While some may see the average gun owner as a middle-aged white man, the statistics show that the number of women owning guns has climbed steadily over the past decade. But what are the best handguns for women?
A woman armed with a handgun can be a major equalizer in critical situations of self and home defense. There are many handguns on the market from which to choose.
In this article, we will review the best handguns for women one at a time in regards to capacity, barrel length, weight, and price.
Following is a short review of the options we suggest are the ten best handguns for women.
What to Consider in the Best Handguns for Women
There are several factors to consider when looking at the best handguns for women.
First off, the best choice in a gun for any woman is a full-size centerfire gun.
Many people choose rimfire, because they are easy to handle for beginners with low recoil. They are also cheaper.
However, if you want a gun for long-term use, then centerfire is the way to go. A centerfire gun is versatile and quite lively.
A centerfire can also take on many roles, like training or competition.
Additionally, the frame and size of guns for women is different than that for men. The grip style is also different, plus the caliber of the pistol.
If a woman chooses a gun with a larger caliber, then the recoil and power will be heavier. This means it will be difficult to shoot accurately.
10. Glock 23
The Glock 23 is a great all-around handgun that represents a good balance of power and weight. That makes it one of the best handguns for women.
It features the Glock double-action-only trigger. Therefore, it’s only one trigger action to learn.
The Glock 23’s trigger reset is rapid. The pistol is fast into action and simply feels good in your grip.
Also, it’s possibly the best concealed carry gun for small hands.
This firearm is commonly worn by police forces and would be considered suitable for the experienced user.
9. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
The small gun market has grown significantly in the past few decades. And the S&W M&P Bodyguard (.38 special) falls into this category.
Their convenience and use in high-pressure situations are surely reasons for that growth. Because of this, the Bodyguard would be a handgun suitable for the intermediate user.
In addition, as the number of women gun owners has increased a great deal, it stands to reason that the small gun market has grown due to the growing female clientele.
However, that may not necessarily be true. While a small pocket pistol may seem to be the best handgun for women, smaller guns with larger caliber ammunition have more recoil.
Larger guns with smaller caliber ammunition will have less recoil. It really is a matter of personal preference and skill as to which you choose.
8. Springfield XD-S
The Springfield Armory XD-S’ design aims for everyday carry and deep concealment.
It features the Ultra Safety Assurance Trigger System to avoid accidental discharges if the gun is ever dropped or bumped.
The trigger on this 9mm pistol cannot operate unless reverse pressure gets applied to the trigger.
Also, the Springfield XD-S features a grip safety that only allows the gun to fire when the grip safety is depressed.
Additionally, the Springfield handgun has a loaded chamber indicator. This is a notch that pops up on the slide when a round sits in the chamber.
In turn, it offers visual and tangible feedback as to whether or not it is ready to shoot.
All of the Springfield XD-S features together could possibly make it the best 9mm for women who are beginner shooters.
7. Sig Sauer P938
The Sig Sauer P938 is a single action self-loading gun that suits the need for discretion, reliability, accuracy, and power. This pistol can easily be operated one-handed with some practice.
With its excellent sights and an acceptable trigger, the P938 handgun makes for a top-notch firearm.
The Sig Sauer P938 come with prominent fixed night sights which enhance your comfort with its accuracy.
The P938 is a great choice for an intermediate user and an excellent women’s gun.
6. Ruger LCP
The LCP is a double-action-only (DAO) weapon. It weighs 9.4 ounces and measures 3.6 inches tall, 5.16 inches long and .82 inches thick. The barrel measures 2.75 inches long.
Therefore, the Ruger handgun offers quality and durable, low-cost design. This firearm is highly accurate and a breeze to fire.
It feels solid in your hands and offers a tight grip. The pistol is absolutely one of the best concealer carry for women and a strong contender for the best handgun for a woman overall.
However, it’s only for beginner or intermediate users.
Experienced shooters might want to look into other women’s pistols options.
5. Glock 42
The Glock 42 is the smallest pocket pistol created. It offers great value as a concealed-carry firearm.
While the Glock 42 handgun does have a 5.5-pound trigger pull, it is relatively easy to adjust to. It has great consistency and accuracy. The concealability of the Glock 42 is off the charts.
Because of the size of the gun, you can carry this top handgun in many ways.
The Glock 42 is an excellent firearm for the beginner shooter and a definitely among the best small handguns.
4. Ruger LC9s
The Ruger LC9s (9mm Luger) is very reliable with an excellent design. Its corners and edges are rounded and beveled, making it comfortable to carry and conceal.
The Ruger LC9 known as a “pocket pistol” is lightweight with a 9mm caliber, which is definitely sufficient for personal and home defense.
The Ruger LC9 pistol has several useful features, it is very compact and carrying it around is very easy.
It is double-action which simply means that every time you pull the trigger, it cocks the hammer placed inside before freeing it. This prevents the trigger from getting pulled accidentally.
While a double action handgun requires training and practice, the Ruger LC9s is another contender for the best handgun for women and is suitable for the intermediate to advanced user.
3. Sig Sauer P238
The Sig Sauer P238 is a single action, semi-auto pistol with a manual safety and slide release lever. With their glow in the dark night sights, accuracy in darker condition is a highly favorable feature.
This firearm fits easily into pockets and, thus, do not require a separate purchase of a women’s gun holster. In addition, being all metal, it feels sturdier than other pistols.
The P238 handgun definitely fits the bill as a concealed carry weapon and is recommended for beginner to intermediate users.
2. Glock 43
Although frequently misunderstood, the best handguns for women don’t have to be small and solely made for concealed carry.
A gun that is all business would perfectly suit them as well, one that will do what it is supposed to do when they need it.
The Glock 43 has it all.
It offers the stopping power they need in a package that they can carry, grip, and shoot comfortably.
It is one of the best handguns for women in the beginner to advanced shooter categories.
1. Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
The Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm is a smooth, palm-size, slim-and-trim weapon.
At only six inches long, 4½ inches high, and less than an inch thick, it is the lightest and smallest 9mm. This makes it a perfect concealed carry firearm.
The Shield handgun is definitely for comfort and ease of use. The magazine and slide release very quickly.
This is important when shopping for a defensive firearm to protect yourself or your family.
You can probably operate all the controls on the Shield one-handed. This is an absolute positive if your support hand is unavailable and one of the best handguns for women at the price.
The M&P 9 Shield is a nice choice for any gun owner. In addition, it’s one of the cheap guns that offer quality beyond expectations.
Making The Right Choice
We all know that there is no one right gun for all women. There is no such thing as the absolute best handgun for women, but a collection of several options to choose from.
Whichever option you choose, it’s important to pick one based on your preferences and level of skill.
With time and research, we are certain you can find the best handgun for your taste. Make sure to check out the top pocket pistols if you’re looking for smaller size weapons.