There are really two classes of CCW choices. I’m calling them Duty and Backup. The relative size of gun isn’t the dividing line, but the caliber. Duty level guns are chambered for duty level calibers; 9MM and .357 Magnum being the marker. Anything smaller than 9MM or .357 is a backup caliber, such as .380ACP and .38 Special. You will see as we continue that some guns in the Duty category are smaller than those in the Backup category… Try to play along with the caliber division, okay? Now, the other thing you will note is that I am not putting them in any order. I’m giving you the nominations as I see them. You can put them in your own order as you see fit.
The nominations for CCW Duty:
Springfield XDM 3.8
SIG P245 (220 Compact)
Beretta Nano 9mm
S&W M&P Compact
The nominations for CCW Backup:
Beretta Pico .380
NAA PUG Mini-Revolver .22 Magnum
S&W Bodyguard .380.
J or I frame sized .38 or .32 Magnum Revolver
There you have it. My picks. Now, please don’t be offended if your favorite picks are not on the list. There are so many good solid choices out there that it makes any such effort to pick the best ones most difficult. This top 10 for the Duty category could easily be the “Top 40”.
No matter what gun you choose, it does you no good if you don’t have it on your person. This is why I made these two lists. (that and a lot of people asking me to) Find a gun that you can have on you ALL THE TIME. Don’t give me that “I carry a 1911 Government Model all the time” bravado if you don’t really carry it all the time. If you do – fine. But really, smaller guns are a lot easier to carry all the time than bigger ones. If a SIG P-239 is too big to carry all the time, get something smaller… just as long as you have one of them on you. Even at home. If you are on the couch watching “MASH” reruns and some thug knocks your door in… your Seecamp .32 in your bedroom doesn’t do you a damn bit of good, does it? Concealed Carry means CARRY. If concealed carry meant “in your night stand drawer”, hell, you could have anything in there… an MP5, Desert Eagle… anything you wanted. But you can’t take that with you every day for all day without someone else noticing. Have the gun with you, on you, at all times.