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Our Top Concealed Carry Pistols of 2015

SHOT Show 2016 came and went in January and we're already excited from what the gun manufacturers have in store for this year. In the meantime, we'll take some time to reflect on some of the recent additions to the firearms world. This article will be focused on which five compact concealed carry firearms caught our eye – and why.

Sig Sauer P320 Sub-Compact

p320 subcompact

If you're a big fan of Sig Sauer's P320 series, you'll be happy to know that they came out with a sub-compact version of that pistol designed specifically for concealed carriers. It's only 6.67 inches in length, an inch wide, and 4.67 inches in height. It's a steel frame, so it's going to be a little heavier than its polymer competitors but it still packs a great magazine capacity of 12 rounds – making it an ideal choice for everyday carriers.

Why? Sig Sauer has always put a lot of emphasis on law enforcement and military. While a lot of concealed carriers keep Sig Sauers on their inside the waistband holsters, it really seems like CCW is an after-thought for Sig. This P320 Sub-Compact shows that Sig is serious about continuing to innovate their great pistol line-up for the concealed carry world.

FNH-USA FNS 9 & 40 Compact

FNH refuses to give on quality and reliability. The makers of the SCAR rifle as well as a long line-up of tactical pistols geared for the military, it's refreshing to see them focus on bringing their great pistol designs to the concealed carry market. The FNS-9 & 40 Compact offers a great double-stack option for those familiar with their full-size line-up. FNH misses a lot of the fan-boy base that Glock gets, but they still manage to produce some of the best pistols on the market.

Why? The FNS-40, in particular, is noted because of its recoil compensation. Too many concealed carry pistols offer .40 S&W capability with absolutely no recoil compensation. This pistol gets what a concealed carrier wants in an .40 caliber handgun – sleek, reliable, and great recoil compensation.

Glock 43

Earlier in the decade, Walther came out with its PPS chambered in 9mm. It was exactly what the concealed carry market demanded – something that fit well in a waistband holster, extremely compact, and shoots like a dream. It took Glock nearly a decade to catch up to that market. When they did, they at least provided a cost-sensible CCW pistol that performed to the same, if not better specifications as the Walther PPS.

Why? The Glock 43 is part of a family of sub-compact single-stacks: G42 (.380 Auto), G43 (9mm), and the G36 (.45 ACP). For those who are 9mm die-hards, the G43 succinctly answers everything a concealed carrier could need in a sub-compact pistol.

Ruger SR1911 Lightweight

ruger sr 1911

A lot of concealed carriers refuse to depart from the 1911 form factor no matter how cumbersome a full-size version may be. Ruger got that. When they released their SR1911 Lightweight. It's still on the longer side – 7.75 inches, but in terms of height and width, it's perfect for a slim inside the waistband concealed carry holster.

Why? The Ruger SR1911 Lightweight avoids many of the pitfalls of smaller 1911 models out there – namely a feed ramp reinforced with titanium versus standard aluminum. It also doesn't welch out on ammunition capacity – 7 rounds of .45 ACP per magazine.

Kimber Stainless Micro Rapter .380 ACP

kimber stainless micro raptor

It's no secret that Kimber makes great custom 1911s. But what about their concealed carry offerings? Prior to 2015, we had the Solo and some compact 1911 models to choose from. Now, we have the Kimber Micro Raptor chambered in .380 ACP. This allows the concealed carrier to keep the 1911 form factor he loves while keeping it manageable in the waistband.

Why? Kimber's Micro Raptor in .380 ACP performs like a perfectly scaled full-size 1911 in .45 ACP. It's like if you took a pill and grew two feet in height but had the same 1911 in your hand. Surprisingly, it performs exactly how you'd expect a Kimber Custom to operate – flawlessly.

James England

About The Author

James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.