There are variables to consider when choosing the best concealed carry gun. The debates are traditionally between calibers and whether the gun should be a revolver or a semi-automatic. Each side has its merits and there’s no right or wrong. It all comes down to preference on which concealed carry gun suits an individual the best.
Semi-Auto or Revolver as a Concealed Carry Gun?
The great thing about revolvers is that they are less likely to jam. If for some reason a round doesn’t fire, pull the trigger again and rotate to the next round. Thus making revolvers the preferred concealed carry gun.
However, most revolvers max out at 6 rounds (many concealed revolvers have 5 rounds). Also revolvers tend not to have a traditional safety. Instead they either have a long trigger pull or require the hammer to be pulled back before firing (Also known as Single Action Only).
Semi-automatic handguns can provide an advantage with a larger magazine capacity. The smaller framed semi-autos can be smaller and less noticeable than some of the small revolvers. Also it’s much faster to reload if you have a spare magazine ready. Many prefer semi-autos for their concealed carry gun.
Large or Small Caliber as a Concealed Carry Gun?
Smaller caliber handguns, in many cases, can have a less intrusive frame. This makes it easier to conceal but also increases the recoil. Currently the most popular caliber is a .380. Despite it’s reputation for not having a lot of stopping power, the .380 actually uses the same slug as a 9mm. The only difference is that a 9mm cartridge is longer and usually holds more gunpowder. A 9mm is 9mm x 19mm whereas the .380 is 9mm x 17mm. Because of this many people believe they are the best concealed carry guns.
For help with visualizing caliber sizes use this article by Guns & Ammo Info. It’s a good resource to help familiarize yourself with caliber sizes when searching for your concealed carry gun.
Most Common “Small” Caliber Handguns
|.22 Long Rifle (22LR)||.25 ACP|
|.22 Magnum (22 Mag)||.32 ACP|
|.38 Special||.380 Auto (9mm Browning)|
Larger caliber handguns have a bulkier, uncomfortable, and harder to conceal frame. However, their stopping power can be stronger. It is possible to get an extremely small framed firearm with a larger caliber. Though this will most likely yield a greater recoil.
In addition to the weight of the frame, one must also consider the weight of each round. Larger caliber rounds have a noticeable weight difference. Using an inside-the-pants holster with 6 .45 ACP rounds will most likely pull down your pants. However, the stopping power combined with the small frame on a large caliber makes these some of the best concealed carry guns.
Most Common “Large” Caliber Handguns
|.357 Magnum (357 Mag)||9mm (9mm Luger)|
|.44 Special (44SP)||.40 (40 S&W)|
|.44 Magnum (44 Mag)||10mm|
|.45 Colt||.45 (45 ACP)|
As mentioned earlier, it’s all a matter of preference. A .22 Long Rifle will not have the same stopping power as a .40 S&W. However, having “a” firearm for protection is better than having none. Here’s a list of some of the best concealed carry guns.
Best Concealed Carry Pistols
- Introduction to Concealed Carry Pistols
- 22 Long Rifle Concealed Carry Pistols
- 22 Magnum Concealed Carry Revolvers
- 25 ACP Concealed Carry Pistols
- 32 ACP Concealed Carry Pistols
- 32 Magnum Concealed Carry Revolvers
- 380 ACP Concealed Carry Pistols
- 38 Special Concealed Carry Revolvers
- 357 Magnum Concealed Carry Revolvers
- 9mm Concealed Carry Pistols
- 40 S&W Concealed Carry Pistols
- 10mm Concealed Carry Pistols
- 45 ACP Concealed Carry Pistols
- 44 Special & 44 Magnum Concealed Carry Revolvers
- Shotgun Shells Concealed Carry Revolvers