Top 5 Concealed Carry Guns

Self defense and firearms are often synonymous in today’s world, and here we talk about 5 firearms that we have come to trust as some of the best options available. Do you agree with our selection? If you do not (or if you did), let us know in the comments.

As always, please subscribe so you don’t miss any of our upcoming videos.

The full transcript is below …

– Hi guys, this is Patrick R. with firearmblog.com.

– This is Alex C. with firearmblog.com.

– We’re here today to talk about our five picks for concealed carry guns.

– You know guys, Patrick knows a lot more about concealed carry, or rather, has more opinions about it than I do.

I’m not as avid a concealed carrier as Patrick.

– That is true.

– I’ll admit, I’m bad about it.

I have a license and everything.

More often than not, I’ll forget to throw my holster and my gun on, admittedly because it takes some time.

– I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone out to dinner, I’m like, “Hey, you gonna carry or no?” And you’re generally like, “Oh, yeah.” “I forgot about that.” – Obviously, the best concealed carry gun is a gun that you’re going to have.

I’m sure that you guys are probably guilty of that, as well, sometimes too, probably, less so than I am.

Patrick, why don’t you walk us through your choices, here.

– Before I do that, I want to go ahead and give a little bit of back story about my history with concealed carry. – Sure.

– I’ve been carrying for approximately eight years, now.

I started out with the mindset of that I needed a big gun, and I was religious in carrying a USP compact.

It graduated to where, there was a period of time where I was not able to carry, because my license lapsed, due to me forgetting about renewing it.

Realized, “You know what? “Carrying a big gun kinda stinks.” – As good as a USP compact is, it’s not exactly the best carry gun.

– No, it’s not.

And because of my build, I have a hard time hiding larger firearms, such as the P7 that you carry.

But I’ll let you talk about that one.

– Sure.

Guys, when I do carry, I would say I carry, probably 25% of the time, maybe.

If I feel like I’m going to be at risk, or I’m going to an area where I know that it may be possible, or higher than likely, that I might need a concealed carry gun.

I reach for my P7.

I’ve always carried this, since I’ve gotten it, several years back.

It’s never failed.

They were very revered for their reliability when they were introduced.

They’ve got a unique, it’s not a safety, they’re up front by not calling it a safety.

But, to cock it you have to apply force to this mechanism, right here.

– The infamous squeeze cocker.

– The squeeze cocker.

Once, that has already been squeezed, it only takes a couple pounds of pressure to maintain that, so when you’re in your natural stance, it’s not that big a deal to hold the gun cocked and ready to go.

My friend Jason had to actually had to hold a guy at gunpoint, one time, who was trying to rob his house, with one of these, for over thirty minutes, when he was waiting for police to get out there.

He’s in a rural area, so the response time was a little slower than usual, and I don’t think they took him seriously when he said, “I have a gun, there’s someone robbing my house.” But, he said the response time felt like it was long.

He said an hour, but in reality, he says he thinks it was maybe more like 20 or 30 minutes.

– That’s still a while.

– It’s still a while, but you know how it is out in rural counties.

– Yeah, yeah, it can take awhile to get somebody out there.

– So, the P7 is a great gun, guys.

It’s got a very unique system, the way it operates.

It’s gas delayed blowback.

There’s a piston that sits underneath the barrel, that actually serves to delay the opening of the action, which means that the bore axis is very low.

It points very naturally.

Patrick, you and I both like the P7.

– I do, but I don’t like it as a concealed carry gun.

– That’s valid.

– I think we’ve had this discussion, if I can, I’m gonna go ahead and grab that from you.

Something I do want to show you guys, for a single stock gun, it is very wide in the grip area, and that’s the area that I’ve got a hard time concealing a gun.

I don’t have a problem with the thick slide, so much, as I do a big, fat grip, just because of my build.

When we have shot this, it’s a phenomenal gun.

If you’re able to go ahead and hide it, then by all means.

– I’m very happy with it.

That’s why I haven’t really changed it up.

I’ve been carrying that for awhile.

I don’t wanna change, any time soon.

– Unfortunately, changing concealed carry guns is something that I do fairly often.

– Tell us about it, here.

– I’ve gone from something this size, on down to, sometimes, carrying something as small as this.

This is an NAA, North American Arms, .22 mag, single action revolver.

Sometimes, if I just don’t really feel like doing anything else, I’ll toss this in my sweatpants pocket, or whatever the case might be.

It’s reliable, it’s pretty darn accurate, if you learn how to shoot it.

I’ll be honest, it’s actually a lot of fun at the range, too.

– Yeah, it’s pretty fun.

– I bought the one that comes with two cylinders.

It comes with a.22 long rifle cylinder, and a.22 mag cylinder.

When I take it out to the range, I’ll take that.22 long rifle cylinder, and there’s nothing more fun than fanning something that’s this small.

– And, you know, the price on them is not bad, you can get them for around $200, or so? – I think for the conversion one, I paid $220, more or less, shipped.

– So you can practice with.22 long rifle, and if you want to carry it for defence, put your.22 mag in there.

– In.22 mag, it’s actually kind of a formidable little gun.

– Yeah, that’s no joke.

– Next up, I’ve got my wife’s concealed carry gun, actually.

She liberated me of it after she shot it.

It’s a Ruger LCP, with a Laser Max on the side.

I’m not a big fan of the, Crimson Trace grips, or anything like that, that hang down here.

They make the gun a little too bulky to fit into a pocket holster, or whatever have you.

So, I installed one of these little guys.

It’s proven to be a pretty reliable setup.

But, the one thing I didn’t like about this one was, it doesn’t have a last round hold open.

But, when I was carrying it, it wasn’t really a concern for me.

It’s a fantastic gun.

I previously have had a P3AT, and that was also a great gun, after I did the fluff and buff to it.

This was great, while I had it, and then my wife said, “You know what, I think I’d rather have that.” I conceded, because, well, she wins.

After that, I moved to the Bodyguard 380, with the integrated laser, which alleviates all the problems.

It stays nice and slim, so I can carry it in on an ankle holster, or in a pocket.

It doesn’t really add any additional bulk.

The trigger on this is pretty terrible, but that’s kind of the theme with these pocket pistol type guns.

– You know guys, from everything I’ve read, most encounters, where you’re gonna need a concealed carry firearm, they occur within less than five yards.

– Right, I didn’t buy these to target shoot with.

I bought these to go out and practice with, become proficient with.

– I like to tell customers that, when they’re like, “How’s this gonna shoot at the range?” When they’re buying a pocket pistol, like an LCP, or like this gun, I tell them, ” It’s not going to shoot that great at the range, guys.

“You need to realize what it is, “and that’s a self defense firearm.” – Right.

– They’re great for what they are.

They’re not designed to take to an IPSC or IPDA match.

– No, no, not by any means.

I’m able to change mags pretty quickly with this.

I can shoot pretty quickly with it, and pretty accurately.

It’s really, far and above, my favorite pocket 380 at this point.

I haven’t had any trigger time on the Glock 42, but it’s a little bit bigger than I’d consider for pocket carry, because of my stature.

That’s one of my go-to’s right now.

My other go-to, if I decide to carry inside the waist band, is the good, old Smith and Wesson J-Frame.

– Honestly, guys, I’ll recommend these to nine out of ten people.

– Yeah, they’re awesome guns.

We both have J-Frames.

You’ve got a 642, I’ve got a 442 because, to be truthful, I’m not a big fan of stainless guns, even though I own a couple.

We did the apex trigger on it.

– Yep, it makes a big difference.

– It does, it does.

– That’s a good piece, man, worth every dollar.

– Yeah, absolutely, I agree.

It was really easy to install.

The instructions were, really pretty good.

I was able to go ahead and knock it out in, I’d guess it was like 20 minutes.

– Your capacity-crazy people will say, “Well, it only holds five shots.” And I say, “Yes, it will only hold five shots,” but, going back to what I said earlier about an encounter with a concealed carry situation, five shots is more than studies have shown that you need.

– I wanna say it is five.

– Okay. – It is the average.

– I’m not gonna say, “Less bullets is better,” — – It’s not. – But, let’s face it, even Massad Ayoob said, I think they said, “Is three bullets enough “for a concealed carry gun?” or something.

And he said, “Yes, or less”.

And he knows more than all of us combined.

– All of you.

He’s a very smart man, when it comes to firearms.

– Absolutely.

So, the J-Frame is a good option.

They’re reliable as a toaster.

– Yes, and the only reason this is still riding with me, the only reason I still carry this gun, versus a single stack 9, like I would like, I’ve got a car Khar CM9 that I just don’t like.

You guys that carry them, more power to you.

The trigger on it is just, very, very squishy.

It’s very ambiguous on the reset, so, I just can’t really trust it as much as I can the good old J-Frame.

But, when we do get our hands on a Glock 43, that, probably, will be replacing my J-Frame.

– That’s a bold statement.

I saw the video where they interviewed the engineer.

(laughs) That kind of hurt my feelings.

Anyways, guys, this is our picks for concealed carry stuff.

Patrick, you know more about it than I do, because you do it more than I do.

– That’s an accurate statement.

I wish you did carry more, and I’m, by no means, an expert.

This is just what I’ve learned over 7 or 8 years of carrying tiny guns and shooting them.

These are my preferences, and if you’ve got a better solution, I’d love to what you guys do.

– Absolutely.

– What kind of holsters you guys use, what gun you prefer, what ammo you carry.

Because those are all important choices that play into what you choose.

That’s kind of redundant, but- They’re all important pieces to the puzzle.

– Anyways, we really do appreciate you guys watching TFBTV.

This was a fun video.

This was something that could be invaluable to, maybe even, saving your life one day.

– Yeah, it could be.

Before we do go, I do want to touch on– A lot of people tell you that a defensive caliber should start with four.

Not necessary.– – I assure you, anything on this table can kill you deader than a hammer, including this guy.

– I agree.

Buy what you’re comfortable with, go to the range, try some guns, make sure that what you choose is good for your use.

– Absolutely, guys.

– Anyways, this is Alex C.

– And Patrick R.

– And thanks for watching TFBTV.



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • Lloyd

    Interesting choices. I love my p7. What holster do you carry it in, and at what point on your belt?

    • I carry it on the small of my back in a comp-tac minotaur.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Im waiting for open carry to pass so I no longer have to worry about the time consuming question of which pistol will be concealable under my outfit and I can simply carry my AK-47 whenever I feel like getting an ice cream sandwich and some lottery tickets.

    • Marcus

      I’m pretty sure that, at least in state of Texas (to which I assume you’re referring) already allows open carry of long guns. I suppose you could mean an AK pistol, but the fact remains.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Well then the boys down at the Stop-N-Rob are gonna be glad to see me later this evening.

  • Steve

    I carried a P7 for a long time. I carried it IWB, but would carry on my belt these days. The very rearward weight balance makes it critical that you get a quality holster for this gun.

    I replaced it with a HK45C-T but carry with the standard HK45C 8 round magazines w/finger ledge. It has a set of Heinie high straight-8’s and a Crimson Trace LaserGuard (LG-645). Crimson Trace sells an excellent belt holster for the whole package and the laser was specifically made to NOT increase the overall width of the gun. The tall sights and extended barrel/thread protector took about a hundred empty draws at home to wear in, but it retains well and draws smooth now.

    • Steve

      I forgot to mention, prior to the P7, I carried a Ruger LCR .357 in a DeSantis pocket holster. I sold it to buy the P7, and will eventually buy one again. It was a GREAT carry gun with a wonderful trigger, but not good for much else… I dare anyone to get through 5 rounds of .357 with a smile on their face with one of those.

  • Rey

    Thanks for the transcript! I can’t watch videos where I am, but I can imagine the voice with the words!

  • Marcus

    While I’m sure the HK P7 is a fine pistol, parts availability should be a serious concern when choosing a carry pistol. Also, the pistol should probably still be in production.

    Personally, and not really objectively, the P7 seems needlessly complex and has a (perhaps undeserved, perhaps deserved) reputation for fragility. It’s a pistol that most definitely has a cult following, but for the average person, it is unlikely to be a wise choice.

    • Steve

      Parts are readily available unless you are attempting to build the pistol up in it’s original form (magazine release was modified for safety reasons; old parts are no longer made). Basically, anything that wasn’t updated for safety is still easy to get.

      Complex? Yes.
      Fragile? Have you held one…?

      There are a few quirks related to not abusing the gas system during cleaning, and not firing 147 gr. rounds, but those are variations on the same thing you do for all guns… care for them to prevent excess wear. If you jam a segmented steel rod down the muzzle of an AR-15, it’s going to have the same effect.

      • Marcus

        Perhaps you are correct, and I should do some more exploring.

        P7 was high on my list of possibilities before I turned 21 and got my CHL. I doubt if I’d ever switch away from my P30, but if parts are as easy to get as you describe, I could see adding one to the stable. If only for the variety.

    • Marcus, a lot of what you have said is inaccurate. P7 parts are available and the pistols do not wear out quickly as you mentioned. I am not sure where you have gotten the idea that they are fragile: if anything they are over-built and ludicrously robust.

      There are many reasons it is a good carry choice:
      1. Ludicrously reliable
      2. One of the safest pistols you can carry
      3. There are documented instances of a criminal taking the gun from a police officer and not know how to operate it!
      4. Accurate as can be
      5. Desirable mechanical features such as polygonal rifling, a fluted chamber, crisp trigger, firing pin block safety (in addition to squeeze mechanism)
      6. Perfect size grip (for me) but with a very low profile slide

      • Lloyd

        My best reason is that I shoot my P7 better than anything else. I think the squeeze-cocker does something to remind me to maintain a better grip.

        Funny about criminals being unfamiliar with it, because when I picked up mine my FFL wanted to know what the hell I’d bought.

      • James

        Only down side is I can get 2 shields for less than 1 P7.

      • Marcus

        I think you’re mischaracterizing my post. Nowhere did I say P7s wear out quickly. In fact, I was careful not to make any claims about the HK P7, as my experience with them is limited.

        I stand by my statement that it is not a sidearm for the average person. Especially where budget and practicality are concerned. If you expect to do any volume of fire with a P7, it’s likely you will need multiples. That, and the fact that parts, though they may be available, are ludicrously expensive (take the $60+ magazines for example). And they’re unlikely to ever be cheaper or more available. HK has moved on, it seems.

        Though you and others may heavily recommend it, it remains a highly impractical and expensive option for the everyman.
        Though the mainstream may be boring; solid, popular options like the S&W Shield and the Glock 19 are popular for a reason.

      • Kevin

        a big plus is that with the the fluted chamber, there is no need to worry about a faulty extractor/extractor spring. The P7 will eject casings without the extractor when live firing.

      • Giolli Joker

        I really need a P7, and a G3.
        Damn Germans they used to make great guns.

        • iksnilol

          Still make them. They haven’t stopped making the SLB 2000 and of course you have the HK416/417. They seem good.

          Then don’t forget Merkel if you are a bit more old school.

          • Giolli Joker

            Sure they do but, thinking mainly about H&K, the current offer doesn’t stand out head and shoulders from the crowd as it used to with the roller delayed family or the P7.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, their glory days are over you could say.

      • john huscio

        No expirence with the p7 but the p2000 seems like an excellent carry piece

  • C.

    Alex and Patrick always sound so calm in their videos……almost like PGA Tour commentators, except firearms are way more interesting than golf. Keep up the great work!

  • Don Ward

    Finally. Some love for revolvers when we talk about practical firearms usage.

    • Vitsaus

      100% Agree.

    • hikerguy

      Although my wife and I are considering a matched set of autos (Springfield XD 9mm compacts) there is still something about those wheel guns I like. It wouldn’t bother me to carry one again.

    • Patrick R.

      Sadly I only have two right now. That 442 and a 4″ Python. I NEED more.

      • MrEllis

        Get a GP for the range. I have an older one with the wood insert grips. I love it. In a pinch,with a jacket I can carry it.

    • Nicks87

      I carry my sp101 quite often. Small and reliable plus it can handle full power 357 loads without worry.

      • Don Ward

        That is my daily carry. 100 percent of the time. Every day. Stainless and a reasonable weight to carry and – more important – to shoot.

      • Vitsuas

        If I lived in a carry friendly area, the SP101 would be my choice.

      • J-

        My Ruger LCR 357 replaced my SP101 for EDC CCW. Lighter, better DA trigger, more compact. The SP101 is still a great gun, but is somewhat of a cast stainless steel brick. Also, the LCR fits in all the same holsters and uses all the same speed strips at the SP101.

        • Blkojo

          Agreed on all points. My SP-101 sits at home, my .38 +P LCR goes with me.

        • Nicks87

          Yeah I’ve been on the fence about trading it in for the LCR but I just like the look of the sp101.

          • J-

            Trade in? What do you mean by trade in? Buy a new one. Have both. They are small there is pleanty of room to have both.

  • nobody

    Would it at all be possible to just list off whatever your top X bullshit is instead of requiring me to watch a 10 minute video or read through a long transcript for something I could get in under 10 seconds.

    • Generally you can see what we have on the table.

    • Patrick R.

      Um, the guns listed were in both the transcription and the description of the video.

    • MrEllis

      This internet thing seems really stressful for you…

  • Just say’n

    Great job guys. I’ve owned or had access to all the firearms in your previous videos lists (even the M240). This one however I’ve struck out. I carry a Radom P-64. Great little pistol, wish it had made the list. Maybe a “C&R concealed carry” video could be next on tap?

    • Good idea!

    • DAN V.

      Not sure if self preservation is an area where you want to go hipster.

      • iksnilol

        The cartridge is perfectly adequate for defense purposes. Though the pistol is a bit old school it is well suited for conceal carry.

        • DAN V.

          To each his own.

          • iksnilol

            Cops here in Europe have used .32 ACP for decades successfully. Something that is about as powerful as .380 can’t be too bad.

            Though I will admit, I prefer 9×19.

      • Just say’n

        I wouldn’t want to be shot with one.

  • USMC03Vet

    Well these picks are certainly different. I don’t agree with a lot of the video, but conceal carry is a very personal choice.

    With how many no go zones there are regarding legal conceal carry having to disarm frequently is certainly a good point to bring up.

  • Matt L.

    See, only having one handgun makes this easy.

    Home defense gun? Smith and Wesson M&P9.

    Competiton gun? Smith and Wesson M&P9.

    Open carry gun? Smith and Wesson M&P9.

    Concealed carry gun? Smith and Wesson M&P9.

    Deep-concealment gun? Smith and Wesson M&P9.

    • Don Ward

      Yes. But now that I read TFB, it is fair to ask “Can you use it as a BBQ Gun?” That, you see, is the ultimate question.

      • Patrick R.

        I like it! I don’t have near enough “BBQ guns”.

      • MrEllis

        I know a guy who has a “lawn mowing gun.” Which… yeah.

  • Wolfgar

    Anyone who carries concealed daily will go through a plethora of holsters and hand guns to find the most advantages and practical combination. I actually shoot once a year in a local concealed carry match which allows me to test what I carry. The best combination for me is a custom Glock 26 with a $40 Concealed Customs IWB holster. It is a very comfortable holster and is easy on and off. I also use a S&W Air weight J frame with an inside the pocket holster when needed. I have tried more expensive holsters and hand guns but these combinations have served me the best.

  • Gern Blanston

    my glock 29 is my “go to” carry – i also carry my m&p 340 ct 357 mag a fair amount and I have an sti tactical 3.0 45 that i will carry… I can hit what I need to with any of these 3…

  • BearSlayer338

    The P7 is nice single stack but I prefer the S&W 639.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Good video! Thanks!!
    I started CC’ing with a Combat Commander, IWB, back around 1990. Over the years, I tried various guns and holsters, and finally settled on pocket carry exclusively, mainly for simplicity. In Alabama, it gets too hot for a cover garment, but not cold enough for heavy layers, so carrying in a trouser pocket is practical. For a while, I carried a Kel-Tec micro-nine, but when I couldn’t keep up the practice I felt essential for those guns, I went to a J-frame (M49 Bodyguard–a REAL one!), which rides in my pocket now.

  • Nashvone

    I bought a Walther CCP because I liked the way it felt after borrowing one at the range. The first two magazines fed fine but I’ve had nothing but problems with it feeding since then.

  • Petter

    Common! No Walther PPK in 32 ACP? Don’t start about it being to weak, if it worked for police in varius European countries for some decades it should also work for stopping an attacker.

    • petter

      Oh, I forgot to mention the coolfactor.

    • iksnilol

      I would rather have a CZ 83. 15 rounds of .32 ACP in a small package is delightful.

  • some_guy

    “my wife got it because she wins” What a pussywhipped shell of a man.

    • Paul O.

      Phft. Wife gets gun. Husband gets new gun. Happy marriage.

      • iksnilol

        Yeah, if anything that is just a good excuse to buy another gun. I see no problem.

        • Patrick R.

          In truth I had already bought the new gun and the wife said she wanted the old one. I was glad to give it to her because she was carrying a Taurus TCP at that point. Ick.

    • Patrick R.

      You probably shouldn’t jump to conclusions, it makes you look foolish.

      • MrEllis

        God forbid you care about another human more than yourself.

  • jpcmt

    Was going nicely until the endorsement of Ayoob’s ‘3 or less’ rounds to bring with you. Any sane human, expert defensive shooting witness or non shooter, should agree that having more and not needing them is better than needing and not having. What would the associated “Ayoob 3 rounds” doctrine do for you if you dared to have more than one hostile attacker? Handguns don’t do much to people to the tune of some 65% survivability.

  • Rugerguy

    The Ruger LC9 covers all your bases, comes in both 380 & 9mm. They offer three models, hammer fired w/ safety long trigger pull, striker fired w/ safety crisp trigger pull, pro series striker fired no safety’s. Easy carry less then .95 in wide 7+1 capacity. Use with a Stealth Gear ISW holster. Last carry gun and holster you will need to buy.

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    My three EDC are 1.Ethan Allen Pepperbox 2.Duckfoot 3.Cutlass .44.

    • Tassiebush

      The only downside of the ducksfoot I find is the multiple tactical flashlights for each barrel. I used to carry those but nowadays I carry a lefeacheaux pinfire pocket pistol.copy made in Liege.

      • SirOliverHumperdink

        Well my good Sir, may we never meet in opposing or unpleasant circumstances as do I bow to your greater firepower. I shall offer you a Pimm’s with hopes we could avoid any unpleasantries.

        • Tassiebush

          Sir, I could never quarrel with a gentleman who displays such fine taste in carry pieces

  • MrEllis

    XDs .45 w/Talon grips and custom leather in jacket weather. (I’m fat it’s hard to conceal actually when you’re bigger.) Otherwise a snub .357/.38+P in a five shot configuration. Lately, Ruger.