Wallet Pistols are an oddity. They seem silly and practical at the same time. Safety seems compromised for the speed of being able to shoot the pistol while it is still inside the wallet/holster. However it’s classification is what I find even more perplexing. Yes this is another head scratching ATF NFA issue.


Take a close look at the pistol below. Looks rather similar doesn’t it? However this and the one above it are not the same. They function the same in all manner of practicality but there is one major difference. The slide is exposed. This is no longer considered concealed and there for is not an NFA item.



So what does the screen shot above mean? If you want a wallet holster you can have one. You cannot put a pistol inside it unless that pistol has been registered as an NFA item. Turn your pistol into an NFA item on your own? Pay the ATF $200. Take that exact same pistol to an FFL who can turn it into an AOW and you only pay $5 to transfer that pistol back to you.

Does it make sense? No. But it is the law.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Head scratching for a lot of reasons.
    Like, why?

    • Giolli Joker


      • TheNotoriousIUD

        As Sean Connery would say, “Thank you, no”

    • Edeco

      Eddie Little quasi-autobiographically claimed to keep a Colt 380 in a back pocket, between his wallet and butt for years and never get made

    • Some Rabbit

      The tax is on the gun, not the holster, yet it’s the holster that defines the NFA status. Either sold separately is untaxed. At the risk of being called a smartass by ATF (I know you’re reading this Special Agent Jones) any idiot can take a piece of leather, fold it over and cut a hole in it, and the ATF will be the none wiser.

      • Much like the stock makes a stocked pistol a Short Barreled Rifle, but it’s the gun, not the wood, that is registered.

    • iksnilol

      you give wallet to mugger…but instead of coin, IT’S BULLETS!

    • Cal S.

      Admittedly, if you don’t pocket-carry to begin with then this wouldn’t make much sense. I got a $169 HD derringer in 9mm. Picked up one of these things that displays the barrels as an alternative pocket-carry holster. It works as advertised, and prints like a wallet. Yes, it fires rather well.

  • Chatterbot

    Mmm. … Exposed trigger in pocket carry.

    • Paul Rain

      Not my thing, but there is a order of magnitude of difference between just chucking a pocket pistol in your jacket pocket:
      * without a holster
      * with a bunch of allen keys and god knows what other crap to snag on it
      and sticking one of these in a conveniently sized pocket by itself. Still not really the best choice.

      NFA makes it harder to get these things because they are practical and useful in certain cases, and the architects of the NFA wanted to gradually restrict useful tools.

  • Giolli Joker

    “They function the same in all manner of practicality but there is one major difference. The slide is exposed.”
    I’m pretty sure the first one has no slide, by the trigger shape I’d say it’s some sort of DAO derringer… if it had a slide, it would not cycle in the “wallet”.
    This being said, yes, I get where you were going in the comparison.

    • flyingburgers

      It doesn’t matter whether it cycles, the distinguishing characteristic is if it can fire while not looking like a gun. The bottom one looks enough like a gun (in ATF’s opinion). If the top one didn’t have a trigger hole, so the gun couldn’t fire, it would be an ordinary holster.

    • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

      Its a High Standard Derringer…one of several pistols that were popular for this sort of thing when these holsters were in vogue. DeSantis made one for the Beretta 21A for a while and, *so I hear*, it works pretty well in that capacity.

  • Hyasuma

    someone will end up shooting themselves in the ass with this

  • civilianaf

    I’m gonna take flak for this, but I am so not mad at this. I do occasionally carry a 8 shot 22 mag revolver in my jacket pocket when it makes sense to do it (winter time).

  • Mystick

    Bureaucratic wheel-spinning, hoop-jumping waste of time, effort, and resources.

    • Giovanni F. Lentini

      “The slide is exposed. This is no longer considered concealed and there for is not an NFA item.”
      The slide has nothing to do with this being a AOW (Any Other Weapon). An AOW is a concealable firearm that is NOT a pistol or revolver. All handguns must have a grip, just one mind you. Handguns by law are designed to be fired with one hand. A concealable firearm without a grip is an AOW, think palm pistol, cane gun, pen gun (there are pen guns that fold and have a grip that are not NFA weapons). From that BATFE…

      For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the term “Any Other Weapon” means: * Any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive; * A pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell; * Weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading; and * Any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.

      • Mystick

        Wrong thread, friend.

  • Badwolf

    Pass. Walking cane rifle for me.

    • Swarf

      So… a rifle?

      • Badwolf

        Yeah… or a ricin umbrella 🙂

  • Tom Currie

    Errrr…. Excuse me….. Just when did FFLs get to make an NFA weapon without SOT and paying the tax.

  • Sid Collins

    I do not carry in my pocket with an exposed trigger. That, in my opinion, is asking for trouble.

  • jerry young

    I’ve seen these before and the same comment I had then I have now, the trigger is exposed someone’s going to get shot in the butt, this is not even a good idea that with changes could be made safe, it’s just plain out and out stupid, why at this time with all the publicity over unsafe ways to carry would someone still design or market a known unsafe holster?

    • Some Rabbit

      They’re silly because such guns are rarely powerful enough to be decisive in a gun fight. Crooks today wanna stand their ground and trade fire. If they got a double stack 9mm and you got a 2 shot .22 derringer who’s gonna win even if you do hit him?

      • jerry young

        I agree about the 22 but today there are pocket 380’s and 9mm that would fit something like this, I have a sub compact 380 but would never consider this kind of bad holster, I carry a full size 9mm and use my 380 as a back up or carry it when I cannot carry a larger gun.

  • politicallyincorrectshooter

    Who makes the one with re exposed slide?


    I’ve been thinking of getting one of these for my P3AT for a while but always back out last minute after opening twenty or so tabs…

  • James

    Had to jump thru a lot of bullshit hoops to get my naa mini an aow stamp but luckily my buddy’s a mfg and “manufactured” an aow by putting my gun in the wallet and transferred it back to me so all I paid was a $5 transfer.

    After all that I rarely use it in that config. I like the folding holster grip much better. (The older style that actually covers the hammer)

    Been toying of the idea of making other contraptions to house the naa like a camera or something… legal now so why not.

    Anyways, as usual the NFA is dumb and shouldn’t exist as it does.