Lightest concealed carry gun

Lightest concealed carry gun

Lighter guns enhance concealability and comfort for concealed carry without sacrificing reliability. A tiny EDC companion that weighs in at around a single pound can work wonders for your CCW capabilities.

Read on to learn more about the lightest CCW guns!

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Factors to consider

Smith & Wesson Shield

Sig P365

Glock 43

Smith and Wesson Airweight

Ruger EC9s

Kimber Micro 9

If you’re wearing your light gun model in a KYDEX holster, take advantage of our memory foam pad and enjoy the most comfortable carry ever!

Factors to Consider

A lightweight concealed carry firearm balances compact dimensions for discretion with comfort and shootability for safe and convenient everyday use. When you are considering lightweight firearm options for CCW, prioritize these key attributes:

  1. Comfort and concealability. Lightweight pistols should be comfortable to carry and easy to conceal without sacrificing handling and accuracy. This may involve choosing a smaller frame size or a pistol with ergonomic features.
  2. Caliber. Smaller calibers, such as .380 ACP or 9mm, are generally lighter and more concealable, but they do not offer the same stopping power as larger calibers.
  3. Capacity. A higher-capacity magazine provides more firepower, but it also adds extra weight to the pistol.
  4. Safety features. Opt for models with mechanisms that prevent accidental discharge and secure storage when not in use.
  5. CCW holster. Your holster should securely hold the pistol while allowing for easy access when needed. Consider your body type, clothing style, and preferred carry method when selecting a holster.

Now that you know what to keep an eye out for, let’s take a look at our top picks for the lightest concealed carry pistols.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9 EZ

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0 i.

Image source: https://www.smith-wesson.com/product/m-p-9-shield-m2.0

Feature

Details

Caliber

9mm or .40 S&W

Action

Striker-fired

Capacity

7+1 9mm, 6+1 .40 S&W (Standard)

Length

6.1 inches

Barrel length

3.1 inches

Weight

18.3 ounces

Trigger pull

6.5 lbs

Magazine

Flush-fit single stack


The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is a slim, lightweight polymer-frame striker-fired subcompact pistol. It features a textured grip stainless steel slide and barrel, weighing just 18.3 ounces unloaded for discreet transport, making it one of the better striker-fired pistols.

The Shield features a polymer frame with built-in thumb safety and a 7 or 8-round magazine capacity, depending on the caliber. It is also available with optional manual safety and has a consistent 6.5-pound trigger pull.

The minimalist profile incorporates snag-free 3-dot sights and allows for fast chambering of rounds without protruding edges.

This redditor loves his Shield because it is comfortable and concealable.

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Sig Sauer P365

Sig Sauer P365 i

Sig Sauer P365 i.

Image source: https://www.sigsauer.com/p365-380.html

Feature

Details

Caliber

9mm

Action

Striker-fired, semi-auto

Capacity

10+1 rounds (standard)

Length

5.8 inches

Barrel Length

3.1 inches

Weight

17.8 ounces

Trigger Pull

~6 lbs

Magazine

10 or 12-round flush or extended


The Sig Sauer P365 is an ultra-compact 9mm pistol. Weighing just 17.8 ounces unloaded, the all-metal P365 based on the 320 platform is crisis-ready out of the box with XRay3 day/night sights and a 10-round flush fit magazine. 

The stainless steel frame minimizes recoil for smooth P365 shootability. A clean, consistent trigger break allows precise shots for competitive accuracy from the 1-inch barrel. 

Effortless assimilation of 10 or 12-round extended magazines makes the P365 the ultimate high-capacity micro-compact pistol. The optional manual safety, available optic cutouts, and included holsters optimize the P365 for concealed functionality across all carry positions.

Glock 43

Glock 43

Glock 43. Image source: https://us.glock.com/en/pistols/g43

Feature

Details

Caliber

9mm

Action

Striker-fired, semi-auto

Capacity

6 rounds (standard)

Length

6.26 inches

Barrel Length

3.39 inches

Weight

18.3 oz

Trigger Pull

5.5 lbs

Magazine

6-round flush-fitting


The G43 features a grooved, snag-free grip frame with Gen3 Safe-Action trigger safety. At just over 18 ounces unloaded, the light polymer frame and steel slide ensure durability and consistent performance. 

The 6-round single stack magazine keeps the G43 impressively narrow for IWB carry, yet allows for a confident full grip. 

Simple Glock takedown reveals the challenging-condition-ready hammer-forged barrel interior with adjustable rear sights for out-of-the-box accuracy. Chambered for the easy-shooting 9mm cartridge with standard accessory rail, the G43 packs full-size stopping power into its purpose-driven subcompact chassis.

After 1,000 shots, the Glock 43 caused no problems for this redditor.

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Smith & Wesson Airweight

Feature

Details

Caliber

.38 Special

Action

Double action revolver

Capacity

5 rounds

Length

~6.5 inches

Barrel Length

2 inches

Weight

~15 oz

Trigger Pull

~10 lbs

Magazine

5-round cylinder


Just 15 ounces unloaded in .38 Special models, Airweights remarkably soak recoil in the reduced-profile frame. A snub-nosed barrel and shrouded hammer optimize holster integration and smooth draw for personal defense readiness. 

Five-shot capacity strikes the ideal balance of size versus firepower, while the double-action trigger system prevents hesitation when fractions of seconds matter. Grip options including exotic woods cater to shooter palm fit preferences for accuracy. 

The Airweight offers supreme comfort and concealability and is the perfect choice for IWB, ankle, and pocket carry for self-defense readiness.

Ruger LCP II

Feature

Details

Caliber

.380 ACP

Action

Pre-cocked hammer-fired double action only

Capacity

6+1 rounds

Length

5.17 inches

Barrel Length

2.75 inches

Weight

10.6 ounces

Trigger Pull

7.5 lbs

Magazine

6-round flush-fitting


The Ruger LCP II .380 pistol maintains an ultra-compact 10.6-ounce weight and 0.73-inch width. It is one of the lightest concealed carry guns available today. Optimized grip traction and a double action trigger deliver accuracy during practice and rapid response when needed. 

The flush-fit 6+1 magazine allows complete pocket or holster integration without printing. A through-hardened slide and durable aluminum frame provide Ruger’s renowned resilience against harsh carry wear. 

A grippy, snag-free profile resists printing even during rigorous daily carry use thanks to compact, lightweight components built for concealability and reliability.

Kimber Micro 9

Feature

Details

Caliber

9mm

Action

Single-action

Capacity

6+1 rounds (standard)

Length

~6.1 inches

Barrel Length

~3.15 inches

Weight

15.6-16.0 ounces

Trigger Pull

7-9 pounds

Magazine

Single stack


The Kimber Micro 9 is a sleek and slim semi-automatic handgun that combines modern design with the power and reliability of the 9mm caliber. This popular pistol is built with a single-action operation, providing a crisp and clean trigger pull. The frame is constructed from lightweight materials, and the pistol features a stainless steel slide.

Although the Kimber sacrifices a degree of shootability compared to full-sized 9mms, advanced ergonomics like an intuitively textured grip offer a natural point of aim and quick-draw accessibility.

The minimized dimensions prioritize discreet carry without severely impacting combat accuracy and dependability compared to larger handguns.

Although he thinks it is great for concealment, this redditor doesn’t like that his Micro 9 doesn’t have a decocking lever.

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Why lightweight pistols are good for CCW carry?

The ideal concealed carry fits the natural shape of the body efficiently to remain invisible and does not incite weariness. Lightweight pistols check all of the boxes.

Lightweight pistols are good for CCW because:

  • They’re comfortable. The lightweight design allows all-day carry without discomfort or soreness that could cause the owner to leave their defensive firearm behind due to pain or irritation.
  • They conceal well under clothes. A lighter gun contours the body better creating less obvious printing against clothing for more discretion.
  • They minimize printing. Lightweight polymers, alloys, and compact grips reduce a concealed firearm’s signature profile compared to bulkier, heavier-weight options.
  • They’re ideal for full-day carry. Increased comfort allows individuals to wear a concealed carry handgun throughout the day without burden or fatigue.

What is the lightest 9mm handgun?

The lightest 9mm handgun currently on the concealed carry market is the KelTec P-11, weighing just 14 ounces unloaded. With an alloy frame, steel slide, and 2.8-inch barrel, the ultra-compact P-11 is purpose-built for concealed carry with a double-action-only trigger and 10+1 capacity flush-fitting magazine. 

While giving up long slide sight radius and mild steel construction compared to larger 9mm options, the featherweight P-11's resilience, ergonomics, and slim frame make it a great option for those prioritizing lightweight features.

Buy a GunZee foam pad to enhance the comfort of your CCW holster. 

CCW gun FAQ

What is the safest gun to conceal carry?

Mechanisms such as manual safeties, consistent mid-weight triggers between 5 and 8 pounds, drop safeties, chamber indicators, and hammer systems are some of the important features a safe gun should have.

For example, exposed hammer pistols or revolvers allow physical confirmation of cock status aiding situational awareness. While less inherently “safe”, more responsibility transfers to the owner to prioritize fundamentals like trigger discipline and muzzle control with any firearm. To maximize safety, commit ample range time for confidence and muscle memory to employ a defense handgun responsibly from concealment as needed.

What is the best trigger pull weight for concealed carry?

The ideal trigger pull weight for an effective concealed carry defensive pistol falls around 5-6 pounds. Some argue that lighter trigger pull weights enable faster response despite decreasing inherent safety, while heavier 7-8 pound triggers decrease the likelihood of accidental discharge, but may limit the precision and require more training to control properly.

What is the smallest but most powerful handgun?

The smallest yet most powerful production handgun that combines compact design and superior stopping power would likely be the Ruger LCP MAX .380 pistol. Its 2.7-inch barrel houses a 3-inch chamber accepting longer, higher velocity rounds, which increases lethality in comparison to typical .380 pocket guns.

What is the best handgun for a woman?

The Smith & Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ stands out as an ideal CCW pistol for female shooters. Benefits include:

  • Lightweight polymer frame enhances carry comfort
  • Easy-to-rack slide with grip safety facilitates charging
  • Built-in thumb safety prevents unintentional discharge
  • Ergonomic grip contours cater to smaller hands
  • Low recoil .380 ACP caliber for confident control
  • 8+1 flush fit magazine provides adequate ammunition capacity
  • Available ported slide further mitigates recoil

What is the lightest micro 9mm?

The lightest micro-compact 9mm handgun with minimized dimensions for easy concealed carry is the Kimber Micro 9. Weighing between 15.6-16 ounces empty depending on the variant, it has a corrosion-resistant stainless slide and a smooth aluminum trigger frame. It packs an impressive capacity of 6+1 rounds into an envelope that is under 6 inches which contributes to a higher level of discretion.

Further reading

What are the best double-action revolvers for concealed carry?

What is the best Smith & Wesson for women?

What is the best IWB holster for women?

What is the best AIWB holster?

What is the best concealed carry weapon for big guys?

How do I wear an inside-the-waistband holster?

What is the best IWB KYDEX holster?

What is the best compact handgun for IWB carry?

What is the best undershirt for IWB carry?