New Third Bay Ounce CCW Pistol

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At an undecorated, non-descript booth in the lower level of the Venetian Expo Hall, my crew called my attention to what is possibly the most interesting new pistol at SHOT show. At the Third Bay booth, they were displaying the OUNCE, the most compact and lightest 10+1rnd semi-auto pistol I’d ever seen. I got a chance to talk with its inventor and company owner, Bill Osborne.

The story of the OUNCE’s invention is tragic. After the inventors relative was raped at home was inspired to create this pistol. Bill set about using his experience as a mechanical engineer to create a solution to the common issues with CCW pistols: reliability, safety, weight, and printing (showing the shape of a gun on your clothing). Bill designed a pistol that could fold into a wallet sized profile that could easily be carried and deployed without the need of a specialized carry holster.

In its folded state, the OUNCE is 4.75″ x 3.85″ and about an inch thick, which is about the size of a Beretta Bobcat. But unlike that classic pocket gun, the OUNCE is a 1/4lb lighter, holds 3 more rounds, and has a normal length grip. In addition, in its folded state the OUNCE presents a silhouette that looks nothing like a gun.

A folding self-defense pistol isn’t new. The LIFECARD 22LR folding pistol is about the same size as the OUNCE but the LIFECARD is a single-shot .22LR weapon that requires a manual reload. Unless you’re 100% sure of your aim, using a one-shot gun is problematic. The OUNCE carries 10+1 rounds of 22LR is a quantum leap in terms of firepower and assurance when used for self-defense.

Like many, I was a bit dubious of this pistol’s reliability due to the OUNCE’s unconventional design. It’s mostly polymer body seemed almost toy-like. The action and internal magazine are unique with an almost vertical loading of the cartridges.

Because it is chambered for .22LR, I asked about the manual of arms for emergency clearing of a dud round. Folding and unfolding the handle manually clears any cartridge in the chamber and loads the next round in the magazine. With a bit of practice, this can accomplished in about the same time as racking and clearing a slide; which isn’t all that easy either given the size of conventional micro-compact pistols. As with all CCW firearms, practice and familiarity and vital for reliable use.

Legal restrictions on CCW sized pistols varies widely by municipality, so be sure to check all of your local laws before ordering. The pistol is not cheap at around $900. It’s not a Glock being churned out by the thousands in a factory. All the guns are made by the inventor in his workshop and so are essentially, a made-to-order custom gun. Currently this pistol is available directly from Third Bay

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Tom "Moondog" DelMundo is an award-winning copywriter and art director with over a decade of Madison Avenue experience.

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