What Is The Best Handgun For Women?

What is the best gun for a female? 

If you’re in the market for a handgun made for women, your options have never been better. Whether you’re buying a handgun for protection or recreation, you want something you feel comfortable carrying as a concealed weapon.

While reasons may differ slightly from group to group, there is one common thread – gun ownership provides the means to protect oneself. A recent Pew Research survey found that 70% of women owners say a gun is essential for their personal freedom, and 25% identify gun ownership as a means of self-protection. 

Physically men and women have different builds, and the type of firearm that fits their body best is also unique. Here are some factors women should consider when buying a gun.

Considerations for Selecting the Best Gun for Women

There are several factors women should consider when shopping for a handgun, including the gun’s size and weight and how easy it is to shoot. Because women’s hands are often smaller and they have less upper body strength, the best guns for women will usually be compact and lightweight.

A handgun’s caliber significantly impacts how light or heavy the gun’s felt recoil will be. Many women prefer handguns chambered for smaller ammunition because they produce less recoil and are more comfortable to shoot. 

However, the intended use of a gun should also be considered. A handgun for self-defense must be a powerful enough caliber to protect the shooter while remaining light enough to shoot without constraint. A concealed carry gun must be slim and lightweight enough to carry throughout the day without strain. Here are a few considerations for selecting the best guns for a woman:

Caliber: Most small handguns are chambered for .380 ACP or 9mm ammunition. These calibers provide enough power to halt a threat with a recoil light enough to manage comfortably. 9mm ammunition is suitable for a wider variety of uses from self-defense to competition shooting, making it an extremely versatile caliber.

Recoil: A gun with a light felt recoil is more comfortable to shoot without tiring the shooter’s arm. Lighter recoil also enables more accurate follow-up shots when necessary. Recoil is determined by the caliber and the gun’s weight and size, so some small and light guns can still have high felt recoil. Because felt recoil varies for each person, the best way to test the recoil of a particular gun is to shoot it for yourself.

Size: If you’re seeking a concealed carry weapon, a small and compact handgun that fits inside a bag or holster is critical. Typically subcompact or ultra-compact models are the best choices for concealed carry. However, if you’re looking for a home defense weapon, you may opt for a larger handgun as they are often easier to shoot accurately. The grip width also impacts how comfortable it will be to hold, and with a gun that fits your hand, you’ll feel less recoil.

Weight: Heavier handguns usually have lower felt recoil, but they can be more challenging to aim if you have weaker arms. For a concealed carry weapon, weight also affects how comfortable the gun is to carry throughout the day. Look for a gun with a weight that supplies manageable recoil and enables comfortable shooting.

Magazine capacity: A larger magazine capacity may be desirable for competitive shooting. Compact handguns are available with double-stack magazines for additional capacity. However, for self-defense, a single-stack magazine is usually sufficient.

Safety features: Different guns offer different safety features, such as protection against accidental firing if you drop the gun. A manual safety and heavier trigger pull weight can also improve a gun’s safety but may make it more challenging to shoot. Beginner shooters should seek guns with good safety features and receive adequate training on using their guns correctly.

Reliability: A handgun used for self-defense must provide reliable and consistent performance. Look for a gun with a reputation for reliability and test it at a firing range using your own ammunition. A reliable gun should be easy to use, even in high-stress situations.

Aesthetics: While function and comfort should be the priority, many options for different colors and handgun styles are also available. You can opt for a gun with textured or patterned grips to suit your tastes.

The best gun for a woman will depend on her personal needs and preferences. Keep these factors in mind as you search for the perfect gun for you. We’ve gathered a few of the top guns for women that offer excellent performance in a comfortable size and caliber. 

Our recommendations for the best handguns for women include all of these characteristics. However, there are many other good gun options for women that will also work well. Just because a particular gun isn’t on this list doesn’t necessarily mean it is a poor choice for self-defense.

Glock 19

The Glock 19 is Glock’s “compact” 9mm pistol. It’s a great compromise between being small enough to carry concealed easily and large enough that most people can shoot it well, making it one of the best options for women. In general, it’s an outstanding choice for shooters with smaller hands.

The Generation 4 model of the Glock 19 has a dual recoil spring system that acts to reduce the amount of recoil felt. Additionally, the gun has a modular grip system that enables the shooter to further customize the grip to the size of the shooter’s hands.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

This is a favorite among females because it is only 1″ wide, making it perfect for concealed carry. The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield’s 9-round capacity for 9mm ammo provides a great deal of shooting power for a slim weapon. Due to its low recoil and striker safeties, many gun enthusiasts consider it a full-sized pistol in a more petite gun body. The M&P Shield is consistently rated as one of the best CCW 9mm handguns on the market.

Glock 43

The Glock 43 is one of the newest models introduced by Glock. Like the .380 ACP Glock 42, it is a slim subcompact chambered in 9mm Luger and one of the smallest handguns Glock has ever offered. At just over 1 inch wide, it is small enough to be easily concealable and comfortable for most shooters with small hands.

Sig Sauer P238

Always on the list of women’s favorites, the Sig P238 is small and very easy to conceal. It’s notorious for its easy racking slide and smooth trigger. Also, they come in a rainbow of color options. Women can find a great gun that they love to shoot and find one that matches their aesthetic.

Smith & Wesson .380 EZ Shield 

Weighing just 18.5 ounces and measuring 6.7 inches, the Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ’s design makes it easy to use for concealed carry or home protection. This .380 ACP handgun features a magazine that is easy to load and a slide that’s easy to rack, so novice shooters are comfortable shooting the 380 Shield EZ in no time. Its 3.7-inch barrel provides improved accuracy, making it an excellent choice for beginners or experienced shooters.

Ruger LC9s  

The LC9s is a high-quality, reasonably priced pistol that’s a nice handgun for women to use for self-defense. Its seven-round, single-stack magazine makes it very slim and compact. For this reason, the LC9s is well suited for small-framed shooters and those wishing to carry it concealed. Additionally, the LC9s is known for its reliability and accuracy. It’s easy to control, even in the hands of a less experienced shooter.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a woman looking to carry concealed, there are many styles of handguns to choose from. Caliber, recoil, size, weight, safety features, and magazine capacity all contribute to how you carry, draw, and fire a handgun. If a gun is too heavy, it can take extra time to retrieve it from its holster. If it’s too light, it may have a more substantial recoil, which can eventually fatigue you.  

The best way to choose a handgun to carry concealed is to try several out. Any reputable gun store will allow you to spend time checking out their handgun offerings, so finding the best concealed carry model just takes time and patience. You will also need high-quality, gun-appropriate accessories to ensure that you are as prepared as you can be.  

At Clipdraw, we know guns and gun accessories, and our products are all made in America. We’re proud to offer gun products that will suit all gun enthusiasts — both men and women. Visit our site to check out our belt clips, trigger sheaths, hats, and a wide variety of must-have engraved products


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