Top 5 Concealed Carry .40 Caliber Pistols

Since its introduction in 1990, the .40 caliber pistol has fallen in and out of favor with law enforcement and civilians alike. Designed to blend power and manageability, it was a more efficient response than the .45 ACP to the 1986 Miami shootout and therefore widely adopted by the FBI, police departments, and self-defense civilians for a number of years. While not as popular today as the lighter, higher-capacity 9mm handguns, concealed carry .40 pistols still offer comfort, reliability, and power that you can easily carry on your hip. Here is a look at what sets these pistols apart, and a few models that you should consider for your personal EDC lineup.

What to Look for in a .40 Caliber Pistol

When choosing a .40 caliber pistol to be your concealed carry companion, you need to focus on several key features. Not every .40 caliber pistol will be the right size or perform at the right level for successful personal defense. Here is a look at the features that are most important in the handgun you choose for daily concealed carry.

Comfortable Ergonomics

One of the reasons the .45 ACP lost popularity within the FBI was because its large size made it difficult for many agents to handle (particularly women). Most .40 caliber pistols rectify this problem by delivering power similar to the .45 ACP in a smaller package. However, before purchasing one of these for yourself, make sure the model you choose fits comfortably in your unique hands. In particular, look for ease of control over the weapon, ease in aiming, and an ergonomic grip that is secure and comfortable even over extended usage.

Concealable Size

Full-size .40 caliber pistols (as is the case with most full-size pistols), can be a little more challenging to conceal. If you do not want to wear multiple layers in the summer heat or wear baggy clothing, you may want to invest in a slightly smaller weapon. Make sure the .40 caliber pistol you choose balances size and usability, offering a comfortable grip and uncompromising stopping power while also being easy to secure under your clothing.


In a crisis situation, you cannot control the circumstances under which you use your weapon. Your .40 caliber pistol MUST shoot reliably under even high pressure situations. The .40 caliber tends to be a reliable performer, with tight accuracy and very few jams, equipping you to defend yourself well under a wide variety of circumstances.

Safety Features

The last thing you want when carrying your weapon is an accidental discharge. The .40 caliber pistols come with a wide range of safety features designed to prevent accidental firing and support safe handling of the weapon. These safety features often include the following:

  • Trigger Safeties
  • Grip Safeties
  • Manual Safeties

5 Best .40 Caliber Pistols

There are dozens of .40 caliber pistols from which to choose, but not many of us have the time to track down and examine every option. To help you make a good choice on a limited schedule, here are 5 of the highest-performing .40 caliber pistols to consider. To save you the legwork of comparing pistols yourself, we have compiled a list of the top 5 pistols that retail for under $400. These are all reliable, concealable, safe, and comfortable so you can buy with confidence.

Glock 23

Glock 23

Barrel 4.02 in.
Overall Length 7.3 in.
Overall Height 5.04 in.
Width 1.26 in.
Weight (Empty) 21.16 oz.

The Glock 23 is one of the most popular .40 caliber S&W pistols, even in the face of waning popularity for the cartridge. Fitted with a large capacity of 13, the Glock 23 sits neatly between a full-sized and a compact pistol without sacrificing on performance. Known both for its reliability and its versatility, it easily converts into a 9 mm or a .357 Sig to suit your concealed carry needs. Relatively lightweight and compact, it makes a powerful but right-sized addition to your hip and to your EDC lineup.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 40

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 40

Barrel 3.1 in.
Overall Length 6.1 in.
Overall Height 4.6 in.
Width .95 in.
Weight (Empty) 20.1 oz.

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 40's slim profile makes it perfectly concealable even under tighter clothing. This trim little pistol also boasts an ergonomic design that allows it to fit like a glove in even small hands. AND, it is easily usable even by left handed shooters. Do not let its size and ergonomic design fool you, however. This pistol includes a crisp trigger, the power of the .40 caliber cartridge, and a no-nonsense recoil.

Sig Sauer P229

Sig Sauer P229

Barrel 3.8 in.
Overall Length 7.1 in.
Overall Height 5.4 in.
Width 1.5 in.
Weight (Empty) 27.5 oz.

The Sig Sauer P229 is yet another reason that Sig Sauer is a revered name among concealed carry enthusiasts. Perfectly accurate round after round after round after round, it also boasts a light recoil and a practical design that creates intuitive ease of use. Need something to complain about with this weapon? You could say that it holds too many rounds (Up to 12), but that isn't really a drawback, since the light weight of the weapon means a few extra rounds will not add too much weight compared to other .40 caliber pistols.

Beretta Px4 Storm

Beretta Px4 Storm

Barrel 4 in.
Overall Length 7.55 in.
Overall Height 5.5 in.
Width 1.42 in.
Weight (Empty) 27.7 oz.

The Beretta Px4 Storm may be a little larger than the other .40 caliber pistols, and not quite as nice to look at, but it comes with a history of reliability that makes its polymer frame and .40 caliber cartridge very appealing. Look out for a slippery grip, but enjoy this weapon's precise, sharp trigger pull and almost impossibly smooth recoil. This is a pistol that, while not as well known as some of the others on our list, can certainly stand alongside them in performance, accuracy and satisfaction.



Barrel 4.25 in.
Overall Length 7.68 in.
Overall Height 5.31 in.
Width 1.26 in.
Weight (Empty) 1.82 lb

The HK USP is big and heavy, but if you can manage to conceal it, it offers a dynamic shooting experience defined by durability and a 13-round capacity. As one of the few guns specifically designed for the .40 caliber (As opposed to being a modified 9 mm), it is easy to shoot and reliable enough to trust. Want a smaller size? Look for the compact version to make your EDC experience even more rewarding.

Interested in exploring the world of .40 caliber concealed carry pistols? Try any of the weapons on our list, and don't forget to check out our premium holsters for all calibers. Designed for comfort, concealability, and quick access, our holsters perfectly complement your firearm. Share with us any concealed carry .40 caliber pistols and holsters you love!

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