Handguns have overtaken long guns on the American firearms sales chart hit parade. With the liberalization of concealed carry laws, pistols are now dominant. Manufacturers have been cranking out dozens of new models to meet the demand, creating a wonderful problem: which one should you buy? Here are my top three picks for concealed carry.
Wheel guns are still a staple of concealed carry, and rightly so. They’re reliable, simple to use and easy to conceal — the go-to choice for gunslingers since time immemorial. Ruger has perfected the formula, producing one of the best concealable .357 Magnum revolvers money can buy.
The TTAG five-star Ruger LCR‘s trigger delivers the kind of smooth go-pedal control normally reserved for owners of Smith & Wesson’s heavily breathed-on Performance Center models. And while I recommend the .357 Mag version, I don’t advise loading it with the biggest and nastiest +P+ loads you can find.
In fact one of its best features is its ability to chamber .38 SPL loads, for those who find their accuracy improves when they aren’t wrestling with (or flinching from) a .357 Mag’s recoil. You can also buy low-recoil hollow-point .357 Magnum rounds.
Practice with the .38’s, load .357’s? Chef don’t judge.
A 1911 handgun is a lot of gun to carry. It isn’t quite as dragging around a full size SIG SAUER P226 (which I did at one point), but it’s close and pounds equal pain.
That said, the four-star 35-ounce (empty!) Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry 1911 rates consideration for one simple reason: you can hit whatever you’re aiming at 100% of the time. For those on a tighter budget, there are other 1911 models that can do the job almost as well, but the Wilson Carry is the sine qua non.
The military might have their own ideas about “weight of fire” in a gunfight, but to my mind at least, accuracy is king. Being secure in the knowledge that you can put rounds on target no matter what is worth the massive price tag (in both dollars and mass).
I was never a GLOCK fan. The styling just wasn’t my thing, and none of their guns particularly struck my fancy when it came to concealed carry. That is, until the GLOCK 43 rolled off the production line.
The five-star GLOCK 43 form blends perfectly with the utilitarian function of the gun, providing a slim, sleek profile that easily conceals in a pocket or in your waistband.
The 43’s controls — while hardly state-of-the-art — are more than good enough to get a properly accurate shot off even under stressful conditions. And the magazine holds just enough rounds of proper 9mm ammunition to give you peace of mind. That’s why it’s my choice for the best concealed carry handgun on the market today.