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

Following the outbreak of coronavirus, the number of US concealed handgun permits actually rose by 2.3%, to an impressive 22.01 million! This increment shows a common commitment to self-defense. That being said, we bring you to this article covering the best concealed carry gun options for those who want the absolute best in personal defense.

We're going to take a look at top options, from compact designs to advanced features, and summarize premier concealed carry options in our article.
Best Concealed Carry Gun

What is Concealed Carry?

Concealed carry is a practice in which you’re discreetly bearing a hidden firearm for purposes of personal protection. It is about being ready for all possible threats while going about your everyday business. However, concealed carry of a firearm also bears legal responsibilities.

It's important to know that there are some processes in securing a conceal carry permit: background checks, training, and adhering to some state laws and its procedures.

These rules ensure that concealed carry is an absolutely safe and regulated way to enhance personal safety.

Essential Features of Concealed Carry Guns

Everyone who owns a concealed carry will tell you that a wrong firearm can be very limiting, and thus the importance of selection cannot be overstated.

Ultimately, the perfect gun should blend small size with power in a means that it’s easily carried discreetly, while remaining ready to address trouble.

Here are the things to consider in choosing a handgun for concealed carry:

Compactness: The major factor that determines whether a gun is good for concealed carry or not is its size. It has to be small enough for concealment and comfortable to carry around throughout the day.

It doesn't necessarily mean that you will choose the smallest gun available, but rather find one that will fit very well with your body type and clothes that you put on.

Caliber and Stopping Power: Since smaller guns are more preferable for concealed carry, it must not compromise with caliber. The caliber has to be strong enough to effectively stop a threat.

In other words, there is some compromise: larger calibers will give you more stopping power, but they become increasingly hard to control or hide. A 9mm one would obviously be the most common, as it has the best compromise between being manageable and effective.

Best Concealed Carry Gun

Capacity: The matter of capacity falls into the same consideration as size and caliber. While, yes, a higher capacity would be desirable to take on more than one threat, it will likely mean a bigger firearm 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 be easy for one to carry and, at the same time, comfortable for shooting. This will, therefore, involve ensuring an excellent grip, controls, and general ergonomics of the gun. It should also fit well in your hand, allowing for quick, accurate shooting under stress.

Reliability: First and foremost, a concealed carry gun has to be reliable. It should work perfectly each and every time. This goes without saying in personal protection, where failure to fire is not an option.

Maintainability: The gun should be designed in such a manner that it can be dismantled, cleaned, and reassembled with ease, so it can be in proper working condition without much strain on the part of the user.

Handgun Sizes Explained

It’s useful to consider the different sizes of handguns available, to better understand your options.

The video below identifies the four general sizes of handguns: full size, compact, subcompact, and micro.

Each has its own set of benefits and compromises in terms of magazine capacity, grip comfort, sight radius, and concealability.

A full-size pistol, for example, provides the user with maximum comfort and a large magazine capacity for purposes of home defense but is least suitable for concealed carry because its size and weight are conspicuous. Compact and subcompact pistols, on the other hand, compromise ease in shooting by being concealable. The smaller it is—micro-pistols are the most easily disguised, but they offer the least capacity in the magazine and are the least comfortable in shooting.

This video was part of a section of the TradeSmart Firearm Confidence Course. For much more on choosing and handling the different types of handguns, take the whole course here.

Best Concealed Carry Gun - The Top 7 Picks

Here are the top 7 choices of the best concealed carry gun:

Best Concealed Carry Gun #1 - Sig Sauer P365

No single pistol has done more to change the game of concealed carry. The Sig Sauer P365 did change the firearms scene dramatically by offering what most consider to be the ultimate 'on-person self-defense' package. It certainly is one of the best concealed carry guns.

The Sig P365 is a true game-changer when it comes to what to expect in the world of concealed carry, offering an amazing combination of attributes that blow past the mark.

At the heart of the P365's appeal is its size. Featuring a 3.1-inch barrel, the gun is only about an inch wide and weighs just under 17 ounces. That compactness makes it very easy to carry and conceal, giving the user a low-profile means to carry it comfortably.

While smaller handguns do exist, they often come with some inherent trade-offs in power or capacity. Not the P365 - packing two 10-round magazines, which match the power of many larger compact models, even twice its size.

And if you still need more rounds, then 12- and 13-round extended magazines are easily an option to further boost your firepower. The P365 always surprises with its micro-compact prowess, in terms of shooting experience.

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The shorter sight radius may give some compact firearms novices a little bit of a challenge, but this is where Sig gives the shooter the tools to keep them accurate.

Aggressive grip texturing helps with the control, and the very light striker-fired mechanism brings about the potential for higher accuracy. Adding to that, the 9mm rounds are also easy to manipulate—a factor that most people overlook.

So, at the end of the day, there's really no two ways about it: Sig Sauer has truly made a firearm that stands as a genuine game-changer in the world of concealed carry.

Best Concealed Carry Gun #2 - Glock 19

Various Glock models for concealment, are among the best choices for concealed carry - praised for their legendary reliability, compact dimensions, and ease of use.

Standing tall and bright amidst the array of compact handguns, the name Glock 19 is something that has reverberated for generations of law enforcement officers, special forces personnel, and concealed carriers.

This pistol has carved its name as the standard bearer not only for Glock but for the whole world of compact firearms. Though packed in a compact size, the Glock 19 holds its name due to its shooting ease and portability.

Although this pistol does lean to the larger side of the concealed carry guns spectrum, a characteristic that works in its favor is its big frame. It translates to better accuracy, superior control, high ammunition capacity, and quick reloading.

The Glock 19 has many accessories from both original manufacturers and aftermarket, too. It has an abundance of magazine, holster, light, and optic fitment additions that aim to design the pistol for adaptability and versatility.

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No wonder the Glock 19 has become such a staple within the self-defense community and firearm education the world over. This Austrian-crafted design has more than proved its mettle in countless defensive encounters. It has already gained itself a reputation as one of the most genuinely reliable handguns to have.

Glock 19's dimensions make it perfect for concealed carry, yet the capacity has never been compromised - unlike with smaller single-stack models like the Glock 43.

Besides, the broader grip of the Glock 19 provides better control and definitely goes in favor of people who have bigger hands. The pistol comes with replaceable backstraps that allow for adjustments to the length of pull to the needs of the shooter.

Best Concealed Carry Gun #3 - G43X

Enter the G43X, a critical firearm in the Glock sub-compact lineup that stacks up well against other leading models like the P365. While the Glock G43 has had its time at the top of the list for one of the best-concealed carry guns, the single-stack format has been seeing some waning popularity by shooters.

The G43X is addressing this by introducing improvements. Having a 3.41-inch barrel and a slender frame, complete with front and rear cocking serrations, this handgun brought to light much more than the increment in magazine capacity. Also, it comes with a 10-round clip as a great improvement over the regular G43's six.

Simplicity is key here—any Glock fan worth his/her salt knows reliability is where this brand excels. The G43X proves to be no exception, and it is quite literally the provision of another reliable firearm that is king for comfort during both carry and shooting.

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

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The G48, which came later and is thinner, has some shooters talking, but the G43X remains a favorite of many due to its preferred shooting feel. The G43X stands as an example of Glock's commitment to flexibility and prowess within the subcompact domain.

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

Introducing the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus, the first-class, compact, striker-fired pistol that continues the evolution of the world-renowned Shield line within the iconic family of Military & Police firearms. It even sports the stack-and-a-half design made famous by the Sig Sauer P365, allowing for more rounds without expanding the grip width - typically a sticking point for the micro-compact.

What makes the Shield Plus significantly engaging is the fact that it speaks loudly of versatility. It is also universal, thanks to its design, so it works well for most shooters. Notably, the trigger has been improved over the earlier 1.0 generation to offer better shooting.

Aggressive stippling on the grip also enhances control and purchase, ensuring a secure grasp during use. The Shield Plus comes in a few different versions and can be with or without external safeties and even offers an option to add magazine disconnects.

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One of the safety innovations is particularly noticeable: some models are designed in a way that the firing is impossible without the magazine inserted. The fact that they can also be field-stripped without pulling the trigger is another factor that has endeared many to the Shield series.

For the optics-minded customer, this manufacturer even produces optics-ready models of the Shield Plus, where a red dot optic can be mounted for more precise aiming.

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus is the next advancement in concealed carry, blending a hyper-premium design with cutting-edge features for an ultra-empowering, customized firearm.

Best Concealed Carry Gun #5 - Ruger LCP Max

Ruger LCP Max is a micro-compact powerhouse with one of the most potent .380 ACP calibers. The LCP Max features a 10+1 or 12+1 capacity, showing Ruger's dedication to innovation. Its small footprint is mated with a mere 10.6 ounces of weight, which makes it an ideal candidate for concealed carry.

An outstanding feature of the LCP Max is a smartly engineered slide that has convenient cocking ears. The Tritium front sight is added for the possibility of using the pistol also in low light and increasing accuracy at the time.

The Ruger LCP Max takes the classic LCP single-stack pistol and adds some very worthwhile improvements. In the world of micro-compact pistols, Ruger has released the latest addition to the growing pool of choices.

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The magazine is a little longer and it holds 13 rounds of ammunition without significantly increasing the thickness of the original single-stack design. Easy to use, reliable, and with a smaller dimensions, this pistol makes for a pocket-friendly companion.

While the LCP Max is accurate enough to distances out to about 15 yards, it excels in close-range engagements. The fast slide cycle and controllable recoil add to a smooth, overall shooting experience here.

Though the muzzle flip is minimal, the pistol is very controllable and acceptable for concealed carry. This puts the Ruger LCP Max as a strong competitor in the compact pistol category, it offers not just convenience but also defensive capability.

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

The Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro OSP is a subcompact powerhouse designed to afford shooters a balanced blend of magazine capacity and concealability.
The Hellcat Pro OSP brings a potent 9mm caliber in a 15+1 capacity pistol, a feature that enables it to stand out from most of the competition in a crowded marketplace.

The 3.7-inch barrel length and weighing in at 20.7 ounces can only make one admire the balance this pistol has in terms of size and performance offered. The Tritium front sight, together with the U-notch rear sight, makes the pistol a perfect acquisition machine.

Among its prominent advantages is the grip, which has exceptional textures that make it suitable for bolstering control and user comfort. The quality of the sights of the pistol garners praise and leads to accuracy.

It also features the optics-ready feature for shooters who prefer red dot optics that aid in taking their aiming game a notch higher. The flush magazine design, which complements the sleek form of the pistol, avails adequate ammunition capacity.
For all the merits, the snappy recoil of the Hellcat Pro OSP is a small con, a characteristic it has in common with other peers in the market.

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Struggling for the sweet spot between size and capacity, this pistol strikes a great balance. The Hellcat Pro OSP is slightly smaller than the Glock 19 yet a touch larger than the Micro-9 models, offering a manageable profile to go with its commendable 15+1 capacity when using flush-mounted magazines.

A reversible magazine catch, top-slide loaded-chamber indicator, and two quality magazines with a Melonite finish round out the new Hellcat's feature list. Add in a generous accessory rail and front and rear cocking serrations, and the new Hellcat sets the standard for what it means to Be Unstoppable.

In the realm of concealed carry pistols, the Hellcat Pro OSP is a force to be reckoned with. The recoil may be a touch snappier than much of its similar-sized competition, but make no mistake: this piece's ability to carry an impressive load of ammunition inside a self-defense firearm that is exceptionally thin and compact is among the best in the show.

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

Colt Python 3-inch is the masterclass in the art of handcrafting a revolver.

Accommodating a potent .357 Magnum caliber it holds up to a six-round capacity. The Python is an aura of polished stainless steel elegance, having a very compact 3-inch barrel and 38 ounces of weight. The interchangeable front ramp sight bestows versatility and the price tag reflects its premium quality.

The Colt Python 3-inch is the revolver that speaks to timeless perfection. Adored by those hell-bent on nothing less than the power of a wheel gun, this revolver speaks to what they hold dear: loyalty and reliability.

From the array of choices in revolvers, the Colt Python 3-inch is now a sentimental favorite—the perfect embodiment of what the Colt Python line has come to stand for. Its short .357 Mag barrel, sized to an absolute minimum, provides an excellent choice for concealed carry enthusiasts desiring to add a classic.

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High-quality wood grips, frame, and cylinder match that revered Python essence. Modern enhancements include strengthening the frame under the rear sight. The revolver features a transfer bar firing system that allows carrying safely with a round under the lowered hammer.

But far beyond just a nostalgic look back, the 3-inch Colt Python is all about performance. Its action runs smoothly but demonstrates precisely controlled execution—reflecting the Colt's precision engineering. The full-size grip makes full-power defensive loads manageable and gives a very secure feel when firing.

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 Best Companion

Whenever you need more than just a simple concealed carry, TradeSmart's got your back with our Tactical Backpack.

This is one accessory you never knew you needed — TradeSmart Tactical Backpack is designed to take your shooting range experience to a whole new level. Crafted with precision, and packed with features, this pack is more than a bag—it's a statement of preparedness and organization.

With so many compartments and specialized pockets, this tactical backpack is never letting your gear stay out of place. 3 TSA locks make sure the backpack is highly secured, and only authorized person will have easy access.

tactical backpacktactical backpackYou can store your personal belongings into the middle compartment. Delicate things are safe from any other kind of bump and shock, thanks to the 5mm thick padding, specifically dedicated to them.

The "Anti-Theft" compartment, cleverly placed at the lower back, offers safe storage for your firearms, thus avoiding possible unauthorized usage.

The third TSA locked compartment is a top ammunition compartment. Here you can store your ammunition for safe transport away from your firearms.

A solid 2-year warranty is there to remind you that the backpack stands for durability, with your peace of mind.


As the issue of personal safety takes the center stage, concealed carry guns become paramount personal safety tools.

Our review of the 'Best Concealed Carry Gun' options mentions 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 options meet each taste and needs, making them empowered toward a choice of their preference. But it's more than just the firearm; it's a whole approach.

In your personal safety quest, remember a well-designed 'best concealed carry gun' is more than just a label; it's your commitment to preparedness.

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