The Best Concealed Carry Guns
When it comes to defending yourself and the ones you love, you want to know your concealed carry gun will do the job. From 1911 pistols to revolvers, the concealed carry pistol you choose will have its own special traits. Do you go for aluminum or polymer? Maybe you want something small, yet effective. How about an all-time classic?
We have some recommendations for the best concealed carry guns, whatever your needs, including our STK100, the Rock Ultra CCO 45ACP and the BBR Standard 380ACP.
Is it difficult (legally) to concealed carry?
The answer to this question depends on where you live. Regardless, the first thing you should do is check to see if you’re required to obtain a permit and complete your background check. And make sure you do your research on whether your paperwork is valid in other states—especially if you regularly cross state lines. Learn more about how to make sure to be in compliance with concealed carry laws. Check out our concealed carry reciprocity map here.
Why 1911 pistols are great concealed carry guns
You may have heard the myths that 1911 pistols are not meant to be concealed carried. While open carry does have its advantages this could not be further from the truth. The 1911 pistol was developed to be an inexpensive, reliable, durable self-defense sidearm for the United States military. Its battle-tested nature makes it the ideal side arm for concealed carry self-defense, because it is less likely to jam, misfire or malfunction than other popular pistol platforms. Read more about why 1911s make great concealed carry pistols.
The 1911 pistol is a simple machine. From the beginning, it was designed to be taken apart and reassembled in the field. During early trials, the gun fired thousands of rounds and dunked in a tank of water to be cooled. It’s ability to handle the rigors of war without losing its ability to fire quickly, accurately and reliably makes it the ideal tool to perform in the field when your life depends on it.
Another element that makes the 1911 an excellent concealed carry pistol is the platform’s versatility. Regardless of your caliber preference, there’s undoubtedly a 1911 that will suit your needs. Whether you’re looking for a lighter, high velocity round like the 9MM, a heavier round with greater stopping power like the 45ACP or a medium-bore, combat cartridge like the 10MM, you’re sure to find a 1911 platform firearm that matches your shooting style and comfort level. Smaller caliber 1911s generally have smaller frames—which makes them an excellent choice for joggers, individuals who prefer form-fitting clothing, or women who choose to carry their gun in a small purse or handbag. For those who don't have a carrying style, you can never go wrong with a holster. Check out a few tips when looking for the perfect holster.
One in the Chamber
Beyond your carry position, you’ll need to decide if you want to carry your 1911 pistol empty or with one in the chamber. Shooters who carry with their chamber empty generally do so as a safety precaution. If the chamber is empty, the shooter will need to rack the slide in order to load a round into the chamber before they can fire. While some view this as a valuable safety precaution, others view it as an unnecessary risk. Shooters who opt to carry with a round in the chamber generally do so in order to ensure that they are ready to protect themselves as fast as possible in the event of an emergency. These shooters trust their holster and their gun’s safety features to protect them from an accidental discharge.
Part of the beauty of a 1911 pistol is just how simple the mechanism is. These guns are workhorses that stand up to whatever you put them through, and that is largely thanks to their limited number of parts and straightforward construction. These elements have kept the 1911 platform in the mainstream for decades. The best part? Their simplicity doesn’t sacrifice their precision—meaning you can hit your mark every time. Check out six more tips for 1911 concealed carry.
Holsters for Concealed Carry Guns
What concealed carry holster is right for you and your concealed carry pistol? The answer depends on a number of factors—namely your carrying preference, your everyday activities, your body type, and how you dress. Read tips for finding the perfect holster here.
If you wear a suit, you’ll have a wider variety of holster options, because business suits are particularly great at hiding handguns. However, if you tuck in your shirt and you’re looking for a waistband holster, you’ll need a holster that accommodates for that, such as a Cloak Tuck IWB Holster from Alien Gear. With gym shorts and sweatpants, shooters may need to resort to a pocket holster.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common holster types available today.
Concealed Carry Guns: Putting it all together
Regardless of what gun you choose, it’s important to follow the letter of the law. Concealed carry laws vary from state to state. Just because you are legally allowed to carry concealed in your home state does not mean that your right will be recognized in another. Before you travel, make sure to double-check what states your permit is valid in, and remember to maintain concealed carry insurance in case you ever need to use your gun to protect yourself or others.
We recommend checking out Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network (ACLDN), NRA Carry Guard, United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) or U.S. Law Shield. The 1911 is a classic platform that has protected American lives both at home and overseas. Its battle-tested durability and reliability have proven the gun’s ability to take a beating without malfunctioning.
This, coupled with the modern technologies implemented in the 1911s of today, make this platform a clear winner when it comes to workhorse concealed carry options.
Want to learn more about concealed carry pistols because you’re not ready to pull the trigger just yet? Your first step is always to ask yourself: What purpose will your concealed carry pistol serve?