Covid-19 Update: You know all the problems, but here is the solution to buy a gun right now and not see any more out of stock BS…
These links go direct to the in-stock selection of our best dealers. You can put these guns in the basket and buy them, now. There’s some proper cool shiz here too. So don’t wait, it won’t be here long…
- Guns.com – Good guns, huge range but variable prices.
- Sportsman’s Guide – A solid selection of guns in stock.
- Euro Optic – Custom 1911s and some household names.
- Sportsman’s Warehouse – The best 45 1911s and plastic pistols.
Now back to our original 45 ACP feature…
Did you know that, on average, you fire just 2 shots in a self-defense situation? Probably, it’s not exactly a new fact if you’re into guns.
So, the capacity of the gun really isn’t the limiting factor in most cases. It’s time. With that in mind, it’s easy to see the logic that you might as well fire bombs.
With State laws heading towards 10+1 capacity, too, you might find that 45 ACP enjoys a resurgence and we start to see more slightly higher capacity 1911s and the most popular guns for sale coming with a 10-round mag of .45 ammo. Or 10mm handguns, now we think about it…
Not Every 45 ACP is a 1911
A lot of the modern 45 ACP guns for the CCW market are shrunken 1911s. But not all of them. We want to show you some amazing guns that have cured most of the issues with the .45 ACP, contained the recoil and even found a way to get more bullets in there in a few cases.
These are all compact guns, too. If you want full sized .45 Caliber 1911s for $1000 then check here.
Alternatively, if you just want the best concealed carry handgun in the world and caliber isn’t important, click here. But, if you want a .45 handgun, then you’re in the right place.
Here are some of our favorite 45 ACP Concealed Carry handguns for personal defense that might just be your next, best CCW gun ever.
1. Kimber Ultra CDP II (Custom Defense Package)
- Price: $1,015.99
- Barrel Length: 3 inch
- Total Length: 6.8 inch
- Weight: 1.6lb
- Capacity: 6+1
Update: Thanks to the ongoing guns and ammo shortages, we’ve promoted the Kimber to number one and broadened the search to include all Kimber Ultra models. They’re all good, and you might have to be flexible to get one anyway.
The Kimber Ultra CDP II is a gun you can literally give as jewelry, as well as a great concealed carry pistol. It’s that pretty.
Kimber Custom is also a totally different ballgame to the
That two-tone matte finish, the ornate slide serrations, the checkering on the front strap and those grips react to the light and give it
It’s fairly standard fare underneath the fiber optic sights and the
This is a gun you can lovingly clean, or just feel the weight in your hands. It’s also a great range gun that is accurate, tight and fun to shoot thanks to the inevitable kick through the Kimber subcompact frame.
2. Glock 30S Gas Nitride
- Price: $650+
- Total length: 6.97 inch
- Barrel Length: 3.78 inch
- Capacity: 10+1
- Weight: 1.43lb
If you don’t put too much thought into your 45 caliber handgun and you just want it to work, every time, well Glock is always the safe bet.
Reliability and accuracy are the most important part of your EDC. Glock carry guns always score highly here.
Only a connoisseur will be able to pick this, a Glock 19 or 43 apart in terms of the visuals, but then that’s kind of the point. You choose your Glock for the job at hand. It is pretty much never a style statement.
Accurate and Reliable, But Not the Best Anymore
The slightly longer barrel means that you should have an accurate handgun here, but it does lose out in terms of capacity and concealability in this particular competition.
It’s a Glock, so you can get a 25-round mag for this handgun if you want and send hot 45 ACP downrange all day. Every step up in capacity, though, is a step back in terms of practicality for concealed carry guns. The Springfield Armory is simply packaged better, that’s a gap that will never close.
Glock is the Easy Choice
Still, if you’re looking for a .45 Glock 30 for sale then you pretty much know what you want in life. Take a look at the Springfield Armory, then take the safe option and buy the Glock for personal defense. There’s nothing wrong with that. It will likely never let you down.
Just be aware that Gen 5 isn’t out there yet, so you’re buying a Gen 4. You may also have to look at a drop-in trigger and the stippling, as well as any slide work you like to do. But that’s the price of buying a Glock Gen 4, and the chances are you know that too.
Get Great Deals on Glocks When You Shop Online
The Glock 21 and 41 can also be chambered for 45 ACP and, with an RMR, the 41 is a real weapon when it comes to home defense and personal security.
The 5″ barrel means you’ll struggle to conceal one, but then it’s one of the most devastating weapons you can have in a gun vault beside your bed. That’s a 13+1 round handgun, too, which puts it right up there with the, ummmm, compact Springfield Armory.
Some people just prefer a Glock. For them the polymer frame Glocks are simply the best concealed carry handguns in the world. That’s OK, too, just be sure you know why you’re doing this…
Best Gun Stores For Cheap Glocks
- Palmetto State Armory: Glock handguns on sale at bargain prices.
- Get the best deals on Glock 45 ACP handguns for sale at Brownells.
- Rainier Arms has some niche Glocks, as well as parts & accessories from Agency Arms, ZEV and more.
By the way, you might see a cheap deal on a Glock 39 45 GAP. That is not one of the best concealed carry guns for sale. Don’t do it, you’ll spend a fortune on that rarefied ammo and then sell the gun.
Buy a 10mm if you’re thinking of doing that. That ammunition is actually getting easier to find and you can almost hunt big game with those carry handguns and the ballistics tech is actually getting better.
3. Colt Defender Combat Elite
- Price: $1,323.33
- Barrel Length: 3 inch
- Total Length: 6.75 inch
- Weight: 1.5lb
- Capacity: 7+1
For some of you, the Colt Defender will always be the poster child 45 ACP carry handgun. And last year it got that little bit better with the relaunch of the Colt Defender Combat Elite that is one of the best concealed carry handguns for sale.
Like the original, the new Colt Defender Combat Elite is aimed at combat-style match shooters. That’s an increasing market, but we also think this little Colt will sell on its sex appeal, as much as its shooting range credentials.
The Colt Defender Combat Elite is a cool as all Hell mini 1911, it’s reliable and any Colt convert will tell you they just shoot so well. This is not just a gun, it’s shiny
The Combat Elite gets a two-tone PVD finish, ambi safety, night sights and 25LPI checkering on the front strap. Everything is match grade, the frame is stainless steel and the stainless steel slide is beveled for a quicker draw.
Get a Cheap Colt Defender
You can spend a lot less on your Colt Defender, if you go without the Combat Elite part, and you can choose from all kinds of finishes too.
This iconic carry firearm comes with the polished nickel finish and rosewood grips, but you can go for a full Cerakote finish or a blued gun.
The Colt Defender is a beautiful looking thing, it really is a 45 ACP 1911 CCW and I would be happy to carry it, condition one, natch. The capacity is just enough to deal with that clawing anxiety, you get a proper thumb safety and a gun that should not let you down.
It’s wilfully old-school compared to the polymer options, but there’s nothing really wrong with that. If you want to buy sub-compact 1911 concealed carry guns that fires 45 ACP, the Colt Defender is probably the one you’ve got your eye on.
Go for it, you know what you’re getting into and you won’t regret it for a second.
4. Sig Sauer P220 Legion
- Price: $1,1999
- Barrel Length: 4.4 inch
- Total Length: 7.7 inch
- Weight: 1.9lb
- Capacity: 8+1
The Sig Sauer P220 Legion is probably placed higher than it technically deserves. It’s pushing the size limit for concealed carry guns. At best this is a compact carry, it’s heavy and it doesn’t have near the capacity of some on this list.
So why would we have one in a heartbeat? The simple truth is that it is a sexy gun, and that is worth a lot. This is a premium firearm that comes with a back-story, passion
You have a big decision to make before you order your gun, too, because there is a Sig Sauer P220 Legion SAO (Single Action Only) and a P220 Legion DA/SA gun.
Unique Touches Offer Different Guns
They both have a surprising number of unique touches, including the Master Shop Flat Trigger on the Single Action Only.
The DA/SA Sig has a reduced Elite beavertail for a higher position on the G-10 grips and less printing, together with more aggressive checkering. It also comes with a Greyguns Short Reset Trigger and a decocker, rather than a thumb safety. All ambidextrous controls, natch…
So this isn’t a straightforward choice and Sig changed the character of the guns according to the target market for each one. Rest assured, though, both of them are freaking amazing and you will get used to either one.
Steel Frame Handgun is Heavy, Shocker…
The metal frame is inevitably heavier than some of the plastic alternatives, but not by much. The grey PVD finish on the Sig Sauer P220 Legion is the stuff of legend and this is a stunning gun you can just sit and look at.
The coated slide is stainless steel underneath that matte grey PVD finish and the frame is a light alloy that just feels right in the hand. It’s an updated version of the Browning BDA that kicked off the new Sig Sauer in 1975 and it’s a tactical handgun in its own right that is ready for a red dot or a weapons light.
The Swiss military now use the Sig Sauer P226 in 9mm, with a double-stack magazine, as their service weapons. This the 45 ACP option, though, and it is beautiful.
5. Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield 2.0
- Price: $469.99
- Caliber: 45 ACP Auto
- Total Length: 6.5”
- Barrel Length: 3.3
- Capacity: 7+1
- Weight: 1.69lb
The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 is a polymer pistol that comes with a
It’s a small, slimline handgun that comes with a solid name and heritage, it’s reliable and it really doesn’t do anything wrong. This is tried and trusted technology, right down to the Melonite finish on the slide.
That is exactly why some people choose to carry one. It’s a star in the 9mm carry pistols class for a reason and all the
New Concealed Carry Permit Starter Gun
When you get your concealed carry permit, and you opt for a .45 ACP handgun, you need to know it’s going to be reliable. The
Simplicity is your friend in this case and you should go for something simple like the M&P45 Shield M2.0 handgun to start with. Mini 1911s are cool, until they are not…
This gun is easy to shoot and it’s one of the better starter handguns for concealed carry chambered in .45 ACP.
But you should still p
Inevitably there are a range of Smith and Wesson parts & accessories for the M&P Shield, including the ubiquitous red dot and extended magazines. The popularity of the model means there are a range of third party upgrades too.
6. Dan Wesson Eco 3.5
- Price: $1,399.99
- Caliber: 45 ACP Auto
- Barrel length: 3.5 inch
- Total Length: 7.25 inch
- Capacity: 7+1
- Weight: 1.7lb
Let’s be honest, everybody in this world who likes guns even a little bit wants a Dan Wesson 1911. They’re generally considered to be among the finest pistols in the world in terms of craftsmanship and sheer engineering perfection.
This one actually is just about affordable as well. They tend to get more expensive as they get bigger.
It’s a small concealed carry gun, but it does come with some interesting tech packed in there. Instead of a traditional barrel and bushing, the Dan Wesson 1911 offers a
New Recoil System For This Pistol
The flat recoil spring is rated for 15,000 rounds and the entire recoil system has been re-engineered under the skin to package this gun more effectively and find those incremental improvements.
The 4lb trigger pull is considered one of the cleanest and crispest in the handgun world and even people that have spent thousands on a gun will still tell you they got a bargain.
There are a lot of snake oil salesman in the handgun world, but Dan Wesson is not one of them. The guns are expensive for one simple reason: they are the best.
This is a shrunken 1911 that packs in 7+1 rounds of finest 45 ACP.
The ECO was designed from the outset to offer the perfect blend of capacity, recoil, size and stopping power. It is a pure self defense gun and was designed as a concealed carry pistol.
So the corners are rounded for a smoother draw, the Ed Brown grip safety helps you get a high grip and Tritium night sights sit up top. It’s easy to carry, easy to shoot and should be your friend when you need it most.
Designer Gun With a Big Price Tag
Other guns do more or less the same job for much less money, but the Dan Wesson Eco is the best of the best. It’s a designer label, it’s gunporn, it’s jewelry and it’s also a seriously capable handgun that should never fail you. It’s functional art, then, and that is the best kind.
Technically, it’s one of the best handguns here. It might just be one of the best 45 ACP concealed carry weapons you can buy. The price comes in here, though, and the Colt Defender is 80% of the pistol for half the money.
7. Springfield Armory XD Mod 2 Compact
- Price: $449.47
- Barrel Length: 4 inch
- Total Length: 7.3 inch
- Capacity: 13+1 Rounds
- Weight: 1.8lb
This company make some of the
This is a controversial position for this 45 ACP carry
For the tactically minded, though, this compact carry is the gun you should buy. Every time. Not just for the rail slung under the barrel that makes space for a red dot or light. In a home defense situation, both are acceptable tacti-cool add-ons.
Killer Combo: Capacity, Accuracy, Easy to Conceal
I genuinely think it’s the best compromise of capacity, accuracy, reliability and it’s easy to conceal. That makes it one of the best concealed carry handguns by design.
The extra safeties are a neat touch, too, unobtrusive and seriously effective. We like the grip angle and the stippling, if not that Grip Zone styling.
If you’re a .45 1911 man then this could be a lightweight, convenient addition to your main collection that does everything right and slowly turns into your EDC. It will be painful to admit this is the best concealed carry in your collection of metal pistols. But it happens.
We will reiterate that the Springfield XD Compact is technically the best .45 ACP here.
Cheap Springfield 45 ACP Pistols Are Out There
Cheaper Defender versions are still out there and if you’re flexible you can pick up a Springfield XD-S, XD Basic and more for around the $400 mark. There are some bargains out there and we have seen the compact 9mm for as low as $297.99
Just look for the 4 inch barrel and high capacity 45 ACP. The Springfield XD-S has stronger stippling, the XD Defender is marginally easier to conceal in your concealed carry holsters, but you’ll see for yourself. It comes down to which gun you like the look of if you go this route.
Right now, the Mod 2 is one of the best 45 ACP carry guns money can buy.
Best 45 ACP Carry Guns Are Bigger
Is the Springfield XD Mod 2 Compact the best 45 ACP CCW in the world? it depends on your perspective and your definition of concealed. It’s actually on the big side, but then most of the decent 45s tend to be.
The mini 1911 .45 handguns are all around 7 inches, too, and they’re metal in case you hadn’t noticed. So it seems childish to give them a pass and exclude the Springfield because there’s a smaller, less capable gun on offer.
You can get a ‘proper CCW’ with a smaller capacity, the Springfield Armory XD-S MOD 2 that comes with a 5 and 6-round magazine. Thius version of the Springfield XD-S is half an inch smaller, which works as a carry weapon, but man that’s cutting it fine with the .45 Caliber ammo.
Still, the Springfield Armory XD MOD 2 Sub Compact 45 ACP carry pistol is here if you want it.
Or you can make sacrifices on the actual carrying part of the carry gun thing for the times you really need it.
Compact Offers Bigger Capacity And Accuracy
The bigger Springfield Armory XD Compact is a better compromise of size and capacity and it blows some more established names out the water here.
The XD compact holds 13+1 rounds of 45 ACP. That’s better than most 9mm handguns in this class. For a 45 ACP pistol to carry concealed, it’s witchcraft.
Somehow, the gun finishes less than 0.2 inches wider than the slimmest single stack .45 ACP handguns. How? We’d have to get them to explain it…
Basically this gun throws the traditional compromise of capacity out the window with a double-stack mag that gives you more rounds of 45 ACP than you should ever really need.
I mean if 13+1 and a spare mag isn’t enough, I think you’ve got to take a look in the mirror and ask just how much of this trouble could be avoided…
Favorite Carry Gun For Law Enforcement
Law enforcement agencies love this left-field concealed carry gun, gun reviewers love it and forums love it. It has become the EDC handgun for a massive number of people and it really is the best 45 ACP CCW Gun in the world right now in my humble opinion.
The user reviews online are nothing short of perfect, or as close as you’re likely to find in the real world. Gun safety is a big deal and Springfield is ahead of that particular game.
It is as close as you’re going to find to a perfect CCW and it isn’t a Glock, which makes some people happy in itself. If you want the high-power of 45 ACP, and you want capacity, well this is pretty much the best answer in the world right now.
It won’t set your pulse racing like the P226 Legion, which is why it comes in second, charisma counts with concealed carry pistols here. But if you want a 45 ACP handgun you can depend on, this is your Huckleberry.
In 45 ACP, this could be the best concealed carry handguns for sale in 2020.
8. Wilson Combat 1911 Tactical Carry
- Price: $3,835
- Caliber: 45 ACP Cartridge
- Barrel Length: 4 inch
- Total: 7.6 inch
- Weight: 2.29lb
- Capacity: 7+1
The only people that don’t bitch about the price of a Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Les Paul or Wilson Combat are the people that own them. The price is an afterthought and literally every one of them will tell you they don’t regret a single cent.
This is more of a Rolls-Royce than a
The Wilson Combat Tactical Carry 1911 is beautiful handgun that could easily last a lifetime. Work out the whole life cost of this handgun, then, and it’s a bargain.
Compare it to the polymer guns and you can easily see why people prefer to spend big and spend once on a gun they will keep, maintain and shoot for years to come. You will build a relationship with your Wilson Combat Tactical Carry. Can you really say that about a Glock?
9. EAA Tanfoglio Witness Polymer Compact
- Price: $547.99
- Barrel: 3.6 inch
- Total Length: 7.3
- Weight: 1.75lb
- Capacity: 8+1
Italian firearms manufacturer Tanfoglio has made quite the splash and its competition and hunting handguns are the stuff of legend.
The EAA Tanfoglio Witness Polymer Compact might just be the company’s biggest hit. We like the Steel guns too.
The design on this new handgun is just perfect in its own chunky black plastic way. It’s a classic SA/DA with a proper hammer and manual safety. It’s one of the best designs for new carry handguns we have seen in a while.
The chunky grip essentially insists on a high grip and the slide is cleverly formed to give you options with your shooting technique, as well as a snag-free draw.
We love EAA handguns, especially the range of 10mm concealed carry pistols. We are partial to their hunting handguns, too, but this might be one of the very best concealed carry handguns that you just haven’t met yet.
10. Magnum Research Desert Eagle 1911 Undercover
- Price: $839.99
- Barrel: 3 inch
- Total: 6.85 inch
- Weight: 1.61lb
- Capacity: 6+1
You could technically keep a 50 Cal Desert Eagle in your waistband, but that’s really too much gun for the urban jungle. So Magnum Research has come up with this, the Desert Eagle 1911 Undercover.
We like it. A lot.
The differences with the Colt Defender and Sig Ultracompact are small, but they are there.
Custom Gunsmith Touches, Off-the-Peg Prices
Magnum Research has focused on premium touches at a solid price point. So you end up with a relatively affordable gun that looks like a custom 1911.
The front and back straps both get 25 LPI checkering. A high-ride beavertail grip safety joins forces with an extended magazine release, aluminum skeletonized trigger with an overtravel stop and a stainless steel, full-length guide rod.
The ejection port is enlarged and polished, the magwell is flared and the adjustable rear sights cope with windage and elevation. The G10 grips, meanwhile, are as elegant as they are functional.
These are all features you can pay handsomely for at a custom gunsmith. Or you can buy gun porn, straight off the peg. Is it one of the best concealed carry handguns in the world? It’s certainly one of the best looking…
11. Walther PPQ M2
- Price: $599.99
- Barrel: 3.9 inch
- Total: 7.4 inch
- Weight: 1.61lb
- Capacity: 9+1
The Walther PPQ M2 is a solid multi-caliber handgun with a devoted following around the world. This model isn’t the most popular, but this compact pistol is one of the best concealed carry handguns chambered in 45 ACP.
The Walther PPQ is often credited with the best trigger pull in the business for an OEM trigger, but not everybody agrees. There’s no doubt that the Walther PPQ has some brilliant ergonomic touches though.
It loses out to the likes of Glock when it comes to ease of concealment by design. This gun comes with a bulbous, curvy grip. It has different priorities…
Does that make this compact handgun one of the better 45 ACP concealed carry handguns? Yes, as long as you invest in a decent IWB holster to avoid printing with the Walther PPQ.
12 Remington 1911 R1 UltraLight Executive
- Price: $965.99
- Caliber: .45 Cal ACP
- Barrel: 3.5 inch
- Overall: 7 inch
- Weight: 1.75lb
- Capacity: 7+1
Remington’s entry to the world of subcompact 45 ACP concealed carry handguns is a special effort indeed. The Remington 1911 R1 Ultralight Executive is a supremely accurate handgun that has attracted rave reviews from actual owners on the gun sites.
The American giant is best known for its shotguns and rifles. But the company has ploughed an interesting furrow with its handguns and has some true innovation with the 9mm R51. This is a cut down take on the classic 1911 handgun, with a couple of twists.
The lightweight aluminum frame and rounded heel were designed for the off to give the best barrel length in the shortest possible frame. An extra half inch of barrel might not sound like much, but you and me know better. Especially when it comes to hard-hitting 230gr ammo.
This is a left-field option, but if you have a rotation of guns or you just collect beautiful 1911 pistols, then you need one of these now. It might end up as one of the best you own.
13. Nighthawk Custom T3 Thin
- Price: $2,750
- Barrel Length: 3.8 inch
- Total Length: 7.5 inch
- Weight: 2.25lb
Nighthawk Custom guns are the best of the best and keen followers of firearms fashion will know this one is priced a little on the low side. Crazy right? But this is more than $1,000 off the RRP.
That’s because it’s the T3 and the T4 is coming onstream, but this is perhaps the most evolved form of the T3 for concealed carry. It’s light, as the name suggests it’s as thin as can be and it’s a remarkably refined handgun that could easily stay with you for life.
Nighthawk Custom guns has established a reputation for engineering brilliance and a gun that is put together by one master craftsman. It’s a compelling narrative of impossibly high standards, minimal tolerances and engineering perfection, but obviously you’re paying top dollar and then some. You can get the same level of precision for less.
This is a designer handgun as much as a match-grade special then. The Officer frame combines with an extended magazine to suit shooters with larger hands who want a comfortable EDC. It’s a 7+1, single action only, pretty classic 1911 apart from that.
Premium 1911 Parts & Accessories
The 1911 parts & accessories are inevitably the best and include Heinie Slant-Pro Straight Eights Night Sights and custom T3 thing checkered grips to keep the profile of this gun to an absolute minimum. Considering it’s all steel, the final weight is impressive too.
It’s an engineering masterpiece and a thing of beauty, but you know that you’re going to have to get a little emotional to drop this kind of money on a gun. Tellingly, there is very little buyer’s remorse out there from those that do.
Instead, you hear eulogies in the reviews online about how the gun fits perfectly in the hand and justifies the high price tag every time they indulge in that sweet, sweet trigger pull. It’s a pleasure to fire this gun, every time.
Like a tailored suit, every man should own at least one custom 1911 in their life. And women, of course. This Nighthawk Custom T3 Thin is about as cheap and as practical as these guns get, so now is as good a time as any…
14. Heckler & Koch HK45 Compact
- Price: $1,099.99
- Barrel Length: 3.94 inch
- Total Length:
- Weight: 1.78lb
- Capacity: 8+1
We generally find it hard to justify the cost of the modern Heckler & Koch line-up when other brands do such a capable job for so much less money. But we like the Heckler & Koch HK45 Compact, because we’re maybe a touch weird.
Personally, I don’t think the Heckler & Koch HK VP9C warrants a $200 price hike over a Sig P320 Compact. But in the 45 ACP pistols class, and in this case, it’s just different.
The HK45 Compact Officer is a proper handgun with a hammer that has won legions of fans in the military, law enforcement
This HK is a Niche Choice
It is largely giving way to the ubiquitous Glock and Sig P320 Compact. But there are plenty of people who rely on their weapon that still rely on a Heckler & Koch HK45 Compact. And they have one of the great 45 ACP concealed carry guns in their hand.
The HK45 has carved out a formidable reputation and whenever you find gun reviews online, they’re pretty much all five stars. The world loves this gun and doesn’t give a damn about the money.
It’s a comfortable gun that gives you a proper grip, rather than optimistically gripping a gun between three fingers if you have fat hands.The HK45 Compact Officer for sale offers single action or double action firing mechanisms. It also has an amazing rep for reliability.
The concealed carry gun weighs just 1.6lb and the single stack mag works for concealment.
You can order a different model with a decocker and a double action trigger system, but we think this is the pick of the Heckler & Koch range.
15. Glock 21SF
- Price: $400-$500 (Used police trade-in)
- Caliber: .45 ACP Auto
- Barrel: 4.6 inch
- Total Length: 7.59 inch
- Weight: 1.8lb
- Capacity: 13+1
The Glock 21 Short Frame is still really too big for the best concealed carry guns title, but then there are guns on this list claiming to
And the Glock 21SF is a legend among Law Enforcement Agencies and police
Minor adjustments to the palm swell and frame, we’re talking mm here, combined to produce a famously soft shooting 45 ACP handgun with a massive magazine capacity. That does make it one of the best concealed carry options out there in 45 ACP.
Never underestimate the importance of a few follow-up shots if chasing bad guys is your job. That last few rounds out of 13 could be the ones that keep you alive.
The Glock 21SF has been outdone by the Springfield XD Mod 2, which packs just as many bullets into a smaller footprint.
It doesn’t really fit in many other lists, so even though it’s a little large for a conceal carry firearm, we’re giving the Glock 21SF an honorable mention here.
16. Springfield Armory Range Officer Champion
- Price: $829.99
- Length: 7.6 inch
- Barrel Length: 4.25 inch
- Weight: 1.88lb
- Capacity: 7+1
The company went to work on the Springfield Armory Range Officer to forge a frame from lightweight aluminum alloy rather than traditional forged steel.
The end result is a concealed carry compact 1911 with full functionality, 7+1 rounds of 45 ACP ammo and a sub-2lb final weight. That’s pretty impressive and it’s just the start of one of the best 45 ACP pistols on the market.
Its certainly a compact tactical handgun of a sort, just an old sort. We’re more tempted by the compact 9mm handguns for concealed carry. But that’s us.
The Springfield Armory Range Officer Champion comes with finishing touches you normally expect from a more expensive, boutique manufacturer.
You get a four-inch stainless steel match-grade bull barrel. A low-profile combat sight at the rear joins forces with a fiber optic front sight and recoil is tightly controlled with a dual spring set-up.
17 EAA Girsan MC1911SC Officer
- Price: $562.40
- Caliber: 45 ACP
- Barrel: 3.4 inch
- Total Length: 7 inch
- Capacity: 6+1
- Weight: 1.6lb
If you want a cut-price Colt Defender alternative, then take a look at this Turkish offering from Girsan. The EAA Girsan MC1911SC is one of our best 1911 handguns for $500, and if you think you’re limited to Rock Island Armory or ATI then check out this budget firearms brand.
You get premium touches like a machined steel frame and slide. You also get surface details like a checkered front and back strap, skeletonized trigger and hammer and an extended beavertail.
This is no Colt Defender, but then it’s not really trying to be. It is a solid compact 1911, backed by a lifetime warranty, that has gained in credibility thanks to the import deal with EAA.
This is the company that brought you Tanfoglio handguns, which are some of the best you can buy. Girsan is EAA’s choice of budget brand, which speaks as loudly as the lifetime warranty when it comes to the engineering.
The EAA Girsan MC1911SC isn’t the prettiest gun here and it’s not the best concealed carry here. But it is a reliable 1911 for plastic pistol money.
18. Sig Sauer P320 Compact 45
- Price: $649.99
- Barrel Length: 4 inch
- Total Length: 7.2 inch
- Capacity: 9+1 Rounds
- Weight: 1.6lb
If you just want one handgun as your everyday carry then you really should consider the Sig Sauer P320 Compact. It is our 9mm pistol champion, and we could easily have gone
It’s arguably a better all-round gun than a Glock and the double stack 9mm is one of the best concealed guns of 2020. Although it is slightly chunkier when it comes to concealment. and the 45 ACP has also been discontinued recently.
The longer barrel means it’s more accurate than some of the smaller black polymer frame weapons, the trigger is the stuff of legend and the P320 is reliable, too.
It’s a 9+1 handgun, which should be more than enough to handle a self-defense situation.
Caliber Conversion Kits For Sig P320
If you really want to, you can buy a caliber XChange kit and go between .45 ACP and 9mm, so when you need more bullets for covering fire then it sounds like a winning recipe.
The caliber switch kit is expensive, though, and you might just want two separate guns for different moods. The flexible approach is popular with the military and law enforcement officers, but I’m not sure it’s going to catch on with home users.
The Sig Sauer P320 Compact is the ultimate EDC in my book, though, so I would take two of them in a heartbeat, with a full size Sig Sauer X-FIVE sitting alongside the smaller gun. The X-FIVE is one of our favorite full-size pistols and you should check it out if you haven’t seen it yet..
19. Rock Island Armory M1911 GI Compact
- Price: $461.99
- Barrel Length: 3.5″
- Total Length: 7.3″
- Capacity: 8+1 rounds
- Weight: 2.47lb
This is the 1911 in miniature and it’s one of the cheapest out there. You can actually get a Rock Island Armory 1911 with a 3.5″ barrel for around $450 for this poverty spec 1911. You can spend more.
Check the full range of cheap Rock Island Armory 1911s here for low budget personal defense options.
This one is good enough. It isn’t the prettiest handgun on this list, but then it is one of the cheapest. It’s even better priced than some of the plastic alternatives and that really is impressive for a 1911.
Not everybody gets Rock Island Armory. The guns are not perfectly finished, the single action trigger isn’t the smoothest and they’re for shooting rather than looking at. They come at the right price, they’re reliable and they are sweet shooting guns.
Rock Island Does the Basics Right
If you can live without the bells and whistles, the smoothest trigger system and the fancy window dressing, then a Rock Island Armory is a great EDC.
You can scratch it, you can drop it, you can put it through Hell. You can even hang red dots off the rail or fit optics and scopes. Nobody cares.
That’s kind of the point. It’s a workhorse mini 1911 CCW, not a safe queen.
20. Baby Desert Eagle III
- Price: $512.99
- Barrel length: 3.75 inch
- Total Length: 7.5 inch
- Capacity: 10+1
- Weight: 2.14lb
We all get that flutter when we see a Desert Eagle for sale, but the truth is that we know the 50 Cal semi-automatic is a novelty.
It’s a movie gun, but this shrunken 45 ACP might just be the missing link that actually works. Is this new pistol a rebranded Jericho? Kind of, but that’s OK.
This is a 10+1 round, almost CCW weapon that could easily serve as your EDC. These are service pistols in the Middle East, and do a lot of things right. Is it one of the best concealed carry handguns here? Probably not on a technical level.
The muscular barrel is reminiscent of the unique polygonally rifled special that sits in the .50AE handgun. But you can hold this gun with one hand, and operate the thumb safety without growing hands like The Incredible Hulk. It’s a nice size and weight.
A Gun That Fits The Desert Eagle Narrative, in a Compact Concealed Carry
It is a gun you buy for the aesthetics and the renegade attitude behind the 50 Cal Magnum Research Desert Eagle, though, if we’re honest. Compared to the form dictated by function that you get from the winners on this list, this feels like a slightly frivolous choice.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but you might find yourself having to accommodate your Baby Desert Eagle, while the Springfield Armory would have slotted right home.
And it will probably turn into a fun range gun in the end, rather than your first port of call for an everyday carry 45 ACP.
That additional girth and length are issues, but they are issues you might choose to contend with in the name of doing something different.
Is that smart for a CCW 45 caliber? No, not really. Put simply, there are better 45 ACP pistols right here, for pretty much every given job.
You can order a polymer one or a metal one, a full-size version or this, the compact one. It isn’t the best concealed carry guns, but it’s surprisingly good.
Learn more from this in-depth gun review here.
21. Sig Sauer 1911 Fastback Carry Nightmare
- Price: $1079
- Barrel Length: 4.2 inch
- Total Length: 7.7 inch
- Weight: 2.43lb
- Capacity: 8+1 Rounds
The Sig Nightmare compact 1911 conceal carry .45 ACP is one of the finest sidearms you can choose.
Now it’s no flyweight. At 2.43lb, you’ll always know it’s there and there is some sacrifice involved carrying this gun. But that’s largely true of any 1911 and the weight and limited capacity are the only gripes we have here. Consider them dealt with.
The rest is all good news, because the Sig Sauer 1911 Traditional Carry Nightmare is pure gunporn.
Custom 1911 For Mid-Range Price
This is a designer handgun that could easily have come from the fevered brains of the top-class gunsmiths that charge three times as much. The stainless steel details, including the checkering on the back strap, contrast perfectly with the black Nitron coated frame and G10 grips.
This is just perfect, cohesive design for a compact pistol. It is also based around a single action 1911 that is second to none.
It’s a compact 1911 with a match grade barrel that is supremely accurate and you don’t hear many people bitching about Sig Sauer 1911 build quality. The trigger system, too, is about as good as you’ll get off the rack in a 45 ACP pistol.
If you are comfortable with the weight, this might just be the best concealed carry 1911 on the market right now. it’s certainly one of the coolest.
22. Kahr Arms PM45
- Price: $362.00
- Barrel Length: 3.24″
- Total Length: 5.67″
- Capacity: 5+1 Rounds
- Weight: 1.08lb
This handgun is only here for the sake of completeness, just in case you thought I forgot the gun that, for some reason, is at the top of other lists. I don’t get it. This is not the best, or one of the best, concealed carry handguns. Not anymore.
Look closely with me, there really isn’t much to recommend this over the other 45 ACP pistols on this list. This is not one of the best concealed carry guns in the world, anymore…
This is a 5-round handgun, it’s basically got nothing to offer in this company.
It is cheap, and as a back up gun? OK yeah maybe, it is small enough to slot into a sock. But this doesn’t deserve to be your primary weapon. The price difference doesn’t even come close to making up for the gulf in class to the best concealed carry handguns.
Cook at home for a week, quit smoking, do what you have to do to get a better CCW. Because if you’re carrying one of these 45 Cal plastic pistols as your EDC, then you have the wrong priorities in life.
23 Sig Sauer 1911 Ultra Compact
- Price: $949.99
- Barrel Length: 3.3″
- Total Length: 6.8″
- Capacity: 7.1
- Weight: 1.75lb
You would have to put the Kimber and Sig Sauer under the microscope to really spot the difference in these 45 ACP concealed carry pistols. That makes the price of these 45 ACP Concealed carry handguns a bitter pill to swallow.
While the Kimber is known to have a few reliability issues, though, the single action Sig runs flawlessly and will chew through 45 ACP of any quality all day long. Maybe that is actually worth the premium when it comes to your last line of defense…
It’s a ludicrously expensive gun in this company when you consider its limitations, especially as it costs almost the same as the larger, more versatile, P220 Legion. It’s significantly more than double the cost of a Sig Sauer P320 Compact too.
Still, if you really want a shrunken 1911, money isn’t that important and you’re prepared to pay for the nth degree of engineering, then Sig Sauer is waiting with the Ultracompact. It is the best, the fit and finish is flawless, but it’s an expensive little piece of metal. There are cheaper, technically better carry handguns here.
This is single action all the way, so get ready to carry cocked and locked if you go this way too. It’s fine, but it can take some getting used to.
Do that and you’ll have one of the best concealed carry handguns in the world. if you like a really small 1911 that’s as easy to conceal as the best gun here.
It has been known as the Ultra Carry and it’s much smaller than Sig’s compact handguns that sit at the top of the list. If your priorities in life are different and you won’t use compact handguns for an EDC, you might have this at as the best gun here.
24. Beretta PX4 Storm Compact
- Price: $604.99
- Caliber: .45 ACP Auto
- Barrel Length: 4.02 inch
- Total: 7.55 inch
- Weight: 10+1
The Beretta PX4 Storm Compact has some clever design touches, a formidable capacity and the basic form of the gun means it could be a great concealed carry 45 ACP.
The problem is the
Beretta is really struggling to get traction in the handgun market right now. Again, it’s hard to truly recommend the Beretta PX4 Storm Compact over the best 45 ACP compact pistols here. We like the manual safety, we like the design, we just like others more.
But it is one of the better 45 ACP concealed carry handguns, and we’d like to make that point clear. We just can’t see ourselves buying a Beretta PX4 Storm Compact when these options are here.
25 Bersa Thunder Pro Compact
- Price: $399.99
- Barrel: 3.6 inch
- Weight: 1.68lb
- Capacity: 7+1
The Bersa Thunder is a seriously popular .380 ACP Auto, but it’s a little known oddity in the world of 45 ACP carry handguns.
The Bersa Thunder Pro Compact is slightly bigger for the 45 ACP. The 9mm comes with a 3.1 inch barrel, while the 45 ACP is 3.6 inches.
That aside its largely the same polymer handgun with the Browning Petter barrel locking system. It’s basic, it’s solid and the Bersa Thunder is an option. Just not the best option when it comes to carry guns.
26. Charter Arms Pitbull
- Price: $458.99
- Barrel Length: 2.5″
- Total Length: 6.5″
- Capacity: 5 Rounds
I don’t recommend revolvers as the best concealed carry handguns, period, especially in a caliber that just never really gelled with the revolver community. Why would it? 44 Magnum is the life and soul of that particular party…
But some people insist on carrying a revolver instead of the other 45 ACP pistols here. So OK then..
If you’re going to do it, and you want to rely on one gun for a while, then you might want to to trade up and get the legit S&W Judge, which can handle 410 slugs, too.
If you just want a basic, powerful revolver, though, there is nothing wrong with the 45 ACP Pitbull from Charter Arms. But there is also nothing wrong with ditching 45 ACP altogether, switching to 44 Magnum and buying a much better Smith & Wesson 44 Magnum revolver.
That’s what I’d do, but what do I know?
What about the Ruger SR1911 Officer? It is an outstanding pistol
I love my Springfield 1911 and my Ruger GP 100. You don’t recommend revolvers fo CCW? No one would want to be on the receiving end of my .357. I doubt I would need more than two or three shots to stop a threat in a self-defense situation, and all I have to do is point and pull the trigger.
Not nobody. Some people love revolvers and I am cool with them. But personally, I wouldn’t recommend one when there are better options. In my humble experience, 12 shots can be better than 6…
Likely this is about new and currently available handguns. I have 2 Ruger P 90’s. I love them and have never had a misfire. I have owned 3 in total and wish I had all of them.
Yes absolutely, we try and stay with guns you can buy today unless we really do a nostalgia piece. That’s just because it’s an emotional minefield of memories and good times. That’s what makes you love your P 90s too. It’s part of the experience and that’s good, but it means I would get eviscerated daily if I had too much of that in these kind of posts.
A couple of thoughts. Should you have to use (fire) your concealed carry weapon, you should plan to lose the weapon for a significant period of time. The firearm will be taken into evidence, marked with a case number (hopefully under the grips) and placed into some type of evidence facility. Maybe gingerly, maybe not, maybe climate controlled, maybe not, maybe packaged correctly, maybe not. Upon resolution of the case, the weapon may be returned promptly or not, depending on if the prosecutor is pro, neutral or anti-gun. You won’t know when you will get your firearm back or what shape it will be in when returned to you.
My point is why spend $800, $900, $1000 or even $1300 for a weapon that you will probably never use and if you do, you will lose the use of for quite a period of time and may be in for a shock when you see it again? The average police shooting occurs at 7 yards. The average civilian shooting will occur at 7 yards or less. Find a weapon that will function every time the trigger is pulled for somewhere south of $500 or $600. When you find that weapon practice until you can consistently put rounds into center mass at 7 yards. I carry a Glock 36 I paid $495 for and I am completely confident in my ability with that firearm and will not shed a tear if I have to give it up.
It’s a totally fair point, but man I’d have a drab website if all the guns had to be ones you’d be happy to lose if you just shot someone in the face from seven yards. It would be bordering on depressing!
Your point is real. I do sometimes reinforce the point that you don’t necessarily need or want jewelry for your EDC. But some people do, and they bring a bit of color to the scene.
So yes, but you know we’re going to keep going with the sexier guns too.
I agree, thats why I carry a high point C9. Don’t really care if I get it back after I shot someone. It fires every time and is accurate