There are over 17 million concealed carry permit holders in the US now with more coming on every day. That’s not to mention all of the residents of constitutional carry states who don’t need a permission slip to pack a gun.
That’s why the concealed carry handgun market has been one of the hottest segments of the firearms business in recent years. Gun makers have met that demand with dozens of great options that are slim, concealable, reliable and perfect for armed self-defense.
In the most popular concealed carry caliber — 9mm — cost can be an issue for many who would like to carry a pistol for personal defense. Lots of people may first think of guns like the GLOCK G43, Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD, SIG P938 or Springfield XD-S first when it comes to carry pistols, but not everyone can afford one.
Not to worry. We’re living in a golden age of dependable, affordable, American-made, concealed carry pistol options. There’s one that’s right for virtually everyone.
With that in mind, here are five excellent 9mm pistol options that keep concealed carry within everyone’s reach. Take this list to your local range, rent them and decide which one best fits your hand, your carry style and your budget.
You may think that you don’t get much in a gun for less than $250 any more, but the Ruger EC9s proves that just isn’t true. The Ruger EC9s is the affordable evolution of their original LC9 model pistols. The slim 7+1 striker-fired single stack 9mm pistol is personal defense distance accurate and features integrated sights and a manual safety. It also has a magazine disconnect, so won’t fire unless a magazine is inserted.
KelTec’s PF9 is proof positive that you don’t have to pay much money for a perfectly packable concealed carry gun that will be with you when you need it. The single stack PF9 gives you 7+1 capacity in a thin, light weight package that you’ll want to carry every day. The external hammer pistol has a long five-pound trigger pull that functions as the gun’s safety.There’s also a version with a nickel-finished slide for about $40 more. The PF9 is a reliable, ultra-affordable personal defense gun that you’ll never hesitate to take with you.
One of the biggest complaints some gun buyers have with small striker-fired concealed carry guns is their triggers. They’re usually either long and heavy or gritty and mushy. Those aren’t complaints that have ever been directed at the Walther PPS M2. The ergonomically excellent pistol has one of the best triggers in the business, one that rivals those in many full-size guns. The PPS M2 ships with both flush (6 round) and extended (7 round) single stack magazines to let you carry the way that’s best for you.
Besides its concealable size (only 5.6″ overall length) the sleek, modular, striker-fired subcompact Beretta Nano also lets you swap frames for different colors and features without a transfer fee. It features an excellent trigger, an easy-racking slide and 6-1 rounds of standard magazine capacity (there’s an optional 8+1 magazines, too). The Nano, with its 3-inch barrel length, is also incredibly slim at only .9 inches, so it virtually disappears on your hip.
Kahr’s little single-stack CM9 has drift-adjustable sights set in an impressively machined stainless steel slide. The attractive pistol’s nicely textured polymer frame gives you a firm, sure grip. It packs 6+1 rounds of ammunition and features a smooth, long revolver-like double-action trigger pull that also acts as a safety. Be sure to break in your CM9, as Kahr recommends. You’ll then have an accurate, supremely reliable compact carry 9mm handgun that you can depend on.