Best Concealed Carry Guns

Best Concealed Carry Guns

Choosing the best concealed carry gun can be difficult. There are so many handguns on the market, and not all of them will fit your specific needs. You will need to know what to look for, and where to start.

This guide will teach you what you need to know. We will provide a list of some of the best concealed carry guns on the market today, as well as give you a brief rundown on what to look for in a carry gun.

Read: Ultimate Guide to Concealed Carry

The best concealed carry guns on the market today are:

  • Sig Sauer P365 series
  • Smith & Wesson Shield Plus
  • Staccato CS
  • Glock 19
  • Springfield Hellcat Pro

This is of course my opinion, so below is a much longer and in-depth look at the top firearms on the market for concealed carry. Feel free to scroll through and find one that works for you.

The Best Concealed Carry Guns

We will break down some of the best concealed carry guns on the market today. You’ll find a brief description of each firearm plus a list of its key specifications so you can make an informed buying decision in the future.

Sig Sauer P365 XMacro

Sig Sauer P365 XMacro
Sig Sauer P365 XMacro
  •  Optic Ready Slide
  •  (2) 17rd Steel Magazines with High Visibility Followers
  •  Interchangeable Small, Medium, and Large Backstrap Included
  •  XRAY3 Day/Night Sights
  •  Available with Manual Safety


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Caliber9mm
Capacity17+1
Weight22 oz
Barrel Length3.7 inches
Price$800

The Sig Sauer P365 XMacro stands out as the best concealed carry gun on the market for several reasons, most notably its combination of compact size with high capacity.

This innovative model extends the highly successful P365 lineup, pushing the boundaries of what shooters can expect from a concealed carry firearm. It offers a remarkable 17+1 capacity, which is exceptional for its size, ensuring that users have ample firepower at their disposal. This feature alone sets the P365 XMacro apart from its competitors, offering a balance of concealability and capacity that is hard to match.

The P365 lineup has many different versions, and you can’t really go wrong with any of them. However, the XMacro seems to be the best all around firearm from the lineup.

Sig Sauer P365

Sig Sauer P365
Sig Sauer P365
  • XRAY3 Day/Night sights
  • 10-round flush fit magazine, and a 10-round extended grip magazine
  • Lightweight and easy to conceal
  • Chambered in 9mm


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Caliber9mm
Capacity10+1
Weight18 oz
Barrel Length3.1 inches
Price$500

A staple of the concealed carry pistol category, the Sig P365 is arguably the most popular concealed carry pistol overall. Characterized by an angular grip butt and a relatively small capacity, it can also be purchased with an optional 15 round extended magazine.

The P365 is quickly becoming known as the “go to” concealed carry gun. Every time I am at the shop, I see someone buying one. It’s both a great concealed carry pistol for experienced shooters and for new firearm owners alike.

This also comes in the P365XL if you are looking to squeeze out two more rounds, but I recommend going to the XMacro if you really want capacity.

Smith & Wesson Shield Plus

Smith & Wesson Shield Plus
Smith & Wesson Shield Plus
  • Comes with (2) 13 round magazines and (1) 10 round flush fit magazine
  • Features an optimal 18-degree grip angle for natural point of aim
  • Tritium Night Front & Rear Sights
  • Flat faced trigger
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Caliber9mm
Capacity13+1
Weight20.2 oz
Barrel Length3.1 inches
Price$553

The Smith & Wesson Shield Plus is hitting the sweet spot for concealed carry enthusiasts, blending the slim profile of the Shield line with an impressive leap in ammunition capacity.

This up-and-comer in the carry world is turning heads with its ability to carry more without compromising on the slim, easy-to-conceal design that made the original Shield a hit. Boasting a capacity that challenges its competitors, the Shield Plus ensures you’re well-equipped for any situation without feeling like you’re lugging around a brick.

What sets the Shield Plus apart is its unwavering reliability mixed with enhanced ergonomics. Smith & Wesson has doubled down on making sure this gun is as trustworthy as it is comfortable to use.

The trigger has been refined for a smoother pull, enhancing accuracy and control. Combine this with the Shield Plus’s natural fit in the hand, and you’ve got a concealed carry pistol that feels as good to shoot as it is reliable.

For those in search of a compact firearm that doesn’t skimp on capacity or performance, the Smith & Wesson Shield Plus emerges as a compelling choice, offering the perfect blend of form, function, and firepower for everyday carry.

Glock 19 Gen 5

Glock 19 Gen 5
Glock G19 Gen5 9mm Pistol
  • Comes with (3) 15 round magazines
  • Comes with different size backstraps to fit different sized hands
  • Reversible magazine catch and ambidextrous slide stop lever make it ideal for left and right-handed shooters
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Caliber9mm
Capacity15+1
Weight24 oz
Barrel Length4.02 inches
Price$540

The Glock 19 is pretty much the go-to gun for anyone looking to carry something that’s both easy to hide and great to shoot. It hits that sweet spot between being small enough to tuck away without a fuss and big enough to hold onto comfortably when firing. Plus, it packs a decent punch with its 15+1 round capacity, so you’re not going to feel under-armed in any situation.

What really sets the Glock 19 apart is its bulletproof reliability. This thing is like the trusty old pickup that starts up in any weather – it just works, no matter what.

Its design is straightforward, meaning there’s less that can go wrong, and it’s super easy to keep clean and running smoothly. It’s got the backing of cops and soldiers, but it’s also a favorite among everyday folks for personal protection. In short, the Glock 19’s combo of reliability, size, and firepower makes it a solid pick for concealed carry.

Glock 43X

Glock 43X
Glock 43X
  • Match-grade GLOCK Marksman Barrel
  • Front slide serrations
  • Built-in beaver tail and a subcompact-slim slide for a comfortably balanced, versatile grip
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Caliber9mm
Capacity10+1
Weight16 oz
Barrel Length3.41 inches
Price$460

The Glock 43X slides right into that perfect niche for concealed carry enthusiasts who want something super sleek without skimping on capacity. It’s the slimmed-down sibling in the Glock family, making it a dream to carry all day, every day, without the bulk you’d get from larger models.

Reliability? The Glock 43X has it in spades. It’s as dependable as your morning coffee, firing round after round without a hitch. This pistol keeps things simple and sturdy, which means less fuss for you and more confidence that it’ll fire when you need it to.

The only downfall to this gun in my opinion is the capacity compared to the size. You can get a much smaller firearm that has higher capacity on this list. However, if you love the Glock brand, this might be the sub compact you are looking for.

Springfield Hellcat Pro

Springfield Hellcat Pro
Springfield Hellcat Pro
  • Comes with (3) 15rd magazines & (2) 17rd magazine
  • Chambered in 9mm
  • Optic Ready
  • Versatile accessory rail
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Caliber9mm
Capacity15+1
Weight21 oz
Barrel Length3.7 inches
Price$649

If you like Sig Sauer’s P365 XMacro, but you are on a bit of a budget, this is the firearm for you.

The Springfield Hellcat Pro is shaking things up in the concealed carry game, offering a compact size that doesn’t hold back on capacity. This little powerhouse is making waves with its ability to snugly fit into your daily life while packing a serious punch.

With its 15+1 round capacity, the Hellcat Pro doesn’t just step up to the plate; it knocks it out of the park, giving you more than enough firepower to feel secure in any scenario.

The Hellcat Pro’s grip and balance feel like they were custom-made for your hand, making it not only a practical choice for daily carry but also a pleasure to shoot. For those on the hunt for a concealed carry option that blends high capacity, undeniable reliability, and ergonomic excellence, the Hellcat Pro stands out as a top contender.

Springfield Hellcat

Springfield Hellcat
Springfield Armory Hellcat
  • Includes (1) 11 Round, (1) 13 Round Extended magazine
  • Sights: U-Dot, Tritium & Luminescent Front, Tactical Rack Rear
  • Optics Mount Directly to slide for lowest profile possible
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Caliber9mm
Capacity11+1
Weight18 oz
Barrel Length3 inches
Price$519

The Springfield Hellcat has a low, flush magazine that nonetheless fits 11 rounds in the pistol, offering excellent versatility for a concealed carry user. An extended magazine is available from select retailers. It’s also one of the smallest overall 9 mm pistols on the market, making it one of the best competitors to the Sig P365.

The trigger break is crisp and the pistol supports red dot optics if you decide to add them to your firearm later down the road. The Springfield Hellcat is one of the top 10 selling pistols last year, and that didn’t happen by accident. 

Staccato CS

Staccato CS
Staccato CS
  • Sights: Dawson Precision fiber-optic front, serrated black square-notch rear
  • Trigger: 1911-style single-action, curved aluminum shoe
  • Optics ready


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Caliber9mm
Capacity16+1
Weight23 oz
Barrel Length3.5 inches
Price$2499

The Staccato CS is quickly becoming a top pick for concealed carriers who appreciate a high quality firearm. This compact shooter brings a fresh edge to the table, marrying the precision and feel of a competition gun with the concealability you need for everyday carry.

Its magazine capacity is impressive for its size (16 rounds), ensuring you’ve got the rounds you need without bulking up your profile.

What’s really cool about the Staccato CS is how it handles. This gun is all about performance, offering up a shooting experience that’s smooth, accurate, and downright enjoyable. It’s built to be tough and reliable, meaning it’s ready to roll whenever you are, without any fuss. Plus, its ergonomic design makes it feel like an extension of your hand, not just a tool in it.

For those looking to carry something that’s as reliable and hardworking as they are, but still packs a serious punch, the Staccato CS is a standout choice, blending top-tier craftsmanship with the practicality needed for daily carry.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact

Smith & Wesson M&P 9 M2.0
Smith & Wesson M&P 9 M2.0
  • Includes (2) 15 round magazines
  • Includes (4) four interchangeable palm swell grip inserts to assure proper hand fit and trigger reach
  • Armornite® durable corrosion resistant finish


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Caliber9mm
Capacity15+1
Weight27 oz
Barrel Length4 inches
Price$579

Another M&P classic, the M2.0 Compact comes with two different barrel lengths, either 4 inches or 3.6 inches. The longer barrel provides greater accuracy, at the expense of requiring a larger concealed carry holster. But the longer barrel does come with less muzzle flip, which makes it a great choice for less experienced shooters.

Regardless, either model will feel phenomenal in your hand thanks to its excellent ergonomics. Each M2.0 Compact comes with a matte black finish and is made with super durable materials. This is also a relatively affordable concealed carry firearm compared to the competition.

Shadow Systems CR920

Caliber9mm
Capacity13+1
Weight17.8 oz
Barrel Length3.41 inches
Price$679

The CR920 is Shadow Systems first entry into the micro compact concealed carry gun market. They are well known for their larger models such as the MR920, XR920, and DR920.

What makes Shadow Systems a welcome sight is that they include many features that are not always standard, and they offer them at a great value.

To learn more about this gun specifically, be sure to check out our Shadow Systems CR920 review.

Springfield XD (M)

Caliber.45 ACP
Capacity13+1
Weight31 oz
Barrel Length3.8 inches
Price$650

A modern evolution of the Springfield XD, the XD-M is a hyper-accurate pistol suitable for both target shooting and concealed carry or self-defense needs. It’s available in several frame sizes and barrel lengths, plus a variety of chambering choices. No matter what, your Springfield XD-M will come with interchangeable back-straps to facilitate excellent customization.

The fully cocked striker trigger is crisp and smooth, and the magazine fits flush against the grip. This makes it a great pistol for concealed carry needs. All magazines are double-column and most major parts are made of durable stainless steel to afford long-lasting performance.

Ruger LCP Max

Caliber.380 Auto
Capacity10+1
Weight10.6 oz
Barrel Length2.8 inches
Price$449

Ruger’s LCP Max is a stellar firearm chambered in .380 Auto with a compact and lightweight frame. It’s almost pocket-sized but comes with a built-in optic using a tritium lamp for lasting performance. It’s under 1 inch wide and under 11 ounces in weight, so it can fit in the pocket holster that comes with your purchase.

Also nice is the ergonomic grip designed with the barrel’s surface texture. Shooters will also appreciate the secure action trigger, which facilitates a short and smooth pull with a clean break and a positive, tactile reset.

Ruger LCP Max-9

Caliber9mm
Capacity12+1
Weight18.4 oz
Barrel Length3.2 inches
Price$559

A variant of the above described LCP Max, the Max-9 features many of the same advantages described above, including a striker-fired trigger with a short and smooth trigger pull. But this gun is chambered for 9 mm ammunition. 

The grip is slightly longer and thicker, so it may be a better choice for those with larger hands or folks who want more stopping power with their self-defense pistol. This pistol is a great competitor to the popular P365 and Hellcat.

Ruger LCR

Caliber38+P
Capacity5
Weight13 oz
Barrel Length1.87 inches
Price$400

A concealed carry revolver with a polymer frame and a snub-nosed design, the Ruger LCR is a fantastic choice for those looking for a reliable but simple firearm for self-defense purposes. It can work with either a pocket or belt holster thanks to its small size and light weight.

Most important, its 38+P caliber means it carries enough stopping power to adequately defend you and your family at near point-blank ranges. This pistol comes with a mostly black aesthetic, helping it stay stealthy and concealed even if someone gets close.

FN 509 Midsized

Caliber9mm
Capacity15+1
Weight26.5 oz
Barrel Length4 inches
Price$500

This lesser-known concealed carry pistol is nonetheless a phenomenal choice for self-defense and even general target shooting purposes. Featuring a slightly shorter grip compared to the standard FN 509 model, this pistol is suitable for service duty work and has a larger than average magazine of up to 15 9 mm cartridges.

This pistol is durable, built to last, and can even be relied upon in inclement weather. Check it out if you want a high quality, service-duty-level pistol for your self-defense needs.

FN 509 Compact

Caliber9mm
Capacity15+1
Weight25.5 oz
Barrel Length3.7 inches
Price$679

The FN 509 Compact is an excellent weapon for current or former law enforcement or military personnel thanks to its sturdy performance, double-action operation, and ambidextrous controls. It features a low-profile but high visibility front dot sight, plus a compact shape that makes it perfect for combining with standard concealed carry holsters.

You can pick this pistol up with either 12 or 15 round capacity magazines. The sights are designed to be snag-free and it’s an altogether perfect choice for waist-level concealed carry holsters.

HK VP9SK

Caliber9mm
Capacity10+1
Weight23 oz
Barrel Length3.39 inches
Price$549

A new variant from HK’s popular VP series, the VP9SK is an ergonomic and comfortable pistol with a top-tier trigger and a relatively short magazine. Despite its small size, it can hold 10 rounds of ammunition and extendable magazines for 13 and 15 rounds. These magazines are available for purchase from select retailers.

This subcompact handgun is also somewhat modifiable, featuring swappable back straps and interchangeable lateral grip panels. As a bonus, this pistol features ambidextrous controls, so lefties shouldn’t feel unbalanced wielding this firearm in self-defense.

Taurus GX4

Caliber9mm
Capacity11+1
Weight18.5 oz
Barrel Length3.06 inches
Price$392

Taurus’ GX4 is a so-called “micro-compact” 9 mm pistol. Indeed, it is quite small but still manages to fit 11 rounds into its compact magazine. With a black finish and established aesthetic, this is truly a sidearm worthy of some of the smallest, tightest concealed carry holsters on the market.

This pistol is streamlined yet rugged and designed crafted for ultimate reliability in the field. Its stainless steel frame and barrel will ensure long-term durability and performance. It’s also a relatively lightweight pistol at just 18.5 ounces. It features a fixed steel white dot front sight and a serrated drift adjustable rear sight.

Walther PPQ

Caliber9mm
Capacity15+1
Weight24 oz
Barrel Length4 inches
Price$475

A sidearm with a striker-fired trigger, the PPQ is a crisp, clean firearm built to last and capable of providing phenomenal performance for years to come. Each trigger pull feels exactly the same, and the gun overall is quite ergonomic thanks to its textured grip with slightly elevated finger indentations.

This is also a suitable pistol for concealed carry purposes thanks to its small size, though it is a little heavy at 24 ounces. Still, it’s an ultimately excellent concealed carry gun with the size and stopping power needed to take down an attacker in one or two shots provided you are accurate.

Mossberg MC1sc

Caliber9mm
Capacity7+1
Weight19 oz
Barrel Length3.4 inches
Price$399

Mossberg’s MC1sc was designed for concealed carry from the ground up, featuring a dehorned and slim profile that ensures snag-free drawing every time. It only weighs 22 ounces and has a polymer construction. Its palm swell is comfortable and ergonomic and its specialized grip panels have aggressive texturing to prevent you from dropping the pistol.

The flat profile trigger improves the pull, and it is bolstered by a safe takedown system that doesn’t require you to pull the trigger during disassembly for regular cleaning. The snag-free dovetail white three-dot sights will help you acquire your target quickly in a tense situation.

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38 Crimson Trace

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38
Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38
  • Ambidextrous cylinder release
  • Smooth trigger pull with a 5 round stainless steel cylinder
  • Hammerless profile for no snag
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Caliber.38 +P
Capacity5
Weight14.4 oz
Barrel Length1.875 inches
Price$470

The Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38 Crimson Trace is a mouthful of the name, but it’s well worth it: it’s a little revolver chambered in .38 special + P, meaning you can do plenty of damage up close despite its lightweight and small size.

This is a hammerless revolver, as well, so you don’t need to worry about cocking anything before drawing your pistol and pulling the trigger. Plus, it comes with a specialized crimson laser you can use to ensure you hit your target, even in a chaotic environment. 

The laser comes built into the pistol so there’s no need to install anything on your end. The one-piece aluminum frame keeps it simplistic and consistent, even after years of steady use.

Colt King Cobra Carry

Caliber.357 Magnum
Capacity6
Weight26 oz
Barrel Length2 inches
Price$900

Last but not least is the Colt King Cobra Carry: a solid revolver chambered in .357 Magnum with a six-shot capacity. There’s plenty of stopping power here to take on even a large attacker. We also really like the bobbed hammer and the 2-inch barrel, making it easy to conceal and draw from a tight holster without worrying about the hammer or other parts catching on the material.

This is a double-action-only pistol, which is safer even if it doesn’t let you squeeze off shots as quickly. It also comes with a stainless steel barrel and frame, plus a brushed finish for more durability and an excellent aesthetic. 

As a side note, you can choose to pick one of these revolvers up chambered for .38 special ammunition instead.

What to Look for in a Concealed Carry Gun

What to look for in a holster

When selecting a concealed carry gun, several critical factors come into play to ensure you’re adequately equipped for self-defense while maintaining comfort and legality. The decision involves balancing reliability, gun size and concealability, caliber and features, and budget. Understanding these aspects can guide you toward a firearm that suits your needs, lifestyle, and comfort level.

Reliability

The paramount consideration when choosing a concealed carry gun is its reliability. A reliable firearm is one that functions as expected every time you pull the trigger. This means it feeds, fires, and ejects without malfunctions, regardless of the conditions.

To gauge a gun’s reliability, research its track record, read reviews from reputable sources, and consult current users. Pay attention to any recurring issues reported by multiple owners. Additionally, consider the manufacturer’s reputation and the model’s history in the market. A gun known for consistent performance across various conditions and over time is a solid choice.

Gun Size and Concealability

The size of the gun is crucial for concealed carry. It must be small enough to hide under your clothing without printing (showing a visible outline), yet large enough to handle effectively.

Compact and subcompact models strike a good balance between ease of concealment and usability. However, the best size for you depends on your body type, clothing style, and personal comfort.

Test different models with your typical attire to find a balance between concealability and accessibility. Remember, the most effective concealed carry gun is one that you can carry comfortably and discreetly every day.

Caliber and Features Needed

Choosing the right caliber is a balance between stopping power and manageability. Popular calibers for concealed carry include .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Each has its advantages and trade-offs in terms of recoil, capacity, and lethality. Generally, 9mm is favored for its balance of power and capacity, offering a good compromise between effectiveness and recoil.

Besides caliber, consider other features such as safety mechanisms, trigger types, and sights. Look for features that align with your experience level and training. For instance, a gun with a manual safety might be preferred by some for added security, while others might choose models with integrated safety features that allow for quicker response times.

Budget

Your budget will inevitably play a significant role in your choice of concealed carry gun. However, it’s important to consider the total cost of ownership, not just the purchase price.

This includes the cost of ammunition for regular practice, maintenance supplies, holsters, and potentially, additional magazines.

It’s wise to invest in a quality firearm that may cost more initially but will offer reliability and durability in the long run. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of obtaining a concealed carry permit (If needed) and any required training courses.

While it might be tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that your concealed carry gun is a crucial tool for your safety. It’s worth investing in quality and reliability.

Conclusion

Read: Ultimate Concealed Carry Guide!

Using our guide on what to look for in a concealed carry gun, as well as our list of top option in the market you are ready to start shopping.

Ultimately, any of the above guns will be a great choice for general self-defense purposes. Find one that is in your budget, meets your needs, and is in stock. Make your purchase and they will have it shipped to your local FFL to pick up!

Read our other popular articles to complete your concealed carry setup!

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