Top 5 Concealed Carry Handguns for a Baller on a Budget

The GLOCK 43

The GLOCK 43 remains the most popular single-stack 9mm for concealed carry. That may change now that the 43X is on the way, and the 48 (both of which are revisions of the 43). News flash–we’re fans of the X series from GLOCK. More on that, soon.

ETS Makes GLOCK mags fun.

The reason for its popularity is easy to understand. It is a GLOCK. While slightly more concealable than the G19, the 43 is still big enough to control. It is easy on the hands, easy to hide, and reliably accurate. The downfall? For many of us, it’s mag capacity. Still, at $440 or so, GLOCK sells a lot of them.

Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Shield

The Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Shield appeals to single-stack fans who like more versions and options. If you want a safety, or more barrel, or more grip, or… there’s a Shield for you. The standard Shield is $400. It is a very reliable gun, and one that’s won the loyalty of a wide variety of gun owners. There are 7 and 8 round mags, too.

Sig P365

Now that the controversy surrounding the Sig P365 has died down a bit, many are returning to the platform. The increased capacity of the P365 sets its apart from the competition. 10 rounds fit in the grip. That’s well above the 6 or 7 rounds of some of the others on this list. As such, the Sig has great promise.

The Sig P365.

We have a long-term review of the P365 coming up soon, so stay tuned. If the early bugs have been worked out, the $500  price is a bargain.

Walther PPS M2

Fans of the high-tech Euro guns often flock to Walther for concealed carry. The workmanship is superb. Their ergonomics have come a long way, too. The PPS M2 is a solid single stack with a distinctly Walther flare.

The trigger will be the highlight. It has a clean break and a super-short reset. If you are a trigger snob, check out the Walthers. If you want a quality gun at an affordable price, the PPS M2 is a good place to start, too. $400, give-or-take.

Ruger Security 9

Ruger’s Security 9 is likely to be the least expensive gun on this list. It is easy to find and will typically sell for $290. That is its top selling point, but hardly the only one. Ruger has a great reputation and back their products with solid warranties. The Security 9 is a slimmed down version of their American Pistol. While it has been slow to take off, it is worth a look.

concealed carry
Ruger’s Security 9. An inexpensive option for concealed carry.

One of the unique features o f the Security 9 is its internal hammer. This gives the trigger a different feel than those of some of the others in this list, and a feel many shooters of DAO pistols prefer.

And one for good measure?

There’s another that could be on this concealed carry list soon. The Mossberg MC1. Read more about it here.

David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. David is a former backcountry guide in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Boundary Waters Canoe Area who was a college professor for 20 years. He ultimately left behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry and was (among other editorial positions) the Managing Editor for a nascent Mag Life blog. In that Higginbotham helped establish The Maglife's tone and secure its early success. Though he went on to an even more practical firearms industry profession still, he continues to contribute articles and op-eds as time and life allow.

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