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10 Best Carry Guns Right Now

by Handguns Online Staff   |  August 12th, 2013 164

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.

HG Polls


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  • Mark O’Connor

    Glock 30sf

  • CT

    The Kahr CM9 is a great, accurate shooting pistol and is about $400. Great value and quality.

    • JH

      I agree with CT. The Kahr CM-9 is right sized, reliable, accurate, great trigger, and priced right.

      • Jake Burdette

        Im currently loking for a carry .45 and heard nothing but good things about the CM-9. May just get the 9mm. I know a couple of guys that say they’re the best shooting guns they’ve had

  • depley61

    I had to go with the Glock out of the choices on the list. I chose it due to the double stack magazine lending capacity to the platform and a greater availability of magazines and parts than many others on the list. Personally I like the Springfield XD and XDm line better than the Glock but the XD-S is just too small with the single stack magazine and too new to have a wide availability of parts and accessories on the market.

    • KEAxCoPe

      I don’t think you understand… This is for concealed carry, not just your favorite pistol. The XD-S is concealed carry. The Glock that you picked is for concealed carry. The XD and XDM aren’t made for concealed carry, but someone bigger than me can carry one. I can CC my XD-9 with a big jacket, but that only works in cold weather. I would look a little funny sweating my butt off in a big jacket in the middle of summer.

  • depley61

    I had to go with the Glock out of the choices on the list. I chose it due to the double stack magazine lending capacity to the platform and a greater availability of magazines and parts than many others on the list. Personally I like the Springfield XD and XDm line better than the Glock but the XD-S is just too small with the single stack magazine and too new to have a wide availability of parts and accessories on the market.

  • Steel Horse 78

    None of the above. Smith and Wesson model 642 with crimson trace laser grips and buffalo bore 158 grain lead in a blackhawk size 3 pocket holster. Peerless as a CCW.

    • Neil

      New CT is about $300 and new 642 is about $350. $650 for a 5 shot .38. no thanks

      • Conrad Gabbard

        If you’re going to carry it, have a laser on it.

        • g-man

          More like, if you’re NOT going to carry it, put a laser on it. Because nobody uses a laser site in a gun battle! This is fact. 9 out of 10 shots miss their intended target in a gunfight. This is because your not even looking at the gun or what you’re shooting at in the heat of a gun battle.

  • Jonathan

    I have an xd-m 3.8 compact .45acp its great,i had a xd-s .45acp and it jammed on almost every clip and every kind of ammo i have heard others had better luck i dont know but i know i would never want another one.

    • Bowserb

      I think your XDS problem may be that you were using “clips” instead of magazines.

  • Bowserb

    Picking from the list, the G19 is hands down winner, also as the best one-handgun solution. 21oz, 4″ barrel, 15rd mag, 3-finger grip, Glock reliability. My only G19 complaint is that the guy I sold mine to won’t sell it back.
    My first choice of all, though, doesn’t (yet) exist. It would be the .45ACP version of Glock’s midsize line that includes the G19 (G19-23-32-38).

    • Neil

      lol it is called the G30. it is the same size as the G23 and G19. 10+1 and takes the G21 mags.

  • Pito Bonilla

    Shield 9mm and xds .45

  • Pito Bonilla

    Xds .45 shield.9mm and glock 19

  • AirandSpace

    The market is ripe with choices, and any list of “ten” is doing injustice to many credible choices. Of those listed, I’d pick the Shield. But it wouldn’t be my choice.

  • VCDL Max

    I Ike Glocks and carried a 19 until I got tired of the weight and bulk. The G26 now is my constant companion.

    • quality guns

      Oh NO!! ANYTHING, I mean ANYTHING but a Glock!!! (Questionable quality, uncomfortable square grip, etc.)

      • Conrad Gabbard

        Guess you’re right, 60% of American law-enforcement and untold satisfied civilians (not to mention the rest of the world) need to be educated on your reality.

        • jake

          i have to agree, anything but Glock. I was a Glock head once, until one blew up in my hand and now have a nice scar and nerve damage. Supposed to harm the BAD guy ?? Many city and state police agencies are moving to other brands as well lately, check online. They had a great marketing plan early on, by giving guns free or almost free to police agencies to replace aging guns. So guess what, the public sees the police carry a gun of any brand and think, this must be the best available because law enforcement is carrying it. That is brilliant marketing and why I bought one, even though it never felt comfortable for me to shoot, especially when I was in the emergency room and it was with quality ammo. Just because a department issues a particular brand doesn’t necessarily mean that is what the officers carry. I know some who carry a Glock and some that will spend their own money for a peace of mind, reliable, no plastic SIG or other brand !!!!!!!

  • KingHerber

    I have to agree with AirandSpace, the 10 listed do not do justice to the market. There are just too many choices out there and it all depends on the PERSON doing the carrying. Right now, and for some time, my carry has been a Ruger SR9c. And that was after carrying a Ruger LC9. I like the way the SR9c shoots and the capacity of it over the LC9. It is larger and heavier but I carry it with no problems.

    • AirandSpace

      The SR9c is on my hip as I write this. Perfect weight and size, nice compromise of ammo capcity, well suited for my dress style, etc.

      • T in Texas

        I too love my SR9c. I also have a SR40c that is the same size so I carry the 40 more. But you can’t go wrong with either one. Not too big but not too large and NEVER had a hiccup. Unlike many higher priced gun snob brands.

  • runbot

    What about the North American Arms mini revolver in .22 WMR? Not all of us live in colder regions where you have lots of pockets.

  • MCB

    Your missing the boat. Anyone who hasn’t carried and/or fired the ParaOrd .45 Warthog is missing the big “O” when it comes to having the ultimate. Yes; it is “heavier” than anything else you might find to carry but I’ll trade that for the accuracy and handling that weight gives you in being able to slam a .45 into the target rather than screwing around with a 9mm or .40. AND; you can’t beat the capacity for a .45, 10 in the mag and 1 in the throat. Wish you guys luck with these wannabee’s; I’ve found Nirvana in my .45 Warthog.

  • Tio Pick

    None of the above. my favorite is a 1911, in a Jackass shoulder rig, #2 S&W or Charter 5 shot 38 in Bianchi leather ankle holster inside boot (both Jackass & Bianchi are around 35 years old QUALITY stuff and both have many years of actual use including sleeping in them at times) #3 is a Tauraus 709 Slim. #4 Glock 30 #5 Glock 21

  • Bob Anderson

    I vote for the ruger sr9c,compact,great sights, accurate and 17 rd mag

    • Allen Staley

      I agree with the choice of Ruger. Although, I carry the compact version of the .40 cal, SR40C. Great choice and easy to conceal

  • feedramp

    Voted Gen4 Glock 19 for the best ALL PURPOSE carry gun …

  • Randy Allen

    I had to vote for the Glock 19, because they didn’t put the Beretta Nano on the list. It’s a little large to carry, but it’s dependable and carries 15+1.

  • Edward Montague

    Some lousy choices!

  • Slinkey

    Carry a Kimber or Dan Wesson Commander size with the XDS in 45 ACP in an ankle holster.

  • MichaelCarl

    Actually I had to vote for one I wish I had because my Sig Sauer P-239 wasn’t on the list.

    • Conrad Gabbard

      Neither was my Kimber Solo with C/T laser grips & tritium sights.

    • Billy

      P-239 was my first carry gun. Should definitely be on this list. Kel-Tec and Kahr have horrible triggers

  • USPatriotOne

    First I am not just some gun enthusiast, I am and NRA Certified Hand Gun and Rifle Expert. That being said, they listed the Kel-Tec PF9 but not the Kel-Tec P11 which hold 11 rounds not 7 like the PF-9. The P11 weights only 14 oz holds 4 more rounds of stopping power and is the same size just a little wider, and believe it or not I have found the P11 cheaper than the PF9 at most sites and gun stores. Getting 4 more rounds for protection means a lot to me. The one big problem with both of these guns is they can’t hit the broad side of a barn beyond 10 to 12 yards. That’s a problem. The much better choice for the price I believe is the EAA SAR B6P 9mm, and is by far the best gun on the market under the $800 price range. The EAA B6P hand gun comes in 3.8 and full size 4.5 inch barrels and holds 13 and 16 round magazines. The 3.8 barrels works well for CCW and this gun is so well balanced and accirate at 25 yards its almost unbelievable. I purchase my full size EAA B6P for $309.00. I see them online going around $525 to $595 but at this time Cheaper than Dirt has them for $306. If you have and extra $306 I would jump on this ASAP! I took out my B6P last weekend and put 200 round through it…not a single jam or misfire and was grouping rounds on the targets in the 8,9, 10’s circles at 25 yards. I have fired $1,400 Kimbers that did not group as well and the guns had not been as well balanced. To be honest this EAA SAR B6P 9mm surprised the heck out of me. I help this helps.

    • JK47wrangler

      it might just be your hand size… saying those pistols wont hit is a false statement. I’ve certified with the PF-9 and it works great, but a little picky on feeding certain ammo, which is why I don’t carry it. But it shoots very well. You can suggest a firearm you like without trying to bash another to make space, Kel-tec is a quality American company.

      • LEO 135

        Kel-Tec is picky about ammo and they are not very accurate beyond 10 yards. With that being said, I don’t think he was bashing another firearm to make space, he was simply stating his opinion from his experiences.There was nothing false about his comments. I am a 20 year veteran LEO and I have found that the smaller Kel-Tecs are accurate most times a close range.

    • Bandit

      To UsPatriotOne, I to am an NRA instructor Life/Benefactor member. I am currently involved with a CZ75 P01 in 9 mm. I believe your EAA is a copy of the CZ . The CZ has 14 round mags and is about $600. Although I have a couple of plastic frames I don’t feel that comfortable with them. Carry gun of choice is a Colt Commander (lightweight) in .45 ACP. The Colt is 60 years old and shots better than anything I own.

    • Keith Williams

      I have a Kel Tec PF9 and the darn thing broke on me after firing 6 rounds in it. Then called Kel tec to report this problem and they go in turn to give me an anal exam on my purchase of the gun. I will never buy another Kel Tec and I will never recommend one for even to be used as a picture frame holder much less a gun for self defense. The thing was hard to eject shells no matter what brand I used. The frame cracked on me after shooting 3 times on this past Saturday. You can bet my next one will be a Ruger or a Glock but nothing from this cheap manufacturer. Seems to me they would want the gun back to find out whats wrong with it instead of giving me a hard time about it……

    • bubbinator

      My experience with Kel-Tec was different. We had female UC officers needing “not cop-looking guns”. Kel-Tec was found to be the answer., They worked, they shot 100%, they qualified over and over. Were less expensive too. Duty ammo +P / +P+ 9mm was used to qualify at all times.

    • G10s

      Totally agree… Sar b6p is an incredible pistol! I paid $258 fron CTD and I feel like I ripped them off…. I use it over ALL my other 38 pistols…(Glocks, H&K, Sig, Springfiled

    • Johnny A. Scott

      If you truly are an instructor you should stop using the term “stopping power” when referring to a handgun. Respectfully.

    • Michael Nelson

      First, as a Certified NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle, and shotgun, I need to point out that while getting your expert rocker is nice, it does not mean you know anything more than “just some enthusiast”. If you shoot frequently they are easy-peasy to get. Second – your statement “EAA SAR B6P 9mm, and is by far the best gun on the market under the $800 price range” is very humorous indeed, however by the context I suspect you may actually believe that to be true. EAA and the B6P, while not junk, are far inferior to any number of guns in the less than $800 category. The HK VP9 for example, puts it to shame in every measurable category, and clocks in at under $700. An M&P 9 or a SA XDm 9 beat the pants off of this too, not to mention Walther PPQ in the less than $600 category (My costs may be lower then yours – I am an FFL too). I have had folks in my shop who after firing 200 rounds want to trade it for anything else I may have, for many reasons. I would agree in the less than $300 category it may be a winner (again FFL cost, not your gun shop cost), and compared to a Ruger LC9 or any Kel-Tec the trigger is slightly better. I have shot about a dozen of these B6Ps and found them all to have gritty, mushy, poorly shaped triggers on 100% of them. The Safety can be over-forced if you squeeze hard enough, and then there is the near-non-existent customer service on the 7 out of 12 I have had to return for customers for repair work due to FTF, FTE, and safety failures. Sorry to say it, but with guns, as in all other things, you really do get what you pay for. This might be an ok range queen, but I would never carry one for personal protection.
      Oh – and the fact that with that short barrel you cannot shoot +p ammo in it, makes it a real POS ballistic wise. Says so right in the Manual on the front cover – “WARNING! DO NOT USE +P Ammo or high velocity or high pressure ammunition – factory or handloaded.” Now THAT inspires confidence in quality and workmanship!
      And if you have shot $1400 Kimber’s that did not group as well, you may need some work on your grip, trigger control, stance, sight picture – you know – the basics NRA stresses in their classes. I am offering several such classes between now and this fall – feel free to stop in for some coaching, I would be glad to help you.

  • Conrad Gabbard

    Some mighty good guns to choose between, but my “everywhere,” Kel-Tec P3AT (w/C-T Laserguard) didn’t make the list. Kimber’s finest CC gun (w/C-T Laser grips), the Solo, didn’t make it either. The best power to size ratio (excepting the Glock 29 w/C-T green laser) is the Kahr PM40 (w/C-T Laserguard), which is also absent. Oh well, they say opinions are like,…..

  • crc

    None of the above. My pick would be (and is) a Ruger SP101 in .357 Magnum … very concealable with an IWB holster.

    • JWD

      I 2nd this, the Ruger SP101 in .357, 2.25″ barrel has been my CCW for the past 5 years. Add a Hogue grip and a DeSantis pancake belt holster and i’m good to go.

  • Dissident

    Call me old school, but I carry +P .45 ACP. Usually in the 30SF but the 36 if wearing summer casual clothes.

  • h87111

    S&W 642

  • marineh2ominer

    Actually , I carry the bigger Springfield XDM , but if it were too big i would just drop back to the single stack XDS . Love it !

    • Conrad Gabbard

      My XDm Compact 9mm w/C-T green laser & full-size mag is a bedside gun. Springfield recalled XDs within the serial number range of both my .45 and 9mm. I’m supposed to get them back before Christmas. Check their web-site to see if your XDs has been recalled.

      • James XDs

        Unfortunately, some of the the earlier models had the faulty double fireing trigger problem. If you type in xds recal in google its one of the first ones to pop up. It gives you info on how to return it and get new one. But I bought mine a couple of weeks ago at my local gun shop. They explained how yoi could tell. One way you can tell is if it has a tiny (hexagon shaped) pin in the middle of the back strap safty grip. Or, you can just take it to your local shop (not a pawn shop) who gets them from the manufacturer and they will tell you. But I hope it works great for you, have fun shooting!

  • Bill Hall

    I am torn between my high power and my Sig M11-A1

  • Brian Parsons

    There’s an article somewhere about the CZ P07 Duty ‘the best pistol you’ve never heard of’. Rings true for me. Love the convertible DA/SA and at below $500 the price is a remarkable value. People who know guns know that CZ is the largest mfg. in the world. For some reason they don’t penetrate the US Market well. Find one and shoot it. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Dan

    sccy cpx 2 aint bad for the money, id choose that before a kel tec

  • red white and blue

    I voted for the sig because the XDS is made in Croatia.Bought a 1911 Springfield and it jammed first shot. took it back and never got it back. springfield sent me another one with no explanation what was wrong with the first. I prefer 1911 or glocks in 45 acp but Kimber is out of my price range.

  • Tom Nowicki

    Picked up a 9mm Shield a couple weeks ago and it’s replaced my Glock 19.

    • emery wagner

      I carry A Glock 19 as far as I ame consernd you cant go worng with A glock

      • Dave Hotaling

        some people like myself cannot shoot plastic pistols I have tired about every Glock, Sig, Sigma, Hk and high point and struggle to hit a barn. Give me a cz75 or any 1911 and I will shoot tight groups. maybe its grip maybe sights or weight but I suck with plastic toys

        • Chris Coddington

          Ah yes, throw out an inflammatory remark and see what sticks. Let me rewrite that last sentence for you:

          “Give me a cs75 or any 1911 and I will shoot tight groups. Maybe it’s the grip, maybe its the sights, but I suck shooting high quality guns from fantastic manufacturers like Glock that produce amazing guns containing Polymer.”

          For what it’s worth, I used to be the same in that I couldn’t shoot polymer guns well. At first I attributed it to the combination of the pistol’s light weight and the heavier round (I was accustomed to shooting 9mm in a 92FS). Now (after a great deal of practice) I’ve gone to the other extreme and prefer either my G20 or a G29.

          As with everything in life, practice, practice, practice…

        • Conrad Gabbard

          Start with a negative opinion about almost anything and you’ll most likely justify your bias. Familiarity and practice can resolve most problems.

  • Neil

    Some of the above are very good choices but some leave me scratching my head.

  • Neil

    PF9 = Junk
    Colt = Junk
    P-07 = So many more deserving choices.
    PM9 = Outstanding but expensive
    P938 = Oh Yea
    LC9 = Maybe before the Shield came out but not now
    Kimber = Nothing Kimber EVER works when you need it too
    Shield = Oh Hell Yea
    G19 = Should be the G26 for carry
    XD-S = It does seem to be the fan favorite but not for me

  • milehisnk

    I’d like an XDS9, but for now my 92fs accompanies me everywhere. Why carry a compact/subcompact when you can carry a fullsize with 15+rd mags IWB?

  • BJ Custard

    Walther PPS 9mm.

  • fillupe

    Sig P239 is my ‘Carry Weapon’ with CTC Laser grips with the 8 round magazine & 1 in the chamber. Can use either the .357 or 40 Cal barrels with same magazine, very accurate, enough weight to dampen recoil, the little Sister to all my Big Boy Sigs P220 & P226 (2). My Glock 19 or Walther P99 are good but not great.

    • Dave Semple

      Love my Sig P228 with CT grips and 13+1 rds

  • Ed

    Glock 30s

  • Tim

    I like M&Ps, but I’ve never even seen the Shield at any gun shops-they’re not readily available.

    • Conrad Gabbard

      Last heard, they’re up for recall.

      • MrApple

        That was last summer and it only affected a small number of them.

  • Keith Gillen

    H&K P7 PSP

  • Sarge01

    You don’t include the S&W M&P compact in .40 with extended grip? Seriously?

  • LF

    I don’t like any of those choices. My carry gun is a Sig P220 that has had a performance job done on it. Next up is a Glock 21 Gen4 followed by a Kimber 1911 in a CDP II 5 inch package followed by the same thing in a 3 inch barrel. Next is a Taurus PT145 and finally a springfield GI model in 3 inch barrel with a full custom job done on this model 70. I am not a certified NRA anything (although I am a member) but I spent 30 years of my life in the military and put more tax payers dollars downrange than some people make in a year (or make it 5 years at the price of ammo today). I am 69 and do not have a problem carrying or concealing these pistols.

  • john huscio

    on that list? glock 19

    on my list?

    glock 30s

    walther ppq

    glock 19 gen 4

  • Rick C

    I have a Springfield XD-S .45 and it is great but my Berretta Nano 9mm is awsome (compact and light).

  • Michael Butler

    No beretta nano?

    CZ P-07 over the Nano?

    • Conrad Gabbard

      My Kimber Solo frequently travels with me (as do a few other “pocket pistols”), my Nano stays in the safe. That’s a clue.

  • randy adams

    My Shield 9 has been flawless with over 500 rounds and carries very well.

  • mickey_meador

    My top pick from this list: Sig Sauer p938 with .357 Sig barrel

    • GrumpyoldScrooge

      Wait…What?…Joking right?…A 938 with a 357 sig barrel?..I’ve never heard of that…How does the high pressure of that round not blow up that little 938?..How does a 357 sig barrel even fit inside the 938?

  • Butthole Surfer

    Ya’ll are all crazy, man. Tell you what: my Hi-Point 9mm is where it’s at. (Just kidding – Hi-Points blow rhinoceros cock.) I carry a Glock 23C or a Glock 19. Both are fine weapons. To each his own.

    • Southern Gentleman

      I own several “big name” guns….and my go to is my Hi Point C9….not to mention US made, lifetime warranty….I have NEVER had 1 issue……love it…and highly recommend them……

  • kenny komodo

    My “favorite” carry gun wasn’t listed but I do have a CZ 75 compact which I favor however naming one gun for favorite carry is silly because I carry different types of guns depending on where I’m going, how long, etc. My all time favorite is my Beretta 92 FS 9mm, a little bit big and/or heavy but I’ve got 15 in the magazine plus one in the pipe and it’s dead on accurate.

  • Papa Red

    Got my new XDS-45 & S&W Shield 40, carry both every day. I use an IWB for the XDS & a pocket holster for the Shield.

  • Dmoe

    I love my Springfield XD (sub compact) the best for carry.

    • JohnA

      I completely agree. The subcompact XD 9mm is a fantastic weapon. I have over 1000 rounds through mine without a single hiccup. I also have the tactical XD .40 cal which is a great gun as well.

    • TXMaverick

      I own 3 Springfield XD’s in 9mm, .40 & .45 caliber. Everyone of them shoots great. I’ve never had any problems shooting with any of them. I carry my .40 most of the time while my wife takes the 9mm to work. Might have to get one of the new single stacks!

  • notorious

    Kahr PM9 baby, all day everyday!

  • tk

    glock 36 since it came out, don’t have to worry about my 9mm hollow point expanding

  • Raving Mad

    SR9c should be on this list. Compact 9mm with decent capacity. I’d rather have 17/10 9mm than 7/9 .45. In that pressure situation I would want the most ammo with effective stoping ability.

  • Big A

    The SR9c is what I carry. I have a Walther PK380 as a backup and love them both.

  • Ed

    SW M&P .40c, good carry pistol, to make it a great pistol though the trigger internals should be replaced with the Apex trigger kits. Fantastic pistol once these mods are installed and easily done by anyone. Having the .357 SIg and 9mm barrels also allows me to shoot 3 different rounds at will.

    • smithnssn

      will not shoot 9mm, case is wrong size

      • Ed

        Sorry, you are completely incorrect on this. As I said, one firearm, 3 barrels (original .40, 9mm, and .357 Sig), 2 different mags (.40/.357 Sig and 9mm).

        The .40 Compact is capable of shooting all 3 calibers with a simple barrel change (and mag change for 9mm).

        Do a quick Google or YouTube search before you disagree (erroneously).

  • FirstShirt

    The handgun a person carries is just like a car, pair of boots, or a laptop; personal opinion. If you carry a piece for self defense the statistical likely encounter with a perpetrator is approximately 7 yards. The pistolero’s marksmanship under duress and ability to clear leather quickly and on target is 90% of the game.

    My choice is the XDS .45. That should not be perceived as dislike for the long list of other handguns. If you cannot stop the aggression of the attacker with two rounds of .45 at 10 to 15 yards, what will?

  • Ed Carol

    I carry a .357 Colt Magnum Carry. No magazine springs to fail.

  • charliedontsurf357

    The Springfield XD-S needs to be taken off the list, as they were ALL recalled at the end of August because there were reports of some pistols having fired when dropped. Springfield’s recall initially claimed that the guns would have the grip safeties replaced and the guns returned to the customer in 2 – 4 weeks, however the most recent press release states there is no solution yet to the problem and now estimate a turn around time of 12 to 16 WEEKS!!!

    • The FACTS

      All the problems have been solved… it happened to the Shield too… don’t act like a hysterical little girl.

  • Randy Adams

    I like my Shield 9 but my LCP is also very handy.

  • commonwealth109

    I really like my SIG P938 that was on the list, it offered everything I wanted – but that doesn’t mean it offers everything you want!!!
    There are very few gunmakers I trust my life to, and that is SIG on autos and Smith & Wesson on revolvers. Right now I put my life on the line only with 3 SIG autos (P938, M11-A1, and P226) & 1 S&W revolver (3″ .357).
    The rest of my guns are for non-lifethreatening situations, collecting, or plain ol fun.


    I am still sticking with my FNP .45 ACP.I am a corn fed baby with a 52 in chest so printing is not an issue. I love the 15 shot mags with an extra in the pipe.

  • JP

    Kahr CM9! VERY accurate. Only difference from the PM9 is the match grade barrel. But it shoots great and a few $100 less! I’m a 66 yr. old woman. I carry my Kahr CM9 with XS Big Dot sights (for old eyes) IWB every day. (Then a Glock 26 Gen4 at night [with a 15 rd mag]). I voted for the PM9 because the CM wasn’t listed. Kahr P380 backup.

    • Dori

      I agree with you!

  • Max

    The XDs is an engineering fiasco. Why hasn’t this list been edited or amended?

    • Conrad Gabbard

      Springfield is modifying thousand of recalled XDs .45 and 9mm at this moment. I like mine, and hope to like them better when they’re returned!

    • The FACTS

      Bullcrapp. The issues were minor and fixed. the Glock 36 is an example of a Jam-O-Matic. Shield had a big recall too… and the PPS is a loser.

  • Ed Fremont

    The Springfield XD just feels right in the hand. (vs the Glock that feels like a 2×4)

  • Dave Hotaling

    I vote for a officer 1911 in .45 7 plus one and two extra mags. My Rock Island Armory tactical cs model is well used. Shoots well with round nose ammo and lead bullets I cast I can keyhole to 35 yards easy. At 50 it opens to about 5″ and for a 3.5″ barrel it has shot close to 10k rounds in not quite 3 this gun

  • Rusty1

    None listed. S&W 642 with +P defensive loads. If I need more than 5 rounds I am most likely no longer in a defensive posture and it always goes “BANG” when I pull the trigger.

  • Chris Coddington

    Based on price, I’d go Shield. For the extra cash, I’d go for the Springfield.

  • Conrad Gabbard

    Best for one is not necessarily best for another – or best for a range of activities. My “everywhere” gun is a Kel-Tec P3AT – with a Crimson Trace laser, enabling precise shot placement at distances, while serving as an excellent training device for point-shooting and trigger control. .380 frangable ammo proved best at the Strassborg tests and that’s good enuf for me. I carried one of Larry Seecamp’s sightless little .32s for years in some pretty rough places and apparently never projected a victim profile. Any gun carried for self-defense today, without a laser is less than satisfactory IMO.

  • jmark80

    I have two of these guns, a Springfield XD-s and a Keltec PF9. While I agree completely on the XD-s being a remarkably great firearm, the PF9 has given me nothing but trouble and has literally been the worst firearm I have ever owned. And that includes a hi-point that I carried in my poorer years.

  • RaginCajun

    I have become a real Ruger lover with the SRc series, but also for the quality and money, the Bersa Thunder .380 is compact, reliable, shot hundreds of rounds without a problem and very accurate up to 20 yards, and only 290 bucks. Can’t argue with that.

  • Archangel

    Beretta PX4 subcompact with tritium sights and veridian laser loaded with total energy transfer ammo – best darn CCW I’ve found

  • Alana Danes

    Sad not to see the M&P 9/40C on the list or the Glock 26/ 27. The G27 is probably the best gun ever in my opinion. though I still love the M&Ps. How did they not make the list?

    • repo4sale

      G27+Los Angeles=dead felons!

    • Seanny

      Glock 27 hands down!!!’ Never fails or jams any ammo

  • Carl

    I voted for NONE OF THESE. I did so because NONE of them fit my preference…which is a DEPENDABLE Revolver….preferably something like a “Bulldog .44″. Although I LIKE some semi-autos….I’d PREFER a Revolver for such a critical situation….less chance of a “misfire” !!!

  • dennis

    wow rugers sr40c didn’t make the list??

  • repo4sale

    G27+G23 = dead!

  • WildHawk

    The Best is Russian Makarov…

    • darkdestroyer

      Guaranteed to work when ever you need it to.

    • Kaqmijn

      I chuckled when I saw this. The Makarov and any of her clones are beautiful old war guns and make excellent concealed carry choices. As to the list, I love a 1911 and that is what I am carrying now, a full-sized milspec A1, but it isn’t on the list. The glock is the only one of those listed that I have carried, and it served me well.

  • MrApple

    S&W Shield 9mm!!!

  • joseph barard


  • 96744gunnut

    I must agree that the list of concealables are not totally complete. There are more handguns out for purchase than this pick list contains and with that said, it should be left to each individual’s personal choice base on their size, grip and personal attraction to which firearm will fit or suit their own need. Stopping power has a great void to fill when making that desicion as well as what the individual can control when placed in their hands. I’m not a big fan of bore sizes less than 9mm, but advances in bullet design has made me re-think 9mm is a good choice based on the fact that 9mm’s are least costly to shoot and are ore readily available. Personally, I still prefer a 10mm or 40S&W for personal dwfense. As the gun, it would have to fit in my hand and under my waistband.

  • Big-Jay

    Best carry gun is the STI Escort chambered in .45, small enough to conceal and light enough to be carried all day. Extremely accurate for a compact 1911 and plenty of punch when you need it. It seems that everybody today thinks they might find themselves in a Hollywood shoot-out scene and feel they need the typical Hollywood handgun that never runs out of ammunition or needs to be reloaded. Well I’m here to tell you that if you are ever in a situation where you need to pull your sidearm it will not be a scene from a motion picture where you hold off an army of AR carrying ninjas with just your handgun. A solid,reliable,accurate 7rd+1 1911 is all anybody could hope for in a situation when you find your life in danger. A bigger magazine just makes it easier to spend more money at the range in ammo and contributes to the poor marksmanship of shooters. Rant over.

    • Jake Burdette

      Any truth to the myth of the compact 1911’s jamming after a few mags? Seen a lot of bad reviews. For the price i would hate to have that prob

      • Aaron

        I have owned a compact 1911 for many years. I had the same issue for two years and really got frustrated with it trying so many different types of ammo. So, I first had a Gunsmith work on it, to smooth up the action and entry to the chamber. But still had issues at times, Come to find out, mos t of my problem centered around the original extractor and clip. I bought a replacement extractor and clip made by “Wilson Combat”. Never once had an issue since. Replaced extractor myself. pretty easy.

  • GrumpyoldScrooge

    The pistol I most often carry with me everywhere I go, is my Taurus PT709 Slim. The Slim fits in my hands like a glove, and holds 7+1 rounds. It feels very comfortable riding in a Desantis iwb holster, and I sometimes pocket carry with a cheap Uncle Mike’s pocket holster. Most of the time, I forget it’s even there. It’s small and light, yet big and heavy enough to tame the recoil of +p 9mm. It has a lifetime warranty which I’ve never had to use, and has been completely reliable and accurate. The looks of it are also very aesthetically pleasing to me.

  • cmo77

    Ruger SR40C thats for me

  • dasboot

    I’m just thankful I’m not such a knee knocking chicken sh1te that feels its necessary to carry a gun with me when I leave my home. You frightened people have my sympathy.
    Try not to shoot people just because they frighten you.

  • Sick of your site

    Fix your garbage site. The pictures don’t come up with the corresponding text with the slideshow… and there are so many ads laced in this thing that it takes ages to load…

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    They forgot to add one more choice: None of the above.
    My CC weapon of ownership/choice is the H&K USP Compact .40 LEM.

  • zachary

    I go with the glock 19. my favorite pistol

  • ZynFyr

    Um where is the Boberg XR9 shorty or the XR.45…..You guys need to see these guns.

  • ZynFyr

    Oh,..yes and the LC9 sucks more than words can say. it is reliable and will fire every time you shoot it, but it has a crappy long pull trigger and terrible accuracy. This gun should have never made your list. Also..Kel Tec,…really, cmon.

  • Biggiewood

    The Glock 19 is one of my favorites (I have two), but not for carry. For carry purposes I use a Shield 9 or Kahr CW9, and LCP when I have to pocket carry (which is a lot).

  • Don Neal

    really I carry a colt 1911 officers model but colt 1911 is no on the list

  • The Binary Son

    1. I’m offended that not only are no revolvers listed, but my baby the 686+ (7 rounds .357 magnum, 3″ barrel) is not on the list.

    2. Seriously, why are there so many 1911s on this list? You want new shooters (or any shooters for that matter) to have to worry about flipping a safety switch before they can shoot in a life or death situation?!?! Ridiculous.

  • Lord Skeletor

    The author of this article thoroughly loses any credibility that they might’ve had for the simple fact that there are 3-4 1911-style pistols within this article. Single-action only, semi-automatic pistols should be in a safe somewhere or plinking at the range; not being carried for general defense. Most people lack the training to carry them and they’re nothing but a liability. This isn’t the year 1911. It’s the 21st century. To include any ancient firearm into a category of best “carry guns” is ludicrous. You could be using any manner of modern firearm with reliable safety features like a SIG, Glock, HK, Beretta, FN, or S&W…yet for some reason, there are 3 or 4 out of 10 are these old firearms. Please. Get with reality and join us in the new century.

  • Joseph Kool

    You guys couldn’t put a single revolver on the list? Don’t underestimate the simplicity and reliability of a small 38 special revolver for concealed carry especially for inexperienced/new cpl holders.

  • Brian Mumford

    No love for the wonderful Walther PPS? Glock 26?

  • Longtimeenthusiast

    Have carried and personally tested anything from a cheap s&w sigma 40 to the most beautiful kimber and colt commander in my vast collection and by all means I am not the god of handguns nor carried or fired every firearm known to man but in the last 23 years have personally tried about every brand always thought to myself more $$$$ = Better Gun ! That is not the case …. Some of the most reliable and best firing handguns I have ever had the pleasure of shooting where under $500 bucks! A few months ago I picked up this EAA SAR 9mm B6P… I will never,EVER carry another pistol other than this tight group shooting beast of a pistol . I can shoot 17 rounds and you will see the tightest group that even a $2000 dollar pistol cannot do … Bad thing is straight outta the box the pistol just felt like it was meant to find me and at 25-40 yds I have precision like no other handgun could ever begin to match ! I gave $304 out the door for this Sar and will never doubt another cheaper firearm again .

  • Weapon X

    The best carry gun is the one you can carry comfortably and shoot accurately. Not much to it.

  • Rich

    I regularly carry a Walther PPS 40 or a Kahr PM9 both IWB holsters, but occasionally carry my Glock 23 with clip draw and Safe-T-Blok or MIC holster. All three are highly accurate and reliable, but I prefer the PPS for every day it is just the right size for carry and shooting accuracy. I have the following:
    Kahr PM9 = great (if you like 9mm and not hung up on it not being 40 or larger), very compact and reliable
    Walther PPS 40 = great (just a touch snappy, but I use Hydra-shok low-recoil ammo for EDC)
    glock23 and 22= both 40 S&W and great shooters
    SigP250C 40= great if you like hammer fired
    Beretta PX4 Storm compact 9mm = great gun for those transitioning from 92FS, just feels great in your hand
    Springfield XD 40 & XDM 45 3.8 = both great lightweight and accurate
    Kimber Tactical Pro II= great 1911 (no problems with over 1000 rounds), only carry OWB
    Two new ones that I have not yet shot, but will soon:
    S&W Shield 40= may replace one of my carry guns?
    Kimber Solo CDP= buying 124 and 147 grain 9mm ammo to break in
    Also building an AR15 in 7.62X39 Zombie killer

  • Billy

    Walther PPS Should be on this list

    • The FACTS

      reliability issues…

  • MICK


  • Marty Habada

    I carry a Smith $ Wesson mp9 shield and dollar for dollar you cant beat it.. It also come in a 40 but that is a bit much for the size of the gun. Its accurate and has performed flawlessly with what ever I have put through it.. Its size and capacity make it a excellent carry gun.

  • george burns

    43 years and finally a small 45 that you can carry easier than a 38 snubby, “that I started with”. No excuse to carry less than a 45 if you are able. My pf9 if I have to go smaller for dress, that’s it. No 380 when a 9mm is the same size, and hit’s twice as hard. Don’t be conned into thinking they are the same, ask someone who has been in a shootout with one.

  • FrankBrady

    With all due respect, the very best concealed carry handguns (IMHO) are as follows (in descending order). Number 1 and Number 2 could be swapped.
    1. Springfield Armory XD 45 Compact
    2. Ruger LCR 357 Magnum
    3. Smith & Wesson 9MM Shield
    4. Bersa 9MM UC
    5. North American Arms .22 Magnum Black Widow

    The order, again IMHO, depends upon the weather and clothing.

  • mickman mc

    I really like the PT 145 millenium pro as I have fired over 1200 round out of it and never stovepipe one time. And when I go out on the range but 10 shots out of 10 at the back pistol range in rapid fire I’m still healthy one in the chamber of 45 ACP hollow pointstopping power accuracy and concealability I think it is an awesome piece of machinery for a very good price under 400dollars. I carried a 1911 45 in the Marine Corps, but I like this a lot better.

  • Kent T.

    the five seven is the best

  • Terri Youngblood

    Hi there, I am thinking of getting a pistol for personal protection. I have never had a gun.

  • michael granato

    Please just tell me why my Walther PPQ was left out?

  • Charlie Waffles

    Am I the only person that carries a Five Seven?

  • ronsfi

    “First I am not just some gun enthusiast, I am and NRA Certified Hand Gun and Rifle Expert.”


  • J. Scott Burge

    I would love to read this article, however the site is so badly written I could not over come all the problems to view it. Quit making you sites so pretty and “feature rich” that they don’t work. Like a firearm simple proven design is better than pretty.(Ya, I carry a glock)

    For the techs; Worst issues; when clicking the arrow button to see the next gun reviewed often the picture would change and not the pop out text. This would lead to a picture of one gun while the text which went with the previous gun was displayed. Also, when in fullscreen mode the top of the text was covered by the title on the top of the page. Scrolling and reloading did nothing to fix these issues. Other problems were noted without interference to reading the article. Page was viewed using the latest Chrome browser and windows 7 OS with all updates installed.

  • Cal El M N O P

    Why do I never see Beretta on any lists? Any opinions?

  • Kevin Onan

    Im a ruger man love my LC9. But i have a couple of Bersa’s thunder 22 and a 380 there great gun i have never had one problem with them once and they back there guns.

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