Concealed Carry

Top 10 Best Selling Concealed Carry Handguns

Warm or cold weather, fashion, tactical considerations and personal preferences will all play into your decision when choosing a handgun for concealed carry.

When first asked to put together a Top 10 list of handguns for CCW, my mind immediately went to my personal choices. Note, I wrote choices. As a personal recommendation, I would not recommend switching your primary concealed carry weapon any more than is absolutely necessary.

As a gun writer, I often find new firearms in my hands to test. As a gun for concealed carry, it would not make much sense to only put it in an OWB (outside the waistband) holster, take it to the range, shoot a few rounds and recommend you, the reader, buy it for concealed carry. That being said, I do not simply slap a strange firearm on my hip and start walking around as a test either.

First, I familiarize myself with the firearm. Next, I spend several days of dry fire practice to familiarize myself with the controls and trigger. Once comfortable, I begin working with the pistol from a holster and concealment. During this time, I use a snap cap or laser cartridge to practice clearing a malfunction. This is the minimum preparation before I consider carrying a new or unfamiliar firearm. Even then, for the first several outings, I most often carry a backup gun (BUG) or carry the new firearm as a BUG. Anyone who has read my previous writing will quickly discover that my primary EDC is a SIG 288 that I have been carrying since the mid ’90s. Stress in a life or death situation is no time to test whether you developed sufficient muscle memory with a new gun.

Ideally, you want to select a handgun that is easily concealable when wearing a t-shirt and shorts or a heavy parka. Remember, although winter allows you to bulk up, when you enter a warm building or restaurant you’ll start shedding layers. You do not want to explain why you are wearing three more layers of clothes than anyone else at the party. For ideas about carry options in different clothing and conditions click here.

You still need to make a choice and select a handgun as a primary or back up. Perhaps this will be your first CCW gun; maybe it will be an upgrade or replacement. Regardless, we wanted to put together a Top 10 list to set you on a path. My first thought was to simply state my favorites, but that gets boring. Besides, some people like Chevy and others prefer a Ford.

My next thought was to survey some of the writers, but the same personal biases would come into play. Finally, I had that Eureka! moment in the middle of the night. All I had to do was pull the numbers for the top selling guns from Cheaper Than Dirt! and the list would be complete. The error in my logic was immediately apparent. Somehow, I do not think a Hi-Point in every configuration and caliber would make a good list. I went back to the drawing board and invested some effort in serious data mining to come up with the following list.

Like any Top 10 list, there is plenty of room for dissension. I love the SIG P228, but my buddy wouldn’t trade his P226 for the world. Both are great guns; it is simply a matter of personal preference. So, do not take this list literally. Hi-Points top the list because they are cheap to purchase. The same may be true of some of the guns that have made my list, but most, if not all, have big brothers with a higher price point and better features and quality. Don’t nitpick the list, use it as a guide and do your homework!

Ruger LC9s

The Ruger LC9s is a striker-fired version of the popular Ruger LC9. It has a short, light trigger pull for faster, more accurate shooting and is well suited to the concealed carry role. All existing LC9 accessories, including lasers, holsters and magazines, also work with the LC9s. Ruggedly constructed; the pistol has a checkered grip frame that provides a secure and comfortable grip. It is also supplied with a finger grip extension floorplate for the magazine that can be added for additional comfort and grip.

 
Ruger LC9s
Action Striker fired semi-automatic
Barrel Length 3.12 inches
Caliber 9mm Luger
Overall Height 4.5 inches
Overall Length 6 inches
Overall Width 0.9-inch
Weight Unloaded 17.2 ounces
Sights 3-dot sights with windage adjustable rear sight
Capacity 7+1
Frame Black glass-filled nylon polymer frame
Features Trigger safety, manual safety, magazine disconnect

 

GLOCK 42

GLOCK 42 Right Profile
The GLOCK’s cocking serrations are well designed and easy to grasp.

Introducing the newest member to the GLOCK family of striker-fired semiautomatic pistols, the highly anticipated GLOCK 42 has finally arrived. The GLOCK 42 is chambered in the versatile .380 ACP, which has been well known to be a reliable and accurate self-defense round. This subcompact GLOCK has all of the reliability and durability that made them famous worldwide, but chambered in a softer recoiling caliber. Pick up the newest member of the GLOCK family today and rediscover the fantastic .380 ACP.

 
GLOCK 42
Action Semi-Automatic
Barrel Length 3.25 inches
Caliber .380 ACP
Overall Height 4.13 inches
Overall Length 5.94 inches
Overall Width .94-inch
Weight Unloaded 13.76 ounces
Capacity 6+1
Frame Polymer
Features Striker Fired 5.5 lbs. Trigger, Right hand hexagonal rifling, 1:9.84 Twist

 

Smith and Wesson M&P9 Shield

S&W M&P Shileld
The S&W Shield is surprisingly compact, yet recoil is modest.

The S&W M&P9 Shield is one of the most sought after concealed carry firearms available on the market today. The S&W M&P9 Shield has a solid reputation among law enforcement and concealed carry permit holders for being ultra reliable, durable, accurate and concealable. Its diminutive size and outstanding quality have droves depending on the S&W M&P9 Shield for personal protection. When things go from bad to worse, having the right tool on hand can make all the difference between making it home and being a statistic. The S&W M&P9 Shield is that tool.

 
S&W M&P9 Shield
Action Semi-Automatic
Barrel Length 3.1 inches
Caliber 9mm
Overall Height 4.6 inches
Overall Length 6.1 inches
Overall Width .95-inch
Weight Unloaded 19 ounces
Sights White dot
Capacity 7+1
Frame Polymer
Features Striker fired, 6.5-pound trigger pull

 

RIA M200

Armscor M200 Revolver
Armscor M200 Revolver is a quality offering at an unbeatable price!

It’s no wonder this revolver made our list of top selling concealed carry handguns. With a price point below $250, this no-frills handgun is a favorite with our customers. “This revolver is my third Armscor product and they did not let me down. Solid construction, accurate, well balanced and easy to clean. The price was very reasonable, I didn’t know what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised. Nice rubber grips also. I’m happy I purchased this Armscor/Rock Island Armory product,” writes Rich D.

The Rock Island Armory M200 Revolver is a great bargain for the money! This handgun features a 4.02-inch barrel with a cylinder that holds 6 rounds, comes with combat polymer grips and a parkerized finish. It shoots .38 Special, making this revolver a good choice for personal protection.

 
Rock Island Armory M200
Action Single/Double action
Barrel Length 4.02
Caliber .38 Special
Overall Length 8.78 inches
Weight Unloaded 1.76 pounds
Sights Fixed ramp front, Fixed wide square notch rear
Grip Black combat type plastic checkered
Capacity 6 rounds
Frame Steel, fluted cylinder
Features Transfer bar system safety, wide finger radius trigger, floating firing pin

 

Kel-Tech P-11

Kel-Tec P11 pistol right black
The P11 is especially well suited for plain-clothes police officers, security personnel, or as a secondary weapon for military service members.

Kel-Tech’s P11 recoil and practical accuracy are comparable to much larger guns. The P11 is especially suited for plainclothes police officers or as a secondary weapon for military personnel. All machined components are also made on modern high-speed computerized equipment. Advanced quality control equipment and test procedures ensure a firearm with uncompromising quality in materials and workmanship.

 
Kel-Tech P11
Action Double
Barrel Length 3.1 inches
Caliber 9mm Luger
Overall Height 4.3 inches
Overall Length 5.6 inches
Overall Width 1-inch
Weight Unloaded 14 ounces
Stock or Grip High impact polymer DuPont ST-8018 grip
Capacity 10+1
Frame Machined 7075-T6 aluminum
Features Hammer block safety, locked breech, heat treated SAE 4140 ordnance steel barrel, 9 lb. trigger pull

 

Taurus Millennium

Taurus-Millenium-G2 left black
With its lightweight 22 oz. polymer frame, thin profile, and ramped 3.2 inch barrel, the newly designed Millennium G2 is the ideal concealed carry handgun.

The Taurus PT111 Millennium G2 is an excellent choice for concealed carry applications. The Taurus PT111 Millennium G2 is packed with features making this an easy to shoot and easy carry pistol. Do a little research and you will see that the Taurus PT111 Millennium G2 is highly touted as being accurate, reliable, and durable while being offered at a lower price range than its competitors.

 
Taurus PT111 Millennium G2
Action DA/SA
Barrel Length 3.2 inches
Caliber 9mm Luger
Overall Length 6.2 inches
Weight Unloaded 22 ounces
Sights Three dot adjustable sights
Capacity 12+1
Frame Compact Polymer
Features Manual safety, Taurus Security System (TSS)s, Loaded Chamber Indicator

 

GLOCK 19

Picture shows the right side of a GLOCK 19 pistol.
The GLOCK 19 is one, if not the most, popular handguns in the United States—quite possibly the world.

GLOCKS are the most widely used law enforcement pistol worldwide. Because of its unsurpassed reliability, magazine capacity of 15 rounds and its low weight, law enforcement officers in their daily duties throughout the world trust it. It is safe and easy to operate thanks to the revolutionary Safe Action trigger system.

 
Glock 19
Action DA
Barrel Length 4.01 inches
Caliber 9×19
Overall Height 4.99 inches
Overall Length 7.36 inches
Overall Width 1.18 inches
Weight Unloaded 23.65 ounces
Sights Three-dot adjustable sights
Grip Polymer with rough texture
Capacity 15+1
Frame Polymer
Features Manual safety, Taurus Security System (TSS)s, Loaded Chamber Indicator

 

Sig P250 Subcompact

Sig Sauer P250 sub compact
The author’s personal SIG P250SC. SIG Sauers are not normally associated with “cheap.” However, by comparison, the SIG P250 is significantly cheaper than previous models, but still features SIG’s “To Hell and Back” reliability.

In the world of combat tested and approved firearms, SIG Sauer is among the top of any short list. Law enforcement, elite military units, and lawful citizens with concealed handgun permits use SIG Sauer firearms. If you are not familiar with SIG Sauer, the next logical question is, “where have you been?” Since 1853, SIG Sauer has been providing shooters with the unquestionable reliability and durability they demand. After all, SIG Sauer was born for defense with German precision and attention to detail.

The P250, a modular pistol that allows the shooter to change caliber and size at will….

The SIG Sauer P250 was designed specifically to address the future needs of the military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters around the world. The P250 is available in the most popular calibers (9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP). The P250’s innovative design enables the shooter to quickly remove the functional mechanism and place it into the polymer grip of his choice. This allows an immediate change in caliber and size; (subcompact, compact and full). After any change, the pistol delivers both outstanding accuracy and reliable functionality. Its modularity not only provides incredible ease of maintenance, but also provides a solution for accommodating different hand sizes – there are six different ergonomic combinations for each size, accomplished by changes in grip circumference and trigger style. Edit: The SIG P320 is the updated, striker-fired variant of this pistol, but the P250 can still be found used at a great price.

 
SIG P250
Action DAO
Barrel Length 3.6 inches
Caliber .40 S&W (9mm, .357SIG, .45 ACP)
Overall Height 4.7 inches
Overall Length 6.7 inches
Overall Width 1.1 inches
Weight Unloaded 24.9 ounces
Sights Contrast
Grip Interchangeable polymer
Capacity 10+1
Frame Polymer
Features Accessory rail, 5.5-6.5 trigger pull, Nitron finish

 

Springfield XDS

Springfield XD-S 9mm
The single stack design minimizes the width and increases concealment.

Slim and sleek, the Springfield XDS is an excellent choice for concealed carry and personal defense. At barely an inch thick, it is perfect for comfortable all-day carry in an inside the waistband holster for deep concealment. Packing 7 rounds of hard-hitting 9mm Luger, this extremely durable and reliable platform handles great and has the famous Springfield XD ergonomic design. Aggressive grip texturing keeps the XDS firmly in your hand under recoil.

The XDS is a perfect example of a pistol that works with your body, not against you. The natural pointability of the XD family, combined with the compact size and shape of its polymer grip, makes it feel more like a natural extension of your body than an object in your hand. The fiber optic front sight pulls in available light to glow and draw your eye to it. It is also available in an exposed hammer, DA/SA variant as the XD-E.

 
Springfield XDS
Action DAO
Barrel Length 3.3 inches
Caliber 9mm Luger
Overall Height 4.4 inches
Overall Length 6.3 inches
Overall Width 0.9-inch
Weight Unloaded 23 ounces
Sights Fiber Optic Front & Dovetail Rear (Steel)
Capacity 7+1
Frame Polymer
Features Dual spring w/full-length guide rod, Grip and trigger safeties, striker status indicator, loaded chamber indicator

 

Kahr Arms CM9

KAHR CM9 left black silver
The Kahr CM9 is a reliable pocket 9 with a dedicated following.

The Kahr Arms CM9 is the value-priced, no-compromise option specifically designed for concealed carry situations. Accuracy and reliability are inherent in all Kahr pistols. This particular model Kahr CM9, featuring a six-round single-stacked magazine, is only four inches tall, and just under one-inch wide. It weighs in at just 14 ounces without the magazine. The CM9 is a double-action striker-fired pistol that is an excellent choice for shooters of all sizes.

 
Kahr Arms CM9
Action DAO
Barrel Length 3 inches
Caliber 9mm
Overall Height 4 inches
Overall Length 5.42 inches
Overall Width 0.90-inch
Weight Unloaded 14 ounces
Sights Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights
Grip Textured polymer grips with integral steel rails molded into the frame
Capacity 6+1
Frame Polymer
Features Browning type recoil lug, passive striker block, 416 stainless steel slide

 

Did your favorite concealed carry handgun make this list? Help us out and share your favorite handgun in the comment section. I am sure there are many 1911 fans ready to speak up.

[dave]

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 (102)

  1. I don’t recommend things often, however when I find something so fantastic and perfect I make a exception. I purchased a Stealth Gear USA IWB VentCore Holster for my Springfield XDM 3.8″ .45 ACP Compact Pistol. It’s the best Holster I have ever owned, no break-in, it’s cool to wear in hot weather (Texas) do to its breathable and moisture wicking material construction and doesn’t sweat you like the Cross Breed Holsters and all the look-a-likes holsters do. The VentCore it’s also in light weight to wear and the fit is always tight and perfect as each holster is custom made for each gun and you hardly know you’re wearing the VentCore. I own/have owned a hundred holsters in my time, but the VentCore is the “Holy Grail” of IWB Holster. I like it so well I purchased four others for my other pistols. My VentCore for my HK .45 Tactical (Large Frame) is fantastic as are all the others. Several Police Officer Friends including the Chief of Police after seeing and trying my VentCore Holster purchase one as their go to holster for concealed and off-duty carry. The VentCore cost about $116.00, but let me say it’s worth every penny I paid I assure you as we all know, you get what you pay for. I’m one happy man having found the perfect IWB Holster.

  2. I see so many people commenting on how they can’t believe that their choice of carry wasn’t on the list or how so many weapons were left off of the list. READ the headline. The article was on 10 not 11 or 15 or 20, 10 so there’s a pretty good chance certain handguns were left off of the list due the shear numbers of quality handguns out there today. Maybe they will do a 100 best someday and that’ll make you all happy.

  3. I carry a Beretta Nano with laser. It will stand up to anything on your list. It handles well as I only have on hand to shoot with. Try one and it’ll be on your next list.

  4. Springfield sub compact. As good as any of the above, and better than most. Accurate, easily handled recoil (a decent range gun), and loaded with rounds. It also has a better sight line than the Glocks and is reliability personified.

  5. I see that this article is 3 years old & probably needs to be updated. Having recently retired to FL from the anti gun states of NY & NJ, I obtained a Springfield XDM-9 for the house to supplement my Dan Wesson 357 revolver. I then obtained my FL CCL & discovered the XDM was too big for me to CC. I spent severval months researching pistols online & at the range. I settled for the 9mm Beretta Nano. Its the perfect size for me since I dont have big hands. I can use it with an IWB holster or just place it in my pants pocket. Whatever FTE & FTF problems it had years ago they are gone now. I have fired over 300 rds of Winchester NATO +p 124 gr & 500 rds of 147 gr Federal American Eagle w/o a single problem. I have also tried about 200 rds of the problem causing 115 gr bullets w/o any misfunctions. The Nano is small, light weight, ultra smooth without a safety or slide release & is a very accurate shooter. The only negative is the long & heavy trigget pull. It comes with a 6 & 7 rd magazines. If you need more than 2 or 3 rds in a 5 yard or less gunfight then you better spend more time at the range or stay at home with a shotgun at your side.

  6. Man, you guys (and gals) have heard of Walther, yes? Shocked that they didn’t make the list here. My PPS (classic) 9mm is incredible, and the new M2 version is even more so. This “shootout” really turned me onto it. Amazing conceal ability, shoot ability and incredible accuracy.

    And that was with the “classic.” Be safe all.

  7. Hi – thanks for the article, I appreciate the thoroughness. I’m looking to put a down-sized 1911 into rotation with from my Kobra Carry – seriously considering the Springfield EMP3. Also looking at Wilson, and Nighthawk but noticed no high end manufacturers made your list or anyone else’s for that matter . . . price point too high?

    Such shame if so, because I’m not rich but I truly fell in love with the Ed Brown Kobra Carry, and yes, I had to save for three months to get my own KC. However, after 1,500 plus rounds and not a glitch I’m very pleased and it’s a crowd pleaser too. However, my professional, summer dress is limited with the KC, and I hope something like the EMP3 will help when put into rotation. I do like the 1911 platform a lot and have trained with it four years now, so I’ll stay with that as a general manual of arms. The 9MM vs 45ACP isn’t a big deal for me, as they are both lethal – it’s all about fit/form/function.

    Wish the higher end of the market got more media/analysis attention, for if one is patient owning one these classics is within reach.

  8. I agree that the 9mm round is a big contender in today’s offerings for best defensive ammo, and there are great guns out there that will give the shooter what they need in that round,for me an AMBI gun for carry is a must, and today many gun company’s now offer many different styles to choose from, I’d list them , but there are too many , for my carry needs ,
    I like the Glock 43, with Crimson Trace laser-green and True Glow TFX Night Sights, this gun is just awesome, easy to carry in an Appendex style holster, ( I like the Clinger brand holsters for my appendex style kydex holster needs) this style allows me to quickly get my gun out whether standing or sitting, and the size of this gun, I don’t even feel it on me, very comfortable, Some of my fighting guns/EDC guns have lasers, but some don’t.. The one’s that don’t , have very good night sights…
    Kahr PM9, LASER
    kahr KP45, LASER
    Springfield Armory XD MOD 2 9MM and 45 acp
    Walther PPQ M2 9MM
    Sig P320 9MM
    Sig P938 9mm
    FNS 9 9MM
    S&W M&P C 9mm
    Glock 19 9mm LASER
    Glock 27/26 9mm 40 S&W LASER
    Glock 20 10 mm
    Colt Commander 45 acp
    Springfield Armory TRP 45 acp
    Kimber RCP,, 45 acp
    Kimber Ultra Rapture II 45 acp
    , Ruger LCR 38 Special + p LASER
    Ruger LCR X 38 special +p
    Ruger LCR 22 Mag LASER
    Ruger LCR 22
    Ruger LCP 380 LASER
    S&W TALO 686-PLUS 357 Mag.
    Ruger SP101 TALO 357 Mag

    These are some of my choice’s of guns I carry at different times, I’ve been a shooter for many years, and keep up with my practice time at the range or on my property, I’m lucky that way, I feel today that the 9mm is most likely the best defensive round for a new shooter or old, where I live I carry larger calibers during the Winter months because of weather and wild life, not that I would want to shoot or kill an animal, but if I had to, I want a caliber that would do the job if necessary , we have bear and mountain lions here on the mountain…

    1. you own all of those pistols ? i am quite jealous sir. there are some fine firearms on that list. it must be a joy to have such a choice every day !

  9. With all due respect to your best CCW Firearms and the people that worked on it there are multiple firearms that have been left off of this list that are far superior in almost every way to the ones that are on it.

    It should also be said a firearm is only as good as the shooter. By That i mean the practice & time the shooter has put into training as well as put in at the range getting to know their firearm. So with that said here’s my modified list in no particular order.
    First & Foremost:
    – The Sig P239
    – The Sig P938 “Agree”
    – The Sig P229
    – The FNS-9C
    – The H&K P30 Compact & normal size
    – The CZ Duty Compact
    – The Sig Micro 1911
    – The Springfield Micro 1911 (If You Can Find One)
    – The Kriss Sphinx SDP Compact Handgun
    – The HK UPS Compact in 9 or 45
    – Lastly The HK P2000SK

    Thats just off the top of my head and there are variants of every gun listed that can be more compact for conceal carry.

    Also Ammunition especially in .9mm in the last few years has evolved in leaps and bounds there’s .9mm rounds now that meet and greet their target like a .44 Hollow point or shotgun slug. This also should be taken into great consideration due to .9mm defensive ammo not being what it used to be thus completely changing the gun world when it comes to self defense.

    After all the 45 auto round was created for our troops long ago because the 9mm round back then did not have the stopping power needed. Now if you were to take the same 45 ammo and put it up against to todays .9mm defense ammo that .45 Auto ammunition wouldn’t stand a chance….

  10. I am extremely pleased with my recent acquisition of a Taurus PT111 Millennium G2. It is the perfect size for me, reasonably accurate and holds 12+1. Not only that, I purchased it on sale for $249, then found out a week later that I was eligible for a $50 rebate from Taurus. Yay! Still love my Sig P226…will never give that up, but the PT111 fills a great need.

    1. I agree!
      I already had a PT740 Slim that is very concealable but a little “harsh” from quick, close quarters shooting.
      I got the PT111 G2 and LOVE IT! The thicker grip does hinder concealment just a bit, but fills my hand much better, giving me much better control and comfort. It has replaced the PT 740 as my primary CCW! {Except when I wear it OWB in a “Sneaky Pete” holster.}

  11. I carry a Glock 27. After researching the heck out of ccw handguns, I finally came across this ultra-reliable, comfortable to shoot and very concealable .40 caliber beauty. I’m approaching 500 rounds of several ammo types through this gun with no misfeeds or any other malfunctions. Best of all, it fits nicely in my smallish guy hands. The .40 cal. round does get your attention compared to the 9mm, but I like the mix of power and capacity (9+1). I would recommend the Glock 27 to anyone. If you’re squeamish about the bigger “bang” of the .40, then get the same exact beautiful gun in 9mm: the Glock 26.

    1. I too enjoy a Glock 27 but also purchased a 9 mm conversion barrel and a Glock 26 9 mm magazine. Both calibers work fine but the user is admonished to stay in factory configuration for defensive purposes.
      It is nice to shoot cheaper 9 mm Ammo and to have the 9 configuration as a back up defense weapon should 40 cal Ammo run short.

  12. I carry a Ruger sr9c. For me, perfect size, perfect function and incredibly accurate. I specifically like the manual safety which allows me to carry condition two comfortably.(cocked and locked for those who don’t know what that means). Also the loaded chamber indicator, while I always know the condition of my gun, is a good addition and could save time and would and provide instant reassurance in a time in a high stress situation. Ruger got it right! Thanks for the article.

  13. I have a Glock 27, and also a 9mm barrel and mags for it, you’re right , you can’t go wrong with anything Glock, you’re good to go, and getting out and shooting once a week will keep you sharp, I try to do the same thing, all I have to do is raise my shop door and fire away, living in the mountains has its advantages…glad you’re happy with your G 26…

  14. In this warmer Summer weather I pack a Glock 43 or Sig 938, either of these guns are reliable and are straight shooters, when colder weather comes on, I carry either the XD MOD 2 in 9mm or 45 acp, with a back up 9mm.. one of the for mentioned 9mm,.this combination works well for me, we live in some great times for guns, they just keep making them better and more reliable,

  15. personaly I have been carrying a glock 26 9mm in a Mitch Rossen holster with 12 round mags for 6 years I try to practice at least once a week it is very accurate even at 25 yds I have tru glo tfo sites on it and carry it every day never had one problem

  16. My newest Polish P64 loaded with buffalo bore 9×18 +P rounds is perfect for summertime carry, but then again I usually pack the Glock 27 most of the time. Have to laugh when I see those buying the tiny .380’s then outfitting themselves with huge and uncomfortable pancake holsters.

  17. I personally like the Beretta Nano 9mm. I am surprised it isn’t one of the top picks for concealed carry

  18. The front slide sight was lost at the range and I cannot find another one. Can you help me locate one for the P-22 slide?

  19. I love the Sig 226, but my favorite carry gun Is the H&K 9 compact. It’s lighter than the Sig & easier to carry. When I go out at night, I often carry the S&W 357 snub nose. The lighter, the better.

  20. Guess I’m really old fashioned (or just old) but I’ve yet to shoot ANY pistol (above .22 caliber) that is as smooth and balanced as my Walther PPKS. I’d rather have 7 rounds I can put where I want them, than 15 rounds less controlled. I’ve got 2 S&Ws in .40 but for ccw it’s the Walther every time.

    Which brings up something else in current events. I’m sure you’ve heard about the so called terrorist here in Austin that shot up the Mexican Consulate, the police station, etc.. Can you believe how he was taken down? One shot, head shot, with a pistol, at night, standing, while holding the reigns of 2 horses with his other hand, from 312 feet. The officer claims Divine Intervention and I’m inclined to agree!

  21. Wow, both a little amazed and a lot of sorry that my personal top choice of a handgun for CCW didn’t get its place at the table let alone the head of it. Maybe it is out of fashion, a little passe or who knows why, but when you talk about easy concealment, light weight, minimal print with an easy pocket carry….you gotta talk Ruger LCP. Not gonna argue about the baby 9 ballistics (especially with Hornady critical anything!) and I’m not gonna argue bells & whistles, but at 13 ounces and much less than a 1″ width, this little guy should not be excluded from this conversation. You fellas feeling me or what? lol

  22. Whatever weapon you decide to carry is only going to be as effective as your abilities to perform with it. If you carry a .45 and your handling is limited to strapping in on and taking it off, your chances of survival are next to nil. On the other hand, if you have a .22, and you practice with it regularly, your chances of survival are significantly higher. One of the biggest failings, whether or not you carry a weapon, is being aware of your surroundings. If you’re aware of a potential threat, you’ll be in a better position and mind set to calculate a proper response. Carry what you can afford, and practice, practice, practice.

  23. Deputy Chuck, By now, the debate over which caliber works best, is pretty much decided. All pistol calibers are under powered. Unless you are carrying a 44 or 500 S&W Magnum, they all work about the same. A single hit with most any caliber (in anything other than central nervous system) will result in an 80% chance that the person will survive (if they get treatment in a reasonable time-frame). While with multiple hits, that survival rate drops to about 20%. For many people, a 9mm is easier to get the follow up shots on target than a 40. I shoot and carry all three but I realize that I can shoot faster (not more accurately) with the 9mm. I tend to rotate among my carry pistols. But I never feel “under gunned” with the 9mm.

  24. Nathan, I appreciate the SIG 357 cartridge. Same with the 45GAP. BUT these rounds are most likely harder to find in some areas. OTOH, 9mm, 10mm (Short) and 45ACP are found just about everywhere. I’d rather have access to ammunition should conditions get bad than a more powerful round.

    1. No argument here. I was just musing about how I like necked down cartridges. I will never be without a 45 ACP, and hope to own another 9mm one day. TO be honest, I think my dream set up is a SIG P226 in 9mm, .357 SIG, and 40 SW. Versatility in ammo is a big draw for me, which is why the .357 Mag/38 Sp. is still my favorite overall combo.
      However, the article is for concealed carry, and I think the 32 NAA looks like a great pocket carry. Along with a Bodyguard 380, or LCP 9mm. Having a choice of guns is great also, depending on ammo availability.

  25. The S&W M&P Shield in .40 Caliber is the same size as the .9mm model even if it is a tad heavier because of the increased weight of the rounds. The increasein weight is very minor. Also, the S&W M&P .380 Bodyguard is a superb choice for concealed carry coupled with Hornady Critical Defense rounds. I just bought a Taurus Millennium G2 this past weekend for my grandson and was very impressed with the functionality, reliability and cost factor. Whatever you chose to carry, do so responsibly.

    1. I’m surprised that the Taurus 709 or 740 slim are not even mentioned. I’ve been carrying the 709 almost since it came out. Like it’s name, it’s thin and comfortable to carry in Crossbreed holster. Plus the mags are of a size that I can carry two extras in a cell phone carrier on my other hip. Smaller mouthed hollow points like the Hornady Critical Defense or Duty have NEVER hung up on me. Just my take and what I carry.

  26. What’s with all you braggers of the .40 and .45 among others. Complaining that the article didn’t cover you weapon or caliber, sorry but the title says it all.

    Top 10 Best Selling Concealed Carry Handguns

  27. Why carry a 9mm, when you can carry a .40 S&W? The Glock Model 23 has all of the great points of the Model 19, and has better stopping power.

  28. For the complainers: I carry a Shield .40 cal, my wife the Shield 9mm when deep concealment is on order. With a jacket or coat, it is the trusty Glock 22 .40 cal on the hip and the Shield in a pocket..

  29. The list sucks. I carry a 4.25 1911 in all weather. In the panhandle of Texas that is anywhere from 0-110 degrees. I just change my holster. Most are inside the waist band. Some are tuckable, but it can work.
    I do also carry a kimber solo as a “BUG”

    1. I like your attitude, sir. .45ACP is my round of choice. I like the 1911s, I just can’t carry them without them printing badly. So I carry the SA XDs .45ACP and CT laser with the extra 7 rd mag on my weak side IWB. I can throw the extra 5 rd mag in a pocket too, if I want. My BUG is a Ruger LCP w/CT laser and the extra mag in a shirt pocket figuring if I am at the point of having to use a BUG, they will be close enough that a .380 with the right ammo will suffice. At least until I can get to my truck and then it’s on! lol
      Have a great Texas day from a fellow .45 friend in SC.

    2. What sucks about it? The list is “The Best Selling” conceal carry, what’s to argue about? So are you saying that the individuals who bought these firearms suck because they didn’t buy the same firearms that you did for conceal carry?

    1. Im lookin to get a 1911 but I’ve been told that it’s a task to maintain. I’ve never owned one though. Do u find it hard or time/energy consuming to maintenance your 1911

    2. No. It’s not bad and you will get better at it with time and practice. My Springfield 1911 45 is my favorite gun that I own and the one I would choose if my family is in danger. I own several handguns, a few of which are on this list.

    3. My ATI 1911 is no more trouble to maintain than any other pistol. I uses a more common design recoil spring, so it breaks down almost exactly like a my S&W 59 or 469. In fact, it goes back together easier than the S&W models.

    1. I agree completely on the PPQ — fantastic gun; like a cross between an HK P30 and a Glock 19, but more refined and more accurate than either. And you are sure right about the trigger. I owned both the .40 and 9mm, and I much prefer the 9mm. I own or have owned dozens of semi-autos and revolvers, from 1911s to 380s to .38 specials to .357 mags, and the PPQ stands pretty clearly above the others, imho, with the Glock 23 and its .22, 9mm, .40 cal, and .357 Sig barrels/kits coming in a close second. For EDC, however, it’s the XDS .45 with the 9 mm Shield as BUG. Of course, I also love my Sig 1911 RCS, and…..

  30. Was this the cheapest concealed carry. I carry STI Ranger 45 cal 7 shots. Backup is Beretta Nano, or Kimber Solo 9mm. Also Stoeger Cougar 40 S&W.

    1. I agree, this list is mostly a joke. A few good ones in there but it seems reminiscent of the guy at the gun counter who wants to protect his family but wants to do it as cheap as possible. Scary, no price on your safety and I won’t be trusting a kahr arms anything to do the job for me anytime soon.

  31. In the late 1960s I carried a 1911 upgraded to NM standards. Yes, I had a permit. In the late 60s I was stationed in Germany where I bought a PPK in 9mm Kurtz (380 ACP) that I realy liked. BATF banned this gun just at the time I was to return home, so I reverted to my 1911.

    In the 1980s I purchased an early 9mm Firestar with the hard chrome finish, single stack. It was small, easy to hide and very reliable. I just got a Bersa 380 Combat. I love the green rubber grips and the sights on this gun and it fits the exact holster as the PPK and the Firestar. Out of the box it shoots better than my other small guns. When I get it shot in with a few thousands of rounds, I think it is going to be real impressive piece.

  32. A Kimber Ultra Carry II inside the waste. A little heavier than my 40 shield, but still conciels the same for me. With a .45 230g you take care of business but don’t have to worry about a person getting up and running away after they just broke into your home.

  33. My personal choice for CC is my Heckler & Koch .45 USP Compact. I love the feel, simplicity, and being a “South Paw”, I really love how the guns controls are located on the left sir of the weapon. Being also double action is also a really nice perk!! It is a expensive gun, but in my opinion, get what you pay for!! I don’t go cheap or second guess or compromise on my CC and my families and my own personal safety!

  34. I really like the Springfield XDM 3.8 .45 and the XDS 3.3 45, both are very nice for a subcompact 45’s, paired with a galco holster no one would know you are carrying. Only issue is weight, for the XDM a little on the heavy side. XDS 45 is very light even with the 7 round mag. Recoil for both is lighter than any glock i have shot.

    1. Steven- Do you carry both at the same time, with XDS as a BUG? I only have the XDS .45 and I love how comfortable it is and does not print even in shorts, T-shirt and flip flops, which I wear 9 months out of the year here at the beach in SC. Right now my BUG is a Ruger LCP w/ CT laser (I have one on the XDS too) and I have some good ammo for the .380. It is a very accurate out of the box gun for being so small. I can put 10 rds in a man-sized target at 25 yards, way farther than most encounters require. How do you like the XDM as far as concealability?

  35. The Glock 19 was my very first gun I ever bought. I carry this gun very comfortably in a belly band under my shirt. It is so comfortable that I almost forget I have it on. Recently I bought a SR40c Ruger and found that it too is a very easy weapon to carry. A friend of mine that knows I carry is amazed that he absolutely cannot tell when I am or when I’m not carrying.

    1. I absolutely love my SR40C as a carry gun. It comfortable, accurate and has not yet missed a beat. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I have.

  36. I use the Sig P290, I have carried everything from the massive Berretta 92FS to a Beretta PX4 sub compact Storm the P290 is comfortable and low to no telegraphing of where I carry. Good overall weapon.

  37. I seem to be out in left field here. I have tried most of the pistols mentioned in your list and the ones mentioned in the comments. But I find that they all have too small of a grip to be comfortable for me. The slide on these subcompacts is just as large and heavy (per inch) as the full size counterparts but the grip is downsized to meet the unwritten rule that to be a CC weapon it must be less than 1″ wide. This gives you a weapon that wants to roll out of your hand with all of that top weight. I wear a size large glove but don’t think my hand is overly large. (I am 6′ tall and 175 lbs.) I settled on the Bersa 380 with a double stack mag (15 rounds) but not because of the extra firepower. This pistol has a nice grip for me and not all the bulk and weight on the upper slide.

    I know for most people that the mere mention of a EDC weapon that is wider than one inch sends it immediately to the bottom of the list. In my opinion the extra half inch in grip width ( with the dbl stack mag) is more than compensated for by the solid grip and lack of excess weight on the top end. This weapon feels like an extension of my hand rather than the barrel trying to roll the weapon out of my hand with very little surface area to hold onto.

    Admittedly this is not a EDC for my wife (5′-4″, 130 lbs) ( she carries a Sig 238, which is the only semi that she can rack the slide).

    This extra top weight (on these full sized slides with a subcompact single stack grip) adds to the “failure to eject” if you have any tendency for a weak wrist shot at all. I know this does’t apply to us “Bubbas” but for the ladies and even men that don’t make it a habit to go to the range each week it makes a considerable difference.

    Another “good feeling” ( ie correct balance between grip weight and slide weight) carry pistol for me is the Beretta 380 “Cheatta” (sp?) but it is 10 oz heavier than the Bersa.

    In a EDC weapon I don’t believe that a 9 mm, 40 cal or 45 cal is really any better than a 380 at 5 to 20 feet. If I know I am going to a gun fight I will take a shotgun as my primary weapon.

    Most if not all of the other weapons mentioned are single stack 9mm which seems to require the larger and heavier slide. Even Bersa’s 9mm has the heavier slide although it is a couple oz less that the LC9 9mm slide. The Bersa makes the 9mm in a single or a double stack grip. While it is still a little top heavy the double stack grip (13 rds) doesn’t “feel” as top heavy as the single stack grip. I attribute this to the confidence I feel with my hand “full”. I do like the pinky extension on the mag to keep my pinky from griping air.

    If you wear a size large glove and feel you have to have a 9mm or larger find one that you can get a rubber “combat” grip for. My search in these larger cal subcompacts indicates that the Bersa still wins because of the dbl stack grip and price point. But none of them is as comfortable as the Bersa 380 or Beretta 380. They have engineered the correct balance for a large hand in a subcompact frame.

    1. Charles, I respect your opinion and do understand the gun has to feel right in your hand. I wean an extra large glove and carry the XDS .45 3.3″ barrel and love the feel. I would prefer my Sig P220R or my Glock 21 GEN4, but they print. The XDs .45 for me is a God send. Like the saying goes, I use a .45 because shooting twice is silly. My BUG is the Ruger LCP w/ CT laser loaded with the Hornady Zombie killers. If things get to the point I have pull that, I’ll be close enough to put one in their eye, guaranteed. They will go away. lol

  38. I looked at the LC9 but was able to pick up a Taurus 709S with 2 mags for under $240. I am a person who likes an external safey in a CCW that I am going to pocket carry. It is a quality firearm and I have found it to run flawlessly. But I have always thought Taurus never got the praise it deserved.

  39. I recently picked up a SCCY CPX2. It’s a great CCW pistol. It’s light, well made, accurate and gives you 10+1 rounds of 9mm which I prefer to .380. You can’t beat the price at under $275 delivered. Not my preferred range or house gun, but serves it purpose for CCW. Enjoyed the article.

  40. As a woman I love my Shield. Loaded with 115gr ammo I have the stopping power I ask for but am able to stay on target for follow up shots if needed. Also with how slim it is I am able to hide it with anything I wear, from painted on skinny jeans, skirts and even dresses. I will say it’s harder to hide with shorts but most guns are when you only have a 3in inseam

  41. Just an item needing correction in the features listing for the Glock G19:
    Glock 19
    Features Manual safety, Taurus Security System (TSS)s, Loaded Chamber Indicator

    Copy/Paste is not your friend, as that is the line from the Taurus weapon shown above the G19 🙂

  42. I am very skeptical of any CCW Pistol article that does not list the Ruger LCP and S&W Bodyguard Laser at the top of the list for CCW pistols. The both fit the most important criteria of being pistols you will carry every time and are excellent shooters…

  43. JD, I was not making any disparaging opinion on construction workers or retirees. I was merely observing that almost all the gun related videos on UTube seem to show guys wearing casual cloths. There just doesn’t seem to be many examples of guys in suits or advise on carrying while dressed in professional attire. Quite frankly, I dress as casually as I can most of the time. I do like to dress up when I go out for dinner or attend a business meeting. And I always carry no matter what I’m wearing. I’d just like to see what other people do when they dress to impress. I used to shoot (with a camera LOL) weddings. I had to wear a suit (often a Tux) while working. Still there was a desire to carry.

    1. I for one am GLAD to see someone in a more affluent part of society taking the responsibility to arm themselves.
      Me, I mostly wear shorts and T-shirt. Also difficult for ccw.
      I am hoping to obtain a compact, light, 380 one of these days so i can carry even easier in the summer. My 38 Snubbie and my Colt Officers model are great, but need just a tad too many clothes for my comfort level.

    2. Nathan, For awhile, I carried a Walther PPK but let it get away from me. I later tried (and liked) the Bersa Thunder 380. You might try one. But currently, for when I REALLY want to “dress down”, I stick a Ket-Tec P3AT in my waist with the optional belt clip they offer. So comfortable, I sometimes forget I have it on me.

    3. I am seriously considering the Kahr, NAA 32
      Love the combination of ballistics and ease of carry. Up close personal defense that does not require a belt. It may be hard to beat. I am also a huge fan of necked down cartridges of any caliber. In Semis they just WORK. 357 Sig is the most under-appreciated semi cartridge around I think.

    4. MY APOLOGY DON. I JUMPED THE GUN I GUESS. I on rare occasions have need to look respectable and I have tried both inside the pants with the jacket covering and a shoulder rig. For me the shoulder rig seems to work better but I generally prefer some type of cross draw to strong side anyway. I do a lot of leather work and have made a number of cross draw holster..
      JUST OUT OF CURIOSITY; I WONDER HOW MAY PEOPLE PREFER A CROSS DRAW CONFIGURATION TO A STRONG SIDE.

    5. I prefer cross draw to strong side for versatility and easier access especailly while seated. Am not concerned about someone grabbing my gun. I know it’s there, they shouldn’t until it’s too late.
      I would like to find however a good IWB cross draw holster for my G19. Please feel free to make suggestions

    6. JD, Apology accepted. We’re all friends here with common interests. I have never tried cross draw, but I do like a shoulder holster when wearing proper cover (sport coat or over-shirt). So it’s sort of a cross draw situation.

  44. Enjoyed looking over the list here. Would like to take a closer look at some of these. I’m happy with my Citadel Compact .45 though. Not as small as some of these on the list. But I like the .45 caliber & enjoy the fit in my hand of this auto. Replace the factory mags with Wilson Combat mags & have no issues carry this auto all day.

  45. I do not think you can beat my old colt 45 80’s series officers model ,lots of knockdown power and not hard to conceal , iwb holster or shoulder works best ,i also carry two bug’s a 32 naa in my pocket holster and a 9mm mak in my ankle holster but will always grab my colt 45 first , i used to carry my DE 44 but its overkill for personel protection , i have been carrying my colt 45 for over 15 yrs now daily ,best gun out there to me just pratice reloading a lot and it does the job just fine, i carry two extra 7 round mags for it then have the 2 back ups it was to fail me or run dry never count on just 1 handgun always carry a back up i was taught. You just never know what could happen with your main carry pistol best to have another just in case its an extended gun fight or my colt was to fail for some odd reason,which it never has but why chance it .I will not be a statistic ever if i can help it they will be .

    1. I bought an Officer’s Model the year Colt came out with it. It is still my go to home defense gun, and resides in an NRA ‘under the table’ holster next to my easy chair in the living room. Even though I am a Revolver man, this is one gun I will never part with. It has never failed to feed anything I put through it, and it just ‘feels right’ in my hand. The only mod i have made is a Pachmeier grip.

  46. I am a huge revolver fan,but why in the world with this mid size 38 be on a concealed carry list when there are so many great, lightweight snubbies out there? My little Taurus fits great in the front pocket of my jeans.

  47. Another that could be considered would be the Kahr P380. It’s smaller and lighter than the cm9, although it does cost a bit more. I love mine. Easy to pocket carry with slacks for work or iwb on the days off. Haven’t had any issues with mine outside of the 200 round break in period.

  48. Pretty good list. I only have the Shield, but you’re right to include it as its an exceptionally good little gun. I alternate carrying 2 other nice guns that aren’t on the list also; Often I’ll carry the S&W .380 Bodyguard w/laser in my front Levi pocket, and a Taurus PT145 Millennium Pro .45 which I feel with its 11 round capacity and compact dimensions is a very under-rated carry weapon. I”ve also carried along a Judge in my RV or car when I travel, but that big damn Tyrannosaur I have in a magnet under the dash or in the side panel. I get a big smile tho every time I look at it or shoot it. I call it my “Carjackers Nightmare”.

  49. I own 2 from this list but my carry gun is neither one of them and that didn’t make the list. My carry is an SR40C. Give it a try you’ll love it.

  50. Might have included the Walter PPK or mbetter yet nand less expensive and more reliable the Polish P64 ($224). Especially for those who no better than to carry a striker fired pistol chambered.

  51. NUTS! TOTALLY NUTS! The number one CC pistol on the planet is the KAHR .32NAA.
    I realize you are featuring the top sellers but nothing even comes close to the features of this piece of equipment. You could probably put in in a cigarette pack. It is totally hidden in my palm! It is tough, durable, stainless and if you will Google some gel tests you will fall out of your chair. Over 1000 fgs with hollowpoints from Hornady, it will become the number one CCW on the planet. Mine is now five years old and has never misfired or jammed. You need to get one before they catch on and become another PMR 30 unknown if ever lead time.

  52. I guess most of those guns are fine if you can walk around all day with your shirt untucked and unbuttoned … to me, concealed means concealed to where you don’t even print. it needs to be smooth to where it won’t snag or get hung up when drawing … the Ruger LC9 or Kel-Tech P-11 might be ok. Many of those polymer guns have abrasive grips that look uncomfortable especially to carry, the Springfield XDS, though I’ve never tried to carry one.

    Personally I don’t dress like the author, I don’t go to places where that type of dress is acceptable or work in an environment that would be “OK” … call me old fashion but a Hi-Standard 22 mag Derringer in a wallet holster, Keltec P3-AT also in a wallet holster does fine. If I want something bigger a Kimber Pro-Carry under the arm or in the small of the back a jacket would work … or a S&W 340PD in an ankle holster …

    I’m glad to see new guns come to the market and each to their own; one thing for sure, one gun won’t do it for all occasions.

    1. I have to agree with Tony. And I’m glad to see that I’m not the only gun owner who doesn’t dress like they are on vacation all of the time. I had to believe that there were people with CCW permits who have professional jobs. I was beginning to believe that the only non LEOs who carried concealed were construction workers or retirees When dressing light the P3AT works for me. But I often carry a S&W 469 or 5906 (or even a 1911 Officers) under a suit or sport coat.

    2. Yeah Don us construction workers and retired guys (slob if you like) do not discriminate against people that wear suits. We support them too.

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