Winner: Taurus G2C
The G2C from Taurus is a 9mm lightweight pistol that’s ideal for concealed carry. With a light polymer frame and overall weight of 21.15oz, a compact 3.2-inch barrel, and all of the extra features you’d expect in something far more costly, like an integral Picatinny rail and two magazines included, it ticks all of our boxes.
You’ll get 12 rounds from this pint-size pistol, and the G2C has a fixed front sight and adjustable rear sight which is always nice to see at this price point.
The best thing about this firearm was how well it carries in your hands, including the tacky and aggressive feeling of the grip and the smaller size of the gun’s frame.
If you want the best small guns for concealed carry it delivers on this front, but is still perfectly designed to be held comfortably by those with larger hands, and still be incredibly accurate no matter the type of rounds fired from it.
The Tauras G2C is one of the best-concealed carry guns for the money and an easy entry-level gun for this purpose.
If you’ve been looking for a sign to get a CCW but didn’t have a larger budget, the G2C is our pick for something economically friendly but with all of the great features and reliability you want from a concealed gun.
Although cheap, it has lots to offer and is dependable enough to last for decades with the right care.
One of the letdowns of this weapon is its trigger, with some users finding it a little gritty and hard to get a handle of.
If you plan on using it for concealed carry you need to be able to fire quickly and move with accuracy, which can be hard.
This means a lot of practice to get accustomed to the feeling of the trigger. Some also mentioned the external safety being offputting, and although it’s rarer to find these days, it shouldn’t turn you off the other features that the G2C has to offer.
Customers also mentioned being unsure about the Taurus as it doesn’t have the same name recognition as some of the other heavy hitters.
While it’s true that Taurus is still a lesser known brand without the hype of a name like Glock or Smith and Wesson, there were lots of people willing to take a risk, and they believed it paid off with the G2C.
If you’re looking for a reliable and feature-rich 9mm pistol for concealed carry, the Taurus G2C ticks all of the boxes.
Although there are some configurations to get used to, it’s exceptional value for money and the perfect size and feel to be a concealed carry weapon that’s easily accessible and able to be fired at a moment’s notice.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 12
- Weight: 21.15oz
- 12 rounds
- Trigger feels gritty
Runner Up: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ
Smith & Wesson are no strangers to a great gun and if you want an easy concealed carry option, the M&P Shield EZ is the best. This 9mm semi features an overall length of 6.8 inches, weighs 23oz unloaded, and has loads of cool features like Picatinny style rail, adjustable rear and white dot front sights, and a durable and corrosion-resistant Armornite finish.
What makes this gun a standout is how easy it is to use, and that includes its suitability for first-time shooters or those who’ve never concealed carry a weapon before.
Smith & Wesson has made sure that every component of this gun has the same ease of use imbedded into it, whether it’s the racking of the slide, aiming and firing at your target, or the load assist tab for reloads. If you’re looking for the best-concealed carry guns for beginners, this is our pick.
Another great feature of the M&P Shield EZ is its trigger, and this is the most commonly commented part, asides from its ease of use.
The trigger is lightweight and can be maneuvered without a fight, with a light and crisp feeling that’s hard to replicate on cheaper guns.
There’s little to get used to with this gun and you can put all of your focus onto hitting your target rather than struggling with it, which earns the EZ major points.
The downside to this type of firearm is that it only has an eight-round capacity, which might not be appealing to everyone.
One of the reasons Smith & Wesson has kept it this small is because of the size of the gun and how it impacts the ease with which it can be reloaded.
If you want to upgrade to something with the higher capacity it can be reassuring, but be prepared to give up some of the ease as well.
Another negative that previous shooters mentioned was the included rear and front sights and the fact that they don’t seem a good fit for the firearm.
Some users said they had to spend a lot of time optimizing them and the results weren’t that impressive.
Depending on how serious you are about your guns and optics, you may want to upgrade. As an already expensive option, you’re looking at spending even more on aftermarket parts to bring it up to spec.
Smith & Wesson is a reliable name in firearms and if you want that dependably in a concealed carry weapon, the Shield EZ is our favorite.
This gun is simple from top to toe and the perfect size for any CCW position, so consider adding it to your lineup if you want something convenient and clear to fire.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 8+1
- Weight: 23oz
- Adjustable sights
- Great trigger
- Sights are not good fit for this pistol
Alternative: Springfield Armory XD-S Mod 2
There are loads of noteworthy features on the XD-S including red dot sight, black Melonite finish, and two mags including the 7-rd with pinkie extension and the 9-rd extended.
The size of this gun is what makes it a top contender and one of our favorites for concealed carry specifically.
It’s super lightweight, thin, and will fit easily under any clothes, pockets, or holsters you want it to. If you’d rather not have a double stack pistol or anything too bulky, there’s plenty to love in this single stack option.
Its size makes it one of the best concealed carry guns for a woman but it’s just as effective and powerful for a man to own.
Customers also loved the grip of the weapon and how it’s a noticeable upgrade from the previous XD-S model from Springfield Armory.
There’s adequate gripping on it which works in your favor and unlike the last one that was blocky and uncomfortable to hold, you could easily have this one in your hands for hours without any fatigue or discomfort.
For newcomers, this luxurious feeling gives you some confidence while you’re firing as well.
The biggest letdown of the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod 2 is in its trigger, and it doesn’t seem to have been given much of an upgrade since the last version.
When you couple the stiff trigger with the high bore axis of the firearm, be prepared for more muzzle flip, which means the front of the gun may rise up after firing.
A little bit of getting used to will solve this issue, but we could have done without it.
Accuracy-wise, this weapon needs a little work, which is to be expected of something in the subcompact pistol range.
If this is your first time firing you may not notice that much of a difference, but for those used to handling double stack or another pistol, there’s a noticeable decline in its accuracy.
Be prepared to put in some extra hours at the range learning the basics of firing this gun.
The XD-S Mod 2 is mid-range in price and for those who want a serious concealed carry that’s lightweight and discreet.
With some issues to iron out during target practice, you’ll eventually find the reason why Springfield Armory is so good at what they do.
This is the ultimate compact firearm for carrying on your person and a welcome upgrade on their last release.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 9+1
- Super lightweight
- Good grip
- Great for women
- Not accurate
Alternative: Glock 43
The Glock 42 features a beavertail grip, six-round magazine and includes two magazines made of Glock’s signature over-molded polymer and steel-lined materials.
The plastic slot fillers come as standard sights or it can be upgraded to the AmeriGlo sights if you don’t plan on doing other upgrades in the future.
One of the best features of this Glock is the beavertail design that’s been used on the grip. With this in play, you can get a good grip that’s high and tight, giving you greater control over the firearm.
Better still, even though the 43 is a smaller gun, the unique shape of this grip means that anyone can make use of it, so don’t feel as though you’re left out just because you have large hands.
The quality of the Glock 43 is apparent the second you hold it in your hands, and you can tell it’s been through the same rigorous testing as the rest of their range.
This is one concealed carry gun that you only have to purchase once and never think about again for decades, as it’s built to last. Although it might be expensive, the initial investment is one that should pay for itself in the future.
The biggest letdown of this gun is that it doesn’t carry well in all positions, so if you like IWB or appendix carry, keep on looking.
The shorter muzzle length of the Glock 43 makes it near impossible to do this comfortably and when it’s sitting in a holster in these positions, it might even feel as though it’s hard to retrieve.
Given you want something you can pull and aim in mere seconds, there are better choices for these specific positions.
Like other Glocks, this one will set you back a bit, and as usual, you’re paying for the brand recognition and peace of mind that comes with it.
It also comes with just six rounds which is a bit lackluster and may not do enough to satisfy some users. For a compact gun, it’s kind of expected, but as we’ve seen other gunmakers pull off more rounds than this successfully, it seems there’s no good excuse.
Glock is all about dependability, accuracy, and staying power, and when you combine these traits with the 43’s compactness and concealability, you can’t go wrong.
The Glock 43 has everything you could ask for in a CCW but it may not be the right fit for every position, so make sure you’ve considered its best use before jumping in and spending the premium price to get it.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 6
- Weight: 17.95oz
- Over-molded polymer and steel-lined materials
- Fenomenal grip
- Does not feel comfortable in every position
Alternative: Sig Sauer P365 XL
This pistol has full-sized shootability and compact sized frame and weighs just 20.07oz with a full length of 6.6 inches, giving it over an inch more than its predecessor.
The P365 XL is a popular choice for those that want more than the standard CCW because it has so many extras that make it a standout.
Firstly, you get 12 rounds plus one in the chamber, so it’s not limited like others, and secondly, the 3.7-inch barrel gives you far better accuracy with every shot, but doesn’t make the gun too bulky.
Sig Sauer has made some of the cleanest and crispest triggers that we’ve ever felt on a handgun and it appears the P365 XL is no exception.
This one stands up to the test as well and also utilizes their signature X flat profile trigger which is a welcome upgrade from the previous curved trigger found on the standard P365.
Although it can take some getting used to, it’s a more ergonomically correct shape and better in the long run, with most people touting this as the gun’s best feature.
This is by far the most expensive option we’ve reviewed for a concealed carry gun, so it’s better suited to those with some experience in firearms.
Although expensive, customers didn’t like that you couldn’t choose a smaller round capacity to save even more size, and because it’s slightly larger than the others we’ve reviewed, you’ll have to be careful about where and how you conceal it.
The Sig Sauer P365 XL comes with rear iron sights that need to be removed entirely if you want to use a red dot because they’ve been integrated with the plate.
The main issue with this is that if you experience any issues with your red dot sight, you won’t have the iron there as backup. In future models, it would be good to have the iron sight easier to remove without causing any issues for other optics.
If you can afford it, there’s a lot to be impressed by with the Sig Sauer P365 XL. This updated version of their previous concealed carry darling has evolved in all the right places, even if there are some issues that still need ironing out.
As one of the most trusted names in handguns and the type of dependability you want from a concealed carry gun, you can put your faith in the Sig Sauer P365 XL.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 12 + 1
- Weight: 20.07oz
- High capacity
- Clean and crisp trigger
- Good accuracy
Guns For Concealed Carry FAQs
The weapon you chose to carry with you in a concealed manner needs to be the right fit for you, but it also has to be suited to this specific type of use.
If you’re still unsure about the requirements for a quality CCW, we’ve got the answers to some commonly asked questions that will give you the direction you need.
What Is The Best Caliber For Concealed Carry?
A handgun chambered in 9mm is usually the most popular choice for concealed carry.
There are a few benefits to this caliber, including minimal recoil, the handgun is more compact than most and easy to carry, and the ability of a 9mm bullet to have adequate stopping power when fired correctly.
What Is The Perfect Carry Gun?
There is no single gun considered the perfect carry firearm, but there are features you should look for.
A carry gun should be compact enough to store comfortably on your person, have enough rounds for protection, and be reliable and accessible so you can retrieve it in mere seconds.
What Is The Best Weapon To Carry For Self-Defense?
There are several self-defense weapons that you can carry if you’d rather not have a firearm, but not all of them are as effective.
A tactical pen, stun gun, emergency alarms and whistles, and pepper spray are a few methods you can try if you want to defend yourself, however, they don’t have the ability to stop an attack as efficiently as a handgun.
Which Is Better Glock 43 Or 26?
The Glock 43 and Glock 26 are both popular compact concealed carry firearms with slight differences that might make them more appealing to the user.
The 43 is better suited to holster carry whereas the 26 works best with pocket carry so think about your preferred CCW position to determine the right gun.
Concealed and Confident
There’s nothing like the peace of mind and confidence that a concealed carry weapon offers, giving you the knowledge that you’ll be ready for anything at a moment’s notice.
What makes a great concealed firearm differs for everyone though, so make sure you check out our top picks to see which one is better suited to your carrying needs.