May 08, 2019 4 min read

For those looking to find the perfect concealed carry handgun, doing a quick internet search can quickly become an overwhelming venture. With the various brands, styles, and models available, all marketed to be the best of the best, it may even seem like an impossible one.

If you ask gun experts, however, many will point you in the direction of a few specific brands that are known to best suit the needs and purposes of anyone looking for a reliable concealed carry handgun.

Among the most recommended brands in America, Springfield and Smith & Wesson top the list. These classic brands produce models that are world-renown for their quality, reliability, and durability.

We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each brand and help you decide which may be the perfect fit for your unique concealed carry needs.

Top 3 Springfield Concealed Carry Guns

Springfield is best-known for the accuracy, reliability, and affordability of their handguns, and their XD and 1911 models are some of the best on the market for concealed carry purposes.

1.) Springfield XD-S MOD.2 3.3" .45ACP

This little gun offers some excellent firing power while remaining easily concealable at just under an inch wide. It features tape texturing on the grip, extended magazine kits, and is easy to aim and fire due to its light recoil.

Because it is compatible with .45 ACP caliber rounds, you can rest assured of the pure power behind each trigger pull.

2.) Springfield XD-S 4" Full Size .40SW

At 1.20", this pistol is still easy to conceal. It packs a significant amount of power with its .40SW caliber ammunition and features XD's patented Point & Shoot Ergonomics, which make aiming and shooting intuitive.

The all-weather polymer frame and pistol grip ensure that it always sits firmly in the hand, and the no-tool assembly makes it simple to clean and maintain. It’s also a reliable shooter that is sure to impress from the very first round.

3.) Springfield 1911 EMP 4" Concealed Carry Contour 9mm

Springfield 1911 EMP 4" Concealed Carry Contour 9mm

If you are in the market for a classic 9mm caliber pistol, the 1911 may fit the bill and is a lightweight, premium pistol ideal for concealed carry.

While the 1911 series is more expensive than the XD series, it is a worthwhile investment for what this gun delivers. The G10 grip is designed to fit comfortably in the palm, and the sights deliver consistent accuracy.

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Top 3 Smith & Wesson Concealed Carry Guns

Smith & Wesson is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Their guns are consistently reliable, durable, and powerful.

The brand produces several concealed carry models that are all great choices for your next concealed carry weapon.

1) Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield M2.0

The M&P Shield series is arguably one of the most popular concealed carry handguns in the U.S.

It's small and easily concealable at under 1" in width, and it features a lightweight polymer frame. As with all Smith & Wesson models, it can also be purchased with a Massachusetts-compliant trigger pull, which can be switched out after purchase.

The brand has also fixed up the trigger pull to incorporate a smooth pull with reduced recoil, and the textured grip adds superb control for consistent and easy firing. For fans of the Glock 17, you'll likely find a lot of similarities and appeal to this model.

2) Smith & Wesson M&P 9C Compact

A smaller version of the M&P 9 series, this is one compact model that does not compromise in terms of firepower or accuracy. In fact, this series features an unheard of 12+1 magazine capacity, making it one of the larger-capacity compact concealed carry handguns on the market.

It also comes standard with three interchangeable grip sizes to custom-fit the gun to your hand, and lefties will appreciate the fact that it features an ambidextrous slide stop.

3) Smith & Wesson Performance Center SW1911 Pro Series 9mm

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0

If you are looking to get away from the M&P series but still want a quality concealed carry handgun, the 1911 series is the way to go. This handgun will run you a bit more, but it is useful for both competition and self-defense.

Though it features a smaller capacity at 8+1, this allows for its short barrel and grip design, which, in turn, allows for easy concealment. While it is a little bit on the heavier side compared to other models, many pros prefer this weight as it contributes to the gun’s accuracy and ease of fire.

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The Bottom Line

Once you have made your choice, properly outfit your top-quality handgun in a holster of equal caliber, so to speak, such as a Kydex holster. Kydex holsters are durable and reliable, and many of the top manufacturers offer precast custom Kydex holsters for some of the most popular gun makes on the market.

While both brands deliver quality guns, it really does come down to which model feels the most natural in your hand. Your concealed carry weapon should feel like an extension of yourself that you can easily maneuver to protect yourself and others in an emergency.

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