There are a lot personal concealed carry handguns on the market, but the Smith and Wesson 380 Bodyguard should be one you consider first.
Recently my wife (featured in the pictures) has been on me to start carrying a concealed weapon when I go fishing, since I'm often in very remote places. She isn't so much concerned about a Deliverance style encounter, but she is concerned of other what if's that come with being alone in the wilderness.
Just a few weeks ago, I came across a S&W 380 Bodyguard and decided that it was going to be my new carry gun, not only when I am out fishing, but also just around town. This incredibly compact double action only handgun fits very easily inside the pants or just in a pocket. At only 11.85 oz, it's easy to forget it is even there at all. The magazine holds six rounds plus one in the chamber and also slide locks with a release on the side. With a stainless steel finish and a polymer frame, this gun can also handle some abuse and keep going strong.
The overall size of the Bodyguard is negligible when compared to other similar smaller sized compacts. In this graphic by armspost.com, the outlines of other popular guns are contrasted against the Bodyguard, side by side.
One aspect of this gun that I really liked was the built in laser. I don't see a time when the laser would come in handy on a fishing trip or in any personal carry situation, but when my wife is home alone and she can't get to the shotgun, knowing she can laser aim makes me feel a little better, and her as well.
The trigger is harder to pull than most compact guns that I am familiar with. At first I hated this feature, but later I found this to be a good thing for concealed carry. It takes somebody deliberately pulling the trigger in order to make it fire. I know accidental discharges can happen, but I think it would be a lot less frequent with this harder pull. Quick follow up shots can be a problem.
My wife and I put the S&W .380 to the test vs the Kel-Tec P-3AT. The P-3AT has been a constant concealed carry gun of choice for many people simply due to how lightweight the gun actually is. At 8.3 oz, it is the lightest gun on the market. My parents both carry one of these and so do several friends.
We both came away enjoying the feel of the of the Bodyguard much more than the P-3AT. Neither gun is exceptionally enjoyable to shoot, but the Bodyguard is heavier and handles the recoil noticeably better. The accuracy was pretty much the same, but the laser feature gave my wife much more confidence when it was engaged on the target.
Overall, the Bodyguard is a great choice for a concealed carry handgun, and we're glad we came across it. You will be too.
Would you be willing to give the S&W 380 Bodyguard a try?