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Empower Yourself: Finding the Best Handgun for Women

Guns are firmly embedded in American culture and political issues. The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees Americans the freedom to keep and bear weapons, and around one-third of U.S. adults possess a firearm.

According to the Pew Research Center, gun ownership is a part of 31% of all homes in the United States, and 22% of American adults directly possess one or two guns.

Furthermore, in another Pew research center study, women gun owners are rapidly growing.

There are many reasons to own a gun. Whether you’re searching for a handgun for competitive shooting, personal defense, or just for pleasure, you want a pistol that’s easy to use and dependable.

The handgun should have the appropriate size, weight, and caliber for their purposes.

Moreover, the best gun for women should be simple and pleasant to fire.

Many of the finest handguns for men are also fantastic pistols for women. The best handgun should be thin enough for a comfortable grip and light enough for concealed carry.

The handgun is lightweight and small yet strong enough to do the job, whether the job is target shooting, recreational shooting, or self-defense.

This article will help you find the best handgun. But, before diving into it, we will look at some of the things you should keep in mind.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

Things to Consider Before Buying a Handgun

Woman Practicing Firearm Safety Range
Image Source: freepik

You should consider several factors, including the gun’s size and weight.

Additionally, it should be easy to shoot. Because women’s hands are often smaller and have less upper body power, the handgun should be compact and lightweight.

The caliber of a handgun should be kept in mind.

The caliber of a handgun has a considerable influence on how light or heavy the gun’s perceived recoil is.

Because they create less recoil and are more pleasant to fire, the handgun for women should have a chamber for smaller ammo.

However, the intended purpose of a firearm should also be considered.

A self-defense pistol must be strong enough to defend the shooter while remaining compact enough to fire easily.

A pistol for concealed carry must be small and compact enough to be carried all day without tiring. A handgun used for competition shooting should have a responsive trigger and sufficient magazine capacity.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the best handgun.

1. Caliber

As we mentioned earlier, caliber is an important consideration that should be considered.

Most tiny handguns are chambered for .380 ACP or 9mm ammo. Both of these calibers have enough power to halt a danger while having a mild enough recoil to be manageable.

While 9mm pistols have more perceived recoil than .380 ACP handguns, this is generally offset by their greater size. 9mm ammo is also ideal for a more extensive range of applications, ranging from self-defense to competitive shooting, making it a very flexible caliber.

2. Recoil

A pistol with a low perceived recoil will be more pleasant to shoot without tiring out the shooter’s arm.

Hence, it is essential to consider recoil.

When required, less recoil enables more precise follow-up rounds. Additionally, weight and size also affect the recoil of a concealed-carry handgun.

Hence, small and light firearms with significant perceived recoil might exist.

Because perceived recoil varies from person to person, the best way to assess a handgun’s recoil is to shoot it yourself.

Consequently, before buying, women gun owners should check the handgun’s recoil at a shooting range.

3. Size

Size is a significant factor, especially when looking for concealed-carry handguns. Subcompact or ultra-compact versions are typically the best choices for daily concealed carry.

A tiny and compact handgun that can fit into a backpack or holster is essential.

However, if a shooter is looking for a personal protection weapon, she should choose a bigger handgun since larger handguns are frequently simpler to fire properly.

A handgun’s grip width is also important. A handgun’s grip width also influences how comfortable it is to handle, and a pistol that fits the shooter’s hand will have less perceived recoil.

4. Weight

Weight is always an important factor.

Handguns with higher recoil often have less recoil perceived. However, it might be more difficult to aim for shooters with weaker arms.

Weight influences how comfortable a concealed carry handgun is to carry during the day. It is important to look for a handgun with controllable recoil and pleasant shooting characteristics.

5. Magazine capacity

Magazine capacity is also an important factor when looking for the best handgun. A bigger magazine capacity may be desirable for competitive shooting.

Compact pistols with double-stack magazines are offered for increased capacity. A single-stack magazine will generally suffice for a self-defense firearm.

actor posing with prop gun studio
Image Source: freepik

It should come with best-in-class safety features. Different handguns have different safety features, such as protection against accidental shooting if the weapon is dropped.

Manual safety and a greater trigger pull weight can also increase a gun’s safety but make it more challenging to shoot.

Beginner shooters should look for firearms with suitable safety features and receive the necessary training to operate their firearms safely.

6. Reliability

You need a reliable handgun, especially for self-defense.

Choose a rifle with a good reputation for dependability and put it through its paces at a firing range using your ammo.

A dependable firearm should also be simple to operate, especially in high-stress circumstances.

7. Aesthetics

There should be no compromise on aesthetics.

While the operation and comfort of concealed carry handguns for women should be the primary focus, there are numerous alternatives for pistol colors and designs.

Many women tend to select firearms with textured or patterned grips to suit their preferences.

There are also several pistol attachments available for further customization.

The shooter’s tastes and requirements will determine the best handguns for women. Keep these considerations in mind.

Next, we’ve compiled a list of the best handguns for women that provide exceptional performance in a convenient size and caliber.

These weapons are also the best CCW for women. Most of these guns are striker-fired pistols, preferred for their reliability as a self-defense weapon.

Let’s start!

1. Sig Sauer P365: One of the best concealed carry handguns


The first entry on our list is the Sig Sauer P365. It is a necessity for every well-armed woman.

It is one of the best small guns for women that have taken the concealed carry world by storm. It is a single stack, semi-auto reliable pistol with a comfortable muzzle rise.

The Sig Sauer P365 has shaken up the concealed carry market like no other handgun in the past few years.

Sig Sauer appears to have done everything correctly and all at once. A 10-round magazine was standard, but a 12-round magazine was also available. There is now a 15-round magazine.

Sig Sauer P365 is a little heavier than the Glock, but it’s a lot smaller. It includes night sights as standard and is available with or without manual safety.

It’s easier to field-strip than a Glock or S&W with a takedown lever. The fire suppression system is easily detachable and thus easier to maintain for an armed woman.

The trigger pull is good, the reset is quick and positive, and the sights are large enough to be useful without being distracting.

In profile, it’s just slightly bigger than the LCP II, but it’s significantly heavier and blockier.

Nonetheless, the Sig Sauer P365 is the most compact of the firearms in its category. It appears to be small in comparison to the 43x.


  1. Exceptional magazine capacity
  2. Excellent accuracy and sights
  3. Smooth trigger pull.
  4. Good value for money, given its characteristics.
  5. Easily available in any gun shop


  1. Issues with striker drag
  2. Somewhat untrustworthy

2. Smith & Wesson Shield EZ: Affordable carry handguns for women

Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ Review

It is a major contender. From the first look, the Smith & Wesson Shield EZ is a winner when it comes to concealed carry handguns for women.

The Shield EZ is based on the outstanding M&P.22 Compact and is just as simple to use as the 22 version. And it is one of the best 380 pistols for ladies.

Shield EZ is chambered for the.380 ACP, like the Ruger LCP II, but it’s heavier, resulting in mild recoil—a significant bonus for nervous shooters. If you see 380 vs 9mm for females, then 380 is best. 

Except for the revolver, the trigger is light enough, and the grip safety makes it safer than any other pistol in this evaluation.

Its size makes it one of the excellent concealed carry handguns for women, especially for self-defense.

The magazine has a larger capacity than others (8+1), and it is the easiest to load. It comes with a button to compress the magazine spring and a fire control system.

While its size makes concealment more difficult, it also makes the Shield EZ exceedingly easy to fire effectively.

The three-dot sights, excellent trigger, and minimal recoil make it the clear victor in terms of ease of use.


  1. Reliable handgun
  2. Affordable self-defense gun
  3. Very good grip safety features
  4. Simple to use concealed carry weapon
  5. Ideal for an armed woman
  6. Because it is widely available in every gun store, it is simple to personalize with accessories


  1. Slide racking is difficult
  2. Trigger pull is rather strong
  3. Accuracy is hampered by a narrow front sight.\

3. Glock G43x: The most reliable concealed carry weapon

When it comes to the best handgun you cannot ignore the Glock. If you ask ten individuals who produce the greatest concealed carry handguns for women, at least four would reply Glock. 

Moreover, no one can deny the dependability and service that Glock pistols give. Glock is one of the best concealed carry handguns for women available in the concealed carry market.

The Glock G43X is a recent model, and with a magazine capacity of 10+1, it’s a significant upgrade over the standard G4.

It can hold four more rounds than the G43. Sure, it’s not as concealable, but the longer grip makes it simpler to shoot effectively.

It weighs 16.4 ounces, making it lighter than the S&W Shield, making it excellent for female shooters.

Additionally, it has at least two more rounds available, making it a perfect concealed carry weapon for self-defense.

The slider is simpler to work, the trigger is excellent, the sights are clear, and it’s a Glock.


  1. Easy to maintain and discover disassembly components
  2. Reliable pistol
  3. Comfortable and smooth trigger pull
  4. Excellent as a concealed carry weapon
  5. One of the best lightweight handguns for women
  6. Design is straightforward, with no unnecessary gadgetry or levers.


  1. The grip is minimal.
  2. There are no mounting options.
  3. Many women will find it difficult to pull the trigger.
  4. One-of-a-kind holster

4. Mossberg MC1sc

Mossberg MC1 SC

For its price and functionality, the Mossberg MC1sc is an excellent budget option.

It’s a single-stack, lightweight, polymer, concealed carry weapon with a sleek, dehorned design that allows for a snag-free quick draw.

Combine it with a good holster, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic self-defense handgun.

It sports a 7-round transparent magazine that allows you to examine the condition of the bullets. It also offers a comfortable grip.

It can even be excessively sticky for a concealed carry weapon. It’s a heavier gun than the Glock 43.

It weighs around 22 ounces fully loaded, but it’s quite steady and has excellent accuracy and aiming.

The trigger is a flat-profile easy-pull with a Mossberg-designed Safe Takedown System that prevents you from pulling the trigger during disassembly.

Despite being a rookie, the subcompact MC1sc 9mm doubles down on its tiny size and ergonomics, making it one of the most effective self-defense budget handguns for women.


  1. Clear magazines to make it easier to inspect the quality of the magazines.
  2. Corrosion-resistant polymer frame
  3. One-of-a-kind ‘safe’ takedown
  4. Comfortable trigger pull
  5. Light recoil
  6. Extremely reliable pistol for a women gun owner.
  7. Push-button magazine release
  8. Synthetic grip


  1. Magazine capacity is limited.
  2. Simple design and aesthetics.

5. Ruger LCP II

Ruger LCP II was a significant advance over the initial LCP. It has proved popular with customers looking for the smallest and lightest concealed carry handguns for women that are still effective.

While the 380 ACP chambering is regarded as the bare minimum for defensive ammunition, recent developments in defensive ammunition have brought little.380 up to par with the norm. 38 Special load utilized by police enforcement for many years.

With a weight of fewer than 11 ounces and tiny dimensions, the Ruger LCP II fits the requirements for concealability and is the lightest and smallest gun in the bunch.

Although it still has an internal hammer, the LCP II’s bladed trigger is light and accurate.

It has the sensation of a striker-fired trigger and is a significant improvement over the original LCP.

The magazine capacity is a decent 6+1, and it is simple to load. The slide moves smoothly and takes only a moderate amount of effort.

The views are sufficient and inconspicuous. It comes with or without manual safety.

Many women prefer the one without manual safety. Grip safety is a passive technology that does not need training for particular tasks under the stress of a lethal force occurrence.

The EZ is also unquestionably the easiest pistol in the bunch to field-strip and maintain.


  1. Firm grip
  2. Well-balanced and precise concealed carry handguns for women
  3. One of the lightest handguns for women
  4. Stainless steel frame
  5. Easy to Rack Slide


  1. Recoil is a little snappy.
  2. There aren’t many customizing possibilities.
  3. Short trigger pull

6. Smith & Wesson 340 PD

Smith & Wesson 340PD: The World's Lightest 357 Magnum!

The unquestioned monarch of light concealed carry guns was the airweight Smith & Wesson Model 37.

It has since been surpassed by the much lighter 340 and 360 PDs. Smith & Wesson 340 PD.

It is a striker-fired pistol and offers superior quality when compared to other handguns.

Smith & Wesson 340 PD is one of the small guns available in the market. It weighs less than 12 ounces, thanks to a lightweight tungsten alloy framework and titanium cylinder.

It is a remarkable achievement for a concealed carry gun, considering it’s chambered for the powerful .357 Magnum. It works as an excellent pocket pistol, primarily for self-defense.

While its small capacity and molasses-slow reload are disadvantages, it is light and robust, making it one of the safest and most reliable handguns for women.

The 340 PD in the test is safe because the long-stroke, 10-pound-plus trigger pull is nearly difficult to pull by accident.

It’s also the most straightforward gun to load and discharge in the bunch. The dependability is self-evident.

There’s no need to learn how to deal with malfunctions; simply squeeze the trigger again if you happen to get a bad round.

It’s more challenging to shoot appropriately than semi-automatics, but the high level of safety and simplicity are worthwhile trade-offs for some.


  1. .357 stopping power
  2. There is no slide-racking.
  3. Simple to clean.
  4. For a revolver, it’s small.
  5. Manageable recoil anticipation


  1. Reloading time is slow.
  2. Expensive

7. Smith & Wesson Shield

The Smith & Wesson Shield should not be overlooked when discussing concealed-carry guns, concealed-carry handguns for women, or otherwise.

It is a striker-fired pistol with low recoil making it excellent as a self-defense weapon. it is the best-concealed handgun with thumb safety.

According to what I’ve heard, the Shield accounts for about 20% of the concealed-carry handgun market.

That’s an incredible track record! It is one of the reasons that many women consider.

While it is an enhancement over the regular model, the Smith & Wesson Shield appears antiquated in light of the market’s latest improvements.

The trigger on the Performance Center version is better, and I’m guessing the porting helps.

Nonetheless, with the probable exception of the J-frame revolver, the Shield was the fastest of the seven firearms examined.

Cycling the slide and loading the magazine was also the most challenging. It weighs somewhat less than the Shield EZ and is a little more compact at 18.2 ounces, but it’s considerably more difficult to use.


  1. Great no-snag solution
  2. Simple to personalize
  3. More curved than a Glock
  4. Handling on both sides
  5. Manageable recoil
  6. Available in most gun stores
  7. Low recoil


  1. Trigger pull is long and crunchy
  2. Plastic is used to make the firing pin

Bottom Line

The main goal is to look at self-defense and home protection weapons.

A well-armed woman is seeking self-defense as a home defense weapon. If that’s the case, the best handguns for women should have low recoil, be lightweight, and be easy to conceal compared to other guns.

Compact handguns and subcompact pistols are available for self-defense and home defense.

Preferences vary based on hiding the weapon and how comfortable your palms are. Gun for women’s purses is also a good choice for women.

It takes some experience and habit, just like everything else, and a firearm you don’t like at first could become one of your favorite guns.

Keeping all of this in mind, the all-rounder Glock 43X is emerging as one of the best guns due to its good stopping power, low price, and dependability as a concealed carry weapon.

We also consider the lightweight Smith & Wesson Shield for its simplicity and buttery-smooth slide rack.

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Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Namrata123


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