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The best concealed carry handgun

Pistol Tips by Donald K. Burleson

December 2010

Disclaimer!  I am not an expert in concealed carry handguns, this is what I have gathered from extensive interviews with "real" concealed pistol experts and policemen.  To find an expert to advise you on the best concealed carry pistol for you, just go to any gun show.  Everyone there says that they are a concealed carry expert.


Our Picks for best concealed carry handguns

After many hours scouring the interweb, experts recommended these as best concealed carry handguns, for reliability, durability and accuracy:

Ruger SP101 357 snubnose revolver: 25 oz with built-in laser sight, 2011 price is $600



Ruger LCP-CT 3713 with laser sight – 10 oz. - MSRP is $548



Ultra Crimson Carry II™

Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry II - barrel = 3 in., 25 oz.   MSRP = $1,165

Custom Crimson Carry II™

Kimber Pro Crimson Carry


Respecting the 20 foot rule

Numerous studies confirm that any attacker must be shot at more than 20 feet away, else you risk that they will be able to stab you before you can draw and fire your concealed handgun.

A higher caliber gun is necessary to stop an attacker.  Just like today, a hundred years ago American soldiers in the Philippines fought Muslim suicide attackers who charged at them with machetes. 

Factors in choosing the best concealed carry gun for you:

Also note that everyone has their own preference for a concealed weapon.  These include:

  • Recoil Kick:  Women cannot handle a 357 or 45 caliber handgun, or any lightweight gun that packs a punch.  Even a manly man will find these featherweight guns unpleasant with high velocity ammo.

  • Designer fashion: There are many vendors who make high-fashion designer handguns "designer" handguns for ladies.  Women want a concealed carry pistol that matches their purse.

  • Cost:  You can get a great concealed carry pistol for under $500.

  • Weight:  Heavy guns will pull your trousers down

Women want a concealed gun that is fashionable and functional.

A concealed handgun can make your pants droop.

Too long a barrel in your britches makes it look like you have an erection.

Here are some choices on each caliber for concealed carry handguns.

  • SMALL (under 4 oz):  These are 22, 25 and 32 caliber "mouse" guns, derringers that are good only for "close up work" killing a robber six feet and closer.

  • MEDIUM: (8-12 oz):  These are the tiny 308 pocket guns, weighing only 8 to 11 oz. 

  • LARGE (20-25 oz) These are the 38 caliber / 357/ 40 / 9mm handguns, enough wallop to take down an attacker, but they are uncomfortable to shoot because of highrecoil.

  • HUGE:  These are the 1911 45 caliber ACP's, a large dog leg gun to conceal, for big boys.

It's the caliber that makes the difference in a concealed personal defense handgun:


SMALL:  The 22 caliber concealed carry handguns

While the 22 caliber handguns are not too good for personal defense unless you get a shot right in the forehead or heart.  With greater barrel length, there are many 22 caliber handguns (Ruger Mark III) that will shoot a two inch group at 50 yards.

Many women keep a small 22 derringer in their purse, great for close-up work, and you can shoot a rapist or robber right through the purse as you pretend to be surrendering your wallet.


MEDIUM:  These are the popular "308" handguns, not too large and not too small. The listed one's come with an on-board laser sight:


380 Model Weight (oz) Height Length Price w laser  
Kahr P380 10.0 oz 4.0" 5.0" $799  
KEL-TEC 3PAT   8.4 oz. 3.5" 2.7" $448  
Ruger LCP-CT 3713 10.0 oz 3.6" 5.1" $548  
S&W Bodyguard 11.8 oz. 4.1" 5.2" $350  

Notes:  S&W bodyguard has reported problems.

Kahr P380 - Kahr 390 Laser guard is $139


KEL-TEC KEL Freedom P-3AT H/C W/LASER – 8.4 oz - $448

Ruger LCP-CT 3713 – 10 oz. - $548

Smith & Wesson bodyguard -  12 oz – has laser sight

LARGE:  The 38, 357 and 9mm concealed carry handguns

Lightweight Semi-automatic handgun with grip safety In revolvers in concealed carry, we like the 357 snub nose revolvers. Our choice in concealed carry revolvers is the Ruger SP101 357 snubnose revolver, with built-in laser sight:



Lightweight high caliber concealed carry handguns

In semi-automatic concealed carry handguns, the factors include: Light weight – under 26 ounces Caliber – At least a 357, better still a 54 A grip safety – With the grip safety you can keep it in your pocket

The 38, 357 magnum or 9mm is a good caliber for a concealed carry pistol because the bullets have enough "knock down power" to stop an attacker before they can hurt you, and not heavy to carry in your pocket.

  • Springfield Armory Model 1911-A1 Micro Compact Lightweight - 24 ounces - $1,048

  • Springfield Armory XD-9 sub compact - $449 - 25 oz

  • Colt defender – 22.5 oz - $859
  • Kimber 1911 ultra carry II stainless steel - $984 - 25 ounces


Concealed/Duty handgun kits

I like the Sig Two-some in 9 millimeter!  It's a combination of a match-grade competition full sized handgun, interchangeable with a small concealed carry handgun.  I saw the best price on my Sig twosome at Cross Creek outdoor supply at $725.

HUGE:  The 1911 45 caliber concealed carry handgun

The original Colt Model 1911 45 caliber was designed specifically to neutralize Muslim terrorists.  Unfortunately, the 1911 45 caliber is a heavy "dog leg" and too large for many concealed carry purposes.

The Kimber Gold Match 2:  One of the most accurate handguns



Note: The opinions expressed on these pages are the sole opinion of Donald K. Burleson and do not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

Suggestions?  We are always seeking new tips for the professional at leisure, and any suggestions would be most welcome.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback. 

Copyright ? 1996 -  2010 by Donald K Burleson. All rights reserved.