By Devin Martin
In a world full of people with questionable cognizance, I try my best to associate myself with people who value common sense. It has become very apparent that the need to protect oneself from the “Crazies!” is a bit of a necessity these days. The convenience of an easy-to-conceal, lightweight, firearm is more practical and less threatening than some big ol’ Robocop, Auto-9-type machine pistol strapped to your thigh. Even though that may be pretty cool, the everyday Coldplay, Radiohead jammin’ “Free Bird” (like myself), and other regular Joe’s, might be made a little uneasy at the sight of something so ominous. For that reason, I compiled a Top 10 Best Concealed Carry Handgun list. Not only for the true handgun enthusiast, but also for the budding novices who are simply looking to protect themselves and learn about a great selection of guns that come highly recommended as Every Day Carries (EDC).
An oldie but goody that replaced the U.S. Military revolver in 1911, hence the name M1911, or what most aficionados call the Browning Pistol. The M1911 is the handgun that handled WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Soviet-Afghan War. Designed by a semi-automatic pioneer John Browning, this concealed firearm was the American Military standard for 75 years. You can’t go wrong with this time- and battle-tested handgun.
This Belgian beast gets the job done! The FNS-9C may not have the panache of some more aesthetically pleasing handguns, but the FNS-9C looks like it is ready for a fight. This firearm is a little on the “chunky” side, but it has a natural feel when in hand and is very efficient. With teardown and reassembly in less than 30 seconds, this is a very competent concealed carry weapon.
The Ruger SR9C, the little brother of the industrious SR9 – is really not that much smaller. With the difference only being a wee bit more than a half-inch (4.14 inches to 3.5 inches in barrel length), the SR9C is fully capable of the same workload as its slightly bigger brother. When you switch from the standard 10-round mag to the SR9 compatible 17-round mag, there is virtually no difference. The SR9C presents more functionality, and aides in accuracy, with an accommodating 3-dot sight system. This handgun is on point!
Springfield Armory 911
The adroit minds at Springfield Armory brilliantly remixed the legendary 1911 to create a veracious compact 9mm rendition of said legend. Now, Springfield Armory has taken it up a whole new level, or should I say taken it down a whole new level, with the masterfully crafted micro-sized 911 pistol. Being only 5.5 inches long and just under 4 inches tall, this three-quarters of a pound beauty is a beast! This first-responder, single-action piece (“aw ha!” thus the name 911) was made to be concealed in your pocket if you so desired. Though the 911 isn’t an exact made-to-scale model of the 1911, it does bare a few similar features. Like the single-action hammer release, double-dealing safety lever, and the 911 field strips like the elder 1911 for easy teardown and reassembly. The 911 sets itself apart with a feature like the AmeriGlo Pro-Glo night-sights that upgrades vision from front and back. This micro-size .380 can lay it down where it stands.
Walther Arms PPQ Sub-compact Pistol
In the fall of 86’, 1886 that is, German gun-making visionary Carl Walther and his son Fritz embarked on a semi-automatic dream in the gun-making city of Zella-Mehlis, Germany. Fast forward through more than 130 years of persevering excellence, the Walther Arms team created another high quality signature piece, in the 9mm Polizei Pistole Quick Defense (PPQ-SC). With a seamlessly fitted 10-round magazine, and an optional 15-round, full-size-grip magazine, this sub-compact powerhouse shows aggressive versatility. Just like its big bro PPQ, the strike-fire trigger action sits among the best in the handgun world. John Wayne Taylor posted a review of the PPQSC on thetruthaboutguns.com claiming; there’s “No contest” between the PPQS and the very popular Glock Gen 5. The pristine trigger of the PPQSC proved to be superior in his back-to-back firing test. A hair over 6.5 inches long including a 3.5-inch barrel, furnished with a 3-dot polymer target sight, this rapid-fire concealed carry will keep you on target.
Sig Sauer P365 9mm pistol
The fascinating P365 really showed up big at the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The Granite State gun manufacturer was confirmed to be solid as a rock at the recent introduction of this micro-steamroller. The P365 9mm pistol holds a staggering 10 rounds flawlessly, and a towering 12 rounds in an extended magazine, without compromising on concealability. The sub-6-inch (5.8 inches), feather weight at a pinch over a pound (17.8oz) Sig Sauer can be hidden practically anywhere. Sig Sauer’s P365, 9mm pistol, is a well-rounded micro-compact with stopping power for all 365 days and beyond.
Berretta PX4 compact
Back in 2004, the full-size version of this lovable underdog was submitted to the market. The compact version hit the market in 2011. For some odd reason, the PX4 compact hasn’t had the Lionization of say the Glock 19, but please believe the PX4 holds its own. Weighing in at a cozy 33.5 ounces fully loaded, with a full 5-inch frame including the 3.27-inch barrel. This compact gem packs a powerful punch and is easy to tuck.
Smith&Wesson Shield 2.0
With over 1 million S&W Shield owners trekking this wonderfully unpredictable planet, the great minds at S&W must have done something very right with the innovation of this micro-9mm, striker-fire-action, personal-protection pistol (say that five times fast). Designed to fit the palm of your hand, maximum concealment was achieved with its patented design. Adding hawkish grip for optimum handling and an 18 degree grip angle for better eyeballed aiming. The S&W Shield 2.0 is a 5-star concealed carry pistol.
Glock 19 Gen 5
Glock released the Gen 4 back in 2010, and, with the exception of maybe a copper barrel on the Gen 4, and the eradication of the finger grooves on the Gen 5, there are essentially no differences, to the untrained eye of course. Having about 20 changes, most of which may seem slight, the Glock 19 Gen 5 is slightly better, being on the big side of mid-size concealed carriers; the Gen 5 postures hardy. Balancing at 7.28 inches long, 5.04 inches tall, and weighing a point under 1.5 pounds, this pistol is stout. The Gen 5 presents soft-shooting accuracy just like the Glock 19 generation before it. Gen 5 elevates itself with a new barrel, which is blazon to be twice as accurate at extended distances. The Gen 5 is a crowd favorite for a very good reason.
NAA .22 Long Mini-revolver
Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t top my list with the incomparable .22 Long Rifle mini-revolver. Besides its sensational visage, the 4-inch long, 4.5-ounce, mini thumper can fit comfortably in the little fifth pocket of your favorite blue jeans. There are many interpretations of the NAA mini-revolver, barrel length, caliber choice, grip, etc… one thing remains, they are all miniature. The single-action manual cock back delivers with deliberate stopping power. Crafted with classic simplicity in mind, NAA .22 Long mini-revolver is a perfect little blast from the past.
I hope my top 10 best concealed carry list presented a compelling assembly of useful knowledge for gun historians and apprentices alike. With a little of everything on the concealed carry spectrum, finding your perfect concealed firearm to protect yourself from the “Crazies!” just became a little easier.