We live in threatening times.

There’s the ongoing pandemic that forced us to stay at home for months on end. Now there’s the rioting that has erupted across almost all major cities. The economy is in the most significant recession since 2008. What will happen next?

This is why carrying a firearm for personal protection is now more important than ever, and it’s also why gun sales have been skyrocketing through the roof.

When conceal carrying a firearm on the streets, the best choice will be a handgun simply because it will be far easier to conceal on your person versus a long gun.

Here are the top guns to carry on you when the streets are no longer safe:

Glock 19 9mm

Many consider the Glock 19 9mm to be the one handgun to have if you could only own one handgun. It’s mid-sized and easy to conceal, but large enough to get a full firing grip with and shoot easily. It carries 15 rounds in the magazine, but will also accept larger Glock magazines if necessary. It’s easily customizable and very reliable and simple to operate.

This doesn’t mean that the Glock 19 is the greatest pistol ever made, but it could arguably be the most versatile. If you want a pistol that’s dead reliable and simple for defense, the G19 is hard to overlook. The .40 caliber version is the Glock 23, with a capacity of 13 rounds.

SIG Sauer P365 9mm

The SIG Sauer P365 is one of the most neat concealed carry pistols introduced in the last few years. It’s designed to be the same side and width as a single stack 9mm pistol, and yet has a double stacked magazine for greater capacity and firepower.

Pistols like the Glock 43 and Smith & Wesson Shield are very small and slim, but capacity is limited at just 6-7 rounds. Meanwhile, the SIG Sauer P365 is of roughly the same size and yet carries 12 rounds in the gun, or up to 15 rounds with an extended magazine. If you’re looking for a highly concealable pistol with impressive firepower, the P365 is hard to beat.

Heckler & Koch USP .45 ACP

The HK USP is a full sized pistol that offers you 12+1 rounds of .45 ACP, nearly twice that of the 1911. If you’re looking for a semi-automatic pistol that is more powerful than 9mm but that doesn’t sacrifice magazine capacity, the USP represents a solid option.

The HK USP is definitely a large handgun, and this is arguably it’s biggest limitation. It comes with oversized controls, designed to be easy to operate even with a gloved hand. The compact version of the USP .45 holds 8 rounds, and is easier to conceal carry. Take note that 9mm and .40 S&W versions are available for the USP as well.

Walther PPQ 9mm

If you’re looking for a mid-sized 9mm pistol that is different from a Glock, you should look at the Walther PPQ in 9mm. The PPQ is widely regarded as having one of the best triggers of any striker fired pistol on the market today, and it also has ergonomics that many feel are superior to that of a Glock and many other options. These two features should make the gun much easier to shoot and handle.

The PPQ comes standard with a 15 round magazine, but extended 17 round magazines are also available. Besides 9mm, it is also available in .40 S&W and .45 ACP, though with reduced magazine capacities.

Smith & Wesson 442/642 .38 Special

The classic .38 snubnose revolver still represents one of the most concealable firearms on the market today. The best choice for a concealed .38 revolver will be a hammerless model such as the Smith & Wesson 442 or 642 (the 442 is black while the 642 is a stainless silver) as this will help reduce snagging.

Granted, .38 snubnose revolvers do have limitations. The 442/642 carries only 5 rounds, reloading is slower, the trigger is heavy, and the recoil is noticeable. But at the same time, there’s no denying that they are incredibly reliable and easy to conceal. These guns have been a mainstay of American concealed carry for decades and will continue to be for many more to come.

Taurus Judge .410 Bore/.45 LC

Another popular option as a home defense or anti-carjacking gun is the Taurus Judge in .410 Bore and .45 Long Colt. The most ideal defensive load for the Judge will be the .410 000 buckshot load.

This will fire three pellets, each roughly the same size as a 9mm FMJ round, out of the barrel of the gun. While penetration will be less than a 9mm and the overall effective range will be around ten yards or less, it’s still a highly effective option for defense. The .45 LC defensive loads you can use will offer much greater penetration than a .410 Bore will.

1911 .45 ACP

The 1911 may be an old and venerable design, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used for defense in today’s world. The 1911 still offers numerous advantages: a grip angle that many find to be effortlessly ergonomic and natural to hold, the .45 ACP chambering that offers significant stopping power, a narrow and slim design that makes the gun easy to conceal, and an overwhelming supply of aftermarket parts and accessories.

Today there are numerous manufacturers of the 1911, with Colt, Kimber, Para Ordnance, Ruger, Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson, and Wilson Combat, representing some of the most popular options. Take note that capacity is limited to just 7-8 rounds.

Conclusion

Of course, there are many more options for a carry handgun on the market besides the above options. But the guns that we have covered today each represent a solid choice due to their reputation, reliability, and the fact that there are millions of other Americans trusting their lives to these pistols everyday.

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