Essential Criteria for Choosing Your Concealed Carry Firearm



Concealed carry permits have become increasingly popular as more people seek to protect themselves and their loved ones. With the responsibility of carrying a concealed firearm comes the important decision of selecting the right firearm for your needs. Choosing the ideal concealed carry firearm is not a decision to be taken lightly, as it can significantly impact your ability to effectively defend yourself in a life-threatening situation. Here, we will discuss the essential criteria to consider when selecting your concealed carry firearm.

  1. Concealability

The very essence of concealed carry is, as the name suggests, to carry your firearm discreetly without drawing attention. The size and shape of the firearm play a crucial role in how well it can be concealed. Smaller, compact handguns are generally easier to hide under clothing, making them the preferred choice for concealed carry. Popular options include subcompact and compact semi-automatic pistols, as well as snub-nose revolvers. The firearm’s profile should not print through clothing, revealing its presence.

  1. Caliber Selection

Choosing the right caliber for your concealed carry firearm is an essential decision. Caliber refers to the diameter of the bullet and can significantly impact the firearm’s recoil, capacity, and stopping power. Common calibers for concealed carry include 9mm, .380 ACP, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. It’s essential to balance the trade-offs between stopping power and recoil management. A caliber that is too powerful may be challenging to control, while a caliber that is too small may lack stopping power. Ultimately, the best caliber for you will depend on your personal comfort and proficiency with the firearm.

  1. Capacity

Firearm capacity refers to the number of rounds a firearm can hold in its magazine or cylinder. In a concealed carry scenario, having an adequate round count can be crucial. The more rounds you can carry, the less frequently you will need to reload, which can be a time-consuming and potentially dangerous process in a self-defense situation. Most modern semi-automatic pistols offer magazines with capacities ranging from 6 to 15+ rounds, while revolvers typically hold 5 to 6 rounds. Consider your comfort level and ability to carry additional magazines when selecting a firearm with a lower capacity.

  1. Ergonomics and Comfort

The ergonomics of a concealed carry firearm are essential for your ability to handle and shoot it accurately. A comfortable grip and trigger reach are crucial aspects to consider. The grip should fit your hand comfortably and securely, allowing you to maintain control during rapid-fire situations. Pay attention to the texture of the grip as well, as it can impact your ability to maintain a firm hold on the firearm, especially in adverse conditions. Trigger reach should accommodate your finger comfortably, allowing for precise and controlled trigger presses.

  1. Reliability

When it comes to concealed carry, reliability is paramount. Your firearm must function flawlessly when called upon to protect your life. Research the firearm’s reputation for reliability by reading reviews, seeking advice from experienced shooters, and considering the manufacturer’s track record. Firearms from well-known manufacturers with a history of producing reliable models are generally a safer bet. Regular maintenance and proper ammunition selection also contribute to a firearm’s reliability.

  1. Weight and Size

The weight and size of your concealed carry firearm can affect your ability to carry it comfortably throughout the day. While a larger and heavier firearm may offer better control and recoil management, it can become cumbersome to carry for extended periods. The Walther PPS is recognized for its lightweight and compact design, making it a comfortable option for daily carry. On the other hand, a smaller, lighter firearm may be more challenging to control during rapid-fire situations. Finding a balance between size, weight, and comfort is essential for daily carry.

  1. Sights and Accuracy

Sights play a critical role in your ability to aim and accurately shoot your concealed carry firearm. Many modern handguns come equipped with three-dot sights or night sights, which are easier to acquire in low-light conditions. Adjustable sights can also be useful for fine-tuning your accuracy. Consider your own eyesight and whether you may need prescription or fiber-optic sights to aid in target acquisition.

  1. Safety Features

Safety should always be a top priority when selecting a concealed carry firearm. Many modern handguns feature various safety mechanisms, such as trigger safeties, thumb safeties, or striker-fired designs. It’s essential to understand how these safety features work and whether they align with your preferences and level of training. Some shooters prefer the simplicity of a striker-fired pistol with a consistent trigger pull, while others may prefer a pistol with multiple safety mechanisms.

  1. Training and Practice

Choosing a concealed carry firearm is only the first step; the real work begins with training and practice. Regardless of your firearm selection, regular training is essential to becoming proficient and confident in your ability to use the firearm effectively. Seek out professional training courses and practice regularly at the range to hone your skills. Additionally, consider the availability of accessories such as holsters and spare magazines that are compatible with your chosen firearm to aid in your training and practice routine.

  1. Legal Considerations

Understanding the laws and regulations surrounding concealed carry in your jurisdiction is crucial. Different states and countries have varying requirements and restrictions regarding concealed carry permits, firearm types, magazine capacities, and other factors. It’s essential to be well-informed about the legal aspects of concealed carry and ensure that your chosen firearm complies with all relevant laws and regulations.


Choosing the right concealed carry firearm is a critical decision that requires careful consideration of multiple factors. Your choice should be based on a balance between concealability, caliber selection, capacity, ergonomics, reliability, weight and size, sights and accuracy, safety features, training and practice, and legal considerations. Ultimately, the best concealed carry firearm for you will be one that you can confidently and safely carry, handle, and use to protect yourself and your loved ones in a self-defense situation. Remember that selecting a concealed carry firearm is only the beginning of your journey; ongoing training and practice are essential to ensuring your readiness and proficiency.

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