By John Stevenson
I was recently asked: “If money were no object, what three concealed carry handguns would you choose? What do you think are the top 3 concealed carry guns?” I thought, sure, that’s easy enough.
It turns out that, once you remove money from the equation, while limiting yourself to only three out of the countless choices available, it can actually be harder. It’s easier when you can simply ignore the display cases full of Sig-Sauers, Berettas, and Walthers, and concentrate on the pistols that fit your budget.
So now, let’s take a hypothetical trip to my local gun shop, with a blank check and an urge to splurge.
Glock 30S .45 Auto
Though it’s not a high-priced pistol, having an average retail of around $600, the Glock 30S, in .45 Auto, is my first choice. Combining the frame of the high-capacity G30 with the narrow slide of the single-stack G36, Glock engineers, at the request of LAPD undercover detectives, created the best of all possible worlds—a small, concealable pistol with ten rounds in the magazine (and the capability to use the 13-round mags of the G21) and the punch of the .45 Auto. Carried in a custom-fitted Savoy Leather Patriot holster, that’s a great way to start the shopping trip.
As concealable as the G30S may be, there are situations when it’s hard to make do with anything larger than a pistol small enough to ride in a pocket. While my normal choice for that mode of carry is a Smith & Wesson J-frame .38 Special, I do have that blank check burning a hole in my pocket, and a desire to plug that hole with a new pistol.
There are a lot of choices in this category, but I’m really not comfortable with anything smaller than a .380 Auto—and then only if there’s no way to carry a pistol chambered for something larger.
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380
While my inner geek is demanding a Walther PPK (Bond … James Bond), I really don’t look good in a tux, and I have no idea how to play baccarat. So let’s go with a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380, with the integral laser sight. Narrower than my beloved J-frames; lighter, more compact, with nearly the same punch, and with two more rounds in the weapon, it’s another value choice at an MSRP of $419.
True, the last time I owned a pistol this small I loaded it with a roll of caps, but it’s a great choice for a pocket gun. Here we are at my final choice, and I’ve barely broken the thousand-dollar mark.
Kimber Ultra CDP II LG .45 Auto
That just won’t do, so the last pick is a Kimber Ultra CDP II LG, in .45 Auto. With Crimson Trace lasergrips, rounded and blended edges, and tritium night sights, it’s the ultimate expression of the 1911 for concealed carry. It’s also priced north of $1,600, making it a fitting end to my shopping spree.These are my choices for “what are the top three guns money can buy?”