7 Concealed Carry Guns That Get Less Love Than They Deserve
Most people are familiar with the popular concealed carry guns. These pistols are in nearly every gun store and scads of material have been written about them.
You already know the S&W Shield or Sig P938 are great carry guns. Heck, those are some of the most popular holsters we sell!
But what are some of the guns you DIDN'T think of? The guns that get overlooked but probably shouldn't have been? After all, not everyone wants the same old thing everyone else is getting. Here are 7 of just those kind of concealed carry guns.
Walther PPS M2
The Walther PPS M2 (or Polizei Pistole Slim) is likely the best poly-frame striker-fired single-stack subcompact that you've never heard of. Those of us who have, or furthermore those of us who have actually handled one, will tell you that the only thing that the more popular models have that's better than the PPS M2 is corporate marketing departments.
The specs are fairly similar to other single-stack subcompacts, roughly the same size as the Shield. There are three sizes of magazine - flush, medium and extended - holding 6, 7, or 8 rounds of 9x19mm. It has a striker-fired trigger and is streamlined for easy draw from concealment.
What sets the M2 apart? The ergos. Most striker guns don't really feel great in the hand. They're alright, but not well enough to be really comfortable...but this one is. And then you get the Walther trigger, and the ergonomics and triggers of Walther's striker guns have long been considered the best of that segment. You can find it in-store for $500 or less.
Though the Shield doesn't exactly come all that dearly for a handgun, the SD9VE is a bargain blaster. It's about 95 percent of the size of the M&P9 or M&P40 (the SD40VE is the same gun in .40 S&W) with a 4-inch barrel, and holds 16+1 of 9x19mm or 14+1 of .40 S&W. It has an accessory rail, a polymer frame, and S&W's hinged trigger.
And that's about the end of the features. Everything you need, nothing you don't, and you can pick one up for about $300 in most stores. Quite a bargain. Why aren't more people fawning over this gun?
The 10-pound trigger pull, that's why. The SD9VE and SD40VE are considered double-action only, with a trigger pull to match. An Apex trigger kit brings it down to about 8 pounds, but trigger snobs sneer at them.
Which is silly, because it's a lot of gun for the money and made in America to boot.
CZ is the best gun company you've never heard of, and the CZ P-07 is one of their more recent innovations. CZ is known for impossibly good ergonomics, tight lock-up and easy shooting due to the sliding riding inside the frame. The P-07 offers both. However, and this is what turns some shooters off, CZ is also known for DA/SA operation, which the P-07 definitely is.
But what does the P-07 bring to the table? Modern refinements that bring the double-action Wonder Nine into the 21st century.
First, the frame is polymer rather than steel, bringing weight down to 27.7 ounces, with exchangeable backstraps. CZ pistols come with a safety for cocked-and-locked carry, which the P-07 does. However, it also uses CZ's Omega trigger, which allows you to convert it to a decocker instead. You also get an accessory rail for a light.
Definitely a compact, the P-07 holds 15+1 of 9x19mm. Dimensionally, it's about the size of a Glock 19 so it's definitely a Goldilocks pistol, and at $510 MSRP has a price that's nice. If you want something other than the same old plastic fantastic, the P-07 is a gun to check out.
SCCY pistols have a lot to offer the right person, as they actually make for a very good concealed carry gun. They're compact, smaller than a S&W Shield and lighter to boot - 4 inches tall, under 6 inches long, just over an inch tall and weighing 15 ounces unloaded - so they're definitely appropriate for EDC. They also hold 10+1 of 9x19mm (and a .380 version is coming soon!) so you get good capacity.
The CPX-2 retails for $314, but you'll often find them for $250 or less, and it's made in America. What's not to like?!
The trigger, usually. It's a common complaint with SCCY pistols, but the reality is that it's very manageable. Besides, if you insist on a custom-shop quality trigger on a less-than $300 gun (heck, a less-than $700 gun more like it) you're just deluding yourself.
It's everything you need, nothing you don't, and carries 10+1 in a very compact package.
Other Ruger concealed carry guns are a bit more in vogue at the moment (the LC series, the LCR, the Ruger American compact) but the SR9c is a compact plastic fantastic that ought to get a second look before getting a Glock 19 like everyone else that doesn't have an original idea.
The SR9c is on the small side for a compact, standing 4.6 inches high, 6.85 inches long with a 3.4-inch barrel, and 1.27 inches wide. It's light, coming in at 23.4 ounces unloaded. Magazine capacity is 10+1 of 9x19mm in the flush-fit and 17+1 in the extended magazine. It has ambidextrous low-profile safeties, a two-sided changeable backstrap and an accessory rail. You can even get a stainless steel slide if you want for no extra charge.
MSRP is $569, but you'll find them for a lot less these days as the Ruger American compact is the Ruger CCW gun du-jour. Most reviews found them very easy to shoot, but unfortunately they share a crowded segment among the compact poly strikers and haven't gotten as much love as other guns of the same size.
Beretta PX4 Storm Compact
The PX4 is a modern take on the operating system behind the famous 92FS: double/single-action operation, with a safety/decocker or decocking lever, streamlining the slide for an easier draw and easier concealment, adding a polymer frame, exchangeable backstraps, an accessory rail, and Beretta's rotating barrel linkage. They even created an actually compact compact variant, the PX4 Storm Compact.
It isn't the tiniest gun in the world, 'tis true, but it's about the size of most other compacts such as the Glock 19. 5 inches tall, 6.8 inches long (with a 3.27-inch barrel) and 1.42 inches wide, but weighing in at a reasonable 27.2 ounches. (That's light for a Beretta!) The 92 Compact is practically the size of a battleship by comparison.
So, much like the P-07, the Storm Compact has thoroughly modern features, has a reputation as a solid shooter, and is definitely a great choice of concealed carry gun. With an MSRP of $650 - many stores have them for just under $500 - it's very reasonably picked up.
More people should look at them...but the thing is the poly striker guns have scared some folks off double-action systems. Spend a little time with the PX4 Storm Compact and you might get an idea of why that's a shame.
FNH FNS9 Compact
Another poly-striker gun that you probably skipped over in the concealed carry guns section of your favorite gun store - and totally shouldn't have - is the FNH FNS9 Compact. It's about the size of a S&W M&P9 - so a good EDC gun - with a 6.7-in overall length and 3.6-in barrel, standing 5.2 inches tall and weighing in at 23.4 ounces. Capacity is 10, 12, or 17 rounds of 9x19mm, depending on which magazine you select. The 12-rounder is standard (10-round is for certain jurisdictions) and you usually get two with purchase, one with a pinkie extension and one flush. (A lot like the S&W M&P9.) The 17-round magazine is for the FNS9 full-size, which the Compact is compatible with.
Like a few other compacts of similar size and construction, you can choose ambi safeties or none. You get an accessory rail, exchangeable backstraps, and low-profile sights. Base model is white dots, but you can opt for night sights for about an extra $50; the base model retails for $599, but it can usually be found for closer to $500.
Reviews of the FNS9 have praised the accuracy and reliability. What's great about it? If you think the 26 is too short, want more capacity than a single-stack, but find the Glock 19 too big, then it's perfect. That sounds like a solution in search of a problem, but there are a lot of people that fit that bill.