A Comprehensive Guide to the 10 Best Concealed Carry Guns

A Comprehensive Guide to the 10 Best Concealed Carry Guns

If you want to start a good argument among gun enthusiasts, try to get an agreement on the best concealed carry gun on the market. That is guaranteed to get the discussion going, and it will probably carry on for a while.

There are thousands of options. The choices often hinge on personal preferences in frame and grip style, caliber, and capacity. It is hard to please everyone. Deciding which gun to carry concealed should be made with a lot of thought. It’s a decision on which your life may ultimately depend. 

This list of concealed carry guns is not ranked or prioritized. These are what are considered across the industry as the ten best concealed carry guns on the market. You should base your choice on your personal preferences and needs.

The Ten Best Concealed Carry Guns. The ten best concealed carry guns are:

  • Glock G43X
  • Kahr PM9 Covert
  • Kimber EVO SP CDP
  • Sig Sauer P320X
  • Smith and Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ
  • Springfield Armory XDE
  • Ruger LCP II
  • Glock G19X
  • Ruger LC9
  • Ruger LCRx

This list is by no means exhaustive. Research across a wide variety of websites shows that these models are among the favorites with those who conceal carry. Features and options can radically affect both the cost and the function of any of these guns. How you accessorize your concealed carry gun can also affect both the price and the function.

What to Consider When Choosing a Concealed Carry Gun

Before you start making decisions about which concealed carry gun is for you, there are other things to consider. You need to think about many other things before you make that purchase. The goal is to find the concealed carry gun that best fits your needs.

Consider You

You bring to the table several variables that come into play when considering what gun to carry concealed. There are five things you should think about before deciding on a concealed carry gun.

  • Experience – You experience as a shooter is part of your consideration in what concealed carry gun you choose. Experience with the gun, experience in shooting, and situational training are all important. Your comfort with the gun you intend to conceal carry is integral to your decision.
  • Body size – Body size must be considered from several perspectives. Obviously, a person weighing one hundred pounds can easily and effectively conceal a far smaller concealed carry gun than a person weighing 200 lbs.  The caliber choice is also affected by body mass. The size and recoil of the concealed carry gun is an important factor in choosing the gun.
  • Day to day routine – Do you normally wear casual, loose-fitting clothing, or does your job require you to wear a suit and tie.  Women may face even larger challenges in concealed carry on their person due to fashion choices. The way you will conceal your carry gun is a consideration from the beginning of the process.
  • Budget – Face it, most of us have budget constraints. How much can you spend on a concealed carry gun? We would all like to afford the top of the line models, but reality is that most of us have to operate within a budget. It’s the old “most bang for the buck” conundrum. (pun intended)
  • How are you going to carry? – Do you intend to carry inside the waistband, outside the waistband, kidney carry, small of the back, cross draw, or will you carry in a specially designed bag or purse? These can all influence your decision on what concealed carry gun to purchase.

Caliber Considerations

Almost as hot a topic as what gun to conceal carry is the debate over caliber. With the introduction of compact and subcompact pistols in larger calibers, this topic gets more and more heated. The most popular choices are:

  •  .45 ACP
  •  9mm
  •  .40SW
  • .357
  • .38 Special
  • .380

In times past, the bigger the caliber, the bigger the gun. This rule is no longer so applicable. Newer metal alloys have allowed smaller and smaller guns in the larger calibers. Many favor the concept of bigger is better in caliber choice. Other considerations factor into the decision.

Recoil management and ability to come back on target is an important skill. Larger calibers, particularly in smaller lighter gun frames, tend to have exaggerated recoil making recoil management and target re-acquisition more difficult.

Smaller calibers may not offer the penetration and stopping power of the larger calibers. However, the reduced recoil makes it easier to manage and perform target re-acquisition. The ability to put rounds on target in high-stress situations is always a concern.

Make your caliber choices as part of an overall process taking into consideration the other parts of choosing a concealed carry gun.

The Guns

The guns in this list were chosen based on reputation, availability, and functionality. They all score high on all three counts among shooters and trainers across the country. Whichever concealed carry gun you chose, it should fit your needs. 

Glock G43X

  • Caliber: 9×19 mm
  • Weight (loaded): 23.07 oz.
  • Magazine capacity: 10 rounds
  • Trigger pull: 24 N
  • Overall length: 6.06 inches
  • Height (including magazine): 5.04 inches
  • Width (slide): 0.87 inches
  • Overall width: 1.10 inches
  • Action: Single

Source: Glock

Kahr PM9 Covert

  • Caliber: 9×19 mm or 40SW
  • Weight (loaded): 15.90 oz
  • Magazine capacity: 7+1 (8+1 with magazine extension)
  • Trigger pull: Not available
  • Overall length: 5.42 inches
  • Height (including magazine): 4.5 inches
  • Width (slide): 0.90 inches
  • Overall width: Not available 
  • Action: Trigger Cocking DOA

Source: Kahr Firearms Group

Kimber EVO SP CDP

  • Caliber: 9×19 mm
  • Weight (loaded): 19 oz.
  • Magazine capacity: 7
  • Trigger pull: 6.0 – 7.0
  • Overall length: 6.1 inches
  • Height (including magazine): 4.03 inches
  • Width (slide): Not available
  • Overall width: 1.06 inches
  • Action: Premium Aluminum

Source: Kimber

Sig Sauer P320X

  • Caliber: 9×19 mm
  • Weight (loaded): 25.3 oz. 
  • Magazine capacity: 15 rounds
  • Trigger pull: Not available
  • Overall length: 7.0
  • Height (including magazine): 5.3 inches
  • Width (slide): Not available
  • Overall width: 1.30 inches
  • Action: Striker

Source: SigSauer

Smith and Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ

  • Caliber: 380 Auto
  • Weight (loaded): 18.5 oz.
  • Magazine capacity: 8
  • Trigger pull: Not available
  • Overall length: 6.7 inches
  • Height (including magazine): 4.9 inches
  • Width (slide): Not available
  • Overall width: 1.07 inches
  • Action: Single action only

Source: Smith & Wesson 

Springfield Armory XDE

  • Caliber: 9 mm and 45 ACP
  • Weight (loaded): 25 oz.
  • Magazine capacity: 8
  • Trigger pull: Not available
  • Overall length: 6.75 inches
  • Height (including magazine): 5 inches
  • Grip width: 1 inch
  • Overall width: Not available
  • Action: Double/Single action

Source: Springfield Armory 

Ruger LCP II

  • Caliber: 9 mm
  • Weight (loaded): 10.6 oz.
  • Magazine capacity: 7
  • Trigger pull: Not available
  • Overall length: 5.17 inches
  • Height (including magazine): 3.71 inches
  • Width (slide): 0.75 inches
  • Overall width: Not available
  • Action: Single

Source: Ruger 

Glock G19X

  • Caliber: 9 mm
  • Weight (loaded): 24.83 oz.
  • Magazine capacity: 17
  • Trigger pull: 26 N
  • Overall length: 7.44 inches
  • Height (including magazine):5.47 inches 
  • Width (slide): 1.00 inches
  • Overall width: 1.30 inches
  • Action: Single

Source: Glock

Ruger LC9

  • Caliber: 9 mm
  • Weight (loaded): 17.2 oz.
  • Magazine capacity: 7
  • Trigger pull: Not available
  • Overall length: 6 inches
  • Height (including magazine): 4.50 inches
  • Width (slide): Not available
  • Overall width: 0.90 inches
  • Action: Single

Source: Ruger

Ruger LCRx

  • Caliber: 38 SPL+P
  • Weight (loaded): 13.5 oz.
  • Magazine capacity: 5
  • Trigger pull: Not available
  • Overall length: 6.50 inches
  • Height (including magazine): 4.50 inches
  • Width (slide): Not available
  • Overall width: Not available
  • Action: Double 

Source: Ruger

Making Your Decision

Moving forward with your choice of a concealed carry gun, you should further research for yourself. Talk to other gun owners who conceal carry and ask their advice. Visit a reputable firearms dealer and get their opinions and advice. 

When you have settled on three or four guns, visit a local gun range that offers gun rentals and shoot your choices. Feel them, ask if you can test them with holsters to see how they ride and conceal. Finally, shoot them. Put rounds downrange. Some guns seem to be a natural fit in your hand and to your eye.

Whatever choice you make, train. Shoot regularly. Take classes and work with qualified instructors. Carrying concealed is a lot more complicated than getting the piece of paper from the state and tucking a holster into your pants or purse.

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