What is the best deep concealment pistol?

What is the best deep concealment pistol?

Deep concealment pistols allow for another level of concealed carry. With the right CCW gun, you can carry your pistol undetected.

Let's highlight the top micro and subcompact pistols that are great for concealment without compromising shootability or stopping power.

Quick links:

Ruger LCP Max

KelTec P32

Kahr CW380

Glock 42

Sig Sauer P365

The best 9mm for deep concealment

With GunZee’s memory foam pad, your everyday carry will be more comfortable than ever before!

Ruger LCP Max

Ruger LCP max

Ruger LCP Max.

Image source: https://ruger.com/products/lcpMax/specSheets/13716.html

Feature

Details

Caliber

.380 ACP

Length

5.17”

Barrel length

2.80”

Weight (unloaded)

10.6 oz

Capacity

10+1


The Ruger LCP Max packs .380 ACP into a diminutive size. The extended magazine capacity couples with an aggressive grip texture on an alloy steel slide to promote weapon control for rapid targeting and firing. A snag-free profile, push-button magazine release, and improved feed ramp maintain efficiency of use for self-defense scenarios requiring quick action at close distances.

While an improvement on standard LCP models, the LCP Max still exhibits snappy recoil due to the combination of ultra-lightweight construction and .380 Auto chambering. The ultra-lightweight polymer frame can accentuate muzzle rise, so those with less hand strength may find soft recoil control a challenge.

This redditor loves his LCP Max.

UGC

KelTec P32

Keltec P32TM

Keltec P32TM. Image source: https://www.keltecweapons.com/firearm/pistols/p32/

Feature

Details

Caliber

.32 ACP

Length

5.1”

Barrel length

2.7”

Weight (unloaded)

7 oz

Capacity

7+1


The KelTec P32 is one of the lightest .32 ACP pistols on the concealed carry market. Its aluminum frame and steel slide keep weight down while maintaining durability. The short barrel length maximizes concealability while retaining enough sight radius for defensive shooting at close distances.

The slim .760" slide width and smooth contours facilitate comfortable deep concealment carry without printing. The hammer-fired trigger offers a long but manageable 12 lb double action pull, promoting safer handling than lighter striker-fired triggers. 

Aggressive rear slide serrations allow for positive manipulation and cycling of the slide. Manual safety levers on both sides add an extra layer of security against unintentional discharge.

With a capacity of 7+1 rounds, the P32 provides more shots than typical pocket pistols. The thin grip frame fits most hand sizes and allows for optimal deep concealment. The matte black Tenifer finish resists corrosion and scratches from daily carry.

Kahr CW380

Feature

Details

Caliber

.380 ACP

Length

4.96”

Barrel length

2.58”

Weight (unloaded)

10.9 oz

Capacity

6+1


The Kahr CW380 pistol offers a slim profile and effective concealment in a .380 ACP caliber. The polymer frame includes textured grips that allow for a secure hold and improved weapon control during firing sequences.

For sight acquisition, the CW380 is equipped with drift-adjustable white bar-dot combat sights. This contrasting rear sight pairs with a pinned-in polymer front sight to facilitate target alignment even in low-light defensive situations.

The pistol has a matte stainless steel slide finish combined with a black polymer frame. This creates an aesthetically pleasing black-on-stainless two-tone appearance. The stainless steel construction also promotes slide integrity when firing repeated +P (overpressure) defensive ammunition.

The CW380 features passive striker block mechanisms alongside an automatic firing pin block to help prevent accidental discharge. The long and smooth double-action trigger further enhances safe handling by preventing firing without a complete pull.

Glock 42

Glock 42

Glock 42. Image source: https://us.glock.com/en/pistols/g42

Feature

Details

Caliber

.380 Auto

Length

5.94”

Barrel length

3.25”

Weight (unloaded)

12.17 oz

Capacity

6+1


The Glock 42’s all-metal frame incorporates textured finger grooves and stippling to enable a solid grip during firing sequences. For sight acquisition, the G42 utilizes a white-outline rear sight paired with a steel front sight. 

This high-contrast sight system allows rapid target alignment in defensive shooting scenarios.

With a slide finished in Glock’s durable “nP” coating and a polymer frame, the pistol has a matte black appearance that is perfect for concealed carry. The finish also promotes slide integrity when firing standard or +P .380 ammunition. The G42 features a shorter grip frame which enhances concealability but may prove difficult for those with larger hands to control.

In terms of safety, the G42 features a striker status indicator, trigger safety lever, and drop safety to prevent accidental discharge. The consistent trigger pull contributes to safe handling via positive control of each shot.

Sig Sauer P365X

Feature

Details

Caliber

9mm Luger

Length

6”

Barrel length

3.1”

Weight (unloaded)

17.8 oz

Capacity

12+1


The P365X comes with an extended magazine that provides higher capacity thanks to a larger magazine body. For those looking to achieve optimal concealed carry, a flush-fit magazine is also included. The ability to swap between the larger and smaller magazine options adds flexibility for shooters. Despite compact dimensions, an alloy steel frame tames recoil for fast follow-up shots.

Stippled front and back grip modules enable a secure grasp while firing. XRay3 day/night sights acquire targets effectively under varied lighting with high visibility photoluminescent lamps bordering a precise sight picture.

A nitron-finished stainless steel slide resists corrosion and enhances durability when firing defensive ammunition or overpressure +P rounds. Safety features include striker safety to prevent discharge without a trigger pull, as well as manual safety and loaded chamber indicators.

With our holster padding, your gun will disappear under clothing for effective deep concealed—get one today.

What is the best 9mm for deep concealment?

When you choose a 9mm for deep concealment, a slim, snag-free profile is key alongside reliability and adequate ammunition capacity. The right balance of concealability and shootability is important to consider. 

Here are our top picks:

  1. The Kimber Micro 9 packs serious performance into a micro-package, concealing 6+1 rounds within a steel frame around 1 inch wide. Metal construction adds weight to tame the recoil of full-power defensive loads for faster follow-up shots. Smooth edges, melded sights, and grip texturing refine the Micro 9 exclusively for carry readiness out of the box.
  2. Sleek and robust, the Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield EZ channels the renowned M&P line into a concealment-friendly model. An 8+1 single stack magazine slims the frame down to 1.1 inches even with the grip extension. User-friendly enhancements like easy-rack slides, grip safeties, and bright iron sights provide seamless carry for both new and experienced shooters.
  3. The Glock 48 applies hallmark Glock dependability in a trim, versatile deep concealment pistol. Despite slender dimensions, the 48 harbors 10 rounds of 9mm firepower backed by unmatched reliability. A refined 2.5lb trigger press sharpens intrinsic accuracy for more intuitive defensive shooting.
  4. The Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 conceals 9mm firepower in a remarkably compact size. Despite a trim 1-inch slide and short 3.3” barrel, a single stack magazine fits 9+1 rounds of 9mm +P ammunition and a grip extension for full firing control. The 4.5-5.5 lb crisp SA trigger enhances accuracy while dual captive recoil springs and fiber optic front sight get shooters back on target faster. 

What is the best deep concealment holster?

The right deep concealment holster keeps your firearm securely anchored and effectively concealed. It also enables a smooth, quick draw when needed. 

There are a number of great holster options that accommodate different carry styles and optimize draw time as well as ease of access. Here are some of our favorites:  

  • The Crossbreed MiniTuck disappears under clothing with its slim KYDEX mold mounted to a premium cowhide backer using heavy-duty clips. It can be angled and spaced along the backer to cater to your preferred draw angle and coverage at common carry spots like the appendix, hip, or small of the back.
  • The Tulster OATH optimizes concealment with a low-profile design that features soft loops as attachment points. It enables grip access from multiple draw angles thanks to an open bottom cut paired with a boundary guard to prevent over-extension past the barrel length.
  • The Relentless Tactical Defender pack enables layered customization potential for different carry positions using a modular holster paired with magazine pouches. Attachment pieces like IWB loops, OWB paddles, and even shoulder harnesses securely anchor the rig while interchangeable hook/loop locks tailor precise weapon retention pressure.

Deep concealment methods

There is no single deep concealment method that reigns supreme. Body types, choice of clothing, pistol models, and local laws will determine what works best for individual deep concealment needs. 

The most popular choices include:

  • Appendix carry. The holster is located close to the hip on the same side as your dominant shooting hand. This concealed carry option allows for quick access and easy concealment under an untucked shirt. It can utilize inside waistband (IWB) or outside waistband (OWB) holsters.
  • Small of back. A weapon is located behind your back around the kidney level. While very concealable under looser shirts, drawing requires the user to reach around which can be more difficult. Typically uses IWB holsters for better concealment.
  • Ankle carry. Holsters are mounted upside down on the inside of either ankle. This carry position is easy to conceal but has slower access as shooters must bend or kneel. It is best reserved as a deep concealment backup carry option.
  • Pocket carry. A micro-compact pistol, revolver, or derringer is placed inside the pocket of a jacket or pants. It provides quick access but is limited in weapon size and reloading capabilities. Usually requires pocket-specific holsters or sleeves.

Deep concealment pistols FAQ

What is the best concealed carry pistol for big hands?

The best concealed carry guns for people with big hands are the Glock 17 or the Smith & Wesson M&P9. These handguns offer a comfortable grip without compromising concealability, striking a balance for those with larger hands.

What is the best concealed carry caliber for defense shooting and personal protection?

The best concealed carry calibers for defense shooting and personal protection are 9mm, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum. These calibers offer proven stopping power, manageable recoil for accurate follow-up shots, and compatibility with compact concealable firearms. 

What is the most popular handgun size?

The most popular handgun size is compact or "carry size." These mid-sized pistols typically have a barrel length of around 3-4 inches and an overall length of around 6-7 inches. 

Compact guns offer a balance of shootability, concealability, and capacity that appeals to many handgun owners seeking a versatile sidearm for self-defense, concealed carry, or recreational shooting. 

Popular models include:

  • Glock 19
  • Smith & Wesson M&P9
  • Sig Sauer P320
  • Springfield Armory XD Mod.2

Can you conceal a full-size pistol?

full-size pistol is a challenge to conceal. For some body types, it can be done, but it will depend on holster selection, clothing choices, and concealed carry position. A high-ride inside the waistband or appendix carry holster can minimize the printing of a large handgun grip. Loose, untucked shirts and jackets help hide the gun's outline. Spare tires and love handles also conceal full-size guns more easily. 

What is the easiest handgun to handle?

The easiest handguns to handle tend to be small-frame revolvers or semi-automatic pistols in .380 ACP or 9mm. Models like the Smith & Wesson J-frame revolvers, SIG Sauer P238, Beretta Nano, and Ruger LCP are very manageable for new shooters due to their lightweight, minimal recoil, and simple operation. 

Larger calibers or full-size handguns may offer higher capacity or improved ergonomics but increase weight and felt recoil, making them more difficult for novices to control effectively.

Is a Glock 19 good for concealed carry?

The Glock 19 is a good concealed handgun. As a compact 9mm pistol, it strikes a good balance between power and concealability. Its short grip fits most hands well, promoting comfort and control, while still holding 15+1 rounds of 9mm. 

Is a 1911 too big for concealed carry?

A 1911 pistol is generally not too big for concealed carry. While 1911s are often full-sized service pistols, many compact and subcompact 1911 options exist from manufacturers like Kimber, Springfield Armory, and Colt that are well-suited for CCW. 

What is a good pistol trigger weight?

A good pistol trigger weight for most defensive firearms is around 4-5 pounds. This allows sufficient precision for defensive accuracy. 

Lighter triggers in the 3-pound range improve precision shooting in target pistols but may be unsuitable for defensive handguns without additional safety. 

Heavier triggers around 6-8 pounds provide safety at the expense of precision.

Are pocket guns good for deep concealment?

Pocket guns can be excellent choices for deep concealment carry. Their small size, lightweight designs, and minimal profiles allow them to disappear into pants or jacket pockets. 

Models like the Ruger LCP .380 ACP, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .38 Special, or tiny .32 and .380 semi-autos fit most pockets with little to no printing. This makes them very effective as backup guns or deep-cover carry pieces. 

However, the tradeoff is limited ammo capacity, shorter barrel lengths, aggressive recoil, and reduced accuracy at longer ranges compared to larger pistols.

Further reading

The best CCW holsters for fat guys

The best single action 9mm

The best concealed carry handgun without manual safety

The best Springfield Hellcat holster

What is the best concealed carry caliber?

What is the best inside the waistband holster?

What is the best concealed carry weapon for seniors?

What is the lightest concealed carry firearm?

How do I choose the right concealed carry gun?

What are the best single-stack 9mm guns?