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concealed carry pistols

Lightweight Concealed Carry Pistols For Easy Packing

The modern ethos is that concealed carry pistols should be compact and lightweight. This makes them easy to carry, easy to conceal and therefore doesn't make concealed carry uncomfortable.

Heck, it's barely a modern idea; Colt and Smith and Wesson were making lightweight .38 Special revolvers by the 60s. Colt created an alloy frame version of their Commander 1911 soon after they developed the Commander for the US Army in the 50s.

What are some of the best to get? Here are 7 solid lightweight CCW pistols.

M&P Shield

Shield

The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield quickly became one of the most popular concealed carry pistols on the market and for good reason. It's compact, at around 6 inches long, less than 5 inches tall and an inch wide, carries 7+1 or 8+1 (depending on the magazine) of 9mm and weighs just over 18 oz unloaded. They're reliable, accurate and far easier to shoot than lightweight pistols of the past ever were.

It also doesn't hurt that you can pick them up for a song (a Shield for less than $300 is easily found) and aftermarket accessories abound. Holsters for this pistol are some of our best-sellers.

M&P Shield Holsters

Sig P365

Sig P365

A lot of people would argue the Sig P365 is the perfect concealed carry pistol. If you look at the specs, it's not hard to see why. Dimensions are near as makes no difference the same as the M&P Shield, though it's about half an ounce lighter. The party piece is the P365's half-staggered magazine, bringing capacity of the flush-fit magazine to 10+1 of 9mm. Extended models of 12+1 and 15+1 are available as well.

Night sights are standard to boot. While there are pistols out there that have one or two little things better than the P365 (more ergonomic grip, better trigger) there really isn't another pistol that's as complete a package available from anyone else.

Sig P365 Holsters

Glock 43

Glock 43

For those who prefer Glock architecture, the Glock 43 is their slim single-stack striker pistol. If a Glock is your thing, it's perfect for daily carry if you prefer a minimalist and lightweight pistol (not much in terms of controls, specs are basically the same as the Shield, it weighs 18 oz) or as a backup gun carried in ankle holster or other location.

It's one of Glock's most popular models. While Glock was late to the single-stack subcompact party, it's a mainstay of the concealed carry market.

Glock 43 Holsters

Smith and Wesson Airweight

S&W Airweight

Some people like old-school, and that's exactly what the Smith and Wesson Airweight series is. The Airweight line is a series of J-frame revolvers. People who concealed and carried decades ago and plainclothes police officers - as well as some Air Force personnel, who were issued J-frame snubbies - often carried one of these or the equivalent model by Colt.

S&W Airweight pistols are made with an aluminum alloy frame to reduce weight, with most models weighing less than 15 ounces unloaded. All models have five-shot cylinders, with most models being chambered for .38 Special and a couple in .357 Magnum...though a tiny revolver with a light frame is going to be nothing but pain if you shoot .357 Magnum. You do have some choices, though, as there are more than a half-dozen Airweights to choose from.

You can select one of several DAO models like the 642, classic hammer-fired models like the 637 and shrouded-hammer models like the 638. A few different cosmetic options are available too. Yes, it's an old design...but it works.

S&W J-Frame Holsters

Sig P938

Sig P938

The Sig P938 is definitely a lightweight subcompact, being broadly the same size as the P365 (though only holding 6+1/7+1 depending on the magazine) but it takes a commitment to the single-action firing system. It's one of several companies making a micro 1911 scaled up from .380 to 9mm and many people are convinced its the best of the type.

It's been around for some time now, and while you'd think that since striker pistols are the flavor du jour that the P938 (or it's .380 stablemate the P238) would necessarily be a terribly popular choice...but we sell more holsters for these than we do for some very popular striker guns.

Sig P938 Holsters

Ruger EC9s

Ruger

Ruger has always had a strong presence in selling working-class guns, and the Ruger EC9s is no exception. No frills, no gimmicks, what you need and nothing you don't. The EC9s is a slim, subcompact single-stack striker gun with little adornment. The sights aren't even adjustable; they're milled into the slide. There's a tabbed striker trigger, it holds 7+1 of 9mm, weighs just over 17 ounces unloaded, and that's about all there is to write home about.

Those after a minimalist gun that does what it needs to and doesn't break the bank, it's a fantastic choice at $300 MSRP...and around $250 in most stores.

SCCY CPX-2

SCCY CPX 2

The SCCY CPX-2 is one of the best concealed carry pistols that's easy on the wallet, as MSRP is a mere $270. It's also easy to tote, at 15 oz unloaded. It's a bit wider than some of the other guns in its class, at 1.26 inches in overall width, but in a way that isn't actually a bad thing. The grip fills the hand a little more than slim single-stack pistols do, which gives you a firmer grasp.

SCCY pistols have a simple operating system as they are double-action only, with about an 8-lb trigger pull. There are some kits out there that reduce it, but it's smoother than the double-action pull on many pistols that cost twice as much (or more) so it's hardly untenable.

The odd thing about SCCY pistols is that they're more cleanly made than you'd think they should be for the price point, and feature some pretty good ergonomics. You also have some choice in finish, as they offer nine finish options for the frame and two for the slide.

SCCY CPX-2 Holsters

About The Author

Writer sam hoober