There are lots of concealed handguns out there, and with so many options it can be difficult to buy just one.
These are my favorite choices. I’ve fired all of these weapons, and would personally trust my life to any one of them. I’ve given them each a specific category I feel they fit.
1. Beretta Nano – Best Ultra Small 9mm
The Beretta Nano is an interesting design and is about as small and thin as you can go with a 9mm semi-auto. The Nano offers an interchangeable lower frame and a variety of magazine sizes, and can equip a laser and swap sight easily. The Nano is rated for hotter +P ammunition and is still small enough for most people to carry comfortably. There may be smaller 9mms, but the Nano offers a lot of customization options and is plenty reliable. The only letdown is the heavy trigger pull.
2. Baby Glock – Best Double Stack CCW
This isn’t one specific gun, but any of the baby Glocks, the 26, 27 or big babies like the 29 and 30. These double stack weapons offer plenty of capacity in a small package. Glocks are known for their reliability and ease of use and the baby Glocks are no different. One of the biggest advantages is the baby Glock’s ability to take magazines for their bigger brothers, giving them a much higher capacity if the situation calls for it. The Glock is a sort of Jack of all trades. It’s pretty good in most departments, but lacks the finesse of other, more expensive firearms.
3. Bersa 380 – Best Budget Option
The Bersa 380 is a clone of the Walther P series of small 380 ACP pistols. The Bersa lines are made in Argentina and sold in the USA for a few hundred bucks. There a variety of different Bersas, including the Thunder and the Concealed carry, but the original is often the most affordable. A Bersa 380 can be had for under $200 if you know where to shop. The Bersa is a reliable, accurate weapons with excellent ergonomics. This is one of the few weapons that makes a slide mounted safety work well.
4. LCRx and LCR – Best Compact Revolver
The LCRx and the LCR are the same revolver, but the LCR has an exposed hammer that can be cocked for single action shots. (For brevity, LCR will cover both models.) The LCR is a lightweight, compact, snub-nose revolver. Available in 22 Magnum, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 327 Federal Magnum and even 9mm. The LCR series has an excellent trigger and is surprisingly lightweight. The revolver heavily uses polymer materials to reduce both weight and cost. The LCR is relatively affordable when you consider how awesome it is.
Available in 22 Magnum, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 327 Federal Magnum and even 9mm. The LCR series has an excellent trigger and is surprisingly lightweight. The revolver heavily uses polymer materials to reduce both weight and cost. The LCR is relatively affordable when you consider how awesome it is.
5. Dan Wesson Guardian – Best 1911 for CCW
The 1911 is probably the most popular handgun, and is easily the most-produced American handgun. It is a large and heavy platform, but is very thin, and the single action trigger is an absolute dream. The DW Guardian is a compact 1911, and the user can choose either 38 Super, 45 ACP, or 9mm. Dan Wesson 1911s are simply built to a higher standard at a decent price.
6. CZ P09 – Best Full-Sized Auto for CCW
If you are going to go big, go really big. The size difference between the P09 and other full-sized pistols is negligible, but the P09 offers a 19 in the magazine and 1 in the pipe, for a total of 20 rounds. The P09 is a modern version of the CZ 75, with a polymer frame, an accessory rail, a DA/SA trigger, and the ability to choose either a de-cocker or safety right out of the box. The CZ P09 is also cheaper than your run-of-the-mill Glock or S&W.
7. Ruger LCP – Best Pocket Pistol
The Ruger LCP is a great little pocket pistol for concealed carry. The Ruger LCP is one of the smallest, most effective weapons you can pocket carry. This 380 ACP gives you 6 + 1 rounds of ammo and is common enough that a variety of accessories and holsters exists for it. The LCP can be outfitted with a laser, an improved trigger, and there is an adjustable sight model The LCP can be found for under $200 for you savvy shoppers.
8. S&W 686 – Best Full-Sized Revolver for Carry
The revolver is far from dead and is still a favorite for a variety of different shooters. The 686 is one of the best-made revolvers on the market. The S&W 686 has a variety of different barrel lengths, but even with a 2.5-inch barrel, the 686 is a large gun. With a full-sized grip and heavy frame, a user can shoot 357 magnums much easier than from a standard air weight J frame. The 357 Magnum is still a hard round to beat for defensive use.
9. Walther PPS – Best Single Stack CCW
The Walther PPS beat both the S&W Shield and Glock 43 to market by years, and it’s still the better choice in my opinion. The Walther PPS is a slim pistol, but is not super small, so it’s more controllable and easier to shoot. The Walther PPS has a variety of different magazine sizes that actually affect the overall size of the weapon. The PPS features an awesome trigger, is lightweight and very reliable.
10. Sig Sauer P938 – Best Gun for Smaller People
The Sig 938 is a 1911 copy but is much, much smaller than any other 1911. The weapon is very easy to rack because the user can cock the hammer, reducing most of the pressure on the slide. The all-steel frame also aids in reducing recoil, making the 9mm more comfortable to shoot.
What weapons would you add to the list? Delete from the list? Share your thoughts in the section below: