Magnificent 7 — Pistols for Concealed Carry

By Dave Dolbee published on in General

If there is one category readers of The Shooter’s Log can all get interested about, it is an interest in the best pistols for concealed carry. However, if there is one thing likely to cause an argument, it is which pistols are best for concealed carry. Our staff threw in a few of favorites, but feel free to make your case for the pistols we missed.

Let’s face it, if I put together a list of the top 20, 50, or even 100 pistols, I would leave somebody’s favorite off the list. That’s not a reflection on yours truly, as it is a nod to the manufacturers and all of the great guns on the market today. That being said, here’s my list of some of the hottest new pistols for concealed carry on my wishlist, but you are free to make a case for your favorites in the comment section.

Rex Zero 1 Compact

AREX Rex Zero compact

The Rex Zero compact is an attractive handgun.

The new Rex Zero 1 CP Compact 9mm pistol, like the Standard model, takes its design cues from the classic SIG Sauer pistol with some interesting modifications. The pistol operates using a modified Browning linkless locking system with a barrel that locks into the slide’s ejection port. The Rex Zero 1 CP, much like the Glock 19, has been trimmed down just a bit to make it more comfortable to carry. The barrel and grip frame are both about half an inch shorter, the magazine holds 15 rounds instead of 17, and the unloaded pistol is about 2 oz. lighter.

Specifications and Features:
AREX Rex Zero 1CP
Compact Semi Automatic Handgun
DA/SA – Double Action/Single Action
9mm Luger
3.85″ Cold Hammer Forged Barrel
15 Round Capacity
T7075 Aluminum Frame
Stainless Steel Slide
Front and Rear Serrations
Loaded Chamber Indicator
Slide Stop and De-Cocker
Ambidextrous Magazine Release and Safety
MIL-STD 1913 Accessory Rail
Fixed 3-Dot Sights
Black Synthetic Grips
Two Tone Finish
OD Green Frame with Black Slide
Overall Length 7.1″
Height 5.1″
Width 0.98″(Top) 1.1″(Bottom)
Weight 25.12 oz

Glock 19x

Glock 19x profile right on a bed of spent cartridge cases

The foundation of Glock’s reputation is reliability.

The Glock 19X was a product of the U.S. Army competition for a new service gun. The 19X is clearly a reliable and rugged handgun, no need to test Glock again in that regard. The Glock 19X has the features of the Generation Glock, including the new Marksman barrel, nPVD slide finish, ambidextrous slide stop levers, and reversible magazine release.

The Generation 4 finger grooves have been eliminated. The Glock 19X features the military lanyard loop, and is finished in coyote brown. This makes for a very attractive handgun. The sights are self-luminous iron sights—an important addition. In a day when many makers supply a handgun with a single magazine, the Glock 19X is delivered with two 19-round magazines—17 round magazines with the Glock +2 spacer—and a single flush fit 17-round magazine. That is a lot of ammunition on hand.

Glock 19X
Capacity 17/19/33
Length 7.44 inches
Height 5.47 inches
Barrel Length 4.02 inches
Weight 24.83 ounces unloaded
Caliber 9mm

S&W Shield 2.0

Smith & Wesson compact M&P Shield 2.0 with Crimson Trace laser

Smith & Wesson The compact M&P Shield 2.0 now comes with a Crimson Trace laser.

The reality of protection is that you never know when you’ll need it. We took the power and features of our full sized M&P pistols and put them into a slim, lightweight pistol the size of your hand. The M&P Shield 2.0 is an easy to conceal pistol that offers professional grade features with simple operation and reliable performance day or night. One million Shield owners can’t be wrong.


  • Incorporates the design features of the M&P M2.0 line of firearms
  • Aggressive grip texture for enhanced control
  • New M&P M2.0 crisp trigger with lighter trigger pull
  • Tactile and audible trigger reset
  • Extremely thin and lightweight – can be comfortably carried all day
  • M&P’s patented take-down lever and sear deactivation systems allow for disassembly without pulling the trigger
  • Includes 2 magazines:
    • One 7-round magazine
    • One 8-round extended grip magazine
  • Optimal 18-degree grip angle for natural point of aim
  • Armornite durable corrosion resistant finish
  • Backed by Smith & Wesson’s Lifetime Service Policy

Springfield Armory XD Mod.2 Subcompact

Springfield Armory XD and XD Mod.2 together

The Mod.2 will be available in either 9mm or .40 S&W with a 3-inch barrel.

Springfield Armory continues to raise the bar and up the ante by continuing to produce some of the worlds finest firearms. Fueled by the same obsession for improved manufacturing techniques and cutting edge design that inspired the likes of John C. Garand, and John Browning Springfield Continues to develop products that are true to their heritage while continuing to innovate and represent the progression of American firearms.

Specifications and Features:
Springfield Armory XD Mod.2 Sub-Compact
.45 ACP
3.3″ Forged Steel Barrel with Melonite Finish
1:16″ Twist
9 Round Flush Fit Magazine
Captive Recoil Spring with Full Length Guide Rod
Fiber Optic Front Sight
Low Profile Combat Rear Sights
Polymer Frame
Grip Width 1.20″
Overall Length 6.50″
Overall Height 4.75″ with flush magazine
Overall Weight 26 ounces with flush Magazine (with empty magazine)
Matte Black

SIG Sauer P320 Subcompact

SIG Sauer P320 Subcompact

Sig Sauer P320 Sub-Compact 9mm with night sights, Nitron finish, Striker Fired DAO Trigger, and railed grip module. Comes with three 12RD magazines and kydex holster.

The SIG Sauer P320 Subcompact is the newest iteration of SIG Sauer’s fantastic line up of striker fired pistols that are well suited for duty, defense, competition, and concealed carry. This lightweight, durable, and accurate pistol is built from the ground up to address the needs of those that go into harm’s way on a daily basis, offering all of the features needed on a defense pistol. This versatile semi auto is going to be a welcome addition to any EDC rotation offering shooters the ultimate defensive pistol.

Specifications and Features:
SIG Sauer P320 Subcompact
9mm Luger
3.6″ Barrel
12 Rounds
Polymer Frame
Black Finish
Nitron finish slide
Interchangeable polymer grips
3-point take down safety system
Disconnect safety
Striker safety
Accessory rail
Contrast Sights
Two 12-round magazines
24.9 oz
6.7″ Overall Length
4.7″ Height
Stainless Steel Slide
Striker Fired Trigger

Ruger LCR

Picture shows a Ruger LCRx, a small revolver with exposed hammer.

Constructed of a mix of 7000-series aluminum, stainless steel and polymer, the LCRx has a changeable Hogue Tamer Monogrip, matte black finish and weighs only 13.50 ounces.

The Ruger Lightweight Compact Revolver, or LCR for short, is well renowned for being a strong and powerful ally. The monolithic frame is made from 400 Series Stainless Steel. The high strength stainless steel cylinder is extensively fluted and features a PVD finish. A Hogue Tamer Monogrip provides ample cushioning of your hand while also effectively reducing felt recoil. The Ruger LCR is packed with the latest technological advances and features required by today’s most demanding shooters.

Specifications and Features:
Ruger LCR Double Action Revolver
.357 Magnum
1.87″ barrel
1:16″ RH twist, 6 grooves
5 round Capacity
Patented Friction Reducing Cam
Non-Stacking Trigger Pull
Polymer Fire Control Housing
Hogue Tamer Monogrip
U-Notch Integral Rear Sight
Monolithic Frame made from 400 Series Stainless Steel
Overall Length 6.50″
Overall Height 4.50
Overall Weight 17.1oz
Black Finish

Kimber K6s

Kimber K6s with a speedloader inserted into the cylinder

With practice the K6s is fast to reload with the HKS speed loader.

The K6s primary innovation is an impossibly thin, six-shot cylinder. This six-shot .357 Magnum revolver is less than 1.5 inches wide. The cylinders are countersunk, in the classic style for safety. To aid in cylinder rotation, the case rim doesn’t drag on the recoil shield. The Kimber is a double-action only design with a humped-grip frame that aids in hand fit and in controlling the handgun.

When the revolver is loaded, the cartridges are visible to one side of the recoil shield. The action is very smooth and breaks at about 9.5 pounds. The DAO press is short and fast. The most noticeable advantage over other revolvers is in the high profile sights. These sights are far superior to the simple trough found on many revolvers. The three dot sights also feature the optional tritium inserts. I have often stated that short barrel handguns need good sights—perhaps more than full size handguns. A short sight radius may make good shooting more difficult and good sights are at a premium. The K6 is the lightest and smallest six-shot, .357 Magnum revolver ever designed and manufactured.

While these are all great choices for concealed carry, we know there are several others. Give us your top choices and why in the comment section.

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The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (31)

  • Dennis A. Muirhead


    How about a S & W Model 340 PD, 5 shot .357 mag. at 11.8 oz. ?


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