Top 5 Best Concealed Carry Handguns

By Max Rodriguez

Best Concealed Carry Gun
HK HK45C 45ACP LEM DAO V7 w/ 8rd Mags
Knesek Guns, Inc
Knesek Guns, Inc

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

Many of my students ask for guidance for the best concealed carry handgun,
a reliable, comfortable model is my first answer.

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 this Scorpion is by far my favorite. Comes in 9mm, there is also a threaded barrel option for those of you seeking a suppress able 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

Here is a follow on article on the best handgun for concealed carry.

  • 81 thoughts on “Top 5 Best 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. 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!

    4. 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

    5. 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

      1. Have the Ruger GP-100 and love it! Great feel in the hand, heavy, but nit overly so, and was a great price! Very satisfied with it! Also have a KelTec PF-9 and a Bersa 380 Storm, as well as the Ruger LC9! So I have a variety to cgoose from!

    6. 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

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

      1. i gree I also have a Glock 39 love shooting it but I love my 1911’s better that’s why I carry a colt defender.

    9. 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

    10. 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.

    11. 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

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    14. 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

    15. 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.

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

    17. 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.

      1. Used to carry a Ruger LCP 380 for concealment. Didn’t like it in practice, though it carried nicely, just didn’t shoot well. Switched over to a Glock 42 (yeah, I know, crap gun, drank the Kool-Aid, save it), and I’m much happier. It fires like a dream. I’ve run round after round through it and it’s rock solid – and since it carries so nicely in its little pocket holster, I carry it all the time, which is the point in acquiring a weapon for concealment. I keep a Glock 19 right by the front door during the day in an easily-reachable gun safe. At night that comes upstairs with me. My son has a Mossberg. There are a dozen other quality handguns stashed around the house (no kids on premises, so we have no issues) People come a-knockin’, we start a-rockin’! Not looking for any push-in, uninvited home invaders, not unless they want lead for dinner.
        keep your powder dry!

    18. 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

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

    20. 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 depends what clothes i am wearing.

    21. 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

    22. 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

    23. 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

    24. 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

    25. 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

    26. 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

    27. 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

      1. Have the Springfield XD Mod 2 since January 2015. Shot 4200 rounds since then and not one malfunction. Great for conceled carry.

    28. 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…

    29. 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.

    30. 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

    31. 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.

      1. love my glock and it does not blow my xdm away. the springfield is leading the way right now across the board. shoot it and find out urself before posting ignorant shiz.

      2. The only thing Glock is better than, is a brick. And you can’t really justify a 9mm by saying “oh well, the Military went to it”, because today’s Military think tanks have made some questionable decisions when it comes to what the troops get. I’ll take a 1911 over a Glock any day. ANY. DAY. And the XD is a much better piece of equipment than a Glock. The reason the Military made the transition is because 9mm costs less than .45acp. That’s the bottom line, had nothing to do with ‘effectiveness’ and everything to do with cost. They’ll tell you in basic: Your weapons are made by the lowest bidding contractor.

    32. 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.

    33. 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.

    34. 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

    35. 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.

    36. 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

    37. 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”

    38. 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

    39. 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

    40. 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

    41. After reading all the comments, it is amazing to me, how many have offered nothing but opinions: There are over Seven Billion people in the world and each one has one, therefore if all this is about opinions, then the arguments, debates, and quarreling will never halt. However, I have spent thirty years in the field on different missions, in different theaters.
      NO firearm is worth anything if you cannot shoot safely and reliably in the dark, no armed criminal (of any kind) will give you a time out, when it is time to fight or die, then you need the gun which does the best job for YOU. It is not about your Uncle, or dad or brother who came home from the war, it is about you. You should not worry about who says what about what works for you. I have put down 1000 lb animals with a .22
      I have been shot, and have shot; people rubbish the .45 or favour the 9mm this or that, he said, she said. hundreds of soldiers have been armed with both the 9mm and .45 – practice, shoot straight and don’t hesitate then you have a fighting chance.
      I personally carry a H&K .45 with a Sig. 40 back up.

    42. Out of all of the comments the 2 that are the best are brownken36 and Bushmans. They contain the essence of CCW and possible gunfight and carry.

    43. Out of all of the comments the 2 that are the best are brownken36 and Bushmans. They contain the essence of CCW and possible gunfight and carry.
      “Best concealed carry weapon? The one you are proficient with and willing to carry daily.”

    44. Thank you. I enjoy reading the various comments on various guns.I enjoy Colt, S&W, Glock, Ruger. Due primarily to their smooth actions. Proper maintenance and practice lie at the bottom of many satisfactions of faithful use of most firearms.

    45. I use either my Sig 938,.I love this little gun, my fav. My other is a Springfield 45 XDS. Both are easy to carry and accurate. I usually practice with those at.25′ 50′, occasionally 75ft to be comfortable withh windage by sight and feel.I have an interest in Ruger.38cal revolver.

    46. Avoid using mlm terminology when you’re talking with a potential client. There are plenty of keyword phrases which might be common inside home business circles that will never be realized by those who you should not get the job done in such a circle. If you must use them, but be careful not to talk down to clients, explain terms.

    47. 36 years of law enforcement,now retired. Whatever you carry be confident you can shoot accurately, be sure the gun is reliable, have confidence in your weapon of choice. I have carried a Walther PPS, Ruger LCP, and most recently a M&P SW Bobyguard. Love all three. Easily concealable, accurate, and foremost reliable. Again, know your weapon whatever you decide to carry. Always the possibility that you may have to protect you or your family.

    48. No one has mentioned the S&W 6906 ,I have 3 and a CS9,all operate the same, Of coarse no longer made but many police trades for sale.

    49. I made a purchase from KGI (Knesek Guns Inc), and dealt with both a sales person Chris as well as the owner and found both to be liars. Many other people have had issues with this company check out the reviews online. There are a couple on Yelp.

    50. I recently bought a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, 40SW; I am very disappointed. It is very difficult to get the slide to the rear and to engage the slide stop. The magazines are difficult to load and I can only get about 4 rounds in a 7 round magazine because of the stiffness of the magazine spring. I thought it might be my 72 year old hands so I took it to a younger guy — a Colonel of Marines and he had the same problem. I did not have any problems loading or firing his Model 1911 or his Sig Sauer P229. I should have spent the extra money and got a Sig Sauer.


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