Posted on

Finding the Best Gun for Concealed Carry

Finding the Best Gun for Concealed CarryIMG_9900 (1)There are so many options when it comes to selecting your primary concealed firearm. So many in fact that it can be difficult to decide what is the best carry gun for you. Before we go any further with this there are a few things you really need to do. First, consider all of your options.  So let’s delve into what we need to consider when picking a carry weapon (focusing on subcompact and compact handguns).ConcealableThis seems pretty straight forward, a concealed weapon must be concealable; no brainer, right? Well, for each individual, what they can conceal varies based on size, weight, body type, style of clothing etc. What is concealable for one person may not be so for another. I have been carrying a Glock 43; a highly concealable firearm that I forget I am wearing. To someone not accustomed to carrying a firearm this could be deemed too bulky or heavy (sounds crazy I know, but we’ve heard it). Different strokes for different folks; it’s really all about perception. We had a customer visit us a while back and he carries a full-size .45ACP; I had no idea until we got to talking about this subject. His clothes weren’t very loose, but he had a deep concealment holster and made it work.The ease of perceived conceal-ability is a factor for a number of people; the less you have to “work” to conceal your firearm the better. With that comes drawbacks however, some of which we will discuss. Working to conceal something of a compact rather than a subcompact size can have some benefits that may outweigh having to change the closet a little.Single vs. Double-StackThe popularity of handguns sporting single-stack magazines has increased over the last few years. A number of manufacturers have introduced the slim-framed and highly concealable single-stack Glock 42/43, M&P Shield, Ruger LC9s, Walther PPS, and the SA XDS series. These guns are highly sought after and for good reason; they are arguably some the most effective concealed weapons. And I mean effective from a self-defense perspective too; you can easily conceal a small .22 pistol, but it will be virtually useless in a self-defense scenario. A .380ACP or larger will provide the stopping power needed.There are subcompacts available with the double-stack too; currently I would say they have lost some market share to the single-stack subs. Why? Because in my personal opinion if you are going to carry a bulky framed gun like a G26/27, you should just go for a compact-sized firearm and rock the P320, PPQ, VP9/40 or G19/23. For me the biggest factor is width; if I’m already going for a double stack I will be able to conceal a compact-sized gun just as well as a subcompact double-stack one. The larger grip and sight radius just make me more accurate. To reiterate, this is my opinion; the length of grip is a factor for some individuals, less so for me.Magazine CapacityThis ties in nicely with the single and double-stack section. The single-stack magazines will have less capacity. With single-stack firearms you will generally find a capacity of 6 or 7+1. Compare this with the double-stack (compact-sized handgun) magazine that will be right around 15+1. So is it worth the extra effort to get the larger capacity? I’ve been carrying a G43 so for me the ease of which it fits into my life has been outweighing all of the other benefits of going for something bigger. For now at least.Depending on preference, there are also a number of holsters that have a slot for an extra magazine. So even if you do go with a single-stack concealable option that forfeits additional rounds, you can still carry an extra magazine for reload. The question you have to ask yourself here; will 6 or 7 rounds be enough to stop an attacker or at least allow me enough time to get away from the situation? For me the answer is yes. The 8 rounds I carry in my G43 (I use the Pierce +1) should be enough for 99% of the situations I could ever expect to see. Should being the operative word; unfortunately until such a time arises, none of us will ever truly know.Shot AccuracyThis one goes out to all the ladies in the house (no I’m not an aspiring rapper). The smaller the gun, the bigger the recoil! God knows how many people come and ask for the smallest possible gun and say, “I’m not that experienced with guns I just want a small one that I can handle.” The recoil on a 1911 will be felt less than the snappy recoil on a Ruger LCP. Why? Because the 1911 is heavier and manages the recoil far more easily than a super light LCP. The LCP is a great little concealed option, but you need to understand that its small size makes it harder to handle, and might not be a good fit for you. At gun shows we get a lot of comments, specifically for the polymer striker-fired handguns that they are heavy. They’re actually very light; the issue is that we are mandated to remove the magazine as part of the safety protocol. A loaded magazine in the pistol will equilibrate the weight concern you are having and you will come out with a sound weight distribution that will feel very comfortable in your hands. More weight equals more control.You will generally be less accurate with a subcompact than a compact firearm. The sight radius is longer on a compact firearm (longer barrel and slide) which will create less variance with slight movements while shooting. The compact gun will be slightly heavier due to the overall size and also increased magazine capacity; this will reduce felt recoil and allow for faster follow-up shots. The grip will be larger too; if you cannot comfortably grip a firearm whether it’s too large or small you will struggle to shoot effectively in a self-defense situation as you will be consistently working against it.Choose What Fits You BestUltimately you have to decide on what works best for you. What feels best in your hands and what can you comfortably conceal. I just bought a new BFG Glock 19 (thanks Joe!) and I’m going to make that part of my EDC. I will have to make some changes to how I carry but I will make it work. After evaluating my situation the extra value in having a better sight radius, grip and magazine capacity is worth it to me. Don’t get me wrong, the G43 will still be around and I absolutely love that gun. It is accurate and comfortable and I will continue to carry it regularly. But when able to I will carry the G19. Not everyone can conceal a full-sized handgun, but some people can. If I could I definitely would. If you aren’t sure what you can and cannot conceal, then you need to figure it out rather than let the internet tell you what you can and can’t do. You’ll never know until you actually try it. (TW)

2 thoughts on “Finding the Best Gun for Concealed Carry

  1. Thanks Aegis for that great blog and suggestions / tips on CWL guns. Your best point was in going out, testing, and FIRING any CWL weapon you think might fit the bill. When I finally decided to graduate from a revolver to an automatic weapon, everyone said Glock! Glock! Glock! Well, I have small hands, and no Glock on market (at time) felt right. A former police officer friend of mine– and handgun collector- suggested Smith & Wesson’s M&p line of handguns. These all come with up to 3 different back straps which allow you to “fit” the gun better to your palm size. Perfect- and I now own THREE M&p 9mms, including the Shield- which is my CWL carry choice. As a side note…. Glock has now began offering handguns with several grip back strap options. Go figure. Thanks again

    ChrisS / East Manatee

  2. Amen…and that’s coming from an atheistPerfect- and I now own THREE M&p 9mms, including the Shield- which is my CWL carry choice. As a side note…. Glock has now began offering handguns with several grip back strap options. Go figure. Thanks again

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × two =