20 Best Concealed Carry Guns In 2023: A Comprehensive Guide for Self-Defense

In 2023, the world of concealed carry firearms is vast, with a multitude of options available for those looking to exercise their right to personal protection. Each year, manufacturers release new and improved models designed to suit a wide range of preferences, offering users a chance to find the perfect concealed carry gun fit for their needs. From compact and comfortable firearms to those best suited for self-defense, there is something for everyone in the search for the ideal concealed carry gun.

When selecting a concealed carry weapon, it is crucial to take several factors into consideration. These include aspects such as the overall size, weight, and caliber of the gun, as well as personal comfort and accuracy when shooting. Additionally, the right type of carrying option, holster, and ammunition are vital components in the process of finding the perfect concealed carry gun. This article aims to provide an informative guide, helping purchasers navigate through this ever-growing market to make an informed choice that best suits their needs.

Key Takeaways

  • The article provides an overview of top concealed carry guns in 2023, carefully examining their features and benefits.
  • Factors such as size, weight, comfort, and accuracy play a crucial role in selecting the right concealed carry gun.
  • Carrying options, holsters, and ammunition are also essential considerations when choosing the perfect concealed carry firearm.

Important Factors to Consider When Choosing Concealed Carry Guns

When purchasing concealed carry guns, it's essential to consider various factors to ensure that the gun will fit your needs and preferences. One of the most crucial aspects to consider is the overall fit of the gun. It should be compact enough to be easily concealed while still being comfortable in hand. The size of the gun should allow for easy control, as this can greatly impact your ability to use it effectively in high-stress situations.

The weight of the gun is another factor that can significantly affect your ease of use. Lighter options may be more comfortable to carry daily, but they could be less controllable when shooting. Heavier models can provide increased control but may be cumbersome to carry for extended periods. It's important to find a balance between comfort and control when considering the weight of your concealed carry gun.

Concealed carry guns come in various sizes, and your choice should take into consideration how you plan to carry and the clothing you typically wear. If you wear loose-fitting or thicker clothing, you may be able to conceal a larger gun without issue. However, if your wardrobe consists of more form-fitting clothes, selecting a smaller, more compact gun may be necessary.

Another vital aspect to think about is ease of use. Your concealed carry gun should be simple to operate, especially in high-pressure situations when every second counts. Look for guns with intuitive controls and features designed for quick, efficient use.

Lastly, it's essential to thoroughly review the gun's specifications and features, as these can vary between models and manufacturers. Elements like caliber, capacity, trigger type, and safety mechanisms should all be taken into account when making your decision. Each person's needs and preferences may differ, so it's crucial to find the concealed carry gun that best aligns with your unique requirements.

Taking the time to consider all of these factors when choosing a concealed carry gun will ensure that you select a firearm that is not only effective but also comfortable and easy to use, ultimately providing peace of mind and confidence when carrying for self-defense.

Overview of Types of Concealed Carry Guns

When it comes to concealed carry firearms, there are several types to choose from, including handguns, pistols, revolvers, and semi-automatics. Each type offers distinct advantages and disadvantages depending on the user's preferences and requirements.

Handguns are a broad category of firearms designed to be held and operated with one hand. This group includes both pistols and revolvers, making them popular choices for concealed carry due to their compact size and ease of use. They can provide adequate stopping power while remaining relatively easy to handle and conceal.

Pistols are a type of handgun that utilizes a semi-automatic action to chamber and fire rounds. These firearms typically have a detachable magazine, allowing for quicker reloading and a higher capacity compared to revolvers. Some popular concealed carry pistols include Glock models, known for their "glockish" appearance and reliability, as well as other options such as the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield and Walther CCP M2.

Revolvers, on the other hand, are another type of handgun that features a rotating cylinder containing multiple chambers for ammunition. Their classic design and simple operation often evoke a sense of nostalgia among gun enthusiasts. While their capacity is usually lower than that of semi-automatic pistols, they have a reputation for being reliable and easy to maintain. The Ruger LCR is one example of a popular concealed carry revolver.

Semi-automatic firearms are a category encompassing both pistols and rifles, but for concealed carry purposes, semi-automatic pistols are the focus. Semi-automatic pistols allow for rapid firing and reloading, often giving them an advantage in self-defense situations. Their higher ammunition capacity and variety of calibers provide a range of stopping power options based on the user's needs.

In summary, there is a diverse selection of concealed carry firearms available for those seeking the right balance between stopping power, size, and ease of use. From semi-automatic pistols like Glocks to nostalgic revolvers like the Ruger LCR, each type has its unique benefits. Ultimately, the choice of concealed carry gun will depend on the individual's preferences and requirements.

Top 10 Compact Concealed Carry Guns

In the world of personal protection and self-defense, compact concealed carry guns have become increasingly popular. The best concealed carry guns come in various calibers, frame materials, and magazine capacities to suit individual preferences and needs. The following list includes some of the top compact guns on the market in 2023, presented in no particular order.

  1. Glock 43X: The Glock 43X builds on the success of its predecessor, the Glock 43, with a slightly wider grip, increased capacity, and a new stainless steel slide. Its 10+1 round capacity, 9mm caliber, and polymer-framed design make it a reliable and popular option for those seeking a compact concealed carry gun.
  2. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0: The M&P Shield is a tried and true design, featuring a slim profile, 7+1 and 8+1 magazine capacity in 9mm, and a reliable integrated trigger safety. Its upgrades include an M2.0 trigger, better grip texture, and an extended magazine for more rounds.
  3. SIG Sauer P365: The P365 boasts an impressive magazine capacity of up to 12+1 rounds in a 9mm caliber, double-stack magazine. It is highly concealable thanks to its slim design and easy to operate for those new to concealed carry guns.
  4. Walther PDP: The Walther PDP is known as one of the best compact 9mm pistols on the market. Its ergonomics, crisp trigger, and easy-to-rack slide make it a favorite for concealed carry practitioners.
  5. Kahr CW380: The Kahr CW380 is an excellent choice for those seeking a .380 ACP concealed carry pistol. Measuring less than 5 inches long and weighing just over 10 ounces, it has a very comfortable grip, making it an ideal choice for people with smaller hands.
  6. Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP: Designed with concealed carry in mind, the Hellcat OSP is a micro-compact 9mm pistol with a standard 11+1 round capacity and the option for a 13+1 extended magazine. Its design makes it comfortable to carry, conceal, and shoot.
  7. Ruger LCP Max: The Ruger LCP Max chambered in .380 ACP is an excellent option for those looking for a smaller caliber in their concealed carry gun. Lightweight and easy to conceal, it has a capacity of up to 11 rounds in a double-stack magazine.
  8. Kimber Micro 9: A popular choice for those who prefer the stopping power of a .45 ACP round, the Kimber Micro 9 offers a stainless steel slide and frame construction, making it a durable and reliable choice.
  9. Taurus GX4: As a relatively new addition to the concealed carry market, the Taurus GX4 is a budget-friendly 9mm option featuring a customizable grip, good ergonomics, and a capacity of up to 13+1 rounds.
  10. Caracal Lynx DS Compact: The Caracal Lynx DS Compact is a double-stack, alloy-frame pistol available in 9mm, .38 Super, and .40 S&W calibers. Its precision machining and carry-friendly design make it a notable option for those seeking a high-quality concealed carry firearm.

These compact concealed carry guns offer a variety of features and calibers to suit any preference, making it easier than ever to find the perfect firearm for your personal protection needs.

Top 5 Comfortable Concealed Carry Guns

When it comes to comfortable concealed carry guns, the key factors to consider are ergonomics, fit, grip, grip angle, and the shooting experience. The following list comprises 5 top guns that excel in these areas, along with their suitability for different types of concealed carry holsters, such as IWB (inside the waistband).

  1. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0 Compact: Known for its impeccable reliability, this 9mm compact pistol provides excellent overall performance. Its slim design and ergonomic grip make it comfortable in-hand, while its grip safety and soft-shooting recall system ensure secure handling and minimal recoil.

  2. Springfield XD-S: A solid choice for concealed carry in different types of clothing, the XD-S boasts a 7+1 magazine capacity and a weight of just 23 ounces. Its overall length of 6.3 inches and slim profile make it easy to conceal, while its ergonomic design ensures a comfortable grip.

  3. Ruger LCP Max: As a small and lightweight .380 caliber pistol, the LCP Max is the perfect combination of size and capacity. Weighing only 10.6 ounces and measuring less than an inch thick, it slips easily into a concealed carry holster. The grip angle suits a variety of hand sizes, making it comfortable to hold and shoot.

  4. Ruger MAX-9: This 9mm striker-fired pistol is an excellent option for those seeking a compact, easy-to-handle firearm. Its thin, lightweight design and smooth trigger make it ideal for concealed carry situations. The ergonomics and grip safety features contribute to its comfortable handling while reducing the likelihood of accidental discharge.

  5. Kahr K9: The Kahr K9 offers a powerful 9mm package in a compact, thin, and safe design. Its exceptionally smooth trigger and manageable recoil make it a pleasure to shoot, while its comfortable grip provides added assurance in handling the firearm.

When choosing the right concealed carry handgun, factors such as grip angle, grip safety, recall system, and the fit in hand play a crucial role in determining its comfort level. All the guns mentioned above offer top-notch ergonomics and ease of use, making them excellent choices for any concealed carry enthusiast.

5 Best Handguns for Self-Defense

When it comes to self-defense, choosing the right handgun can make all the difference. A reliable, accurate, and controllable firearm is a critical tool for personal protection. Here are five top-performing handguns that excel in quality, value, and effectiveness for self-defense.

Glock 17: Known for its reliability and durability, the Glock 17 is a popular choice among law enforcement and civilians alike. Chambered in 9mm, this full-size handgun offers a good balance of power and control. Its consistent trigger provides smooth operation while maintaining shot accuracy and precision.

Sig Sauer P365: The Sig Sauer P365 is a compact 9mm handgun that boasts a high-capacity magazine and a slim profile, making it perfect for concealed carry. Its ergonomic design, coupled with a crisp trigger, ensures exceptional performance in self-defense situations.

PSA Dagger:  is a compact, semi-automatic pistol that stands out for its affordability and reliability. Chambered in 9mm, it offers a balance of stopping power and manageable recoil, making it suitable for a variety of shooters. The pistol's design is conducive to concealed carry, with a slim profile and lightweight construction that ensures comfort and discretion. Its ergonomic grip and controls are designed for ease of use, enhancing the shooting experience. The PSA Dagger also features a striker-fired system, which provides a consistent and smooth trigger pull, allowing for accurate and rapid follow-up shots. This combination of features makes the PSA Dagger an excellent choice for both personal defense and recreational shooting.

Springfield Armory Hellcat: Another excellent choice for concealed carry, the Springfield Armory Hellcat is a micro-compact 9mm handgun that offers great capacity in a small package. Its intuitive design, combined with a comfortable grip and good trigger, ensures consistent accuracy and controllability during self-defense encounters.

Ruger LCR .22: For those who prefer smaller calibers, the Ruger LCR .22 is an excellent choice in a lightweight revolver. Its manageable recoil and smooth trigger pull make it suitable for various skill levels, while the use of hollow points significantly increases its effectiveness in self-defense situations.

Selecting the best handgun for self-defense ultimately comes down to personal preferences and individual needs. These five handguns offer reliable performance and have earned their place as top choices in personal protection.

Accurate and Reliable Concealed Carry Pistols

When selecting a concealed carry pistol, accuracy and reliability are essential factors to consider. In 2023, several handguns stand out as top choices for those who prioritize both of these attributes in a concealed carry firearm.

The Springfield Hellcat is a popular option among concealed carry enthusiasts due to its blend of accuracy and reliability. Its compact size and impressive capacity make it a solid choice for personal defense. Additionally, the Hellcat features a textured grip and high-visibility sights for improved shooting accuracy.

Another notable option is the Ruger LCP Max, which offers an excellent balance of power and concealability. Despite its small size, this pocket pistol boasts a high-capacity magazine and a short, crisp trigger, resulting in improved accuracy.

The Sig P365 has gained significant popularity since its release, thanks to its innovative design and remarkable accuracy. This concealed carry pistol features a unique combination of a slim profile and high-capacity magazine, making it an ideal choice for many gun owners.

For those who prefer a 1911-style pistol, the Staccato CS delivers impressive accuracy and reliability in a compact package. The Staccato CS features a short, single-stack design that is easy to conceal, while still providing the exceptional performance expected from a 1911-style handgun.

The Glock G19 has long been a favorite for concealed carry due to its proven reliability and consistent accuracy. Its compact size, combined with Glock's legendary durability and performance, make it a top choice for many people.

A standout option among revolvers is the Colt Python 3-inch model, which offers excellent accuracy and dependability. The reduced barrel length makes it more comfortable for concealed carry while still delivering the power and accuracy that Colt is known for.

The Kimber R7 Mako is a relatively new addition to the concealed carry market, but it has quickly gained recognition for its blend of accuracy and reliability. This striker-fired pistol features an advanced trigger system, making it easier for users to shoot accurately.

Lastly, the Taurus GX4 has become a popular choice as a budget-friendly concealed carry pistol. With its compact size, impressive capacity, and reliable performance, the GX4 offers solid accuracy at an affordable price.

In conclusion, these concealed carry pistols have earned their reputation for accuracy and reliability. With a variety of options available, individuals can find the perfect handgun to meet their personal preferences and concealed carry needs.

Concealed Carry Guns with Great Optics

Many concealed carry guns available in 2023 come equipped with high-quality optics designed to provide a clear, precise sight picture in various situations. Some of the best options feature reliable front and rear sights, advanced optic systems such as red dots or reflex sights, and even mounting options for additional accessories like flashlights.

A few concealed carry guns that stand out for their excellent optic options include the Sig Sauer P365 and the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP. Both models have optics-ready slide cuts, allowing users to easily attach compatible red dot sights for quick target acquisition without compromising concealability. The P365's XRAY3 Day/Night sights provide a bright, dependable sight picture in low light conditions. On the other hand, the Hellcat OSP features a standard U-Dot™ tritium and luminescent front sight, paired with a tactical-rack rear sight.

A noteworthy mention is the Walther PDP. This 9mm compact firearm boasts an outstanding red dot co-witnessing system that allows the factory-installed iron sights to remain usable even after an optic is mounted. The iron sights are made of metal, providing extra durability to complement the pistol's overall performance.

Another essential factor to consider when looking for an optic-equipped concealed carry gun is recoil management. A smooth, effective recoil system is vital for maintaining proper sight picture during rapid fire, as well as ensuring comfortable shooting for the user. The Kimber R7 Mako excels in this area with a rear sight ledge and a grip design that helps manage recoil, while still accommodating a Crimson Trace Red Dot optic.

In conclusion, concealed carry guns with great optics seamlessly blend usability, durability, and practicality. The Sig Sauer P365, Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP, Walther PDP, and Kimber R7 Mako are all excellent options for those seeking advanced optic readiness in their defensive firearms, allowing for rapid target acquisition, improved accuracy, and the versatility to customize their carry gun to fit their personal preferences.

Additional Features and Upgrades for Concealed Carry Guns

When choosing a concealed carry gun, users often look for additional features and upgrades that can enhance their shooting experience and improve the adaptability of the firearm. One aspect to consider is the modularity of the firearm. A modular design allows the user to easily swap parts, such as a grip, frame, or slide, to fit their needs and preferences. Some popular examples of modular concealed carry guns are the Sig Sauer P320 and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0 Compact.

A concealed carry gun equipped with night sights can increase visibility in low-light conditions. Night sights use luminescent material or tritium to provide a glow, which helps with quick target acquisition. Some handguns come with night sights pre-installed, while others can easily be equipped with aftermarket options.

The trigger system of a concealed carry gun is another important feature to consider. Users may prefer a single-action trigger, double-action trigger, or a striker-fired pistol. A single-action trigger offers a shorter and lighter pull, resulting in better accuracy and faster follow-up shots. In contrast, a double-action trigger has a longer and heavier pull, which some users find to be a built-in safety feature. Lastly, a striker-fired pistol combines the advantages of both single-action and double-action triggers with a consistent trigger pull and no external hammer.

Accuracy and shootability are crucial factors for a concealed carry gun. An accurate firearm will be more effective in a self-defense situation, and better shootability ensures users can handle the gun comfortably and confidently. Some concealed carry guns with an emphasis on accuracy include the Glock 43 and the Walther CCP M2.

The reliability of a concealed carry gun cannot be overstated. A dependable firearm will work consistently in various conditions, ensuring that it will perform when needed the most. Reliable concealed carry guns include the CZ P-10 C and the Ruger LCP Max.

Lastly, the controls of a concealed carry gun should be intuitive and easily accessible. Properly placed controls, such as the magazine release or slide release, can make a significant difference in the ease of use and handling of a firearm. Some popular concealed carry guns with user-friendly controls are the Beretta 80x Cheetah and the Springfield Armory Hellcat.

When selecting a concealed carry gun, it's essential to consider factors such as barrel length and overall length as shorter firearms are generally easier to conceal. It's also important to consider the gun's weight and size, as these factors can impact comfort while carrying. Many popular concealed carry guns in 2023, like the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact will fit into a range of holsters, giving carriers plenty of options for their preferred carrying method.

In conclusion, finding the perfect combination of firearm and holster is vital for a comfortable and effective concealed carry experience. It's essential to consider factors such as accessibility and concealability when choosing the right setup. Proper clothing is an integral part of concealing the gun and ensuring that the carrier feels confident and safe.

Choosing the Right Ammunition for Concealed Carry Guns

When selecting ammunition for concealed carry guns, it's essential to consider factors such as caliber, bullet type, and the shooter's experience. The right choice of ammunition can significantly impact the effectiveness of the firearm in a self-defense situation.

There are several popular calibers for concealed carry firearms, each with its advantages and drawbacks. Some of the common calibers include .380 ACP, .22 LR, .45 ACP, and .357 Magnum. The .380 ACP offers low recoil and is suitable for smaller firearms, making it a popular choice for beginners. However, it may be less effective against larger targets due to its smaller size and lower energy levels.

On the other hand, .22 LR is an affordable and low-recoiling caliber, often recommended for novice shooters. While it may not have the stopping power of larger calibers, it can still be an effective choice for self-defense if shot placement is accurate. Any gun is better than no gun.

The .45 ACP is a larger and more powerful caliber known for its stopping power. It balances potency and recoil, making it preferable for those who can handle it, though it might be overwhelming for beginners. Similarly, the .357 Magnum offers both power and versatility, as it can be used in both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.

The choice of bullet type also plays a critical role in ammunition effectiveness. Some common bullet types are:

  • Hollow-point bullets: These bullets expand upon impact, creating a larger wound channel and increasing the chances of stopping an attacker.
  • Full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets: FMJ bullets maintain their shape upon impact, allowing for deeper penetration. However, they can pose a risk of over-penetration, potentially causing collateral damage.
  • Soft point bullets: These bullets are a compromise between hollow-point and FMJ, offering decent expansion and penetration properties.

Ultimately, the choice of ammunition for a concealed carry gun will depend on personal preferences and the specific firearm being used. Shooters should test various ammunition types and calibers to determine the most effective and comfortable configuration for their needs. Keeping in mind the shooter's experience level, intended targets, and self-defense requirements will lead to an informed and confident decision when selecting concealed carry ammunition.

Suggestions for Beginners Looking for Concealed Carry Guns

When looking for a concealed carry handgun, beginners should focus on finding a firearm that is both reliable and easy to handle. Fit, simplicity, and design are essential factors to consider when choosing a suitable handgun for a beginner.

A concealed carry handgun should feel comfortable and secure in the user's hand, allowing for a natural and relaxed grip. Each person's hand size and shape is different, so trying out multiple handguns to find the perfect fit is essential.

For beginners, the controls and trigger of a concealed carry gun should be easy to operate and manipulate. Simplicity in design is crucial for those new to firearms, as it allows for quicker and more efficient use during high-stress situations. Look for handguns with easy-to-reach controls and a smooth, consistent trigger pull.

There are several reliable and beginner-friendly concealed carry handguns on the market, including the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 M2.0, Sig Sauer P365, and Springfield Hellcat. These handguns offer a balance between compact size, ease of use, and reliable performance.

In summary, when selecting a concealed carry handgun for a beginner, prioritizing fit, simplicity, and design can contribute to a more secure and user-friendly experience. By trying different firearm models and researching their specifications and features, beginners can find a concealed carry gun that suits their needs and allows for confident utilization in any situation.

Back to blog