Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
You’d think concealed-carry guns would all be pretty typical, right? You’d be dead wrong. The gun you conceal carry is a personal choice you have to make. For some people, the Glock 34 is a great concealed-carry gun. For most of us, it’s a bit too much. In the concealed carry world, we have compact guns like the Glock 19, we have single stack 9s like the Walther PPS, we have micro compacts like the P365, and so many more. Then, we have another interesting genre, the genre of deep concealment handguns.
Table of contents
Deep concealment handguns are their own separate genre of firearms that include a wide variety of calibers as well as a multitude of operational methods. We have automatics and revolvers, centerfire and rimfire calibers, and more. Deep concealment pistols are designed to be incredibly compact and very easy to carry concealed.
These guns are often ultra-small, fairly flat, and in smaller-than-average calibers. Deep concealment guns are meant to prioritize concealment and not necessarily firepower. They typically have less-than-average capacity, a short sight radius, and not much in the way of anything beyond going bang.
For some, they are a daily carry gun, but for others, they are an occasional option when nothing else works. Deep concealment guns are another tool in the box, and I think most concealed carriers would benefit from having at least one deep concealment pistol in their concealed carry rotation.
The Best Deep Concealment Guns
The KelTec P32
If you want a teeny tiny option that’s affordable and lightweight, then KelTec has you covered. The Keltec P32 weighs only 6.6 ounces empty, and when fully loaded with seven rounds of 32 ACP, it still weighs less than 10 ounces. It’s a mere .75 inches wide and only a hair over 5 inches long. It’s tiny, and while it might not be the smallest gun on the market, it is one of the very lightest semi-autos.
‘It fits right into your pocket and disappears. The P32 also works well with traditional holster types like IWB, and in that role, it’s nearly invisible. Heck, with the right holster, it would fit right into your back pocket. When carried on the ankle, it won’t weigh you down or bulge. It even fits in a lady’s clutch.
While the gun’s tiny, the .32 ACP chambering offers a low level of recoil, and it’s easy to control. It won’t slap its way out of your hand or make you feel like you’ve completely lost control of the gun. The P32 has some dinky sights, but they are useable. It’s not much, but it’s a great deep concealment gun.
Ruger LCP 2 – A Great Deep Concealment Option
The Ruger LCP 2 takes a page out of the P32’s book. It’s light, small, and very easy to conceal. The Ruger LCP 2 improves on the LCP design and offers a much better trigger than most other pocket guns. While it’s still a double-action-only design, it’s not necessarily a long or heavy trigger.
The LCP 2 comes in both .380 ACP and .22LR. Both would be a great choice for a deep concealment carry gun. The .380 ACP option offers a bigger bullet and a more reliable ignition method. The .22LR offers hardly any recoil and ten rounds in a very small gun. It’s a personal choice, to be sure. I tend to prefer the .22LR for its low recoil and ease of use with a single hand.
The LCP 2 series comes from Ruger, so while it might not be fancy, you know it’s a gun that puts in work. While KelTec occasionally has QC issues, Ruger tends to be a bit more reliable, and they still tend to be affordable.
Beretta 21A Bobcat
The Beretta 21A Bobcat might not be the smallest gun, but it’s a dang fine deep concealment pistol. The little Beretta is 4.9 inches long and weighs 11.5 ounces. It is slightly thicker than most at 1.1 inches wide. The little gun packs seven rounds of .22LR and features the Beretta tip-up barrel design, which makes it a snap to load a round directly into the chamber.
The big benefit of using the Bobcat is the fact it’s a DA/SA gun. Rimfire rounds are not the most reliable form of ignition. A DA/SA design makes it easy to get the opportunity to fire again and get a second strike in case a round doesn’t ignite on the first strike.
A nice, long, and heavy trigger does give some comfort when pocket-carrying, but it’s also nice to have the option for a lighter single-action trigger. The Bobcat does require full-powered ammo to function, but if you’re using the gun for self-defense, I’m betting it’s loaded with full-powered loads.
NAA Micro Revolver
Let’s say you’re stuck in a situation where you are wearing a Speedo and need to carry a gun. You might feel like you don’t have any real options. Or at least one that holds more than a single round. You’d be incorrect. The NAA Micro Revolver is a great go-to for the deepest concealment possible. These guns come in a variety of rimfire calibers, including .22LR and .22 Magnum.
The NAA Micro Revolvers come in a variety of sizes. Some are seemingly novelties, but the standard models are quite capable of concealed carry and deep concealment. They are micro-sized and hold a mere five rounds of .22LR. The plain model can disappear anywhere. The addition of a folding knife-style grip makes it easy to pocket carry and secures the trigger. It also adds a respectable grip to the gun for easy handling.
The downside is the fact that the sights are basically a good idea and not much more than that. This is a point-and-shoot firearm. My big hands make it almost impossible to even try and use the front sight when shooting. Luckily, the recoil of the .22LR version isn’t bad, or this thing would be useless. It’s my last for deep concealment, but it is an option.
Tiny Deep Concealment Semi-Auto: Seecamp LWS 32
If you want the smallest semi-auto pistol by a small margin, the Seecamp LWS 32 is the route to take. It’s not the lightest semi-auto, but it’s most certainly the smallest dimensionally. At 11.5 ounces, the all-metal gun is a bit heavier than the P32 and LCP. The Seecamp series of pistols are only 4.25 inches long overall and .86 inches wide. It’s micro-sized and packs easily in your pocket.
Available on GunsAmerica Now
The guns come in .32 ACP and .380 ACP, but the .380 ACP is a real mule. It kicks hard and fiercely and constantly tries to fight its way out of your hand. I’d suggest the .32 ACP model. The gun uses a delayed blowback design that has a novel chamber ring delay system. It helps ensure the gun is controllable and soft recoiling.
The Seecamp LWS 32 is a double-action-only, hammer-fired gun. It lacks any form of sights, and the magazine release is a European heel style. Great care was taken to smooth out the corners and prevent the gun from hanging up on the draw. While it’s tough to hit targets beyond seven yards, it’s a reliable and easy-toting pocket piece.
S&W Model 642
Finally, we’ll get to the big boy on this list. The S&W 642 is easily the biggest gun on this list, and it’s still a snub-nose revolver. The S&W Model 642 is a J-frame, .38 Special revolver that is a classic of the concealed carry market. It’s big, bigger than every other gun on this list, but still easy to conceal. The round nature of revolvers makes them perfect for pocket carry, and they tuck away quite nicely.
The S&W Model 642 is a very lightweight gun at only 15 ounces. You’re also packing a .38 Special, which has long proven itself. I’d suggest some good wadcutters to ensure good penetration. The hammer is enclosed, so it’s a snag-free draw. Guns like this conceal easily on the ankle, in an IWB rig, and as mentioned in the pocket.
The S&W Model 642 isn’t the easiest shooter, especially if you load +P rounds into it. This can make it a handful. A standard defensive round is good enough to get the job done, so I wouldn’t get too crazy. The J-frame is a classic carry gun, and it’s been a choice for deep concealment for quite some time for a reason.
Pack It Out
Deep concealment guns offer you a tool that can be carried in just about any attire or situation. While guns like the P365 are quite convenient, they can still be a bit big for concealed carry in certain situations. That’s why everyone needs a good deep concealment pistol, and these are my favorites above.