When you have to choose the right pistol for concealed carry, there are really only three things to consider: the pistol’s chambering, its ease of concealability, and its price.

These days, the .380 ACP provides the perfect balance between power, controllability, and concealability, all of which are just within the Goldilocks zone, which is why the cartridge and pistols chambered in it are becoming highly prevalent after decades of obscurity. It is small enough to allow for an ultra compact and lightweight firearm that has a fairly manageable recoil and is very easy to carry concealed.

It also delivers adequate stopping power thanks to modern bullet designs such as those manufactured by Lehigh Defense and Quantum Ammunition, namely, the Xtreme Defense, the Xtreme Penetrator, and the ARX Inceptor. 

It has to be said though that ammo brands using those bullet designs tend to be a bit more expensive than typical 9mm self defense ammo. A 20 round box of Underwood Xtreme Penetrator 90 grain 380 ACP ammo costs $38, while a 20 round box of Federal Hydra Shok 124 gran 9mm ammo costs only $32. But it’s not that big of a deal.

If you really think about it, these days, an ultra compact pistol in .380 ACP is everything you need to defend yourself in any urban self defense scenario. But which of the .380 ACP handguns on the market today are the most concealable? We’ll answer that question in this topic.

8: Remington RM380

Released in 2015, the Remington RM380 is a small semi automatic pistol designed for concealed carry. It features a slide constructed from 416 stainless steel and coated in black oxide finish. It has a 2.9 inch blackened 410 stainless barrel that fits securely with the slide. 

The RM 380 has an overall length of 5.27 inches, a width of 0.94 inches, and a height of 3.86 inches. It has a magazine capacity of 6 rounds. It is a little different from the majority of compact 380 handguns in circulation, as its frame is made of black anodized aluminum instead of the typical polymer. 

The Remington RM380 is equipped with low-profile metal sights that have been machined into the slide and are designed to avoid catching on clothing. The sights are coated in a flat black finish to match the slide, but their tiny size makes them difficult to acquire in low light conditions. 

REMINGTON RM380 MICRO 380 ACP 6 ROUND PISTOL, ANODIZED

With its MSRP of $450, the gun community’s overall perception of the Remington RM380 is mixed. While some individuals appreciate its compact size, reliability, and accuracy, others have expressed concerns about its relatively high price point and non existent aftermarket support because of big green’s new ownership.

7: Glock 42

Glock pistols remain to be some of the most popular pistols for concealed carry so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of their models is on this list, the Glock 42.

The Glock 42 is an ultra compact polymer framed striker fired pistol. It boasts Glock’s legendary reliability and signature utilitarian no non sense look. It’s blocky and ugly, the only pistol I can think of that surpasses it in terms of its aesthetic appeal — or lack thereof — is the Hi Points. But Glock fanboys can’t care less and I can relate. The only thing that matters is, it’s dependable and will get the job done.

The slide and barrel of the Glock 42 are made of high strength stainless steel. The barrel has a length of 3.25 inches, the pistol’s overall length is 5.94 inches, the width is 0.98 inches, and the height is 4.13 inches. It has a magazine capacity of 6 rounds. Even though it comes with Gaston’s proprietary polymer front and rear sights and a mushy trigger, the Glock 42 has an MSRP of $450 which makes it a good mid range option.

Given its size, the Glock 42’s grip lacks modularity with no options for removable backstraps. But despite its blocky look, the Glock 42’s grip is comfortable and doesn’t feel blocky. It is nicely rounded on the front and back straps, providing a comfortable grip. 

GLOCK 42 .380 ACP PISTOL

But due to its really small size, some people cannot get a full grip on the gun, leaving their pinky finger unsupported and making the gun difficult to control. And if you’ve never heard of quote unquote Glock knuckle, the Glock 42 is notorious for giving shooters the Glock knuckle. I would talk about it more but it would take us another half an hour to get through it so maybe I’ll do it in another topic. Let me know in the comments if you’re curious to know what a Glock knuckle is. 

6: Ruger LCP II

With an MSRP of $479, the Ruger LCP II is the successor to the original Ruger LCP and features a number of improvements, including a larger grip surface, improved trigger, and a slide that is easier to rack. The LCP II is a hammer fired pistol with a capacity of only six plus one rounds of .380 ACP so you’ll need to carry a couple spare mags.

Greatly improved over the first LCP, the LCP II’s sights consist of a U-notch rear sight and a pinned-in front blade sight. The rear sight is dovetailed into the slide and has a serrated face to reduce glare, while the front sight is integral to the slide and has a bold white dot for improved visibility. The LCP II’s sights are designed for quick target acquisition at close ranges, which is ideal for its intended use as a concealed carry and personal defense pistol.

If you need to carry a gun without a belt, such as while exercising, this gun is suitable for regular or appendix IWB carry due to its small size and light weight. At just under 12 ounces when fully loaded with six .380 rounds, the Ruger LCP II won’t cause sagging in your pants.

RUGER LCP II .380 ACP PISTOL WITH VIRIDIAN LASER, BLACK

The Ruger LCP II has a barrel length of 2.75 inches, an overall length of 5.17 inches, a height of 3.71 inches, and a width of 0.91 inch. It has an unloaded weight of 10.6 ounces. It’s small and light weight, you can carry it in your pocket. But it can be difficult for some people to shoot accurately at longer than bad breath distances. 

5: Kahr CW380

Manufactured by Kahr Arms, the Kahr CW380 is a semi-automatic, double-action only or DAO pistol chambered in .380 ACP. It is designed for concealed carry and personal protection, with a small and lightweight design that makes it easy to conceal and carry comfortably. 

The CW380 features a polymer frame and a stainless steel slide. It has a 2.58-inch barrel, an overall length of 4.96 inches, and a width of 0.75 inches. The height of the gun is 3.9 inches, and it weighs in at just 10.2 ounces unloaded. These dimensions make the CW380 a very small and compact firearm that is well-suited for concealed carry and personal defense.

The Kahr CW380 ships with only one six round mag, but additional mags are available for purchase. It has a drift adjustable white bar dot combat rear sight and a pinned in polymer front sight. The rear sight is designed to be snag free for easy and quick draw from a holster. The front sight is dovetailed into the slide and can be easily replaced if needed.

CW 380ACP 2" BARREL

As for the best IWB holster for the Kahr CW380, there are many options available depending on personal preferences and carry styles. Some popular options include the Talon Concealed Carry Pocket Holster, Azula IWB Holster, and Desantis Nemesis Khar Holster.

4: Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380

The Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 is another pocket carry pistol that uses high strength polymer frame with a black, matte coated stainless steel slide and barrel. The pistol has a six round capacity and is designed to be really small that it can be carried in a pocket. 

Its barrel measures two and three quarter inches, which helps keep the overall length to a very short five and a quarter inches. It has a height of 4.3 inches and a width of 0.75 inches which makes it the thinnest of all the pistols on this list. It also has an unloaded weight of 12.3 ounces which makes it a tad bit heavier than its Ruger counterparts but it’s still one of the lightest concealed carry pistols on the market. 

Additional features include Stainless Steel Drift Adjustable Sights, a Double Action Fire Control that allows for a consistent trigger pull, and second strike capability in case of a misfire, all for an MSRP of only $396.00 which is a really good price considering the manufacturer’s reputation. Big Blue is even offering a $50 rebate on these pistols as of the making of this topic.

SMITH & WESSON M&P BODYGUARD .380 PISTOL W/O LASER

But there is a caveat. The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380’s trigger pull has been a point of contention for some shooters. Some think it’s too long and heavy, which makes it almost impossible to shoot the pistol accurately. Others think pocket carry pistols should have a heavy trigger pull to protect people from unintentional discharges which sometimes result from a very light trigger pull.

3: Springfield Armory Model 911

In 2018, Springfield Armory released their model 911 to compete with Kimber’s Micro 380 which I’ll talk more about in a bit. The 911 was designed as a small and reliable handgun specifically for concealed carry. With the .380 ACP allowing for a 1911 style all metal handgun to have a small foot print, Springfield Armory decided to throw their hat in the .380 ACP ultra compact pistols ring with their Model 911.

It has an overall length of 5.5 inches, a height of 4.5 inches with its extended magazine inserted, a width of 1 inch, and a barrel length of 2.7 inches, which makes it short and tiny. And it weighs in at only 12.6 ounces unloaded thanks to its frame made of 7075 T6 aluminum. 

And the model 911 isn’t just a 1911 inspired pistol. It was also designed with features intended to make it one of the best concealed carry 1911 style handguns on the market, such as a textured G10 grip, a low profile, snag free rear sight, and an easy to use, ambidextrous safety. Overall, the Springfield Armory 911 is a reliable and effective option for those who want to carry anything but a Glock.

SPRINGFIELD 911 9MM 7RD 3" PISTOL, DESERT FDE W/ HOGUE GRIPS

It has two magazines, a 6 round flush fitting mag and a 7 round extended mag, and it comes in .380 ACP or 9mm. The .380 ACP version has an MSRP of $630 and the 9mm version — well, it is slightly larger so for the purposes of this topic, I can’t recommend it, but it has an MSRP of $660.

2: Kimber Micro .380

There are countless 1911 fans out there who want to carry a 1911 but are forced to carry a Glock or a SIG or some other polymer framed striker fired pistol for many practical reasons. Polymer framed striker fired pistols are often smaller, lighter, have less moving parts, have no external safety besides the trigger blade safety, and are much more affordable. 1911s on the other hand are the exact opposite.

In 2012, Kimber announced their Micro 380 as a concealed carry handgun option for people who have always wanted to carry a light weight 1911 and were getting tired of carrying their polymer framed striker fired CCW. But it wouldn’t start shipping until January of 2014.

KIMBER MICRO .380 ACP STAINLESS ROSEWOOD PISTOL

With an unloaded magazine, the Micro 380 weighs less than 14 ounces and has a barrel length of 2.75 inches and an overall length of 5.6 inches. It 1.08-inch frame is made of aluminum, which makes it light weight and well suited for concealed carry. It has a height of 4 inches with its 7 round magazine inserted. 

In addition, the Kimber Micro 380 includes fixed low profile 3-dot tritium night sights and a solid match grade aluminum trigger with a 7 pound factory set trigger pull. It comes in several different variants but I would highly recommend the Stainless Rosewood version as it is the most affordable out of all Mirco 380 models with its MSRP of only $713. 

1: Ruger LCP Max

And finally, I get to talk about my favorite, the Ruger LCP Max. It’s number one on this list because it just ticks all the boxes. It is a lightweight pocket pistol that is affordable, has a superb trigger, has really good sights, and has a high ammo capacity.

The Ruger LCP Max is the best iteration yet of Ruger’s original LCP line. It features a mag capacity of 10 plus 1 rounds of .380 ACP, which is greatly increased compared to Ruger’s earlier LCP models. 

The slide of the LCP Max is made of alloy steel and has a black oxide finish. The grip frame is made of high performance glass filled nylon. The barrel has a length of 2.8 inches and is made of steel with a black oxide finish. Ruger added a tritium front sight with a white outline and a drift adjustable rear sight. The pistol only weighs 10.6 ounces unloaded. 

RUGER LCP MAX MICRO COMPACT .380 ACP PISTOL, BLACK

Additional features include an ergonomic grip design and slide serrations for easier manipulation. And being a hammer fired pistol, the LCP Max has a smooth trigger with a weight of pull averaging 5.5 pounds. As far as dimensions, the LCP Max has an overall length of 5.17 inches, a width of 0.95 inch, and a height of 4.12 inches. 

It has an MSRP of $449.00 which is just INSANE for such a well designed pistol that is small enough to be carried in a pocket, not to mention the fact that it is built by one of the most reputable gun manufacturers in America or anywhere in the world. 

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