Skip to comments.The Best Concealed Carry Handguns
Posted on 09/05/2010 10:46:02 AM PDT by JoeProBono
What you are about to read is my take on the best concealed carry handguns, which you will find commented on tens of thousands of times elsewhere. But this is my site and it's my turn. These conclusions are based on my experience with these pistols, shooting and carrying them in various situations.
-My evaluation is based on "shootability" first, the ease with which the gun can be drawn, sighted and fired. -Second I considered caliber-the amount of power the bullet will strike with. -Third I considered size-the ease with which the best concealed carry handguns can be carried without them being inadvertently noticed by passersby. -Fourth I considered magazine capacity-the number of bullets you have in case something extreme goes down. In spite of all the internet commando gibberish about normal citizens needing extra magazines, backup guns, etc., I considered this one realistically to be least important.
I based the evaluations on how I dress casually in both summer and winter and different situations in which I might carry. I carry in casual clothes always, but not in my dress clothes, though I normally have a gun nearby somewhere. I may carry a different gun in the woods where I exercise than when walking around town or shopping. I have used broad strokes to describe what I do and why I chose these best concealed carry handguns, but I have a tendency to think this evaluation more closely represents most average citizens than some of the online Rambos.
Carry #1: All things considered, carrying this gun under the widest range of conditions, under all types of clothes, in all kinds of weather, in a briefcase, under the seat, the gun that goes with me most often is a GLOCK 23 .40 S&W. This gun replaces the G22 that sat in this spot for 3 years. The reason it now replaces the former champ is simply its more concealable size along with similar inherent accuracy. The GLOCK 23 has proven itself on the range and in the dependability category like all GLOCKS. It is now the gun that is carried daily when I can wear casual clothes and wear a belt or IWB holster. Shooting the gun is a pleasure with the same TruGlo TFO night sights that go on all my GLOCKS. The picture below did not have to be replaced because I carry this gun in exactly the same holster and the same way as the G22. It just conceals a bit better with all the other advantages of a GLOCK the same.....
Sig P238 Equinox with nightsites.....
It seems odd that you would not carry while dressed up, suit, etc.
I’ll stick with my S&W Airweight 38 caliber Hammerless
with hollowpoint ammo.
“internet commandos” “online Rambos”
Rather undiplomatic language there, JoeProBono. Designed to insult people?
I’m not very familiar with firearms. Are you wearing a holster on the inside of your belt?
I live in Florida and have enough of a belly that a Glock is either too uncomfortable or not enough well-concealed for me. I’ve tried a lot of handguns for concealed carry over the last 17 years and always come back to the good old J-frame S&W. It’s comfortable, easy to hide, easy to use. I admit that it doesn’t carry the ammo for a long gunfight, but the 5 shots should be enough to get away. Just to be safe, I carry 6 spare rounds in a Bianchi Speed Strip. Again, it’s easy to hide, but lacks some tactical advantage due to it being a little slower to deploy than a speedloader or spare magazine.
If I was going into a really bad situation, I would likely carry the Glock or Beretta 92D in a variety of non-gun containers, such as a zippered Day Planner, netbook case, or messenger bag.
I’ve had to use my concealed weapon twice and both times I was fortunate enough that just showing that I’m armed was enough to end the encounter.
I do agree with you that if I was going to carry a concealed semi-auto, it would be a medium-frame Glock in an IWB, but I tend to carry behind the hipbone.
Im looking at a beretta PX4 Storm in .40
Anyone with firsthand knowledge of that?
I’ve carried a black subdued finish Colt Commander since about 1993. I always pack two extra magazines as well. To quote Commander Spock: “Primitive but highly effective.” I go with what I know.
>>Ill stick with my S&W Airweight 38 caliber Hammerless
with hollowpoint ammo.
You can always tell the guy that REALLY carries, because he always chooses the Airweight J-frame—the original Point and Click Interface. :-)
Inside waistband [IWB]. Hides inside the pant plus the shirt can be tucked between the clip and the holster.
As an off duty deputy I made certain I didn’t wear any “tactical” surplus or 5.11 style clothing with or without LEO or Firearms Logos. Don’t recommend such as a civilian now. It screams GUN .....in my opinion !
Close as I get to tactical is a baggy Hawaiian shirt, a pair of carhart or levi carpenter jeans , using the ruler pocket on left thigh as a spare magazine pouch.
Have to agree on a glock 19/23 size CHL / CCW......they are comfortable to carry yet if one carries a round in the chamber you MUST have a holster. MUST !
I carry a Guncrafters Industries Glock conversion slide for my Glock 21 in 50GI. IWB Crossbreed holster if round is chambered. Otherwise a cheapo home made OSS string holster from kite string with chamber empty inside my waist band.
My likes of the glock are they are dehorned, durable finish against oils and acids human sweat generates and no extra cost.
Close second choice handgun I have is a Clark 1911A1 Meltdown that is smooth as a baby’s butt and stainless.
My next choice for CHL / CCW carry would be a SIG239 in 40S&W. Dehorned fairly well and comfy and reliable.
For folks that carry every day , look at the damaged clothing, furniture, upholstery etc and consider the carry a lot and use little or none guidelines.
My opinion.....Stay Safe Joe !
I've had to show it twice, once when I was just in gym shorts and a t-shirt. However, because it is SO small and light, it is ALWAYS with me. It's really not much bigger - in size or weight - than my cell phone. And just the look of the pistol (not even brought all the way up) was enough to end the confrontation.
A concealed pistol needs to be small enough to always be carried and still be concealed, and ideally in ALL situations.
The Kahr PM9 is the easiest to carry followed by the Airweight, but I usually end up carrying the Glock G26...dependability, capacity, etc.
stainless revolver .357 3” it will fire when I pull the trigger every time.
“Christian Gun Owner”. I love it! Is there any combination of words that “they” fear more than these?
Maybe he uses a different rig when dressed up?
A Glock 23 is hard to beat.
Heh! But after firing two rounds through that one inch barrel both of your hands are broken and the third round is useless!
I am in a way fortunate to be living in Alaska where heavy clothing is almost worn year round. Its very important that your weapon stays concealed lest a panicky store clerk thinks you are a mass killer with a thousand “clips” and automatic revolvers (though I wish I did have a Webley automatic revolver)that have heat seeking bullets.
I have a Glock 23 but I rarely carry it as its just a big big for a good conceal though arguably is very good with the right holster, where I live I fear not two legged problems but the larger 4 legged versions that think they are higher on the food chain than moi.
My carry when I do is either a small .380 Iver Johnson or a Glock 10mm with my personal handloads.
Can you fire armor piercing incendiary tracers in that thing?
Thats a good one too!
Good grief. I may just have to have one of thoses.
Gave mine to the daughter as a ‘mommy gun’ Only one that I know of that you can shoot thru a jacket pocket - all five rounds.
Ya I checked. Ya, it ruined the jacket. Ya, nice to know ‘mommy’ can cover all the bases. Check for smoldering cloth BTW.
Nice man purse Joe.
My marksmanship is the best with the 357 handgun and the 45, pretty good with the 22. However, all three are too big to conceal carry (at least on a 5' 3", 107 lb woman) , and the 22 is too small a caliber for me to be *SURE* to stop an assailant. My marksmanship is nowhere near as good with the 38 and the 380s, and the 38 hurt my hand so bad I can't stand to fire it even though I prefer revolvers.:-( So we are both carrying the 380s for CCW, and we both need to practice with those to get our marksmanship up to snuff.
I saw a 25 caliber somethingorother at the gun show where we bought my Ruger (mine's a greenish tan, whereas his is blue steel). The 25 caliber had a pink mother of pearl handle,price $115. I was sooo tempted, just 'cause it was so pretty, even though I doubt a 25 would be much of an improvement on not carrying at all. And a "baby Browning", 1967 or 1968, that made my Ruger look like a 44 magnun! So teeny : The firearms equivalent of a tea cup chihuahua!
I am starting to see why some people start out with just one handgun for self defense, one rifle or shotgun for home defense-then they start going to gun shows and wind up with a triple digit arsenal.
I agree - I also have a S&W 38 Airweight (6 rounds).
Last month I upgraded to a Taurus M605-2SS (357 Revolver - 5 rounds). The Taurus is same weight loaded as the S&W and fits in same belt Concealed Carry Holster. The 357 also fires 38 but also a wide range of ammo to suit any Self-Defense need.
This was my choice after evaluating other alternatives. My Revolver Manual does not have a Section on “Clearing Jams and Misfires.”
If I can wear a belt and a shirt - I Carry.
The only drawback with a Glock 23 was the early versions had an unsupported barrel ramp feed design that allowed a portion of the .40S&W to be in the “open” and if reloads were used or even a possible new cartridge the case can rupture and even cause a massive magazine detonation though it usually stayed in the chamber area but pretty much destroyed the frame.
The newer G23 has a modified ramp and there are plenty of aftermarket barrels available, ported, longer, threaded, stainless and such. The .40S&W is a high pressure cartridge and requires careful reloading procedures. But it is very effective at penetration and stopping power.
I personally find that a high pressure round like this tends to become inconsistent with variations in temperature and especially with older ammo and bullet types, take the low pressure .45 and its more consistent overall. I would not use a .40S&W for target shooting unless I meticulously loaded all my rounds myself.
This is just my view and over at the Glock Forums the “experts” may say something else altogether. In summary it does the job but I would rather use the “magnum” version the 10mm.
"concealed" is defined differently in every household.
The time of year plays a big factor here IMO. During the colder months I carry my Sig P245 with a MTAC holster but that’s just not an option in warmer months.
I’ve been in the market for a pocket gun of some sort. Right now I’m leaning to a Kahr p 380 with a pocket holster. YMMV though.
I like my LCR for low weight. I like my Springfield 1911 EMP for accuracy.
I too will stick with my S&W642 .38spl+p
My private evaluation always comes up with a double action revolver of a suitable calibre.
Kahr PM9 or PM40. Fits my hand. Great group size. About as small as it can get. Holster: SmartCarry, or 5.11 Tactical Holster Shirt V-Neck. The shirt is spandex and fits great, but it is too warm for summer. SmartCarry is a very high quality product.
If I were to choose concealed carry, I would go for a Wallet Gun.
I knew there was a reason to like you Joe :)
In summary it does the job but I would rather use the magnum version the 10mm.
Original carry pistol was the G29 with tritium sights, now that is only when on the m/c.
current bicycle and go-everywhere is the Taurus Titanium PT609 Pro 13+1 and the ammo is greater than 50% of the total weight. Modern ammo makes the argument of caliber almost moot. Though I wish Taurus would make something in the PT that fires the centimeter.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.