Most people who carry never have to draw their gun—nor do they want to—but when it happens we must be prepared to respond effectively. We all have a responsibility to choose a dependable firearm that can do the job when engaging a deadly threat.
Some folks claim pea-shooting rimfires serve their purpose just fine, while others won’t leave home without a J-Frame in their boot and a 1911 cocked and locked on their hip. So it stands to reason asking a shooter to name the best carry gun would simply be an exercise in determining personal preference.
Luckily, the Handguns editors have fired and reviewed all these pieces, and we’re here to help you choose the best sidearm, while also stirring a healthy debate on the subject. Take a look at the 10 options below and find the carry gun that works for you, then make sure to vote for your favorite.
- Defying typical 1911 physics, the Colt Mustang Pocketlite weighs less than one pound while loaded with six rounds of .380 ACP. The Mustang is a worthy choice for those accustomed to carrying a full-sized 1911, but need a deeper concealment option. Its quality construction comes from a CNC-machined aluminum alloy receiver, as well as a stainless steel slide and barrel.
For those seeking an even lighter version, Colt recently introduced the polymer-framed, 12-ounce Mustang XSP (pictured), which also sports an ambidextrous safety and dovetailed sights. As with any single-action pistol with no grip safety, be sure to carry it in a holster that completely protects the trigger guard from snagging on clothing or getting bumped in a purse.
Price: Mustang Pocketlite, $599; Mustang XSP, $649