Choosing the Right Concealed Carry Handgun

Andrew has produced a video about choosing the right concealed carry gun.

I think Andrews advice is solid. I would point out that ultra-compact pistols can’t be imported into the USA, so any European ultra-compacts on the market are actually made in the USA. I would also add that there are plenty of American companies producing reliable compact carry pistols, for example Kel-Tec, North American Arms, Charter Arms, Ruger and Kahr.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Safety concerning having a cartridge chambered all the time and concerning the holster deserves more attention.

    Furthermore, there’s the safety lever thing. Some people forget to switch it in case of emergency.

    • Dan

      The safety lever thing is just a training issue. I’m so used to the frame mounted 1911 style safety at this point that I even move to flick it off when I pick up a bottle of Windex. Though yeah, maybe a “Part 2” video would be a good idea.

  • fw226

    Something that I’ve found with some friends and family is trigger pull – a 12 pound double action pull is more than some people can manage well.

    Liked the video, Andrew. But what’s up with North Dakota on the map?

    • Andrew (European Correspondent)

      Well, I’m not certain that North Dakota has been admitted to the Union, so… 😉

      And here I thought the Texans would be most upset, but then again, they’ve always had difficulty with reading…

      • fw226

        Aaahahaha I don’t know how I didn’t see THAT one. Apparently us Texans do indeed have trouble reading!

  • Lance

    Choose the .45 Auto 1911 better gun than a Khar.

  • Todd

    After having purchased numerous handguns I have settled on two that seem to hit the price/performance sweet spot. The Walther PPS 9mm and the Glock 19. Both are supremely reliable and while the Walther costs a few dollars more than the Glock it also fits my wardrobe a little better when I am wearing dress pants and a suit jacket. 147g JHP’s feed through both pistols 100% reliably. These are the only two pistols that make it into my EDC rotation. All other handguns in my collection are range use only.

  • 45Super

    I see very little reference about what a full adrenaline dump (aka, “fight or flight”) does to the human body in these sorts of discussions. You really need to study this BEFORE selecting a firearm and think about YOU. How many such dumps have you EVER experienced? How was your perception affected? How bad were YOUR shakes? What was your recovery time? What sort of instruction have you had versus how much training/practice do you do?

    Time will slow down. Your strength will increase. Your hearing will diminish in favor or your vision…to name a few.

    Me? It’s a 5-shot, .357 sub nosed revolver. Playing “20 scenarios” about “…well, what if you happen to be walking past a crack house when school lets out,” doesn’t concern me. Avoiding an accidental magazine drop, premature trig(ger)-ulation, or an ejected case hitting me in the eye, does.

    Remember that out there, life isn’t a range and you’re not shooting paper.

  • micah

    I love andrew’s advice and think it should be mandatory watching for anyone considering a handgun for concealed carry.

    In my experience, adrenaline shakes don’t take effect until after an “encounter” is over. Most on the street encounters happen very quickly and are over in seconds. You revert to your level of training under stress. Andrew’s advice to spend less on the gun and more on ammo is valid. If you have a gun that you are going to carry to protect yourself, you better be able to reliably place accurate rounds on target as close to 100% of the time, or you are a liability to society.

  • Arrkhal

    Loved the “dramatization” at 1:35. That’s one of the many realistic tactical scenarios everyone’s training should prepare them for.

    • fw226

      I’m never going to open my medicine cabinet again.

  • Excellent and very-very informative text, but in the video it’s not enough movement.

  • Dietrich Whitshire

    Good video, good info, solid

  • Good work! Very thorough, to the point video. I’ll be recommende it to all of my students!

  • Solid video. I’ve been instructing most of my life and have always told people to first choose several options that feel good to the hand and eye (much like golf clubs).

    Then test fire each of those options and select the one you are most comforatble with, providing they all have good safety and reliability features. It’s not about how much money you spend.