Ranking the 10 Best Concealed Carry Pistols of 2020


We live in turbulent times rife with possibilities both sublime and grave. Every day seems to bring news of stunning scientific breakthroughs alongside distressing tales of people whose lives have been upended by random violence. As such, the need for personal protection has never been greater. Martial arts classes are all well and good.

As are things like mace and pepper spray. But the fact is sometimes you need to bring something more immediately convincing to the table. Something like a concealed carry pistol. A good concealed carry pistol can literally be the difference between life and death. Or between a happy future and one characterized by years of physical and psychological recovery.

Below is our list of the 10 best concealed carry pistols for 2020.

1. Ruger LCP II

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Black
  • Barrel length – 2.75 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 380 Auto
  • Capacity – 6 + 1
  • Overall length – 5.17 inches
  • Type of magazine – Removable

We begin our list with this compact powerhouse. The Ruger LCP II is the ideal size for concealed carry. And at a mere .67 pounds it’s light enough to wear for hours at a time. The LCP II features numerous upgrades to the original LCP, including improved sights and slide lock for the final round.

The LCP II is both beauty and beast and makes the ultimate snake in the grass. Some will suggest the .380 is not powerful enough to be a truly effective deterrent. Anyone that makes such an assertion is misinformed at best. The .380 ammo is every bit the equal of .38 Special ammo and will effectively neutralize any size threat in short order. All in all the LCP II is an outstanding value.

2. Springfield XDE

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Black/li>
  • Barrel length – 3.3 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 9 mm Luger
  • Capacity – 9 + 1/
  • Overall length – 6.75 inches
  • Type of magazine – Removable

If you want to be sure you get the attention of your assailant just draw the Springfield XDE from your concealed carry holster. At 6.75 inches long with a 9 shot clip this is 9 mm means business. It tips the scales at just over a pound and a half. And that’s a little heavier than some other concealed carry pistols.

But if you’re able to wield it comfortably you’ll find the XDE to be a most valuable ally. The hammer fire system is also fairly unique among this type of handgun. It sports a decocker alongside a DA/SA trigger configuration. The bottom line is that the type of holster you select to carry the XDE around will be crucial.

3. Walther PPK

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Stainless Steel
  • Barrel length – 3.3 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 380 Auto
  • Capacity – 6 + 1
  • Overall length – 6.1 inches
  • Type of magazine – Removable

This is arguably the best looking gun on our list. And, of course, it comes pre-loaded with plenty of pop culture credibility courtesy of everyone’s favorite British secret agent. But the truly great thing about the Walther PPK is that it lives up to the hype in every meaningful way.

Sure, the basic design goes back to the ‘30s. And sure Adolph whats-his-name had his own gold-plated version of the gun. But none of that takes away in the slightest from the fact that this is a compact, dependable firearm that makes a great concealed carry weapon. The latest version chambers a slightly smaller round than the old 9 mm version. But the .380 ammo packs virtually the same punch. And it’s less expensive.

4. SIG Sauer P365

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Black
  • Barrel length – 3.1 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 9mm Luger
  • Capacity – 10 + 1
  • Overall length – 5.8 inches
  • Type of magazine – Removable

The P365 Sig is not only a mere 5.8 inches in length it’s also remarkably thin considering its double stack magazine. That mag guarantees you’ll be able to present assailants with 11 incentives to choose another path in life.

At just over a pound the gun is also light enough to appeal to guys and gals of all ages and sizes. And the price puts it right in most people’s financial wheelhouse as well. The P365 comes with 3 dot tritium sights as standard equipment. Oh, and as of 2019, the gun is also available with a manual safety.

5. Glock G26 G4

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Gas Nitride
  • Barrel length – 3.4 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 9 mm Luger
  • Capacity – 10 + 1
  • Overall length – 6.3 inches
  • Type of magazine – Removable

They call it the ‘baby Glock’. But with 11 9 mm rounds (10 in the mag, 1 in the chamber) on hand to discourage aggressive weasels it’s a baby with a bad attitude. Worldwide this is one of the most popular sidearm choices for law enforcement and it’s easy to see why.

It’s relatively light, very well-balanced, provides a rock solid grip and it’s fully ambidextrous. If you’re looking for real power that’s easy to conceal and won’t break your bank you’ll have a hard time topping the G26 G4 from Glock.

6. Bersa Thunder Duolite 380

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Duo-Tone
  • Barrel length – 3.5 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 380 Auto
  • Capacity – 8 + 1
  • Overall length – 6.6 inches
  • Type of magazine – Removable

Bersa is not a name that’s going to spring to mind for most casual gun enthusiasts. But a few minutes with the Thunder 380 Duolite and they’ll wonder why they had never heard of it before. As far as concealed carry goes this is on the upper end of the size scale at 6.6 inches in length. But if you’re a large person it should be well within your comfort zone.

At 1.38 pounds it’s actually light for its size. And it sports one of the best grips on the market. It’s contemporary lines make it a popular alternative for those who appreciate the look of the Walther PPK but don’t want to pay the price for that legendary firearm.

7. Taurus G2C 9 mm

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Black
  • Barrel length – 3.2 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 9 mm Luger
  • Capacity – 12 + 1
  • Overall length – 6.2 inches
  • Type of magazine – Removable

The Taurus G2C 9 mm is a rugged pistol that’s relatively easy to conceal, considering its size. It features a lightweight polymer frame, provides a solid grip and offers a nice crisp trigger that enables more accurate shots even when running.

The G2C also provides restrike capability. Those who think that double striking is the best thing since sliced bread will love that. Those who think it a superfluous feature with little redemptive value will not. What any budget conscious person in search of effective defensive capabilities will love is the price. And because of that even many restrike doubters are bound to give it a second look.

8. Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Black
  • Barrel length – 4.25 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 9mm Luger
  • Capacity – 17 + 1
  • Overall length – 7.4 inches
  • Type of magazine – Removable

We’ve long been fans of the M&P 2.0 and for a number of reasons. The way it feels in hand, the comfortable grip and that 17 round mag for starters. Because of its length (7.4 inches) and weight (1.55 pounds) some folks will have a hard time concealing it.

But if you are a large individual it will probably be just fine. Because of its reduced muzzle rise it’s easy to get off a rapid sequence of shots and have a reasonable chance of hitting the target with most of them. Even if you’re on the move.

9. Wilson Combat EDC X9

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Black
  • Barrel length – 4 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 9 mm Luger
  • Capacity – 15 + 1
  • Overall length – 7.4 inches
  • Type of magazine – Removable

The EDC X9 may strike some as being a bit large for concealed carry but we beg to differ. With the right holster it can be effectively saddled up and its profile toned down. And this is one firearm you’ll be glad you brought to the party if you need to rock and roll.

It packs some serious punch, has a 15 round magazine, is extremely reliable and very accurate. It’s going to set you back more than some other concealed carry pistols but it’s worth the stretch.

10. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard

Click Here for the Best Price

Specs

  • Finish – Matte Black
  • Barrel length – 2.75 inches
  • Cartridge Type – 380 Auto
  • Capacity – 6 + 1
  • Overall length – 5.25
  • Type of magazine – Removable

After our brief detour through larger concealed carry weapons we end on a compact note. Actually a subcompact note. The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard is a scant 5.25 inches in length and weighs a minuscule 0.77 pounds.

Yet it chambers a .380 Auto round that packs plenty of authority and it has a surprising ‘big gun’ feel to it. This is maybe the easiest of all the pistols on our list to conceal. But when you need it to join the fray it’s ready, willing and more than able.

FAQs

Do I Need a License to Carry a Concealed Handgun?

Few issues are as contentious in the current political climate as concealed carry. Opportunistic politicians are always looking for ways to score points with the hysterical fringe and attacking concealed carry is one of their most common tactics (1). As such it’s important that you adhere to the laws of your state regarding concealed carry. Even if you have a philosophical aversion to such laws. If you don’t you’re just giving 2nd amendment opponents free ammunition to use against you.

Concealed carry laws differ from state to state (2) Not only that, individual states often use their own, homegrown terminology when it comes to the issue of the concealed carry permit. Some call it a ‘license’. Others refer to it as ‘permit’. Some call it ‘concealed handgun permit’. Others a ‘concealed weapons license’. But whatever the term the net effect is the same. You must register and be approved in order to carry a pistol in a concealed manner.

Among the various states some will issue a permit only to residents. Others will issue permits to both residents and non-residents. Some states also reserve the right to withhold a permit, even if the applicant has met all the necessary requirements. And some states have constitutional provisions protecting the right to concealed carry. Yet they still insist on issuing a permit anyway.

Why Does Anyone Need to Carry a Concealed Pistol?

The modern world is overflowing with opportunities and danger. In the blink of an eye life can change due to someone else’s nefarious actions. The only way to prevent certain types of tragedy from befalling yourself or your loved ones is to be prepared for any possibility.

Nearly a quarter of offenders in adult and juvenile correctional facilities admit to either buying or selling (or both) at least 1 illegal firearm (3). This fact demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that restricting lawful gun ownership will do virtually nothing to alleviate gun violence. On the contrary, law abiding citizens need a way to protect themselves from the scourge of gun violence being perpetrated by owners of illegal guns.

When violence does occur it typically happens fast and is completely unexpected. Statistics show that people are most often accosted on the street or in their home (4). Women are often assaulted in parking lots. Nightclubs and gas stations are other common places where innocent people are often subjected to violent assault. As we’ve seen lately, even churches can become both places of violence and places where responsible citizens with a concealed firearm can prevent a larger tragedy (5).

When someone threatens your life or the life of your loved ones there is no time to call the police. You need to act quickly and responsibly to neutralize the threat. A concealed carry pistol can allow you to do just that.

Things to Consider When Buying a Concealed Carry Pistol

Selecting the right concealed carry pistol involves running a number of variables through the filter of your needs and wants. Those variables include:

Size – It would be nice to be able to pull a .44 magnum from under your jacket in a self defense situation. The reality, however, is that there is no practical way to conceal such a monster. And a good concealed carry pistol has to be, you know, concealable. That means if at all possible it shouldn’t impede your natural movement and it shouldn’t print (6) on your clothes.

Printing is going to draw attention. And, unfortunately, there are plenty of weasels out there that will take the presence of your pistol as a challenge. Which may require you to pull it when you really shouldn’t have had to. Then you’ll need to answer for the body and yada, yada, yada. Who needs the hassle? So this whittles the field of pistol candidates down to those that can be effectively concealed.

When it comes to size there is also the matter of your physical size. If you choose a pistol that is proportionally large for your body type it will be more difficult to effectively conceal. As a result you may wind up drawing unwanted attention from The Man or one of the weasels we mentioned above.

Number of rounds – Different pistols hold different numbers of rounds. Some have as few as 5 rounds in the magazine while others can accommodate as many as 15 rounds. Plus, of course, the round in the chamber. Keep in mind though that anything more than about 8 rounds is going to have a negative effect on your ability to effectively conceal the weapon. Still, you might want to have some 15 round magazines on hand for target practice and the like.

Availability – Exotic, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind firearms make for wonderful collectibles (7). But they aren’t very practical for everyday purposes. So we steered clear of exotics on our list and you should steer clear of them as well. Choose a pistol from a recognized manufacturer that is easy to find parts for, easy to find a holster for and comes with a decent warranty. Be aware though that a firearm warranty comes with a laundry list of conditions that will potentially nullify it.

Reliability – The second to last thing you want is to have to draw your weapon in self defense. But it may happen. The last thing you want is for that weapon to jam when you really need it. While no firearm can claim to be 100% jam proof, the pistols we chose for our list all have outstanding reputations for answering the call.

Price – Good pistols are precision tools with centuries of accumulated engineering experience hard wired into their DNA. As such they’re not cheap. But they don’t have to be prohibitively expensive either. Take a good look through our list. You’re bound to find a high quality pistol that’s within your budget.

How do I Pick a Holster for a Concealed Carry Pistol?

Once you select the pistol you want to carry the next most important thing is picking the right holster. It’s important that the holster be high quality and facilitate both safe storage and transport of the weapon and that it allows you to deploy your pistol quickly and effectively if need be. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a holster for a concealed carry pistol.

Security – The most important thing is that the holster keeps your firearm securely affixed to your person at all times. Your gun should never, ever fall out when you lean over or even when you’re running. In order to ensure a holster is up to this primary function first remove all ammunition from the gun (don’t forget the chambered round). Then holster the gun and hold the holster upside down while shaking it vigorously. Keep it up for 20 or 30 seconds to simulate running. If the gun falls out during this test it is not the holster for you.

Trigger protection – Any concealed carry holster worthy of the name will provide comprehensive and dependable coverage of the trigger. No part of your hands (most notably your fingers) should have access to the trigger while the gun is holstered. Nor should any other object be able to activate the trigger at any time. The trigger protection should not, however, impede your ability to obtain a proper grip (8) as you draw the weapon. So it’s a balancing act.

Proper orientation – Another crucial job of the concealed carry holster is to ensure your firearm is always properly oriented. That way, should you need to deploy it, you can do so without hesitation or incident. If you are beset by weasels threatening your wellbeing and your gun is improperly oriented you will have a hard time obtaining a proper grip. Or you may lose your grip on the gun and watch helplessly as it falls to the ground. And then you’ve really got problems.

One-handed draw – If you’re out at the range you have the luxury of getting both hands involved in drawing your pistol. In real life situations, however, it is unlikely your assailant will stand back and give you a chance to draw your weapon with both hands and get a good grip. You need to be able to deploy your gun quickly with one hand (9) and the holster should enable this. Or at the very least, it should not impede your ability to deploy your weapon single-handedly.

Final Thoughts

The world has never been more exciting or crowded or more dangerous. Every day thousands of innocent people are assaulted and have their lives changed forever. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A concealed carry pistol can help ensure that you and your loved ones emerge unscathed from whatever the fates decide to throw at you.

Any of the concealed carry pistols on our list should provide robust personal protection and serve you well for years to come. In order to ensure your new pistol ends up an asset make sure you obtain whatever permit or license is required in your state and that you get trained in the proper use of your firearm.

Recent Content