The use of firearms for self-defense is a divisive issue, with weapons, especially concealable ones, being easily misappropriated for wrong-doing. While we're reluctant to suggest adding more guns to the equation, the newly developed single-shot Palm Pistol does have some worthwhile qualities as a defensive weapon for non-aggressors.

In an adrenalin-charged self-defense scenario, a person untrained in the use of a firearm may be prone to a fatal error. They may fail to properly draw, ready and aim their weapon, or may simply miss. Due for release this year, the Palm Pistol is designed to give non-aggressors a better chance of surviving a violent attack.

As its name would suggest, the pistol sits snugly in the palm of the user's hand. It is intended for home defense, concealed carry or as a backup weapon and is fired by use of the thumb rather than the index finger via a "push" of between 9-10 pounds. The light pressure required to fire the weapon reduces "muzzle drift", or the unintentional moving of the muzzle away from the intended line of fire. This makes the Palm Pistol suitable for seniors or others who may have limited manual strength of dexterity. With dual independently operable grip safeties, chances of accidental discharge are negligible and its ergonomic design is suited for both left and right handed users. The pistol features a loaded chamber indicator and cocked striker indicator to ensure the user is aware of whether the weapon is ready for use.

Minus the optional picatinny rail, which is suited for the LaserLyte subcompact V2 laser site, extra round carrier or other accessories, the .38 special caliber weapon is extremely light with an unloaded weight of only 13.4 ounces.

The Palm Pistol can be used with the Tri-Plex™ .38 special cartridge, which features three stacked conical projectiles which separate and tumble upon firing. This greatly increases the chances that an aggressor will be prevented from inflicting harm on their victim (and lets face it, with only one shot available, one would certainly hope so).

The Palm Pistol® prototype has been subjected to extensive endurance testing with production expected to begin in late 2011.