After you have made the carefully thought-out decision to carry concealed, then comes the question, “What gun do I carry?” There is no single answer to this question. In fact, there is no better way to start a heated discussion between handgun enthusiasts than to ask the question, “What is the best concealed carry handgun?”
My personal preferences lean toward smaller, more concealable handguns such as those that take narrower, single-stack magazines and those that many in the industry refer to as micro-compacts. Here’s why:
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
My belief is that the best concealed carry handgun is the one that you have on you, is reliable and one that you know how to operate and shoot well under a wide variety of conditions. This means that not only will the answer be different for different people, for any given individual, but there may be more than one answer, depending upon th he circumstances.
A person in south Texas may choose a different pistol to carry than someone in Maine, simply because of the difference in weather. A retired soldier or LEO may choose a different concealed carry gun than a civilian based upon their duty gun. Also, you may change the pistol you carry as the seasons change and your clothing changes.
Die-hard gun enthusiasts (and many gun writers) will tell you that you must dress to carry concealed. Base your clothing on the optimum carry gun, the largest caliber, highest capacity that you can physically carry. I don’t think that is realistic for most of today’s concealed ed carry permit holders. Once you make a decision to carry a concealed ed weapon, you should do so at all times where it is legal to do so. Most who carry concealed will dress based upon the weather, occasion and their lifestyle, and then worry about how to conceal their pistol.
Because smaller pistols give you more carry options, they will be an advantage for most people with regard to concealment. Various “normal” shirts and pants will allow the person who carries concealed to carry comfortably without looking “tactical.” One clothing brand that I have used and like is Vertx’s Assessor Polo and Guardian lines of long and short sleeve shirts.
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CCH Buyer's Guide 2019