Colt has announced a polymer version of their new Mustang Pocketlite. Like its counterpart it is based, more or less, on a 1911 type of design. It has the same magazine capacity of 6 +1 .380 ACP. At 12.5 ounces, 5 ½” long and about 1.1” wide and with a 2.75” barrel I had to wonder why produce a gun with similar size and weight in polymer. Do today’s young shooters feel the same way about polymer as us old timers feel about an all metal gun?
I am struggling to figure out why Colt would announce a polymer version of a gun that they cannot make enough of. I have been trying to get their all metal Colt Pocketlite for almost 2 years and finally gave up and bought a Sig P238. Perhaps that is the problem. Colt sold the rights to the Mustang to Sig and Sig has been very successful in modifying the look a little bit to give it a “Sig” look and offering it in all sorts of configurations and styles. Colt came late to the party with their own updated version of the gun they stopped making in 1998. Yep, right before the big resurgence in .380 pocket pistols. Talk about firing your marketing manager. Then when they got back into the market they had already licensed the design to a powerhouse manufacturer and enter the field with what many call an inferior version of their own gun. To make matters worse, their limited production made the gun almost unobtainable and therefore no one was really talking about it like they do with the Sig P238.
According to Colt’s press release below, they made improvements in several areas in response to customer feedback. I read that to mean that people liked Sig’s version better and Colt is scrambling to come out with a better version of their own design. As far as I can see, the only significant difference over what one could get in a Sig P238 (yes some come with ambi safeties) is a rail to attach a small light or laser. Quite honestly the gun is so small that anything you put on that rail is going to seem huge but I guess they are trying to differentiate themselves from Sig.
The original Colt Mustang has a cult like following but truth be told, the gun did not operate well. It greatly benefited from the ministrations of a gunsmith. However, it was a good size for pocket carry and used the .380 ACP which was leaps and bounds over most other pocket guns at the time that tended to be .25 cal and .32 ACP. Even Sig has early problems with their P238, since fixed. Now it looks like Colt is not getting good feedback on their copy of their own design and is looking to improve upon it. Do we really need another polymer .380 that has not weight benefit?
The other thing that puzzles me is why buy the polymer version when the weight between it and the all metal (SS slide and aluminum body) version is the same. I know that given a choice between an all metal gun and a polymer one that weigh the same, I would opt for the all metal. Has polymer become more desirable when I was not looking? Read the press release below and try to figure out if you would spend that kind of money for a SA small gun. I think Colt just does not get it anymore. I have to think that their new Mustang Pocketlite is not doing well or else they would have put more resources into producing more of them rather than starting a whole new gun design. What do you think?
Colt’s Official Press Release
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC, one of the world’s leading designers, developers and manufacturers of firearms, is proud to introduce the newest member of the Colt Mustang family, the polymer framed Mustang XSP. Like its predecessors, the classic Colt Mustang and Mustang Pocketlite, the XSP is sure to become a popular option for concealed carry.
“The Mustang and Mustang Pocketlite have been favorites of our customers for years. We are excited to build on those very successful products and evolve them even further to meet ever growing customer needs,” said Joyce Rubino, Vice President of Marketing for Colt’s Manufacturing. “The new XSP takes the best of its predecessor models and adds features that will make it appealing to an even wider customer base.”
Taking advantage of the polymer grip frame, the most noticeable features of the XSP model revolve around optimizing grip comfort and utility. A molded thumb perch under the safeties lets the gun sit easily and comfortably in hands of all sizes. A special enhanced cut behind the trigger guard also helps the gun sit lower in the user’s hand. Blended safety and sidestop profiles, as well as enhanced texturing on the front and back strap, provide increased comfort and create a snag-free profile.
While some basic features of the Mustang Pocketlite, such as size, magazine and slide, continue in the Mustang XSP, numerous changes to the new model reflect customer sentiment. This includes upgrading the front sight on the XSP to a dovetailed design that is more visible to the user. The slide serrations on the XSP have been enhanced to offer an improved grip when working the slide. The XSP also features ambidextrous safeties, rather than the typical single sided safety. Two additional changes are an integral 3/8” accessory rail below the dust cover, and a squared off trigger guard that will allow for easy mounting of lasers and lights to enhance personal protection capabilities.
The Mustang XSP is constructed of an ultra-durable engineered polymer, making it the lightest-weight of all the Mustang models at less than 12 ounces. The slide and barrel are machined from stainless steel bar stock, and the slide has a blackened finish. The XSP has a 6-round magazine capacity, is chambered in .380 Auto and has a recommended retail of $649.