As applications for concealed carry permits gain in popularity, the market for a small, easy to carry handgun has also increased. Handguns preferences are personal, and the best way to learn if a gun is right for you is to hold it -- and fire it -- for yourself. Based on data from popular gun sales sites like Gun Broker, Cheaper Than Dirt and Personal Defense World magazine, here is a list of some of the more popular models to consider when you begin your search.
Smith & Wesson J Frame
This group of classic snub-nosed revolvers has proven itself time and time again, and is the most popular type of compact gun on the market according to Smith & Wesson. There are numerous models of J-Frame revolvers in a variety of calibers -- including .22 long rifle, .22 Magnum, .357, and .38 S&W Special +P. Depending on your model and caliber, these guns hold between five and eight rounds of ammunition.
The most popular compact semi-automatic pistol, the Ruger LCP is a pocket gun that fires .380 auto ammunition. It is one of the main reasons the .380 round is so common today. The weapon uses a six-round magazine and can hold a seventh round in the chamber. One model even comes with a built-in laser sight.
Built to resemble the 1911 semi-automatic pistol that remains popular even after 100 years, the Kimber Micro series fires .380 automatic ammunition. It is small enough that most would not have trouble holstering it at the waist and covering it with a loose shirt. It uses a six-round magazine with an optional additional round carried in the chamber.
Popular with those who like the feel of the LCP but want a bit more grip and power, the LC9 is a compact semi-automatic pistol that fires the 9x19mm round, the same round used in standard NATO service pistols. It is slightly larger than the LCP but is still small enough to conceal. It uses a seven-round magazine and can also carry an additional round in the chamber.
Small enough to conceal when carried at the waist, the G30S fires the venerable .45 ACP round that is popular with law enforcement. In fact, the company states this gun is popular with plain-clothes police officers. Glock semi-automatics are known for their high capacity magazines, and this model is no exception. It can carry 10 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber.
- GunBroker.com: Top 5 Best Seller List: February 2015
- The Shooter's Log: Our Top Selling Handguns
- Personal Defense World: Top 12 Pocket Pistols for 2014
- Smith & Wesson: Small Frame (J)
- Ruger: The Ruger LCP Centerfire Pistol
- Kimber: Micro Carry
- Ruger: The Ruger LC9s Centerfire Pistol
- Glock: Glock G30S
- Photo Credit Yong Choi/Hemera/Getty Images
The Best Composite .40 Cal. Handgun
Composite frame handguns are quickly becoming one of the largest segments of the firearms industry. Using light materials such as polymers and...
The Best .22 Cal Trail Guns
Trail guns are essentially survival rifles (handguns aren't accurate enough to use in a survival scenario) that you would take on a...
List of Cartridges by Caliber
There are three of categories of firearm: pistols, rifles and shotguns. Cartridge sizes associated with each weapon type are measured on the...
What Are the Different Models of Glock Guns?
Glock, Inc. produces 21 different models of handguns, varying in caliber from the small .38 cal to the large bore .45 ACP....
List of Gun Types
With the advent of gunpowder in the Middle Ages, the use of gun weaponry changed the way militaries strategized for battle. Some...
H&K USP Compact .40 Caliber Parts
H&K USP compact .40 caliber pistol parts have the same nomenclature on every gun. Learn the names of the parts of an...
H&K USP Compact .40 Caliber Safety
H&K USP compact .40 caliber pistols have safety features to protect the handgun user. See safety features on an H&K USP compact...
Identifying the Caliber of H&K Pistols
H&K USP compact .40 caliber ammo should match the pistol exactly. Find out what ammo to use on an H&K USP compact...