by • October 24, 2017 • Gun NewsComments (0)243

Top 5 Best Concealed Carry Handguns

Walther PPK

Here’s an interesting article that was posted on another website looking at the “Top 5 Best Concealed Carry Handguns”.

While I don’t necessarily agree on some of the logic and choices, it’s a different perspective on the topic. My comments and opinions are in bold under each section.

Here are the top 5 best concealed carry handguns, according to one of our readers:

By Sam Lopez

This is a short list of the pistols that are the top of the heap, so to speak. Many times when looking for the ideal pistol, people get caught up in calibers and frame materials. No gun is perfect and there are always going to be five to ten pistols that most people can agree on as being the leaders in the concealed carry category. These are my personal favorites–the ones I consider to be the best concealed carry handguns.

Springfield XDM Compact

best concealed carry pistol

The XD line of pistols originated in Croatia as the HS2000 and started being sold in the U.S. in 2002 under the famed Springfield Armory name. While I felt that the company’s deceptive name was a bit shady, I could not help but thoroughly appreciate this pistol. They have many models and are typically feature rich and have earned a reputation for high quality and a good value.

The XDM compact, the best concealed carry pistol in my opinion, is a polymer framed, striker-fired pistol with many safety features including a grip safety, a trigger safety, and a firing pin block. It also has a picatinny rail, adjustable back straps, and a loaded chamber indicator.

I have a lot of experience with the 9mm and my first reaction was how mild the recoil was compared to a similar sized Glock, because the Springfield has a heavier slide. The XDM is chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP–and standard capacity magazines are 13, 11, and 9, respectively. The combination of features, reliability, and durability make this my top choice in this category. These pistols can be found for around $600 in most places, and elsewhere for less.

My Thoughts – While I do like the XDM series of pistols from Springfield, I prefer the XD MOD 2 SubCompact 3″ model over the XDM compact for CCW. While both are nice CCW options, I prefer the Grip-Zone grip over the adjustable backstrap grips on the XDM SC.

CZ 2075 RAMI

CZs are known the world over for their high quality build level, reliability, and comfort. The full sized CZ 75 and its derivatives, the RAMI being one of them, is one of the most popular handguns on the planet and also one of the most copied. The CZs as a whole are relatively scarce in the U.S., although they are rapidly growing notoriety and popping up at local gun stores all across the country.

Their popularity has grown due to readers like you who are seeking out information on-line and demanding more choices. The RAMI is a hammer-fired double action/single action alloy framed double stack pistol. It’s available in 9mm and .40 S&W and ships with a regular (10 in 9mm, 7 in .40) and extended (14 in 9mm, 9 in .40 S&W) magazine.

There have been rumors of the .40 S&W caliber model being discontinued, so you may want to start your search if you’re in the market. The RAMI comes in a safety model with regular sights and a tactical model with a decocker and night sights. Not surprisingly, the decocker model is highly sought after and even harder to find. It’s also a bit more expensive. MSRP is listed at $614 and the street price isn’t too far off from that, at this time.

My Thoughts – The RAMI is basically a scaled version of the venerable CZ 75 action. While I also like the RAMI (I’m a big fan of CZ both rifles and pistols), it’s built on an aluminum frame and tends to weigh a little more than one of it’s polymer frame counterpart CCW pistols. If you are a fan of DA/SA actions, then the RAMI might be a good option. As it’s a double stack design, you get more rounds compared to most of the popular single stack models, but the trade off is a wider grip. While an interesting CCW option, this one isn’t going to be on most top 5 lists.

Walther PPK

The PPK has been around for a long time, since 1931 to be exact, and is commonly found in the .380 ACP cartridge, although other variants do exist. It gained popularity as one of the sidearms used by Nazi Germany and later as fictional super spy James Bond’s firearm of choice.

There are many variants available today, but most have the same simple, reliable, blowback action, 6 or 7 round capacity, and are the standard in concealability and accuracy. Many concealed carry pistols are scaled down versions of original full sized designs, whereas the PPK is the original small pistol. It is a thin, steel-framed pistol that you can hide on your hip, small of your back, in your pocket, or on your ankle and is thus very versatile. The PPK is also a double action/single action pistol with a manual safety and old-school fixed blade sights.

A variant currently in production is the PPK/S, which has a slightly larger height than the original PPK. They are produced in the U.S. by Smith and Wesson under license from Walther. These are not too easy to find new, but their long history means that there are many used pieces around. MSRP is listed at $700 and can usually be found in excellent used condition for around $550.

My Thoughts – The PPK (and PPK/S) are neat little guns with a decorated history, and are still quite popular today. My biggest issues with the PPK for CCW is the fact that it’s built on a steel frame, which helps with recoil but adds weight, and the rather high costs of acquisition for the PPK compared to some of the competitor CCW pistol models. It’s more of an old school gun but has a certain nostalgia to it. While it’s a CCW candidate, I’d say there are far better and less expensive models that are a better CCW option.

Glock Sub-compacts 26, 27, 29, 30, 39, 33

Glocks are either adored or despised, and rarely anything in between. Even if you are a Glock hater, you must acknowledge them as the pioneer in modern pistols, popularizing both lighter, polymer framed pistols as well as the striker fired mechanism.

All Glocks function the same. Some are larger than others, and are chambered in different cartridges, but those are the only major differences. The Glock family have no external, manual safety features, have polymer frames, and are short recoil-operated with a locking breech. They have risen to be a favorite among law enforcement and civilians alike for their reliability and ease of use.

Cleaning, maintaining, and disassembling a Glock is also far easier than a hammer-fired pistol, but are often criticized as being clunky and visually unappealing.

Glock produces pistols in full size, compact, sub-compact, and single stack in a wide variety of calibers. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. As a general rule, the more powerful cartridges have lower capacities than the less powerful cartridges. The sub-compact models provide the best of concealability with ammunition capacity.

The sub-compact line features 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .45 GAP, 10mm, and .357 SIG caliber options. The most popular calibers are 9mm, .45 ACP and .40 S&W, whereas the .45 GAP, 10mm, and .357 SIG are less popular which make them more expensive and harder to find. Glock sub-compacts pistols range between $550 and $650, depending upon caliber.

My Thoughts – Whether you like the Glock brand or not, its hard to argue with their success and durability. Glock has developed a near fanatical following, in part thanks to their “to hell and back” reliability, and reasonable pricing points. Out of all the Glock Sub-Compact models listed above, the Glock 26 is by far the most popular seller. However, the single stack Glock 43 is noticeably absent from the list, and just about has to be included in any conversation regarding top selling CCW handguns. The G43 is selling on a torrid pace and will be in most conversations about the “best single stack CCW pistol”. If you like a compact, polymer frame, striker fired handgun; it’s hard to argue with the Glock Sub-Compact series.

Smith & Wesson J-Frame Revolvers

No list of the best concealed carry handguns would be complete without a revolver. Smith & Wesson started making J-Frame revolvers over 60 years ago and they are the default revolver of choice for concealed carriers. While most people appreciate the capacity and reloading capabilities of a semi-automatic, a sizable minority of carriers prefer a revolver.

Revolvers are touted as being the ultimate in reliability. While revolvers can malfunction, the common perception is that it is much more unlikely than a semi-automatic which is why most police offers carried revolvers as their duty weapons well into the 1990s. The downside of revolvers is capacity and slower reloads even with a speed-loader. New shooters also like their simplicity.

The most common calibers for small framed self-defense revolvers are the .38 Special +P and the .357 magnum. Those chambered in .357 are able to shoot the .38s, but the reverse is not true. The .357 ammunition is easy to find but more expensive and significantly more powerful. As such, these revolvers produce very heavy recoil. The model 360 is a very light, scandium framed .357 which is my go-to carry revolver. The model 360’s MSRP is $770, but is easily found new for $650 or less.

My Thoughts – I agree that the venerable S&W J frame should be considered in most conversations about the ideal CCW handgun. But, like any handgun, the J frame has some pros and cons. The pros: it’s small and lightweight, highly reliable, and is relatively simple to operate. The cons: a 5 shot capacity, a long and heavy factory trigger pull, and most have elementary sights at best. The .38 is the mot popular caliber, but I personally shy aware from shooting a .357 round in any .357 version as the recoil and manageability can be less than pleasant. Also, not every J frame will support +P+ loads so it’s important to be sure before trying or carrying any. Another entry from S&W that is unusually absent from this top 5 CCW guns list is the S&W M&P Shield in 9/40. It’s one of my personal top 5 CCW favorites based on it’s price point, functionality, aftermarket options, and slim, single stack design.

There you have it, my take on the top 5 best concealed carry handguns. Which guns make up your list of favorite guns? Let us know in the comments below.

All photos taken from respective gun manufacturer’s websites.


Top 5 Best Concealed Carry Handguns.

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