Guns & Patriots

Top 10 Concealed Carry Guns

Editor’s note: Please visit Armed American Radio and listen in. You will really enjoy a show dedicated to our Second Amendment. Mark and Kathy Jackson have a great book and you can check it out by clicking here Lessons from Armed America.

This article is sure to generate a ton of emotion and that is a good thing.  A “top ten” list of anything is going to be helpful to some, controversial to many and just plain flat out wrong to others.  No matter what I put on the list or where I may rank it, someone is certain to tell me I’m right just as someone else is certain to tell me I’m wrong.  (That’s what makes America great)!

So, here we go.

As far as I’m concerned, in order for a concealed carry gun to be effective it must meet certain criteria.  A CCW gun must:

4.     Be simple to use.  Point and click, squeeze and bang.  No levers, locks, bells or whistles.  Nothing that makes you think beyond pulling a trigger.  This is a gun.  It should be simple and you should not have to worry about running a “system” when your life or the lives of your loved ones are on the line and immediate action is required.

3.    Power.  All guns are powerful.  Don’t believe me?  Stand in front of your little 22 LR and have someone pull the trigger.  What?  I didn’t think so.  This is one area where I will challenge conventional wisdom.  No one wants to get shot…by ANY gun of ANY caliber, especially criminals.  Yes, you should always carry the largest and most powerful caliber that you can comfortably carry and shoot…if that happens to be a .22, good for you and BAD for whoever is on the receiving end!

2.    Reliability.  You can carry the coolest custom gun in the world but if your choice of handgun doesn’t go POW when your booger hook squeezes the bang switch or the shot goes wide left like a pee-wee football field goal attempt, it is worthless.  Your gun MUST be reliable and by reliable I mean reliable right out of the box!

1.    Comfort.  This is another area where I will also challenge conventional wisdom.  We’ve all heard the words that a gun isn’t meant to be comfortable, it is meant to be comforting.  That is old school.  Nowadays, it can be both.   It is no longer necessary to lug around a 2 lb. hunk of steel with only 7 rounds.  (Unless you want to)

Here’s my personal list of top ten favorites:

10.    Glock Model 36

I used to carry this gun religiously.  In fact I pulled it on two miscreants who tried to approach my vehicle at an intersection in November of 2002 on a balmy Tampa, Florida morning at 6:20 am.   I never had to fire a shot.  Thank God.  Slim and sleek, the 36 makes carrying the .45 ACP just a tad bit more comfortable.

9.    Kel-Tec P3AT

The 380 is not my optimum choice of self-defense caliber.  Having said that and following the criteria above (#3 in particular), the Kel-Tec P3AT is an excellent choice for meeting all 4 criteria and I have carried it on and off over the years.  Why is the Ruger LCP or Taurus TCP not on this list?  They are, you just can’t see them because the Kel-Tec P3AT is kind of like the grandfather of the .380 craze.  Consider it to represent all of the above in the small framed, polymer 380’s.

8.    Kahr PM9

The Kahr PM9 is a great little shooter, has perfect weight and balance and it’s a Kahr, for crying out loud.  It’s as reliable as the day is long, doesn’t need any fluff and buff and it feels good in my hand.  Maybe it doesn’t fit in yours.  If not, replace number 9 here with whatever you think works best!

7.    Glock Model 19

Sticking with the 9mm as we work our way through the list, the Glock 19 is a perfect fit of beautiful, ugly, fit and balance.  This 9mm is a wonderful shooter with easily manageable recoil and excellent shot follow-up.  No wonder it’s one of the most popular CCW guns in the world.

6.    Springfield XD Compact .45

I like this gun.  Smaller frames can make the .45 ACP feel like a real bull coming out of the gate but to me this gun handles the power of the formidable .45 cartridges very well.  It’s a great match of balance and power in a medium package that is extremely accurate outside the normal defensive range of 7-10 feet.

5.    Smith and Wesson M&P full size .40 S&W

I LOVE these S&W M&P’s.  I’ve owned and carried the 9mm and the .40 in both compact and full size frames and I gotta tell ya…the reason this gun outshines other manufacturers of similar size and caliber is the grip.  The interchangeable back-straps on a gun this size, for someone like me with smaller hands make shooting this gun a joy!  It’s a natural pointer and it just plain fits my hand.

4.    Glock Model 22 Gen4

Not a small gun by any stretch but the new Gen 4 grip fits my hand perfectly.  This gun rides with me whenever I am able to carry a full size handgun.  Today’s holster designs enable carry of this (or any other) larger frame gun quite comfortably either inside or outside the waistband.   The proven stopping power of the .40 cal make this a great choice for a full size CCW gun.

3.    Glock Model 23

Slightly smaller than the model 22, the Glock 23 is a “hands down” winner in my opinion.  Not to mention it has that loveable Glock “pretty and ugly” thing going on that I like so much and for me is a perfect fit for “anytime” carry.

2.    Smith and Wesson Model M&P 340 CT revolver (.357/.38 Special +P)

I have carried this gun for two years.  This little snub-nosed revolver is the finest J-Frame ever made.  357 Magnum or .38 S&W Special +P, the choice is yours.  For me, the .357 is brutal and flat out no fun to shoot.  Even in the .38 this gun bites BUT it is manageable, accurate to some distance with a little practice and enough of a deterrent to stop a threat.  Scandium Alloy frame and Crimson Trace grips with the XS Tritium sights make this gun an absolute “must have”.  Pricey, but worth saving for!

1.    North American Arms NAA .22 Magnum Mini-Revolver

What, are you serious?  You bet I am.  A concealed carry handgun does you absolutely NO good if it isn’t carried!  The NAA .22 Magnum Mini-revolvers eliminate every possible excuse you can think of for not carrying some type of personal defense gun on your person at all times.  It fits ALL possible attire from a bathing suit to full winter garb.  No, the .22 magnum is not my favorite choice of defensive caliber however the NAA .22 Magnum Mini in my pocket under ANY possible scenario certainly beats the hell out of my main carry gun in the glove box or safe.  In fact, this gun should be on your person even when you ARE carrying your main gun.  Never again do you have an excuse to be unarmed…ever.  Everyone should own one of these.

So there you have it.  As I’ve mentioned on the air many times…I don’t want to get shot with ANY caliber and logic dictates that any caliber in your pocket is better than NO caliber in your pocket.

Rule number one to carrying a gun for self-defense is to carry a gun. Whatever method of carry you choose, for whatever lifestyle you lead, you have a responsibility to your community, your loved ones and yourself to be armed and capable of defending yourself and your family.

Whatever you choose to carry, remember to carry on, carry often and carry everywhere!

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  • Guest

    Great choices. I own a Glock 23C and a Kahr P9 both excellent firearms, both absolutely reliable. I carry a Kel Tec P3AT in a wallet holster…always. I could not say that for the Glock or the Kahr. It took a trip back to Kel Tec to get the little P3AT 100% reliable, and a bit of practice to be able to shoot it well but it has been worth the effort. In the words of Col. Cooper “Remember the first rule of gunfighting… ‘have a gun.’”

  • Vern Williams

    I carry the Taurus PT709 slim and am looking at the same gun in S&W40 as well. Your thoughts on those to CC options?

  • Guest

    No thanks, I will keep my 4 Sig P-220′s & 1 P-232.

  • Nanook

    .45! having to shoot more than once is just silly!

  • jeffr

    Kahr CW9

  • NoAnnieOakley

    Sounds good for the men, but what about the ladies who don’t know too much about hand guns, but need to feel protected…what is the top 5 for us?

  • Aim True Mom

    Thank you for saying that the caliber you carry doesn’t matter because no one wants to be shot by a gun of any kind. I carry a Walther P22. It was the most comfortable in my hand and on my body. I practice religiously and I am accurate. I hate the men who laugh at my “little gun,” it happens all the time, but I really have the last when I can put 10 rounds dead center. One of them is going to do the job.

  • NoAnnieOakley

    Sounds good for the men, but what about us ladies, we need to feel that sense of protection too. I don’t have the squeeze power you men have. I don’t know much about handguns, so what are your top 5 for us?

  • NoAnnieOakley

    Sounds good for the men, but what about us ladies? We like to have a sense of protection as well. I’m not that familiar with handguns and without having the same squeeze power that you men have what would your top 5 recommendations be for us?

  • NoAnnieOakley

    Sounds good for you men but what about us ladies? We like to have that same sense of protection too. Not being that familiar with handguns and not having the squeeze power that men would have, what would your top 5 recommendations be for us?

  • NoAnnieOakley

    sorry don’t know much about posting etiher …

  • 7mm

    I like the look of the S&W autos and hey its American made. I asked three local police officers about them since they just switched to them from Glock 22s. Each one of the officers said the Glock was superior to the S&Ws and lamented that the police department made the switch. Each one of the officers purchased their replaced Glocks and carry the Glocks when they are not on duty.

  • NCGunOwners

    I would have put the P3-AT/LCP/etc in position #1. Sure no one wants to be shot with the gun, but the NAA is so tiny, it would take a bit for the perp to even realize it’s a gun and not a toy :)

  • Beachgal1

    I carry a S&W M&P 9mm or S&W 38 Snub hammerless. Both are great womens carries. The 38 carries more of a bite (kick) than the 9. But, I am very comfortable with both. I highly recommend the Tacticals class as a level two class – so to speak. It will make you comfortable in handling your weapon under pressure.

  • wsp1

    Good advice…the old axiom of carrying 1911′s lockwed and cocked is dead…I did so for years and it is a pita! Firearms need to fit into your life, not the other way arround…and if you think a .22 won’rt do the job…ask the spec oPs groups, Mossad, or othe cladestine operatives that have employed them for years.. a few in the cranial cavity does wonders…people need to practice and be comfortable with what they have so they can place a round accurately. Ii know several people that think a ruger 22/45 in .22 with a shorten bbl is perfect…10 rds in 2 seconds all on target…I would not want to get hit by this weapon…The craze for CCW is often driven by fear, hollywood and mis information…it is still an option of last resort…even in today…you will sopend a significant amount of monay and time in court if you ever need to use it. Yes, the bull about better to be alive etc…not always…spending 20 years in a max lock up witht he other miscreants does not sound like a betteer option to me…so what ever you use…use your best weapon first …your brain….!!

  • 19gundog43

    Good list. Heavy on Blocks, sorry Glocks. My CCW of choice is a Kel-Tec PF-9. It is as easy to carry as the P3AT and packs a lot more punch in 9mm. So slim and light I have to keep reminding myself I am wearing it. And it’s made just down the road in Coca Beach FL. Add an extra 7 round clip and you have 15 rounds of punch because we are seeing bad guys traveling in wolf packs of four or more. Cold weather CCW is my Ruger P89 Special Edition. It will equal my son-in-laws three Glocks on the range every time.

  • gilcolog

    I just bought a S&W Sigma 9mm mainly because I didn`t have a 9 and because it was cheap plus a mfg. rebate. The trigger pull is so strong I can`t get a good shot group. Almost have to use two fingers.

  • Douglas Hackerott

    I prefer my Kel-Tec PF-9.

  • TexasRed171

    I like your “Top 9 Concealed Carry Guns” article. Yeah, 9. The Kahr PM9 just doesn’t meet your “simple to use” and “reliability” criteria. I know this firsthand.

    After purchasing a new PM9 I had numerous FTF issues – probably 20 of them in less than 150 rounds. Yes, I knew the PM9 has a unique requirement to use the slide release rather than slingshotting the first round. My FTFs happened often after the first round was fired. I also knew of the break-in period, but at the rate of the FTFs, it was going to take forever to get there.

    Kahr told me the ended mag might be the issue and that I should try shooting it without a finger on the extended portion of the mag, which didn’t help, but the obvious question is: what good is an extended mag if you can’t touch it?

    Finally, the mag seized in the gun and I had no choice but to send it to Kahr.

    I got on the Kahr forum and discovered that the FTF issue is not unusual on the PM9. Yeah, there are guys saying theirs have been flawless, but there are also manuy experienced shooters who had problems.

    After Kahr had mine in for warranty work for nearly 3 weeks, with no clear answer to when I could expect my gun back, I decided it was time to switch to a Glock G26, which has been flawless.

    The PM9 has a reputation of being anything but simple to use and reliable, and this is the opinion of many experienced shooters.

  • TexasRed171

    I like your “Top 9 Concealed Carry Guns” article. Yeah, 9. The Kahr PM9 just doesn’t meet your “simple to use” and “reliability” criteria. I know this firsthand.

    After purchasing a new PM9 I had numerous FTF issues – probably 20 of them in less than 150 rounds. Yes, I knew the PM9 has a unique requirement to use the slide release rather than slingshotting the first round. My FTFs happened often after the first round was fired. I also knew of the break-in period, but at the rate of the FTFs, it was going to take forever to get there.

    Kahr told me the ended mag might be the issue and that I should try shooting it without a finger on the extended portion of the mag, which didn’t help, but the obvious question is: what good is an extended mag if you can’t touch it?

    Finally, the mag seized in the gun and I had no choice but to send it to Kahr.

    I got on the Kahr forum and discovered that the FTF issue is not unusual on the PM9. Yeah, there are guys saying theirs have been flawless, but there are also manuy experienced shooters who had problems.

    After Kahr had mine in for warranty work for nearly 3 weeks, with no clear answer to when I could expect my gun back, I decided it was time to switch to a Glock G26, which has been flawless.

    The PM9 has a reputation of being anything but simple to use and reliable, and this is the opinion of many experienced shooters.

  • 19gundog43

    I don’t know what state you live in but here in FL we have had CCW for years and if the shooting is righteous the shooter is cleared with no problem. Using your brain is a great idea in some cases but when little lead objects are coming my way I don’t want to use my brain to stop them.

  • Travis Ray Green

    For many years, I carried a NAA Mini in .22 LR. Of any handgun that I have ever carried in a trouser pocket, it was the most unobtrusive. On the down side, the lack of a rear sight, the tiny and awkward to cock hammer, and the substantial upward muzzle angle when held and fired conventionally with one hand made it a more realistic contact or near contact last ditch defense than anything else and I suspect that a good knife could be more effective. I found that reasonable groups could be attained when I held it in my right hand with the spur trigger hanging over my strong trigger finger, cocking and firing with my left thumb and index finger, and holding the front sight to the center of and divided by the topstrap.

    While the NAA is better than no firearm at all, I do not believe that an engagement beyond the distance of a card table is likely to produce reliable, center mass hits and only then if someone has taken substantial time to practice with one. As a result, I prefer the slightly bulkier Baby Browning, which proves reliable and provides a rudimentary sighting plane that ensures consistent, center mass hits at twenty-one feet. The Beretta 950 BS is yet more accurate, providing usable sights, but it is bulkier than the Browning and I distrust the lack of an extractor in the event it became necessary to clear a jam.

    Over the years, I have also carried Charter Arms Under Covers and Off Duties as well as different J frame Smith & Wessons (e.g. the Model 36 and Model 60). They can be carried in a trouser pocket if the pants are loose fitting but not nearly as comfortably or as unobtrusively as a NAA Mini or a small semi-auto. They do quite well in a jacket pocket (which I like as the handgun can be readied in the hand without being obvious) and provide the option of firing through the pocket without jamming the action. They also carry well in belly bands and are not unpleasant to carry in an inside the waistband holster. This size revolver can be remarkably accurate well beyond twenty-five yards, especially since the sights are quite visible, offers an acceptable level of power, and can be reloaded quickly with practice. This is about the smallest handgun that I would feel absolutely comfortable with if I had to engage a really dedicated threat or multiple assailants.

    I have also carried Makarovs and have found them to offer most of the utility of J frame class revolvers in a flatter, more cost effective package. The current availability of ammunition with modern, expanding bullets makes it more attractive than ever. I think the new Diamondback .380 could potentially fulfill this niche in a lighter, more compact package; however, it is still new, relatively unproven, and I have no first hand experience with it. This is likewise the case with the more costly SIG P-238.

  • Travis Ray Green

    I consider Smith & Wesson J frame revolvers, such as the Model 36 in .38 Special caliber, to be at the top of the list for concealable simplicity, reliability, and adequate stopping power. The fact that you can practice with mildly loaded wadcutters without compromising the function of the revolver is a big plus.

  • Cuban8

    For my money, it’s an H&K P30 with the LEM trigger. A bit pricey, but worth the money. With its polymer frame, the light LEM trigger and consistent trigger pull, tritium sights, adjustable backstrap and side-grips, ambidextrous mag release, and 15-shot (9mm) mag, it’s a hard combination to beat. Mine is the 9mm rather than the .40, but load it with Hornady Critical Defense ammo and you have a truly potent combination. (BTW, replacing the hammer return spring with a light variation, which a local H&K armorer said he can do for me, makes the trigger pull even sweeter.)

  • packnheat

    Surprised not to see the Glock 27 on this list. A compact .40 caliber very easy to conceal that packs a lot of punch with no extra levers or safetys. Probably the most dependable gun (pistol) I have ever owned. Has NEVER failed to fire and will shoot ANY .40 caliber ammo equally. I carry mine everywhere! Only downside is the short grip, but I fixed that with a mag extension which also gives me an extra round. This pistol with an IWB holster from Crossbreed holsters is comfortable enough for all day wear and easy to conceal.

  • rodgerd

    I will take my Kimber 45 Ultra SP II any day of the week. I have carried for over 20 years. I have never had to use it and hope that I never do. But if I ever have to I am sure not going to worry about it not stopping someone. I also agree that any gun is better then no gun!!!!!!

  • GreggL

    Great Article! I love the feel of my Glock 27 (with clip extension for my pinkie finger) in my hand and it carries well under a jacket, but I can carry my Kel-Tec PF-9 under a shirt, in a pocket, etc. so carry it most often. I also own a true (and old but solid) Colt .25. Great pocket gun, makes a lot of noise and hits practically nothing outside of 5 yards! :-)

  • napensnake

    Don’t worry about somebody else’s “top ten.” Find somebody you trust who has knowledge, guns, and a willingness to work with you. An average woman will have the same considerations as a man. The only answer is to find a piece that feels comfortable in your hand, works in your life, and is comfortable enough to shoot that you will practice with it regularly. Try to find somebody (some ranges) who will loan/rent various guns so you can get a feel for several so you can know what you like and what you don’t. No gun is perfect. People are different and situations are different. Pick one that works for you and go with it. After a period of time, you will find things about it you don’t like. Next gun, find one that minimizes those problems without sacrificing what you like. And, by the way, don’t worry about any comments that others make. If it fits you, it is right for you. You are not buying a gun to satisfy their prejudices.

  • scw1947

    I just bought a Ruger 380. A great gun for a woman. Comfortable in my hand and small enough to put in a case in my purse.

  • scw1947

    I just purchased a Ruger 380 and love it. It is comfortable in my hand and I can carry it in my purse. A great handgun for a woman.

  • flash

    I carry a P3AT in my pocket when CC is a problem. When dressing ultra casual (shirt tail out, loose jacket, etc) I carry a Glock 26 inside the waist band. My night stand gun is a Glock 22 w/night sights, internal laser and Glock flash light. I also like simple pull and bang pistols for carry and for the night stand. When and if in a startled fast moving situation or half asleep I don’t want to think about whether a round is chambered or if the safety is on.

  • Buckindaburg

    Liked the list, although I carry a Beretta and have found it to have never failed to shoot any type of ammo I have loaded into it.
    I have always liked a .22 mag for a back up. All too many people have no respect for anything under a .40 cal. Ladies and gentlemen, if you hit what you are aiming at, all of the listed calibers will do the job. One writer said that you should use a weapon that you are comfortable with. I agree 100%.

  • James

    Also, there is something to be said for the guns carried by a husband and wife being “compatible.” My usual carry gun is a Glock 23 Gen4. My wife prefers the smaller Glock 27. With that combination, we have to worry about only one caliber of ammunition (always looking to simplify)and as a bonus the magazines for the 213 work fine in the 27. Just food for thought.

  • PackingPadre

    I still like my M1911A1 in the officer’s model size as my carry gun. However, when that is not possible because what I am wearing makes it difficult to conceal, I take my Kel-Tec P-3AT with me. IMHO, the P-3AT and its clones, such as the Ruger LCP deserve a spot on the list.

    I was disappointed that some of the new light-weight revolvers, such as the Ruger LCR and the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard weren’t on the list, as wheel guns remain the most simple to shoot and with a speedloader suitable for the gun, fairly quick to reload.

  • fnfal1

    I’m partial to the stoeger cougar in .40 s&w. where does that stand in your list?

  • SouthernPatriots

    We own the Glocks mentioned and love them. But we surely enjoyed and were alerted by the reasoning: “A concealed carry handgun does you absolutely NO good if it isn’t carried! The NAA .22 Magnum Mini-revolvers eliminate every possible excuse you can think of for not carrying some type of personal defense gun on your person at all times.” We are now in the market for the NAA .22 Magnum Mini revolver. We know there will be arguments and disagreements about the list, the order, etc. But this list for us helped us focus and we are going to the range again (both of us!) and improving our handling and shooting again after a time of neglect. Thank you for prodding us toward action!

  • Notebuyer

    I agree with TexasRed171. I had a P40 Covert that I carried off-duty, until one day I went to qualify with it and all it did was click. After sending it back to Kahr 3 times, they finally gave up and offered to replace it with anything I wanted from their inventory. I chose an all steel K40 Elite 2003, and have had no problems since.

    I am old-school and prefer all steel guns. If you must have a polymer weapon, buy a Glock. I’m not a fan, but they do the polymer thing right.

  • SlingArmed

    I quess my Mossberg 500, 12 guage, didn’t make the list. Probably because of the manual pump action……I reckon!

  • miketofanelli2010

    I Carry A PARAORDNANCE P-13, .45auto +p (it’s commander size & hold 14 rounds + a spare mag. My # 2 gun is a PARAORDNANCE TACFOUR (it’s the same platform as the p-13, but Double action only)! Mags interchange!
    #3 summer, gun, is an interarms firestar,satin chrome,and it is about the size of a small .380, but it’s a .9mm+p. 9mm is as smal as i want to carry!
    FOR the ladies, the 5 shot S&W # 36 is the perfect piece!(.38 sp and it will handle +p for defense)!

  • SlingArmed

    I quess my Mossberg 500, 12 ga., didn’t make the list. Probably because of the pump action……..I reckon!

  • miketofanelli2010

    If i could,(california), I’d carry my mini-14 & 3- 10 rd mags!

  • vnsniper

    Yes, any gun is better than no gun. However, you can’t be serious about protecting anyone, including yourself, if you carry a .22 cal as your ccw. Real men carry a .45 acp handgun in a compact. Being an ex-sniper, I truly know the meaning of “one shot – one kill” and that’s why I carry a .45.

  • vnsniper

    I’m with you rodgerd. People who carry a .22 for a ccw cannot be serious about protecting thier loved ones or themselves. A .45acp is a sure stop to any threat and in most cases, one bullet will take care of business.

  • B.

    What are your thoughts on a Browning .25 auto? it certainly is small enough, and packs a decent punch. I’ve been looking for one for a long time. Im not a gun expert by any means, and I sucked coffee up my nose when you used the term booger hooker. all my best to all of you.

  • Kyle Kutach

    I carry my little P3AT with a Crimson Trace laser everywhere I go, no matter what other firearms I carry at the same time. Drop it in your jeans pocket and it just disappears. Loaded with the right self-defense ammo, it comes close to providing the same fight-stopping power as a 9mm in a much smaller package. The Rugers and all the rest are just trying to copy the KelTec concept.

  • Ed

    I’m sorry, I can’t support your enthusiasm over the Glocks. I owned one several years ago and it was a pure lemon, so I got rid of the darned thing! I now alter carrying either my Taurus PT145 or my Rossi 461, plus I pocket carry my Taurus PT738/TCP everywhere I go. So I’m well armed when awake!

  • J_Andrew_Browning

    I am surprised that the IMI Micro-Eagle .380 isn’t mentioned! It is a real shooter! I have a P3AT, which is a good choice and I’d be hard pressed to give up my Glock 36! The Glock spends most of its time in my vehicle and the Micro-Eagle fits well in a front pants pocket. I added a carry clip to it – the type which attaches with a small adhesive plate to which the clip attaches. The clip keeps it from going too deep into my pocket and from the outside, it doesn’t look like a gun. The Micro-Eagle is heavier than the P3AT, but the recoil is minimal due to the Desert Eagle gas operated design (just like their big cannons!) I have fairly large hands and the trigger guard in the Eagle is much larger than the P3AT…it goes almost to the end of the frame. The P3AT bites my trigger finger and the Eagle doesn’t.

    As stated here before, it must be comfortable enough for you to practice with, or what’s the point? I completely agree that when the odds are that you need to use it, you won’t have anything to think about but pulling the trigger on target.


    Ya but pull the trigger twice so you can light up your target with the first one lol

  • 92muddyXJ

    While I don’t think there is much of an exuse to carry much less than a 9mm I will agree that any gun is better than no gun. Now this article clearly doesn’t care for the 1911 and trys to be clever, but it contradicts itself with rule 4 and the last carry gun. The NAA .22 revolver is a 5 shot Single Action Only! That means that under stress in a self defense situation you are going to have to remember to pull the hammer back for each shot. For someone claiming to promote the most simple carry guns, they seemed to ignore their own rule on that one.
    It’s simple. 1′st rule of a gun fight or any self defense situation is to have a gun.
    2. Simple! Carry the biggest caliber you can handle and carry comfortably. If all you can handle is a .32, then carry that but have it on you every day and practice. Don’t sell yourself out on a smaller caliber just because of what others say. Try it for yourself.

  • Casualshooter

    It depends. Do you want to carry it or keep it at home? Will you have a chance to practice occasionally? How strong and “mechanically adept” are you?

    If you need something for the nightstand that rarely leaves the house, I’d say a 6 shot revolver in .38 Special or .357 magnum with a 4 inch barrel. A firearm chambered for .357 mag. will also shoot the lighter recoil, cheaper .38 ammo for practice or if you decide the magnum recoil is too much. There are many brands to choose from, and many nice used guns out there. Whatever you buy, make sure you learn basic gun safety ( and practice it ALWAYS) and get at least one shooting session with it.

  • Casualshooter

    I love mine too, but it’s got a bit of recoil. It’s a great handgun for a woman who’s used to shooting. I wouldn’t hand it straight off to someone who’s never shot.

  • JiminGA

    I carry a Glock 17 and my wife is not strong enough to operate the slide. So she has a Bersa Thunder .380. It fits her small hand and is quite powerful, and she is an excellent shot. Both my sons and I find the grip too small but all get a good grouping every time. We also opted for the 9 round mags as they provide higher capacity plus a better small finger grip.

  • cactusbob

    I also carry a “Baby Browning’ .25. It isn’t noticeable in the jeans pocket, although slacks would be more obvious. Guess that’s why there are belt or ankle holsters. It is surprisingly accurate, too. This would be a good gun for women, for those who asked.

  • rick948

    For the ladies:

    My wife carries a Beretta Bobcat (.22LR) with tip up barrel because she has a hard time “racking the slide” on other semi-autos. I carry a Kel Tec P32 (.32ACP) but am considering an upgrade to a Kel Tec PF9 or P11 (9mm Luger).

    .380 is a good caliber but ammo is still a little “pricey” in this geographical area.

    Revolvers of any caliber are recommended for ladies as a first gun because of their simplicity. Capacity in many revolvers is on a par with many small semi-automatic pistols.

  • CarryNGo

    I love an article like this because – opinions not withstanding – it gets people thinking in the right direction. Small caliber handguns may work fine as deterrents if you can wave it in somebody’s face or stick the muzzle in someone’s ear, but if you need to stop an actual assault quickly you need a big piece of lead with a lot of force behind it. Research the studies of one-shot stopping power, which is maybe all you’ll score in a stressful situation with no time to target-range-aim. The evidence is overwhelming that bigger is better, and that an expanding 9 mm, .40 or .45 cal will win out anytime over a hypervelocity FMJ. Bottom line is that you can never count on more than one shot hitting, and it’s the load more so than the caliber. My $0.02.

  • rick948

    For the ladies:

    My wife carries a Beretta Bobcat (.22LR) with tip up barrel because she has a hard time “racking the slide” on other semi-autos. I carry a Kel Tec P32 (.32ACP) but am considering an upgrade to a Kel Tec PF9 or P11 (9mm Luger).

    .380 is a good caliber but ammo is still a little “pricey” in this geographical area.

    Revolvers of any caliber are recommended for ladies as a first gun because of their simplicity. Capacity in many revolvers is on a par with many small semi-automatic pistols.

  • NoAnnieOakley

    Thanks for all the help. This would mainly be a firearm to keep at home for self protection or occasionally on a road trip. I use to shoot shotguns and was pretty good at it then. There is a firing range with safety course 5 miles from me, so I would have access to one. They sell guns as well and I did hold some and squeeze the trigger and you’re all right there are a variety of different adaptations per individual. I think I would narrow my choice down to a revolver handgun. Thanks again, I appreciate all of your comments.

  • poggio5822

    I prefer my Glock 30, and when I need a smaller frame, I carry my Beretta Tomcat .32. Does anyone else carry either of these?

  • poggio5822

    Glock 30 or Beretta Tomcat .32. Anyone else carry either of these?

  • stynor

    My personal choice is a S&W hammerless airweight. No hammer to get tangled in a draw from a pocket or if actually shooting through a jacket pocket. Light enough and I’ll often carry 2. In any shooting, the police must conficate the weapon. with a lightweight spare also carried, I’ll still have a bach-up.

  • stynor

    My personal preferance is a S&W hammerless airweight in .38 Special (642). No hammer to tangle during a draw or to foul if shooting through a jacket pocket. Light enough that I’ll often carry 2. In any shooting, the police are required to confiscate the weapon leaving you unarmed. With these lightweight revolvers, I always have a back-up. Perfect simplicity.

  • sachs

    I saw no mention of the Sig P-238. It’s my favorite carry gun. I also use the Ruger LCP, S&W 36 and rarely a 1911. I used to carry a Sig P-232 and loved it but it was a little too wide and heavy for my build and choice of clothing. I also prefer SA/DA which the P-232 is. The P238 is SA only like a mini 1911 has great sights and I find I can shoot a 25 yard group with it that is tighter than I can do at 15 yds with the DAO LCP. Make it better? Make the P238 SA/DA, take off the sharp corner at the butt and I’ll purchase another one.

  • mdsig226

    Hi I live in Maryland and the only way I can carry concealed is if I have had my life threatened and its well documented. Do you know a way I can get a C.C. permit in Md. that I don’t know about? I mean thats legal! Lol, I have one great pistol my Sig. 226 40 cal. and I have a Bersa 380 thunder my dad gave me. The Sig. is the best handgun I have ever fired. I just want to find a way to get my CC permit here in Md.

  • Harmod

    Any gun you have on you is better than any gun you have elsewhere. I like Mark’s choice for #1.

    Here’s the best gun story I’ve ever heard that illustrates the value of a small-caliber handgun.

    Two men with a severe dislike for each other worked on a power-generating dam on the Chattahoochee River north of Atlanta, GA. One day, they met on a catwalk over the dam, and the big guy said, “I think I’m gonna throw your ass of this thing.”

    The little guy reached into his hip pocket and pulled a Beretta .22 cal auto.

    The big guy gave a derisive laugh and said, “That little gun won’t do anything but make me mad.”

    The little guy replied, “Well, it’s gonna make you mad seven times.”

    End of confrontation. No one wants to bleed, especially criminals. Once they’re hit, even if it’s not a good hit, they’re marked.

  • mel

    I carry my colt officers ACP everyday and most evrywhere it is legal. Why mess with the rest when you can shoot the best!

  • JiminGA

    Ed, I realize I’m not going to change your mind about Glocks but had you sent it to their main office in Smyrna, GA they would have done anything necessary to make the weapon perfect. There really is a reason most cops carry Glocks…..they work, and Glock stands behind every gun forever.

  • Bryan Donihue

    Hmmm… The “old axiom” of carrying a 1911 is dead? Funny. I think a great number of everyday carriers would disagree – including me. I don’t fear a safety on my gun. Practice enough, and it’s all muscle memory. A 1911 (or two) can fit in your life. I swap between a full-size and an lightweight officer’s size, depending on the day’s activities and clothing. With the advances in holsters, I can wear a full-size 1911 tucked underneath a dress shirt and slacks all day long.

    RE: The .22lr. If that is what you shoot best, great – as long as you shoot it VERY well. Yes, specops, Mossad, and other operators CAN carry a .22 – but only for special missions where a silenced .22 subsonic round is required. Ask those same specops (especially the SEALs) what they’d RATHER carry for general duty/protection, and I guarantee it’s a bigger caliber (probably starting with a “4″ and ending with a “5″).

    No rational person wants to get shot. Period. Crack and meth do not make rational people. Mugger hopped up on drugs may not even realize they’ve been shot with a .45, let alone a .22. It’s all about practice and shot-placement.

  • John E. Nevola – The Last Jump

    No mention of a Walther?
    I have an AS99 and a P22. The P22 is simple, reliable and easy to carry but getting a carry permit in New Jersey is impossible!

  • Stu Chisholm

    Two of my 4 carry guns are on this list, and one is a close cousin. My main carry gun is the Glock 23, and I sometimes opt for the G19 depending on the time of day (the latter has a laser). My .45, though, is the G30, a 10 rd. version of the G36, but with a thicker grip to accommodate the double-stack magazine. The one that didn’t make the list? My Kel-Tec 9mm BUG. A lot of power in a very tiny package!

  • apache6

    My wife swears by her BERSA .380! I swear by my TAURUS 24/7 PRO .45 ACP!

  • apache6

    My wife swears by her BERSA .380! I swear by my TAURUS 24/7 PRO .45 ACP!

  • bringenufgun

    Got an OLD Firearms Int”l 380 in the Headboard for the wife, and a Taurus 1911 in 38 Super in the night stand for me!!

  • Wings

    It seems like CCW people want to carry Sledge Hammers to crack a Peanut. Think about it No one wants to shot anyone ? well at least most people don’t wish to, however, if it must happen then it really does not matter what Cal you use IF you patrice “Shot Placement” CC means just that you want to carry something that you CAN Concealed yet GET TO without problems. I say (I’ve carry for over 30 years LE) any small Cal
    handgun would do FINE. Unless you are in LE you have NO NEED for twin mags or multi shots One Shot One Killed. Place it Right! Most of the time pulling it will do more than it’s job. The only Gun Battles I have heard about are from THUGS and people that can not shoot. For me a .38 or .380 works just Fine. People this time USE COMMEND SENSE, a smooth draw and easy trigger pull, something that is not going to jump out of your hand . Let’s face it shooting at the range is NOT at all FOR LIFE. Don’t let the COWBOY effect fool you. Also, all that talk about needing something heavy to go thou a coat is just TALK. Today’s ammo is designed to knock down, so unless one is wearing a kevlar vest whatever they are hit with is going to hurt. Remember SHOT PLACEMENT is the KEY not Multiple Shots.

  • TheCarpathian

    As a early 1970′s Special Forces Sgt. who was trained in handuns and tactics … and again as a much older, overweight civilian going through Gunsite, I can agree with the criterion you have put out.

    But as a person who has had both his wrists repeadedly broken by some unfriendly people while playing “20 questions” I must give most of my concern to number four: comfort.

    I am now very recoil sensitive and rely on standard velocity .38′s from a four inch “skinny” barreled pre-model 10 “military and police” for home protection. For carry I use a Colt 1903 Hammerless in .32acp loaded with silvertips. The slivertip bullet from the 3.875″ barrel is capable of shattering a cow femur at 20 ft. (Remember that the next time you are attacked by a cow femur) … and if aimed properly. will absolutely take down anyone in an adverse social situation. BONUS: MY 105 POUND WIFE HAS ALSO MASTERED BOTH OF THESE HANDGUNS AND CAN SERVE NOT JUST AS “BACK-UP,” BUT ALSO AS PRIMARY DEFENDER. Something she knows she couldn’t accomplish with a P-35, 1911 or other larger caliber handguns.

    Yes, carry the largest and most powerful gun you can. Thats why I use the Colt .32acp. But if you can put your ego aside with your “gee whiz” pistol … and concentrate on results … it will be your skill that is the deciding factor — not whether you are using a .500, .45, .40 or any other highly advertised “go to” gun with nuclear-tipped ammunition.

    So, add whatever gun you prefer to the list … and you will have the complete “Top 11 Concealed Carry Guns.” Guaranteed.

    And please get professional training as soon as you can go / afford it.

  • Guest

    Oh c’mon….a Sig 229 with 13 rounds of .40 is THE ticket….especially with the potential for multiple targets (I mean bad guys).

  • Guest

    Oh c’mom…a Sig 229 with 13 rounds of .40 cal is THE ticket…especially with the potential of multiple targets (I mean bad guys).

  • jbtool

    I carry the Kel Tec P3AT and I carry a S&W 386 with crimsion trace laser grips… my 386 weighs 17.5 oz unloaded it has 7 shots and always goes Bang!!!

  • crawfo1

    I have carried the NAA 22 mag for years as main or back up for years and find your assessment right on target. I made an amendment several years back which I find corrects the 2 main problems I had.

    What I did was remove the handle scales and drill a small 1/8″ hole. I put in a small length of 1/8″ cable w/ a crimp to hold it in place. Replaced the scales and put a small, decorative wooden bead on the cable. This hangs outside my pocket and pulls out the weapon, it then, when shooting, is held at the bottom of my hand and secures the gun against the rcoil as well as giving me a very secure hold. Try it. It works.

    Jim C

  • Cap'n Ken

    My other half likes her Colt .380. I just recently bought the Ruger .380 (I never thought I would buy a .380 for myself!) The Ruger .380 is small and easy enough for a lady to operate. There is nothing to get hung up on whatever you method of carry is. Like a revolver, all you do is point and squeeze. No safety to take off, pull the slide putting one in the pipe before putting it in pocket or purse (it isn’t really “cocked”) put another replacement in the magazine if you think you’ll need to pull the trigger more than five times. Like the double action revolver, when you pull the trigger the hammer goes full back prior to releasing and firing the gun, the only time it’s visible. Best of all, like my credit card “I never leave home without it”. It goes in my pocket and I don’t even notice it. My grandmothers choice was a Colt .25, and I have no doubt she would use it if necessary.

  • park245

    Where is the Rohrbaugh R9s on this list?? If you haven’t held it and fired it, you don’t know why this is THE BEST CCW handgun in the world! Take a look at to find out what you have been missing. Sure, it is expensive, but what price do you put on your life or the lives of those you love??

  • bb

    I don’t know about you, but I am old school and I like hard copies. Well I began printing your article Top 10 Concealed Carry Guns and Ole Begeebers, I got 18 pages of comments of an article 4 pages long. So here is my comment…Leave the comments separate. P.S. I am also a pistol pack[n Grandma. I carry a gun cuz a cop is too heavy.

  • emiarmstrong

    I don’t know much about guns and I stay out of places and situations where I might need one. I’m too old to deal with that, but I have to say this article was so well written that if I ever needed or wanted a gun for protection, these are the people I would want to set me up with one.

  • Eddie L

    I carry a Sig P225 and I’m surprise that it didn’t make this list.

  • jeff53

    Amen on the PF-9! I have one that I’ve put 2000+ rounds through with ZERO FTFs. The 9mm in the hot loads (Critical Defense and PDX1) are real stoppers and practice ammo is the cheapest centerfire you can buy. For cold weather CCW I like either my Ruger P95 (very accurate) or Rossi 461 snubbie in 357 mag (very powerful).

  • jeff53

    For the ladies I would definitely recommend a light snubbie 38 (like the Ruger LCR). Two major drawbacks of autoloaders for ladies: 1) most of the slides are hard to pull back, and 2) if shot with a weak wrist a stovepipe jam will be a likely result.

  • kcbw

    Glad you mentioned Kimber. I have a new Pro Carry and I LOVE it! I also love my Glock38.
    Kimber for carry, practice, and one-handed shooting, and Glock for practice and two-handed shooting.

  • Tony_Seco

    Call me old fashion.


    Sure it doesn’t hide well. So?

  • shepster

    this forum must drive libs nutz! They cannot stand anyone to be self sufficient or empowered! Love the AA 22 mag choice. Remember;
    a “bird” in the hand is worth two in the bush (holster). Sooo discreet!
    All the best, shep.

  • arealpatriot

    I aree with you on this-I have had a Glock 27 and a Glock 23 for years and have never had a FTF. I have also carried a Ruger P-91 .40 and sold it because it was the most inaccurate haindgun I have ever owned. Both Glocks outshoot the Ruger by far and are much more reliable. Glocks are one of the most reliable firearms made since the cases are not fully supported, which is why you should never use reloaded brass in them.
    I also carry a Kahr PM-40 which is my preferred carry gun and it has never FTF.

  • arealpatriot

    You should leave Maryland and move to Arizona where one can carry without a damn permit! This is one reason that I left Kalifornia many years ago and will never go back. Where Kalifornia is the most liberal state, Arizona is the most Conservative state.
    Arizona rocks and is very gun friendly!

  • Tim

    I am concidering buying 4 taurus public defenders for me the wife and two daughters. 00buckshot can’t be beat up close and personel, and 45 colt will reachout and touch someone

  • JoeSmith9

    1. Sig Sauer, or H&K if you must. Anything else is simply a waste; a waste that should have been spent on accessories for your AR.

    2. That being said, I think I’ll contradict myself and nominate the Walther PPS in 9mm first and foremost, as a firearm that I have found is dead bang reliable, and follow it up by nominating the Sig P228/229, Sig P239/245 (for those that like shooting once) and the H&K P7.

    I especially like the P7. For all of the points the author considers, it is a remarkable piece of engineering. Actually, the more I have considered (and tested, one of my friends is a fan of these pistols and has a couple examples) one, the more impressed I am.

  • JoeSmith9

    I am distrustful of the ability of the .410 to properly propel buckshot in the first place, and much moreso out of a short barrel. However, the .45 Long Colt is another story entirely-go for that.

  • SicknessofChoice

    The Taurus gun may not fire exactly like a .410 shotgun, but for self defense I would think that a perp would not want to be catching a charge of 00 buck at close range short barrel or not? If you doubt the ability of the Taurus Judge or Public Defender to propel 00 or even 000 buck then try standing in front of one loaded with either size? I am sure your tune would change, but you probably won’t be here to tell us about it? I have shot watermelons and various other item’s with #4 buck, 00 buck and 000 buck and it blew watermelons and cantaloupes into fruit salad sized pieces? Also the recoil was quite light considering the loads being fired through it, which is bad for the perps cause this gun is quite controllable which translates into more accuracy! This gun is a decent choice for a self defense revolver for the home or out in the field!

  • old

    I think it just did-

  • old

    I would carry my Remington pump but it would be a tad difficult to conceal ;-) But I do like the passion I see for each of our own favorites-that is what it is all about. Personally I carry two Long In Tooth J-frames. While shot placement is indeed paramount a clear shot is not always possible; some of those nasty miscreants might be making that difficult.

  • Guest

    My wife is fond of my Kahr P9. It is light, 100% reliable and simple to shoot. I’ve also heard really good things about the KelTec PF9… although they are popular, inexpensive and hard to find these days. If 9mm is too much the KelTec P3AT and the similar .380s by Ruger and Taurus are possibilities, but the wife isn’t crazy about my P3AT. If recoil is a problem a .22 is way better than a sharp stick. If you can find one the Phoenix Arms HP22 is a good little handgun…small, inexpensive and very reliable. I’ve had mine for 15 years and it has never failed to shoot when I pull the trigger.

  • hard

    This top ten list sounds like it was paid for by Glock.. lmao
    1911 Haters!!!!!

  • roadapple66

    Smith & Wesson J-frame, because the 629 doesn’t fit in my front pocket. In cooler weather, I carry a full size Government 1911 in a Galco Royal Guard. It’s comfy, it’s hidden, it’s secure, and It’s easy to draw. Once again, any gun is better than no gun, but PLEASE get all the training you can get.

  • wsp1

    I understand your position…and it is Ok if you live in fear and want a firearm to rule your existence…but reality and years of actual use for Uncle Sam and taught me otherwise..
    None of us operates in a “seal” environment anymore…….get over it…the wannabe Rambo stuff is bull…the “old” guy next to you who looks like the easy mark…with the Beretta 21 or LCP in his pocket with his hand on it….will drop you, then take your 1911 and sell it….
    Try you rcarry in Arizona, Florida  or other hot spots when it is 108 degrees and you have shorts and a t shirt….sorry…doesn’t work…the avg individual does not want to walk around impressing the locals with his choice of iron…the pros…not cops, not military…but the pros…they never let you see it coming…they know how easy it really is to take someone down.

    and that 1911 that you think is concealed…please…the first thing we look for is the guy with the shirt hanging out or the misplaced coat or the “tuckable holster…you are only fooling yourself…not anyone who really does it for a living.

    Situational awareness…which I am sure you have heard of…stay out of harms way, walk away etc…when you can’t ..the maucho stuff will not help you…but close in and direct action will…at that range…what ever you are carrying will do the job…and within 20 feet the knife is going to bo it faster and better…just with more mess…
    too much bad info out there given by people who think they are experts because they have abadge or were in the

  • dougw333

    I would agree with the idea of a revolver being an ideal carry gun to avoid slide jams and having to chamber more rounds, a revolver is “always on”. But to put a .22 anything in the pole position is a pathetic recommendation coming on the heels of the .45, a few .40s, the ubiquitous 9mm, and .380s in the article. Yes, if you have the luxury of time and space to place a .22LR round right between the eyes of a crazed drunk or drug addict criminal with an IQ of 60, that would stop them in their tracks. But for the diminutive woman with one pistol to reach for in her purse before being assaulted by a murderous attacker, I would definitely NOT recommend a .22, Magnum or otherwise. Your statement that since I don’t want to stand in front of one that makes it potent in some way, is nonsense. In such a scenario you are not plinking.

  • RCoram

    What ammo with the .22 Mag? Snake shot and aim for the face? Hollow point for center mass?

  • rangemaster1

    Only an idiot would recommend a derringer for personal defense, we’re talking about people’s lives here. Your statement about all guns are powerful and would you want to be shot with a .22 is absurd on it’s face. The question is would you want to have to stop a violent, criminal attack with a .22 ? I could go on but it would take all day. Should’ve started with your first choice, could’ve saved myself some aggravation.
    Concealed carry is about defending your life ! Not about what gun is easier to carry. How can somebody who is supposed to be a qualified instructor make some of the recommendations that you have ?
    BTW, I’m a certified state handgun instructor in Tennessee.

  • MyronJPoltroonian

    You noted, in part: “I am old-school and prefer all steel guns.” I too am pretty much “Old School” in that I believe that all steel guns (at least in all the necessary places) are best for a number of reasons. Is it too heavy for you? Man Up! Consider it a form of “Weight Training”. (besides, the weight helps absorb recoil.) Too much maintenance involved for you to keep it from rusting? Too bad. Consider it time well spent in familiarizing yourself with the weapon you’re depending on to save your life.
    All that said, I depend on three firearms for concealed carry: Colt M1991A1 COMPACT in .45 ACP w/CMI 7 round after market mags. +one in the chamber, carried cocked and locked; Charter Arms 2½” barreled Bulldog Pug in .44 Spec.; and a Taurus SS K-Frame sized, 3″ barreled in .44 Spec.. Both revolvers are double action and the Colt is, of course, single action. I have no qualms about being confused in a panic situation however, as the old wheeze: “Practice makes perfect” has great validity. (“You shoot how you practice”, as some put it.)
    Thank God (literally) for your freedom to have a choice in what you use to save your life.

  • MyronJPoltroonian

    I responded to “Notebuyer” with the following (and I believe it bears repeating):
    You noted, in part: “I am old-school and prefer all steel guns.” I too am pretty much “Old School” in that I believe that all steel guns (at least in all the necessary places) are best for a number of reasons. Is it too heavy for you? Man Up! Consider it a form of “Weight Training”. (besides, the weight helps absorb recoil.) Too much maintenance involved for you to keep it from rusting? Too bad. Consider it time well spent in familiarizing yourself with the weapon you’re depending on to save your life.
    All that said, I depend on three firearms for concealed carry: Colt M1991A1 COMPACT in .45 ACP w/CMI 7 round after market mags. +one in the chamber, carried cocked and locked; Charter Arms 2½” barreled Bulldog Pug in .44 Spec.; and a Taurus SS K-Frame sized, 3″ barreled in .44 Spec.. Both revolvers are double action and the Colt is, of course, single action. I have no qualms about being confused in a panic situation however, as the old wheeze: “Practice makes perfect” has great validity. (“You shoot how you practice”, as some put it.)
    Thank God (literally) for your freedom to have a choice in what you use to save your life.

  • Bromac7

    I’m an avid shooter and never leave home without carrying something. I go the realm from .32 to .45 ACP. I have found the .380 to be very accurate and easy to handle. I put the Ruger .380 through a harsh trial and it made a believer out of me. I’ve owned 3 Kel-Tec (all good) I have the Kahr .380 w/NS (awesome shooter) Colt Gov.380 custom w/NS.

    Out of all the .380′s I’ve shot/own the Ruger is the easiest to conceal, rack the slide, and with nothing to get hung up on. My wife now carries it daily. My choice for best .380 conceal. But I do like to carry my Kahr P45. :o)

  • Bromac7

    My PM9 had a problem racking the first round into chamber. After that it became flawless. I called Kahr on numerous occasions and was not happy with their suggestions. BTW I’m still a fan of the Kahr and never had any problems with my P9, P45, P380 and MK9. The PM9 frustrated me, but now it’s all worked out and a keeper. You may find when you get yours back from Kahr it too will be flawless. They will fluff it up. :o)

  • Bromac7

    True Bryan, SpcOps are trained for up close and personal with the .22. I was working in a Gun Shop and ladies seem to always ask for light recoil of the .22. I said, ok if that’s all you’ll carry, you’ll be using it very close range so like pointing your finger to someones eye, do the same with your pistol hoping for a hit to the ocular window, as perp will probably be facing her.

    I carry a .45 9 months out of year. Kimber or my Colt 1911. I usually carry the lighter calibers during warmer weather when perps are not wearing much clothing…. Again the reminder…Practice and shot placement. :o) Old saying: “A 9mm might expand, but a .45 doesn’t shrink”.

  • Bromac7

    Well thought out James, when I was with the Sheriff Dept. Our main carry was the Glock 22. My backup was a Glock 27 in an Alessi ankle rig. Mags interchanged if necessary.

    One of my other winter carry Pistols is a Glock 30 and I carry a 13 rnd. G21 backup mag. :o)

  • Bromac7

    True JiminGA, I worked at a Gun Store for three years and the newer Glocks don’t tell about their warranty that I could find so I called Smyrna and they said said to tell the customer if anything goes wrong we will fix it free.

    My G30 is nearing the 10,000 mark now, going to three tactical courses and at range every week for three years with only one problem which was my error. In position one of firing from the hip I was to close to my rib cage and the slide hit me and it caused a stove pipe. The bruising is a reminder that made me practice, practice practice a position one shot. Only thing I had done to it was Robar Backstrap reduction and rounded the front of finger guard. All internals are stock as when I bought it new in 1996.

  • Bromac7

    That is what I said about the Taurus Judge.

  • Bromac7

    I too was a fan of the PPS in 9mm, extremely accurate as it should be, but… I was so used to push button mag release on all my other pistols, I thought it would be better to stick with what I was good at.

    The lever of the mag release somehow, kept causing on the palm of my shooting hand to stop the mag from falling. I did find after over an hour of practice, I could use my trigger finger to release mag quicker. Then again, I sold it and went back to what I’m accustomed to. Other than that, a great pistol. Thin and easy to conceal.

  • TexasRed171

    I sent my PM9 in to be converted to a Glock G26 and it’s been perfect ever since. :-)

  • DHConner

    Why does the FBI SRT carry Springfield’s 14 round .45ACP? Because ever since Dear Old Samuel devised the .45 Long Colt and his 1873 Peacemaker, the wise have recognized that the bigger the hole the more the blood runs, and that a big slowish heavy slug provides deep penetration, esxpending most or all of its energy inside the target, whee it does the most good.

    I don’t have the money to research everything the way the FBI does, I don’t think I’m any smarter than they are, especially considering their
    collective wisdom, and that’s why I load Renmington’s 230 grain Golden
    Sabre in my Combat Elite (a Cylinder & Slide masterpiece) and my 1911A1 From Springfield. I’m sure they spent hundreds of thousands to make this choice, as the lessons of Miami and Kansas City are certainly foremost in their minds.

    Several years ago here in Des Moines we had a scrawny little cabbie shoot a human gorilla (6-3;280#) who intended to take him apart into very small pieces. In court he said “I shot the fucker 3 times in the forehead and he kept coming didn’t he?” So much for the .22 Long Rifle.

    Colonel Cooper said bring nothing to a gunfight that doesn’t start with a 4.
    Unless you have armor piercing ammo for your .22s, .32s, .380s; you’d better aim for an eyeball and hope it goes through to the brain. I’ll take the weight of the .45 and the FBI’s ammunition selection, and leave the rest to the gun rag writers and armchair theorists. Yes, I know there are always exceptions, and always will be, and that nobody wants to get shot–but when the chips are down I’ll put my bet on lots of big holes center mass. Makes breathing awfully diffcult, you know. And by matter of shear size, makes the odds of hitting something vital vastly superior.


    Donald Conner

  • DHConner

    For an examination of this first paragraph, got to Garrett’s Cartidges (Google it) and read his findings on bullet weght, diameter, and speed. I was going to replace my .458 Win with another one, but now I think I’ll save myself some money and get a Marlin 1895 in .45-70. If his hard cast 600 grain will kill elephant, Cape Buffalo, and water buffalo, then I do believe it’ll suffice for anything that moves on land in this hemisphere, (including a Mack truck??).

  • DHConner

    If you have a 629 Mountain gun, send it to Cylinder and Slide. Have them put on a set of Kensights (the Bomar style) and cut off the barrel so that it ends just where the shoulder of the extractor rod surround touches the barrel. This will allow the front sight to be moved back just enough to not require the creation of a dovetail and new sight blade. Have them call Craig Spegel and tell him to make a set of his boot grips for it. As far as I know, I was the first to have him do it.

    The whole thing fits neatly in my jeans pockets and a sloppy shirt or jacket at this time of year in Iowa covers up what little of the butt can be seen. With 165 grain Cor-Bons it’s like a .38 special. With 240 grain HP’s it’s a handful. With 300 grain Garrets hang on tight and roll with the recoil.

    Donald Conner

  • DHConner

    Is that why the FBI SRT carries a Springfiled 1911A1 with 15 round of 230 grain Remington Golden Sabres in them? John Moses Browning designed a firearm that properly cared for and dleaned will still be shooting long after your peices of plastic have given up the ghost. Have you tried getting a silencer to legally carry lately. All that stuff is for the few who require them as a matter of daily duty. Yes, .212s will make lots of little holes, but as to stopping power, before he gets his knife stuck to the hilt in your ribs or simply guts you like a fish….I ain’t too sure about that.

  • MyronJPoltroonian

    Dear “DH”,
    I don’t think 600 grains in any .45 caliber is much good for anything beyond stopping-gun range. (That pesky “Rainbow Trajectory” thing and all.) Of course, if that is what you’re really looking for, the 2010 Gun Digest has a very good article on the 2-Bore on page 8 if you’re interested.

  • roadapple66

    Thanks for your advice, but I was not clear on the revolvers. I have two
    629′s. One classic, and one Performance Center V-Comp. Both have 6 inch
    barrels, and shoot too good for me to want to modify. I am real happy with
    them as they are. You did provide great advise for the mountain guns, but I
    am happy with the .38 + P capability of the J Frame. It is so light, I
    forget I have it. Cylinder and Slide is a really good shop, and I
    whole-heartedly recommend them. Thanks for the response! Different things
    work for different folks, and I am sure there are many people that will
    benefit from your suggestion. Keep telling it as you see it… It may save
    someone’s life.

    Best Regards,


  • kenlowder

    I’m a fan of the Bursa thunder 380. It had a problem with rule number 1 in that it wasn’t all that comfortable to carry concealed. Then I saw the the CC model at the gun show! Rule number 1 fixed and then some. As for power I have switched to Buffalo Bore rounds and power to stop and kill is no longer an issue. I use these rounds in all of my hand guns including my redhawk 44 and my 1911. My wife thinks it adds a little to much kick, but she still shoots a good group with her bursa. Both of us can live with that thank you.

  • wsp1

    If you think that two or three rds of any caliber properly placed are not going to upset the bad guys game plan…i beg to differ. You forget that while this is happening..we are not at the range,,,duh….we are not standing still awaiting the outcome…we are proactive and offensive, targeting the next vital and executing immediately….we don’t wait ever.
    Yes…I have and shoot 1911′s…and the FBI doesn’t deal in our environment…that is why 
    most professional teams and others use HK’s or SiGs…which do not require tuning, carry more rounds and are just as accurate and more reliable…get over it.  people like 1911′s because they have short triggers and are easy to shoot for many. They are great range guns. The HK  or Sig 220 does it all , and does it better…where it counts…in the field …
    Read the stats…from the FBI and others …this failure to stop bull is rare,…and generaly a result of poor first shot placement. YOu have a minimum number of rounds, and if you expend them and find your assailant still bent on ruining your day, go to plan b…knife, baton, back up piece…which ever you prefer…
    secondly, you and others miss the prime directive…do not get into the stuation in the first place, and if you do, do not be defensive…be offensive…

    you want to carry right…why? rambo attitude or just afraid. Beccause its your “right”…gee a constitutional scholar…how nice. Which is it..time for some honest self assesment instead of repeating tired old data and mantras from arm chair pros…in either case there are ways to protect yourself that are more effective than pulling a piece and whailing away hoping for a good outcome. Going to stand there in your weaver stance and get the bad guy…right…do you really think  this is how it goes down?

    Most police shootings expend a significant numbeer of rounds for minimal results…if you can not be certain to hit…why are you firing…makes you feel good? Many of the older studies suggesting 21 ft, 3 rds in 2-3 secs are dated and based on situations the avg person never encounters…real life never happens the way you plan…or train…
    if you are aware of a situation and see a problem coming…avoid it or deal with it forcefully…
    the firearm choice is immaterial to the problem at hand.
    You have not addressed the issue of climate, environment, ability, skill level….everyone thinks they are an expert because they shoot a few rounds down range and hit the target…big deal. Are you running, trying to retreat, why not?..finding cover, waiting for the shot, caught unaware, flat footed…poor light, don’t know the target or backstop behind it?  Hurt, arthiritic, crippled, tired, no glasses…yeah..your prepared…sure…good atty will have you in jail for 20 yrs.
    Deal with size does not fit all…and all your two weeks of expensive training in IPSA, Gunsite and Thunder Ranch won’t mean squat to the other side… and it could just get you killed…
    Being able to hit is good…being able to kill is better….most people come up short…
     people really need to rethink and understand why they want a CCW and what it really means….

  • SlingArmed

    Yep…concealment is a big issue unless you also carry an extra-long over stuffed submarine sandwich (“to go” of course) . That works better in the summer(less conspicuous) than the long black trail coat.
    Ok seriously….. I have a Beretta 86 .380 and a Ruger P89DC 9mm (heavy and bulky). Not crazy about either one of them as a carry, so I continue to evaluate all the great new compacts and sub-c’s out there and those new ones just coming out. Trying to pick one and coming up with an excuse to the wife why I need another weapon are both challenging issues….maybe I should just forget it and tryout for ‘Dancing with the Stars” instead……..

  • Guest

    The FBI’s current standard issue weapon is either a Glock 22 or 23. Special Agents are allowed to carry personel weapons so long as they meet FBI standards. Special Reaction Teams apparently do use the .45 cal. firearm you describe but I suspect that their likelyhood of an armed confrontation is much higher than mine. In the last fifteen years I’ve only touched my weapon twice in contemplation of drawing…and fortunately did not need to either time. I generally try to avoid trouble, shooting anyone in Virginia is a legal hassle as there is no specific “self-defense” statute here. I agree with the author that any firearm is superior to no firearm… perhaps a .22 is a bit of a stretch, but still better than nothing. Not all of us are prepared to carry two and a half pounds of handgun year round…it’s just not practical. I’ve tried it and found that the big gun stayed home frequently. My .380 is on my person always and I shoot it very well. In the end, I can’t dispute your argument that larger caliber weapons will likely do more damage. But I would hesitate to dicourage anyone from carrying whatever works for them. The first rule of gunfighting is still…have a gun.

  • Guest

    Whoopie a real “certified” instructor. I’d question your credentials…but not those of the guy you called an “idiot”. A well placed shot from a derringer or for that matter, a large rock will likely as not deter an attacker, if not kill… him, her or it. I’m sure you could “go on all day”, but it’s not likely that you’d have anything intelligent to say.

  • watashiwa

    Just a ballistics question here as I’m a fan of smaller caliber defense: in such a short barrelled .22 like the NAA mini wouldn’t the LR be just as effective? Wouldn’t the bullet leave the barrel before the magnum cartridge be fully fired? I’ve had both and it just seems like the LR is as best as it gets…

  • flash44

    I’m a retired LEO and served in the military. I was a firearms instructor for a federal agency for 18 years and I have numerous personal handguns to consider for consealed carry. For years I have looked at, fondeled, and purchased handguns specifically for concealed carry and then one day, like common sense falling out of the sky and hitting me on the head, it occured to me that nothing I had purchased in the past was a fateful carry gun, not because it didn’t feel good in my hand or preform well at the range but because it was just too big or heavy to carry every day in any clothing and in all kinds of weather. Priority number one should be WILL YOU CARRY THE GUN FATEFULLY. Decide how you will carry and always carry the same. If you need it, you probably won’t have time to try to remember where it is. Something else to consider…if you carry an auto in your jacket pocket or purse, you may need to fire the weapon from it’s consealed carry position if you don’t have time to draw. If this happens to you, your auto becomes a single shot. When the slide cycles and comes in contact with anything, it WILL NOT FEED. A hammerless revolver will shoot every time you pull the trigger, even from inside your jacket pocket or purse. Also, if you carry in your rear pants pocket and sit, preasure on your mag release may unlock your mag (this has happened to me). Will your auto even fire without the mag locked, some will, some won’t, you should know. For those who are not well practiced and gun knowledgeable, keep it simple, I suggest no safeties, no hammers, no mags and no slides to rack. Practice shooting using several different positions/grips without using the sights, one hand, from the waist, mid-high, in close and from a sitting position if possible. Don’t worry too much about accuracy…..if you can hit a refrigerator from 6 feet shooting 2 or 3 rounds quickly from any position, that’s probably all you will ever need for self protection. I’ve been carring a LCP for about two years and it has left an imprint on my back jeans pocket on several pair of pants, Kinda’ like a Cowboys snuff can. If I have my pants on, I have my gun, but, there are issues with the mag unlocking and a heal mag release may be the answer. In any case, the search for the perfect carry gun continues.

  • flash44

    The shorter the barrel, the more FPS you will lose….regardless of the cartridge. The mag will have more power and better performance on the target, especially if you need to penetrate heavy clothing during the winter months.

  • PainInMyASS

    The writer is obviously not a 1911 fan, I have the compact Officers model, tucks nice, packs the 45, shoots very tight and has never had any feeding issues. I have no doubts of its performance when/if it is needed. I will keep it and throw out this article.

  • Dianegm

    I carry a Kahr…I can’t remember the model, but it is a 40 cal. nice little gun, big bang. It feels real good in my hand, and I nail what I’m aiming for.

    I outshoot my husband with it, and he was a SWAT commander.

  • Iraqivet

    I like them all..Glock 19 is main carry with extra mags..NAA .22/.22mag Black Widow is good if wearing light clothing..Taurus 605 stainless snuby hits point of aim w/.357 a little high with .38′s..It is ported of course..My wife likes her Berreta 21 stainless w/CCI Stingers and a concealed purse..Most people need to practice at an inside range with the lights off..Holding a flashlight while shooting is difficult to master, but necessary and mag changes in the dark are critical..The .22 Beretta can dump 8 shots quickly and stays on target..Please practice..

  • OldTex

    Well I have a Walther PPK/S, Glock 23 with factory laser sights, a S&W .357 revolver and a Colt Golt Cup Trophy .45. I take different guns for different trips. The Walther goes with me most of the time. The Colt goes with me into Houston. The Glock at night. The S&W I gave to one of my sons to take with him when hunting wild hogs with a bow and arrow.

  • BalkanDeputy

    I don’t know. I guess anyone can put together a top 10 list.
    I just turned 60 and have been carrying a 1911 since the Vietnam war.

  • BalkanDeputy

    How about a short barreled shotgun?

  • masterball47165

    In most nations we could not even have these discussions.
    I carry naa 22 mag or kel tec p32.
    In winter i carry the colt det. spcl. 38

  • masterball47165

    In most nations we could not have these discussions.
    I carry the naa22mag or k/t p32
    I am also getting more comfortable with a colt detective special 38

  • masterball47165


  • imthelumberjack

    yes the kahr pm9 is a piece of crap ,i would only want my enemy to have this gun

  • eatcrow

    I have a naa 22 mag and am surprised how much recoil it has for as small as it is. I want one of those belt buckles but can’t seem to find one for mine. any suggestions?

  • TomL

    Dont forget SIG!! My P238 carry is hands down the top .380 carry out there. I have tried to make it fail and it keeps on going, any ammo brand etc.. I would love to carry a glock, but lets face it, they get in the way sometimes. The P238 I can put in my back pocket. Very low recoil and deadly accurate out of the box! My young daughter loves it and so do I. I have big hands but somehow the little 1911 ‘knock off’ fits me perfect especially with the extended magazine. The bad guys would never see what hit ‘em.. Just my two cents…

  • realitypls

    I dont know where you live Sir, but live in Florida the criminals down here carry .40 and above and AKs “choppers.” While its true that most dont know to shoot, many take the time to learn (seen them at the ranges) cause the pro crimnals know that many more people are carrying. I mean look at all that can be learned just online! I think people underestamate many of these new age thugs. You say you are in LE but do some reasearch into many of the central and south american gangs coming across the border that are trained in military camps. And lets not for get many of the soon to be ex military criminals with real combat experience. And yes there shot placement yada yada but would you feel confortable going up against a high caliber riffle/handgun in trained criminal hands… with a .22? I know what your going to say situation awareness blah blah. But when it comes down to it will you be able to shoot through glass walls and car doors like they will? Also, what would say about Massod Ayoob’s view self defense calibers? I think he’s a pro, wouldnt you say?

  • fxsts53

    I too carry the Glock 30. I bought it in 1998 and have never had a problem with it. Not too big and very accurate. Awesome customer service!

  • William_Plank

    well We had a home invasion a few weeks before christmas when I heard the door get kicked in i came to the living room and there was a guy tearing my xbox out of the wall unit when he turned around i noticed he had a gun and I shot the guy with a 380 Taurus atleast 2 times, he shot back and fled I kept firing, and the police found the stolen car they were in later, but never found the suspects the one i shot was bleeding a little bit so I know i hit him the first shot was maybe 5 feet away center mass and the second shot was as he was firing at me which in turn made him drop his gun thank God because Im here to tell you that .380 is crap Luckily he only had a crappy little .22 pink handled laurison “excuse spelling not familiar with this junk” the police took his gun and had a little laugh . Ofcourse this is no laughing matter and it makes me sick to think that had the guy had a .45 or something bigger and knew how to use it i would probably be dead
    Because though I got the first shot it didnt fase the guy and he had time to shoot back

    Also would like to mention I do have a M-berg500 and that wouldve handle business perfectly except when I heard the crash I though it was a car crash and went to investigate and happen to have the .380 on me like usual but had I known it was a breakin from the go i wouldve grabbed the shotgun

    so now I carry an ak47 Pistol “Draco” in my car fully loaded at all times “The best ccl gun for a vehicle I could find” Because you cant keep shotguns and rifles loaded in the car plus there to big so the draco is an awsome GO-TO truck gun for any redlight jackers that may happed to threaten you or your family also carry and Kimber .45 191 in my waist band now and a lot of times you will catch me with a 357 hammerless S&W revolver on my ankle aswell

    May seem a little overkill to some but when you have been in a situation like that and your little .380 didnt do jack you would step your game up to

    Great write up except I obviously think size matters adrenaline will keep the bad guy coming unless you have that extra stopping power or manage a head shot which is damn near impossible in a split second reaction

    Thanks, William

  • Greg Vermeychuk

    I really like the Glock 36, as a backup for my 5″ Model 1911!
    Seriously, what about the S&W 442 Airweight loaded with .38 Special +P?
    It’s light, easy to carry, and will do the job if you do yours.

  • leadfoot320

    i could not hold the p-9, or p-3. but the P-11 WORKS FINE ! I HAVE LARGE HANDS. THE S&W 15 ROUND MAG WITH THE KEL-TEC EXTENDER FITS GREAT !

  • leadfoot320


  • ronbwolf

    Any firearm where you “need” to use the slide lock lever as a slide release is junk and should be disposed of

  • canovack

    While we all have our favorite calibers and actions, and we can opine all day as to which may the best for personal defense.  In the end, however, it is the basic rule of gun fighting that will carry the day.  That basic rule is:  When going to a gunfight…..bring a gun…..any gun is better than none.  AND… many of us have learned…..bringing two guns, a principal and a back-up is better yet.  AND…..oh yeah…’s good to have a good knife and a good flashlight as well.  If that all sounds like a lot to carry around, it really isn’t.  It all depends on how you organize your gear and how you dress.  I have been doing it this way for years, and I am very comfortable with it. 

  • bullet1943

    Interesting and fun articles. At present I’m happy with either of 2 that I carry. My Taurus PT145 Pro in .45 is just plain excellent. ($359 new) I occasionally carry my hammerless S&W Model 40 +P .38. because I can carry it in my front Levi pocket. Both are very accurate. In fact, S&W won’t let the snubbies out of the factory unless they shoot a prescribed group at various ranges. Check it out. I use MagTech self defense loads in those two carry guns.

    I’m also considering buying my “ultimate” lightweight CCW, a Taurus Model 738 in .380. I’ve checked out many .380′s, and like the Taurus best. Has extra features over similar makes, such as the “round in the chamber” indicator, the slide staying open on last shot, an external safety, and rounded surfaces for snag-free drawing. I believe it weighs about 11 oz. I thought the trigger pull was much better than on the new Ruger lightweight .380, which is horribly long. Price for the 738 new was under 260 bucks too!

    In my RV, and when prospecting or out in the woods, I often carry “Sasquatch”, my Taurus “Judge”. I load it like this: Chamber One and Two- with 3″ .410 #4 shot. Chamber Three and Four- the Federal .410 000-buckshot or Winchester PDX “hockey pucks”. Chamber 5- a .45 Long Colt 230 grain lead bullet. Why? Hell, I don’t know. I just like having an arsenal I guess.
    As you can see, I’m a big fan of Taurus. In my humble opinion they’ve come a long way since their beginnings in Brazil. (They now make a lot of their firearms in the good ol’USA!!) Their fit and finish has improved greatly, their warranties are worry-free, prices are super, and they’re always coming up with some innovative and interesting guns. Saving up money now for that danged Ranch Hand in .357, if I can find one.

  • charlesjneilsonmd

    With my fairly slight build, I cannot easily conceal my H&K USP 40 and my easily concealable Walther PPK/S .380 is short on stopping power, so I find my Glock 27 subcompact .40 cal easy to hide, even in my pocket.  Having to give up the larger magazine of the H&K, I still can make up for the little Glock27′s total of 10 round capacity by carrying a backup magazine for the Glock 23 (13 round capacity)…..which fits the Glock 27 nicely.  So,  I can fire 10 shots initially and replace the magazine with 13 shot capacity.

  • roadapple66

    Extra magazines are mostly for having a spare, in case the primary malfunctions.  While shot placement is paramount to surviving any forced, armed encounter, actually hitting where you want is far more difficult in a high stress situation.  I always advise people to carry what they can use efficiently(hit with).  The more training, the more profficient a person can become with any firearm.  You can not get enough training.  I worked the streets (and highways) for over 4 years.  My sidearm was always a Kimber Classic Stainless 1911 .45ACP, with Wilson Combat magazines(8 rounds each).  My backup gun (BUG) was always either a Kahr MK40, or a S&W J-frame .38 +P.  Some of the DPS officers I worked with carried Kel-Tec P32′s, clipped to their armor, for backup.  Either way, we trained (and used) our sidearms to get us back to the vehicle, and to our shotguns, and/or patrol rifles.  So, by all means, carry what you can use efficiently.  Become efficient with a reasonable size (heavy hitting) caliber, and you will fare much better.  I do not, nor have I ever, feel “under-gunned” with a 5 shot, .38 Special revolver.  The will to use it is not the issue.  The will to train, and prepare to use it, is the key to success.  You must have the mind-set to stop the fight with the least amount of force necessary to over-come the opponent.  Once the fight has been stopped, you must lower your use of force to the level necessary to stay in control of the situation.

  • roadapple66

    My wife has one of the new S&W Bodyguard .38 +P, 5-shot revolvers.  She shoots it quite well, and she loves the laser sight.  She was looking at a Ruger LCR, but went with the Smith.  She is very happy with it.  I have a Ruger LCP she likes to shoot, but she has trouble pulling the slide fully to the rear.  She’s not “weak” per say; I’ve seen her shoot 100 rounds of 130 grain JHP +P in one range outing.  While the recoil can be quite sharp, she was disappointed that she ran out of ammo, and had to stop shooting for the day.

  • roadapple66

    TexasRed171, Sorry to hear you had problems with your Kahr.  I have used several, but did not have the problems you described.  The problems I had were due to extremely tight tolarances.  The MK40 slide would not completely lock into battery on initial loading, and sometimes on subsequent shots.  I had to run over 200 rounds through it (with the help of some BreakFree CLP), before it relaxed enough to be 100% reliable.  I do believe I would be upset too if the magazine seized in the gun.  I have a Glock G26, and a G19.  Both have worked flawlessly as you have stated.  I hope Kahr makes it right for you.  If they let you trade, I would suggest the MK40.  It is heavy for size (a little brick), recoil is stout, and it needs some break-in, but mine is now reliable, and extremely accurate.  It shoots as good as my Kimber 1911. 

  • OIFVet06

    Agreed.  The Sig is an excellent option.  I was interwoven in the use of the Glock 22 and 23 when I was in law enforcement and it was an excellent weapon to teach to others, but I was myself more comfortable with a good double action like the Sig, or the single action M1911A1 which is what I qualified with in the Navy and later shot in service pistol competition.  

    Later, as an armed DoD specialist with service in Iraq, I had hoped to get issued a Sig in the form of the M11.  That didn’t happen and I qualified with and was issued an M9 instead.  I did not complain because it was just as easy in my job description to go downrange with no weapon.  I may have to get a Beretta 92 now since that is like the weapon I went to war with, even though I never fired a shot in anger.  A .45 Sig P220 is on the “short list” too.  

    Today, I carry a .45 Colt Officer’s ACP as my concealed carry weapon during most of the year and a full size .45 Springfield Armory 1911A1 in jacket weather.

  • fordtoyota

    You might want to re-think the power issue. Some people DO want to get shot. Among that elite clan are gang initiates. A police officer in my area informed me that one means of attaining gang membership is: “Give a bullet or take one.” If a gang wanna-be sees a small caliber pistol, is he likely to say, “Nahhh, the guys wouldn’t be impressed. I’ll wait to get shot by a big gun”?

    If he decides to give a bullet instead of taking one, is your cartridge powerful enough to STOP him before he kills you? Stopping power is important in the real world.

    That’s just one of many instances which demonstrate the need for serious power in a defensive forearm. What about the night home invader who launches his attack before he sees that you have a gun? He’s committed. He’s in motion. You don’t have time to try to scare him.

    What about the drug user? He may not even be in this world when he attacks or threatens.

    What about the hard-core con, the three-time loser who isn’t going back to prison for life no matter what the cost? Or someone like the absolute psycho who responded to a warning burst of fully-automatic fire from a Mini-14 with the comment, “F___ you and your automatic weapon”?

    He lost. I wouldn’t have bet on a .22 to do the job.

  • apache6

    DITTO,ATM,I wouldn’t feel under gunned carrying a .22.Bullet placement IS everything !!!

  • apache6

    I carry my Taurus 24/7 .45acp cocked,locked,and ready to rock,and the same for my 1911.NO PROBLEM !!

  • Garylorann

    I am retired LEO out of Arizona.  My CCW fav is my HK-USP .45 Compact for accuracy, dependability and comfort.  Probably because my Duty Weapon was the HK-USP .45 Standard.  Go with whatever gives you the confidence to win… period.

  • duffydog

    you are the one to make a choice, what is confortable to you.
    my self it’s a sig p 250 

  • theheathster

    I am not an expert by any means.  I don’t even have a concealed license (YET) and I was just researching before I went and spent the money. I can say that I have been a paramedic for almost 10 years and I have made as many DOS’s that were shot with .22′s and .380′s as I have with bigger calibers.  Once again, I am a beginner compared to all the experts out there but I do believe several small rounds center mass will stop almost anyone.  For me, I am usually seen in khaki shorts and a T-shirt and I can’t see myself being able to conceal a 1911. 

  • Michael


    Lots of nice guns mentioned. I am VERY surprised that Rohrbaugh and Seecamp are not even mentioned. I carry a Rohrbaugh R9S (9mm) everyday, Once and awhile I need something smaller and 100% reliable, so I pocket my Seecamp LWS .32 in a wallet holster. Both of these pistols are designed with no external do-dahs to snag, Eurpoean Mag release to eliminate accidental Mag eject, and have respectable calibers. Made in USA, Solid Metal (Mostly Steel) pistols.

  • Bill Ridenour

    I prefer the old 1011 .45 since I fired it frequently in the service. And the longer barrel does add accuracy. But I would modify the trigger pull. Right now I carry a Glock 23 .40 caliber, but may also get that new Ruger 9mm to stick in the console of my car. No excuse not to carry that smaller weapon.

  • Bill Ridenour

    Check that. 1911.

  • Billy R. Ousley

    I hate to burst your bubble Sikitrix, but if the BG is within 20 feet, he’ll have you stuck and gutted before you can pull that “Super Accurate” piece you carry. It’s very apparent that you have never been in Any situation where you have had to use whatever you carry. Head shot, knee cap, lol. If that’s you philosophy, I wish you luck in your next life. You sure won’t have any in this one if the BG is intent on killing you.

  • cws.fan1540

    The common thread thread in this issue is that there are almost no absolutes. If you have time to aim for precise placement, you probably have no legal right to shoot. You have to be in immediate fear for either your or another’s life in order to use deadly force. Proper training and lots of practice is the only absolute.
    On a personal note,While I would not be so arrogant has to tell someone what they must carry, the reason that I prefer a 45 is that they don’t make a 46.

  • Peter van der Heiden

    The Kel-Tec does not like all ammo like the Ruger LCP, which is a much better quality weapon by far. The LC9 is the big brother to the LCP but much smaller than most of the ones you mentioned. I have carried a few and the LC9 is by far the best, Small enough to carry in shorts and a T shirt, excellent quality, good accuracy, 7+1 rounds, 9mm and way cheaper than the Glocks, S&W’s, and Khar. No Brainer.

  • Bob Hanks

    I am sure that 90% of the people posting here have way, way more experience than I do carrying, and shooting, firearms. But I would like to add to one part of the discussion. That is the part of making the “head shot”, the “well placed shot”, the “four rounds in the face” shot when in a combat situation, and I include street crime as combat.
    If you haven’t been in combat, you might want to talk to someone who has. You have a bit of trouble making “well placed shots” when your adrenaline has your heart pumping at 180 beats per minute, your palms are sweating, and your hands are shaking so hard you can barely hold the gun with both hands. Practice on the range doesn’t change the physical reactions to “fight or flight”. Experience helps – some – but how many of us will experience something like this more than once in our lifetimes?
    Late in my second tour I got caught while reloading and nearly skewered by an NVA. I fired 8 rounds from a 1911 A1, starting at about 30 feet and closing. I hit the stock of his AK and just barely grazed his armpit. Luckily our M-60 gunner was able to help me out when he was about 10 feet from me. I PRACTICED. And I had a bit of experience with the effects of being in combat. All said and done, it just isn’t that easy.

  • Trey Harris

    My wife and I both carry .380. I have the Ruger LCP, my wife loves her Bersa Thunder. I use to be a nothing .40 will do kinda guy. But the LCP has won me over. I like the no safety, pull and shoot, and to be so small, I still have the 6+1 capacity, and with Cor Bon 95gr HP, I absolutely have no worries. To me it’s not about what shooting, but where your shooting. Proper shot placement is key. As for my wife, she loves her Bersa Thunder, it’s very comfortable, accurate, has 7+1 capacity, as well as a few safety features. One of which she can completely lock it with a key.