Since the making of the first handgun designed for concealment, made more than 200 years ago, the idea has always been the same: place the greatest possible firepower in the smallest possible size—something fit to be hidden in a trouser pocket, vest, coat or ladies handbag. The first medium-caliber pocket gun was the six-shot Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 chambered in .32 rimfire. The Model No. 2 brought into reality the idea of a small, pocket-sized revolver with a modest but effective caliber, a six-shot capacity and easy loading and reloading capability. If that sounds like many of today’s concealed carry guns, whether a revolver, single shot, or autoloader, it is no coincidence. Read on for the top 12 compact classics for CCW self-defense.

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  • dgustafson1228

    Who writes this stuff? Has the author been into guns for 6 months? That’s how long the Glock 42 has been out. And the rest of that shit on there……1 out of 1000 gun owners carry those.

    • Christopher Joyce

      You’d be surprised how many PPKs and LCPs are carried.

  • TimHaup

    Okay I read these articles all the time and why is the M&P .40c never on the list? I love mine perfect size and fill, big enough rounds 10+1 shot, affordable, and never fails. Quit hating on the M&P.

  • nick

    Ruger .380 LCP is on this list twice. Good job

  • John Van Haecke

    Except for the XD-S, there is nothing bigger than a 9 mm here. What happened to .40 S&W?

  • Zsnyper

    Nice gun, but the 5″ barrel is the full size. The Mid Size is 4.25″.

  • THEyardpilot

    How much for the full sized one?

    • Jon Fye

      $2,495.00 total price, you have to call toll free to order it. American Legacy transfers their firearms to clients through FFL licensed dealers. So it would have to be shipped to your local gun dealer and you’d have to go through a background check before taking possession of it. American Legacy’s rugers are very popular right now.

  • pissed off

    So you do away with one of the best features on the 92. one of the best parts about the gun was that either a left or right handed user could use the gun without awkward fumbling. I am left handed so now I have to have custom work done on something that used to be standard thanks for nothing morons

  • scotchflavoredchewablevicoden

    What exactly is this article telling me? Basically, all it says is, “This gun exists.”

  • Harry sucks. I ordered stainless spring from them for my G19 G4. And it took 7 rounds for it to cause a stovepipe. Cleared it. Stoves piped again. Followed by another one. Never again with their trash!

  • Disqus did screw up here. This comments section is below a review of the Diamondback full sized 9mm striker-fired pistol.

  • Mauser

    The quote attributed to Al Capone seemed out of character, I don’t remember him as a prolific bank robber. It turns out, he, or Willie Sutton, didn’t say it, it was made up by a reporter (

  • harrispub

    Test comment

  • Leslie Hoerwinkle

    I think many would say the Ruger LCR is a better handgun that the Smith & Wesson J-frames. A lot easier on the hands when you shoot.

  • paidtoplay

    If you carry a .380, I hope your life isn’t threatened by a large man….and I hope you are also carrying a good knife.