9 Best Concealed Carry Guns (By Popular Caliber) [2019]

What is the best concealed carry gun?

That’s the age-old question, isn’t it?

choosewiselymeme

We’ll start by going over popular CCW calibers.

Popular Pistol Calibers
Popular Pistol Calibers

After you figure out the best for you, we’ll cover some of our top pistol choices.

Best Beginner Handguns
Best Beginner Handguns

And finish it with some important accessories such as holsters!

EMP Alien Gear Holster
EMP Alien Gear Holster

Table of Contents

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Variables to Consider

The size of your piece matters.

Aliengear Cloak Tuck 3.0 with XD Mod 2
Aliengear Cloak Tuck 3.0 with XD Mod 2

If you decide to go with a larger caliber or a double stacked magazine, your gun will be physically larger. If you have a thinner or smaller body or like to wear tighter clothing…the fact you’re carrying a gun will be VERY obvious.

Concealment Express G19 AIWB, Front
Concealment Express G19 AIWB, Front

Even more so when you’re sitting if you have it at 4 or 5 o’clock.

Seated with Aliengear
Seated with Aliengear, XD Mod 2

Clothing

For those of us in the Midwest, we have, what seems like, 16 months of winter where we wear big jackets and sweatshirts. This allows us to carry just about any caliber CCW we want.

Jacket with Aliengear
Jacket with Holster and Any Gun

But, when summer rolls around, that changes. Carrying a full-size .45 ACP is more difficult to conceal in shorts and a t-shirt.

Take a look at your style and your seasons to find a good compromise. Possibly owning a gun for winter carry and another one for warmer months.

Exposed G19 in Hidden Hybrid Holster
Exposed G19 in Hidden Hybrid Holster

Think of it as a seasonal accessory if it helps you justify the purchase.

Choosing the Caliber

There are a few ways to choose the caliber of your CCW. First is to ask around. My guess is you’ll get a lot of people replying that their carry gun is a 9mm or a .45 ACP. These are probably the most common.

Another way is to follow what law enforcement, military, and government agencies use. They tend to do a lot of research into what the bare minimum yet effective caliber or weapons are out there.

Popular Pistol Calibers
Popular Pistol Calibers

What you will see with a lot of these groups is that they went back to 9mm.

147 Federal HST Expansion
147gr 9mm Federal HST Expansion

This is because the 9mm has come a long way in the last few years.

The .40 S&W was the go-to for a long time, but not really anymore. Something I noticed in my time building police vehicles was the rural departments, and many times sheriffs in rural areas carry .45 ACP.

Learn more about acceptable calibers in our Pistol Caliber Overview.

Carrying a .22LR

While a .22LR can deter an attacker, it is not really recommended for concealed carry.

.22LR (CCI vs Winchester vs Super Colibri)
.22LR (CCI vs Winchester vs Super Colibri)

If this is your only option, then go for it. Something is better than nothing But, if you are going to purchase something to carry every day, go with a larger caliber.

shooting with a disability
.22lr revolvers like this one are often a great choice for disabled folks looking to defend themselves. Find more recommendations in our article for Disabled Shooters!

If you are in a state that has colder weather, a .22LR will have some difficulties penetrating thicker or multiple layers of clothing.

Here is my competition .22LR Buckmark in action…

What is likely to happen if you were to use a .22LR and be forced to use it against an attacker wearing a thicker jacket (Carhartt or similar), is the bullet may pierce the jacket and clothing but could struggle to do the appropriate amount of damage needed to disable the attacker.

Check out our picks in Best .22s for Pocket Carry.

Best Concealed Carry Guns By Caliber

Below are a couple of choices for each caliber to help get your search started.

I know everyone has their favorites and there will be comments about this gun or that gun should be on or off the list. Feel free to interject, but leave useful comments and suggestions.

9mm

The 9mm CCW category is packed with a lot of good choices.

9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)
9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)

Also, keep in mind that most of the manufacturers make a .40 S&W and a 9mm in the same size frame so I am only listing the 9mm models here.

1. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

What I like about the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm is it’s a good size to conceal and large enough to get your whole hand on the grip.

420
at Cabela’s

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

It’s smaller than a lot of compact guns but bigger than a subcompact. And it’s thin too. About 1” thick. The Shield and Shield 2.0 also come in a variety of calibers, too such as the Shield .380 Auto and Shield .45 ACP

If you’re interested in more information, we did a complete review of the S&W Performance Center M&P Shield!

2. SIG SAUER P365

They call this a “micro-compact.” For its size, it holds a lot of ammo. One of our favorites for 2018!

Most innovative CCW gun [2018]
499
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I would compare it to a Glock 26 in size, but it holds 10+1 and is a single stack magazine. This keeps the width to an inch. It also has a rail if you want to add a light or other attachment.

While there have been some production issues of the P365 and some “voluntary” recalls, Sig Sauer seems to have ironed out the issues now.

Another PPT writer reviewed the Sig P365 not long ago and wrote a glowing review on it.

And now we have a full video review too!

Plus there’s tons of upgrade options.  Here’s some of our favorites that we run everyday.

P365 Upgrades The Whole Lot
P365 Upgrades: The Whole Lot

What’s your take on the P365?

Readers' Ratings

4.81/5 (785)

Your Rating?

3. Glock 43

Single stacked goodness with Glock’s impeccable reputation for reliability.

G43 Banana
G43 & Banana

Holds 6+1 only but disappears in a holster.  Plus it has a decent grip for a tiny 9mm.

Oh…and did we forget…it’s a Glock so it will likely always go *bang* when needed.

Check out our full written review and our hands-on video below:

If that helped, please subscribe to our YouTube channel since we’re adding new videos every week!

Get one for yourself right now…

Ultra Reliable Single-Stock CCW
449
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Also, don’t forget to check out which other Glocks made our best Glocks list with the G43!

4. Taurus G2C

If you’re really on a budget then you need to give the Taurus G2C a close look! It’s about the size of a Sig P365, it’s double-stack 12+1, and it is VERY reliable.

Johnny did a complete hands-on review and video of it and gave it a raving good rating!

He ran a bunch of steel and defensive ammo through it and never had a problem, that is saying a LOT for a $200-ish pistol.

For folks on a budget, the option to get a reliable gun with 12+1 capacity at this price is simply too good to ignore. The G2C has earned its place in the market.

220
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

For more 9mm specific CCW guns…check out Best Single Stack Sub-Compact 9mm.

.45 ACP

Something to note before you get your boxers in a bunch is I left out 1911s because this is an article about concealed carry.  We have our Best 1911s article for that.

Keep Calms and Concealed Carry On

Yes, you can carry a big gun if you want, but most want a smaller gun for their EDC.

5. Springfield Armory XD-S

The XD-S, even though it had some issues a while back, is a great choice for your CCW. The large caliber in the small frame is helpful.

480
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

It’s thin and easy to conceal, a combination that isn’t easy to find in a real larger caliber.

Because of the shorter barrel and the larger caliber, it kicks and can make reacquiring your target more difficult when firing quickly. You’ll probably need to train a little more with that than you would with a 9mm.  

But extra training should be assumed when you’re working with .45 ACP.

6. FN FNX-45

The FN FNX-45 is a bigger gun compared to some of the others listed so far. It is a compact size, so the barrel is a bit longer. If you are looking for something for your large hands, this would be a good option.

700
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I got to shoot one of these and it was smooth for a compact 45. It was a little large for me to carry (I’m 5’11 170), but like the way it fired.

The FNX-45 also comes in a Tactical version that sports a threaded barrel, red dot mounting ability, a rail, and suppressor hight sights.

While highly impractical for CCW, it makes for an outstanding duty, open carry, and competition pistol.

1150
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Using one of each for your different needs makes it easier to transition between the two and makes training much simpler.

.380

A .380 is a very concealable weapon.

.380 ACP Round
.380 ACP Round

They are usually thinner and smaller than a 9mm subcompact. You will lose some of the impact you get when a .380 hits the target, but they are still acceptable for self-defense.

Though it didn’t make the list…here’s us shooting the Bersa Firestorm .380:

You’ll want to read up on the differences and limitations of the .380 Auto, and we have Just the Article for You.

Same bullet, smaller casing.

Something you might want to look into right away if you are getting a .380 is a new trigger. Most of them have a long pull and can make them hard to shoot accurately under duress.

7. Ruger LCP II

The Ruger LCP II is a popular small gun and a large improvement over the older LCP model. It comes in different colors so finding the one you like aesthetically is easy.

Most Affordable .380 Pistol
299
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Because of its size, the LCP II is a great “pocket” gun or even as a backup weapon. It has a 6+1 magazine which is pretty common for this size pistol.

We also have a complete review on the Ruger LCP II so you can learn all amount the pros and cons of this little guy.

8. Glock 42

The Glock 42 is a great choice if you are looking for a reliable single stack .380 or if you are Glock fan and want something a little smaller than their other offerings.

Most Reliable .380
399
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Not a lot can be said, other than a thank you to Glock for starting to make some guns with a single stack magazine.

Besides that…it’s a Glock. Its bombproof, reliable, has massive aftermarket support, and people either hate it or love it.

For more .380…check out our 5 Best .380 Pistols for Concealed Carry.

.38 Special

A .38 Special or .38 special +P are very common calibers for revolvers and don’t really show up in semi-auto pistols.

.38 Special vs .357 Magnum
.38 Special vs .357 Magnum

When it comes to a revolver for CCW, lightweight and hammerless are two of the characteristics I recommend looking into.

9. Bodyguard 38 Revolver Crimson Trace

Smith & Wesson makes a lot of revolvers and a lot of them have a .38 Special version.

470
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

S&W revolvers come in almost every shape, finish, size, and option you can think of. This one is super lightweight since it uses a one-piece aluminum frame and a very short barrel.

It’s handy, easy to use, and rated for +P. Everything you could want in a CCW revolver.

10. Ruger LCRx

The LCRx is a lightweight revolver from Ruger. An aluminum frame and some polymer parts make it a great carry gun.

500
at Cabela's

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

It has an exposed hammer, so you’ll want to practice your draw to make sure you can do it well and not snag clothing. It’s also able to fire +P rounds for a little more punch.

If the exposed hammer is an issue for you though, Ruger also makes the LCR that uses an internal hammer for smoother draws.

Best Laser Equipped
500
at Cabela's

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

For more .38 Special revolvers…check out 7 Best CCW .38 Revolvers.

Holsters, Belts, & Ammo

Going concealed with the perfect gun for you is still useless if you don’t have a great holster.

Concealment Express Attachment Options
Concealment Express Attachment Options

We go through all the different types of concealed carry methods…and a bunch of our favorite holsters.

Hidden Hybrid Holsters Assortment
Hidden Hybrid Holsters Assortment

Plus with videos!

Check out our top holster picks for all the popular ways to carry.

Plus you’ll need a sturdy belt that doesn’t scream “I’m carrying a gun.”  Check out these nondescript options in Best CCW Gun Belts.

Best CCW Gun Belts, Thickness
Best CCW Gun Belts, Thickness

Same goes with ammo…we use data from shorter handguns and clothed ballistics gel to make our choices.

Since that’s what you’re likely to see in the real world.

Ballistics-Gel-Testing
Ballistics-Gel-Testing

See our self-defense and range ammo picks for all the popular calibers.

9mm 147 Federal Hydrashok HST
9mm 147 Federal Hydrashok HST

Final Thoughts

In this list, there are some popular models of various calibers to get you started in your search. Some are subcompact, some are not. In the .38 Special category, they are all revolvers and in the .45 ACP category, there are bigger guns.

Take a look at your lifestyle. This will have a big impact on what and when you will carry. Look for a CCW that will be convenient and comfortable to carry or you just won’t.

Comfort comes from how it fits your hand as well as how it feels carrying it on your person.

Just because you aren’t strapping a pair of 1911s in shoulder holsters every time you leave your man cave doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be safe. Get a 9mm or .380 that fits your hand and you can conceal in the majority of the clothing wear daily.

Lots of Holsters, Boondock Saints
Lots of Holsters, Boondock Saints

And as a reminder if you scan articles like I do: Everyone has their favorites and there will be comments about this gun or that gun should be on or off the list. Feel free to interject, but leave useful comments and suggestions.

We have some more specific articles too if you already know what you want:

We love to hear from our readers about their CCW choices, so let us know! What handgun do you use? What caliber? Tell us all about it in the comments!  And then head to our CCW Definitive Guide.

78 Leave a Reply

  • Chris

    No Mention of the Springfield Hellcat as direct competition to Sig 365? Within millimeters of each other re: size, but a little different feel, giving consumers a nice option.

    21 hours ago
  • Buck

    Why is the .40 S&W out of style? The police departments around here that I know of carry .40 or .45. I've been shooting it for a lot of years and I love it. I like the snappy feel when I shoot it. I've carried it in the Kahr K40, Kahr MK40, Glock 22 and now Glock 27. It's fun to shoot and I've always thought it was a good defensive round. The only thing I don't like about it is price but I also don't want to buy more than one pistol caliber. I used to shoot 9mm and .45 but no longer because I like the .40 more and there are a lot of double stacks in .40.

    6 days ago
    • Bull o' the Woods

      .40 S&W has all the muzzle flip and recoil of .45 ACP with similar ballistics to 9mm. I see it as similar to the .41 magnum, a b*stard child halfway between two established calibers with no significant advantages over either.

      1 second ago
    • Digital

      "Also, keep in mind that most of the manufacturers make a .40 S&W and a 9mm in the same size frame so I am only listing the 9mm models here."

      6 days ago
  • Mark

    I prefer my .44 Desert Eagle.

    1 week ago
  • Bill H

    I purchased an IWI Jericho for the wife to carry, we own both steel and polymer frames. Excellent 9mm weapons, smooth, great second shot recovery, and easy to maintain. Wife can safely react and shoot with ease. Magazine size is enough and are interchangeable with our Kel-Tec 2000 (adjusted) for hiking and camping. Only have to haul one magazine type. These are things we consider when we purchase weapons for use/carry.

    2 weeks ago
  • Cindy

    I own a taurus G2C. Never having owned a Taurus, the price (under 200.00) and size was what caught my interest. I have have put less than 50 rounds thru it, but for a smaller hand, it is very comfortable. My hand fits everywhere it needs to be without having to change my grip. Easily carried concealed.

    2 weeks ago
    • Chris

      My only (respectful) objection is that a carry weapon should be shot often by the carrier. No doubt you are probably an experienced shooter, but for all new comers: your carry weapon should be 100-200 rounds per month for a while.

      21 hours ago
  • Mark Webb

    I am amazed that the Walther PPQ firearms were unmentioned/overlooked! I love the ergonomics of these guns! And the PPQ (Police Pistol Quick) trigger is the best out of the box on the market today IMHO. I started my EDC journey with the Ruger LC9s 9mm and carried for 5 years (still have and use as my BUG in ankle holster). When I decided for a larger caliber I went with the PPQ M2 45 ACP for reasons mentioned above. Fell in love with it. After using it as my EDC for a couple of years, decided I wanted a 40 cal so I chose the PPQ M2 40 S&W. Bought it with a longer 5 inch barrel. Changed out the guiderod with a DPM stainless steel 3 spring Recoil Reduction System in both models which made recoil much more manageable in each gun. I also put TruGlo Fiber Optic + Tritium sights on the 40 cal which helped make that gun a real tack driver! I alternate the Walther's now as my EDC’s and don’t look back. Don’t understand how the PPQ’s didn’t make your list.

    2 weeks ago
  • Jake S.

    The Bersa Thunder .380 is far more reliable than the Glock 42.... It also looks a lot better too. Oh and I bought mine for $30 cheaper than the Ruger LCP sooooo yea the Bersa takes the cake.

    4 weeks ago
  • BUURGA

    Springfield XD sub-compact 9mm. As good as any in this list, and enough capacity for a gang war.

    4 weeks ago
  • Brad M.

    Man.. The Walther m2 didn’t get a mention?! That pistol is probably the most underrated single stack 9 on the market. It shoots like a much bigger gun, has great ergos and is very easy to conceal. (with free state constitutional carry or permit carry of course) an can be had for under $350.

    1 month ago
  • Ansel Hazen

    I carry a Steyr S with a Ranger Point Precision .357 sig drop in barrel. So essentially an S357-A1 .

    1 month ago
  • Antil

    I like semiautomatic pistols, but for self-defense situations my first choice is snub revolver. Simple and reliable.

    2 months ago
  • Ryno

    About 5000 rounds through my p365 with zero malfunctions or complaints. The slide can be prevented from locking back as mentioned, but it is user induced if so and can easily be corrected.

    2 months ago
  • Scott Blair

    And what about the 10 mm in CCW?...

    2 months ago
  • Ralph Petley

    i pocket-carry (every day) a Taurus G2c in cargo shorts in the summer and cargo jeans in winter, using a DeSantis Nemisis pocket holster. 12 + 1 with the safety on (for now....may get comfortable with safety off), with 145 gr hollow point ammo. This entire combination is very recommendable. BUT, spend some time on the pants....there are many that simply won't conceal a pistol this size. I have found several brands of pants which have large front pockets Savane cargo shorts, denim, on eBay for under $20, and the 5.11 Tactical long pants about $60

    2 months ago
  • Jon

    Has there ever been a study done about the history of the actual use of concealed weapons during real events? For example, in actual events, what concealed weapon was carried and how effective was it? How many shots were fired? Of those number of shots fired, how many hit the bad guys? What were the distances between the bad guys and the people carrying concealed? I ask because if historically, if concealed carry events are over in three seconds, with two shots fired from ten feet away, then why do I need to carry a larger caliber with 13-rounds? Not interested in hypothetical/Call of Duty situations; more interested in actual, real world events. Thoughts?

    2 months ago
  • Havoc Man

    If you shoot me with a .380 and I find out about it ... I'll kill ya. My EDC is a S&W 360PD - a featherwieght .357 in a pocket holster. In the other pocket are Bianchi Speed Strips.

    2 months ago
    • Yose

      Havoc Man UNLESS you are wearing a Bullet Resistant/Proof Vest above the Threat Level of it or are a very large heavily muscular and heavily clothed individual OR you are at extreme range for the round..... Two or Three good quality JHPs in your Center Mass might tend to make you reconsider. Though no doubt ONE would do the job but a little insurance never hurts! Now if you said a .25 ACP....... Though I do know of more than one murdered with that caliber.....unless a lucky shot I would believe you. Chances are you might have time to realize it before you and odds are you would never have a chance to draw your weapon.

      2 months ago
      • Sam

        Not trying to doubt you, and you may be of such a constitution that what you say is true. For sure the .380 doesn't have the kind of one shot effectiveness of the .45, BUT, If you really believe that about the .380, then go do some research, or actually shoot one, say, into a large full size rump roast using some of the better HP offerings out there now. You MIGHT change your mind. While at the very bottom of my list for carry options, after doing some research, and testing on my own, I have recently added a pair of .380 sub compacts for myself and my wife to be able to carry when other options are too large or difficult. My state is going Constitutional Carry next month, so we're looking at all of the options. Will I choose the .380 all of the time exclusively, no I will not, but I will say this about our P3AT, and LCPs, they're so small and light, that they are now our always carry pieces, and if I feel like something larger is needed, then I'll add it to the other side, and carry both with the .380 as a New York Reload. .380, not just a mouse gun anymore.

        3 weeks ago
  • Bill

    Great article on the best of gear for concealed carry. I would like to add one thing that would benefit lefties, such as myself. Charter Arms makes a 5 shot revolver, .38 caliber, that is left handed oriented. It's called the Southpaw. I love mine!

    3 months ago
  • Scott

    I carry a Springfield XDM 3.8 compact 45. I live in South Florida and it conceals great while wearing a pair of cargo shorts and a tee shirt! 9+1 of 45 works fantastic for me!

    3 months ago
  • Clark

    Walk into any gun store and these are going to be the obvious options. In the 9MM category, I also recommend the Taurus G2C which is very affordable and the Kel-Tec PF9 which is very concealable. In the 380 category, I recommend the Springfield 911, Colt Mustang, or Sig P238 for a 1911 type gun, or the Walther PPK for the Bond look.

    3 months ago
  • Gary Burns

    I carry 40 S&W, I use Underwood 155 gr XTP's for carry. I have Springfield XDS40 Mod 0 and Mod 2, Taurus PT-140 G2C, S&W M&P40C (both 3.6", 4.0") 2.0, S&W Shield40 1.0, Springfield XD40 SC Mod 2 (x2). I have a 357 Sig conversion barrel for the shorter M&P40C and I have a wonderful Glock 33 in 357 Sig. Any of those make me happy. I could carry one of my Taurus PT-111, G2 or G2C for a 9 MM or my thinner Ruger LC9s Pro but I prefer a 40. I could also carry a Springfield XD45 SC Mod 2 or my RIA 3.5" Officer's model 1911 for 45, I prefer 40. LCP II maybe, Springfield 911 is my favorite 380 though. I prefer 40. I should add two of my 40's are new releases in 2019, the XDS Mod 2 and the G2C, both for CC market.

    3 months ago
  • Jharley

    Here in DFW, I go small caliber in summer, .45 in winter. IWB and gun belt always.

    3 months ago
  • Larry Weaver

    FN Five-seven best weapon for stopping power,high capacity weapon. Easy to conceal

    3 months ago
    • Robert Davis

      Amen! I made the switch and and and very happy with it.

      2 months ago
  • Mike Moser

    In Southern Arizona the choices are few,here are mine.In Winter I can get away with a 1911 fullsize,or Ruger Commander both in 45.In summer I go to a S&W Shield in 45 or a S&W M36 38 spec.

    3 months ago
  • Michael

    When the attacker is close up (knife distance), any small pistol will do but farther away the best handgun is a big bore full size semi-auto. Shot placement is important but big bore usually wins.

    3 months ago
  • Ursula

    I carry my HK VP9 all the time. I am a very small person and have had to make some wardrobe adjustments ... I never used to have any pants/shorts with belt loops. I recently purchased UnderTech shorts, and now I can wear leggings and dresses again. I DO plan to get the VP9SK some time soon :)

    3 months ago
  • Ricky

    I carry my XD-S 45 everywhere I go and have never had anyone notice that I have it on me. It's accurate and easy to conceal.

    3 months ago
  • Todd Baker

    Ever heard of a Kimber Ultra 45. Comes with a grip mounted Crimson Trace. My favorite and best CCW weapon. Dependable and accurate. Your list is lacking top notch guns.

    3 months ago
  • alex

    sig p238 is my favorite small gun to shoot... but my light keltec p-32 with crimson trace is so easy to carry, i take it everywhere i legally can. it fits in pocket with my big cellphone no problem and it's so cheap used too (got mine with laser for only $250 after tax and ffl fees) so i don't have to baby it... you cold probably get an ugly one without laser online for about 150 before tax and ffl fees. why not?! shoots better than most tiny 25s

    3 months ago
  • Albert

    The 'best' gun is the one you have with you when you need it.

    3 months ago
  • Mark

    Traded my Sig P938 for the P365. Loved the P938 but found the P365 to be less snappy and could carry 3 more cartridges. No complaints at all. Put 99 out of 100 on a body target at 15 yards the second time I took it to the range. Conceals well in a small Kydex by Tulster. I did run into the problem of the slide not locking but am working at my grip not to block the pistol slide with my hand. For a 380, the Glock 42 is sweet but find the Sig P238 to have little recoil and to be extremely accurate. The G42 is easier to shoot with the mag extension which adds one cartridge to the mag and a place for the pinky to grip.

    3 months ago
  • Chuck

    I carry a SIG 2022 IWB and wear button up "old man shirts". I haven't gotten a second look.

    3 months ago
    • Ari

      Just picked one up a used one on gunbroker for 370 after shipping and FFL (won the auction at 320) comes with case, 3 mags and a Sig laser. Its my second gun after the P320 compact I purchased in May. Since im brand new to guns and CC I think Ill feel more comfortable carrying a SA/DA untill im much more proficient. P320 is awesome though

      3 months ago
  • armed citizen

    Taurus G2C in 9mm or .40 for under $200 with rebate. 12 round mag. Upgrade kit from Lakeline LLC for around $50. Outstanding EDC pistol that is inexpensive and reliable. Now all law abiding American citizens can be armed and ready for 2 or 4 legged varmints at an affordable price!!!!

    3 months ago
  • Greg

    Have owned a Springfield XD Mod .2 in .45 ACP now for 2 years. It took a little practice to get used to the harder kick because of a polymer frame, but I have always admired and wanted to own a .45 cal handgun. Had to move to a handgun friendly state to be able to. Now that I have one, I feel very safe with that amount of firepower on me (13+1 in double stack mag).

    3 months ago
  • Whiskey Savage

    M&P Shield and ANY. XD making this. list is a flat out travesty. What a joke.

    4 months ago
  • Michael J Kinney

    I am currently in the market for another CCW. For years, as a young man, I carried a 5 shot .38 revolver. Loved it. Never had an issue. Quick to get into action and fairly easy to hide. I now live in an area where hot weather is the norm. I live in a fairly low threat area. For a long time I carried a NAA .22 magnum mini revolver and a .32 acp semi auto. Laugh, but they were always with me. Now I'm much older and a lot dumpier. No longer can I be viewed as a trim, slim, blonde Nordic god... Skin tight jeans and bun hugging shorts give way to bulky tee shirts and cargo shorts..... Sigh.... Gravity sucks.... So, I again am looking for a small revolver to carry. I find as one gets older the thought process slows. Semi autos with a ton of levers and buttons and weird triggers are out. A simple revolver is best in my mind. I currently have a Ruger SP-101 in .327 for a home defense gun and the Ruger LCR in .327 in looking mighty good at the moment for CCW. It's an awesome round and as I get even older and my hands get weaker I have the choice of dropping down to .32 H&R and even 32 S&W Long for my really decrepit years....

    4 months ago
    • Matt Mitchell

      AMEN! Michael. I ABSOFORKINLUTELY understand & empathize with your feelings about time & gravity. I feel it does beat the alternative, though(maybe not by much, but hey?) I am in the same camp as you as I also have switched to a small revolver & the freakin' wonderful .327 Fed Mag round. After reading up on the data about this round & looking at its performance through barrels shorter than 4 inches; I am of a belief that Federal has finally come up with the perfect caliber for today's smaller CCW revolvers. The ballistic performance of the .327 surpassing the .38 & almost catching up to the .357 is mind blowing. Add to that, the ability to use .32 H&R Mag or .32 S&W Long SJHP and IMHO you have exactly what most CCW carriers want in their pocket...enough oomph to stop the threat, easy to carry & a round that can be easily controlled to put the 2nd & 3rd shots on target! I wish with all my heart that ammunition manufacturers would get fully behind this round & start producing more offerings for us older types. (especially in the .32 H&R Mag) If gun makers would come out with some more offerings, that might help as well. I'll just keep loading my own until my eyesight goes completely.

      3 months ago
  • Jim Dickey

    Never owned a hand gun though used to shoot 1911’s decades ago with family and friends. So When Springfield Armory brought out the 9mm XD-E 3.3 a couple of years ago I picked one up. Great little gun!

    5 months ago
  • Wayne Dennis

    Great site for learning, great for catching up on the newest and latest, curious I don't see much about the Thompson center line, kahr firearms, Magnum Research,or Israeli industries desert eagle linage, I have A Baby Eagle .45acp, Eagle 50 and a microeagle 380(beautiful futuristic looking gun) what are your thoughts on the Browning 1912-22 black? Handgun? all shoot and handle well, do you have any articles on these weapons? I realize you cannot cover everything out there but the film industry loves there looks to feature them collectors have them as a must have for any collection, Israel, United States and many other countries use them as a standard issue for their militaries, just how bad can they actually be?

    5 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      We have a review on the Kahr CW9 and have reviews in progress for Thompson/Center and Magnum Research D-Eagle - no ETA on when they will be ready though. Glad you like the site!

      5 months ago
  • XPISTOLS

    Up front, I want to compliment you on your writing style. It's one of the first if not the only site (or printed publication) that isn't screaming with recommendations and recriminations for not buying what they (or their sponsors) recommend, not doing the training they say to, using the Tacit-Cool words that "experts" would, etc. A couple of old sayings I keep in mind when hearing about so-called "Experts" are "An Expert is anyone at least 50 miles from home carrying a briefcase" and "There's 20 years of experience, then there is one year of experience 20 times". Such "Experts" would no doubt chastise you for not packing every time you leave the house. As to carry I have 1-2 default carry firearms, but also keep in mind where I am going, how I am dressed and what I will be doing which may impact the decision. They are different calibers and brands but all are capable of stopping an aggressor and I personally don't think I need 17 rounds plus two backup mags. I focus on quality of shots rather than quantity. And while "Suppressive Fire" has merit in a combat situation it's probably not a good idea to use in a civilian locale. Those rounds have to land somewhere. I really like your focus on practice. It's the only difference between a novice and an expert marksman.

    5 months ago
  • kc j

    personally I like the 357 sig load in a glock 33 with a 10 round +1 mag it's easy to hide under a tee shirt in sunny calif.

    6 months ago
  • Long dong

    Sig Sauer P238 with pinky extension magazine...nuff said.

    6 months ago
  • Mr. Nick

    I like my XD subcompact with a 12 round mag in an Alien gear IWB holster. But sometimes I will go with Glock 17 with a Vedder holster carried cross draw.

    7 months ago
  • Parker Mercier

    A 22LR is a long rifle. The LR stands for long rifle. Commonly a semi- automatic action.. they do make 22 pistols. I have shot them. I don’t think carrying a 22LR is going to be very successful.

    7 months ago
    • Bob

      22LR is the name of the cartridge. It doesn't mean it is a long gun.

      3 months ago
  • Anna

    The first handgun my dad bought me was a ruger 380 when I was 15(just to take for hunting and he kept it locked otherwise) I've fired multiple other guns but I always come back to ruger being the most comfortable for me. I have a 9 MM for EDC now. My fiance carries a 380.

    10 months ago
  • Mr. Untactical

    I've found that the Springfield XD Mod.2 Subcompact is a great carry option. It's double stack (13+1 with the flush mag) yet still conceals well, even under a t-shirt... with the right IWB holster (On Your 6 kydex is nice). For my purposes, the double-stack helps me get a better grip on the weapon during the draw stroke; I'm still untactical, so that's a plus!

    10 months ago
  • John

    Walther PPKS.380. If I'm gonna be in the city CZ P09 in 9mm. High capacity. Black tie events I like my Colt Python.

    11 months ago
  • Tom

    Warm weather I carry a Sig P938 (9mm). Cooler weather it’s either a Shield 45 or my M&P 2.0 compact 9mm. I practice with all of them with FMJ and hollow point. The Sig is a little particular with ammo but the 2 S&Ws work flawlessly with everything I have put thru them.

    11 months ago
  • Katie

    Personally i have been doing a lot of research into different guns and calibers as a smaller women (5’3” 130 lbs). Basically my hands are small and I am often mistaken for a kid as I am still in college. Deciding on a handgun for me is very important as I know it can come down to that weapon for protection in numerous situations as self defense maneuvers may not help when the person could easily overpower me. I have noticed many 9mm handguns especially the Glock have felt like holding a brick and for me the Walter CCP and PPS have had the best fit the Browning 380 1911 is also really nice but I am not a huge fan of the grip safety. I have noticed single stack mags are the best option as far as fit. Hope that helps some people

    11 months ago
    • Yose

      Katie IF any firearm does not feel good in your hand perhaps different grips could make a difference....No matter the caliber or the function it is quite simple: You will not enjoy shooting it or practicing with it and our accuracy will suffer. DO NOT EVER let anyone tell you different or into buying something you do not like. Only you can decide what you like and feels good fits your hand. The Walther PPK and PPKS and their clones are proven and reliable. Just like the 9mm Browning Hi-Power and the 1911. The 1911 is still in production for over 100 years. Many manufacturers still making it today. For some unknown reason the .38 Super did not catch on in the US but it did catch on elsewhere. Colt makes or made Two different models of 1911 .380s neither have a grip safety one is a compact model with a shorter barrel. Something you might consider in a revolver is one of the revolvers with no external hammer. You can find purses that have an inside holster and you can shoot it through the purse or from a pocket if need be without the slide from an automatic getting caught up and jamming. Various after market grips and note some may only hold 5 rounds there are some that hold 6. Ruger makes one in .357 Magnum holds 5 but ou can safely shoot .38 Special and such +P and +P+ loads in. Giving you a choice of ammunition to use and if memory serves correctly it is a bit heavier but that helps control recoil. No matter what you decide.......only you can make the decision/ A some would call a Dinosaur (The revolver falls in that category as does the Walther PPK/PPKS and the 19ll.) Decide if you want a Single or Double Action or a Double Action Only. There are many different types to choose from because there are people that have so many different needs and grips that must fit there hands. YES this includes women. Confusing to Newbies ? YES an also confusing to others. What makes a great firearm one person is an Anchor to someone else. Find the "Goldilocks Gun" that is JUST RIGHT for you.

      2 months ago
    • George

      Have you ever tried a revolver? In my opinion they have the best hand feel of any handguns. Just my two cents, would be interested to hear yours.

      11 months ago
  • John H

    My ccw is a kimber ulra crimson carry II. Everyone is talking about the research and development of the 9mm and that it is as good or better than a 45acp. But they fail to realize that the improvements apply to all ammo. So, if a 45 was better then, it's still better now

    1 year ago
    • Daryl Wade

      I agree with John. My every day carry is a Kimber Ultra Carry II (TLE LG) with a cross breed holster. can't beat the comfort. I carry a spare mag so i have plenty of ammo if i need it. This is the most accurate gun I own. I also carry a Klarus XT2CR tactical flash light and a sog trident pocket knife. And a tactical pen (just in case).

      10 months ago
      • Wyatt

        bro is this how you dress your Call of Duty avatar?

        6 months ago
  • rufus

    ill stick with my glock 30sf in 45 acp, bigger bullets are always better

    1 year ago
  • B .

    I had a springer XDS in 45. I had to sell it because it was to small for my hands and i am not really a fan of DAO/striker fired weapons. If someone is used to that type of trigger and your hands are not to big that little pistol can shoot very accurately. And you will forget you have it on you. MAC on youtube has a video out on snubbies where he shows a 9mm is similar to 357 mag snub nose and spanks 38 special in velocity. He also points out how 357 has more recoil than 9mm.

    1 year ago
  • Jacob

    Could you guys do a full review of the Ruger Security 9? I'm considering one for concealed carry, but I'd like a second opinion as well.

    1 year ago
  • Mary Ann

    I started with a S&W Bodyguard...it's concealable but the trigger is ghastly. I bought a Ruger 9m.....couldn't rack it, and recoil was as bad as the Bodyguard. Traded the Ruger 9m for a Glock 42. I like the trigger and feel of the weapon, but...and this is important. After I purchased it, I learned it was sensitive to poor grip...limp-wristing results in stove-pipe ejection failure. Since I suffer from hand and wrist issues, will not carry until I'm certain I can handle it correctly. I was thrilled to get the S&W Shield EZ; fires the .380; racking is a dream; and am far more accurate with the longer barrel over every other gun I've owned or tried. The recoil is 60% of the Bodyguard. It's big for CC (for my body anyway), but can be done with the right holster choices.

    1 year ago
    • Jose

      Thank you for providing some interesting information. I was a little put off by their selection of pistols when there are so many out there. I don't carry but I enjoy training with concealed carry focused pistols. I also tend to recommend pistols to many friends since they know it's one of my hobbies and the Shield EZ it's great to know of as SAO pistols like the P238 are more for enthusiasts in my opinion however they are one of the few CC pistols that I have found that are easy to rack.

      5 months ago
  • Andrew

    I love my Shield in 9mm for CCW. 9mm ammo has gotten to be extremely lethal with technology and engineering advancements. Look at the Fort Scott, Lehigh, or Underwood ammo offerings. In addition I have a G19 that is very concealable. IMHO if you are new go to a range, tryout some different styles, makes, and calibers. Shoot them, then shoot them again. Don't get tied up on striker fired vs SA/DA. Get a gun you are comfortable with, fits your hand and body and then carry it, carry it everyday and practice with it. CCW is a big responsibility, so take the time and do thorough research.

    1 year ago
  • Hammer

    Other than people who have no clue and are looking for their first gun, I have a hard time understanding who this kind of generic pablum is intended for. If you look around the interwebs at the moment, there are approximately 187 articles mentioning the exact same short list of predictably popular choices. Yawn...

    1 year ago
    • Because I Can

      As long as you're dangling participles and being redundant you might as well flush logic as well, eh? Thank you, though, for dazzling us with your acumen regarding handguns. I don't think anyone would have gotten much sleep without such a backhanded delivery of how obviously experienced you are with pistols. You must be "special" forces...

      11 months ago
      • Jose-

        Wow a troll, how freaking novel. He has a very valid point regarding the list of weapons, they do appear to be what is currently being marketed as opposed to a thoughtful collection of diverse carry options.

        5 months ago
    • caleb

      yet here you are.

      1 year ago
  • jim s

    Ruger 9mm ED

    1 year ago
  • samuel

    i love my shield.

    1 year ago
  • Walt Mather

    Had you included more DA/SA, hammer fired you might of had some credibility. Hell, if you'd given Bersa Thunder. 380 at least an honorable mention in that category of say Beretta's PX4 SC in. 40. No this is just another striker fire groupee list based on trend rather than objective fact and safety. So many new gun carriers read these articles and run out and buy their Glock or facecimili and are a mishap waiting to happen - especially if carrying chambered.

    1 year ago
  • Pick

    My ccw aren't even on the list. 9mm taurus pt111 and 380 sw mp. Confused?

    1 year ago
    • samuel

      to be honest im not a big fan of my pt111

      1 year ago
    • Lewis B Chatellier Jr

      I agree with Pick I also carry a new TaurusUSA PT111 G2 12+1 with TruGlo Green Micro Laser in a AIWB kidex self made holster.

      1 year ago
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