|Best Overall Concealed Carry Gun – Sig P365 XL|
|Best Value for Your Money – Glock 43|
|Most Comfortable Grip for Concealed Carry – Glock 48|
|S&W M&P Shield EZ|
|Heckler & Koch USP Compact .45|
|Glock 23 Gen 5 Semi-Automatic Pistol|
|Ruger LCR 357 Revolver|
|Glock 29 Subcompact Pistol|
|Ruger LCP II .380 ACP Pistol|
|Beretta Model 21A Bobcat .22 LR Pistol|
|Kimber Micro 9|
|Ruger MAX-9 9mm Micro-Compact Pistol|
|Bond Bullpup 9|
|FN 509 Midsize|
|Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP|
|Taurus GX4 9mm|
|Mossberg MC2c 9mm|
|Smith & Wesson CSX Pistol|
|Stoeger STR-9 Compact|
|Wilson EDC X9S|
|Kimber EVO SP|
|Ruger Security 9|
I narrowed the best concealed carry guns down to a list of 24 options and found the Sig P365 XL to be the best overall choice.
Finding the right concealed carry weapon isn’t always easy. You want to make the best pick based on your budget and specific concerns.
You need to pay attention to the size of the firearm. The length, weight, and caliber all impact your accuracy and comfort with the gun.
The Sig P365 XL is the ideal size for most individuals. It has a barrel length of 3.1 inches and weighs just 18 ounces, making it easy to conceal. It’s chambered for 9mm rounds, which is a popular choice for concealed carry. For individuals with smaller hands, or women considering concealed carry, check out our recommendations on the best concealed carry guns for women.
While the Sig P365 XL is a great choice for most, it’s not the only choice. The following roundup includes 23 of the top concealed carry pistols and a buying guide to help you pick the best one for you.
Keep reading to compare our list of the best concealed carry guns.
24 Best Concealed Carry Guns
1. Best Overall Concealed Carry Gun – Sig P365 XL
The Sig P365 XL is often overlooked for concealed carry in favor of its slightly smaller predecessor. However, the P365 XL is the better choice for concealed carry for most individuals.
The XL version of the Sig P365 features a taller, more comfortable grip and extended beavertail. The barrel is also longer, measuring 3.1 inches instead of 2.5 inches, which helps with accuracy.
Despite its larger size, the P365 XL remains small enough for concealed carry. It is a compact pistol that weighs just 18 ounces yet has a 12+1 round capacity with a standard magazine. The extended magazine increases the capacity to 15+1.
Sig Sauer also released several variations of the P365 XL, including the Romeo Zero version, which comes with a Romeo Zero red dot sight pre-installed. The red dot sight further aids your accuracy, especially in low-light situations.
Overall, the Sig P365 XL offers the best balance of dependability, accuracy, and power. It is small, comfortable to hold, and should hold up for a lifetime with proper maintenance.
- Great accuracy and reliability
- Lightweight design
- Large capacity
- Available with a red dot sight pre-installed
- 9mm may be too small of a caliber for some
2. Best Value for Your Money – Glock 43
The Glock 43 comes from a trusted manufacturer of cost-efficient handguns. It was the first single stack 9mm developed by Glock. It also offers a great value for your money, as it tends to cost much less compared to the other top picks.
The Glock 43 fires 9mm rounds and has a 7-round capacity. The gun has an overall length of 6.26 inches and a barrel length of 3.39 inches. It is one of the smallest, lightest subcompact pistols on the market.
While the gun has a limited capacity, it offers several advantages, including an affordable price tag and reliable design.
The G43 also has a thin profile. It measures just 1 inch wide. The thin profile makes the gun more concealable. However, individuals with large hands may find the grip a little small.
If you’re set on a Glock, check out our list of the best Glocks for concealed carry.
- Great value for your money
- Compact, lightweight design
- Narrow profile for increased concealability
- Only has a 7-round capacity
3. Most Comfortable Grip for Concealed Carry – Glock 48
The Glock 48 shares many features with the Glock 43, including a single stack 9mm design. However, the 48 offers a larger capacity and slightly longer barrel. The barrel measures 4.17 inches long, which can provide greater accuracy compared to the shorter barrel on the Glock 43.
The latest version of the Glock 48 is the G48 Black, which combines features from the Gen5 and Slimline series. For example, it has the same type of frame found in the Gen5 series with the shorter trigger distance found in the Slimline Series.
The gun is designed for increased comfort and balance with a versatile grip that should suit almost any user.
The capacity is 10+1 rounds. Yet, the Glock 48 weighs just 2 ounces more than the Glock 43. If you like the Glock 43 but want a larger capacity, the Glock 48 is a top choice.
Check out our Glock 48 review if you want to learn everything about it.
- Includes a comfortable, easy-to-operate design
- Shorter trigger distance for smaller hands
- Durable, reliable components
- The trigger can be slightly difficult to pull
4. Easiest Pistol to Rack – S&W M&P Shield EZ
The S&W M&P Shield EZ features the company’s intuitive hammer-fired design. It significantly reduces the amount of pressure needed to rack the slide, making it more comfortable for those with less hand strength.
Users of all hand sizes and strengths should find the M&P Shield EZ comfortable to hold, rack, and shoot. The magazine design also makes the Shield EZ easy to reload.
The gun ships with two magazines. The magazines have a 9-round capacity. Overall, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ is the safest, simplest gun to operate, making it a top choice for those purchasing their first concealed carry handgun.
The gun also has low recoil, which is great for anyone with limited arm strength and new gun owners. The only issues include the limited capacity and lackluster accuracy.
You can find more accurate pistols out there, which may not be an issue for close-range shooting, returning fire, or providing cover. The M&P Shield EZ is designed for rapid firing with decent performance at this price point.
- Less recoil
- Easy to rack and reload
- Decent overall value
- Not the most accurate pistol
5. Best .45 ACP Concealed Carry Pistol – Heckler & Koch USP Compact .45
The Heckler & Koch USP Compact .45 is one of the more powerful choices, as it fires .45 ACP rounds. The design is based on H&K’s full-sized USP pistols.
The grip is a little longer compared to most concealed carry pistols, which people with larger hands may find more comfortable. It also features a lightweight polymer frame, which helps keep the weight down.
Along with the .45 Auto version, you can get the USP Compact chambered in .40 S&W or 9mm x 19. Both alternatives include larger capacities.
With the .45 rounds, you get an 8-round capacity with a standard magazine. The .40 S&W and 9mm versions have a capacity of 10 rounds.
The H&K USP Compact .45 is a reliable pistol, but it’s also relatively costly. If you don’t mind the price, the H&K USP Compact is a dependable concealed carry gun with a crisp trigger and comfortable grip.
- Available in powerful .45 ACP rounds
- Includes a lightweight design
- The long grip is great for people of all hand sizes
- One of the more expensive options
6. Best .40 S&W Concealed Carry Gun – Glock 23 Gen 5 Semi-Automatic Pistol
The Glock 23 is based on the Glock 19 but features .40 S&W rounds. The .40 S&W rounds provide more power, which also adds to the recoil of the pistol.
The Glock 23 has a standard capacity of 13 rounds. You get a larger capacity compared to most options in this list. However, the extended magazines increase the capacity to 15 or 17 rounds.
The overall length is 6.85 inches while the barrel length is 4.01-inches. The weight of the gun is 23.65 ounces. It’s not too light or heavy. It’s just right for concealed carry inside or outside your waistband but may not fit easily in a pocket or boot.
The recoil is significant when compared to other concealed carry pistols with lower caliber rounds. If you can handle the recoil, the Glock 23 is a top choice for those who want a powerful concealed carry pistol.
- More power compared to 9mm pistols
- Includes a large magazine capacity
- Good value for your money
- Produces significant recoil
7. Best Concealed Carry Revolver – Ruger LCR 357 Revolver
The Ruger LCR is one of the best concealed carry revolvers available, no matter which version you choose. However, the .357 version provides the most power.
The snub-nose version measures just 6.5 inches long. The revolver weighs just 13 ounces and has a barrel length of 1.87 inches. With the .357 rounds, it is not the most accurate concealed carry gun. However, it is also one of the most powerful choices.
The Ruger LCR is also a good choice for those who want to holster their weapon somewhere other than the waistband. The compact design makes it easier to holster in a pocket, shoulder strap, or boot.
The gun weighs 17.1 ounces when loaded and has a capacity of 5 rounds. It also features a stainless-steel frame with a matte black finish.
The gun is easy to service and should last a lifetime with proper care. It’s not great for mid-range shooting but should stop anyone at close range.
- One of the lightest concealed carry guns
- Easy to conceal anywhere on your body
- Chambered in .357 rounds (most powerful for concealed carry)
- Limited capacity
8. Best 10mm Concealed Carry Gun – Glock 29 Subcompact Pistol
The Glock 29 Gen4 subcompact pistol comes chambered in 10mm rounds, which is not a common choice for concealed carry weapons. The rounds are slightly more powerful compared to .40 S&W and 9mm rounds, but also larger, which limits the total capacity of the handgun.
While some Glock pistols include a capacity of a dozen or more rounds, the Glock 29 holds 10+1 rounds.
The Glock 29 is a subcompact that was first introduced in 1996. It was made for self-defense, but the lightweight design also made it a top choice for concealed carry. The main drawback is the weight of the gun.
The gun also weighs 32.6 ounces when loaded, which makes it one of the heaviest concealed carry guns on this list. It also lacks a manual safety. However, it’s also one of the few options for those who want a 10mm concealed carry pistol.
- Powerful concealed carry handgun
- Comfortable, secure grip
- Reliable and accurate design
- Built to last
- One of the heaviest concealed carry pistols
9. Best .380 ACP Concealed Carry – Walther PPK
The Walther PPK is a classic, first released in 1930 and made famous by James Bond. It is also a great choice for concealed carry. You can get the Walther PPK chambered for .380 ACP rounds and a 7-round capacity in a compact design.
The PPK has a length of just 6.1 inches. The barrel length is 3.3 inches. The gun is incredibly comfortable to hold, even if it weighs a little more compared to some of the other choices.
The Walther PPK features a metal frame. You can get lighter guns with heavier calibers. However, the .380 ACP rounds paired with the metal frame give this gun greater balance, which helps with accuracy and recoil.
Few other compact pistols provide the same accuracy or ability to retain their value. However, some people find that the trigger is a little heavy. You may also find that the slide is a little difficult to pull back.
- A good balance for increased accuracy
- Minimal recoil for a .380 ACP handgun
- Durable design that should last a lifetime
- The slide and trigger may seem a little stiff
- Not the most affordable firearm
The Ruger LCP II is a good alternative to the Walther PPK for those who want a more affordable .380 concealed carry pistol. The LCP II measures 5.17 inches long and has a barrel length of 2.75 inches, and weighs just 10.6 ounces when unloaded.
The LCP II is much smaller compared to the Walther PPK but chambered for the same 380 ACP rounds. The LCP is lighter due to the black polymer grip and frame instead of stainless steel. The design is lighter, which means that you will notice more recoil.
The LCP II has a capacity of 6+1 rounds. The capacity is small, but you are packing larger rounds. The gun was made specifically for concealed carry and can be worn in a variety of spots. Instead of your waistband, you can tuck it in a boot or pocket.
Due to the smaller size of the gun, some people may not find the grip comfortable. However, the texturing on the grip and backstrap should help you maintain a solid hold on the gun no matter the size of your hands.
- A textured grip helps prevent slippage
- One of the lightest .380 ACP pistols
- Suitable for concealed carry in waistband, boot, or pocket
- Only has a 7-round capacity
If you want a lightweight concealed carry firearm with minimal recoil, consider getting the Beretta Model 21A Bobcat chambered for .22 LR rounds. This small pistol is ultra-concealable, as it has a barrel length of just 2.4 inches and an overall length of 4.9 inches.
The gun features a solid steel bar slide and an aluminum frame. The Bobcat is highly durable and safe to operate. It’s incredibly unlikely to jam, thanks to its tip-up barrel design. The barrel lifts upward, allowing you to safely clear the pistol or check the chamber.
The gun is durable and lightweight, but not very powerful for suited for mid-range shots. The .22 LR rounds are the smallest choice, which reduces recoil and stopping power. If you are more concerned about accuracy compared to creating a large wound, you may prefer this little gun.
- Includes a durable stainless-steel slide
- Corrosion resistant parts
- Tip-up barrel design for safer operation
- Measures just 4.9 inches long
- The compact size reduces the accuracy
12. Kimber Micro 9
The Kimber Micro 9 is a 9mm hammer-fired pistol. You need to pull the hammer back before firing the first round. However, many people holster this gun cocked and loaded.
The design closely resembles the Colt Mustang but stands out due to its lightweight construction. It weighs 15.6 ounces and has a barrel length of 3.15 inches.
The gun is lightweight but remains comfortable to hold and shoot. It never feels too light and the recoil isn’t too bad.
While the Kimber Micro 9 offers many advantages, it also comes with potential drawbacks. It may occasionally unintentionally eject magazines or cause the slide to lock while firing. However, these issues are rare and may be due to a lack of maintenance.
Overall, the Kimber Micro 9 is reasonably priced and performs as expected for a gun in the same price range. The compact design allows you to hide it anywhere on your body.
- Comfortable grip
- Sturdy, lightweight design
- Small enough to hide just about anywhere
- Not the most reliable handgun
The Ruger MAX-9 is a micro-compact 9mm pistol with a large capacity. It holds 12+1 rounds and weighs just 18.4 ounces when loaded. The overall length is 6 inches, the barrel length is 3.2 inches, and the height is 4.52 inches.
The width is 0.95 inches. It’s a slim gun. If you have large hands, you may find yourself struggling to get a comfortable grip. Those with smaller hands should find that the Ruger MAX-9 fits like a glove.
The gun also comes equipped with fiber optic night sights. The red dot sight allows for faster target acquisition and greater accuracy. The gun is also available with or without a manual safety.
The MAX-9 is compact but holds more rounds compared to most of the earlier choices. It also has limited recoil. If you’re looking for your first concealed carry weapon, this may be the perfect option.
The drawback is the durability of the gun. The glass-filed nylon frame may not hold up for decades, especially if your gun gets a lot of use.
- Comfortable grip for those with smaller hands
- Holds a decent number of rounds for a micro-compact pistol
- Comes with fiber optic sights
- Not the most durable concealed carry gun
14. Kahr CM9
The Kahr CM9 is a top recommendation for those concerned about the weight of the gun. The CM9 weighs just 14 ounces, making it one of the lightest options for a 9mm concealed carry pistol.
The Kahr CM9 is also available in larger calibers. You can choose from .40 S&W and .45 ACP versions if you want more stopping power, but these options add more weight to the gun.
Kahr is not the most recognizable gun manufacturer, as the company started making guns less than 30 years ago. However, the CM9 is a quality firearm designed for concealed carry.
The width is just under one inch. The length is just under 6 inches. The compact size makes it convenient to conceal anywhere on your body.
The gun performs well on the range, but some of the heavier guns are likely to provide greater accuracy. The trigger pull is also relatively heavy, which may be an issue for those with weak grip strength or smaller hands.
Check out our Kahr CM9 review for more information.
- One of the lightest pistols
- The gun is short and narrow, making it easy to conceal
- Affordable concealed carry gun
- Relatively heavy trigger pull
- It may not offer the greatest accuracy
15. Bond Bullpup 9
The Bond Bullpup 9 is one of the shortest guns on this list. It has an overall length of just over 5 inches and a barrel length of 3.35 inches.
Due to the compact design of the gun, the manufacturers had to develop a unique method for chambering the 9mm rounds. The chambering mechanism pulls the round into the chamber, which can damage uncrimped ammo.
As long as you don’t use uncrimped ammo, the chambering mechanism shouldn’t pose an issue. The gun has a 7+1 capacity, which is not too high or low compared to other choices.
One potential drawback is the price, as the Bond Bullpup 9 costs about twice the cost of some of the budget recommendations. The Bullpup 9 is made by Bond Arms, which is a specialty gun manufacturer based in Granbury, Texas.
Bond Arms has made double-barreled derringers for just over two decades. The Bullpup is one of the company’s first forays into other types of pistols. The gun is not mass-produced, which adds to the cost and reliability.
- Highly dependable and durable design
- Compact size for concealment just about anywhere
- Lightweight and comfortable to carry
- Limited capacity
- Does not work with uncrimped ammo
16. FN 509 Midsize
The FN 509 Midsize Pistol was designed for the Modular Handgun Competition held by the US Military. The gun has a longer barrel and longer grip compared to many other choices. The design gives you more control over the gun, allowing you to manage recoil better and reacquire your target faster after each shot.
The 509 also has one of the largest capacities. It can hold 15+1 9mm rounds. However, it weighs 26.5 ounces when unloaded and even more loaded. It’s one of the heaviest choices, which can be inconvenient when carrying a gun all day.
The overall length of 7.4 inches also makes this one of the longest choices for concealed carry. It may not fit in your boot or pocket. Some people may also find it too big to fit comfortably in their waistband.
However, if you don’t mind the larger size of this pistol, it’s a good choice for maintaining accuracy.
- Provides better recoil management and accuracy
- Offers a large 16-round capacity
- Reliable, durable construction
- One of the heaviest concealed carry pistols
The Springfield Armory Hellcat Rapid Defense Pistol (RDP) is a top pick for those who want the most capacity and the ability to rapidly fire more shots. It includes a 14-round capacity and comes equipped with a compensator.
The compensator automatically sends the gas from the cartridges to the sides as it travels through the muzzle, which helps eliminate muzzle lift.
The Hellcat RDP also comes with a red dot sight. The red dot sight adds to your accuracy and the speed of target acquisition. You can retarget faster after each shot.
The red dot sight is powered with a single CR2032 battery. The manufacturer claims it has a life of about 65,000 hours, which means that you may never need to replace the battery.
As with the FN 509 pistol, the Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP is a long pistol. It has an overall length of 7 inches and a barrel length of 3.8 inches. The longer barrel brings further improvement to the overall accuracy of this gun.
- Comes equipped with a red dot sight
- Offers superior accuracy and faster target acquisition
- High-quality, durable components
- Relatively large gun for concealed carry
18. Taurus GX4 9mm
The Taurus GX4 is another high-capacity pistol. It holds 12 rounds and includes a micro-compact design. The small frame makes it easy to conceal just about anywhere on your body.
The gun has an overall length of 6.05 inches and a barrel length of 3.06 inches. It weighs 18.5 ounces when unloaded.
The cost is also a reason to consider this pistol, as the Taurus GX4 costs about half of the price of most of the other recommendations. It’s an inexpensive pistol and the best choice for this price point but may not offer the same accuracy or longevity as the more expensive options.
The Taurus GX4 is designed for use with red dot sights. It includes the Taurus Optic Ready Option mounting system, which includes an optic-cut slide for red dot sights and a flush-mount slide cover plate for non-optic sights.
The gun is easy to disassemble. You can easily maintain this gun with regular cleaning.
- Comes ready for mounting a red dot sight
- The micro-compact design can fit almost anywhere
- Includes a simple design for easier disassembly and cleaning
- One of the cheapest concealed carry guns
- It is not durable
The Mossberg MC2c is another top recommendation for those who prefer a pistol with a larger capacity and affordable price tag. The cost and design are comparable to the Glock pistols on this list.
You get a 13+1 round capacity with a double stack magazine. If you use the extended magazine, the MC2c can hold 15+1 rounds.
The barrel measures just under 4 inches long. The gun is also lightweight. It weighs less than the Glock 19 and features a slimmer design but holds the same number of rounds.
The MC2c isn’t the most reliable or accurate gun. Most of the Glock pistols on this list offer greater accuracy and less recoil. However, the MC2c is economical and easy to maintain. You can quickly disassemble and clean this gun.
The fully loaded weight of just 21 ounces also makes this a comfortable gun to carry all day. It’s lightweight and highly concealable.
- Provides a large capacity
- One of the lighter concealed carry guns
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- Not the most accurate or reliable handgun
The Smith & Wesson CSX is one of the few hammer-fired pistols on this list, as most concealed carry guns feature striker-fired designs. While a striker-fired pistol is easier to fire, the hammer-fired design is considered safer and more reliable.
The gun is almost identical in size to the Kimber Micro 9 pistol and the Hellcat, both of which appear in this list. The gun has a micro-compact design with a height of just 4.6 inches.
It has an overall length of 6.1 inches and a barrel length of 3.1 inches. The weight is only 19.5 ounces. It’s a tiny 9mm micro pistol but surprisingly reliable and durable.
The gun includes a sturdy aluminum frame and interchangeable polymer grip panels. The panels feature an abrasive texture that helps you maintain your grip, even when your palms are sweaty. The gun also features an ambidextrous design for left-handed or right-handed operation.
The gun is also comfortable to shoot. It manages recoil well for a gun of its size, which should appeal to new gun owners or those who want the least amount of recoil in a concealed carry firearm.
- Limited recoil for more comfortable shooting
- Lightweight, micro-compact design for easier concealability
- Dependable, hammer-fired mechanism
- The slide may hit your hand after firing
The Stoeger STR-9 Compact (STR-9C) is one of the best budget concealed carry guns. It costs less compared to most of the other 9mm recommendations but includes many of the same features. You get a 13+1 round capacity in a compact design that closely resembles a Glock.
The 9mm striker-fired pistol includes many of the features that you want in a concealed carry gun, including an ergonomic grip and compact frame. The STR-9C was designed as a compact version of the STR-9, which was a popular full-size pistol manufactured by Stoeger.
While it’s a compact pistol, the Stoeger STR-9C is larger than most of the other options on this list. It has an overall length of 6.9 inches and a barrel length of 3.82 inches. It weighs 24 ounces when unloaded.
The main advantages of this gun include its price and capacity. However, it may show signs of wear and tear faster compared to other options due to its low-cost parts. It is one of the less expensive guns and holds 14 rounds.
- One of the most affordable choices
- Includes a 13+1 round capacity
- Easy to operate and clean
- The materials may not hold up as well to frequent use
22. Wilson EDC X9S
The Wilson EDC X9S is the most expensive concealed carry gun in this round-up, costing around three thousand dollars. The high-priced gun features exceptional craftsmanship that should last a lifetime. The pistol is based on the Wilson Combat EDC X9 but shrunk down for concealed use.
The original EDC X9 was itself based on the 1911. The EDX X9S is considered a hybrid that borrows features from both guns.
The shorter X9S version has an overall length of 6.75 inches and a barrel length of 3.25 inches. It has a height of 4.5 inches and a width of 1.25 inches.
The gun is short but heavy. It weighs a total of 34.3 ounces when loaded.
The slide is easy to access and rack. The racking action is smooth, which helps you get off more shots at a faster rate.
As one of the heaviest guns on this list, the Wilson EDC X9S may not work well for those with small hands or weak grips. However, everyone else should enjoy greater balance, as the heft of the gun helps cut down on recoil.
- Hefty gun with minimal recoil
- Reliable and durable design
- Compact and easy to conceal
- One of the heaviest choices
- The most expensive concealed carry gun
23. Kimber EVO SP
The EVO SP is the first striker-fired pistol from Kimber, as the company has specialized in hammer-fired pistols. The Kimber EVO SP features an aluminum frame and stainless-steel slide. The slide is finished in a deep black while the grip is available in a variety of finishes. The two-tone design stands out for its stylish look.
The pistol only has a capacity of 7+1 rounds. Many other 9mm options come with larger capacities if you prefer more rounds. However, the Kimber EVO SP remains a great choice due to its style, comfort, and durability.
The handles include heavy-duty G10 grip panels with a diamond-checkered backstrap. These features help you maintain a firm, comfortable grip and add to the overall style of the handgun.
Along with the standard version, the company sells a Custom Defense Package (CDP). The Kimber EVO SP (CDP) features a streamlined design to help improve your draw speed. The edges are curved to keep the gun from snagging on clothing or other materials.
- Durable components
- Streamlined finish to prevent snagging
- Short, compact design
- Easier concealability
- Limited magazine capacity
24. Ruger Security 9
The Ruger Security 9 was built as a competitor to the Glock 19. It holds 15 9mm rounds and weighs 23.8 ounces. It has a barrel length of 4 inches. You would expect the gun to take up more space, but it manages to fit inside the waistband without discomfort.
The Security 9 uses the same firing mechanism found in the Ruger LCP II, which appeared earlier in the roundup. Both guns have a smooth trigger pull. However, it is not the most durable firearm and may not hold up as long compared to some of the more expensive choices.
Instead of aluminum or polymer, the frame is made with glass-filled nylon material. The construction is lightweight but prone to damage if dropped.
The gun includes a manual thumb safety. The safety functions smoothly, but it’s a little on the small side, which may take some getting used to.
The Ruger Security 9 is best suited for those who want an affordable concealed carry firearm with a larger capacity and easy-to-use design.
- Includes a large 15-round capacity
- Smooth safety mechanism and trigger pull
- Easy to conceal
- Affordable price for a reliable handgun
- Not the most durable concealed carry handgun
How to Choose the Best Concealed Carry Gun
With 25 concealed carry pistols to choose from, you may not know which is the right option for you. Here are some of the things to pay attention to when comparing options:
The most important details when choosing a concealed carry firearm are related to size, starting with the caliber that the gun takes. Common choices, from smallest caliber to largest, include:
- .22 LR
- .380 ACP
- .40 S&W
- .45 ACP
- .38 SPL
- .357 MAG
9mm is the most common choice for concealed carry. It’s not the smallest or largest caliber, giving you a good balance between power and accuracy. You get less recoil compared to a larger caliber and more stopping power compared to a lower caliber.
Pay attention to the physical size of the gun. As explained in this video on choosing the best carry gun, the length and weight of the gun impact your comfort and accuracy. A smaller pistol is easier to conceal. A heavy, large pistol can also become cumbersome when worn on your body all day.
The overall length of the average concealed carry pistol is about 7.5 inches. The barrel length is often between 3 to 4 inches.
The average concealed carry pistol weighs around 1.5 pounds (24 ounces) loaded and just over 1 pound (16 ounces) unloaded. Heavier pistols can weigh 2 to 3 pounds. One or two pounds may not seem like a major difference, but it adds to your discomfort throughout the day.
Some people may feel safer with a firearm with a large capacity. However, most pistols are likely to hold more than just a few rounds, which should give you enough firepower to deal with a threat.
The capacity may also depend on the caliber of the pistol. A .357 MAG pistol may only hold 6 rounds, while a 9mm pistol is likely to hold more.
Glock, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, and Ruger are some of the biggest brands and household names. Choosing a gun from a reputable gun manufacturer with many decades of experience may give you greater peace of mind.
You can trust these companies to produce reliable handguns that can last a lifetime with proper care. However, many less recognizable brands also produce quality firearms.
A concealed carry gun may vary in cost from $200 to $1000 or more. Many low-cost pistols still offer the reliability that you need in a firearm. However, spending more on a pistol can provide greater accuracy.
The costliest pistols on the market feature precision engineering and manufacturing. Expensive firearms also tend to use more durable materials, such as using a slide made from milled steel instead of an injection molded slide.
What is the Best Way to Use a Concealed Carry Gun?
Concealed carry weapons are intended to be concealed on your body or within close proximity to your body, such as in a purse or travel bag.
Concealed carry firearms can also be concealed in several areas of the body, including:
Out of these options, most people choose to conceal their firearms around the waistband. The waistband is the traditional choice, as it allows you to draw the weapon easier compared to reaching your ankle or shoulder.
Inside the waistband (IWB) involves positioning the holster inside the waistband near the side of the hip. If you are right-handed, place the holster at about the 4 o’clock position. This method may reveal your handgun when you bend at the waist. Drawing from a seated position is also more difficult.
Outside the waistband (OWB) is typically used for open carry, as it involves securing the holster on the outside of your waistband. If you want to conceal your firearm, you need to wear a shirt or jacket that can cover your waist, which makes this option less discreet.
Appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) involves holstering the pistol near the 1 o’clock position. You can draw your pistol faster from a seated position. This position also makes it more difficult for someone to disarm you from behind.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Concealed Carry Gun?
Concealed carry allows you to discreetly carry your pistol just about anywhere you go. Concealed carry may give you a greater sense of security when in public.
While concealed carry has its advantages, it also comes with a few potential drawbacks. It takes longer to draw a concealed pistol compared to drawing a holstered open-carry pistol.
Many states also require a permit before you can conceal a firearm. A concealed carry permit can be time-consuming and costly, depending on where you live. However, you can often open carry without a permit, depending on where you live.
Concealed carry is also a controversial topic. Opponents believe that concealed carry increases the risk of violent confrontations. Proponents believe that concealed carry helps make everyone safer.
In the end, concealed carry is a right in all states and the preferred way for many people to carry a gun in public. If you want a concealed carry gun, you have a wide selection of high-quality firearms to choose from.
Out of the best concealed carry guns, the Sig P365 XL stands out as the top pick. It has the best combination of the features that you want in a concealed carry gun, including a compact, lightweight design with a surprisingly large capacity.
The Sig P365 XL is also a reliable handgun from a trusted manufacturer. However, you also have at least 22 other choices to consider.
Start comparing options and buy your next concealed carry gun today.