Navigating Your Options for Concealed Carry Firearms

Introduction: Making the Right Choice for Concealed Carry

As a responsible gun owner, choosing the right firearm for concealed carry is a critical decision. 

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is best suited for your needs. In this quick guide, we’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages of various concealed carry options, such as – revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, and subcompact pistols, as well as provide recommendations for some of the better options on the market. 

Ready to make an informed decision? Let’s dive in!

Revolvers for Concealed Carry: Advantages and Disadvantages

When it comes to concealed carry, revolvers offer a unique set of advantages and disadvantages that any gun owner should consider. Let’s first take a look at the pros and cons of carrying a revolver for self-defense.


  • Simplicity: Revolvers are known for their simple design and ease of use. There’s generally no need to worry about a safety switch or jamming issues, which can be a concern with some semi-automatic pistols.
  • Reliability: Due to their straightforward design, revolvers have a reputation for being reliable in high-stress situations. They’re less prone to malfunction and can withstand harsh conditions.
  • Durability: Revolvers are generally built with sturdy materials, making them more durable than some other handgun types.


  • Limited Capacity: Revolvers typically hold fewer rounds than semi-automatic pistols, which can be a drawback in self-defense situations.
  • Heavy Trigger Pull: Some users may find the double-action trigger pull on revolvers to be heavy and more difficult to manage, especially for those with limited hand strength.
  • Slow Reloads: Reloading a revolver will be slower than reloading a semi-automatic pistol, which could be a disadvantage in a high-pressure situation.

Favorite Revolvers for Concealed Carry

Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons, let’s dive into some of my personal favorite revolvers for concealed carry:

Smith & Wesson Model 642 Airweight

This lightweight, hammerless revolver features a 5-round capacity in a .38 Special caliber. 

The absence of an exposed hammer prevents snagging on clothing, making it an ideal choice for concealed carry. 

Its compact size and lightweight design make it comfortable for everyday carry, while its reliability ensures it will be ready when you need it.

Ruger LCR

The Ruger LCR is a compact, polymer-framed revolver that packs a punch with its .357 Magnum caliber. 

With a 5-round capacity, this revolver offers more firepower than some other concealed carry options. The LCR’s innovative design reduces recoil, making it more manageable for users of various experience levels.

Taurus Judge

For those who want versatility, the Taurus Judge is a large-framed revolver capable of firing both .410 bore shotgun shells and .45 Colt cartridges. It’s 5-round capacity and unique chambering options make it a formidable choice for self-defense. While its size may be more challenging to conceal, the Judge’s firepower is hard to ignore.

Revolvers have their pros and cons when it comes to concealed carry. While their simplicity, reliability, and durability are attractive features, their limited capacity, heavy trigger pull, and slow reloads may be drawbacks for some users. 

By considering your personal preferences and needs, you can determine if a revolver is the right choice for your concealed-carry firearm.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Semi-Automatic Pistols for Concealed Carry

Semi-automatic pistols have become a popular choice for concealed carry due to their numerous benefits. However, they also come with their fair share of drawbacks. Let’s break it down and see what makes them an ideal or less-than-ideal choice for concealed carry.


  • High Capacity: One of the most significant advantages of semi-automatic pistols is their higher ammunition capacity compared to revolvers. This allows for more rounds to be fired before needing to reload, providing greater firepower in self-defense situations.
  • Easy Reloads: Reloading a semi-automatic pistol is generally quicker and more straightforward than reloading a revolver, giving you precious extra seconds in a life-or-death encounter.
  • Customization Options: Semi-automatic pistols offer a wide range of customization options, including sights, grips, and trigger upgrades, allowing you to tailor your firearm to your preferences and needs.


  • Complexity: Semi-automatic pistols are more complex than revolvers, with more moving parts and a higher likelihood of malfunctioning if not properly maintained.
  • Maintenance Requirements: These pistols require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure reliable operation, which can be time-consuming and challenging for some gun owners.
  • Potential Malfunctions: While semi-automatic pistols are generally reliable, they are more prone to malfunctions like stovepipes and double feeds, especially if not properly maintained or if low-quality ammunition is used.

Favorite Semi-Automatic Pistols for Concealed Carry

Glock 19 Gen 5

The Glock 19 is a popular, reliable, and versatile pistol that has earned its reputation as a top choice for concealed carry. With its 15-round capacity, 9mm caliber, and easy-to-conceal size, the Glock 19 is a solid choice for those looking for a proven firearm.

Sig Sauer P365

The Sig Sauer P365 is a compact, innovative, and ergonomic pistol designed with concealed carry in mind. Its 10-round capacity and 9mm caliber make it an excellent choice for those seeking a smaller yet still powerful firearm for self-defense.

Springfield Armory Hellcat

The Springfield Armory Hellcat is a subcompact, powerful, and accurate pistol that has quickly gained a following among concealed carry enthusiasts. With its 13-round capacity and 9mm caliber, the Hellcat offers a great balance of size, power, and capacity.

Semi-automatic pistols offer several advantages for concealed carry, such as high capacity, easy reloads, and customization options. 

However, they also come with some drawbacks, like increased complexity, maintenance requirements, and potential malfunctions. 

By selecting a reliable pistol like the Glock 19, Sig Sauer P365, or Springfield Armory Hellcat, and following proper practices for holster selection, ammunition choice, and training, you can maximize the effectiveness of your semi-automatic pistol for concealed carry.

Subcompact Pistols for Concealed Carry: Advantages and Disadvantages

Choosing the right firearm for concealed carry is a critical decision for any gun owner. Subcompact pistols are a popular choice due to their size, weight, and concealability. However, they also come with some disadvantages. Let’s explore the pros and cons before diving into the best subcompact pistols for concealed carry in 2023.

Advantages of Subcompact Pistols:

  • Concealability: The small size of subcompact pistols makes them easy to hide under clothing, ensuring you maintain a low profile and avoid unwanted attention.
  • Portability: Lightweight and compact, subcompact pistols can be carried comfortably throughout the day without weighing you down.
  • Comfortability: With their slim profiles and ergonomic designs, subcompact pistols can be comfortable to hold and shoot, even for those with smaller hands.

Disadvantages of Subcompact Pistols:

  • Low Capacity: Due to their size, subcompact pistols typically have a lower round capacity compared to larger firearms, which could be a limitation in self-defense situations.
  • Recoil Management: Smaller guns can be harder to control during rapid fire, making it challenging for some users to manage recoil effectively.
  • Accuracy Issues: The shorter barrel length of subcompact pistols can lead to decreased accuracy at longer distances, though this may not be a significant concern for close-range self-defense situations.

Favorite Subcompact Pistols for Concealed Carry

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

The M&P Shield is a slim, lightweight, and reliable pistol that has gained a strong following among concealed carry enthusiasts. 

Chambered in 9mm, this pistol boasts a 7-round capacity and features a durable, corrosion-resistant finish. Its ergonomic design and manageable recoil make the M&P Shield a top choice for anyone looking for a dependable subcompact pistol.

Ruger LCP II

If you’re searching for a tiny, pocket-friendly, and affordable option, the Ruger LCP II is hard to beat. This .380 ACP caliber pistol has a 6-round capacity and a lightweight polymer frame. Its compact design makes it an ideal option for deep concealment or as a backup weapon. Despite its small size, the LCP II still offers decent accuracy and manageable recoil for its class.

Kimber Micro 9

The Kimber Micro 9 combines style, premium-quality craftsmanship, and accurate performance in a compact package. Chambered in 9mm, this pistol has a 7-round capacity and features a stainless steel slide and aluminum frame for durability. With its crisp trigger pull and excellent ergonomics, the Micro 9 is a top contender for those seeking a high-end subcompact pistol.

Overall, subcompact pistols offer several advantages for concealed carry, such as concealability, portability, and comfortability. 

However, be aware of their limitations, like low capacity, recoil management, and accuracy issues. By choosing the right subcompact pistol, holster, ammunition, and accessories, you can ensure a reliable and effective concealed carry experience.

Conclusion: Choose Wisely, Carry Confidently

There you have it – a comprehensive breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, and subcompact pistols for concealed carry. 

By considering your personal preferences, needs, and intended use, you can make an informed decision about which firearm is best for you. Remember, the key to effective concealed carry is not only choosing the right gun but also investing in proper training, maintenance, and accessories. 

With the right combination, you’ll be well-prepared to carry confidently and responsibly. Stay safe, and happy shooting!

Written By: Brady Kirkpatrick

Brady Kirkpatrick, a lifelong hunter and firearms enthusiast, is the founder of, the #1 online gun search engine. Recognizing the challenges of finding the right firearm at the right price, Brady built a platform to simplify the process, comparing prices across hundreds of online dealers and providing valuable content from trustworthy bloggers. His commitment to user-centricity and innovation has shaped into a comprehensive resource for gun enthusiasts.

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