have a flat finger pad or is it serrated like the SIG P938?

  • A.D. Hopkins

    A pocketlite was my first CCW weapon, and at the time, state law allowed you only one to carry winter and summer. The blistering hot summers dictated a very small gun. I loved it; anybody can learn to cock the hammer as it comes out of the pocket, quickly enough that it’s just as fast as a double action auto. The firing pin floats so it’s perfectly safe to carry the hammer lowered on a full chamber (but anybody buying a used one, or getting one back from a gunsmith, had better TEST that pin to make sure it is shorter than the distance from the hammer face to the aperture from which the firing pin strikes the cartridge). I thought ai would eventually master this pistol but realized after a time the innacuracy wasn’t my fault; the gun wouldn’t shoot small groups even off sandbags. Policemen of my acquaintance who liked it for a backup gun had same experience. We all replaced it with something else.
    If I really believed Colt had made the pistol acceptably accurate, I would buy another one. Nothing else would be as good as a single-action semi-auto that size, weight, and at least that calilber. But when they don’t advertise how they made it more accurate, I’m not sure they really did.

  • neangler

    I own and really the new Mustang Pocketlite. Have put a couple hundred rounds through it without a hiccup. I will, however, replace the plastic guide rod. Also, my local gunsmith, who does a lot of fine machining and actually builds guns, says the trigger is plastic and will replace it, but the Colt catalog says it’s aluminum. Yes, it seems plastic to me too……..

    Paid $625 new, and it came with two magazines. (P238 comes with one.) I would buy it again, but I’m a Colt 1911 snob.

    By the way, if you place this gun on top of a Kimber Solo, they’re so close in size that any difference doesn’t matter. Don’t be surprised if Colt starting offering this in 9mm, too.

  • Ronald Orszag Sr

    I all ways hit the clip release should have a fater grip