Best Concealed Carry Gun: Top 7 Best Conceal Carry Guns in 2024

In the wake of the pandemic, concealed handgun permits in the US have jumped by 2.3%, reaching a significant 22.01 million! This surge highlights a shared dedication to self-protection. To aid in this mission, we've composed this piece on the best concealed carry gun options, guiding those seeking the best in personal defense.

Our article covers a range of top choices, from compact designs to advanced features, providing an overview of premier concealed carry options.

Best Concealed Carry Gun

What is Concealed Carry?

Concealed carry is the practice of discreetly carrying a hidden firearm for personal protection. It's about being prepared for potential threats while going about your daily life. However, carrying a concealed firearm involves legal responsibilities.

It's crucial to understand the process of securing a conceal carry permit - you need to go through background checks, training, and follow specific state laws.

These rules ensure that concealed carry remains a safe and regulated way to enhance personal safety.

Essential Features of Concealed Carry Guns

Choosing the right concealed carry gun is crucial for effective personal protection. The ideal firearm marries compactness and firepower in a design that's easy to carry discreetly while being ready to defend against threats.

Here’s what to consider when selecting a concealed carry gun:

Compactness for Concealment: The primary characteristic of a good concealed carry gun is its size. It should be small enough to remain hidden and comfortable to carry throughout the day. This doesn't necessarily mean choosing the smallest gun available, but rather finding one that fits well with your body type and clothing choices.

Caliber and Stopping Power: While a smaller gun is preferable for concealment, it shouldn't compromise on the caliber. The caliber needs to be powerful enough to stop a threat effectively. This involves a balance; larger calibers offer more stopping power but can be harder to control and conceal. A common choice is 9mm for its balance of manageability and effectiveness.

Best Concealed Carry Gun

Capacity: Capacity is a consideration tied closely to size and caliber. While a higher capacity is desirable for handling multiple threats, it often comes at the expense of increased size. The key is finding a balance that offers enough rounds to feel prepared without making the gun too bulky for concealed carry.

Ergonomics and Handling: A concealed carry gun should not only be easy to carry but also comfortable to shoot. This means paying attention to the grip, controls, and overall ergonomics of the gun. It should fit well in your hand, allowing for quick, accurate shooting under stress.

Reliability: Above all, a concealed carry gun must be reliable. It should function consistently every time. This is critical for personal protection, where failure to fire is not an option.

Maintainability: Ease of maintenance is also important. The gun should be simple to disassemble, clean, and reassemble, ensuring it remains in optimal working condition with minimal effort.

Handgun Sizes Explained

To better understand your options, it’s useful to consider the different sizes of handguns available. In the video below, the four general sizes of handguns are explained: full size, compact, subcompact, and micro.

Each size offers different benefits and compromises in terms of magazine capacity, grip comfort, sight radius, and concealability.

For example, a full-size pistol provides maximum magazine capacity and comfort, making it ideal for home defense but less suitable for concealed carry due to its size and weight. In contrast, compact and subcompact pistols offer a balance between ease of shooting and concealability. The smallest, micro pistols, are the easiest to conceal but have the smallest magazine capacity and are less comfortable to shoot.

This video is part of the TradeSmart Firearm Confidence Course. If you're interested in learning more about selecting and handling different types of handguns, consider enrolling in our comprehensive course here.

Best Concealed Carry Gun - Top 7 Choices

Here is our list of top 7 choices for best concealed carry gun:

Best Concealed Carry Gun #1 - Sig Sauer P365

Can a single pistol revolutionize concealed carry? The Sig Sauer P365 doesn't make that claim seem too far-fetched. This pistol has made a significant impact on the firearms scene, offering what many consider to be the ultimate on-person self-defense package. It is rightfully on our list of best concealed carry gun.

The Sig P365 has truly reshaped expectations in the concealed carry realm, providing a remarkable combination of attributes that more than meets the mark.

At the heart of the P365's appeal is its size. Sporting a 3.1-inch barrel, this pistol boasts a mere 1-inch width and weighs around 17 ounces. This compactness makes it exceptionally easy to hide and carry, offering users a discreet and comfortable option.

While smaller handguns do exist, they often involve trade-offs in terms of power or capacity. Not the P365. Equipped with two 10-round magazines, this pistol matches the firepower of many larger compact models, even those twice its size. And if you're still hungry for more rounds, the option to equip 12- and 13-round extended magazines is readily available, enhancing your firepower.

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In terms of shooting experience, the P365 surprises with its micro-compact prowess. The shortened sight radius might pose a challenge for those new to compact firearms, but Sig equips shooters with tools to maintain accuracy. Aggressive grip texturing aids in control, and the striker-fired mechanism's exceptionally light trigger contributes to heightened accuracy potential.

Additionally, the 9mm rounds are easy to manipulate, a factor often overlooked. When it comes down to it, Sig Sauer has truly crafted a firearm that stands as a genuine game-changer in the world of concealed carry.

Best Concealed Carry Gun #2 - Glock 19

Among the top choices for concealed carry are various Glock models for concealment, known for their reliability, compact size, and ease of use.

In the array of compact handguns, the Glock 19 stands tall as a trusted companion for law enforcement officers, special forces personnel, and concealed carriers across generations.

This pistol has carved its name as the standard-bearer not only for Glock but also for the entire world of compact firearms. Despite its compact size, the Glock 19 holds a reputation for its ease of shooting and effortless portability.

While it does lean toward the larger end of the spectrum, this attribute plays in its favor. A bigger frame translates to enhanced accuracy, superior control, a higher ammunition capacity, and quicker reloading.

The Glock 19 offers a wide range of accessories, both from the original manufacturer and the aftermarket. These additions, including magazines, holsters, lights, and optics, complement the pistol's design, contributing to its adaptability and versatility.

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It's no surprise that the Glock 19 has established itself as a staple within the self-defense community and in firearms education worldwide. This Austrian-crafted design has proven its mettle in countless defensive encounters, earning its title as a truly reliable handgun.

The Glock 19's compact dimensions make it an ideal choice for concealed carry, yet it refuses to compromise on capacity, setting it apart from smaller single-stack models like the Glock 43.

Additionally, the broader grip of the Glock 19 enhances control, catering to those with larger hands. The pistol's interchangeable backstraps further personalize the experience, adjusting the length of pull to accommodate a variety of shooters.

Best Concealed Carry Gun #3 - G43X

Meet the G43X, a pistol that plays a pivotal role in Glock's sub-compact lineup, competing with formidable options like the P365. While the Glock G43 has enjoyed its status as one of the top concealed carry guns, the single-stack format has faced waning popularity among shooters.

The G43X addresses this by introducing enhancements. Sporting a 3.41-inch barrel and a slender frame equipped with front and rear cocking serrations, this pistol offers more than just a boost in capacity. With a 10-round magazine, it significantly improves upon the standard G43's 6-round capacity.

Simplicity takes precedence here; if you're a Glock enthusiast, you're well-acquainted with the brand's reliability and functionality. The G43X adheres to these principles, providing a dependable firearm that excels in comfort during both carry and shooting.

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The MOS version of the G43X is a step ahead, catering to those interested in optics. Optics-ready and affordably available in G43X and optic packages, this option opens doors to customization.

While the newer G48 has garnered attention for its slimmer profile and similar capacity, some shooters remain partial to the G43X due to its preferred shooting feel. The G43X stands as a testament to Glock's commitment to adaptability and reliability in the sub-compact category.

Best Concealed Carry Gun #4 - Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus

Enter the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus, a compact striker-fired pistol that serves as an advancement of the esteemed Shield line from the iconic Military and Police firearms family. Utilizing the stack and half design seen in the Sig Sauer P365, this pistol ingeniously boosts magazine capacity without compromising on grip width. Often, micro compacts feature uncomfortably thin grips, but the Shield Plus defies this trend.

What makes the Shield Plus particularly appealing is its versatility. It accommodates a wide range of shooters, thanks to its well-balanced design. Notably, the trigger has been refined compared to earlier generation 1.0 versions, offering an improved shooting experience.

Aggressive stippling on the grip further enhances control and purchase, ensuring a secure grasp during use. Available in various versions, the Shield Plus provides options with or without external safeties, as well as the choice of magazine disconnects.

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One safety innovation is worth highlighting: certain versions are engineered to prevent firing when the magazine is removed, enhancing overall safety measures. An appreciated feature of the Shield series is the ability to disassemble the pistol without the need to pull the trigger—a detail that reflects Smith & Wesson's commitment to practicality and user-friendliness.

To cater to those interested in optics, the manufacturer offers optics-ready versions of the Shield Plus, allowing for easy integration of a red dot optic for enhanced aiming precision. The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus proves to be an evolution in concealed carry, pairing innovative design with enhanced features for a truly empowering firearm.

Best Concealed Carry Gun #5 - Ruger LCP Max

Introducing the Ruger LCP Max, a micro-compact marvel designed to excel in concealed carry scenarios. With its .380 ACP caliber, this pistol offers a potent blend of power and compactness.

Boasting a capacity of 10+1 or 12+1 rounds, the LCP Max stands as a testament to Ruger's commitment to innovation. Its petite footprint is paired with a mere weight of 10.6 ounces, making it an ideal candidate for discreet carry.

A distinct feature of the LCP Max lies in its cleverly designed slide, featuring convenient cocking ears. The inclusion of a Tritium front sight ensures visibility even in low-light conditions, enhancing accuracy and target acquisition.

The Ruger LCP Max builds upon the success of its predecessor, the single-stack LCP pistol, by incorporating valuable enhancements. The micro-compact pistol market has seen a surge in demand, prompting Ruger to respond by increasing capacity.

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With a slightly extended magazine, the LCP Max accommodates up to 13 rounds of ammunition, only slightly thicker than the original single-stack design. Its ease of use, reliability, and compact dimensions render it a pocket-friendly companion.

While the LCP Max exhibits reasonable accuracy at distances up to around 15 yards, it truly shines in close-range engagements. The rapid slide cycling and manageable recoil contribute to an overall smooth shooting experience.

Although the muzzle flip is minimal, the pistol remains highly controllable, affirming its suitability for concealed carry. In the realm of compact pistols, the Ruger LCP Max emerges as a formidable contender, embodying both convenience and defensive prowess.

Best Concealed Carry Gun #6 - Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro OSP

Say hello to the Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro OSP, a sub-compact powerhouse designed to deliver a balanced blend of concealability and magazine capacity. Anchored by its 9mm caliber, the Hellcat Pro OSP offers a formidable 15+1 capacity, a feature that sets it apart.

With a barrel length of 3.7 inches and weighing in at 20.7 ounces, this pistol strikes an impressive equilibrium between size and performance. Its Tritium front sight and U-notch rear sight ensure precise target acquisition.

Among the Hellcat Pro OSP's notable advantages are its exceptional grip and grip texture, bolstering control and user comfort. The pistol's sights earn praise for their quality, further enhancing accuracy.

The Optics-Ready feature is a welcomed inclusion, accommodating shooters who opt for red dot optics to elevate their aiming game. Notably, the flush magazine design complements the pistol's sleek form while providing ample ammunition capacity.

Despite its merits, the Hellcat Pro OSP's snappy recoil is a minor drawback, a characteristic shared with some of its peers. Striving to find the sweet spot between size and capacity, this pistol achieves a fine balance.

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Slightly smaller than a Glock 19 yet slightly larger than Micro-9 models, the Hellcat Pro OSP combines a manageable profile with a commendable 15+1 capacity using flush-mounted magazines. Its low-profile controls further enhance its snag-free carry potential.

Characterized by a robust list of features, the Hellcat Pro OSP is a prime example of Springfield's dedication to crafting quality pistols. A reversible magazine catch, top-slide loaded-chamber indicator, two quality magazines, Melonite finish, generous accessory rail, and front and rear cocking serrations solidify its status as a well-equipped sub-compact.

In the domain of concealed carry guns, the Hellcat Pro OSP emerges as a reliable and substantial choice. Although its recoil is slightly snappier compared to similar-sized counterparts, its ability to accommodate an impressive ammunition load within a slim, compact frame places it among the best in its category.

Best Concealed Carry Gun #7 - Colt Python 3-inch

Presenting the Colt Python 3-inch, a masterclass in the art of revolver craftsmanship. Boasting a potent .357 Magnum caliber, this classic offers a capacity of six rounds. With a compact 3-inch barrel and a weight of 38 ounces, the Python exudes an aura of polished stainless steel elegance. Its interchangeable front ramp sight enhances versatility, while the price tag of reflects its premium quality.

The Colt Python 3-inch stands as a testament to enduring excellence. Embraced by those who hold an unwavering belief in the power of wheel guns, this revolver carries a legacy of trust and reliability.

Amid the plethora of revolver choices, the Colt Python 3-inch has etched its mark as a personal favorite, embodying the essence of Colt's revitalized Python line. With its compact form, the short .357 Mag barrel preserves the iconic Python character, making it a top choice for concealed carry enthusiasts seeking a classic touch.

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Every aspect of the Colt Python 3-inch pays homage to its revered heritage. The quality wood grips, frame, and cylinder maintain the revered Python essence, while contemporary enhancements fortify the frame under the rear sight. Featuring a transfer bar firing system, the revolver allows safe carrying with a round under the lowered hammer, ensuring peace of mind for those who trust it for self-defense.

Beyond nostalgia, the Colt Python 3-inch delivers remarkable performance. Its operation is a study in smoothness, reflecting the precision engineering for which Colt is renowned. The full-size grip renders full-power defensive loads manageable, contributing to a dependable shooting experience.

While not the most concealable option, the Python finds its niche in OWB carry under a jacket or IWB under loose attire. It's not just a revolver; it's an emblem of timeless coolness. For those who hold a special place for the revolver, the Colt Python 3-inch stands tall as a revered and remarkable choice, embodying both heritage and modern performance.

Note: Maintaining your concealed carry weapon is crucial; keep your carry gun pristine with top cleaning kits to ensure reliability and longevity.

Tactical Backpack: Your Ultimate Companion

When considering a comprehensive concealed carry approach, it's crucial to think beyond just the best concealed carry gun itself. One accessory you didn’t know you needed is TradeSmart Tactical Backpack— designed to elevate your shooting range experience to new heights. Crafted with precision and packed with features, this backpack is more than a bag; it's a statement of preparedness and organization.

Boasting multiple compartments and specialized pockets, the Tactical Backpack ensures your gear remains organized and secure. With a dedicated middle pocket featuring 5mm thick padding, delicate items stay safe from bumps and shocks during transport.

The inclusion of three TSA locks enhances security while allowing convenient access for authorized users. This bag is not just about carrying; it's about carrying with confidence.

tactical backpacktactical backpackPracticality meets capacity in this tactical wonder. With dimensions of 12 inches across, 19 inches high, and 8.5 inches wide, it holds over 50 pounds without compromising its shape.

Branded YKK heavy-duty zippers ensure swift and dependable access to your equipment, and the durable Cordura™ fabric withstands the rigors of the shooting range environment.

Comfort matters, and the Tactical Backpack delivers. Adjustable shoulder straps and a movable chest strap ensure a snug fit for all body types. The added Velcro feature on the front area allows for personalization, making it uniquely yours. Yet, this backpack isn't limited to the shooting range; it's a multifunctional companion for any adventure.

The 'Anti-Theft' pocket, cleverly concealed behind the lower back, provides secure storage for handguns, preventing unauthorized access and increasing overall safety. And with a 2-year warranty, this backpack is a testament to its durability and your peace of mind.

Elevate your concealed carry strategy by investing in a backpack that's built to last and designed to empower.

Conclusion

As personal safety takes center stage, concealed carry guns become crucial tools for self-defense. Our exploration of the ‘Best Concealed Carry Gun’ options highlights the Sig Sauer P365, Glock 19, Glock 43X, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus, Ruger LCP Max, Springfield Hellcat, and Colt Python 3-inch. These choices cater to various preferences and needs, empowering you to make an informed decision.

But it's not just about the firearm—it's about a comprehensive approach. Essential accessories like TradeSmart tactical backpack complement your concealed carry journey. Your readiness relies on a combination of quality firearms and accessories.

In your pursuit of personal safety, remember that the best concealed carry gun is more than a label—it's your commitment to preparedness.

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