Best Glock for Concealed Carry: Top Models Reviewed

Choosing the best Glock for concealed carry is critical for anyone interested in personal defense. Glocks are renowned for their reliability, wide range of models, and ease of use, making them popular among law enforcement and private citizens. When selecting a Glock for concealed carry, it is essential to balance factors such as size, caliber, and the individual's comfort level with the firearm. Due to their durable construction and diverse lineup, Glocks offers various options for concealed carry needs.

Before making a choice, assessing the specific characteristics that make a particular Glock model appropriate for your concealed carry needs is imperative. For instance, compact models like the Glock 19 and Glock 43 have become favorites due to their manageable size and balance between firepower and concealability. Meanwhile, selecting the right caliber should involve a trade-off between stopping power and the shooter's ability to manage recoil. Understanding these aspects is vital to ensuring you are comfortable and confident in your self-defense tool.

Key Takeaways

  • Glocks are a reliable choice for concealed carry, offering diverse models to suit individual preferences.
  • Size, caliber, and comfort are important factors when selecting a Glock for personal defense.
  • Compact Glock models strike a balance between ease of concealment and adequate firepower.

Understanding Glock and Concealed Carry

Glock, a renowned manufacturer in the firearms industry, is synonymous with reliability, durability, and simplicity. These attributes make Glock pistols a popular choice for concealed carry, a practice of carrying a handgun in a hidden manner on one's person.

When selecting a Glock for concealed carry, factors such as size, capacity, and caliber must be considered. Glocks come in various models that cater to the diverse needs of concealed carry permit holders.

Popular Glock Models for Concealed Carry:

  • Glock 19: A compact model that balances ease of concealment and firepower with a standard 9mm caliber and a 15-round capacity.
  • Glock 45: A hybrid model combining a full-sized grip with a compact slide, facilitating better control while remaining concealable.
  • Glock 43 and Glock 43X are slimline 9 mm models that offer a slimmer profile for maximum concealability with reduced capacity.

For many, a concealed carry handgun must be not only discreet but also immediately accessible and ready to use. Glock's reputation for a "safe action" system and no external safety lever appeals to those seeking a quick and reliable firearm response in high-stress situations.




Notable Features



15 rounds

Compact size, well-rounded



17 rounds

Full-sized grip, compact slide



Six rounds

Ultra-concealable, single stack



Ten rounds

Slim frame, increased capacity

Calibers beyond 9mm, such as the .40 S&W in the Glock 23, are also viable options but may offer a different balance of stopping power and recoil management.

Individuals seeking to carry a concealed Glock must undergo proper training and familiarization with their chosen model, ensuring they can safely operate the weapon.

Evaluating Size and Comfort for Concealment

When selecting a Glock for concealed carry, one must consider the balance between the firearm's size and its comfort against the body during extended wear.

Compact vs Subcompact Models

Regarding Glocks, two primary size categories are ideal for concealed carry: compact and subcompact. Compact models, like the Glock 19, offer a favorable balance with a barrel length of approximately 4 inches and an overall length of 7.28 inches. They typically have a capacity of 15 rounds, providing a solid compromise between firepower and ease of concealment.

Subcompact models like the Glock 26 have a shorter barrel and grip, reducing the print when concealed. The Glock 26 boasts a usually shorter barrel length at around 3.43 inches, translating to less weight and bulk under clothing, but it also reduces the capacity to around ten rounds.

Grip and Ergonomics

Grip size and ergonomics are critical aspects affecting a firearm's comfort and concealability. A full-sized grip, as seen on a Glock 17, might offer better handling and control but is more challenging to conceal compared to the shorter grip of a Glock 19 or Glock 26. The latter models provide a good compromise, offering enough grip for most users while still being comfortable to carry.

Ergonomic considerations also involve the firearm's width and contours. Glocks generally have a width of around 1.18 inches to 1.34 inches, which impacts comfort during carry. Thinner models can be less intrusive and more comfortable for all-day wear. Ergonomic design elements, such as beavertail grip extensions, textured surfaces, and finger grooves, contribute to a secure and natural hold, enhancing control during use and affecting concealment comfort.

Choosing the Right Caliber and Capacity

When selecting a Glock for concealed carry, caliber and magazine capacity are vital factors. They directly impact the firearm's stopping power, recoil, and carrying capacity.

9mm vs .45 ACP vs .380 Auto

Caliber is a critical aspect when choosing a firearm. The 9mm caliber is known for its balance between stopping power and recoil, making it manageable for most shooters. It is the caliber of choice for the highly regarded Glock 19, preferred for its 15-round capacity and compact size.

In contrast, the .45 ACP is a larger caliber with more significant stopping power and increased recoil. This can affect shot accuracy and speed, especially for individuals sensitive to recoil.

Lastly, the .380 Auto is a lighter caliber, exemplified by the Glock 42. It offers lower recoil and is often chosen for smaller, highly concealable pistols. While its stopping power is less than the 9mm and .45 ACP, it is still an adequate option for those who prioritize ease of carry and handling.

Magazine Capacity Relevance

The magazine capacity can influence a concealed carry pistol's footprint and concealability. A higher capacity usually translates to a larger magazine size, which can be more challenging to conceal but offers more rounds before needing to reload.

  • 9mm pistols like the Glock 19 typically offer a standard capacity of 15 rounds, striking a balance between firepower and size.
  • A .45 ACP Glock model, such as the Glock 30, can carry around ten rounds due to its larger caliber size, making it bulkier.
  • The .380 Auto, like the Glock 42, may hold around six rounds, and its slim profile provides deep concealment.

Choosing between higher capacity and concealability depends on individual preferences and the intended carry conditions.

Durability and Reliability of Glock Models

When considering Glock models for concealed carry, one must recognize the pillars that define Glock's reputation: durability and reliability. These firearms are known for their high-quality construction and steadfast performance, particularly in demanding law enforcement environments.

Materials and Build Quality

Glock pistols are crafted with a focus on longevity and functionality. The frames use a high-strength polymer, which provides excellent resistance to wear and environmental damage. The barrels and slides are constructed from cold-hammer-forged steel with a tenifer coating, enhancing their durability and corrosion resistance. Polymers not only reduce weight but also absorb recoil, leading to a lower maintenance firearm that is dependable over extensive use.

  • Frame: High-strength polymer
  • Barrel and Slide: Cold-hammer-forged steel, tenifer coated

Track Record in Law Enforcement

Glock's reputation is bolstered by its extensive track record in law enforcement. Many law enforcement agencies worldwide rely on Glock handguns for their reliable function in various conditions. They have been tested and proven in the field by officers who trust them as their sidearms for everyday duty. Glocks are designed to fire thousands of rounds with minimal maintenance, ensuring they are always ready for service when needed.

  • Preferred by Law Enforcement: Widely adopted by agencies globally
  • Proven Performance: Extensive field use and high round counts without failure

Ammunition and Firepower

When selecting a Glock for concealed carry, ammunition type and firepower are pivotal factors. A central consideration is the ability to balance stopping power with controllability and concealability.

9mm Caliber:

  • Stopping Power: Adequate for self-defense.
  • Recoil: Manageable, allowing for quick follow-up shots.
  • Capacity: Ranges typically range from 10 to 15 rounds for compact models.
  • Balance: Strikes a balance between firepower and ease of carry.

.357 SIG (Glock 31):

  • Power: High velocity and energy.
  • Recoil: Snappier recoil, which may affect shot recovery.
  • Range: Effective at longer distances compared to other everyday carry calibers.
  • Ammunition Cost: More expensive, potentially impacting training frequency.

10mm (Glock 20):

  • Stopping Power: Superior stopping power, often favored for backcountry defense.
  • Recoil: Significantly higher, challenging to control for some shooters.
  • Capacity: Comparable to 9mm counterparts, subject to model.
  • Balance: More power costs in increased recoil and reduced concealability.

.380 ACP (Glock 42):

  • Power: Less power, but sufficient for close-range self-defense.
  • Recoil: Lower recoil for ease of shooting.
  • Capacity: Typically lower due to the smaller-sized firearms.
  • Balance: Excellent for deep concealment with lower firepower.

In conclusion, Glock offers various calibers to fit the specific needs of concealed carriers. One must weigh the importance of stopping power against factors such as recoil, which impacts quick follow-up shots, and ammunition cost, influencing practice sessions. A well-chosen Glock balances power with manageability, aligning with the carrier's proficiency and comfort level.

Carrying Options: Holsters and Concealment

Selecting the right holster is crucial for practical concealed carry. It must balance comfort and ease of use while securely concealing the firearm.

Holster Types

There are several types of holsters suitable for concealed carry, each with its advantages:

  • Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Holsters: These holsters sit inside the pants' waistband, which helps conceal the firearm better. 

  • Belly Band Holsters: An alternative for those seeking a versatile carry position. 
  • Ankle Holsters: Best suited for backup weapons or deep concealment needs.

  • Shoulder Holsters: These distribute the weight across the shoulders and are suitable for larger firearms, though they require an appropriate jacket or cover garment.

  • Pocket Holsters: Designed for small firearms and allows for quick access.

Clothing Considerations

When carrying a concealed weapon, one's clothing is just as important as the type of holster used:

  • Fitted Garments: These should be avoided as they may print the outline of the firearm. Clothing should be loose enough to prevent printing but not so baggy as to hinder firearm access.

  • Layers: Wearing multiple layers can assist in effectively concealing a firearm, with the added benefit of adjusting for different situations.

  • Material: To maintain comfort, holsters and clothing alike should be made of breathable fabrics, especially in warmer climates or during extended wear.

Each individual should consider their usual attire when choosing a holster, looking for an option that effortlessly balances concealment and access.

Accessorizing Your Glock

When considering upgrades for a Glock, one should prioritize enhancing accuracy, control, and ease of use. Properly chosen accessories can significantly improve the shooting experience. Below are specific ways to upgrade your Glock's functionality.

Sights and Optics

Standard Sights: Many shooters replace the factory sights with aftermarket options that offer better visibility. Night sights or fiber-optic sights, for example, can improve low-light accuracy.

  • Night Sights: Tritium inserts for low-light conditions
  • Fiber-Optic Sights: High visibility in daylight

Optics: Red dot sights are increasingly famous for concealed carry Glocks due to their fast target acquisition. Mounting a red dot requires a slide with an optics cut or an adapter plate.

  • Red Dot Sights: Compact, lightweight choices are suitable for concealed carry.

Grip Enhancements

Enhancing the grip of a Glock can lead to better control and accuracy. Upgrades include:

  • Stippling: Improves texture for a more secure hold
  • Grip Sleeves: Adds thickness and comfort for those with larger hands
  • Interchangeable Backstraps: Allow customization for hand fit on models that offer this feature

Extended Controls

Upgrading the controls on a Glock can make it more user-friendly, especially under stress. Consider extended versions of the following for easier manipulation:

  • Slide Stop Lever
  • Magazine Release

One should ensure that extended control modifications do not interfere with the ability to conceal the firearm comfortably.

Glock Models: A Comparative Overview

Choosing the best Glock for concealed carry involves comparing various models to find the balance between size, capacity, and caliber. Each model offers unique features suitable for different concealed carry needs.

Glock 19 and Glock 17

The Glock 19 is a compact firearm that balances concealability and firepower. It presents:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4.02 inches
  • Overall Length: 7.28 inches
  • Height: 5.04 inches
  • Width: 1.34 inches
  • Weight: 23.81 oz (unloaded)

In contrast, the Glock 17 is slightly larger and is considered a full-size model:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 17 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4.49 inches
  • Overall Length: 7.95 inches
  • Height: 5.47 inches
  • Width: 1.34 inches
  • Weight: 25.06 oz (unloaded)

While the Glock 19 offers greater concealability, the Glock 17 provides a higher capacity and longer sight radius, which may benefit accuracy.

Glock 43X and Glock 48

The Glock 43X and Glock 48 are slimline models designed for concealed carry. They share similar dimensions but differ in barrel length and slide profile.

Glock 43X:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 10+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.41 inches
  • Overall Length: 6.50 inches

Glock 48:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 10+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4.17 inches
  • Overall Length: 7.28 inches

These models balance a slim frame for ease of concealment and a reasonable capacity.

Baby Glocks and Alternatives

"Baby Glocks," such as the Glock 26, are subcompact models that excel in concealability due to their smaller dimensions:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 10 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.42 inches
  • Overall Length: 6.41 inches
  • Height: 4.17 inches
  • Width: 1.30 inches
  • Weight: 21.71 oz (unloaded)

They offer considerable concealment while maintaining the familiar Glock controls and ergonomics. Those prioritizing a smaller footprint over higher round capacity and extended grip size often consider these models.

Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting the right Glock for concealed carry involves considering various models and their features. The FAQs below address common concerns and highlight the attributes of popular Glock models for personal defense and concealed carry.

What are the advantages of the Glock 19 for concealed carry?

The Glock 19 balances size and capacity, providing a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds in a compact frame that enhances concealability. Its versatility makes it a preferred choice for both beginners and seasoned carriers.

How does the Glock 43X compare to other models for concealed carry?

The Glock 43X stands out among other models due to its slim design and 10+1 round capacity, making it highly concealable while offering sufficient firepower. Its slimline frame is particularly beneficial for individuals with smaller hands or those who prioritize ease of concealment.

Which features of the Glock 19 Gen 5 make it suitable for self-defense?

The Glock 19 Gen 5 boasts improved ergonomics, a flared magwell for faster reloads, and a Marksman Barrel that enhances accuracy. These features, combined with its reliability, make it an excellent choice for self-defense.

Can you effectively conceal and carry a Glock with a 45 ACP caliber?

While larger calibers such as the .45 ACP offer substantial stopping power, they can be more challenging to conceal due to the larger size of the handguns chambered for this caliber. Glock models like the G30 and G36 are options for those who prefer .45 ACP and are willing to accommodate the added bulk for its ballistic performance.

What factors should be considered when choosing your first Glock for concealed carry?

When selecting a first Glock for concealed carry, one should consider factors such as firearm size, caliber, carry position, personal comfort, and proficiency. Understanding these factors will help choose a model that fits an individual's specific needs for concealability and ease of use.

Are there any specific benefits of 9mm Glocks for everyday carry?

9mm Glocks, such as the Glock 19 and Glock 43X, are favored for everyday carry due to their manageable recoil, widespread ammunition availability, and the balance between size, capacity, and firepower. These benefits make 9mm an ideal caliber for many carriers.

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