I personally struggle with choosing handguns because I have small hands. Or, more accurately, I have tiny, childlike hands.
This makes finding a gun with a short enough trigger reach and a comfortable grip a pain.
If you can relate, then this is your lucky day!
I’m using my experience to recommend some small grip handguns and some companies with a good selection of aftermarket grips so that you can get a handgun that works with your hand size.
Please note that this list isn’t just for women, though women are more likely to experience the small handgun buying struggle.
Anyone with small hands — whether man, woman, or child — can appreciate the guns and grips discussed here.
But before we dive in, let’s talk about how you should be holding your handgun and what you should look for when selecting a handgun that suits your hands.
Summary of Our Top Picks
Table of Contents
Checking the Fit of a Handgun
Before we get to the recommendations, let’s start with some tips for making sure your handgun isn’t too big.
(If you aren’t familiar with handguns or just need a refresher, check out the “Handgun Grip” section of our Ultimate Guide to Shooting a Pistol Accurately to learn the basics.)
To start, when you hold a handgun, your trigger finger should have a shallow curve, and the pad at the end of your finger should rest on the trigger.
On a gun that’s too big, your finger will be straight along the side of the frame of the gun in order to reach the trigger.
Next, when holding your grip, your thumb and fingers should comfortably meet at the side of the grip.
Your thumb should rest along the top of your fingers.
Adjusting Your Grip When You Have Small Hands
Now, for a grip that’s just a little too big, you can slightly rotate your shooting hand toward the trigger.
You don’t want to rotate it so far that your thumb is in the way of the beavertail or posterior bulge, though. If you have to, then your gun is too large to work.
You also want to make sure that the rotation of your hand isn’t causing you to compromise the strength or comfort of your grip or hold your gun at an angle.
For small hands, a two-hand grip makes it much easier to control your gun, especially since smaller guns, which are usually easier for small hands to grip, tend to have more recoil.
Bring your non-shooting hand under your grip so its heel rests against the heel of your shooting hand while helping to support the gun.
However, relying on a two-hand grip is less than ideal for a defensive situation, where one of your hands may be injured.
For a defensive gun, it’s best to go with a gun that fits your hand well, but a two-hand grip is good enough for just killing time at the range.
Best Pistols for Small Hands
Now that you know how to make sure a gun fits your hand, as well as how to adjust your grip for larger guns, let’s move on to some gun recommendations.
One quick note before we get started, though.
Since small hands can have a harder time getting a firm grip, especially on full-size guns, less recoil means less need for adjusting your grip between shots.
With that said, these all come in other calibers, too, and if you prefer one of them, then more power to you.
I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life; just sharing my experience.
Best Handguns for Small Hands
1. Sig Sauer P365
First up is the Sig Sauer P365…
This micro-compact features a single-stack magazine for a slender grip. In fact, the P365 has an exceptionally slender profile in general. It’s just 1.1 inches wide.
Despite this, it’s still able to fit 12 rounds — 10-round versions are also available, though, for people in states with magazine limits.
The grip is also aggressively textured to help small hands keep a more secure hold. This 9mm pistol weighs just 17.8 ounces and is 6 inches long and 4.8 inches tall.
For a slightly larger version of the same gun, you could also go with the P365XL.
2. Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0
The M&P 2.0 doesn’t have completely replaceable grip modules, but it does come with four different sizes of grip inserts to help you customize your fit.
And if the smallest insert is still too big, you can actually use the gun without any insert at all.
The textured grip makes the pistol much easier to keep a secure grip on, even in small hands.
The M&P M2.0 is available in full-size and compact versions. Both are great, so just go with whichever feels better.
If you want something even smaller, you can try the similar but subcompact Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard.
What’s your take on the M&P 2.0? Give it a rating below!
3. Springfield 1911 Enhanced Micro-Pistol
Love a 1911 but feel like it’s too much gun for your hands? Then the Springfield 1911 EMP may be just what you’re looking for.
It’s one of the smallest 1911s currently on the market, with an action 1/8 inch shorter than the original 1911, a height of 5 inches, and a length of 6.6 inches.
It’s not short on any features, though. The 1911 EMP offers 3-dot tritium combat sights and a match-grade barrel.
And if the grip is still bigger than you’d like, there are plenty of compatible aftermarket grips to help you slim the grip down even more.
4. Ruger LCR
Some small-handed shooters may find revolvers to be unwieldy compared to pistols since they have more recoil, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid them altogether, especially if you prefer revolvers.
If you want to go that route, I recommend the Ruger LCR.
With a .357 Mag caliber, the LCR is available in a few different versions with different combinations of barrel lengths, finishes, and grips in a 6- or 7-round capacity.
I like the 4.2-inch barrel because I find it easier to balance, but I recommend handling the various sizes to see what works for you.
It also comes in a couple of different grip options. For my tiny hands, the cushioned rubber grips with a hardwood insert were a little big, but the Hogue Monogrip option was more manageable.
There are also plenty of aftermarket grip options to help you narrow it down even more. In fact, Ruger designed the grip frame specifically so that it would be compatible with a variety of aftermarket and custom grips.
There’s also a 10-round capacity, .22 LR, 5.5-inch barrel version that’s not a great option for self or home defense, but makes an excellent fun gun.
5. HK VP9 SK
The entire VP series is great, but for small hands, I particularly like the VP9 SK.
This 9mm compact pistol comes with three backstrap options, plus replaceable side panels. The grip is also contoured to help cut down on bulk.
This makes the double-stack magazine, which comes in 10-, 13-, and 15-round capacity options, easier for small hands to manage.
In addition, the HK VP9 SK has an extended slide lock, which is great for shorter thumbs.
For a similarly easy-to-handle-with-small-hands gun in full size, you can instead opt for the VP9 or VP40.
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
Want to learn more about the VP9? Check out our review here!
6. Walther PDP-F
Editor’s Addition: We’re adding the PDP F because we really like it!
The PDP F-Series is the next step in the PDP series, designed specifically for smaller-handed shooters.
All the great features of the original PDP are there, just with a reduced circumference grip and length of pull.
Chambered in 9mm, the PDP-F brings a modern pistol that is optics-ready to those with tinier mitts. It sports one of the best stock, striker-fired triggers on the market today to boot.
This gun’s aggressive grip texture pairs well with the relaxed finger grooves. This, in turn, allows the shooter to get an excellent grip on the pistol and that, my friends, helps mitigate recoil.
The PDP is one of the best striker-fired handguns on the market right now. The F stands out from other similar guns because it has an intentional design to fit smaller-handed shooters better.
We like when companies are purposeful with their designs, and Walther definitely hit that mark.
Want to see more? Check out our full video review and article on the Walther PDP-F.
Aftermarket Grip Solutions
Speaking of aftermarket options, maybe you already have a gun that you love, but it’s a bit too large for your hands.
Let’s talk about some options to make the gun work better for your hand size.
All three offer high-quality grips for a variety of guns and in a range of profiles. So, between them, you’re sure to find something (probably several somethings) that work for you.
A textured grip will make your handgun easier to grip. You can either get a textured grip or get a textured wrap that goes over the grip you have from a company like Gun Grip or Talon.
If your gun’s grip can’t be easily switched out or you can’t find a grip you like, you can also see about having the gun’s grip reduced by a gunsmith.
But be warned: a poorly done reduction can make your gun much less functional, so make sure you have it done by a gunsmith with an excellent reputation.
In addition, a grip reduction will void the gun’s warranty and can make it more difficult to sell later on. So I’d go with a grip reduction as a last resort.
Lucky Gunner has a great article on grip reductions if that is something you’re interested in.
If you’re really having a hard time with mass-market grips, try a custom grip first.
There are tons of companies that make them, as do many gunsmiths.
While switching out grips or finding a gun that is a more manageable size makes holding and shooting your handgun easier, they aren’t replacements for basic firearm skills.
Without solid fundamentals, you won’t be able to shoot comfortably, accurately, and safely no matter what gun you’re shooting with.
Trigger control, in particular, can be difficult when you have small hands, so be sure to make sure you’re at the top of your game.
What are your favorite guns for shooters with small hands? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to check out our general Best Handguns for Women.