Top 10 Concealed Carry Weapon picks:

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 P-938

SIG P245 (220 Compact)

Glock 19/23

HK P30

Ruger SR9/40

Glock 30/29

Beretta Nano 9mm

S&W M&P Compact

The nominations for CCW Backup:

Beretta Pico .380

SIG 232

Walther PPK/S

Ruger LCP

NAA PUG Mini-Revolver .22 Magnum

Glock 42

Kel-Tec P3AT

SIG 238

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.

30 thoughts on “Top 10 Concealed Carry Weapon picks:”

  1. Your list is good. My only comment/addition/suggestion would be to take a look at the S&W Shield in 9MM for CCW. I’ve migrated from a J-Frame S&W .38, to the Ruger LCP .380, and now, the 9MM Shield for my BUG.

    I love J-Frame pistols buy they don’t conceal as comfortably to me as the extremely flat Shield….plus, it’s 9MM. J-Frames are great in the winter for my hand-warmer pockets of my parka. Revolver is significantly less likely to jam if I have to “go loud” from inside of the pocket.

    Take a look at that Shield and I think you’ll be impressed.

    Also, as much as I love my Glocks 17/21, S&W M&P .45/9mm for concealed carry, it never ceases to amaze me how wonderful a Browning HP 9MM is to carry. I used to think that my 1911s were comfortable to carry due the flat profile, but the BHP just disappears. Plus, it’s the original hi-cap pistol! Sadly, it’s “presence” in the CCW firearms community seems to diminish with every passing year…..(sigh):-(

    Slapped some CT laser grips on my BHP, stuffed the mags with CorBon PowRBall (I know, I know…..no +P in the BHP), and slip it into a Wells kydex IWB and I’m covered from Christmas to July 4 BBQ.

    Mmm, mmm…..I loves me some Browning HP;-)

    Whiskey 1….OUT!

    Semper FI

    1. Re: BHP, you’re not alone there. I often carry a CZ-75b and it’s every bit as easy to conceal as my G19, if not more so, even though it’s larger in every way.

  2. Good list. The Glock 22 is my primary carry (close to one of your Duty list entries), and the Kel-Tec P3AT my backup.

    That Glock stays in a G-CODE holster, both on my hip, and in my truck. Thought you’d like to know that, Ogre.

    I enjoy listening to you on Armed American Radio, too.

  3. I don’t carry a 1911 Government model all the time.

    I carry a 1911 widebody all the time. 5″ barrel. 14 rounds. All steel.

    Good holster, good belt, and good pants… honestly don’t even notice it. I think a lot of folks forget about the pants. The best holster and the best belt won’t do you much good, if the pants aren’t connecting that to your body well. It would be like having a supercar with bald, dry-rotted tires – doesn’t matter how good the car is, because it can’t connect that to the road.

    Look for tunnel belt loops. And size the belt to fill the loops. Really connects it together and makes the belt and the pants into one unit, which then supports the pistol by connecting it to your body.

    Seriously thinking of going to a Witness in 10mm, though. Too many bears around here (literally knocking on the door, occasionally). I love the .45ACP, but I don’t fully trust that it will put one down, if I need to.

  4. I carry concealed, everyday, a Springfield Armory 4″ XD .45ACP.

    Some days, I carry the 5″ Tactical XD .45ACP.

    Even the 4″ model is a bulky pistol, but I keep it concealed.

    I’ve been known to carry the 5″ RIA 10mm 1911 for BBQ gun type events. Or weddings.

  5. I wouldn’t want to be carrying if I were watching “MASH”. Every time that liberal douche Alan Alda would come on screen, I’d be tempted to pistol-whip the TV.

    1. I agree. I watched most of the episodes and never once did they mention the South ended with a modern economy and the North ended starving in the dark.

  6. I agree with the lists, but I’m shocked to see the Rugers getting some love.

  7. M&P full size 80% of the time (including evening at home) and P238 whenever I’m wearing pants, shorts or PJ’s.

  8. I’m new to this, my CCW class is next weekend – but I’ve been thinking about it a whole lot, ever since the two Louis Awerbuck defensive handgun classes. It’s not a rifle.
    I have a Commander-size 1911 (Ed Brown) and a Sig P245 ready to go in identical holsters – each/both for IWB or OWB.
    I’ve had some practice wearing them around the house, and for me CCW has more to do (it seems) with clothing and draw-stroke. What environment will I be in? Hot or cold? Riding the R12000RT around the twisties with the wife, or going with her down to Folsom in the F-150?
    I think…but I don’t know.

  9. NAA PUG Mini-Revolver ??
    Shoot an IDPA match with this and then tell me it’s a viable choice.

    1. As soon as you can show us how you conceal an HK MK23 in shorts and a t-shirt.

      1. The NAA is requires excessive manual manipulation that uses fine motor skills. You would be lucky to get off one shot before the guy with the LCP or PF9 stopped the same threat. The NAA would even stink in a bug match with 5 shot strings. It would be a train wreck.

        1. I won’t argue that the NAA isn’t horrendously difficult to shoot quickly or accurately. It absolutely is.

          I has exactly one thing going for it that no other gun does – it’s barely bigger than a Zippo and you can carry it in places and situations that would be utterly impossible with any other gun.

          It is literally the gun to have when the only other option is not having a gun at all. That is the beginning and the end of its usefulness.

          That’s a narrow niche, but it’s real and for some people it’s critically important.

          If you can possibly have a bigger gun, the NAA isn’t much of an option.

  10. My CC consists of Glock 27. 3in 640 or a Walther tph, depending on where I am going and what I am wearing

  11. Glock 36.
    1. It’s a Glock
    2. 7 rounds of .45 acp
    3. Flat as anything on the market

  12. I was just wondering why you listed the SR9/40 and not the SR9/40 compact as you did the Smith and the Sig. I carry the compact Ruger and am happy with it. I do own the SR-40 and use it as a nite stand gun. I could carry it, but not as easily.

  13. Sig Tac Ops 1911 is my primary carry gun. If i’m wearing something I can’t conceal it with then I carry a Bersa 380 thunder plus. I’d trust my life with either of those any day if I ever find myself in the wrong situation.

  14. Can’t beat a Radom P64 in 9mm Makarov. All the advantages of a PPK/S and 1/3 the price. A stopping power edge, too.

  15. Surprised that you don’t include Kahr PM or CM 9 or the P380. I have had flawless performance with PM 9. It is also one of the smallest and lightest of the CC 9s. P380 is just about as small and light as one can get in the 380’s carried with a Recluse holster amuses it to virtually disappear. If I had one complaint, it us the excessively long trigger pull. Practice will fix that though.

  16. What?! No Kimber 1911 included! I have two and love ’em. Very accurate and an exceptionally good looking handgun to top it off.

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