The 10 Best Concealed Carry Guns


Springfield XDs


The XDs line, now consisting of both a 9mm and 45ACP version (with rumors of a 40S&W in the works), has turned out to be a fantastic seller in the concealed carry world. Although they were in the spotlight under a massive recall, Springfield made good on their promise to fix the problem.

Specs: [link]
Price: $599
Capacity: 9mm 7+1 ; 45ACP 5+1

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield


The Shield is a scaled-down version of the popular M&P duty line, giving them a smaller profile for better concealment. Available in both 9mm and 40S&W, the Shield is a great option for both a primary firearm as well as a backup.


Specs: [link]
Price: $469
Capacity: Varies on model

Ruger LC9


This pistol from Ruger is nothing too exciting, but it’s still a great option to carry. At less than an inch wide, it’s slim profile allows for pretty much any method of carry that you can think of.

Specs: [link]
Price: $449
Capacity: 7+1

Categories: Beginners Guide, General
About Brandon Curtis | View all posts by Brandon Curtis

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady…

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster.

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  • Not Falling For It

    All over the map with that list.

  • bryansnell45

    Only two would trust is the Number and the Sig Sauer!

  • roberto

    Ya’ll stick wit what your capeable!!!

    • QuanellEleven

      and, while you are at it, buy roberto some spelling lessons.

  • Zi Wang

    Bought a glock 26. thanks to your list. like it so far.

  • Ed

    I am buying my first handgun and want to buy the best handgun on the market in 2015 (I do not care how much money the gun costs). I want an excellent tactical handgun – I’m going to to use it for home self-defense and to practice at the range. Is the H&K P30 9mm still the best handgun in 2015?

    Also, considering it is my first pistol I was told I should get a 9mm and not a .40 cal or above – what are your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • Chaz

      I’m with Gordo. The best protection is the weapon that you can use well.

    • Stephen Cromwell

      “Best” is not an objective standard. You would be well advised to check out several stores and find one where you can rent a gun for a while and try it out. Consider how you will be using the gun, and whether you will be carrying it with you.

      Find one that feels comfortable and points naturally for you, controls should be intuitive and easy to reach for you. Don’t just buy one because someone told you it was “the best”.

      • Bob G

        Amen brother.

        • R.B.

          And that’s a Fact Jack, get one that feels good in your hand/hands. There is no, one size fits all. If that were the case, then there would only be one handgun manufacture and one handgun, end of story.

      • Grady Zimmer

        This I can 100% agree on

    • Jeremy Ron

      The H&K P30 is an excellent firearm. However, it really comes down to what feels good in your hands, weight, size etc. There are many variations of every caliber. Go to a range and test as many as you can.

    • Vic Seekman

      You said that you do not care how much it cost???? Go with Wilson Combat for sure!!! They have some great guns that will fit your need. Plan to spend at least 3500 on up for a PERFECT pistol!

      • Bob G

        Come on man. Colt and Ruger make some fine affordable weapons. I don’t think this guy wants to shoot Camp Perry tomorrow.

    • Neil

      .40 has a lot more kick in a small polymer frame and is a very “hot” round in general. With food personal defense ammo, you can do anything you want with 9mm. It’s all about the ammo. Plus easier to shoot in a subcompact and cheaper. Make sure the round opens with peddles. (Winchester PdX-1, Speer gold dot, et)
      HK p30 sub compact is very sweet and fits any hand very well. Sig p224, 239 are also worth looking at!

    • bill66

      You should go to armslist(dot)com….. agree to the terms… scroll down and pick your state… then pick your region(optional)… then on the left side of the screen, you can narrow your search by make or caliber or both… who knows, the guy down the street from you may be selling his pistol.

    • Kole Marcus Cordier

      I got a P30 9mm about 6 months ago. I would definitely say it is the best 900$ I have ever spent. Yes it is pricey, and I know people complain about the trigger pull, but that is easily fixable and I would say the ergonomics and reliability of this well built firearm make it worth the money. However, if you want something more simple and very reliable for a cheaper price, I would go with a small Glock.

    • DJ

      If only for home defense the only way to go is a shotgun of which j there many designed for such a mission. If occasional carry when in a high risk ares (expanding quickly these days) and concealability is not an issue nor is weight, hard to back away from a full size 1911 45 semi. Otherwise for power and concealment here are several very good 40’s. You will find that you will have different requirements at different times and circumstances, resulting in possibly a tiny NAA mini 22 mag revolver to small 9mm in 10 ounce range.

      • Brent Russell

        A shotgun is NOT a home defense weapon, unless you are talking about yard defense around your home then it is very effective. You can not manuever a shotgun around corners in a tense situations. Yes you can make that cool click click sound with a shotgun but in reality, a hand gun works better. One that feels good in your hands. Any round higher than a .22 is going to do the job in your house unless a grizzly bear has broke in.

        • DJ

          Well Brent ….yes and no…it depends on your plan in the event of a home invasion or burg. Do you have a “safe room” or safe area where you plan to hunker down with your shot gun, or do you have the mindset of stalking and searching which of course would bring a short barrel something into play. As previously mentioned, the Judge would fill the bill with the 410 multi projectile rounds…..not very accurate over 20 feet or so, but in a home the distance would more than likely be less. A good spread at 10 feet would get the job done. Another thing to take into the equation is sound….the very loud bang inside your home can be disorientating and startling for the shooter and shootee….I have ear plugs next to the boomer as does my wife.

    • Ed

      Hello. Ed
      I would recommend that you watch, first person responder on YouTube. Remember there is never such a thing call a empty firearm. It is to be treated as though it is hot always be sure to practice the scenarios you see first person responder and treat the weapon as though it is hot.
      practice practice practice

      • Grady Zimmer

        Yes this is 100% true there is NO such thing as a empty firearm I’ve picked up a few guns that I was told WAS EMPTY I grabbed it and it went off putting a hole in my bar and another story with my wall luckally no one was hurt just shared this because he’s dead right you can never trust someone’s word that the gun is empty ask to see it empty and EVEN THEN it could highly be loaded not thinkingly I grabbed the gun and after it happens you won’t ever trust someone’s word again (luckally in my case no one was hurt)

        • Troy To You

          I believe NO ONE who tells me a gun is unloaded.

    • Reptiles Rule The World

      Any gun that fires a round is a good home protection gun. You can spend five thousand on it but doesn’t make it better than a two hundred dollar gun.
      Spend your excess money on training and and not trying to be a house ninja.

  • jimks

    You missed one that I think is one of the best out there, Beretta PX4 sub-compact.

  • gil

    The best hangun for your buck is the Glock 19 gen 4 one of t most reliable ,simple ,durable, accurate and easy to take apart for cleaning. High capacity, rust resistance and not going to let you broke. $539.00 +tax I own 2 of them and I’m happy I make the decision to buy glock. I know this handgun is going to perform in case of emergency.hope this will help you make a smart decision .I would not recommend something I would not use myself.

    • M Medley

      You are ABSOLUTELY right, It is a hell of a pistol!

  • clinton

    Is it possible for me to use my Springfield XDm .45 ACP 5.25″ as a concealed weapon?

    • Alex R

      Not unless you are always going to wear Very concealing clothing. This is quite difficult to stick to on a day to day basis.

      • CBD

        I’m not sure about the size difference between the frames. I know the XD series has a size difference between the .45 frames and the others, but I’m not sure about the XDm.

        That said, my usual EDC is a Springfield XD9 Service (4″ barrel) and with an IWB holster (a GOOD IWB holster that tucks the grip tight to my body, that’s part of concealing a larger firearm) it will disappear under a decently baggy t-shirt. I can wear a light button down over a quality OWB holster and it’s gone. Under a jacket? Completely invisible no matter how you carry.

        For a 5.25″, your best bet may be appendix carry. If you decide to go that route, follow the four rules and make sure that your trigger finger rides the frame on the draw until you’re lining up on your target.

  • Andy P

    Just one thing you should add/fix – For the Glock 26/27, you list a 10+1 capacity, but the Glock 27 has a 9+1 capacity.

  • Jack Manning

    I personally do not like a Pistol for either self-protection or hide/conceal. I don’t like either having a live round in the chamber or having to pull the slide back to load a round. I also don’t like having a safety to remove on some pistols. I don’t have time for that monkey business when seconds count. I carry a stainless steel S&W 38 lightweight hammer-less (can’t get caught-up in you clothing) with a crimson laser zeroed in at 20 feet. I leave it on an empty chamber for safety. All I need to do is pull the trigger which automatically loads a live round and fires in just one movement. Also, you get a laser on an assailant within 20 feet and you hit your target. I don’t go to a target range and send targets out into the hinterland. I simply send it our in the 20 foot range which is where and what I want to hit before man or beast gets to me.

    • Jon Dittman

      you don’t have to leave a modern revolver on an empty chamber. They have safeties built into modern firearms that block firing pin from primer unless trigger is in the most rearward position.
      That was a single action revolver (ie.Colt peacemaker) and the like, safe way to carry long ago.
      You are depriving yourself of a round for no reason.

  • Jack Manning

    Just came back from looking at Beretta’s new Hide/Conceal Pistol called the PICO. It is touted as the thinnest Hide/Conceal on the market. I was interested in it but turned it a thumbs down. It has a long trigger pull that has to be pulled almost fully back before it fires. The long trigger pull also is uncomfortable and you trigger finger has a tendency to slide farther over trigger.

  • LordElrond09

    I’d love to recommend the Glock 26/27 but I have one and the dang thing is too heavy and *just* big enough to be cumbersome.

  • Einstein

    If you want a real home defense weapon buy a Mossberg pistol grip 8 round 20 0r 12 guage shotgun. Most of the time just racking a pump shotgun will make any intruder run! You don’t have to keep a round in the tube therefore it’s very safe. If you really want a pistol for home protection try “the judge” shoots both 45 cal. long and 410 guage shotgun shells. I just don’t see the logic in buying a concealable weapon for home protection. Plus if you are a novice you should have something you can just point instead of a gun you have to be accurate with to count.

  • Ron Henry

    any list that has kel tech as a top gun on it ruins the whole integrity of the rest of the list. Kel tech sucks balls.

  • Julie Kinard VanDyck

    Ed,I love my Smith and wesson M& P better than firing the Glock,it’s easier to load.

  • Bob G

    I’m in love with full size 1911s for concealed carry. Of course I’m 6’4″ and weigh in at +200. Go with what you like.

  • Tim Woodruff

    Sold guns for years and I carry a ruger Lcr 357 magnum and or my charter arms Bulldog 44 special . Both are revolvers but for new people to guns it takes a lot of training on semi auto in part to jamming . Even the best semi auto can jam . The Smith and Wesson model 36 in 38 special is the one most I use to sell the most of and the Lcr Ruger comes in 22 all the way up to 357 . One problem with semi autos is firing off 13 shots can send a bullet outside of your home and in a fire fight you want some control over where that bullet could land and a revolver would give you a second or 2 to be sure it is a bad guy you are shooting at and not one of your kids getting a drink of water in the middle of the night . Some semi autos are too easy to fire and fire in error . Those new to handguns I always send to a revolver first . A semi auto should never be a first handgun .

  • QuanellEleven

    CZ 9MM

  • Centerfire

    1. Buy from an American gun manufacturer. 2. Buy a 9MM. It will get any job done, and ammo is everywhere and much less expensive than others ammo calibers. 3. Buy a gun that goes BANG every time. 4. Buy a gun with the best customer service in the industry. 5. But a gun that gives you more for your money than any other.

    There is only ONE handgun that will meet all these requirements. Any RUGER you buy.

  • bill66

    I’ve carried the glock 23 (.40)for quite a while. Right now I have a 9 mm lone wolf barrel, extractor and magazines in it. Never had an issue, 16 rounds of 9 mm hollowpoints. But I recommend the pistol that you can shoot the best, not any particular make or caliber. Go to a rental range and try a few out and decide what pistol you can shoot accurately most every time. Then go to armslist(dot)com and you may find the guy down the street from you is selling his. Happy shooting.

  • CombatVette

    I have carried a Glock 27 for over 8 years and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  • Chris


  • Chris

    Size can be an issue for many. I carry an HK VP40. 14 rounds, customizable grip, excellent trigger and built like a tank. Groups in a paper plate from 25 yards. I started years ago with a nice little .38 snubbie.

  • Brian

    I carry the M&P .40 compact and love it…except for the trigger but you can get a trigger job for about $40 and its the best gun Ive ever shot. 10+1 rounds

  • You can’t go wrong with the Springfield. And the price is right; a big consideration for many CCW permit holders. I’m glad to see the two Glocks on the list. The 30S packs enough power to stop just about anything ,although the G36 as a lot of proprietary features,it’s still a great backup concealed carry piece; probably not a primary though.

  • kjfdmd

    The problem with home defense is very complex. If you are in an apartment you must consider wall penetration and hurting those not involved in your altercation. Understand that most houses are built with drywall which allows projectiles to travel through walls very easily (We don’t want our family hurt) An indoor protection might consist of a rat shot pistol, which will easily deter most intruders and not penetrate drywall. Talk to your local gun shop about your needs and situation.

  • Grady Zimmer

    I would say a good carry is a Taurus PT738 380. ACP two mags total with it when bought but it’s extremely compact and at close to about 40 yard range it’s perfect in my own opinion for CC mainly because you can hide it behind your wallet easily and 6+1 rounds also the ruger SR -22 is nice if you got big enough pocket space 10+1 22. Cal bullet but that’s rather bulky in my own opinion I stick by my Taurus to the max not noticeable and compact I’ve heard of people having cycling issues but I’ve not had one out of the 300 rounds I’ve shot out of it not cycle and I’d say it’s pretty much a point and shoot gun not really for large distance but CC isent going to be distant because if it was we would all just walk away or run… shoots great as a point and shoot

  • 45 cal

    The best carry gun is whatever is the most effective one that you will always carry and can hit your target consistently. For me it’s Sig 1911 when I can wear a jacket to conceal or a Sig 938 in my summer outfits.