The Best New Concealed Carry Handguns of SHOT 2023 By: Travis Pike


What’s the most dominant force in the market of civilian handguns? The concealed carry firearm. The rise of shall-issue carry licenses spawned a new genre of firearms. As the years have passed, the advancement of concealed carry-oriented firearms hasn’t slowed down. With that in mind, I went from booth to booth seeking out the best new concealed-carry firearms on the market. Amongst the booths of M-LOK rails, AR-15s, rolling carts, and all-black-everything, I found five new concealed carry firearms that pack a lot of potential.

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Ruger Security-380 Lite-Rack

One bright and shining star in the concealed carry market is the rise of firearms aimed at folks with a disability, poor hand strength, and other conditions that make it difficult to handle a traditional firearm. Ruger’s Security Lite-Rack is the latest entry into this particular market.

Ruger Security 380
The Security-380 is a compact .380 that works for shooters with reduced hand strength

The Security-380 Lite-Rack isn’t a .380 ACP pocket pistol but is something more akin to a compact-sized firearm. It’s more Glock 19 rather than Ruger LCP. It’s a bit larger, and admittedly that can make it tougher to conceal, but if you can’t adequately handle your firearm, there isn’t really a point in carrying it. It does chamber the lighter recoiling .380 ACP round that’s combined with a short recoil system that will help reduce recoil and make the gun comfortable and easy to shoot.

The name Lite-Rack is more than just a name. The slide takes almost no effort to rack. This would be very easy for anyone to handle and shoot. The entire Security-380 package appeals to shooters who might not have the strength to use a standard 9mm compact or pocket .380 ACP. It’s a niche entry but one the market needs.

Beretta 80X Cheetah

Speaking of larger-than-average .380, Beretta revealed the 80X Cheetah at SHOT 2023. The Cheetah series was popular in the 1980s as a series of .32 ACP and .380 ACP pistols designed for concealed carry. This was before the pocket pistol revolution. The 80X Cheetah updates the Cheetah series for the modern world.

Beretta 80X Cheetah
It’s bound to be an easy shooter and a sweet little gun.

This is a double stack .380 ACP that holds 13 rounds of 380. The pistol is compact and would be easy to conceal. The grip is just long enough to fill my hand, and honestly, it feels like the engineers at Beretta crafted the gun to fit my hand. It’s just perfect for my paws. Updates include a Picatinny rail and an optics cut.

Other updates include using the thinner Vertec-style grip design and the Beretta X-Treme DA/SA trigger system. The trigger is absolutely fabulous and delivers an outstanding trigger pull. The double action is what a double action should be, and the single action has serious 1911 vibes to it.

Taurus 605 TORO

Taurus has been making changes at the top. They’ve brought in some serious talent with some excellent credentials to remake the Taurus brand. I’m not typically excited for Taurus releases, but the 605 TORO caught my attention. It’s everything I’d want in a carry revolver. Obviously, the first improvement is adding an optic!

Taurus with red dot
The Taurus 605 takes the wheelgun to a higher level.

Optics on revolvers seem odd, but it honestly makes a ton of sense. Revolvers don’t have reciprocating slides, so the optic remains locked in place and is insanely easy to track between shots. I suck with a revolver, but at range day, I was scoring hit after hit on a hostage target. The trigger Taurus installed in the 605 is surprisingly nice.

The Taurus 605 TORO also features 3-inch barrels, which is perfect for a compact revolver, especially for a .357 Magnum. The extra barrel helps with velocity and prevents that flashbang style effect snub nose .357s have. The gun holds five rounds, weighs 23.52 ounces, and still comes in at a budget-friendly price point of less than $500.

Avidity Arms PD-10

The Avidity Arms PD-10 is a weapon designed by firearm instructor Rob Pincus. The PD-10 has been in the works since 2014, and according to Rob, the gun is on its way to gun stores near you. The idea is simple, create an ergonomic weapon that is easy to shoot, reliable, and performs at a high level.

AA PD10 concealed carry handgun
The Avidity Arms PD-10 has been in development for over eight years.

The gun uses a modified 9mm 1911 magazine that holds ten rounds. It’s a very thin gun, but not a small gun. It’s essentially a single-stack Glock 19 size-wise. The gun is thin enough to be easily carried AIWB and IWB but still large enough to handle with ease. Additionally, most defensive ammo is designed to function best with a four-inch and longer barrel, and the PD-10 packs a four-inch barrel.

The PD-10 has changed over the years, but the idea remains the same. One of the big changes we’ve seen is the addition of an optic cut to fit the Holosun K series of red dots. The gun also implements Ameirglo sights with a claw rear sight for one-handed cocking use. The trigger is also very interesting. It’s light but somewhat longer than normal, which would likely help prevent a stress-induced negligent discharge. All in all, it’s a package designed by a user for other users, and I’m excited to get my hands on it.

Staccato CS

Do you have a few thousand dollars to spend on your carry gun? If so, it’s going to be tough to beat the Staccato CS. The latest 2011 design from Staccato (Formerly STI) shrinks things down a bit. The CS features a 3.5-inch barrel and is 7.1 inches overall. It’s not exactly small, but it’s smaller than all the other 2011s out there.

Staccato CS concealed carry handgun in hand
It’s little, but thick, with 16 rounds of 9mm on tap.

The Staccato CS weighs 22.7 ounces but honestly feels a lot lighter. In fact, I had to double-check to make sure it didn’t have a polymer frame when I picked it up. The gun is smaller but still packs 16 rounds in a double-stack magazine.

Shooters can toss a light on the rail, and like every other gun in 2023, you can mount an optic if you so choose. The Staccato CS has a crazy nice trigger with a very light pull and a very short reset. It’s quite nice, and it better be at $2,500. The Staccato CS might break the bank and maybe your heart, but it’s an absolutely outstanding weapon.

Carry On

As far as firearms genres go, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see a shortage of carry guns. These days there seems to be a niche pistol for every type of carrier and at every budget. If you want to conceal carry, you have seemingly hundreds of options out there, and SHOT 2023 just introduced a number of new options. Which would you carry? Did I miss any new carry guns that deserve to be on the list? Let us know below!