You know if you had to trace the history of modern concealed carry in the United States you’d be led to the state of Florida in the 1980s. Former NRA president and Chief architect of Florida’s 2005 Stand Your Ground Law Marion Hammer went forth and fought, and fought, and fought to create the shall issue concealed carry permitting system — a law that requires a license to carry a concealed handgun within a certain jurisdiction. She won. From then to now we’ve seen the rise of concealed carry in the United States at a rate no one could ever predict. With a rise in concealed carriers, we’ve also seen a subsequent rise in the concealed carry guns available.
There are just so many carry options today that it’s absolutely insane. How would one choose just one concealed carry gun? Heck, how would you choose 10? We couldn’t even narrow the list to ten guns, so, for those looking to improve their everyday carry, we are bringing you what we consider to be the 25 best concealed carry guns on the market.
Walther PPS M1 and M2
The Walther PPS was one of the first polymer frame single stack 9mms designed for concealed carry. This polymer frame pistol’s main strength was its modularity, meaning you could swap back straps to change the grip size and you could also use three different capacity magazines that all offered a longer or shorter grip. Walther has a good reputation for triggers and the PPS proudly continues that tradition.
The PPS is an inch thin at its widest point. The gun lacks an external safety but features a trigger safety. The PPS is perfect for deep cover carry in an IWB configuration. The original model features the European style trigger guard magazines release, while the M2 variant is a bit more Americanized with a standard magazine release.
Both the M1 and M2 variants share numerous features but differ in several ways. For Walther purists, the M1 model is the way to go. For shooters who refuse to use metric the M2 is perfect. Either gun will serve you well and both are severely underrated. – Buy It
Known as the original baby Glock, the Glock 26 9mm subcompact pistol is the littlest brother to the Glock 17 and 19 family. The Glock 26 is nearly identical to its older brothers, except it has been shrunken down to more concealed carry-friendly dimensions. The Glock 26 is even compatible with 15, 17, and 33 round magazines built for the bigger Glocks should you need more ammo readily-available in a pinch. The Glock 26 has a compact flush fitting 10 round magazine that offers a good measure of firepower with limited recoil.
Its an extremely popular concealed carry pistol and has opened up countless options for accessories and holsters. You can carry a Glock 26 any way you’d imagine — on your ankle, your hip, or inside the waistband — there’s more than enough holster options out there. For those who like to tinker with upgrades, the Glock 26 is a great choice. You can swap just about every part in a Glock to improve and customize it to your individual needs.
The Glock 26 is primed and packaged with that legendary Austrian reliability. The Glock 26 may be small, but its bite is just as fierce as its bark. – Buy It
If the term ‘pocket pistol’ appeals to you, then the Ruger LCP is right up your alley. The LCP is Ruger’s smallest pistol and one of the smallest automatics guns on the market. The LCP fits in the palm of your hand and gives you 6 rounds of .380 ACP. This formidable little fellow weighs 9.6 ounces and has an overall length of 5.16 inches and its only .82 inches wide. The LCP is a hammer fired gun that lacks an external safety.
With a gun this small you really need to take the time to learn to shoot it. Small guns can be a challenge but are well worth it. This is a gun so small, and so easily-concealable that you’ll have no excuse to ever leave it behind. The LCP is also very affordable and can be found at or near 200 dollars for the base model. The LCP set the standard for pocket size firepower and is a formidable addition to your everyday carry. – Buy It
Beretta PX4 Storm Compact Carry
The Beretta PX4 Storm line of handguns is a fascinating departure from Beretta’s love of full metal frames. The PX4 Storm line sports polymer frames, DA/SA actions, and a unique rotating barrel system. The barrel rotating system helps decrease felt recoil and muzzle rise. As the barrel twists the recoil and muzzle rise is subject to radial dissipation. The Compact Carry model is unique. Beretta took their PX4 design to Ernest Langdon, a famed firearms instructor, and this is what he came back with.
This compact pistol packs 15 rounds of 9mm and is outfitted with custom features from front to rear. The Storm Compact Carry comes equipped with night sights, stealth levers, and a custom trigger. At first glance, the Compact Carry is an odd duck. It’s a compact slide on a full-sized grip. This offers a smaller package and profile without sacrificing the control offered by a full-sized grip. The PX4 Storm Compact Carry is a fascinating design that’s both easy to carry concealed and easy to shoot. It’s a Perfect Storm of features if you will. – Buy It
CZ 2075 RAMI
The CZ lineup of firearms is criminally underrated in the United States. While most companies are going polymer, CZ has kept their pistols strong with metal frames. The RAMI being one of the few modern subcompact handguns left on the market with a metal frame. This certainly adds a bit of weight to the gun, but it also helps eat recoil and makes 9mm just pleasant to shoot.
The 2075 is a double stack gun that comes in your choice of either a 9mm or a 40 S&W. The gun can accept standard CZ 75 magazines for extended capacities. It comes with a 10-round magazine, as well as a 14 round magazine with grip extension. The gun is a DA/SA model with an external safety and a simple manual of arms. Its outfitted with CZ’s legendary ergonomics and fits most shooter’s hands like a glove.
If you don’t mind the extra weight the RAMI is a one easy shooting gun. Its low bore axis delivers little muzzle rise and the weight already reduces recoil. The soft-shooting nature also makes it perfect for beginners. – Buy It
The FNS series of handguns from FN are reliable, well made, and ergonomic. They proved so popular, in fact, that FN finally produced the FNS-C. The FNS-C is the subcompact variant of the full-sized FNS pistols. The FNS-C isn’t just a sawn-off FNS though. At the core, the guns are the same, but when it comes to compact pistols it’s the outside that counts. The outside of the gun has been trimmed and smoothed over to ensure a snag-free draw and to increase the carrier’s comfort.
The gun itself is nice and compact for carrying with a 3.6-inch barrel and it still packs a double stack magazine. The gun comes with two 12 round magazines, and a single 17 round magazine for those…uhm…longer days.
The FNS-C has a larger front sight dot than the FNS and the gun is available in both 9mm and 40 S&W. The FNS-C isn’t the smallest gun on this list but offers substantial round capacity in a relatively small package. – Buy It
The Ruger LCR is what happens when a J frame and a Glock get together and make a baby. Ruger introduced this 5 shot snub-nosed revolver in 2009 and it instantly turned heads. A polymer revolver. Why? Well, it turns out that a polymer construction renders a pistol more lightweight and affordable. The LCR’s polymer frame reduces overall weight and keeps the sticker price well below scandium levels. The LCR is a DAO revolver with a friction reducing cam in the fire control group that gives you an outstandingly smooth double action trigger.
The LCR became popular enough that S&W and Taurus followed suit with their own polymer frame revolvers. The LCR is chambered in a variety of cartridges, including the 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 9mm, 327 Federal Magnum, 22 LR, and 22 WMR. There is also the LCRx, which is essentially the same gun but features an exposed hammer for taking single action shots. If it’s a wheel gun you’re after, then the Ruger LCR is a modern and practical choice for concealed carry. – Buy It
What’s the best way to describe the PPK? Classy? Gorgeous? How about legendary? The Walther PPK is well known for being James Bond’s weapon of choice for dozens of novels and movies. The Walther PPK is a classic design that still stands up to this day. This compact 380 ACP pistol uses a DA/SA design with a slide mounted safety and decocker. The PPK utilizes an all metal frame and a 6-round flush fitting magazine or an extended 7 round magazine with a pinky extension.
The Walther PPK is a small design that rides the line between pocket pistol and compact pistol. The PPK will fit in most pockets but is somewhat hefty for pocket carry. The fixed barrel and blowback design doesn’t help with recoil mitigation, but the fixed barrel makes the gun exceptionally accurate. The Walther PPK is simply classy. You can’t look at it without being drawn to its vintage roots, and its timeless appeal. – Buy It
Beretta may already have the Compact Carry on this list, but the Pico deserves its place on here as well. The Pico is a micro-compact pocket pistol designed for deep cover. It’s so small and so easy to hide it’s truly remarkable. Beretta claims it’s the slimmest 380 on the market and after having one in my hands I tend to believe them. The sides of the Pico are super smooth and perfect for comfortable, all-day pocket carry. The minimalist design suits a concealed carry pistol well.
The Pico packs 6+1 rounds of .380 ACP and one comes with a grip extension and the other is flush. One of the best features of the Pico is the variety of customizations available to the end user. The Beretta Pico uses a modular chassis design that allows the user to pop it out and plant it in different grip modules. Also, the end user can change the grip to accommodate different colors, and even laser aiming modules and flashlights — adding a layer of customization never before seen in a pocket pistol. – Buy It
Colt .380 Mustang
Who doesn’t love a 1911? Colt surely loves them. Some concealed carriers may not due to their metal frame and heavy weight. Colt took the 1911 to school when it designed the Colt Mustang into a modern carry pistol. The Colt Mustang takes a 1911 and shrinks it down to pocket-sized dimensions. To render the pistol even more carry-friendly, the brand shed some weight by making the frame from polymer. This Micro 1911 is a 380 ACP that gives the shooter 6 rounds of .380 in an easy-shooting, single action package.
The Colt Mustang weighs a mere 18.5 ounces, packs a 2.75-inch barrel and an overall length of 5.5 inches. It takes the familiar controls of a 1911 and translates them to a pocket pistol. The Mustang packs an Americana sense of cool while remaining an easy-shooting and reliable gun that Colt has taken care to craft. The single action trigger ensures the trigger is light and smooth and up to Colt’s high standards. – Buy It
Smith & Wesson Model 340 PD
If you want magnum power in a lightweight package the 340PD from S&W is likely the lightest option out there. This J frame snub nose is an air weight revolver that weighs only 11.8 ounces — impressive considering its a .357 Magnum. It’s a five shot hand cannon that isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s lack of a hammer makes this revolver perfect for deep carry, easy to draw from concealment, and comfortable to carry all day long.
The S&W 340PD uses a titanium alloy for the cylinder and the frame is made from a scandium alloy. Both metals are super lightweight and incredibly strong. The gun is well thought out and comes outfitted with a hi-viz fiber optic front sight for point shooting. While looks may not matter for everyone, I’m personally impressed by how nice this gun looks. The slab side barrel, the titanium frame, and dark black finish just set the 340PD apart from most J frames. – Buy It
Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced Commander
If you like the classics — be it music, cars, and guns — the Remington R1 Enhanced Commander is the concealed carry gun for you. The 1911 R1 Enhanced Commander is a classic 45 ACP 1911 with a 4.25-inch barrel. 1911s are classic guns, and while they’re heavier than their lighter polymer counterparts, they actually conceal well.
The R1 is thin, perfect for IWB carry, and packs 8 rounds in the magazine — and Remington is nice enough to include 2 magazines in the package. The design mixes a bit of new with old. It keeps the classic style of the 1911 while modernizing the system to keep the gun up to date with more up-to-date choices.
The R1 Enhanced comes with Novak cut hi-viz fiber optic sights, an adjustable skeletonized trigger, front and rear slide serrations, an oversized and flared ejection port as well as an extended beavertail grip safety. The gun is a dream to carry and a blast to shoot. The all-metal frame absorbs recoil well, the trimmed barrel gives you a faster and more intuitive draw. It’s a gun that’s stunning to look at, and function truly follows form. – Buy It
When the world was looking at single stack 9mms, Springfield decided to go a different route. They did the single stack 9mm, but they also tossed in a single stack 45 ACP known as the XD-S. The design was simple, rugged and effective. There are two models of the XD-S, but I think the best is the 4-inch barrel model. While it is bigger if you are carrying IWB, the extra barrel length rarely matters for concealment. The short subcompact grip is what really matters when it comes to deep concealment.
The longer barrel offers lots of advantages. There is a longer sight radius that makes shooting straight a bit easier and the extra length gives your rounds a little more velocity. The XD-S is a thin gun that is comfortable to carry. Its packed with high-vis night sights, a grip and trigger safety, as well as an extended magazine with a grip adapter for a full-sized design. The XD-S 4 inch is an odd-looking gun, but it’s easy to carry and a cinch to shoot. – Buy It
One of CZ’s newest guns is the P-10C — a compact semi-automatic handgun designed for those who like their compacts not so compact. It’s not a pocket pistol but its still easy to conceal for everyday carry. This 9mm, polymer frame, striker fired handgun is roughly the same size as a Glock 19 and uses a 4.02-inch barrel, has an overall length of 7.3 inches, and weighs 26 ounces.
The P-10C is not just another striker fired Glock wannabe. CZ put a lot of time and effort into making this into a fantastic gun. The CZ P-10C features an outstanding trigger — one of the best we’ve seen on a striker fired gun in some time. One of the nicer features is the incorporation of three dot metal sights in a time where many companies are just using polymer sights. The CZ-P10C is even ambidextrous with both the magazine release and slide stop — all of this at a competitive MSRP of $499. – Buy It
Taurus Model 85 Polymer
The Ruger LCR may have been the first revolver to use a heavy dose of polymer, but several companies followed suit. This includes Taurus. The Taurus Model 85 Polymer is an affordable option for the concealed carry enthusiast on a budget. The Taurus Model 85 Poly is a snub nose J frame revolver that takes some important cues in revolver advancement, including a lightweight polymer frame design that weighs in at a little over 18 ounces. Its packing 5 rounds of 38 Special and is rated for the more powerful +P rounds.
The Model 85 utilizes an external hammer, but the external portion is small and as close to snag free as you can get. The addition of an external hammer gives shooters the option to take a single, accurate shot, while the gun incorporates a hi-vis front sight for easy front sight acquisition in day or low light situations. Lastly, Taurus incorporates their awesome ribber grips to help reduce recoil and control this polymer pocket rocket. – Buy It
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield
The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield opened the floodgates for concealed carry single stack 9mms. Similar to a new iPhone release, the S&W Shield was one of the hardest guns to get your hands on the year it was released. Single stack, concealed carry guns existed before the M&P Shield, but this was one of the first from a major company and was released at a time where concealed carry was a growing trend. The Shield is available in 9mm, 40 S&W and now 45 ACP. The Shield is a simple striker fired gun that’s dependable, accurate, and affordable.
The M&P Shield is a comfortable to carry gun with a polymer frame that reduces overall weight. The gun is in its second generation and remains one of the most popular concealed carry guns out there. Due to its popularity, there are tons of holsters, upgrades, and additional accessories for owners who like a little customization. It is manufactured by one of America’s oldest gunmakers and maintains their stellar reputation with the Shield series of handguns. – Buy It
Bond Arms Bullpup9
If you want a pistol that is truly unique, well-made, and price isn’t a major concern, then the Bond Arms Bullpup is the pistol for you. Bullpup typically refers to a long gun, a rifle, shotgun, or even machine gun where the action is located behind the trigger group. The Bullpup 9 is unique in that it’s the only Bullpup style handgun currently on the market. The resulting combination is a gun that packs more barrel in less space. The gun has a 3.35-inch barrel and has an overall length of 5.1 inches — compared to competitors, it’s 1.5 inches shorter with a competitive barrel length.
The Bond Arms Bullpup 9 started life as the Boberg XR9 and evolved into the Bullpup 9 through the brand’s stringent refinement process. This finely machined gun is gorgeous, stylish, and outfitted with a set of gorgeous dark wood grips that add a bit of class to your everyday carry collection. While most people should never see your concealed carry gun you can have the internal pleasure of knowing how a beautiful gun looks, feels, and handles when needed. – Buy It
There are a lot of Jericho pistols out there, so to avoid any confusion I’m picking out my favorite model and clearly the best model for concealed carry — the Jericho FS Compact. The Jericho FS is an all-metal gun that features a frame mounted safety and a 3.8-inch barrel — over half an inch shorter than it’s full-size Jericho F counterpart. The all-metal design makes it heavier, but this helps reduce recoil. The Jericho is based on the CZ 75 and modified by the Israeli military to meet their specific police and military needs. It has a striking profile that’s unmistakable. The Jericho reminds me of a shark. It’s finely tuned, crafted to be dangerous, but man can it be beautiful.
The Jericho is an easy shooting gun due to its weight and low bore axis. The reduced recoil and reduced muzzle flip make the gun incredibly easy to handle, making rapid and accurate fire surprisingly easy. The Jericho FS Compact comes available in 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP. It’s an outstanding gun with a well-earned reputation for its Israeli service. And due to its low recoil, it really is a great pistol for beginners. – Buy It
The Kahr PM9 is an interesting handgun. It’s a miniature automatic pistol that handles like a much larger pistol. Its a 9mm subcompact carry gun that is built to be safe, and reliable. The gun is small, but the recoil and muzzle rise are minimal. It’s hard to explain without the gun in your hand, but shooting it is best described as pleasant. The trigger is fascinating and functions like a revolver.
Like a revolver, this gun has a longer trigger pull, but it’s smooth and lightweight. This adds a degree to safety with the gun and allows the shooter to slowly stage the trigger for an accurate and sure trigger pull. The Kahr’s small size and snag free design makes it easy to carry in your pocket, quite comfortable, and easier to deploy when needed. The Kahr PM9 uses a 3.1-inch barrel, is 4 inches tall, and weighs only 14 ounces. – Buy It
The CZ 85 is a compact variant of the superbly popular CZ 75 pistol. The CZ 75 is the most cloned and reproduced pistol worldwide and serves countless military and police forces across the world. The CZ 85 is a similar design but is trimmed down for easier concealed carry. The CZ 85 keeps the 75’s outstanding ergonomics, easy handling, and low bore axis — the last of which helps reduce muzzle vise and makes shooting fast quite easy.
The CZ 85 is an all metal gun, but svelte in design. It’s so thin and small and crafted with such precision you’ll feel like its made just for you once its in your hands. The slide rails ride inside the frame and this reduces the gun’s overall profile and lowers the bore axis. This makes it comfortable to carry day in and day out. The CZ series are popular enough pistols that they have a large selection of holsters, upgrades, and magazines. It is arguably the perfect pistol if you want something a little different, and if you also want to stand out from the standard concealed carry crowd. – Buy It
The Walther P99C is a subcompact version of the Walther P99. The P99 most famously served Pierce Brosnan’s version of James Bond on the big screen and is a fascinating and unique little gun. It features three different firing modes — The gun is striker fired but is one of the rare examples of a double action / single action striker fired gun. The first pull of the trigger is long but smooth. After the first shot is fired the gun reverts to single action and has a shorter and lighter trigger pull.
The third firing mode is the anti-stress mode. It combines a single action’s light trigger pull with the double actions longer trigger pull. This makes it a two-stage gun where the first stage is a long trigger pull and the second stage is a standard single action design. The Walther features robust and outstanding ergonomics and is lightweight and easy to carry. Its trigger is sleek, smooth, and one of the best stock triggers on the market. – Buy It
The Glock 19 is by far Glock’s most popular handgun in the civilian market. It’s considered a compact model of the full-sized Glock 17 and is slightly shorter and a bit lighter. It’s easy to conceal, but at the same time easy to shoot. It’s one of the best compromises between size and ease of shooting. The Glock 19 is in 9mm, has a 15-round magazine and is available in several different models including the optics ready MOS, the new Gen 5 Glocks, and of course, the new 19X model.
The Glock 19 gives users a simple gun that works. It’s incredibly reliable and can take a beating and keep on kicking. The Glock 19 is a rugged gun that shoots straight and always goes bang when you need it. The Glock 19 isn’t fancy, but man does it work. It’s the choice of civilians for concealed carry, special operations, and competition shooters for a reason. – Buy It
Sig Sauer P938
The SIG Sauer P938 is essentially a mini 1911 in 9mm. It’s super small and impressively thin, while the all-metal design really helps eat recoil and makes this tiny gun comfortable to shoot. The P938 is a single action gun and utilizes a simple frame safety. SIG eliminated the grip safety from the 1911 design for the sake of simplicity and it’s not missed. SIG did keep the outstanding 1911 trigger and positive reset. Running the gun is like feeling silk in your hands. It’s smooth, sexy, and perfect for concealed carry.
SIG makes a ton of different models of these guns, including models with custom finishes, lasers, grips etc. The P938 is pocket-sized and fits well anyway you want to carry it. Most models come with SIG Brite Night Sights which gives you an accurate and easy shooting gun 24/7. – Buy It
SCCY CPX-2 9mm
Budgets, we all have them, and that extends often to our gun of choice. I knew I couldn’t leave a budget-friendly gun off the list. The SCCY CPX 2 is an American made subcompact pistol that rocks a hammer and a ten-round magazine. The gun is produced with budget concealed carry in mind, but they aren’t junk guns by any means. They’re smooth shooters and utilize a simple and robust design, and also manage to look good while doing it. It’s hard to find a budget gun that runs efficiently, much less look good doing it.
The SCCY CPX 2 comes with a stainless steel slide and is available in 9 different frame colors based on your preference. The double action design does provide a heavy, longer trigger pull, but it’s not unmanageable. The safety free design certainly benefits from a heavier trigger for safety reasons. The SCCY CPX 2 also has an MSRP of $270, and routinely goes for well under that. This gives those on a tight budget a quality choice for concealed carry. – Buy It
Sig Sauer P320
Last, but certainly, not least is the SIG P320. The SIG P320 is a fascinating gun and it’s hard to really pin down as to why. Its designed to be modular and the serialized portion is removable, which means that it is a full-sized SIG P320 that can be made into a subcompact P320 by swapping frames and slides. The full sized and compact models were chosen as the M17 and M18 respectively and will go to serve the US Army.
The SIG P320 is a striker fired gun that utilizes a double stack magazine. You can start with either a full size, compact, or subcompact model. From there the sky is the limit. The Subcompact model is likely the best for concealed carry because it sports a shorter 3.6-inch barrel, weighs only 24.9 ounces, and has an overall length of 6.7 inches. The gun comes outfitted with the fantastic SIG Brite sights and its available in 9mm and 40 S&W. If it’s good enough for Big Army it’s surely good enough for all of us. – Buy It
Trailblazer Firearms LifeCard .22LR
I know I said I’d Limit this list to 25 picks, but we are going to tack on one ‘Wildcard’ option. We are doing this because it’s literally a card. The LifeCard .22LR is a cool little gun to carry. It’s roughly the same length and height as a credit card — it’s half an inch thick and weighs a mere 7 ounces. When the gun is called into action it unfolds and starts to actually look like a usable gun.
There are some downsides. It’s only a .22LR and you only get one round of it. This gives you one shot — in a not so powerful caliber — to get the job done. The upside is it doesn’t look like a gun. There isn’t an easier-to-conceal pistol on the market. It may not be your primary carry gun, but its definitely one you’ll never have an excuse not to carry. It’s limited in application but does provide the user a gun they can carry anywhere, and in any style of clothing. (Speedos excluded.) – Buy It