5 Best Guns for Concealed Carry: I’ll start this straight off with a caveat, when talking about firearms, especially ones to carry concealed, the subject is very subjective and personal. Because ultimately the user has to find what works best for him/her and that may not necessarily work for the person beside them.
When I say subjective and personal, that is because I’ve always been a 1911A1 fan, and the .45 would be answers 1-4 with something else thrown in for conversation as #5. Just kidding…but not by much.
It is tough narrowing down a list to just five weapons, because there are literally dozens of weapons worthy. So, I’ll stick with weapons that I’ve owned and used or had the opportunity to fire.
If you’re new to the concealed carry world and are considering carrying for the first time, there are some considerations that you must take into account before you get into the pistols on our list. Without wanting to sound like I’m preaching, first things first, get the proper licensing, so you don’t run afoul of the law. But some other considerations include but are not limited to:
Anyone can stick a weapon under their shirt and go on about their business. Most will never have to use it to protect themselves or members of their families. A friend of mine who used to teach special forces guys in a shooting course the US Army has, used to say that shooting accurately was 10 percent hardware and 90 percent software (meaning your brain). And then going out and putting thousands of rounds downrange with that weapon until it becomes an extension of your arm.
If you haven’t been in the military or law enforcement, getting professional training is never a bad thing. Even if you had been, shooting courses are fun, and a great way to get back on track. Being confident in your weapon and yourself is essential.
That means, how does the weapon fit and feel in your hand? While a pro football player (or Bullet Tooth Tony), may be able to handle a Desert Eagle .50, however, a woman with smaller hands as well as many men may find that weapon a bit too much to handle.
There are lots of other considerations to fit and feel, and again are subjective. Curved or straight grips? Rubber, wood, or polymer grips. And weight is an important factor in a concealed carry weapon, especially if you will carry it all day/night long.
The caliber of your ammo is always an important factor. As I said earlier, I was always a fan of .45 ACP, however, today the 9mm is the most popular round and ammunition for that can be found anywhere. Other considerations are .380, .40 S&W, and of course the .45 ACP. But there are many, many more.
Which translates to how you plan on carrying the weapon. Is it going to be in your pocket? Inside or outside of your waistband? In an ankle holster or with a shoulder holster? And when it comes to holsters there are plenty of different styles and materials that they are made from to choose from. Comfort level certainly plays a role there.
So which weapons made the list? Here are my 5 best guns for concealed carry.
5 Best Guns for Concealed Carry: Glock 19, 9mm
The Glock has to be on the list, the Glock is compact enough to carry it concealed and powerful enough that it is widely used by law enforcement and military forces around the world.
The Glock is lightweight (24 ounces) and carries 15 rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber. The Gen 5 has done away from the finger groves that I didn’t care for. The Glock 19 MOS has a built-in cutout for a red dot. For those new to the game, the red dot makes it much easier to focus on your target.
The Glock gives the shooter the perfect blend of a service weapon in a compact package. It may probably be one of the most popular concealed carry pistols of all time. I’ll be honest, back in the day, I disliked the weapons and were biased against them for several years, but they grew on me and if that’s your weapon of choice, it will serve you well and may well be the one pistol that all the others are compared to.
5 Best Guns for Concealed Carry: SigSauer P320 XCompact, 9mm:
The Sig Sauer P320 is rapidly becoming the go-to pistol for concealed carriers in the US. It is the slightly shorter version of the excellent Sig P320 XCarry. The barrel length is 3.6 inches (compared to 3.9) and with the shorter grip, it is easier to conceal but still able to carry 15 rounds in the magazine plus 1 in the chamber.
The weight of the weapon is 25.3 ounces and has excellent night sights installed although the slide is set up to add a red dot. The ergonomics of the Sig pistols are to me…unmatched. And if you’ve never fired one, the flat trigger is outstanding and allows for easy and quick sight readjustment when firing multiple shots.
The P320 XCompact gets extremely high marks and is extremely reliable, as all SigSauer pistols are, very accurate. And the finish and fit in your hand are outstanding right out of the box. Shoot one of these once and you’ll be sold.
5 Best Guns for Concealed Carry: Walther PPK/S, .380:
Being a huge James Bond fan since I was a little kid, the Walther PPK has to be on the list. But besides being an early Bond favorite, (his backup weapon was the SigSauer P226 in the finale of “No Time to Die), it is a great concealed carry pistol.
Weighing in at 22.1 ounces, it is lightweight, easily concealable, shoots extremely well, and is excellently balanced. It doesn’t carry as many rounds as the modern pistols with just 7 in the magazine and 1 in the chamber, but it is a classic that still works.
It doesn’t kick much but the .380 is viable for a self-defense weapon and is accurate as well as visually appealing. “The name is Bond, James Bond.”
5 Best Guns for Concealed Carry: Colt Lightweight Commander, .45 ACP:
Hey, we had to have one .45 ACP based on the 1911A1 in here…right? The Colt Lightweight Commander is a very accurate, fast shooting pistol, and with the single-stack magazine, it is slim and perfectly suited to be an excellent concealed carry choice.
Colt made this model with an aluminum frame which cuts down on the weight, which comes in at 27 ounces. It features Colt’s dual recoil spring which is supposed to cut down on the recoil while prolonging the life of the recoil springs. It also comes in a 9mm model as well. The barrel length is 4.25 inches with an overall length of 7.75 inches, so it is concealable but not so small as to make it uncomfortable to shoot, especially with a caliber as large as the .45 ACP. The magazine holds 8 +1.
The weapon comes with excellent Novak sights and like all 1911s is a joy to shoot. Like the Walther, the venerable 1911 type pistols have lasted this long for a very good reason. They are very reliable, shoot extremely well, and are accurate.
5 Best Guns for Concealed Carry: Sig Sauer P365XL, 9mm:
Another excellent pistol from Sig Sauer, the folks at the factory took an already excellent weapon in the P365 and made it even better with the XL model. The XL has a 12-round magazine (12+1), and they extended the barrel by 0.6 inches which helps with a longer sight radius which is supposed to help with accuracy.
Although it is a tad longer, it weighs in at just 20 ounces, and with the longer grip, it allows for a very comfortable feel and of course, it comes with Sig’s outstanding ergonomics. Of course, they included that flat trigger that is such a nice feature to shoot with. The slide is perfectly designed for the installation of a red dot optic and the one that I had the opportunity to fire had the factory Sig Romeo red dot optic. And it was accurate.
The Sig Sauer P365XL is another ideal concealed carry weapon, especially if the shooter has larger hands, otherwise, the P365 may be a better option. But it is an incredibly accurate, smooth pistol built with Sig’s well-deserved reputation of excellence.
Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for PatsFans.com and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.