Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

The Best Handguns for Concealed Carry

The hot summer sun and those warm breezes mean sun dresses and shorts, tank tops and tees, and, if you’re lucky, long walks on the beach. While less is more in the summertime, it can cause complications for those of us who want to safely and discreetly arm ourselves for self-defense. What to do? Dress for summertime concealed carry success! This means smaller handguns and various accessories to help you to carry both discreetly and comfortably. Start with these best handguns for concealed carry.

FN Reflex Micro Pistol

FN’s Reflex Micro Pistol

First on our list of Best Handguns for Concealed Carry is the FN Reflex Micro Pistol. The FN Reflex from FN America is a new micro-compact 9MM pistol purposefully designed for the concealed-carry buyer. It aims to set a new standard in the world of everyday carry with its advanced ergonomics; light and crisp five-pound, single-action trigger; optics-ready capabilities; and extended capacity. The pistols are available in both standard and MRD (micro red dot) configurations, as well as in both black and flat dark earth (FDE) finishes.

Specifications: FN Reflex Micro Compact

Caliber: 9MM

Capacity: 11+1, 15+1

Length: 6.2”

Weight: 18.5 oz.

Sights: TruGlo Night

MSRP: Reflex: $599; Reflex MRD: $659


Kimber R7 Mako™ 9mm

The Kimber  R7 Mako™ 9mm

Small but powerful, the R7 Mako is polymer-framed, striker-fired micro-compact that packs 12 rounds total capacity with the flush-fit standard magazine—and 14 rounds with the extended magazine! Stippling molded into the frame makes for a sure grip even when hands are sweaty. Measuring a mere one-inch wide, the pistol is also a lightweight at just 19.5 ounces empty. The barrel lug sits farther back than most designs to minimize cant when the slide is unlocked. Less cant means less movement, and that reduces perceived recoil. Available in two models: Optics Ready and Optics Installed. The Optics Ready model sports 3-Dot TruGlo Tritium Pro Night Sights, while the Optics Installed version comes with the Crimson Trace® CT-1500 optic already mounted.

Specifications: R7 Mako Optics Ready

Caliber: 9MM

Capacity: 11+1, 13+1

Length: 6.2”

Weight: 19.5 oz.

Sights: TruGlo Night

MSRP: $599 ($799 Optics Installed Model)


Ruger LCP® MAX

Ruger LCP® MAX

Ruger’s LCP® and LCP II pistol have been popular choices for discreet carry for several years, and the LCP line up has only improved with the LCP MAX chambered in .380 AUTO. Based on the same platform as the LCP II, the micro-compact design of the LCP MAX has an improved standard capacity of 10+1 with the flush mount magazine.There is also an extended magazine with a 12+1 capacity. This small pistol ships with a soft holster, though it’s also compatible with most of the existing LCP II holsters. For women, and even while wearing a dress, the LCP MAX is concealable as a holstered pocket pistol, with a belly band, or with flash bang holster. Features an improved green tritium front sight surrounded by a white ring for faster target acquisition.

Specifications: Ruger LCP MAX

Caliber: .380 AUTO

Capacity: 10+1, 12+1

Length: 5.17”

Weight: 10.6 oz.

Sights: Rear Adj., Front Tritium

MSRP: $479


Springfield Hellcat Micro-Compact

Springfield Hellcat Micro-Compact

A micro-compact 9MM, the Springfield Hellcat is available in over a dozen variations, measures just one-inch wide, features a patented magazine with an ammunition  capacity of 11+1, and 13+1 with the included extended magazine. Like all Hellcats, the Hellcat 3” Micro-Compact OSP model sports a three-inch barrel. The custom pressure-activated grip texture on the frame features a pattern of staggered pyramid shapes. The taller pyramids have a flattened top to ensure comfort in the waistband and minimal wear on clothing. The shorter pyramids come to a point and lock into the hand for a secure hold. OSP denotes “Optical Sight Pistol,” and the rear deck of the slide on the OSP model is cut to fit the most popular micro red dots, including the HEX™ Wasp, JP Enterprises JPoint™ and the Shield RMSc.

Specifications: Springfield Hellcat Micro-Compact OSP

Caliber: 9MM

Capacity: 11+1, 13+1

Length: 6.0”

Weight: 17.9 oz. (unloaded, w/Flush  Mag)

Sights: Tritium Front, U-Notch Rear  

MSRP: $633


Taurus Optics Ready Option (T.O.R.O.) Revolvers

Taurus Optics Ready Option (T.O.R.O.) Revolvers

Last on our list of Best Handguns for Concealed Carry is the Taurus Optics Ready Option (T.O.R.O.) revolver. Smaller revolvers have a lot of positives for concealed carry. Yet the knock on them has always been the tiny, hard-to-pick-up sights. Taurus changes all this with the new Taurus Optics Ready Option (T.O.R.O.) revolvers in the 856 and 605 models. Both handguns are derived from Taurus’ popular Defender Series, and sport three-inch barrels and steel frames. The Defender 856 is chambered in .38 Special and holds six rounds, while the Defender 605 in .357 Magnum and five rounds. The T.O.R.O. versions of these revolvers are designed with unique mounting plates that fit any optic built on either the Holosun K-series footprint or the Shield RMSc footprint. Viable carry options for people who prefer a revolver and like the quick-sight picture provided by an optic.

Specifications: Taurus Defender 856 T.O.R.O.

Caliber: .38 SPL +P

Capacity: 6

Length: 7.5”

Weight: 23.5 oz.

Sights: Fixed Rear, Removable Front

Special Feature: Optics Plate Included  

MSRP: $445.99


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