Concealed Carry Corner: The Perfect Size Carry Gun

Matt E
by Matt E
Concealed Carry Corner: The Perfect Size Carry Gun

Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week, we talked about when to trust your carry gun and what to do when it comes to break in. If you’d like to check it out, be sure to click the link here. In the past, I’ve talked about the evolution of carry guns from full-size metal firearms all the way to micro ultralight single stack guns. Based on the trends and new firearms coming out today, the perfect carry gun size is somewhere in the middle. Some of you may disagree with my interpretation and that’s ok, but looking at general sales along with what’s prevalent in the market today, there certainly appear to be some new favorites on the market for people who carry concealed. Let’s take a closer look at what potentially could be the perfect size carry gun

Variational Changes Over Time

Much like the cell phone industry, carry guns have gone from being massive to smaller micro-style and now we are getting bigger yet again. Both Glock and SIG started out with smaller models like the Glock 43 and P365. They were easily concealable but the big issue with both firearms was the fact they were rather hard to have a full purchase on compared to larger framed pistols. In both the SIG and Glock lines, they extended the grip and added length in the slide to make slightly larger variations. Combine the size changes with the ability to add accessories and both companies had real winners when it came to the consumer market.

Glock 48

The Glock 48 and 43X are variations of the Glock 43 with a slightly longer frame allowing for a factory 10+1 magazine. The difference between the Glock 43X and 48 is the fact the Glock 48 has a 4.17″ barrel length compared to the Glock 43X’s 3.41″ barrel. This little addition in length not only gives you better accuracy but also allows you to have more surface area on your body when carrying it inside a holster. Having that extra area of contact on your body makes your carry gun more stable when moving around throughout the day.

With a slightly longer grip and slide, G48 allows the shooter to have more control over the gun when shooting under stress along with being more accurate. Combine that with the MOS system for the addition of a red dot along with a Picatinny rail section on the bottom for small lights or lasers. It allows you to have all the features of a larger firearm but in a much smaller footprint that’s easier to carry daily. Add in the front serrations, and the Glock 48 is a very capable system in an easily concealable package.

Shield Arms Magazines

If I had one disadvantage with the Glock 48 compared to other handguns, it would be the 10+1 capacity from the factory. Thankfully, Shield Arms has made a 15-round magazine for the Glock 48 which fits flush and offers more capacity in the same footprint. This matches the larger Glock 19 with half the width. Not only do you get Glock reliability which they are known for, but you also get a high-capacity pistol with an overall smaller footprint.

Shield Arms offers a flush-fitting 15-round magazine for the Glock 43X/48 as well as an extended 20-round magazine with a baseplate. Both options are great for offering a capacity of a larger firearm with the overall size of a compact one. This combination of the slightly larger Glock frame with a Shield Arms magazine really does create the perfect balance between size and capacity. If you haven’t checked out this combination, I really suggest you give it a look!

Check Prices on Glock 48 Pistols

SIG P365 XL / Macro

SIG was the first to shock the gun world with a compact double stack pistol that held 10 rounds in a flush-fitting magazine. Fast forward a few years and the P365 XL hit the market with a slightly larger grip which can hold 12 rounds or 15 rounds with an extended magazine. The XL just like the Glock 48 is a slightly larger version of the original P365. The slightly larger grip and slide made the P365 more comfortable to shoot as well as more accurate.

Earlier this year, SIG announced their P365 Macro which has the same slide dimensions as the P365 XL but bumps up the standard capacity from 12 rounds all the way up to 17 rounds. This makes it the highest-capacity firearm in its class but adds width and some bulk to your overall footprint. The 3.1″ barrel may be shorter than the Glock 48 but the Macro’s party piece is the fact it has a dual port compensator built into the slide to cut down on felt recoil. It’s an interesting concept and SIG is attempting to make new products but these size handguns are fantastic as an all-around perfect carry gun.

Check Prices on SIG P365XL Pistols

Overall Thoughts

Throughout the last 20 years, we have gone from large “compact” style firearms to micro single stacks and now we land in a perfect middle space. Carry guns like the Glock 43X/48 and SIG P365 XL are great options since they are small enough to easily conceal but large enough to have a great capacity as well as a large enough grip to easily control the recoil. These models are among the fastest selling firearms on the market today and their popularity is only increasing with distributors limiting the number of certain models to try and combat such high demand. These carry guns may not necessarily be your personal favorite, but as a whole, these are some of the most popular models available today.

What do you guys think about the variations that are slightly larger but hold more capacity? Are they the perfect carry gun or do you prefer other models? Are these size handguns the new standard for concealed carry firearms? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have questions on concealed carry or firearms in general don’t be afraid to reach out on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you next week.

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Matt E
Matt E

I'm an avid shooter and love educating whether it's at my job or in the shooting community. I'm an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.I'm active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.

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4 of 28 comments
  • Stuki Moi Stuki Moi on Oct 01, 2022

    LCP2 Max.... Or J-frame or LCR. Or, I suppose, G42.

    "Being able to shoot it well" is nice and all; but it doesn't do much good if it's left at home.

    I may be a minority, but I've seen too any who "carry", who as often as not don't. Because it was just too inconvenient that day. Besides, learning how to shoot a jframe or LCP OK'ish, in no way harms one's ability to shoot a larger gun on the occasions one can conceal one.

    • See 1 previous
    • Stuki Moi Stuki Moi on Oct 03, 2022

      @tdiinva "..unless you are pocket carrying.."

      We have a winner.....

      Lots and lots of people (at east feel they can) pocket carry, where otherwise they would leave the gun at home.

      Dropping an lc(p/r) into a sweatpants pocket, pants pocket, coat pocket, cargoshorts pocket, bikejersey pocket..... is a lot less demanding than figuring out a holstering solution for a larger gun.

  • Nate - NAAH Tool Works Nate - NAAH Tool Works on Oct 01, 2022

    I've got both a 48 w shield mags and a 365XL and to me the 365 just conceals far easier. To me there's just not enough difference between the 48 and G19 to matter...