Best Handguns for Personal Carry: Enhancing Your Safety

Best Handguns for Personal Carry

June 7, 2023 / Comments (0)


When it comes to personal safety and self-defense, choosing a suitable handgun for personal carry is of utmost importance. With numerous options available in the market, finding the best handguns can be a daunting task. However, fear not!

Whether you are a seasoned firearm enthusiast or a first-time gun owner, this article will provide valuable insights to decide on the best handguns for personal carry.

 Importance of Personal Carry Handguns

Personal carry handguns are firearms that can be held and fired with one hand, allowing individuals to conceal and carry them for personal protection.

Many Americans firmly believe that personal carry handguns are essential for ensuring their safety and security.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 48% of gun owners state that their primary reason for owning a gun is for protection.

Similarly, a Gallup survey found that 63% of gun owners cited personal safety or protection as the primary motivation behind firearm ownership.

Personal carry handguns can play a crucial role for individuals who face threats or dangers in their environment.

However, it is essential to recognize that personal carry of handguns also comes with inherent risks and responsibilities. Incorrect usage, unsafe storage practices, or neglecting regular maintenance can lead to accidents or injuries.

Considerations to Make When Selecting a Handgun for Personal Carry

Several key factors come into play when selecting a handgun for personal carry.

Size and Weight: The size and weight of a handgun are crucial considerations, as they impact both comfort and concealability. A compact, lightweight gun is generally easier to carry and conceal for extended periods.

Caliber: A handgun's caliber refers to its barrel's internal diameter and determines the size of the ammunition it fires. Consider a caliber that balances stopping power and manageable recoil, ensuring you can handle the firearm effectively.

Concealability: Concealability is vital for personal carry handguns, as they are typically worn discreetly. To ensure adequate concealment, look for weapons with slim profiles, shorter barrel lengths, and minimal printing.

Capacity: The capacity of a handgun refers to the number of rounds it can hold. Strike a balance between power and comfort, considering grip size and ergonomics.

Reliability: Reliability is non-negotiable when it comes to personal carry handguns. Choose a firearm from reputable manufacturers known for producing reliable guns that function consistently when you need them the most.

Top Handgun Recommendations for Personal Carry

After considering the essential factors, the following handguns stand out as top recommendations for personal carry:

Glock 19

The Glock 19 is widely regarded as one of the best handguns for personal carry. It offers a balance between size, capacity, and reliability.

With its compact design and 15+1 round capacity, the Glock 19 is suitable for concealed carry and home defense.

A Woman Holding a  Glock 19 Pistol

Features of Glock 19

  • Compact Size: The Glock 19 is known for its compact design, which makes it easier to carry concealed. It has a barrel length of 4.01 inches and an overall length of 7.36 inches, making it more manageable for everyday carry than larger handguns.
  • Versatility: One of the standout features of the Glock 19 is its versatility. It offers a balanced blend of size, capacity, and firepower. It has a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds (9mm), providing substantial ammunition for personal defense situations. The Glock 19 can also accept larger-capacity magazines designed for its larger counterparts, such as the Glock 17, without needing any modifications.
  • Reliability and Durability: Glock pistols, including the Glock 19, have gained a reputation for their exceptional reliability and durability. The Glock 19 is built with a polymer frame and a Tenifer finish on the slide, which provides resistance to corrosion and wear. These features contribute to the Glock 19's ability to withstand harsh conditions and frequent use, making it a reliable choice for personal carry.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is famous for concealed carry due to its smart profile and lightweight design.

It comes in various calibers, including 9mm and .40 S&W, and offers a range of magazine capacities.

best handguns for personal carry

Features of Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

  • Striker-Fired Action: The M&P Shield features a striker-fired action, which contributes to its consistent and reliable performance. With a consistent trigger pull and a short reset, the striker-fired mechanism allows for quick and accurate follow-up shots. This action type also simplifies the pistol's operation, making it easy to use for shooters of all skill levels.
  • Slim and Lightweight Design: The M&P Shield is designed with a slim and lightweight profile, making it ideal for concealed carry. Its thinness allows for comfortable and discreet carry, while its lightweight construction ensures ease of handling and reduces fatigue during extended use. The pistol's compact size and weight make it convenient to carry without sacrificing performance.
  • Enhanced Grip Texture: The M&P Shield incorporates an enhanced grip texture, providing a secure and comfortable hold on the pistol. The aggressive texturing, combined with the ergonomic design, ensures a solid grip even in adverse conditions. This feature enhances control and mitigates recoil, resulting in improved accuracy and shooting confidence.

Sig Sauer P365

The Sig Sauer P365 is known for its impressive magazine capacity, offering a 10+1 or 12+1 round capacity in a compact frame.

This striker-fired pistol is highly concealable, making it ideal for everyday carry.

best handguns for personal carry

Features of Sig Sauer P365

  • High Capacity: The Sig Sauer P365 stands out for its impressive magazine capacity. Despite its compact size, it can hold up to 10 rounds in the standard magazine, providing users with more firepower than similar pistols. Additionally, Sig Sauer offers extended magazines with capacities of up to 12 or 15 rounds, making it one of the highest-capacity firearms in its class.
  • Slim Design: Another standout feature of the P365 is its slim and streamlined design. The pistol measures less than an inch in width, making it comfortable to carry and conceal. The slimness of the grip also allows for a more natural and secure grip, enhancing accuracy and control during shooting. This feature makes the P365 an excellent choice for those seeking a compact firearm that can be easily concealed without sacrificing firepower.
  • XSeries Grip Module: The P365 features an innovative XSeries grip module, which provides a customizable and ergonomic grip. This feature allows users to choose between different sizes of grip modules to suit their hand size and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and secure hold on the firearm. The textured grip surface further enhances control and reduces recoil, improving accuracy and handling.

Springfield Armory XD-S

The Springfield Armory XD-S is a reliable single-stack pistol in different calibers, including 9mm and .45 ACP.

It features a slim profile and offers excellent ergonomics, making it comfortable to carry.

best handguns for personal carry

Features of Springfield Armory XD-S

  • Ultra-Slim Profile: One of the standout features of the XD-S is its ultra-slim profile. The pistol is designed to be incredibly thin, making it ideal for concealed carry. Its slimness allows for easier concealment, making it comfortable to carry discreetly. This feature ensures that the XD-S is less likely to print or bulge when holstered, providing users with a more covert carry option.
  • Grip Safety: The XD-S incorporates grip safety, a unique feature not commonly found in many pistols. This safety mechanism is engaged when the shooter firmly grips the firearm, protecting against accidental discharges. The grip safety must be fully depressed for the pistol to fire, providing users with extra reassurance and confidence in the gun's safety features.
  • Melonite Finish: The XD-S features a durable Melonite finish on the slide. Melonite is a specialized salt bath nitriding process that enhances the metal's surface hardness and corrosion resistance. This treatment creates a robust and reliable finish that can withstand the rigors of daily carry, protecting the pistol from scratches, wear, and rust. The Melonite finish contributes to the overall durability and longevity of the XD-S.

Ruger LCP II

The Ruger LCP II is a fantastic choice for those seeking ultimate concealability. This lightweight and compact .380 ACP pistol can be easily concealed in a pocket or waistband holster.

Features of Ruger LCP II

  • Pocket-Sized Dimensions: The Ruger LCP II is specifically designed to be a pocket-carry pistol, making it incredibly compact and lightweight. With its small dimensions, it can easily fit into a pocket or be concealed in various discreet carry methods. This feature allows for comfortable and convenient everyday carry, ensuring that the pistol is easily accessible when needed.
  • Reliable Performance: Despite its small size, the LCP II is known for its reliability and consistent performance. It features a rugged construction and a dedicated short recoil system, allowing for smooth and reliable operation. The pistol incorporates a single-action trigger with a short and crisp pull, contributing to accurate and controlled shooting. Its reputation for reliability makes the LCP II a trusted choice for personal defense.
  • Improved Ergonomics: The LCP II incorporates enhanced ergonomics compared to its predecessor, the LCP. It features a textured grip surface that provides a secure and comfortable hold on the pistol, minimizing the chances of slippage during firing. The grip also has a beavertail extension, which allows for higher and more secure hand placement, further improving control and mitigating recoil. These ergonomic enhancements contribute to improved accuracy and overall shooting experience.
best handguns for personal carry

Best Holster Options for Concealed Carry

To ensure the safe and secure carry of your chosen handgun, it's crucial to invest in a quality holster.

Some popular holster options for concealed carry include inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters, appendix carry holsters, and pocket holsters.

Choose a holster that provides proper retention and a smooth draw while keeping the firearm in place.

Training and Practice for Effective Personal Carry

Owning a personal carry handgun is insufficient; proper training and regular practice are essential for practical use. Seek professional firearms training to learn safe handling, proper shooting techniques, and situational awareness. Practice regularly at the range to improve your shooting skills and familiarize yourself with your chosen handgun.

Legal Considerations and Permit Requirements

Before carrying a handgun for personal protection, it's crucial to understand the legal considerations and permit requirements in your jurisdiction.

Familiarize yourself with local laws regarding concealed carry permits, self-defense laws, and any restrictions on firearm types or magazine capacities.

Choosing the best handgun for personal carry requires careful evaluation of various factors, including size, caliber, concealability, capacity, and reliability.

The Glock 19, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, Sig Sauer P365, Springfield Armory XD-S, and Ruger LCP II are among the top recommendations for personal carry handguns.

Remember to pair your chosen firearm with a suitable holster, prioritize training and practice, and stay informed about the legal implications of carrying a gun for self-defense.


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