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5 Best Concealed Carry Handguns



On the hunt for the best, concealed carry handguns out there? Check out this list and pick the one for you.

RELATED: Top 11 Handguns In 9mm For Less Than $750

Concealed Carry Handguns: Which is the Best for You?

Characteristics of the Best Concealed Carry Handgun

To identify the best concealed-carry handgun, you need to identify the characteristics of the best. While it is also a matter of choice, these characteristics will point you to the direction of the best concealed-carry handgun for you.

  • Size: Pocket pistols are portable indeed, but if you want power, go for mid-size handguns.
  • Price: While the best is often synonymous to a hefty price tag, you can still find great handguns within your budget.
  • Durability: Pick make and models known to withstand wear and tear and can take a beating.
  • Ease of Use: For beginners, especially, pick handguns you are already familiar with.
  • Safety Mechanism: For you and the people around you, make safety your top priority.

5 Best Concealed Carry Handguns

1. Glock 19 9x19mm

The Glock 19 is effectively a reduced-size Glock 17, called the “Compact” by the manufacturer. It was first produced in 1988, primarily for military and law enforcement.

The Glock 19's barrel and pistol grip are shorter by about 12 mm (0.5 in) than the Glock 17, and it uses a magazine with a standard capacity of 15 rounds.

The pistol is compatible with factory magazines from the Glock 17 and Glock 18, giving the Glock 19 available capacities of: 17 rounds (standard magazine with +2 extension), 10, 17, and 19 (standard Glock 17 magazine with +2), and the 31 (standard Glock 18 magazine with +2 removed) and 33 rounds of the Glock 18.

To preserve the operational reliability of the short recoil system, the mass of the slide remains the same as in the Glock 17.

With the exception of the slide, frame, barrel, locking block, recoil spring, guide rod, and slide lock spring, all of the other components are interchangeable between the models 17 and 19.” (via Wikipedia)

2. Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD .40 S&W

“The reality of protection is that you never know when you’ll need it. We took the power and features of our full sized M&P pistols and put them into a slim, lightweight pistol the size of your hand. 

The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is an easy to conceal pistol that offers professional grade features with simple operation and reliable performance day or night. One million Shield owners can’t be wrong.

Its features include a polymer frame with embedded steel rigid chassis system. It has also M&P's patented take down lever and sear deactivation systems which allow for disassembly without pulling the trigger.

You will find this handgun extremely thin and lightweight which can be comfortably carried all day. It includes two magazines; one with extended capacity and one flush.”  (via Smith & Wesson)

3. Ruger LC9

“The LC9® is a double-action-only, hammer-fired, locked-breech pistol with a smooth trigger pull. Control and confident handling of the Ruger LC9 is possible through reduced recoil and aggressive frame checkering for a positive grip in all conditions. The Ruger LC9 features smooth “melted” edges for ease of holstering, carrying, and drawing.

The LC9 has a 3.12-inch (8 cm) barrel and is 6 inches (15 cm) long and 4.5 inches (11 cm) tall. The LC9 is 0.9 inches (2 cm) wide and weighs 17.1 ounces (485 g) with an empty magazine.

It features a black polymer (glass-filled nylon) frame and blued alloy steel slide and barrel. The gun, ships with one magazine, including two interchangeable base pads.

One that fits flush with the frame, and the other (fitted to the magazine from the factory) that provides a grip extension of about 0.5 inches (1 cm). Thus the Ruger LC9 became the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence's Handgun of the Year in 2011.” (via Wikipedia)

RELATED: Women’s Self-Defense Options Outside Your Home: Evaluating Concealed Carry Firearms

4. Glock 42 (.380 ACP)

“The G42 is a 6 -shot, .380 caliber slimline subcompact pistol that is perfect for concealed carry and self-defense. It is the smallest, lightest Glock handgun available!

The G42 is a 6-shot, .380 caliber, slimline subcompact pistol engineered with the GLOCK Perfection promise and able to withstand the rigors of concealed carry and everyday shooting.

Made in the USA, the G42 is the smallest pistol GLOCK has ever introduced, making it ideal for pocket carry and shooters with smaller hands.” (via Glockstore)

5. Beretta Nano 9mm

Beretta’s latest innovation, the Nano 9mm Pistol, combines an extremely low profile with a snag-free design for easy carry, fast draws, and ultra stealthy concealment.

Utilizing a removable, serialized sub-chassis, the versatile Nano easily disassembles, too. You can also make modifications with replaceable grip frames.

You can reverse the magazine release button to accommodate right- or left-handed shooters. It has also light, durable fiberglass-reinforced technopolymer frame.

You can adjust sights with a 1.5mm hex wrench. It also includes a six-round and eight-round magazine. (via Cabella's)


For first-time handgun buyers, weight in on these tips and guide from a video by Talon Sei:

With a wide range of choices, it is difficult indeed to pick the best concealed-carry handgun for your personal defense. From this list of popular concealed carry handguns we've handpicked, we are sure the right one for you is among them!

Which of these concealed carry handguns is the best for you? Tell us your thoughts about it in the comments section below!


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Feature | Woman holds a gun inside her bag | The Best Concealed Carry Guns For Women

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 18, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.


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  1. Hugh Janus

    August 13, 2021 at 1:32 PM

    The Glock 43 is a highly over rated pistol.A much better pistol is the Bersa Thunder 380 plus.Its only slightly bigger and heavier then the 43 plus it holds 15 plus 1. Very comfortable to carry in a crossbreed holster, above average accuracy and less expensive.Its my EDC over my Glock 48, Sig P238.

  2. Jack

    August 9, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    I’ll stick with my HK P30sk, thank you very much! Southpaws have limited options and there aren’t too many quality ambidextrous carry guns out there. I couldn’t ask for a better cc firearm.

  3. Makoman

    August 17, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    Funny, after looking at and trying many handguns I recently opted for the Glock G19 9×19. Previously I carried my Kimber Ultra CDP Crimson Trace but decided I did not want to put the wear and tear on such a nice gun or risk turning it over in the case of having to use it in a self defense situation. I have only run 300 rounds through it but am happy with its performance and my performance with it.

    • guncarrier

      August 18, 2015 at 4:42 PM

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      Thank you for your email! We always appreciate it when our readers take the time to email us with their comments. If you have any further questions or issues we would be happy to assist you. Thank you and have a great day!

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  4. gunfighterman

    June 13, 2015 at 5:46 PM

    Agree with the G19 but it’s obvious the author is anti 1911 for some reason. As far as rating a .40cal in 2nd place I HIGHLY disagree. There are some very valid reasons the FBI and many, many other LE agencies are dumping their .40cal weapons and going to a 9mm. Two very valid reasons have been stated that 1) there is no difference between the two calibers in the PERMANENT wound cavity or wound channels and 2) the .40cal is so snappy that it’s beating up their weapons prematurely causing costly repairs and replacements. I would have thought one of the higher quality 1911 pistols would have ranked either #1 or at least #2.

  5. James Blythe

    June 11, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Good article. I agree with your choice of the G19 & the M&P 40SW. But, I would like to nominate my personal weapon, the Walther PPQ in 9mm. In my IWB holster it sits snugly right behind my hip and I have no problem with it showing. This pistol has a small taper to the slide and rounded corners. I have small hands but the PPQ’S grip fits like a glove and gives me good control.

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