Concealed Carry

The 15 Best Concealed Carry Semi-Auto Handguns

springfield hellcat

In this post I’m going to show you some of the best concealed carry handguns available on the market today.

Whether you’re looking to maximize round count or for the most concealable pistol option, you’ll find something on this list to meet your needs. 

Brief History on the Development of the Concealed Carry Gun

It wasn’t too long ago that the subcompact semi-auto .380 ACP hit like a fever.

These concealable semi-automatic handguns were lightweight, small-enough-to-fit-in-your pocket pistols and flying off the shelves in record numbers when more states than ever started allowing concealed carry.

An unprecedented amount of women and first-time gun owners were buying at this time, as well.

After all, the little .380 ACP is not intimidating to a new shooter, yet it is sufficient for self-defense, unobtrusive, affordable and felt recoil is manageable to most.

It did not take long for the firearms industry to notice and quickly (most) manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon. Though it took years, even GLOCK released a subcompact .380.

For some, though, the .380 just wasn’t enough, so the pocket nines started rolling out. More than likely, if a manufacturer makes a subcompact .380, they make a subcompact 9mm pistol —GLOCK included.

Interest hasn’t waned and the guns just keep getting smaller!

The Criteria

This list compares the smallest of the small, the most lightweight, the easiest and most comfortable semi-automatic pistols to conceal—basically, the most concealable semi-automatic handguns.

They vary in price and quality, but they all are great choices in handguns.

Some of them will serve better as a backup than as your primary gun. They are also mostly either .380 ACP or 9mm with polymer frames—simply because subcompact pistols are easier to make in a smaller caliber.

A polymer is used most often because it keeps the overall weight of the gun down. Of course, the .25 and .32 ACP will allow for even smaller guns, but no one recommends those calibers for self-defense.

The List of Concealed Carry Gun Options

And now without further ado, here are the top 15 most concealable semi-automatic handguns, in no particular order.

1. Ruger EC9s

Ruger EC9s is a great subcompact concealed carry gun

The Ruger EC9s is one of the best subcompact concealed carry pistols on the market, whether you are a first-time buyer or if you are a veteran buyer, this is a fantastic handgun for conceal carry. 

The EC9s is a striker fired pistol that features a light, crisp trigger making it easy for quick, accurate shooting. The sights on this pistol are machined into the slide so you can’t change them out to your own sights.

It’s just slightly larger than the Ruger LCP so if you already own one of those you can get a good sense of the size of this subcompact pistol.

In terms of a safety, the Ruer EC9s has an integrated trigger safety and a manual safety. There isn’t a version of this gun without a manual safety.

If you’re looking for a reliable, durable, and budget friendly concealed carry gun it’s hard to beat the Ruger EC9s. It’s easily one of the best small guns on the market today.

Ruger EC9s 
Barrel Length3.1 inches
Capacity7 rounds
Overall Height4.5 inches
Overall Length6 inches
Overall Width0.9 inches
Weight Unloaded17.2 ounces
SightsIntegral fixed
User rating5 out of 5 stars
Learn more


Best Concealed Carry Pistol: Editor’s Choice

2. Springfield Hellcat

Springfield Armory Hellcat is one of the best concealed carry options today

After years of development, the Hellcat is designed specifically for every day carry with Adaptive Grip Texture and high-visibility sights.

It’s the highest-capacity micro-compact 9mm in the world with an 11+1 flush-fitting magazine and a 13+1 extended magazine.

The Hellcat is available in black and FDE and in an optics ready OSP configuration.

Due to its popularity the Hellcat also has numerous holster options available to fit any gun configuration whether you go with the OSP version or attach a light or laser you’ll easily find a holster that can accomodate.

After spending a significant amount of time with this gun at the range I now consider this my best concealed carry pistol.

Springfield Hellcat 
Barrel Length3 inches
Capacity11+1 rounds
Overall Height4 inches
Overall Length6 inches
Overall Width1 inch
Weight Unloaded18.3 ounces
SightsFixed high-visibility
 User Rating4 out of 5 stars
 Learn more 

 3. SIG P365

Concealed carry options, the SIG Sauer P365

The SIG Sauer P365 micro-compact is a game-changing EDC carry gun with an unprecedented 10-round capacity. It’s easily one of the most popular concealed carry guns on the market right now.

It includes a patented double stack magazine that can hold 10+1 with the flush-fitting magazine and 12+1 with the extended magazine.

If the sub-compact version is just too small, you can also try the P365XL that comes in just a bit bigger then the standard P365.

You can also pick up an optics ready P365 that comes with the ROMEOZero reflex optic installed and zeroed at the factory.

SIG P365 
Barrel Length3.1 inches
Capacity10 rounds
Overall Height4.3 inches
Overall Length5.8 inches
Overall Width1 inch
Weight Unloaded17.8 ounces
User rating5 out of 5 stars
Learn more

 4. GLOCK 42

The GLOCK 42 subcompact pistol

The GLOCK 42 is a superb choice for everyday concealed carry. With an ultra-compact profile and 6 rounds of .380 ACP, this micro-GLOCK is the ideal platform for personal protection when you’re on the go.

It includes multiple integrated safeties with the GLOCK Safe Action and a smooth trigger pull for fast and accurate follow up shots.

Caliber.380 ACP
Barrel Length3.25 inches
Capacity6 rounds
Overall Height4.1 inches
Overall Length5.9 inches
Overall Width0.98 inches
Weight Unloaded12.2 ounces
SightsWhite dot front, white outline rear
Learn more

 5. S&W M&P Shield

The S&W M&P Sheild compact pistol

Available in a variety of sizes and calibers, the M&P Shield is well-trusted in the industry for reliability and concealability.

The S&W M&P line of pistols has a huge following from concealed carriers to law enforcement professionals for good reason. These handguns are reliable and easy to manipulate.

You’ll be surprised at how thin and lightweight this pistol is making it easy to carry all day long.

(Available in 9mm, .380 ACP or .45 ACP. Specs vary based on model. View models here.)

 6. Taurus G3C

Taurus G3c Concealed carry gun

The Taurus G3C is an accurate, reliable and durable compact pistol offered at a price much lower than many competitive models.

Taurus G2C 
Caliber9mm Luger
Barrel Length3.2 inches
Overall Height5.1 inches
Overall Length6.3 inches
Overall Width1.2 inches
Weight Unloaded22 ounces
Sights3 dot
User ratingN/A
Learn more

 7. Mossberg MC1sc

Mossberg MC1sc is a new handgun from Mossberg designed for concealed carry

Be prepared and protected with the MC1sc from Mossberg. The MC1sc is a state-of-the-art subcompact defensive pistol that combines optimal shootabiltiy with superior ergonomics.

It’s the first handgun Mossberg has manufactured in decades and was rated the 2020 handgun of the year by the NRA.

The Mossberg MC1sc features a flat-profile trigger with a crisp trigger pull and integrated safety. It also features a reversible magazine release and an aggressive grip texture.

Mossberg MC1sc 
Barrel Length3.4 inches
Capacity7 rounds
Overall Length6.3 inches
Weight Unloaded19 ounces
Sights3 dot
User ratingN/A
Learn more

 8. Girsan M1911SC

Girsan M1911sc subcompact handgun

The MC1911SC is a single-action 1911 model that is designed to work on the compact officer’s frame. This concealed carry piece is chambered in the powerful .45 ACP cartridges and holds six rounds in the flush-fitting magazine.

It’s also available in a 9mm configuration.

One unique feature of the Girsan MC1911SC is a windowed magazine and grip making it easy for you to see how many rounds you have left without taking the magazine out. This is a feature not seen on any other small guns on this list.

It’s also available in an optics ready configuration.

Girsan M1911SC 
Caliber.45 ACP
Barrel Length3.4 inches
Capacity6 rounds
Overall Height5 inches
Overall Length7 inches
Overall Width1.22 inches
Weight Unloaded1.6 pounds
SightsRear adjustable
FrameFully melded steel
Learn more 

 9. Springfield XD-E

Springfield XD-E Handgun

The Springfield Armory XD-E is a hammer fired pistol with a double action/single action operation.

Its thin 1 inch width makes it easy to conceal while the aggressive grip texture keeps it firmly in your hand while firing.

The XD-E features an ambidextrous thumb safety/decocker and a fiber optic front site for fast target acquisition.

Springfield XD-E 
Caliber9mm Luger
Barrel Length3.3 inches
Overall Height5 inches
Overall Length6.75 inches
Overall Width1 inch
Weight Unloaded25 ounces
SightsFiber optic front, low-profile combat rear
User rating5 out of 5 stars
Learn more

 10. GLOCK 43

Subcompact 9mm GLOCK 43

With an ultra-compact profile and 6 rounds of 9mm Luger, this micro-GLOCK is the ideal platform for personal protection when you’re on the go.

Its endured the same GLOCK torture tests all of their pistols go through so you’ll be confident this pistol will always work when you need it to.

Caliber9mm Luger
Barrel Length3.41 inches
Overall Height4.25 inches
Overall Length6.26 inches
Overall Width1.06 inches
Weight Unloaded16.2 ounces
SightsWhite dot front, white outline rear
User ratingN/A
Learn more

Best Pocket Pistols for Concealed Carry

11. S&W M&P Bodyguard 380

S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP pocket pistol

If you’re looking for a pocket pistol the S&W M&P Bodyguard 380 is an excellent choice. It’s light at less than 13 ounces, so light you may just forget you are carrying it.

The Bodyguard is thin at .75″ thick, allowing you to carry this .380 pistol anywhere and everywhere.

One popular configuration is with the integrated laser that adds almost nothing to the pistol in terms of bulk or weight.

S&W M&P Bodyguard 380 
Caliber.380 ACP
Barrel Length2.7 5 inches
Capacity6 rounds
Overall Height4.1 inches
Overall Length5.3 inches
Overall Width0.75 inch
Weight Unloaded12.3 ounces
SightsStainless steel, drift adjustable
User rating3.8 out of 5 stars
Learn more

 12. Springfield Armory 911

Soringfield Armory 911 1911 style concealed carry pocket gun

Springfield Armory’s 911 proved that a pocket pistol could fit in your hand and shoot with the familiarity of the legendary 1911 platform.

This small gun delivers the familiarity and features of the 1911 platform but in a much more compact and modern package.

(Available in 9mm or .380 ACP. Specs vary based on model. View models here.)

 13. Ruger LCP II

Ruger LCP II Handgun

The Ruger LCP II is built off of the initial success of the fantastic Ruger LCP with a few important improvements.

The front and rear sights on this pistol are integrated into the slide. While you aren’t able to change them, they are good quality snag free sights which is exactly what you want in a pocket pistol.

It includes an integrated trigger safety and a hammer catch that will prevent the hammer from contacting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled.

The LCP II was also recently released in a .22 LR Lite Rack version so if you’re looking for a .22 LR concealed carry gun this is one of the best options around.

Ruger LCP II 
Caliber.380 ACP
Barrel Length2.75 inches
Overall Height3.71 inches
Overall Length5.17 inches
Overall Width0.75 inches
Weight Unloaded10.6 ounces
FrameHigh-performance, glass-filled nylon
User rating4 out of 5 stars
Learn more

14. Diamondback DB9

Diamondback DB9 Pocket Pistol

This handgun has a 3″ barrel and a “ZERO-Energy” striker firing system with a mechanical firing pin block making it a great little safe micro-compact pistol.

Diamondback DB9 
Caliber9mm Luger
Barrel Length3 inches
Capacity6 rounds
Overall Height4 inches
Overall Length5.6 inches
Overall Width0.8 inch
Weight Unloaded11 ounces
SightsFront and rear fixed
User rating5 out of 5 stars
Learn more

15. NAA Guardian

NAA Guardian Pocket Pistol

Introduced in 1997, the Guardian is one of the few guns that fits comfortably in your pocket. The combination of small size, high quality, and great stopping power have made it the most popular Guardian.

NAA Guardian 
Caliber.380 ACP
Barrel Length2.49 inches
Overall Height3.53 inches
Overall Length4.75 inches
Overall Width0.93 inches
Weight Unloaded18.7 ounces
SightsLow-profile fixed
Frame17-pH stainless steel
User ratingN/A
Learn more

What is the Best Concealed Carry Gun for You?

Selecting your first concealed carry gun can feel a bit overwhelming. There are tons of fantastic options on the market today and each one has it’s pros and cons. 

The best thing to do is head to your local gun range and try out a bunch of different guns until you find one that your enjoy shooting and will work for concealed carry. 

If you want more advice on selecting one be sure to check out our guide on how to choose a concealed carry gun.


Which pocket gun sounds like it suits you best? Tell us which one and why in the comment section.


Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July of 2015. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and clarity.

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 (239)

  1. Hello I have an Honor Guard out of GA Veteran owned Semi 7 and 8 round mags appendix carry n 9 mil.use a People’s choice IWB and Mag Holster.

    NIB box on the range after cleaning: My 1st shot was at 7 yards and follow up was right next to the first shot I practice on spot one shot So from 15 yards and to a one hand draw at three yards Bullet drop at 15 yards with a 3.8″ barrel is 4.5 inches ail aimed above the Heart at 10 yards 3.5 and at 7 to 5 right on the original spot and at 3 yards with a slow draw and steady press within a 1/4 of an inch

    I have owned when it came out and o will put it up to a M&P Shield any day dropped in water and mud and it fired.When storing after cleaning from the frame up I use Lithium in storage(Not Axle grease UGH) and use Honey Lube Oil when is battery.

  2. When it comes to self defense, caliber is not as important as accuracy. In the concealed carry world you are responsible for wherever your round ends up, so you need to make sure you can hit your attacker. Training is of utmost importance. Training that puts you in stressful situations and teaches you how to stay calm and focused. It’s not about hitting the center of a paper target. It’s about staying calm and focused and hitting your target as it’s running toward you and hitting your target in an area that will neutralize the threat.

  3. If you base best concealment strictly on size you may solve the concealment issue but not answer the question of why are you carrying. Many of your choices were 380acp. IMHO, the smaller the caliber the more accurate one needs to be should you ever be required to defend yourself to hopefully stop a threat. I think any caliber less than a 9mm might have stopping power issues. Much has been written both in support of that and against. My preferred carry is either my M&P Shield 9 or 40. It isn’t that much bigger than most of the 380s you mention & it conceals quite well. Regardless, what’s most important is that one feel comfortable w the gun and shoots it well.

  4. Read your list of 15 conceal weapons and was disappointed that the semi-automatic I use was not on the list as it is one of the finest shooting weapons on the market (my brag). It is the Walther PPK 380.

  5. What? No Walther PPK’s? The original CC Weapon and the first successful DA/SA? For shame😤😤LOL. I carried a Walther PPK/S for nearly 25 years. The only reason I stopped was due to my aging eyes. The sights became nearly impossible to see in low light conditions, so it went to the safe and goes to the range every now and then. My PPK was one of the early Interarms models, before Interarms was completely tooled up to produce the guns here, so the slide and its components were manufactured in Ulm. Still one of the most accurate guns in my possession. Out of a Ransom, sub 1″groups at 25 feet (better than I can shoot freehand). Now that Walther USA is reintroducing the line, I may try to pick up a blue model. I understand that at the time of the article it was no longer in the catalogue, but honerable mention would have been nice.☺

  6. To those posting their chagrin that the P365 was not on this list, the article was written in 2015, years before the P365 was available.

  7. Hey people let’s take a look at the facts, I’m a retired marine, and my son is on his 17th year of his army career, we have an well established security firm , and today’s carry weapons are nothing but cookie cutters.Your Sig’s ,kimber’s , Ruger’s ect. Look at history our military started out with colt , and it ran for how long , decades. Then replaced by berettas, and than the battle between glock and sig for the military contract , which in my opinion was won by the politicians . Someone’s pocket got lined, if you know what I mean. I was able to purchase 6 of the fifteen hundred of the glock G19x’s that they had on stand by to give the government for the final test run, before they determined who was to get the contract. Well never the less, they went with a cookie Cutter. We put those glocks threw a number of tests from sand, water , rock, and a few other trails, along with a thousand rounds put threw one and not a single malfunction . So my opinion for all you pretty boys out there,you want to run with the big dogs on the block, my suggestion to ya is run with the GLOCK. Good luck Semper fi , god bless our troops ,and god bless America.

  8. How was the Sig P365 left of this list????? I own multiple guns on this list and the Sig P365 is my favorite. By a wide margin might I add.

  9. You missed one on your list that I have and love to carry as a backup or as an only carry when required. The micro desert eagle .380, as a 100% permanent and totally disabled veteran without the ability to wear a holster on a belt or inside/outside a waistband this is a perfect pocket gun and even with a custom pocket holster. It’ll go bang every time you squeeze the trigger to put a round down range.

  10. I finally pulled the trigger on a SIG P365. It’s much smaller and snappier than I thought. Very accurate though I had practice a bit as I don’t have a lot of range time with small semi automatics. Quite concealable and 13 rounds is nice.

  11. I have the SCCY CPX 2 and its a pretty good gun. Have switched to the SA XDe in .45 ACP. Same size and better shooter.

  12. What about the Kimber Micro ‘s it had a laser,, and night sights . And it feels like a real gun. I do own a Camo LCP and a P238, but Kimber is a shooting machine.

  13. I rotate three carry guns depending on activity and dress. First criteria for acceptance is dependability followed by concealable. SIG P320compactRX with reflex sight, 9mm with two spare mags. S&W 638 snub nose, 38spcl with crimson trace grips and three reload strips. SIG P238, .380 with two spare mags. All weapons have hundreds of rounds through them with no fail to fire and all shoot to point of aim. SIG P320 is obviously the preferred weapon for an octogenarian with weak eyes. The reflex sight is a miracle for sure and the (3) 15 round mags are reassuring. Admittedly not a pocket gun.

  14. I have had both a Beretta Nano BU9 and the SCCY CPX-2. Both were easy to carry concealed and quite adequately accurate for defensive use. I liked both of them fine but neither one is designed for an afternoon of plinking. I preferred the feel of the Beretta polymer, the SCCY felt more ‘plastic.’ The milled steel control unit of the SCCY gave me better ‘vibes’ than the stamped steel of the Nano and I liked the way it showed the serial number at the rear rather than through a cut-out in the grip frame. Both pistols had some difficulty with 115gr ball ammo at first, but after a few boxes worked just fine. My preferred ammo is 124gr jacketed hollow point – sufficient to get the job done without some gung-ho name that would scare liberal courts. (Hopefully this will never be an issue.) Both had occasional feeding problems that vanished after I polished the feed ramps. Before I figured that out though, I had called SCCY to complain and within a few days I had a new barrel! I like to have a few spare parts around just in case which is no problem with the Nano, but there isn’t (at the time) any aftermarket support for the SCCY. I realize that Baretta was trying to make the Nano as thin as possible, but I think a slide stop would be highly advised especially on ranges when an open slide is needed for safety purposes. Even with an extended magazine on the Nano, the SCCY held more rounds. I would recommend either to friends or family that are looking for a small EDC at a good price.

  15. I carry a Bursa ultra compact Thunder pro, because I like the stopping power of a 45 caliber bullet. I also use a wheel gun which is a Smith and Wesson 38 hammerless special, that thing is really tiny. I think carrying at .22 as a concealed carry weapon is not practical, unless you hit a vital spot, it may slow and down, but it won’t stop them

  16. In warm weather I carry a Sig 938 under a loose fitting T-shirt,
    Seven rounds of 9mm and not much bigger than the Sig 238.

    When it is cool enough for a cover garment I carry a Sig SP2022 in .40 S&W.
    With this caliber Sig’s .357 Sig conversion barrel is all you need to switch calibers

  17. I use the Sig P238as my pocket pistol, but my main carry is the Glock 43. 9mm single stack. Easily concealable. I have a wide variety of CC firearms, but the Glock has stayed in my rotation the longest. I am not a big guy, so finding a gun that works great for me is difficult.

  18. One weapon may be missing from this list… let me explain… My son is a State Trooper. When he graduated from the Academy, I bought him a back-up… A Walther PPKS 380. I didn’t have a 380 in my collection ..guess thought they weren’t as good as a 9 but… learned is a great CC caliber and works well. So well I now own 2 380s..a PPKS and a FEG-SMC.

    Now his Daughter is in College… for a Law Degree and will continue. But, she also wants to become a State Trooper like her father… When she turned 21 I sent her to apply for a Conceal Carry and took her to my favorite Gun (Jewelry.. LOL ) store. After going through a lot of them…it came down to the SIG 365 9mm. I knew they had issues when they first came out but have worked through them and now they have shown reliable and well built. She loves the weapon and should have no issue with it being a great back-up. To be honest, I see another 9mm coming into my collection… a SIG 365..Love the idea of 10 rounds in the palm of my hand with a 12 round option.

    So maybe the SIG 365 needs a mention… All IMHO

  19. You forgot the Makarov bro….. Simple to use, excellent safety that blocks the hammer, easy point and fire larger caliber than 380, even if it’s only by a scratch, 8 rounds and super affordable. Downside, a little heavy, sights force you to rely on point and fire technique but other than those two, that’s it.

  20. I have two pistols I keep in my concealed carry rotation, a Kimber micro 9 and Sig P365. Both guns run flawlessly and are similar in size. The P365 is the newest version with manual safety and holds 12 rounds which is exceptional for such a small pistol.

  21. I have three guns that I rotate in my carry rotation. I have a Sig P238 which is my carry choice when I need deep conceal and cannot wear a cover garment. It is very light, is very accurate and much easier to shoot than the Ruger LCP it replaced. My second carry weapon is a Sig P938. This is the bigger brother of the P238 and is chambered in 9mm. This is also very accurate and is more comfortable to shoot than the P238. It is my favorite weapon. Lastly I have two Sig P365’s. The first is a very early edition (March 17, 2018). I have had ZERO issues with it. It is very accurate and super easy to carry. I also have a new Sig P365 NRA edition, in the coyote color. It also functions perfectly. I highly recommend any of these!

  22. I really like my PF9. I carry it in my pocket every single day while I’m at work and no one ever knows. Yet it is accurate at combat ranges and reliable with 7+1 of 9mm HP ammo.

  23. I am taking a taking a hard look at the Sig P365.. Probably,will get this summer if sigs got the bugs worked out. Anybody tried a recent one?Thanks boys and girls
    sgt. Max

    1. Yes. Fit is phenomenal. Would be an excellent carry gun. Practice, practice, practice since it’s smaller framed it can be a slightly snappy. With frequent range time, it will be easily overcome.

  24. I have been intending to buy a sign P360..?? P356..?? Which ever it is..a 10 round stagger clip 9mm that it seems everyone can shoot well. A actually accurate sub compact 9mm is a dream come true to me, and I see nothing here that would diswade mefrom buying it.
    Thanks for your artical.
    Gary Heaton

  25. I have a small pistol that belonged to my grandmother in law in the late fifties. The plastic piece on the handle is broken and I would like to know where I can find a replacement piece.

  26. Ruger did not copy Keltecs design. It looks very similar but was vastly improved in ergonomics, the extractor was vastly improved over the crap the Keltec used and an all important slide stop was added. A slide stop is really a must to get a really good look at the chambers of these little guns. The Keltec was a run of the mill turd and Ruger polished it up and made it into one of the best, if not THE best pocket pistol ever made.

  27. Beretta is full of it. The original Ruger LCP (still being sold) is the smallest not the Pico, and the Ruger is lightest by far. Smallest in height by nearly a half inch, same length but smaller in weight by a whole 2.5 ounces! The original Ruger LCP is the smallest. 380ACP still in production, maybe ever.

  28. I have a Pt709 Taurus. I like it and have put 500 round through it. A good idea is to try a few at a local shop and range. It really will depend on how your choice fits your hand. But the Pt709 is a good choice but not the smallest. It is 9mm with 6 shoots with one more in the barrel. I like the Ruger for smaller LCP2 but the price point is very good on the LCP .308 which is the older model of the same gun. I have seen them for 169.00! Roger makes a very good product and a good choice for a pocket pistol that sometimes comes with a pocket holster. Great deals can be found this weekend. Good luck

    1. Also, the LCP2 has the advantage of leaving the slide open when the last cartridge is ejected. The original LCP will not do that and will go into the closed position.

  29. I Sig P365 too, to replace the Bersa Thunder .380 I was conceal-carrying. I’m loving it as an IWB carry and it SHOOTS so nice…

  30. I have 3 .380’s. The Walther PPK is wonderful but hard on the hand. Have nor fired the Ruger enough to tell. The Kimber is the best feel in the hand and easiest to shoot. My top choice is the Kimber raptor.

  31. The CM9, like the Sig P290RS, is really a great POCKET gun for light, thin shorts such as the ones you would wear in Florida. As a matter of fact it is about 1/2 inch shorter than the last 4 guns on the list and about 1/2 inch shorter than the last 2 (the Taurus is incorrectly listed as 3.5 inches in height, it is actually 4.5 inches). What makes it better than the Sig P290RS is the best trigger in this size group.

    1. The latest offering LCP II is better for the trigger is much better than the original LCP.

    2. Horrible idea. I can attest to it being just as expensive in the long run, but with more clutter. And now I have two expensive hobbies that my wife just “loves”.

      But hey, at least the family is safe at every inch of our house.

  32. My best choice depends on weather. and clothes.
    Sig P365 has replaced my glock 43 for colder weather and low import of concealment excursions. sig is same size hold more rounds and has a better trigger. I had tried out an XDE but its trigger sux.
    and P380 for high concealability days.

  33. I bought a Kahr CM9 when they first came out. I wanted a lightweight 9mm pistol I could conceal and draw from my front pocket. I was just getting back into guns at the time.

    The size and power was fine but the long trigger pull of the DA only pistol was a turn off. So I went on a hunt to replace it.

    After purchasing another 10 hand guns and twice as many holsters I came back to the Kahr as my EDC pistol of choice.

    You see all the time during my search I would still take the CM9 to the range and little by little I became more proficient with the trigger.

    I started treating it like a two stage trigger where I would take up the trigger travel right before the break, slight pause and then squeeze through the break.

    Eventually it became a fast fluid motion that allows me to quickly empty the mag with consistent baseball size groupings at self defense distances. Slower rate of firing would produce golf ball size groupings.

    The only concern I had was the 6 round mag. So I bought the extended 7 round mag and practiced rapid mag changes, I carry the extra mag in a Remora mag holster inside my waist band.

    For me there is no better solution.

    My home defense handgun of choice is my CZ -75

  34. Where is Ruger? Ruger started the small concealed carry pistol back in 2008.

    Whoever wrote this is either a “Ruger hater” or blind to all USA Firearm Manufacturers here in country.

    Ridiculous article.

    1. Obviously, you didn’t read the note at the bottom of the article. Ridiculous oversight

  35. I think all of these pistols would serve fine so it is a matter of personal preference. But my preference is not to own any striker fired weapon. A double action, external hammer auto design solved the ‘problem more than a half century ago. Call me an Old Fogey but striker fired wepons, especially without a grip safety (like a 1911) I feel are too dangerous to carry chambered. My carry in the pocket pistol is Polish p64 in 9 x 18 Makarov. This is an all steel clone of the Walther PPK but more reliable.

  36. What shocked me was the fact that one of the smallest, highest selling, low cost compact pistols, did not make your sorry ass list? Ruger

    Ruger should be on and at the top with the Kel-tec. (Similar)

    You must be a Ruger hater!!

    1. Everyone should remember that CTD almost never reviews guns they don’t sell – so lots of excellent/better guns get excluded from these kind of lists – got to go elsewhere if you want broader based assessments – ask a Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth dealer what the best family cars are, see if he names a Ford or GM model ????

    2. Its a known fact that Ruger copied Kel Tec’s design. So why list it? It’s redundant. There are some minute differences but nothing major until the new LCP 2 was recently released. Now it’s a much better option.

  37. While I understand the desire to talk about “backup weapons” and their concealability, isn’t that rather redundant if you are already carrying concealed? I carry a Colt Delta Elite 10mm as my service weapon because it gets the job done right the first time. If I should let myself get in a situation where I have to pull my backup, it will probably be in a close range hand to hand combat scenario. I want something small that fits in the palm of my hand and only I can grip and control. It will probably be barrel to head or barrel to heart. Either way, distance or accuracy is not important at this point! I prefer a “RAVEN ARMS” type weapon in 25 cal. Hell, it fits in the bottom of my thermos!

  38. I agree with Dennis Tompkins I carry a S&W Bodyguard 380 with the built in Crimson Trace sight and I really like it. Fits in my pocket and I can carry it all day without a hitch. You can also get a 10 round clip if you carry in your jacket pocket. Also a plus is the 10 round clip gives you a great grip on the weapon.

  39. Enjoyed the list of 15 smallest guns; however, the LW Seecamp in 32 & 380 are conspicuosly absent.

    Seecamps very small – smaller than some on this list – they are all metal, and they are extremely reliable.

    The Seecamp needs to be on this list.

  40. I’m surprised and disappointed that the S&W Bodyguard .380 wasn’t included in this list! From a size and weight standpoint, it should have been in 5th place…and it’s the number-one very lightest and smallest .380 auto that’s equipped with a manual thumb safety, which I strongly prefer for “safety redundancy” purposes.

  41. I carry the Kahr PM9. It is a little bigger than these but still works for pocket carry. I keep trying to replace it and I try to carry a larger gun with more capacity. Right now I am trying a sig p320 I have the subcompact frame on order. I recently purchased a glock 43 and shot it for a bit. I was more accurate with the Kahr and it was a little smaller. The PM9 has a match barrel, hexagonal rifling, and a better trigger. I wanted the best components I could get. It has been perfectly reliable, no FTF, stove pipe or any issue in over 6 years. At 10 yards I shot a 5″ group with the Kahr compared to a 10″ with the Glock. I frequently try friends pistols and for me the Kahr works best. That is not to say that for you a different pistol may work best. The best advice I can give is to find a range that rents guns and try all the models you are looking for. I have found there is no substitute for actually shooting the gun you are considering.

  42. I carry a CZ P64, 9×18 Makarov, as a back up. Heavy pull on the first double action round but quite acceptable trigger pull for follow up shots, not to mention it’s pretty, close range, accurate. Fits on my front pocket and has never failed me.
    I think the Makarov. 9×18 is a highly under rated round.

    1. I carry a p64 as well. It is Walther’s PPK clone but I feel better made and more reliable.Walther’s are good but can be ammo finicky, but not the P64. Besides I am older shooter and striker fired pistols are just not acceptable for em for safety reasons of course. The DA auto solves this. with an external hammer, I can carry the P64 chambered and the harder longer trigger pull on the first shot is the best most effective safety.You do not have that with striker fired pistol. I would not carry a striker fired pistol chambered myslef,too dangeious.

  43. If I am carrying I have a stainless Steel S&W 649-2 with CrimsonTrace Laser grips some where on me. I may have a CZ-75BD or CZ-75 P-07 as well. I have carried a Kel Tec PF-9 and P-TA3 and they all work every time if they are reasonably clean and using ammo stout enough to work the action.

    The only failures I have had were light strikes before I put in longer firing pins and lighter hammer springs to give reliable primer strikes. I find that need on 75% of the newly manufactured guns. I expect it’s done to make passing the California drop test easier. A short firing pin with a little stouter firing pin return spring and heavier hammer spring will pop most pistol primers most of the time. Rifle primers and some European primers made for machine gun ammo are too hard and need longer firing pins.

    If I don’t limp wrist the pistol it feeds every time once it is broken in.

    I’m 73 and believe a revolver is good thing to have in a gun fight when your semi-auto decides to act up or shoot to slide lock and you find you left you extra magnetize in the other jacket.

    People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election. – Otto Von Bismarck

  44. How in the hell could you folks forget about the USA’s number 1 firearms manufacturer. Ruger which of course has the best selling .380 LCP!!!

    No list without this pistol.

    I own & think it is the best of them all, bar none!!!

  45. Working streets of Detroit in 90s my back up and EDC was a Combat Commander. it is slim, smallish and saved my life twice. Today it is a Gen 1 G21 retired local agency item. Sometimes they need to know you carry, like a deterrent.

  46. I’ve got a Desert Eagle Micro that only retired to second fiddle/backup when I chose an XDs 3.3 .45 for every day.
    Both autos -and- my CharterArms “Pug” .44 S&W ride IWB in Remora holsters specific to their fitment.

  47. I have a Bersa 380 Thunder Plus, a great gun with a 15 round mag.
    Small, compact, will not fire with round in chamber and mag removed.

  48. I really like my 3.1″ barrel shield 9mm and my 3.3″ barrel XD slim .45acp. As EDC IWB they have both been great skinny pistols (narrower than 1″) that do not print. My only reservation with both of them is that I’d like a 4″ (XDS now comes in 4″) From an accuracy standpoint they are both just fine but I think my eyes would benefit from the longer sight radius if the barrel and slide were longer while the grip and frame stayed the same. From a concealment standpoint it is usually not the barrel that is hard to hide so this would be a non-issue.
    For contrast, shooting a 5″ 1911 feels very natural looking down the well spaced sights but a 1911 is still wider and taller in the grip than the two above.

  49. I love my Kel-Tec .32 automatic. 6.6oz unloaded , 9. 2oz with 7+1. I’ve seen penetration tests on you tube, shoots through 1/2″ plywood and almost through a 2″x4″. Ouch. No .22’s mentioned, ask any surgeon which bullet does the most internal damage, 100% will say the .22 because a .38 or .45 will blast right through the body while a .22 bounces around inside of you. One guy was shot in his butt and the bullet exited his neck. Surgeon must follow wound chamber and repair it as it goes. ouch ouch. Also, if you DO shoot and are charged, I’ll bet your jury will be swayed by a .22 compared to a desert eagle.

  50. sig sauer p290 rs. This 9MM holds 6+1 and it’s only 5.5″ L X 3.9″H Sig nite sites, re-strike capability .9″ Wide

  51. A Gremany company Korth Waffen (Arms) makes a 9x19mmR/Parabellum Revolver with 2-inch Barrel called the Sky Marshall for about $950.00 USD…

  52. As a Gunsite trained student my everyday carry gun is a 238 sig. It’s loaded with hornady xtp slugs which penetrate 13″-14″ in ballistic gelatin with FBI protocol.

    I can shoot aimed fire into 1″ at ten yards with this load and empty the gun in less than 1 second covering the group with my palm in the A zone of a standard target.

    Defensive shooting is just like real estate…. Location location location. A proper hit with a .380 is far superior to a poorly aimed 50 action express.

  53. A little story about the .380. My wife is an RN, trained originally in the emergency room, and now a hospital supervisor who attends every knife and gun event in the ER. Her hospital has a euphemism for these events called “The knife and gun club” because of so many gang-related stabbings and shootings.

    Recently a man was brought into the ER who had somehow shot himself directly in his chest. This man did not even go into surgery. He went directly to a bed.

    This is just one example of the many .380 experiences my wife has had in 25 years. I have heard the saying that “The .380 is the new 9mm. Well, it isn’t. If you trust your life to a .380, I wish you good luck.

    1. Although I obviously wasn’t there, as an ER physician I can tell you that many gunshot wounds do not require surgery. If the bullet doesn’t strike a major blood vessel or vascular organ, it may cauterize the tissue and result in little to no bleeding. I’ve discharged patients from the ED with a 9mm souvenir (within the body) with a few Percocet…. It would be interesting to see the details about the case you mentioned though.

    2. If you are an ER physician you know giving out specific information is a HIPPA violation. I don’t know the specifics anyway.

    3. I think the info rebart & jack gave of these ER experiences is general enough that there is no HIPPA concern. Usually has to have specific patient info, including some patient ID data to be a violation.

    4. Maddest man I ever saw had just been shot through the middle of the chest with a .30 Carbine by a thief at one of his building sites. He was driving around San Antone better armed than a Paratrooper ready to jump behind enemy lines looking for the guy that shot him.

      The shot was through and through that didn’t hurt much. Boy was he pissed.

      You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. -WAYNE GRETZKY

    5. WTF does HIPPA have anything to do with this discussion? Hey Ross…were you the whiney little S*%T in school who would taddle to the teacher every violation of the rules you saw because no one could stand being around you? WHY do you internet TOADS even suck in precious air that belongs to sane people??

      How about we talk about F&%#ING GUNS????

    6. i am not a docor and even I know that what he/she said was not a HIPPA viiolation. No name was given so no violation. It was anecdotal therefore no violation.

  54. Kindly do not forget the Springfield XDs series. With a 3.3″ barrel, the XDs 45 weighs 21oz and is only 6.3″ OAL. Certainly out-powers anything on this list & is PLENTIFULLY concealable. AND, the rest of Kahr’s CM/PM series. Even in 45, the CM/PM weighs only 17.3oz and a mere 5.8″ OAL. The 40 & 9 CM/PM series Kahrs are even lighter. Hooray for Springfield & Kahr!

  55. I think you should have included the Taurus TCP 738 380. It only weighs 10 ozs and has a very nice 4.5 DA trigger. Fits in the palm of your hand and only costs $200. Must be a good one because you never see them for sale used. My wife and I both have one each now for many years.

  56. I carry a Russian makarov, accurate and dependable, never had a problem and if you want more power get it in 9×18

  57. OK, so you don’t carry Ruger at this time. So how does that prevent you from buying one and evaluating it anyway?

    1. Hi Cliff,
      Thank you for reading and your comment.
      I wish I had an extra $400 to buy a gun just to test! How fun my life would be!
      I have had an opportunity to try a few of the Ruger LCs… not bad guns at all, in my opinion.

  58. I thought this was a completely biased report with many errors. One being with the Beretta being the smallest .380. Everyone, including the reporter (who passed the blame to Beretta!) and Beretta, knows that the Ruger LCP is the smallest, most reliable .380 out there by far. They also didn’t even mention the Ruger LC9 which is probably the best 9mm pocket pistol from sales to size out there and beats Kahr’s inconsistent reliability and cheapest price by $100 without the cheap skanky advertising. This report was a complete waste of time. It is a good thing I didn’t waste the time to read the entire article. biased and poorly written as most articles in most gun magazines. Who is paying these guys???

    1. Brian,
      If you had read the entire article, you would know why the Ruger was left out. Let me reiterate:
      Note: Ruger has three subcompact semiautos that would make this list—the LCP, LC9s and the LC380. However, Ruger has ceased allowing any third party shipments. Unfortunately, we cannot carry Ruger at this time.

    1. Everyone is different. A definitive CAC weapon is a myth. By the way, if you need 19+ shoots to accomplish a task, you would be better to get the hell out of whatever you got yourself into.

    2. Everyone is different. A definitive CAC weapon is a myth. By the way, if you need 19+ shots to accomplish a task, you would be better to get the hell out of whatever you got yourself into.

  59. Something I noticed though the article, and in the comments the lack of mention of a revolver . There are a lot folks that for one reason or another can’t handle a auto-loader. There is something to be said for the simplicity of a wheel gun. The only real downside is the lack of large number of rounds on tap. Typically 5-6 rounds. with few exceptions. . Thus making it more important to spend even more time learning to use it, Carrying speed-loaders, and learning to use them quickly and even one handed, and of course getting shots and follow up shot all on target,

    1. Hi Kenneth,
      Thank you for reading and your comment.
      Great observation! This article was strictly for semiautomatics. Look for a list of revolvers to come soon!

  60. Not all shooters are the same, everybody holds their pistol different, no matter how many times you tell or show them. All these pistols are good, but only as good as the Shooter.

  61. Yeah, what about the S&W Bodyguard 380? It is smaller than most of these on the list. I own it and love it!

  62. Good carrys all of them. I agree with Jack Haskins. I cannot believe the S&W Bodyguard 380 was not even mentioned but the Diamondbacks were? Also, the Kel Tec PF-9 was given a nod but not the P-11 which holds 10+ 1 rounds of 9mm fire power to carry for the money at the basic size of the PF-9. ???

    1. I’ve owned Taurus Slim and Kel-Tec P-11 and M+P Shield. My favorite carry is Ruger LC9. I can carry the LC9 with a Blackhawk pocket holster regardless of what i wear and nearly forget its there. The LC9 is accurate and has performed flawlessly.
      I would like to know a little more about this Ruger 3rd party shipment thing. I did read something about it on the Ruger site but I’m not sure what’s going on.

  63. “For the post espousing .25 cal with glaser rounds. Okay, but keep in mind that round, with only 94 ft lbs, has 4 to 5 times less muzzle
    energy than a 9mm cartridge. The .25 just barely bests a .22lr,”
    NO, most .22 lr HOLLOW POINT rounds have MORE THAN 120 ft lbs MUZZLE ENERGY!
    When I was a kid my brother and I took our dads .22lr target rifle and took a large bar of Fels Naphtha soap and shot it end to end from about 10 feet. The entrance hole was .22 but the far end of the bar, 5 or 6 inches, had a TWO INCH exit hole!!! NOT TOO SHABBY for defense!

  64. I don’t think I’ve ever read a bad review about the Sig 938. I’ve often heard it referred to as the last small pistol. Check it out everyone.

    1. Robert,

      I have three P938’s (wife stole the first SAS version I purchased so had to replace it. I agree, it’s a great gun and is now my carry gun, replacing a Sig P229 .40. The P938 is far more comfortable at my age (70).

      P938 pros:
      Very accurate, reliable, and with great night sights standard (most versions).

      Slide is very easy to rack. Recoil is surprisingly moderate and easy to manage. Gun is comfortable in small to large hands (7 round mag recommended).

      Nicely made and all metal (alloy frame, stainless slide. Quality machining throughout

      Easy to work on, trigger jobs etc. Crisp trigger with little pre and post travel.

      Excellent safety positively locks hammer back. Firing pin block, trigger has to be held back to unblock.

      Fairly heavy trigger at 7.5 to 8.5 lbs (factory spec), a “trigger job” can take it to 5 lbs with no after market parts.

      Not cheap compared to other choices, but worth it.

      Magazines are pricey too, starting at $35 or so.

      There is one known issue that Sig has not addressed. A few have experienced main spring housing failure, usually after many hundreds of rounds, where the sear spring attaches. This is not a sudden failure and is easy to monitor wear by removing mag and looking in mag well at the little nub that retains the spring.

  65. I was disappointed not to find my S&W .380 Bodyguard listed in this article. I find it very easy to shoot and very accurate. The only draw back is the long trigger pull. for a carry gun it is very good.

  66. I have a 7.65 Mauser my late father in law took off a german office in ww2, 357 Ruger, a 1911 45 acp, and a Ruger sr22..I carry depending on where I plan on going, love the 45 but kind of heavy, same with 357, sr22 nice size but will not drop a man with frist shot bought it for grand kids to get started learning about guns….380 or 40 sounds just right…most of my friends carry 9mm. I carried 45 in your site and company

  67. Of those on the list, I prefer the S&W M&P Shield. My wife carries this as a primary self-sefense weapon in .9mm and I carry it in .40 Caliber. Affordable, reliable and well made. Goes BANG! everytime and hits where you aim. I was also surprised the S&W .380 Bodyguard was not on the list. This is my wife’s back-up handgun. I have also carried it from time-to-time. Great little shooter. And at times, dependng on weather and clothing options, I have also carried a Taurus 738 or Bersa Thunder .380 Combat model. Both are inexpensive and have proven to be reliable. SO MANY choices on the market anymore. One must do a lot of research in advance. The majority of people go by looks and feel first, and THEN by reputation and functionality second.

    1. “My wife carries this as a primary self-sefense weapon in .9mm”

      DRIVES ME NUTS 🙂 to see .9mm. NOT .9mm (POINT9mm), JUST 9mm!!!
      I’ve also seen in newspapers and magazines: .12 gauge shotgun! It’s 12 gauge with NO PERIOD BEFORE THE 12!!! Also, the 12 is the number of lead balls per pound that fit in a 12 gauge barrel.

      ONE MORE thing: The rectangular metal tube that holds the ammunition for your semi-automatic handgun and fits in the butt of the pistol is a MAGAZINE, NOT a CLIP!!!

  68. You didn’t mention Bersa. The last time I qualified for CHL my Bersa went up against PPK, h&k Baretta and glock. My bersa shot super tight group, a perfect score no jams. While the other guns shot all over the target and also some had jams.

  69. Yo Cliff. I do not work for Cheaper Than Dirt. Just an old mans observation on why they did not include a particular brand of gun. I happen to carry the LCP with a Crimson Trace laser and it works for what it is. It will do its job when called upon so that is that.

  70. And what about the Springfield EMP? Expensive but a super 9mm if you want a 1911 style. Also, no mention of the much touted Kimber Solo. It started out with many functioning problems and is not heard of much any more. I never see an evaluation of that one.

  71. Russkie Vityazi

    July 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm | #

    What the author of this list is saying, is the Rugers were not tested because Cheaper Than Dirt cannot buy direct from Ruger, and must buy their stock from a master distributer.

    Ok so buy Rugers anyway and test them if Cheaper than Dirt wants to do a fair evaluation. Admittedly I have not tried all the guns mentioned here, but I have tried a great many of them. I still vote for the Ruger LC9s as Ruger saw the original LC9 had a not so great trigger pull with the hammer fired gun and remade it in striker fire, much improving the trigger pull. Try it you’ll like it. As an aside, I don’t carry an auto, but I do carry a Ruger LCR in .38 Special, a proven man stopper.

  72. What a pile of horse turds. The author gave the Sig 238 less stars than the Colt even though mechanically they are the same gun with the following differences:

    polymer frame 3.7 oz lighter.
    Worthless front rail

    Interchangeable grips
    lots of bolt on aftermarket
    Better sights
    Better trigger
    Wider assortment of holsters
    $150 less expensive
    Less perceived recoil due to weight
    More accurate

    How dumb is that when writing for first time buyers?

  73. You left out the Rorbaugh R9. Sure, it’s way more expensive that the others, but that’s like leaving out Mercedes Benz from a car review because theirs are more expensive. The Rorbaugh R9 was the original pocket sized 9mm long before the others showed up and remains the smallest and most elegant of pocket guns.

  74. Sir I beg to differ with you but there is no way in basic physics that a 25 cal can even remotely come close to a 9 mm. Foot pounds of energy are at a minimum difference of SIX times. You can believe all that Glazer hype but physics doesn’t change or lie.

  75. “It may not be very pretty, but Kahrs function every time.”
    Really? I’ve read more than one small pistol review by noted gun writers that showed different. I had assumed that was true until I read the reviews but Kahrs didn’t seem to be in the top tier with leading and popular ammo manufacturers.
    Now Glock and a couple of others did, but not Kahr, at least in the magazine tests I read.

  76. I bought a Kahr CW380 to mess with as a pocket pistol. I liked it but wasn’t thrilled with .380. I ended up buying a Glock 30S as a primary and I bought a Kahr CM40 as a back-up. I’ve got 150 rounds through the CM40 with no complaints. I was concerned that it might be a handful due to it’s size and weight, but have been very pleasantly surpriseds. My only complaint was the long trigger pull, but I have gotten past that.

  77. What the author of this list is saying, is the Rugers were not tested because Cheaper Than Dirt cannot buy direct from Ruger, and must buy their stock from a master distributer. Most manufactures do business this way and it actually does not mean anything to the buying public. What I find unusual is the pricing does not seem to reflect actual MSRP, but Cheaper Than Dirt’s price.

    1. It says the top 15 small pistols. Leaving the LCP out makes the whole premise of the article flawed. Borrow one. If you can’t buy it.

    2. My comment was not anything negative about Ruger, if you read it again. I do in fact carry a LCP with a Crimson Trace for deep conceal carry. Works fine for what it is. Where I live it is like a candy store with all of the choices on what is available.

    3. quite right,
      Messieur Ric,
      regarding the Ruger LCP…
      even more so,
      for the newer LCP 2.. a very excellent hand gun.

  78. I must admit I am disappointed not to see a Springfield XD-S in either a 9mm or 45 reviewed.

    I personally prefer the 45, a carry one everyday.

    1. Thomas, I carry an XD-S .45 everyday, also. I can not say a bad word about it.

  79. I have a S&W 1911 style 380acp and like it very much. I was raised with 1911 45 acap’s & became very adept breaking them down and cleaning at a very young age (in the dark).Also you missed a very interesting 380: a Russian IZHEVSK by IMEZ. it is a well made excellent shooting pistol at possibly a perfect weight fo carry and shoot; just heavy enough. It was manufactured in qty. for the B WEST Gun Shop & range here in Tucson. Thumb release safety; Mag. release at bot. of grip. Trig. grd rel. XL BL’G.

  80. I know most reviewers appear to be gun snobs, however do you know there is a firearm that most snobs laugh off that the Shooters Bible says is “the closest to Barietta quality @ 1/5 Barietta cost) same caliber & when tested fired more rounds than that the Barietta before malfunctioning. YES it is a .25 caliber., for self defense only 1 brand (Glazer) of cartridge works. the info sheet for the ammo. states it “provides instant & total incapacitation” there are 2 powers available blue for penetrating light weight clothing & gold for heavy coats. the reviews state these loads are as effective as a 9mm out to 45 ft. before you dismiss these guns check out the defense loads made for them. I know some states may restrict sale of this ammo. but if a perp laughs at a potential victim with a Glazer equipped .25 it will be his last Thx JB

    1. A friend carried a .25 Raven for years. I thought it to be a reasonable choice for someone with a good throwing arm.

  81. Although I carry a .45 for the most part, the .32 did in Hitler and was used for many years by many as a primary handgun caliber. I often carry a LW Seecamp when I have no place to put the XDS. Now that Seecamp makes a .380 the same size as their .25 & .32 and is smaller than any of the above I think it deserves a a note.
    The old story still holds true, nothing beats practice, proper shot placement with a gun you wont leave at home.

  82. I think if the Sig P-938was DA-SA with ambi safety the rest of the manufactures would be in big trouble with excess inventory in that category.

    1. The Sig P938 does come with an ambidextrous safety, it’s the P238 (.380 and slightly smaller version) that has a left side safety only. BTW, for those that prefer a single sided safety, two parts (safety lever and hammer pivot pin) from the P238 will convert the P938 to single sided safety (I’ve done mine that way.

      The P938 comes with a somewhat heavy 7.5 to 8.5 lb. trigger pull, though it is crisp with little pre or post travel. Some prefer a heavier trigger in a SA, 1911 style pistol that is typically carried “cocked and locked” i.e. a round in the chamber, hammer cocked, and safety on. There are those who don’t feel this “condition one” carry is safe enough, though it is most definitely safe. But the shooter must practice moving the safety lever to the fire position during the draw – – easy to do.

      The sights on most of the versions are Sig Light (tritium night sights) with excellently proportioned front post and rear square notch – unusually good sights for this type of pistol.

      For the post espousing .25 cal with glaser rounds. Okay, but keep in mind that round, with only 94 ft lbs, has 4 to 5 times less muzzle
      energy than a 9mm cartridge. The .25 just barely bests a .22lr, and even with the glaser round, which contains birdshot is not a round that I’d choose for self defense. Better than none for sure, but there are better choices IMO.

  83. Wow! Bumper, you really know what you are talking about, the Sig 938 may be the finest small gun on the market. I suggest some of these guys go online and read the reviews.

  84. You must sell a different Beretta Nano than I’ve been carrying for better than a year – mine has a metal frame as did the ones I’ve seen reviewed on YouTube. The frame (with serial #) sits in a polymer body, but the frame is metal – one of the factors that convinced me to buyt.

  85. I’ve picked up everyone of these at a gun show or dealer and i just can’t get myself to trip the trigger on a purchase…they all feel too small and fragile…. and most look cheaply made, even though i know they’re not…I have an affinity to the .45, but may spring for a smaller framed “9” someday….probably look around for an older model walther, played around with one years ago and it felt good….

  86. The Shield is a nice gun but I have tried a Shield and a Ruger LC9s Pro. The owner of the Shield and I both like the Ruger better. Much better trigger pull. I am surprised the Ruger was left out.

    1. As a Ruger guy I noticed the same thing Cliff. Below is the response from the author.

      Thank you for your comment.
      If you notice at the bottom of the post, I tell you why the Rugers aren’t there. My disclaimer says, “Note: Ruger has three subcompact semiautos that would make this list—the LCP, LC9s and the LC380. However, Ruger has ceased allowing any third party shipments. Unfortunately, we cannot carry Ruger at this time.”

      From what i read on the Ruger site it appears that Ruger does not sell directly to retail outlets anymore. Guns go from Mfg to authorized suppliers and retail outlets have to go through the authorized suppliers.

      Ruger my want to rethink how they do things if it is causing a problem for gun stores.

    2. So why not go through an authorized supplier? For that matter, why not create an unbiased list of firearms instead of a thinly veiled attempt at trying to sell something? Did you ever shoot a Double Tap? I wouldn’t wish that on my enemy!

    3. Why not go to an unbiased authorized list of guns. Oh yeah! There isn’t one. Don’t come to a gun dealer’s newsletter and complain because they are trying to sell guns. Stay away and read your Little Lulu comic books.

    4. Having shot both on many occasions, I find the trigger on the Ruger to be it’s biggest flaw. It is just to long to me. I found the Shield to be a far superior handgun in all areas. So before you start complaining about my opinion just remember that some people like Fords and others like Chevys. The bottom line is that they are both good guns, but there are many others that are better. The Taurus PT 111 G2 Millenium is one of them Can be bought for $200 or less, double strike capability, and accurate as the day is long. I own one and will be getting a couple more. You can’t beat them! Oh, did I mention that it comes in 9mm and 40 S&W? Just another way that it is a great firearm.

    5. Are you comparing the Shield to the LC9 or the LC9s? Apples to apples please. Striker fired to striker fired (Shield to LC9s), not to the original DA hammer fired LC9. Shield with 6lb trigger or LC9S with 4.5? Make your case.

    6. The LC9s is way better then the LC9. I purchased a LC9 and sold it. Then the LC9s was released and what a difference. Once I had examined the LC9s at the local range it was a done deal.. Had to buy back the spare mags. The striker fire LC9s is hard to beat. Well behaved at the range and less snappy then the LCP. Rent one and you’ll be in line to buy one.

  87. Please explain this statement that appears below the article:

    “Note: Ruger has three subcompact semiautos that would make this list—the LCP, LC9s and the LC380. However, Ruger has ceased allowing any third party shipments. Unfortunately, we cannot carry Ruger at this time.”

    What EXACTLY does that mean to customers, FFLs, distributors, etc. And, what is the purpose of the referenced restriction(s)?

  88. I own The SCCY CPX-1 it has the Ambi. safety option, The CPX-2 does not. I got this gun for CCW, It shoots strait to 50 yrds (w/little drop). It has a transferable life time warranty on everything in the box, the service is just as great! I shot 100 rounds of white box 115 gr. only 1 stove pipe, it likes 115 jhp best, & it can fire plus p but it gives a bigger kick that is what’s in my first clip standard 115 jhp ALL DAY LONG.

  89. Interesting that the Colt Mustang got 5 of 5 stars while the Sig P238, which is basically the same design but for some improvements (like better sights etc.), and being available in 9 mm as the P938, got 4.5 stars.

    The Sig P938, IMO, is one of the very best sub-compact autos. Well made, priced accordingly, though on sale available for < $500, very accurate and surprisingly pleasant to shoot. The SAS version is an excellent with rounded edges.

  90. I have both of the Kahrs listed, the P380 an the CM-9. While I’ve only had minimal feeding issues with the P380, the flat tipped fmj rounds, it has fed 100% with all hollow point rounds that I’ve tried. The CM-9 has been 100% with everything from steel, aluminum, and brass cases regardless of bullet type even durin the 200 rnd break in period. The P380 will disappear in the front or back pocket of a pair of jeans or shorts with ease in a cheap pocket holster while the CM-9 is only a bit bigger by measurements it takes a bit more to conceal. Cargo shorts, khakis, or a good IWB holster will do the trick. They have some of the best sights on a micro or sub gun available and by far the best DAO trigger you can imagine. My wife carries the Taurus PT709. She picked in up at the local shop one day and loves it. It works very well for her and she feels more comfortable having a manual safety in addition to the trigger safety. All 3 of these guns are rated for 9mm +P ammunition. I don’t think you could go wrong with any on the list, but Kahr also makes a .380 acp along the same lines as the CM-9, CW380 if I’m not mistaken, that is roughly half the price of the P380 and it’s the same demensions. The savings come from a simpler machined slide, traditional rifling, and MIM slide release. Hope this helps anyone in the market for a pocket gun.
    P.S. You should always carry it in a holster even in your pocket to protect the trigger. Safety first.

  91. Just like I would not stand in front of a .50 AE I would not stand in front of a .22 they both hurt and depending on where they hit it may take the pain away for good.

  92. Springfield XD-S did not make the list. Hard to imagine. Me thinks someone has an issue with them. It should be number one on the list.

  93. I carry my Ruger LC9. It’s not “tiny”, but very easily carried all day. I am still thinking about getting a smaller 380 for actual pocket carry at some point.

    1. Yeah Dennis I’ve thought about it too but i just can’t talk myself into going to 380. ( is as small as i am comfortable with. I actually carry my SR40c as much as anything.

  94. I am wondering why you left out the 32 autos. In many cases they are more effective than the 380s and often shoot more accurately. I have a Keltec P-32 and with the extended mag hold 10 rounds, and with the extended mag it gives a full grip which allow me to shoot it very well. I carry this gun when wandering around in cut off jeans and a t-shirt behind the back and it never prints. There are other very well made 32s out there that shoot even better than the Keltec but are not as light. I have a Beretta Bobcat in 32 auto that is a tackdriver, And the tip up barrel allows loading a full mag and one in the barrel without having to pull the mag to refill it after chambering a round.

    1. They explained why they didn’t include .32’s in the article. Very simple. MOST of the public that carry concealed, carry a minimum of a.380 and 9mm and this article wasn’t written for the.000002 % that would carry a .32 for actual self defense. No denying that a .32 or a .22 would be better than nothing in a confrontation. However it’s “stopping power” isn’t that good so most people don’t carry them for personal defense. I carry a sub-compact .22 when I go fishing or hiking in case of a poisonous snake, but that’s about all.

  95. SCCY gen 2s are good with no safety. Reliable and easy to teardown to clean. Great for bumming around in shorts and tee-shirts. Spare mag makes a total of 21 to deal with the threat. The Kel-tec Pf9 is excellent for buiness attire with a peice of paper folded over the pocket holster to conceal the “print”. Spare mag makes a total of 15 to deal with the threat.

  96. I’m kind of surprised that Kimber Micro didn’t make this list, but Glock did. Kimber is small, lighter, better trigger, and overall a smaller, more concealable pistol.

  97. I prefer the Nano for grab and go EC. All of these guns are capable of personal protection with an exception of some fte’s, ftf, and I’m sure a few adjustments and practice with the right ammo and most will be capable. It’s better to have one and not need it than needing one and not having it. I try to pick the best for me, and be good at it than pick a brand and try to make it work even if it doesn’t.

  98. Got my wife a SCCY CPX-2 9mm with laser for $350 . She loves it and can out shoot me. Reliable, lightweight and packs a 10 shot punch.

  99. Glock 33 is a good carry pistol in powerful .357 Sig. Also have a .40 barrel for this gun that I can change in minutes without any tools. Hard to beat.

  100. Glock G-42, I’m a glock fan plus armourer. Easy to change springs an sights. I’m not picking Glock because of my back ground, I’d take them all. But I just like the Glock.

  101. My standard BU gun is a PF9 in a pocket holster to supplement mt XD.45. There are times when I have to go deep covert, so the PF9 is my primary.

    I make sure to shoot it regularly at the range, and it functions flawlessly.

  102. LOVE my Sig p238 Nitron with rosewood grips! I’ve pondered buying a second small carry handgun but am not sure I can imagine carrying anything else. Do any of you have suggestions for similar yet different? The only downside of the 238 was the cost, but in my mind it’s worth it!

  103. How you overlooked the .380 Seecamp is beyond me. It has been out longer than any on your list, is smaller than any on your list, and is all steel. There are magazine extensions available, aftermarket, if you just “need” a place for you little finger. And to top it all off, you can order a personalized serial number (6 digits) if it hasn’t already been taken. Tough to top that…

  104. I have to echo Jeff, Patrick and Kevin: you simply cannot leave the Sig P938 AND the XD(S) off this list…incredible! Both are easily concealed, the highest quality and stand the test in accuracy and safety…I can’t fathom why the Taurus Curve makes the list, unless “innovative” suddenly means “trendy” or “hazardous”. Re-visit this list after reading the comments of some professionals, daily carry commenters and real shooters. Some of these I wouldn’t use for a door jamb, let alone bet my life on…

  105. The Boberg R-9s is the smallest 9mm in the world. It also fires 9mm+P. 5in long, .90 in wide and a 3.65 in barrel. Recoil equivalent to a .380
    . The R-45s is a .45 almost the same size. Length 5.75, barrel 3.75, width 1.00, h.4.25. Fires .45acp, .45+P and .45 super. Recoil less than a .9mm. These guns are 7 rounders. They are the same size if not smaller than a lot of .380’s. They are often overlooked because they are handmade and more expensive than the rest, usually starting around $900. But as always he has about a 7 wk waiting list. I have one of.each, but down south it’s nice to have that kind of power in a true pocket pistol. They are super accurate at 25 yds and because of low recoil shoot.

    1. I heard early on that there were quite a few problems with these. But again that was about 4 yrs. ago. One thing about this gunmaker is their commitment to improve their product so it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that they have worked out these problems.

  106. I have a Glock 42 and 43 as well as a Colt Mustang. I grew up with the 1911 so the Colt fits me the best. My son likes the 43 and my daughter likes the 42, so we are a happy family. I shot the Sig and it was no different than the Colt. Both are good guns. I had some problem with the Glock 42 trigger pull. Out of the box it was running 8.5 pounds. I sent it back and 10 days later it had a 5.5 trigger pull. They are all good guns it just depends on what fits you the best.

  107. Interesting article but little shaded towards some handguns that 20 years ago one would not give a second thought to using. Me, I carry a Walther PPKS in .380/9mm Kurz. My thinking is that, if it is good enough for James Bond, then who am I to argue!!!

  108. My daily carry is a Sig P238 Equinox. It weighs 15 oz empty and has hybrid green tritium and fiber optic front sights so visibility excels irregardless of conditions. The gun is single action but I shoot 1911 style exclusively so no big deal. No failures of any kind so far. Love it. Fast follow up shots and an order of magnitude better than my Ruger LCP.

  109. Why is the springfield xds not on here, especially since it was the gun of the year and has a 45 version about the same size as these 380s. seems like you were very biased by not putting top of the line guns in this review

  110. How do you leave out the Sig Sauer P938? What a phenomenal piece of hardware, I love it. A very well made sturdy handgun. Great to shoot! Traded in my Smith and Wesson .380 for the new Sig.

    1. Rugers are not on the list? Something is wrong with that. The newer LC9s is a great pocket gun. The trigger is nothing like the predecessor LC9. Great light and small. And what about no LCP on this list. One of the most affordable 380 pocket options out there and is smaller than most mentioned in this list. Ruger’s are a great choice.

  111. You missed the Ruger (Prescott) .380. I own one and it’s great shooter.
    It’s small enough to fit in the palm of my hand and my pocket. It holds 6 rounds and at 20/25 feet it is very accurate, a real tack driver. I’ve had no problems with jamming, even at rapid fire.

  112. You missed the CZ 2075BD. Small AND accurate with DA/SA trigger, de-cocker, and 14 round extended magazine option.

  113. I vote for the Seecamp .32 it is a true pocket pistol and the fit and finsh is A-1 top shelf. If you put the right ammo in it you can drop a attacker in their tracks like all hand guns along with life, you got to know your limitations.

  114. I purchased the Sig Sauer P938 Extreme last week. I see it didn’t make your list but i couldn’t be happier! Fine choice if i may say so myself!!

    1. I agree, I have a SIG P938 SAS and put stag handles on it. Smooth stainless steel trigger and a 20 lb. hammer spring for a Colt Mustang. 7-round magazines hold all fingers in place,. 500+ rounds, never missed a beat. Best small carry gun there is.

    1. .I have a .32 Seecamp. No complaints at all. I would have liked the .380, but it is not legal to sell here in the PR of MA. It seems that Seecamp submitted the required number of .32s to the state for destructive testing, but didn’t think they would sell enough .380s to justify the sacrifice of another batch of new guns. Can’t blame them. Just one of the many forms of back door gun control we have here. To be expected when the lunatic Left have compete control. Beware!

    2. I too carry the .32 the .380 is a beast but I figured for the sake of argument it went better with the theme. Shot placement is the key to success.

    3. @ Josh,

      Thanks for the input. I had never taken the time to look into Seecamps because I don’t care for the style. However, based on my recent research due to your post, I may be able to overlook the style given the extremely high quality.

      Of course there appears to be a rather high price tag to match such quality but I will give it serious consideration. Do you think I would have a problem finding a snug fitting holster? I prefer the soft side inside-the-pants holster without retention strap by companies like Blackhawk.

  115. I’m a pretty good shot with my XD40, but I recently bought a S&W Bodyguard and I am terrible with it.
    It seems like it would be a good gun to carry, but only if I can get accurate.
    Can anyone give me some hints or tips to help with this?

    1. Have to get accustomed to the trigger since it is a long trigger pull. Get used to where the trigger breaks and pull trigger back to right before it breaks/fires. Then it just takes a gentle squeeze to fire it. This helps with anticipating the firing. Many shooters shoot low when there is a long trigger pull because they anticipate the firing too early and point the barrel downward in anticipation of and to combat the recoil. Then learn where the trigger resets and only let the trigger out just past the reset point after each shot (don’t let the trigger go all the way back to normal position unless that’s where it resets). Hope this helps. I also have an XD40, the khar cm9 on the list above, and the bodyguard .380 (my wife’s). They are all great guns and I love all of them, however, each trigger is different and you have to get used to each one.

    2. Thanks Casey,
      I think you analyzed my problem because I was shooting low.
      I’ll try the trigger handling tips you offered.
      I appreciate your help.

  116. A warning about the Diamondback DB380 – I bought mine about a year after they were first introduced in 2009 so the issue may have since been resolved, but mine has always had constant failure to feed problems.

    I’ve tested at least 4 different brands of .380 ammo in it and have never been able to empty an entire magazine without at least one feed failure per magazine; so it is definitely the gun and not the ammo.

    While my issue may be more extreme than other owners of this same gun, the problem has been documented by others on several web sites. One proposed remedy said to dry-cycling the weapon hundreds of times to break it in. That is ridiculous.

    I have tried several of the other recommendations (polish the feed ramp, extra lube, less lube, reassemble the magazine, etc.) all to no avail; so I finally just shelved the gun as I did not wish to dump the problem on another buyer.

    In all fairness Diamondback does offer a lifetime warranty, but other priorities get in the way of me remembering to ship it back. Eventually I suppose I will. I just wanted to give folks a heads up on this gun from my personal experiences.

    1. My buddy has the same model Diamondback, and the same failure to feed problem. He bought it in 2014
      Never having owned that brand, I went online to see what type of warranty their products come with. Limited at best, according to what I found. I will pass on buying my friends DB380.
      I guess I’ll keep using my 20 year old Sig P230 if I choose a pocket pistol to carry. It eats ammo flawlessly for me. My daughter can have rare failure to feed problems with it, only because she “limp-wrists” the little jewel.

    2. I’m posting this long comment in the hopes that I’ll help someone in their research. I tried to read as many reviews as i could about this gun before I got it.
      I bought the Diamondback DB380SL (Gen 2) back in February of this year (2015) in anticipation of needing a summer pocket gun. After cleaning it, I took it to the range for it’s first outing and fired about 100 shots with no problems using multiple brands of ammo, including Hornady Critical Defense for carry. After that range day, I cleaned it and began carrying it on occasion in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 holster (which is a fantastic option for IWB). Three weeks later, I returned to the range and got in three or four completely successful mags of PMC Bronze 90gr (which is my choice for 380 practice ammo since it’s reasonably priced and readily available here). Then about 3 shots into the next mag, my trigger wouldn’t correctly reset. I managed two more shots before the trigger wouldn’t reset at all. I brought the gun home and dismantled it to find that the trigger bar reset spring was broken.
      I immediately contacted Diamondback about getting this fixed under warranty. The customer service rep warned me that repair work was backed up for 8 to 10 weeks. Although I wasn’t happy to hear that, I boxed it up and sent it to Florida for repair. 10 weeks to the day, I hadn’t heard anything about the status of my repair so I called them. They told me they weren’t sure why I “gotten an old letter in the mail stating 8-10 weeks for repair, when it’s supposed to be 10-12 weeks”. I explained that I was very disappointed in the customer service and frustrated that they couldn’t replace a 10 cent part that would take 10 minutes to fix in less than 10 weeks…. and now telling me it would be 12 weeks! Diamondback service had had my gun now longer than I’d owned it.
      At 11 weeks and one day I got an email saying the gun was repaired and shipped. I picked it up two days ago and inspected it. Diamondback replaced the entire trigger group, trigger bar return spring, replaced the barrel (not sure why… they listed “finish” as the reason), and adjusted the firing pin. They showed they fired 12 rounds of Blazer without fail during testing. I can’t say for sure, but my new barrel looks to have a slightly more polished lip and feed ramp than the previous one. It’s like a mirror now.
      Yesterday, I took it to the range for it first outing since repair. I immediately fired 7 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense without fail. Then I shot 100 rounds of the PMC without any failures. The gun ran flawlessly.
      I will say that the repairs look good, but the time it took was ridiculous.
      Overall, the size and weight, as well as trigger feel and accuracy is great (I bullseyed with this gun at the normal 5 and 7 yards, and even out to 15 yards yesterday, and the Diamondback is easily as accurate, if not more so than my Glock 42.) I’ll continue to love this gun as long as it continues to do what it’s supposed to…. which is go BANG when I pull the trigger.
      P.S. – a note of advice is to make sure that you completely slingshot the slide when putting it into battery. The recoil springs are very stiff and if you ride the slide even a tiny bit, it will jam. After getting the hang of racking this little gun, it’s actually very easy to load.

    3. @ Shane:

      Thanks for the post. It has encouraged me to go ahead and send mine in for repairs now. Hopefully I will get the same quality repair treatment as you.

      Another annoyance I failed to mention in my first post is how I hadn’t even got it to the range before the white dot paint on the front sight post just flaked right off from being holstered. The dealer had his gunsmith repaint it on for me given it had only been purchased the day before, but even that is coming off again.

      Also due to my first post above, I’ve revitalized my research into my feed problems again. I’ve since found one YouTuber that also experienced abundant failure-to-feeds who posted a solution video on how he did an extreme polish job on his feed ramp with a Dremel and some rouge polish.

      He claims it reshaped (rounded) the pointy wedged tip of the feed ramp which was poking into the tip of each round as it attempted to feed forward. So rather than continue to slide into battery it instead would cause the round to jam in place and never feed up the ramp. This makes sense to me given that is what I have observed in my jams as well.

      My point is, this seems to coincided with your description of your repairs as the focus was primarily on the polished feed ramp as well.

      So with that, if you were me, would you try the YouTube polish job at home first, or just mail in the gun and hope for the best? I am pretty handy with a Dremel and have done other gun mods, but I wouldn’t want to void the warranty either.

    4. G-Man,
      Thanks for taking the time to read my comment and to reply.
      Again, I was very aggravated at the length of time that Diamondback took to repair my gun, but my experience so far with the completed work is very positive. It’s unfortunate that we are experiencing problems to begin with, but although more rare, even brands like Glock and Smith have some issues with their guns. I bought a Shield 9mm and it’s run over 600 rounds without a single issue, while one of the guys at the gun shop I bought mine from also bought a Shield 9mm and had to send it in for repairs within the first month of owning it.
      Reminded by your comment about your front sight, I did forget to previously mention that a couple of weeks after I bought my gun, I knocked the front sight lose by not paying enough attention when I re-holstered it. I removed the sight and then glued it back in place with E-6000. It held great, but when I sent it in for the broken trigger bar return spring, I did ask them to go ahead and replace the sight, which they did. In regards to your front sight, the paint flaking off most certainly shouldn’t be happening, but I feel confident that Diamondback will replace the sight if you tell them to.
      As for polishing the feed ramp, it’s your call as to if you want to try it first or send it in and see about getting a new barrel…. or polish it after you get it back, if you have to. If you aren’t keen on waiting the 10-12 weeks, then I say go for it and see if you can remedy the feed problem by polishing it. As long as you don’t damage the barrel, then (don’t quote me, but) I doubt you are voiding the warranty. My Glock 42 had some very minor feed/loading issues right out of the box, so I polished the ramp and barrel lip and it’s run flawlessly ever since.
      If you haven’t already, I do recommend trying the PMC Bronze ammo, as it seems to feed and run slightly better in both of my .380 guns than other ammo I’ve tried. I think the nose on those are very rounded and feed easily. I just recently saw a video on YouTube where another DB380 owner had his gun in for repairs for failure to feed (mostly with Magtech ammo). After it came back from service (with a new barrel) he still had some problems with Magtech, but on camera he ran a box of the PMC without any issues. These little .380’s seem to be ammo sensitive in general, and most do need some break in….assuming you can get yours to feed something in the first place.
      Not sure if you are having feed problems with putting the gun into battery, but if so then I again recommend practicing the slingshot technique for racking the first round (if you aren’t doing that already), as I find that if I ride the slide even the slightest amount, the first round will jam every time.
      Overall, I really like the DB380 and hope it continues to run trouble free.
      Also, let me know if you’d like for me to send you some pictures of my new barrel for comparison.

    5. I have a db9 that I have the same problems with. Lots of ftf’s and the trigger wouldn’t reset. After doing a polish job on the trigger assembly and feed ramp, and anything else I saw that rubbed together, I took it to the range and put about 150 rounds through it without a single ftf. I did still have a problem with the trigger reset though.

      After that what I’ll call a successful range visit, I cleaned the gun rather quickly. My grand children were visiting for an extended visit, and since their parents are not open with their firearms with them, I try to respect that when I am with them. Anyway, my next visit was horrible. Back to the many, many ftf’s.

      One thing I do know about my db9 is that you need a monster grip on that thing. I’m thinking that my problem with the ftf might be a combination of grip and that it needs to be kept really clean. Maybe I can learn more with further experience with it. The trigger reset of course bothers me but it’s not that big a deal. It will reset with just a little jiggle of the trigger and it’s become habit while I reset for my next shot. I also understand the there is an after market trigger that you can get for $20 that is supposed to fix that.

      I really want to like this gun. When it does shoot to shoots nice, and I need a really small gun for pocket carry for work, since if my employer knew I was carrying, I wouldn’t have my job anymore. The work I do takes me into places that are not always the safest, and I am alone. So I carry with or without my employers blessing.

  117. My pocket gun is a Kahr MK9 2000 Elite 9mm ALL stainless steel.
    Weighs 2 pounds loaded and I can carry it all day almost unnoticed in my pants or shorts pocket in a Nemesis holster. It DOES kick pretty hard so I can’t believe those other PLASTIC pocket 9s weighing around a pound or less are REMOTELY comfortable to shoot!

  118. Small is good, however. Too small is not good.
    All day Carry is important, But there needs to be a balance between ease of Carry, and shootablity. If, hits on target, and follow up shot’s. If gun is too small you can’t handle it right, and control recoil, for follow up shot’s.
    Something little bigger and heavier, would be easier to handle, and control recoil. And not as punishing to shoot.

  119. My nano is the best I absolutely love it. Light, accurate, and looks good. While most people don’t like them or beretta and the gun is picky with low grad ammo I don’t have a problem with it on 147grn and up. Hard to find but it is worth it if I ever need it.

  120. Pocket carry & backup ? Kel-Tec P3AT.
    Cheap as it should be. Price matching the bigger glocks are not decent or fair for the little ones.
    Wish I could afford it today.

  121. Never shot the Sig 238 but I have had a 938 for 7 months now and it is my favorite to shoot. It also is a great carry choice. Thanks for the great information

  122. Sig makes great guns, but the 238 is a distant second to its older brother the 232 in this category – carries concealed better, has better ergonomics, shoots exceptionally, eats +P ammo like candy

  123. Top 15 smallest and Ruger LCP is left out. It is smaller than Shield, Taurus, Glock 42, Sig 238 and Nano. It is a better gun than most on the list. Give me a break.

    1. McRuger,
      Thank you for your comment.
      If you notice at the bottom of the post, I tell you why the Rugers aren’t there. My disclaimer says, “Note: Ruger has three subcompact semiautos that would make this list—the LCP, LC9s and the LC380. However, Ruger has ceased allowing any third party shipments. Unfortunately, we cannot carry Ruger at this time.”

    2. Suzanne, my mistake and you have my apology. I’m very pro Ruger as you might guess……..
      American Owned American Made

    3. So this is really not the “top 15 smallest pistols”. It’s the ‘Top 15 Pistols Available for Test from the Manufacturer ‘. The Ruger LCP is far the best pocket pistol available today and I own a Glock 42 also. Suzanne a good article but without the LCP it’s got a big hole in it. You shoul have just borrowed one.

    4. Amen Ric. I own 8 Ruger handguns and have shot a half dozen other brands. I’ll take Ruger over any of them. The only thing i like nearly as well is M&P.

    5. Since the Ruger LCP is a virtual rip off of the KelTec P3AT, you can use that as your comparison with the others. I have owned the P3AT for years, shot many different kinds of ammo through it without a hiccup. When I want something a little larger,I carry my KelTec PF9, which adds one more round. That one I bought used, got it really cheap, knowing it had a problem. Sent it back to KelTec, and they completely refurbished it (LONG list of new parts), and it has worked flawlessly since also. Both guns are pocketable.

  124. Have been carrying my Detonics .45 for over 20+ years….. has stood the fest of time and a few encounters…….Glad to see thee wee guns are coming back into fashion.

  125. Wait, did this article say that Ruger has ceased ALL third party shipments? So you can only buy direct from them? Why don’t you write an article about that?

    …sounds like big news.

    1. I’m not sure what this 3rd party issue is with Ruger but i did find the following on there site:

      Why you Cannot Order or Purchase Firearms from this Web Site
      Federal law prohibits the interstate sale of firearms to persons or entities not possessing a valid Federal Firearms License (FFL). Sturm, Ruger does not sell firearms to individuals or even to federally licensed individuals or retail dealers. Rather, we sell firearms directly to a small number of independent, federally licensed wholesale firearm distributors, who in turn sell firearms to federally licensed retail dealers, who in turn sell their firearms to legally authorized retail purchasers in compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations.

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