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By Max Rodriguez

HK HK45C 45ACP LEM DAO V7 w/ 8rd Mags

HK HK45C 45ACP LEM DAO V7 w/ 8rd Mags

Knesek Guns, Inc

Knesek Guns, Inc

Van Buren, AR --(Ammoland.com)- It’s often asked what I prefer as a concealed carry handgun.

Many of my students ask for guidance for a reliable, comfortable model.

The truth is, it always comes down to the user and what feels right, but I have compiled a list of models I prefer with a little info about each:

  1.  HK45C / 745037-A5
    The HK45 is a testament to the innovative and superb engineering of HK…This model just feels right. In terms of accuracy, I feel that the HK45 is one of the better shooting HK handguns I’ve used over the years (all of which have been spot on). Includes a standard rail for attachment of a light, which is a big plus in my book. The only modification I can suggest out of the box is adding some grip tape to the sides of the unit. A factory threaded barrel is available.
  2. Sig Sauer P229 Scorpion
    This model is very comfortable. Traditional feel and an excellent fit and finish – I’ve been very impressed with some of the new SKUs from Sig and I think that ths Scorpion is by far my favorite. Comes in 9mm, there is also a threaded barrel option for those of you seeking a suppressable model.
  3. Glock 23
    Just a bit smaller than the 22, the G23 is an extremely popular build. Works great in any season, relatively lightweight and tons of holster options are available, as well as aftermarket internals, of course.
  4. Smith & Wesson M&P 340CT .357/.38+P
    The J-Frame revolver is one of the most popular carry types of all time, and will be for years to come. For those that prefer a wheel gun to an automatic, the M&P340 is an excellent build. Extremely comfortable snub nose design, with added Crimson Trace grips and XS tritium night sights.
  5. Kahr PM9
    Another great option, the PM9 is an extremely well balanced pistol. I’ve been a longtime fan of Kahr, and their models are known for extreme reliability and accuracy in any configuration. Very standard, user friendly design.

Max Rodriguez is the Vice President of Knesek Guns, Inc. He conducts a variety of training courses including Arkansas Concealed Carry (09-556) instruction at the THOR training facility in Van Buren, Arkansas.

 

Thinking you want a Revolver for your concealed carry weapon? Read our article of the Five Best Concealed Carry Revolvers

Need a Concealed Carry Holster, shop here for some of the best pricing on the web.

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  • 62 User comments to “Top 5 Concealed Carry Handguns”

    1. What about any of the BUL pistols. I”ve been considering one for a while but have yet to get my hands on one to try it out. I’ve read some good reviews.

    2. You need to check out the S&W M&P 9c in 9mm. Sweet shooting gun, adjustable grips, and tons of options for it, including Crimson Trace laser, anything that will fit on the included rail, etc.

      S&W M&P 9c

    3. Wow, how could you guys have left out the Walther PPQ or PPS in .40 ???

      Walther PPQ

    4. The HK45C at the top of the list absolutely
      belongs there!
      A Glock? It just doesn’t belong with the other real firearms.
      The rest of the list is spot on!

    5. Cuthbert J Twillie on June 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM said:

      I’m ‘old school’ so of the above I’d go with the S&W. Except I still have my trusty Colt Detective Special .38, which can handle +P loads so I’d naturally go with that, just like in the olden days. Or my Makarov (9x18mm) with the self-defense ammo I have for that in its 2 mags. Both are great little carry guns. But the Colt felt just ‘so right’, like it wasn’t even there.

      Colt Detective Special .38

    6. MikeyG on June 20, 2012 at 8:45 PM said:

      What? No kind of 1911? I love my Colt Defender.

      Colt Defender 1911

    7. [...] Top five carry guns. Per some guy on the internet. [...]

    8. Let me put in a good word for the ParaOrdnance P-12. Scaled-down 1911, holds 12 rounds in the magazine, and basically same Manual of Arms as the 1911. I’m very happy with mine.

      ParaOrdnance P-12

    9. Richard on June 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM said:

      I will not give up on my Ruger GP 100,357, 4 inch barrel, 125 grain JHP.

      Ruger GP 100

    10. johndillinger on June 22, 2012 at 5:48 PM said:

      Old school, can’t beat the feel of a High Power int he hand…PPK, Hey, both ultra reliable..LOts of junk out there. Think, try, feel recoil etc

    11. My go to is the Glock 27, .40 cal. Its a mini, but has a round that is effective. The plus for me is to have observed the horrid torture these firearms have been put thru and come back and fire without a hic up. I do a Tarus PT .380 as a back up. Thinking now it is a mistake. I like it. It is lite and exceptionally convenient. I guess anything in the hand is better than nothing.

      Glock 27, .40 cal

    12. After carrying for nearly twenty years, I conclude that one should carry a sidearm that they are proficient with & have confidence in. The bigger the caliber the better – stopping power. I say this with one caveat. I don’t believe that pistols with internal hammers are as safe as those with external hammers. I own a Glock but seldom carry it for that reason. I’ve heard of too many accidental discharges when holstering. Use a pistol with an external hammer and place your thumb on the hammer when holstering. If the hammer starts to move, STOP – something is hung in the trigger and the firearm will discharge if you continue. Or, carry a pistol with a manual safety (such as 1911). Just my 2 cents.

    13. I just sold a P229 because I bought it for a carry gun but it was too heavy and too bulky for concealment. It’s a wonderful gun though, best shooting and most reliable handgun I’ve ever shot, but you might as well carry a neon sign saying “hey look everybody … I have a gun!” Bought a Springfield EMP as a replacement. As a defensive weapon, it will do nicely. Night sights, reliable, just light enough to carry, and easy to conceal.
      Sig P229

    14. Donald Ingram on June 27, 2012 at 7:30 PM said:

      I carry the Glock 27 and am very happy with it. It is easy to conceal. I cannot recommend any other firearm then this. You should test shoot it at an indoor range that rents them to see if that is the firearm for you. Be safe out there when shooting and remember to thank Obama for the increase in gun sales.

    15. Just fired the new S&W M&P Shield 9mm (also available in 40sw) and loved it. Put it in my pocket and waistband while wearing shorts and t-shirt and didn’t even show. It’s lite and great for these hotter months.
      S&W M&P Shield 9mm

    16. Jeffrey Hall on June 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM said:

      We start talking about top “concealed” carry guns, then immediately go on about “luggage racks” for flashlights. How concealable are they? Then, right on to suppressors. Concealable? I think not. The reboot button needs to be pressed on this article. If it was best “open carry”, or best “on-duty” carry, maybe…
      In my concealed carry classes, it’s all about the “mission profile”. And since it’s concealed carry, flashlights and suppressors need not apply.

    17. Paul Butler on July 26, 2012 at 11:31 AM said:

      I have a few firearms that I carry. Colt D.S, S&W 60, CZ 75 D PCR (GREAT firearm), Glock 23. I also have a Kahr. I cannot however recommend this pistol as a CC. Reason, the mags are prone to round ejection, when carried. Trying dropping a PM9 mag in your fanny pack. You will be picking out loose rounds.

      As I my left arm is totaly paralyzed, this creates a real problem. I do not have the means to reload a mag that is dumping rounds.
      As a result I CANNOT recommend this pistol.
      Yes I have contacted Kahr, and no they are not willing to do anything.

    18. Old Cop on July 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM said:

      During my 30 year LEO career I had to use my service .38 to defend myself and others on a couple of occassions, and I continue to carry a Colt Cobra or Smith 340 M&P in retirement. Smith 340 M&P Revolver

      It is the platform I am most comfortable with in spite of carrying a service Glock Model 23 late in my career.

      FWIW I would not recommend switching back and forth between a semi auto and a revolver. If you need to use your gun it will happen so fast you will not have time to think. In that terror filled moment your actions need to be decisive and instinctive.

    19. Donald Ingram… The manufactures obviously have you brain washed.

      “thank Obama for the increase in gun sales.”.. LOL!!!!

      My conceal weapon of choice by the way is an Armalite AR15

      Armalite AR15

    20. Randall Gilliam on September 2, 2012 at 2:03 AM said:

      Beretta mod 92 MA1 17 rounds of 9mm always smooth, always fires.

      Beretta mod 92 MA1

    21. Personally I like the Walther PPS 9mm (or you can get it in .40 if you so desire). It is a nice and light CC sized firearm that feels solid and not cheaply made (hello Glocks). Nice smooth trigger pull and in general, even with my fairly large hands, feels comfortable in my hand. But then when I can I thoroughly enjoy carrying my S&W 686 w/6″ barrel on my hip for no other reason than to watch peoples eyes get really big when I walk past them. Their reactions are fun for me to watch.

      S&W 686 6

    22. Cy Stapleton on October 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM said:

      I’ve always prefered the East German Makarov – small enough to carry comfortably, quite accurate, and good stopping power.

    23. Vanessa Coulterl on October 15, 2012 at 7:45 PM said:

      My husband and I went through handgun training before purchasing that first handgun. Before training we got our CCWs. The police officer that trained us was surprised that we hadn’t owned handguns yet. However, he brought a few to class so we could get a feel for different types before making that purchase. I, originally, had my heart set on a Glock 27 sub compact. After some training, I wasn’t too sure. My husband and I looked and looked. He went with a Sig 226 .40 It is really too heavy for CCW, but it shoots really well. I, after much looking around and talking to police officers, retired detectives, veterans, etc… I chose the Springfield XD9. I carry it with a 10 round mag + 1. It does not have a safety switch, but it does have a safety in the way you have to hold the weapon. It has a grip safety and a trigger safety. I carry it in a black hawk serpa holster. It came with a 16 round mag as well. I absolutely love it. We are looking at a Ruger .380 as a backup CCW. If I were to change anything about my CCW decision it would be that I would have bought a .40
      I didn’t buy the Glock because the grip is too square and not as comfortable to hold. I wanted to make sure that I am able to maintain a good grip.

    24. Kenneth Waggoner on October 23, 2012 at 7:12 AM said:

      Try the Bersa Thunder .380 CC.

    25. Kel-Tec PF9. Have two w/crimson laser & over 3,ooo rounds &reliable, accurate for CC.

      Kel-Tec PF9  Handgun

    26. My favorite has been the CZ-75 PCR Compact, all the ergonomics of the CZ-75 in a smaller package that’s also lighter due to the alloy construction. The gun is simple to operate and is more accurate then I am (which makes me look good and is essential in a fight)!

      CZ-75 PCR Compact

    27. etegrity on October 29, 2012 at 7:05 PM said:

      Ruger LC9 preferred CCW. The best overall package for stopping power, size, weight, concealment. It was made for this purpose alone.

    28. jerry sweet on October 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM said:

      i carry a model 586 6 inch blue.same as 686 stainless.357 magnum.i was a leo years ago ang my servive revolver was all ways a 357 wheelgun.they are great for shoulder holster or cross draw.it depends what clothes i am wearing.

    29. Ya just never know what I might be carrying….it depends on my mood. But always, always, always you will find my NNA Mini-Mag sleeping peacefully in my pocket. It accompanies either a S&W VE9, or a G19, or a Taurus 66 (.357)or a FEG PA-63.

      FEG PA-63

    30. How about Taurus millenium 111 pro. 9 mm.I use as my buddy all the time. reliable and perfect in design.

      Taurus millenium 111 pro

    31. Jmac Galbraith on November 5, 2012 at 8:28 AM said:

      I retired after 28 years in uniform and plain clothes. I like the 1911 over all, but not concealed. I put a Glock 19 in a holster or front pocket. If in a holster a S&W Mod 60 with LSWHP in my front pocket and feel ready for most problems. I hope I never have to use them!Glock 19 Pistol

    32. My Texas carry is a Charter Arms .44 Special Bulldog Pug with the “bobbed” hammer. It is in my front strong side pocket in a pocket holster. Works with Levi’s not with Wrangler’s (pocket not deep enough). Works with Texas’ hot weather, and has never been “outed”. What is not to like about concealable .44 caliber?

      Charter Arms .44 Special Bulldog Pug

    33. S&W Model 469 in 9mm; owned it for 25+ yrs; wonderful small form factor, 12 rnd mag; shoots like velvet. Alloy frame piece with low weight and nice handling. CJ

      S&W Model 469

    34. I’ll second the Steyr M40, takes some getting used too, but nice Pistol.
      For someone looking for a CCW .45, the Firestar .45 is a good one as well, and it has enough weight so that even smaller people can handle the recoil easily.

      Firestar .45 Pistol

    35. A 5″ 1911 or a .38 snubnose. Sometimes both;especially when I don’t/can’t carry a reload.

    36. Choosing a Handgun for Concealed Carry on November 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM said:

      [...] AmmoLand [...]

    37. My carry gun of choice is the Ruger LC9
      Nice and compact, I don’t even know it is there. Reliable as well. Over 2000 rounds through it with no issue (knock on wood)

      Ruger LC9 with Adjustable 3-Dot/Crimson Trace Laserguard

    38. I think that the good old glock 17 is the best you can have. easy to shoot and very accurate.

      Crimson Trace Lightguard-Equipped Glock 17

    39. Carried a sig220 with a smith 640 on my ankle for duty.still my choice to carry either at any time.

    40. Big Daddy on January 5, 2013 at 1:07 PM said:

      I love carrying my springfield 40xd

      Springfield 40 XD Semi Auto Handgun

    41. tim cooper on January 7, 2013 at 3:05 AM said:

      Springfield xds anyone??? Bout to buy one wednesday
      Compact .45. 1in wide. 3.3in barrel 5+1. Did I mention its a 45??

      Springfield XDS 45 Pistol

    42. Spoke to my local gunsmith (for one of my 1911 pistols) and the conversation went toward CCW. He rec’ed .40S&W or less cal because he has a lot of compact/sub-compact .45 that are “being repaired” or being sent back to mfg. Personally, a .45 in such a small body/short barrel really that accurate? Me personally, I find I am NOT accurate with a barrel less than 3″, revolvers or pistols. I am actually looking at a 3.5-4″ compact 9 as a CCW. BTW, anyone really seen what a 9mm can do in a house? Ask a friendly neighborhood cop…

    43. i just want to ask any one who knows better about pistols wich one is better xds 45 or same 9 mm to carry i had 9mm before 709 slim and i have problem with it the last ammo always stay in the mag. i sold the gun to much problems . so please if any one knows give me some advises and recomendations thanks.

    44. i just want a good opinion about wich one is better gun glock or xds 45 please i used to have a taurus pt 709 no good to much problems please let me know thanks any ones

    45. porter wagoner on February 24, 2013 at 8:48 PM said:

      The one and only legend that is the glock 19. Battle tested porter buss a cap wagoner approved. Best there is. End of story.

      Glock 19 Pistol

    46. flip wiggins on February 24, 2013 at 8:55 PM said:

      Dude, the glock blows the xd away, not even close, just like it blows the 1911 away, yea i said it, and the big bad 45 acp too. Kinda funny tho, the millitary ditched the crappy 1911 and the one shot destroyer 45 for what was it??.. oh yea, the 9mm. Lol. If you want power to stop a train get 10mm, its mean. The 45 has nothing on the the 9 and the 40 is pointless, but whatever ya get, if ya want the best, glock all the way. xd sucks. Peace.

    47. thanks to all who give me a point in my second pistol now glock is going to be my bb thanks to all thanks have a nice day to you any other opinion is appreciatted thanks

    48. [...] Top 5 Concealed Carry Handguns [...]

    49. mmkkpro on March 27, 2013 at 8:43 AM said:

      I just completed my ccw course,passed with a hi point jhp .45,its too big to conseal,so reading all your guys posts give me many options to look at,thinking .45 caliber got to comtinue research,probly going to go with a slimed down springfield xd,lots of good choices.

    50. Alot of people have mentioned some really good firearms. But remember the gun is only as good as the shooter. If you’re gonna carry it concealed then practice shooting it from a concealed holster. Only then you’ll know how reliable your gun is.

      Safe shooting.

    51. Kimber 45Acp Super Carry Ultra Pistol

      Kimber 45Acp Super Carry Ultra Pistol

    52. Steven Lynne on April 19, 2013 at 4:44 PM said:

      I too, am a fan of my Taurus PT-111 Millennium PRO 9mm- I carry it in a side hi-riser belt holster. I’m a big guy (6’5″ – 300lbs) so It conceals O.K. It Fits great in my hand, and shoots very well. Before that I carried a Ruger P-89 9mm but I found it was just too heavy. But I still love that gun. I also have an AMT .50cal Action Express, but that is usless for urban defense. lol

      Taurus PT-111 Millennium PRO Pistol

    53. Steven Lynne on April 19, 2013 at 4:48 PM said:

      AMEN to Jason on his post. Stay safe, practice, and if something does happen, STAY CALM. Watch and pay attention to your surroundings, and your target background. It will not do anyone any good if you clip 6 valley girls while plugging the maniac shooting up the mall.

    54. Don Stiles on April 20, 2013 at 11:42 AM said:

      I carry a Colt 45 New Agent with the trench atop instead of front sight. No snagging. This is my concealed weapon of choice. I also carry a Smith n Wesson 686 4″ in my vehicle. I Ali’s keep a Taurus Judge at my bedside as my home defense weapon. My son Carey’s a GLOCK 23 and loves it. All these pistols are good. I wouldn’t knock any of them. It is simply a matter of preference.

      Colt 45 New Agent Handgun

    55. David on May 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM said:

      Looking for a 45 to conseal. Any recondations? Looking to spend 600.

    56. Really like my “Little Big Gun”, Springfield XDs, tried others like the nano (trigger pull is way too long), miss my Kimber compact though its about 10oz heavier. Shoot great, very little muzzle rise, more push than rise, quite accurate, not picky on ammo, digests most anything. 21oz and 1″ wide, border line pocket pistol. “.45 because shooting twice is just silly”

    57. I carry and Springfield XD40. i love it. i did a lot of research and went with the xd40. .40 is a great round doesnt have the kick of a 45 and more stopping power then a 9mm. 9mm is okay round not for me though. best advice shoot the gun before you buy it and try shooting all types of rounds.

      Springfield XD40 Handgun

    58. ridge forrester on May 17, 2013 at 3:51 PM said:

      You gotta be joking right, all these guns, and they are all very nice, very nice indeed, but no one has mentioned the best and most powerful ccw gun in existence… shame. Themighty glock 29… you cant beat 10mmm and the g29 does it all. The best without question. Takes down anything on two or four legs, or swims or flies, the g29 will drop it.

      Glock 29 Pistol

    59. robert on June 10, 2013 at 1:37 PM said:

      What about a sp101 357 magnum 2& 1/4 inch barrel I feel it’s a great gun and is deadly accurate

      Ruger SP101 Handgun Chambered in .357 Magnum

    60. Concidering getting a ccw permit. I have gone to the range and tried several pistols. I see no one here even mentioned a FNH – FNS 9. Why?

      FNH FNS-9 Compact Pistol

    61. TenguBoss88 on July 18, 2013 at 6:01 AM said:

      If you have a life, you would definitly choose a Sphinx spd, duh?!

      Sphinx SDP Compact Pistol

    62. brownken36 on August 22, 2013 at 10:46 PM said:

      Best concealed carry weapon? The one you are proficient with and willing to carry daily.

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