This is a great list but the gun doesn't matter if you don't train with it.

Choosing a handgun that might save your life is a decision you can't afford to get wrong. Stick with one of these seven proven performers.

There are so many concealed-carry handguns out there that choosing the perfect one for you can seem about as difficult as choosing a significant other. Not to worry; the key to a good match is to first narrow the pool to the very best options, and that’s just what we’ve done below. These seven semi-autos and revolvers have well-earned reputations as concealed-carry standouts—guns you can easily hide on your person, carry comfortably all day, and trust your life to. The one that’s right for you is the model that fits your hand, your carry style, and your wallet—and the one you can shoot with confidence.

Browning Black Label 1911-380

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Browning Black Label 1911-380 Browning

With all the new sub-compact 9mm semi-auto handguns, you might think the .380 Auto is dead, but it’s not. Browning continues to add appealing variations to their reduced-size 1911 lineup, which is the ideal size for the .380 Auto. The Black Label 1911-380 Pro Stainless features a matte-black composite aluminum frame with a stainless-steel barrel and slide. These pistols are incredibly light, compact, and a joy to carry. $650 to $910

MiniTuck® IWB Holster | Select


Ruger .327 Magnum LCR

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Ruger .327 Magnum LCR Ruger

If you like a compact carry revolver with a wicked punch and unmatched versatility, check out the Ruger six-shot .327 Federal Magnum LCR. It has a 1.87-inch barrel and is chambered for one of the most underrated defensive handgun cartridges on the market. This little wheelgun can also fire .32 Auto, .32 Short, .32 Long, and .32 H&R Magnum. The .327 Federal Magnum recoils and hits like a .357, but the lesser cartridges make this gun manageable for anyone in the family. $670

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0

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Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 Smith & Wesson

Anytime gun nuts talk about concealed-carry guns, the S&W M&P Shield is part of the conversation. The firearm is the perfect size for concealed-carry and seems to fit the hand of anyone who picks it up. This new 2.0 version comes with a dedicated green Crimson Trace laser that offers ambidextrous activation. It also has an eight-round magazine and weighs only 18.8 ounces. There are four laser-equipped variants to choose from in 9mm and .40 S&W, and the guns are offered with or without a thumb safety. The S&W Shield sets the bar high when it comes to affordability and reliability in compact defensive handguns. $550

Glock G19X

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Glock G19X Brownell's

At 24.83 ounces and with a 4-inch barrel and 17+2 capacity, the new G19X might be Glock’s best handgun yet. The G19X is really the melding of two famous Glocks: It has the G17 frame and the G19 slide. It’s reminiscent of what Colt did in 1950 when they created the Commander by using a shorter slide and barrel on the 1911 Government model. The new G19X, chambered in 9x19 (or 9mm), comes in a distinctive Coyote-tan color and is sized just right for those who want to carry a duty-size handgun concealed. An ambidextrous slide lock and reversible magazine release are standard, and the G19X even comes with a lanyard loop. $750

S&W Performance Center Model 19 Carry Comp

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S&W Performance Center Model 19 Carry Comp Smith & Wesson

There was a time in recent memory when revolvers were considered the ultimate defense handguns. They’ve fallen out of favor due to the mass appeal of compact semi-autos, but revolvers are still effective. S&W’s new Performance Center Model 19 Carry Comp comes with a tritium front sight, tuned action, and is chambered for one of the greatest fight-stoppers of all time, the .357 Magnum. At 34 ounces, it’s a tad heavier than conventional carry guns, but with its 3-inch barrel, it is still very concealable. The model 19 was one of S&W’s most iconic revolvers. Now, it’s even better. $1092

Sig Sauer P365

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Sig Sauer P365 Sig Sauer

For more than a decade, those carrying concealed have been infatuated by ultra-compact 9mm handguns—and for good reason. Sig Sauer’s new P365 is a hand-sized, 17-ounce, polymer-framed semi-auto that will handle +P ammunition, and it comes standard with a 10-round magazine and night sights. It’s easy to carry, easy to shoot, and will very likely become your favorite new handgun. With the added option of a 12-round magazine, it might be the biggest little gun of all time. $600

Top Pick: Wilson Combat EDC X9

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Top Pick: Wilson Combat EDC X9 Wilson Combat

Custom defensive handguns are nothing new, but that doesn’t make them any less effective. The EDC X9 Wilson Combat has meshed all the best features of the 1911, the Browning Hi Power, and the Glock 19. The EDC-X9 is lightweight, available with or without an accessory rail, and has a 15-round capacity. This pistol is deadly accurate, is more reliable than the sun, and has a smooth trigger. The price might be steep, but it’s worth every penny. Hey, you only live once, and with the right carry gun, you might live a lot longer. $2,895

Written by Richard Mann for Field & Stream and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]