A concealed carry license deserves a worthy handgun. Here are 10 optimal choices.

Americans enjoy a right that citizens of many other countries do no – the right to carry firearms. However, choosing the best concealed carry gun can be a challenge. We stacked up 10 guns against each other to bring you our top carry handguns based on stopping power, weight, ease of use, and price. Using a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best, you’ll be able to compare the best to the best. For this particular article, we’ve only covered compact handguns.The Glock 26 was designed for concealed carry. It has a small frame and short barrel that make it easy to hide anywhere on the body – and it also packs the power of 10+1 rounds of 9mm. Even with the small frame size, the Glock 26 retains the same width of a full size Glock. This allows the shooter to get a better hold and much more control over the firearm. It is a smaller firearm in general, and the internal parts have been moved closer together, but the Glock 26 is still a Glock. It boasts the same proven and well known reliability. With a plant in Symerna Georgia, these fine pistols are being made in the USA as well as being imported from Austria.

Glock 26 Gen 3 (9MM)

The Glock 26 was designed for concealed carry. It has a small frame and short barrel that make it easy to hide anywhere on the body – and it also packs the power of 10+1 rounds of 9mm. Even with the small frame size, the Glock 26 retains the same width of a full size Glock. This allows the shooter to get a better hold and much more control over the firearm. It is a smaller firearm in general, and the internal parts have been moved closer together, but the Glock 26 is still a Glock. It boasts the same proven and well known reliability. With a plant in Symerna Georgia, these fine pistols are being made in the USA as well as being imported from Austria.

  • Portability: 4
  • Ease of Use: 5
  • Weight: 3.5
  • Affordability: 2
  • Stopping Power: 3

Springfield XDs .45

The Springfield XDs .45ACP is one of the best carry guns on the market. It has a single stack magazine which will hold 5 rounds of .45ACP, and of course you can add an extra round in the chamber. If you can’t protect yourself with 6 rounds of .45ACP, you shouldn’t be carrying a gun! With it’s slide made of forged steel and a polymer lower, this gun is made with incredible quality that will never let you down. The Springfield XDs .45ACP is only 1” wide – which is why we gave it a 5 out of 5 for concealability.

  • Portability: 5
  • Ease of Use: 3
  • Weight: 3.5
  • Affordability: 1
  • Stopping Power: 4

Smith & Wesson M&P 40C

Wesson M&P compact series, and the Smith & Wesson M&P .40S&W is the highlight. Reliable, accurate, and easy to carry, we gave the M&P .40C a 5 out of 5 portability factor. It comes standard with a trigger safety and optional thumb safety (if you prefer some added safety features), and is an affordable concealed carry gun.

  • Portability: 5
  • Ease of Use: 3
  • Weight: 4
  • Affordability: 3.5
  • Stopping Power: 3

Ruger LCRx .38 Special

The Ruger LCRx .38 Special is the latest in the Ruger LCR line. LCR stands for “Lightweight Carry Revolver” – and the entire LCR series comes with Ruger’s patent-pending trigger system. This reduced friction trigger system is uniquely designed to give the double-action shooting mode a smooth, even trigger pull, which will result in more accurate shot placement every time. Ruger has been asked to make a LCR pistol with an exposed hammer to enable single-action mode, and they listened. The Ruger LCRx .38 Special is a dream gun and the answer to a lot of prayers.

  • Portability: 5
  • Ease of Use: 5
  • Weight: 4.5
  • Affordability: 3.5
  • Stopping Power: 4

Taurus PT111

The Taurus PT111 is a fantastic conceal carry firearm. The compact design of the frame and 13-round capacity make it a great gun to tuck under a shirt or waistband. The Taurus PT111 also features an awesome gripping surface on the frame of the gun in order for you to have a confident hold. The external features include a manual safety, slide stop, and a tear-down bar much like that of a Glock.The best feature of the Taurus PT111 is the double-action/single-action mode. When the slide resets the internal striker to get ready to fire the next round, the trigger is then in single-action mode. If the round fails to fire, the PT111 automatically switches into double-action mode – which will allow you to strike the same primer again. This feature could potentially save your life if you were ever faced with a light primer strike in an emergency situation.

  • Portability: 5
  • Ease of Use: 4
  • Weight: 3
  • Affordability: 5
  • Stopping Power 2.5

SCCY CPX-II

Fairly new to the market, the SCCY CPX-II is one of the most affordable carry pistols on the market – which is why we gave the CPX-II a 5 out of 5 on affordability. This slim, lightweight, easy to use 9mm pistol holds 10+1 rounds of 9mm – which has more than enough stopping power for you.This gun is super comfortable to hold, a pleasure to shoot, and a fantastic carry firearm for the price. Coupled with SCCY’s excellent customer service and lifetime warranty, you can’t go wrong!

  • Portability: 5
  • Ease of Use: 4.5
  • Weight: 3.5
  • Affordability: 5

Beretta Nano

The Beretta Nano is a great little carry gun with absolutely nothing that will EVER get stuck in a holster or purse. There is no external safety lever, teardown lever, or slide lock to get stuck anywhere. The size and weight of the Beretta Nano makes it a perfect handgun for concealed carry – and the 9mm round can stop just about any threat to you or your family.

  • Portability: 4.5
  • Ease of Use: 2.5
  • Weight: 3
  • Affordability: 3.5
  • Stopping Power: 2.5

Bersa Thunder .380

The Bersa Thunder .380 is a super carry firearm for any occasion. This gun would literally fit in your pocket! It carries 7+1 rounds of .380ACP, and only weighs 23 ounces. It has both single and double-action trigger modes, and the single action trigger is only 4 pounds – which means a crisp, clean shot placement every time. This gun also features an external thumb safety for added protection while carrying.

  • Portability: 4.5
  • Ease of Use: 2
  • Weight: 3
  • Affordability: 3.5
  • Stopping Power: 2

Springfield XDM Compact .40S&W

The Springfield XDM Compact is another fantastic carry gun – and you can have your choice of carrying either 11+1 rounds of .40S&W, or 16+1 rounds when you carry the extended magazine. This gun is a bit pricier than some of the other guns, but it sure is quality. It’s 6.26-pound trigger pull makes this gun a dream to shoot – and it’s extremely accurate. The overall length of the XDM is only 7”, which makes it a very easy gun to tote around.

  • Portability: 4.5
  • Ease of Use: 3.5
  • Weight: 3
  • Affordability: 1
  • Stopping Power: 4


Smith & Wesson M&P Shield .40S&W
No “top carry gun” list is complete without adding one of the best carry guns on the planet – the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. It comes in both .40S&W or 9MM and is slim, lightweight, and accurate. The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is one of the top selling guns in America right now. The 6-pound trigger pull makes for a crisp and accurate shot placement, and the sights on top of the gun are fantastic. Due to the demand for these guns, the M&P Shields are hard to find – if you see one, nab it up for the perfect concealed carry gun!

  • Portability: 4.5
  • Ease of Use: 3.5
  • Weight: 3
  • Affordability: 3
  • Stopping Power: 3.5

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