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Best Concealed Carry Pistols for Beginners

by admin

Concealed CarryLet’s talk about the best concealed carry pistols for beginners today. People form a bond with their guns, especially one as intimate as their conceal carry pistol. You want to make sure the weapon is comfortable, safe, and accurate. You life could depend on this pistol, and you want to find the one that is right for you.

Visiting your local gun shop is fun, but being surrounded by so many weapons can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Don’t worry, this post is designed to give you a foundation of information so that you can walk into that gun store with some confidence.

We are going to share 5 different models of the best concealed carry pistols with you below. Please note that these are not really in any specific order, as again, your conceal carry pistol is something that needs to be right for you. What is one of the best concealed carry pistols for a person is not always the best for another.

The top 5 concealed carry pistols below is just your starting point, and we are only covering new production pistols that we consider affordable for a new shooter in this post.

We recommend that you visit your local guns shop and hold each one of them in your hand, and if possible, go to your local gun range and rent each model so that you can fire it to test comfort and accuracy before making your purchase.


5 Best Concealed Carry Pistols for Beginners

Smith & Wesson 642 Hammerless

Smith & Wesson 642 Hammerless

1. Smith & Wesson 642 Hammerless (Est $379.99 – $449.99)  – A five shot .38 Special +P  revolver is a great first gun for any new shooter. There is no slide making it easier to manipulate for a weaker handed person and less chance of a jam making it more reliable. The Smith & Wesson 642 is great for conceal carry as the weapon is hammerless (there is actually a hammer, but covered and protected) leaving less of a chance of the pistol snagging on clothing when you pull it out.  This aluminum J-Frame is a 5 shot revolver that only weighs 15 ounces and is extremely accurate. It is double action only, making it a draw and fire weapon perfect in a high stress situation. Smith & Wesson has one of the best reputations in the gun world, and there quality and customer service is first class.

Gun owners love to debate that a .38 Special does not have enough stopping power, or that only having 5 shots is not enough. These are fair concerns, but most real world scenarios will not place you in a heated gun battle against 100 zombies. Self-defense situations usually happen within a few feet, and only one or two shots needed to stop a threat. There is no question that getting hit with a .38 Special bullet at 3 to 5 yards will get a criminals full attention. This is why we have chosen this as one of the best concealed carry pistols for beginners.

The biggest negative to the Smith & Wesson 642 is the cost of ammo. In the current market .38 Special ammunition can be expensive, so make sure to consider this factor when creating your gun purchasing budget.

For more information please visit the Smith & Wesson official website.


Glock G19

Glock G19 9x19mm

2. Glock 19 (Est $489.99 – $649.99) – The most popular and dependable semi-auto 9x19mm polymer framed pistols on the planet, and one many passionate Glock owners feel is one of the best concealed carry pistols anywhere. The G19 comes packaged in a nice hard case and three 15 round magazines, or if you are in a state with high-capacity magazine laws, you will receive two 10 rounders. This pistol is in the most popular caliber, and 9x19mm ammunition is some of the most available and affordable in the current market. The G19 might not be the best looking gun, but it is one of the most dependable. It has less recoil than larger caliber Glocks pistols, and it will not wear you out on the shooting range.

This is a mid-sized, or compact, pistol that we consider the perfect conceal carry size. If you would like something a little smaller, Glock also offers the G26 that is a subcompact model of the G19.

Glock has one of the best reputations when it comes to reliability and safety. This pistol can be abused and it will still function flawlessly. This is the biggest reasons why it made the best concealed carry pistols list. Now, we do not recommend not taking care of your pistol, but if you find yourself in a swamp and your gun gets buried in the mud, you can feel good knowing that when you dig it out it will still fire as needed.

Even though a Glock is very dependable, you will need to practice on how to deal with jams. Any semi-auto magazine can fail to feed, fail to extract, or fail to eject. It could be bad ammo, a lack of proper cleaning, or shooting with a limp-wrist. These are all reasons why considering a revolver is important for a beginner. If you decide to go with a G19, or any semi-auto pistol, make sure to practice how to clear the weapon and fix these jam issues so that it becomes instinctive in a high stress situation.

For more information please visit the Glock official website and the Glock 19 Guns 411 page.


Ruger LCP

Ruger LCP

3. Ruger LCP (Est $284.99 – $299.99) – This is a true double-action only pocket pistol chambered in .380 Auto with a 6 round magazine. It is 5.16 inches long, 3.60 inches tall, .820 inches think. and weighs only 9.40 ounces making it very easy to conceal. It is also very affordable compared to other options, and you are not sacrificing quality and dependability by trying to save a few bucks.

The Ruger LCP is made of a reinforced nylon frame with an alloy steel slide. The sites are small, but get the job done at that less than 10 yard range. The grip might take some getting used to, as this is a really small pistol, but there is an extended base plate that helps a little with this.

These are not a lot of fun to shoot for an extended period of time. This is not the fault of the Ruger LCP itself though, as all double-action only small pistols have a harder trigger pull and can be a bit snappy when fired. It’s extremely small size and dependability are why it made our list of the best concealed carry pistols.

For more information please visit the Ruger official website.


Bond Arms Snake Slayer

Bond Arms Snake Slayer

4. Bond Arms Snake Slayer (Est $475.00) – These are smaller guns called derringers, and Bond Arms builds them like a tank. Since they weigh in the 22 oz range they are not your typical derringer, but they are safer and more reliable than most others on the market. Bond Arms brands these derringers as “The smallest and most powerful personal protection you can carry!” and they live up to this statement very well. This is a great pistol to have when you need something small and powerful.

The Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer is built with stainless steel, so it is tough. The trigger is single-action only, meaning you will need to cock the hammer for each shot. It only holds two rounds, but there are 15 barrel options to handle everything from .22 Mag to .410 shell.

We know this might be an odd choice as one of the best concealed carry pistols, and we do understand that these derringers are not for everybody. Please note that derringers are not long range pistols, and you only get two shots here, but having the large caliber options is a nice touch and that is why it made the list.

For more information please visit the Bond Arms official website.


Sig Sauer P229

Sig Sauer P229

5. Sig Sauer P229 (Est $759.99 – $899.99) – This is the most expensive one of the bunch, but in our opinion, one of the best concealed carry pistols in the world. It is the slightly smaller version of the Sig Sauer P226 carried by the Navy Seals, Texas Rangers, and more.

Sig Sauer pistols are some of the most accurate right out of the box. It is single-action and double-action, and built like a tank. If you invest in a Sig Sauer p229 you will have a pistol that will give you dependable security and make you a happy gun owner for life.

The P229 comes chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig. Our personal favorite is the .40 S&W, but 9mm ammo is cheaper if you plan on hitting the range a lot.

For more information please visit the Sig Sauer official website.


Don’t forget that this list of the best concealed carry pistols is not in any particular order, just a very solid and diverse group of the best pistols for concealed carry for a first time gun buyer to consider. All of these guns have been proven reliable, and come from quality manufacturers. All 5 are also very different in form, function, and design.

The top things you are looking for in a gun are safety, quality, and dependability. All 5 of these above pistols offer that to you. The final choice should comes down to your comfort level when holding and firing the weapon. As a first time gun owner, you are not going to be comfortable right away, but make sure to take time every month to visit a shooting range and practice, practice, practice. You life, and the life of others, could depend on it.

We hope our list of the best concealed carry pistols has been helpful. Please list any of your favorites in the comment section below. It could help out someone looking to buy that first gun and build our community that much stronger!

Happy Shopping and Happy Shooting!



  1. 16 June 12, 3:42pm

    [...] kit, and a flashlight. If you need some help on how to get started, check out our posts on the best concealed carry pistols and the best shotgun for home defense and get more [...]

  2. Cherie
    19 June 12, 5:05pm

    All of the listed semi-auto’s have the larger handgrips…what about those of us with smaller hands that want to carry a semi-auto? I like my .380.

  3. admin
    19 June 12, 5:14pm

    Thanks for stopping by Cherie! The Ruger LCP listed above is really small, but also check out the Bersa Thunder 380 and the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard. My wife has a S&W Bodyguard and she loves it. You stated that you like your .380, what do you currently have, and what do you like most about it?

  4. 02 July 12, 3:00pm

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  5. 26 July 12, 9:15pm

    [...] sidearm, and it does not look like that is going to change anytime soon. The Glock 19 even made our 5 Best Pistols for Conceal Carry list, so it just had to be included on this list. This beautifully ugly pistol can be yours [...]

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