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So you're ready to move into the concealed carry lifestyle. But before you commit, you must ask yourself first: "which firearm should I purchase for concealed carry?" And while there is no single correct answer, there are plenty of wrong ones. (Leave the Desert Eagle at the gun range). For your convenience, we've created a list of some of our favorites. It's not comprehensive by any means, but any of these firearms are super solid options, take into account Size, Caliber, Reliability & Price. But before we get into specific model recommendations, let's explore the basics of what to look for in a concealed carry handgun.


The classic gun adage is true: size matters. And when it comes to concealed carry, smaller is traditionally better. It's not good to go out and get a .44 caliber hand cannon and then try to carry it daily. Trust us; it's just not gonna happen. Chances are the gun will show or "print" through your clothing, eliminating the element of concealment. And it that's not the case, it will be too heavy and uncomfortable for everyday carry. So, when you pick a firearm, it's got to be concealable. This can mean everything from a Glock 17 full-size pistol to a tiny micro-compact gun for different body shapes and sizes.



The next thing to consider is that you should carry a firearm with a caliber with good terminal results. No one wants to be involved in an altercation and have to defend themselves. But if things go down, we recommend having a caliber and good defense ammo to provide great terminal results on the bad guy. The faster the conflict ends, the safer it is for you and the people you may be protecting. We recommend you don't carry anything smaller than 9mm.



The third element to consider is that your gun of choice needs to have a strong track record of reliability in all conditions. You never know when you might have to use a weapon. You could have been knocked down in the mud; it could be snowing, raining, etc. You need a gun (and conceal carry holster) that provides a high confidence level and fires every time. Anything less could cost you more than the price of the firearm.



Okay, now let's look at specific models of guns we can recommend for concealed carry. The first and most popular concealed carry gun is the Glock 19. This model started the journey into smaller, "micro-compact pistols." 


There is no doubt Glock has become one of the most popular brands of firearms available. They revolutionized the striker fire design and are now carried by law enforcement agencies, the military, and civilian shooters worldwide.

The simple, easy-to-use design is free of exterior safeties or decocking levers. This allows the new shooter to focus on the fundamentals- grip, aim and trigger pull.  

Caliber - 9mm | Capacity - 15+1 | Weight - 24 oz | Barrell - 4.02"

SMITH & WESSON M&P9 M2.0™ (Subcompact)

Although the Shield Plus is slightly smaller than what we would normally recommend for beginners (it is considered a compact), it is so fun to shoot that it deserves a place on our list.

This is part of the many features Smith & Wesson has incorporated and the modern design that takes advantage of the latest in handgun design. The flat face trigger allows for a more consistent finger placement which increases accuracy and decreases follow-up time. The audible and tactile reset is easy to detect.

Caliber - 9mm | Capacity - 13+1 | Weight - 20.2 oz | Barrell - 3.1"


The M&P M2.0 is the latest in polymer pistols, offering the newest innovations in design and materials. The 18-degree grip angle offers a more natural point of aim. Four interchangeable grip inserts allow for a more customized fit. The aggressive grip texture permits better control even when wet. A 1 in 10 muzzle twist increases accuracy. The low barrel bore axis reduces muzzle rise and permits faster recovery.

Caliber - 9mm | Capacity - 17+1 | Weight - 24.7oz | Barrell - 4.25"


The P320 XCompact has been turning heads since it was first introduced. Now, shooters can get the same features and performance in a compact version designed for concealed carry. Many of these same features make it ideal for the beginner as well as experienced shooters.

Caliber - 9mm | Capacity - 15+1 | Weight - 23.3oz | Barrell - 3.6"


At first glance, the Hellcat may seem like too much gun for the beginner. The red dot and compensator look like they belong in a 3-Gun shoot rather than a new shooter’s holster. But both can provide confidence and greatly reduce the learning curve. Something that a beginner in need of a concealed carry firearm needs to consider. even if you're not a beginner you'll love this option. 

Caliber - 9mm | Capacity - 13+1 | Weight - 18.3oz | Barrell - 3"

Glock G43X 9MM PISTOL (Subcompact)

The Glock G43X 9mm Subcompact Pistol is an excellent pistol for home defense, concealed carry, and the range.  With a 5.4-pound trigger pull with a short trigger distance and a beavertail, you will have superior control of your firearm for consistent performance. They crafted it with a Slimline frame with an nDLC black finish, which provides extra durability and longevity.

This Glock has a subcompact frame with an overall length of 6.5” and weighs only 1.17 lbs making it an excellent choice for concealed carry.

Caliber - 9mm | Capacity - 10+1 | Weight - 18.72oz | Barrell - 3.41"

Shadow Systems CR920 Elite  9mm PISTOL (Subcompact)

The Shadow Systems CR920 Elite is a pistol that is truly out of this world.

With its polymer frame, aggressive texture, green tritium dot steel sights, beautiful black and bronze hardware, and match-grade 3.41” spiral-fluted barrel, this gun is sure to please even the most discerning shooter. The weight of 1.11 lbs makes it comfortable to hold and easy to keep up with, while the beautiful black and bronze hardware gives it a stylish look. The flat-faced trigger has a 4.5-5 lb trigger pull and is ideal for those who want a more precise shot, and the directional serrations in the front/rear and topside make it easy to grip your slide. If you’re looking for a pistol that performs as good as it looks, then the Shadow Systems CR920 Elite is the gun for you.

Caliber - 9mm | Capacity - 13+1 | Weight - 17.76oz | Barrell - 3.41"


While it may seem like you should pick the most tactical handgun, the fact is many will not be best suited for a beginner or even those with experience. You need a firearm that is comfortable, easy to use, and out of the box accurate. Otherwise, you may not learn the basics correctly and quickly become frustrated.


This could easily result in learning to be a poor shooter, or not learning to shoot at all.

If you choose the right handgun, such as those we have outlined above, you will find it easier and more fun to shoot. This will result in more time on the range and an increase in your skill level. Before long you will be able to upgrade to fancier, more exotic firearms – although most of the models we have reviewed will also grow with you. 

But no matter which firearm you choose, it no good without TRAINING TRAINING TRAINING.


So once you make this choice contact us and we'll be happy to give you a full spectrum of training.   



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