January 29, 2019 4 min read

What make and model makes for the best concealed carry gun? It’s one of the most challenging questions for firearm professionals to answer because the response will largely depend more on the specifications of the handler than the gun itself.

When decidingwhich firearm is best for you, a number of factors should be considered. Everyone has specific requirements and will weigh the characteristics of a firearm differently.

Some distinctions and features set certain firearms apart in comparison to others. Let’s take a look at the S&W Bodyguard 380, Ruger LCP II, and Sig Sauer P238—three comparable, high-performance concealed carry firearms—and how they stack up against one another in the field.

Smith & Wesson M&P BODYGUARD 380

A Smith & Wesson bodyguard 380 pistol

This compact Smith & Wesson pistol is lightweight and easy to use, making it an excellent contender for your next concealed carry firearm.

The M&P BODYGUARD 380 weighs just under 13 ounces unloaded and measures 5 ¼ inches long—a perfect fit for a medium to large palm. Its relatively small size makes it easy to conceal under various fabric and clothing types.  

It takes .380 ACP,slightly different from the Smith and Wesson 9mm, but still more than capable for personal defense. The 9mm and .380 ACP have the same diameter, but the 9mm is a longer round. These rounds tend to be less expensive than their 9mm counterpart, making the M&P BODYGUARD 380 an economical choice if you plan to go to the range often.

Smith and Wesson equipped the M&P BODYGUARD with a stainless-steel barrel and slide, matte black polymer frame, and adjustable sights. A manual thumb safety and double action trigger mean you are always in complete control.

Ruger LCP II

The lightweight LCP II by Ruger was designed with concealed carry in mind. It offers a few upgrades to the original 2008 LCP.

LCP II has better sights than its predecessor, and the updated front and rear sights mean you never have to worry about proper shot placement.

While it has no safety mechanism, it does boast a single-action trigger. Ruger also equipped its LCP II with an extended magazine to make it easier to grip, as well as a shortened trigger-pull.

Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of the LCP II, in comparison to the other two models, is the variety of carrying options it is suited to. Although it is small enough to fit into a pocket or purse, you can easily switch to aRuger IWB Kydex Holster that is versatile and comfortable for everyday use.

Holsters allow quicker access to the gun during an emergency and protect your investment from lint, keys, and other potentially destructive materials and residues.

Sig Sauer P238

Sig Sauer P238

The micro-compact P238 pistol by Sig Sauer is one of the smallest models available. Those familiar with the M1911 or Colt Mustang will appreciate the aesthetics of Sig Sauer's take on those popular models. Many users liken their P238 to a tiny 1911.

The P238 uses .380 ACP ammunition, which is easy to find and economical to shoot. The round is slightly shorter than its 9mm equivalent, but this does not detract from its stopping power in the slightest.

Sig Sauer gave its P238 an all-metal frame, but the overall weight of the unit is still comparable to similar polymer-framed guns. Measuring less than six inches long and four inches wide, this Sig Sauer can easily be carried for prolonged periods, making it an ideal concealed carry.

Although it can slide into a pocket or purse, a holster offers more protection and easier access for your investment. ASig Sauer concealed carry holster fits inside the waistband and lets you carry it in virtually any position but won't weigh you down.

All P238 pistols are constructed of an aluminum frame and stainless slide, though Sig Sauer has released many external variants since its 2009 introduction, giving you an opportunity to find finishes and grips that match your style and personality.

Choosing Your Ideal Concealed Carry

Ultimately, between the three, the ideal weapon will come down to your needs and preferences.

One of the first things to consider when deciding which of the three might be your best fit is your experience with firearms. Individuals with more experience firing guns might lean toward the Ruger for its reliability, while those with less experience may find that the Smith & Wesson, with its low recoil, is a better fit.

It is also important to consider your body type, hand size, and typical clothing, as these will determine the size of the gun you will feel comfortable handling.

While there is no universally perfect handgun, there may be an ideal handgunfor you. Take the time to research prospective models and get to a range to test them and ensure you have a weapon you can comfortably and confidently carry and use in emergencies.

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