So, you’re thinking about investing in a concealed carry firearm. With the number of Americans owning handguns on the rise, you’d be joining a growing family of enthusiasts and those looking to better protect themselves and their homes. Unfortunately—let’s put it this way—choosing the best concealed carry gun can be a challenging task, especially given the sheer variety of firearms available on the market today. So, we wanted to do the hard work for you and put together a list of some of our favorites.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, however, the best concealed carry gun will largely depend on your individual needs, comfort, and level of expertise. What works for one person might not work for another, so the “best” gun is often subjective and situational.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Firearm
When choosing the best concealed carry gun to purchase, there are a number of important specifications to think about, especially if you are at a beginner’s level. The first is the overall size and weight of the firearm. Finding the right balance between concealability and performance is essential. Larger guns, for example, may feature less recoil but will also be tougher to conceal.
Another factor is the caliber of the gun’s internal barrel and ammunition. While larger calibers generally provide more stopping power, they also produce more recoil and often result in lower ammunition capacity. Many experts recommend the 9mm as a good balance of power and control for most shooters.
Finally, you may also want to consider capacity when choosing the best ccw. Higher capacity can be an advantage in a self-defense situation, but it often comes with increased size and weight. Many concealed carriers find a balance between size and capacity that they’re comfortable with.
The Best Concealed Carry Pistols for Beginners
Alright, enough talk about specs. Let’s see some guns! We’ve put the first three together with those who may be shopping for the first time in mind. It can be both exciting and intimidating to buy a firearm, so we believe the following three are great for beginners as they are all reliable and easier to handle.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm
Let’s start things off hot. Smith & Wesson, an icon in the American gun market, offers an impressive selection of firearms suitable for beginners, namely the M&P Shield 9mm. This slim, compact handgun is a go-to for many who are just starting out due to its simplicity. Its manageable recoil also makes it easier for beginners to maintain control during shooting, and the 7+1 or 8+1 capacity provides enough firepower for self-defense situations.
Although it is relatively new to the market, the Springfield Hellcat has quickly developed a reputation for being one of the best concealed carry guns for beginners. Why you may ask? Let’s just say it has a capacity that nobody is complaining about. With the ability to hold 15+1 rounds, this durable pistol is great for both trips to the shooting range and self-defense scenarios.
Glock didn’t become one of the world’s most popular brands for nothing. The company’s reputation for affordable but durable firearms shines through with the 43 and 43X models, each among the best concealed carry guns for beginners. With a length of about 6.3 inches and a grip width of just under an inch, the 43 is easy to conceal while offering a comfortable shooting feel.
The Best Concealed Carry Pistols for Experts
Now, maybe you have a little more experience under your belt. For seasoned firearm enthusiasts, the considerations for selecting the best concealed carry gun can be different. Comfort and ease of use remain essential, but they might also appreciate advanced features, higher capacity, and greater customizability. Here are our top three choices.
Compact yet potent, the Glock 19 is a testament to the balance of size and firepower. Firing 9mm rounds, it offers a standard 15-round capacity (although this can vary depending on local laws), making it a significant step up from many single-stack options. Its versatility, reliability, and reputation make it a favorite among seasoned firearm owners, especially women looking for self-defense and competitive shooting options. Additionally, the vast availability of aftermarket parts allows for a high degree of customization, making the Glock 19 truly your own, not just a boring old all-black firearm.
Sig Sauer P365
Unsurprisingly, the Glock 19 has some stiff competition. The micro-compact 9mm P365 has shaken up the concealed carry world with its innovative design. Offering a 10+1 standard capacity in a small frame, it pushes the boundaries of what concealed carriers can expect in terms of firepower versus size. The P365 also features a crisp, clean trigger pull and excellent sights, enhancing the shooting experience. For experts seeking an edge in capacity without compromising concealability, the P365 may be worth a serious look.
Ruger LCP Max
We went a little outside the box with this one, but hear us out. The Ruger LCP II, from which the LCP Max was inspired, is ridiculously lightweight. And you don’t lose a lot of that with the Max. With a 10+1 or 12+1 round capacity and improved sights compared to its predecessor, the LCP Max offers deep concealment without sacrificing functionality. It’s one of the best concealed carry guns for experts also seeking a high-capacity .380 ACP experience.
Aftermarket Customizations with Zaffiri Precision
Be honest, after you find the best concealed carry gun for yourself, you’ll want to put a personal touch on it, right? That’s where Zaffiri Precision comes into play. We specialize in high-quality, precision-cut aftermarket slides, barrels, and parts for your favorite Glock and Sig Sauer models to help you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Want to learn more? Head over to our resource center! Want to catch up on some of the hottest topics in the firearms industry? Check out our blog, Shooting the Sh!t.
The Navy SEALs use one of the best concealed carry guns on the market, the iconic Glock 19.
The best concealed carry gun, especially for beginners, is one which blends size, weight, and performance. There are a good amount of models on the market, including a handful of Glock and Sig Sauer firearms.
The best gun for concealed carry will come down to your preferred weight, recoil, capacity, etc. This is often a subjective answer.