There are few decisions more personal and more contentious than firearm selection. No matter what, someone is getting rubbed the wrong way. Be that as it may, some concealed carry handguns do elevate themselves to the top again and again. These are the ones that have proven time and again that they can perform long term in almost any condition and lend themselves well to concealed carry for the general population.
While all pistols are inherently imperfect, suffering from lower accuracy and less power than a rifle, the pistols have the accuracy and power needed for concealed carry. To prevent the 9mm/.40 S&W/.45ACP argument, we stuck to 9mm for our autos but most are available in the caliber of your preference. In some cases, you can add a laser or a red dot sight to help if that is your style.
With that said, here are our picks for the Top 5 concealed carry handguns for SHTF and Home Defense:
This pistol has endured for years as the number one pick for concealed carry. Its reasonable size and weight combined with a great ammo capacity are a perfect mix for those who are nervous about firepower. With a few extra mags, you will have more ammo than most people will ever need for just about any situation that arises.
The key feature of a Glock 19 is its reliability. Of all Glocks, this particular model has been tuned to a higher level to meet the needs of military and police forces around the world. I have also found this to be an exceptionally accurate pistol and have not had much in the way of issues at any point during the draw or fire.
If 9mm isn’t your style, similar-sized models exist for every Glock. If you want to go a little smaller the G26 is a good bet. I have noticed that Glocks smaller than G26 do see an increase in problems and a dramatic drop inaccuracy.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield
While the entire M&P series has been overall very successful, the Shield has been the gem of the series for many firearms enthusiasts. Though it needs to be kept well lubricated to function flawlessly, a little care will make this gun run like a dream. This may be a negative for some but this pistol has so many strengths that make up for it.
For the size, this is easily the smallest combat-ready pistol in production. It surpasses in accuracy and function every other pistol of this size and smaller out there. Carried in an IWB holster, this pistol disappears even in summer clothing. It can also be carried in a purse, pocket or just about anywhere else making it great for almost any situation.
Though the 9mm is my personal preference, there are both .40 and .45 caliber models available. They carry less ammo but pack a little more punch. You will also notice less accuracy with the higher powered calibers and slower follow up shots. It is all a tradeoff so pick what fits you best.
H&K has a long-standing reputation for making exceptional quality concealed carry handguns. Some of their pistols have been regarded as the best ever made for decades now. While it is a stretch to believe they are the universal best, they are easily among the best ever made. The problem with most H&K handguns has always been size and a blocky construction that made them hard to conceal.
The VP9 series has corrected all the concealment issues while maintaining the reputation of excellence and durability of previous designs. On top of that, the VP9 is perhaps the most accurate handgun in its class. This matches well with plenty of ammo to make a solid choice for those who want decent firepower.
While there may be no direct comparable model in other calibers, you can always upgrade to the standard VP9 if you want a little more firepower. There is even a model similar in .40. Both of these guns are a little large and heavy for most people but can be concealed with the right holster.
Sig Saur P365
This is probably the least proven pistol on this list but there is little reason do doubt its ability to perform. For one, Sig has been proven time and again to be among the best producers out there. For two, the materials and machining on this pistol are among the best on a non-custom pistol that I have ever seen. Without question, I can say the P365 is one of the best out there.
While it may not be as proven, these pistols have fired thousands of rounds without fail and are as accurate as any sig pistol in its class. It is a larger and heavier pistol but not overly so, much like the H&K above. Ammo capacity is on par with pistols of this size and so is price. All in all, it’s a solid bet from a reputable manufacturer.
This pistol is available only in 9mm and only in this size. Any Sig pistol is a solid bet though they do tend to get heavy with the fill size options and with larger calibers. This is what makes Sig pistols so accurate but also inconvenient to carry.
Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard Revolver
It’s always good to plan for a revolver option. These pistols tend to be robust and reliable beyond any other. They do hold less ammo and can be difficult to conceal but they will always work. And when it comes to revolvers, I will trust S&W over any other brand on the market. Sure, other brands are very good but S&W perfected the art years ago.
The Bodyguard was chosen mostly for its size, weight, and affordability but it’s not the only option from S&W and they all tend to perform about the same. You can go with any of the J-Frame smith models with equal confidence but you will likely find better holster options for the Bodyguard than most others.
As a pocket pistol or just something to keep in the nightstand, this is a great choice and one I recommend everyone consider. It may not be a perfect primary gun but for when things go south, it’s a great option for a backup. I kept a similar model in my tuck at all times even when I carried a more versatile option on my waist every day.
Related Article: Firearm Bug Out Bag
These are just a few concealed carry handguns for SHTF among many. The important thing to consider with any weapon your life may depend on is how much you trust it. Some examples of particular pistols function flawlessly while other examples have some issue. Always pick something you can put your faith in. Maybe it is one of the above or maybe something you have found that works for you. The only reason the above pistols have been selected is that they have proven time and again across the board to function well every time.
Eric Patton from https://www.outdoorsbest.com/
Eric has been an avid hunter and outdoorsman since his childhood in Appalachia. Having spent the majority of his time in various outdoor activities in many regions of the U.S. he has gained an appreciation and insight for the challenges of hunting different environments and game animals. He is an avid archer, fisherman, hunter, and gun enthusiast. Currently, he devotes most of his time to education for young hunters and teaching outdoor skills for local scout troops and Search and Rescue organizations.
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