Concealed carry is more popular than ever. With increasing numbers of Americans investing in firearms, more people are obtaining concealed carry permits and exercising their rights. The market for small, concealable guns is flush with great options and models tailored to meet a wide variety of needs and scenarios.
We asked NRA staff members what they choose to carry and why:
Jason B. When I open-carry, I carry a Ruger LCRx with a three-inch barrel chambered in .38 Special, as I’m a big fan of the simplicity of revolvers and appreciate Ruger’s lightweight and reliable LCR line. However, when carrying concealed, I carry a Taurus TCP 738 semi-automatic chambered in .380 ACP. I found this pistol at a great price, and the small footprint is very easy to discreetly conceal within a suit jacket and slacks.
Debbie C. I carry the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in 9mm. It is a very slim, compact semi-auto, which makes it easy to conceal. The grip is perfect for my hand, especially with the extended mag. The recoil is easy to manage and shoots accurately. I like this gun so much I bought two!
Scott J. My everyday concealed carry gun is a Glock 19 in a JM Custom Kydex Appendix Inside-the-Waistband (AIWB) holster. I carry at the appendix in the waist band position for its speed, comfort and ease of concealment. In addition to the Glock, I carry a spare Glock 17 magazine and a Spyderco Sage pocket knife.
Andrew S. I carry a Beretta Px4 Storm Subcompact Type G in 9mm. I switched the factory sights for Trijicon HD night sights. My first pistol was a Px4 Storm full-size, which has a rotating barrel for recoil management. I had many hours of training on that pistol, so when I started carrying I wanted something that had similar operation and performance. I opted for the Type G model such that the external safety wouldn't be an issue in an emergency.
Lea G. I have a Beretta Pico .380. It’s 18mm wide, the thinnest .380 semi-auto on the market right now. It only weighs 11.5 oz. unloaded. It’s double-action only. I chose it after doing some research on smaller pistols, since I have very small hands, but also with concern over too much recoil on a lightweight gun. It is definitely easy and comfortable to on-body conceal. It’s much smaller than my iPhone 7s in a big case. It still has quite a kick, but not so much as a similarly sized 9mm, and ammo is slightly less expensive for practicing.
Jacob S. I’m considering purchasing a Springfield XDM Compact in 9mm Luger as my next concealed carry firearm. I’d choose this over smaller offerings because of how it feels in my hand and its larger ammunition capacity. Some may say it’s harder to conceal, but I don’t think this will affect me, particularly in the coming winter months.
Mike R. I carry an all-black polymer Springfield XDS 3.3 chambered in .45 ACP. The gun is slim, nicely compact and very accurate, featuring great fiber optic sights. It doesn’t feel like a firecracker going off in your hand when you empty the magazine. The short reset trigger is also a big plus.
Mike J. My primary concealed carry firearm is the Glock 43 with night sights and Crimson Trace laser system added. The G43 is, in my opinion, the best small pistol on the market chambered for the 9mm Luger round. It has the advantage of perfect ergonomics, small dimensions, less weight and superb build quality. Lastly, like all Glocks, the G43 has proven to be 100 percent reliable, easy to maintain, and has huge aftermarket accessory support.
Interested in buying your own pistol or revolver, or getting the training to learn how to safely and effectively carry a concealed firearm? The NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course is the perfect foundation for prospective shooters to learn the fundamentals, safety and confidence necessary to use and carry a handgun. Click here for more information or to enroll in the course today!