A Look at the Best Pistols for Concealed Carry


Concealed carry firearms play a vital role in personal defense for many individuals. The choice of the right pistol is crucial, balancing factors like size, reliability, caliber, and comfort. This article delves into some of the top pistols for concealed carry, each offering unique features to suit varied preferences and needs.

Understanding Concealed Carry Needs

Before diving into specific models, it’s essential to understand what makes a pistol suitable for concealed carry. Key considerations include:

  1. Size and Weight: Concealed carry pistols should be compact and lightweight for ease of concealment and comfort during extended wear.
  2. Caliber: The caliber must strike a balance between stopping power and manageable recoil.
  3. Capacity: A higher capacity is desirable, but this often increases the size of the firearm.
  4. Reliability: Dependability is non-negotiable; a concealed carry pistol must function flawlessly in an emergency.
  5. Ergonomics: The pistol should fit well in the hand, and controls must be easily operable.

Top Pistols for Concealed Carry

  1. Glock 19

The Glock 19 is a favorite among concealed carriers for its reliability and versatility. Chambered in 9mm, it offers a good balance of firepower and control. The Glock 19 is compact enough for concealed carry while providing a respectable 15-round capacity. Its polymer frame makes it lightweight, and the simple design ensures reliability.

  1. Sig Sauer P365

The Sig Sauer P365 revolutionized the concealed carry market with its high capacity in a micro-compact frame. The standard model comes with a 10-round magazine, but options for 12 or 15 rounds are available. Its ergonomic design and light recoil make it a great choice for shooters of all skill levels.

  1. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

The M&P Shield series offers slim, lightweight pistols that are ideal for concealed carry. Available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, the Shield provides options for those who prefer different calibers. Its thin profile makes it exceptionally concealable, and the aggressive grip texturing ensures a secure hold.

  1. Ruger LCP II

For those who prioritize maximum concealability, the Ruger LCP II is an excellent choice. This .380 ACP pistol is one of the smallest on the market, making it ideal for deep concealment. While it sacrifices capacity and stopping power, its size makes it a favorite for situations where discretion is paramount.

  1. Springfield Armory Hellcat

The Hellcat, another micro-compact option, offers a remarkable capacity of 11+1 in 9mm, with an extended magazine holding 13 rounds. It’s designed with a high grip to barrel axis ratio, reducing muzzle rise and making it more controllable. The Hellcat also features an adaptive grip texture that is comfortable for all-day wear.

  1. Walther PPS M2

The Walther PPS M2 is known for its ergonomics and shootability. This single-stack 9mm pistol is slim for easy concealment and features a smooth trigger and comfortable grip. It offers a unique magazine system that allows the shooter to choose between 6, 7, or 8 round capacities.

  1. Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact

The PX4 Storm Subcompact is a double/single-action pistol, offering a different manual of arms compared to the striker-fired pistols on this list. Chambered in 9mm or .40 S&W, it features a rotating barrel design that reduces recoil. Its size is a bit larger than others in its class, but it offers a comfortable grip and reliable performance.

Making the Right Choice

The selection of a concealed carry pistol is highly personal and depends on individual needs and preferences. Factors such as hand size, experience level, intended use, and carry method play a significant role in the decision-making process.

Training and Responsibility

Owning and carrying a concealed firearm comes with the responsibility of regular training and familiarity with the law. It’s crucial for carriers to practice regularly, understand the legal aspects of concealed carry and use of force, and maintain a mindset focused on safety and responsibility.


Choosing the best pistol for concealed carry is a decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. The Glock 19, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm, Ruger LCP II, Springfield Armory Hellcat, Walther PPS M2, and Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact represent some of the best options available, each with its unique set of features and benefits. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on the individual’s specific needs, preferences, and commitment to training and responsible carry.

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