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15 Best Handguns for Women [All Sizes & Calibers]

If you’re a lady in the world of guns or considering becoming one, you’ve probably wondered what firearms are best for women.

Unequivocally, women are capable of shooting the same guns as the boys. But there are certain models the some women tend to prefer.

Womens Brands AA and AIS
Is that a Sig in that pocket?

And that’s the topic of today’s chat. What are the best handguns for women?

Spoiler alert, they’re not all pink .22 LRs the gun shop would have you think. (But if Barbie pink is your jam, there’s always Cerakote…)

Cerakoted Glock
You can Cerakote to your heart’s content.

Before we list out our favorite recommendations, we’ll go over some things to consider when choosing a gun – stuff like handgun size and caliber.

And remember, as well-meaning as your boyfriend, husband, significant other is, you should always be the one to decide what handgun you buy. (And ideally, try one out at the range before purchasing.)

CCW Practice
YOU should be the one choosing your handgun, not your boyfriend.

Also worth mentioning that this is a list curated for the ladies by the ladies. Yep, the women of Pew Pew Tactical have had hands-on time with every gun on this list.

So, with that said, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

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Get a Grip…Handgun Grip That Is

Size matters…when it comes to fit of a handgun, that is.

Choosing a gun relies on much more than just what it looks like in the case. First, you need to take into consideration your body.

More importantly, your hand size and shape play a major factor in whether a gun feels comfortable when shooting.

Womens Brands AA and AIS
If you can’t get a good grip, you’re less likely to shoot the gun or carry it.

For instance, my palms are slightly smaller than the average males, BUT I have very long fingers.

So, a gun sporting wider grips across don’t work for me. That said, more girth front to back, I can work with.

Handgun Women Sig Sauer P238
Small palms, long fingers…that’s me.

A gun that is too big for your hands will require constant adjustment, while a gun that is too small can feel uncomfortable. So, you really want to evaluate your hands and match them with the right gun. 

So how do you do this?

By trying out various guns, of course!

Gripping Your Gun

When you pick up a handgun, the palm of your hand should have full contact with the backstrap.

More importantly, your wrist and arms should be aligned with the gun’s frame when in a firing grip. This helps manage recoil and improves control.

Handgun Grip Women Shadow Systems MR920
The palm should have full contact with the backstrap.

If you find yourself canting to one side or at an upward/downward angle, your firing grip is off. Most likely, you’re compensating for the gun.

To learn more about achieving a proper grip, check out our guide on How To Grip a Pistol.

Trigger Reach

Also, consider where your trigger finger falls.

You really want a consistent trigger press, and to achieve this, I try to center the pad of my trigger finger on the trigger.

Handgun Women Trigger MR920
The trigger is centered on the first pad of my trigger finger…not the joint.

This allows me to apply nice, even pressure and prevents any jerking to one side, throwing off shots.

So, as you’re testing out new guns, be aware of where your trigger falls.

If you find you can only get a fingernail on the trigger, the gun is too big for your hands. If the middle part of the trigger finger wraps around the trigger, the gun might be too small.

Like Goldilocks, we need it just right.

Goldilocks

To work on your technique, check out our tips here!

Controls

Finally, when gripping the gun, all controls should be within reach without any major adjustments to your grip.

I’m talking safety, decocker (if your gun has one), and mag release.

Make sure all controls are easy to access and use.

Shifting your grip to work any of these controls ultimately reduces your accuracy and speed.

Choosing the Right Caliber

Though, yes, some of us started on .22 LRs, that doesn’t mean that every woman automatically needs to start there.

If you feel comfortable with the idea of a .22 LR, rock on, sister! Just don’t feel beholden to that particular round.

.22LR Round
.22 LR Round

Same goes for .380 ACP.

9mm is not a terrible round to start on. It offers mild recoil, especially when paired with a full-size or mid-size gun.

Also, if that is the round you intend to carry later on, no time like the present to start training with it.

9mm 147 Federal Hydrashok HST
9mm 147 Federal Hydrashok HST

At the end of the day, decide where your comfort level lies. If .22 LR or .380 ACP seems less intimidating to start, go that route. No judgment.

If you want to start with something a little larger, like a 9mm or even a .45 ACP, that’s cool too.

My only word of warning: stay away from BIG calibers in small guns. .45 Long Colt out of a pocket pistol…take it from me, that takes some getting used to. 

45 Colt Ammo
These bad boys out of a pocket pistol…hard pass.

For a complete breakdown of calibers, check out our Caliber Guide.

Busting Gun Myths: Small Guns & Revolvers

I’ve been a gun owner for well over a decade now. It never fails that when I walk into certain gun stores, I am immediately ushered over to the teeny-tiny guns.

Unfortunately, this is a bad habit among some dealers and even well-meaning boyfriends.

Ruger LCR
Without fail, I get handed one of these.

Smaller does not mean more comfortable to shot. Even further, smaller guns with certain calibers are actually more difficult to shoot.

Pocket pistols tend to introduce far more muzzle rise than their full-size counterparts.

Straight up, I shoot a full size 1911 much better than I do a pocket pistol in 9mm.

MantisX on 1911
A heavier gun often mitigates recoil better than a tiny gun.

Doesn’t mean you can’t shoot pocket pistols, just be aware of that going in.

Also, some dealers like to force revolvers on women, touting them as “foolproof” and simple. While, yeah, revolvers feature fewer moving parts than semi-autos, a Glock is pretty simplistic and just as easy to learn.

The reality is any gun can fail at any time. Nothing is foolproof.

45 Colt Revolvers and Ammo
Yes, even these run afoul every once in awhile.

So, choose the gun that speaks to you and don’t feel pressured into one that’s “perfect for the ladies.”

Best Handguns for Women

Without further ado, let’s take a look at more than a dozen handguns our female staff know, love, and wholeheartedly recommend.

1. Glock 17/19/43X – 9mm

We gotta start with the biggest name in the polymer game – Glock. Honestly, we wrestled over which model to throw in here, so we decided to mention three of our faves.

Coming in with a full-size design, the Glock 17 was the OG.

Glock G17 Gen 4
Glock G17 Gen 4

It offers a proven system that has outfitted police units across the world.

Reliable and durable, The G17 also boasts a pretty simplistic design. Nothing fancy here, just the basics.

500
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Alternatively, the Glock 19 is recognized as one of the most popular concealed carry pistols of all time.

Almost identical to the G17, outside of some smaller dimensions, the G19 brings a bare-bones approach to CCW.

Glock G19 Gen 4
Glock G19 Gen 4

If you want a gun that just works, this is it.

However, both the G19 and G17 are double-stacked pistols, meaning they’re a little bigger around the grip.

570
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

So, if you need something a tad slimmer, check out the Glock 43X.

This single-stack brings a more compact look and feel but with the same reliability Glock is known for.

Glock G43X
Glock G43X

Glocks do not come with an external safety, instead opting for its SAFE action system – a trio of independently operating mechanical safeties.

The benefit to any Glock is that it comes with a large aftermarket, meaning you can fine-tune it to suit your wants and needs.

480
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

See more awesome Glock models here!

2. Sig Sauer P365 – 9mm

The Sig Sauer P365 revolutionized the concealed carry world, offering a double-stack design in a small, compact package.

This pistol brings various models to satisfy any concealed carrier. From red dot affixed variants to snag-proof to XL for a little more room – the P365 series has you covered.

Sig Sauer P365
Sig Sauer P365

It boasts decent ergonomics that we find work for a variety of hands. Not to mention, it has a crisp, clean-breaking trigger.

We like that you can pack 10+1, 12+1, or 15+1 rounds in such a concealable pistol. And the aftermarket options are pretty cool. (Check out some upgrades we’ve done in the past here.)

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrades
Tricker out Sig Sauer P365

All in all, the Sig Sauer P365 stands as the industry’s newest fave concealed carry pistol, and we can see why.

It perfectly blends concealment with capacity, making it a winner for CCW.

Most innovative CCW gun [2018]
499
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Go read our full review on the Sig Sauer P365 here.

3. HK VP9 – 9mm & .40 SW

Want to be one of the cool kids? Then you need an HK!

At least, that’s what internet memes tell me.

HK Meme

The HK VP9 offers a striker-fired pistol chambered in either 9mm or .40 SW.

It brings a magazine capacity of either 10-, 15, or 17-rounds.

Heckler & Koch VP9
Heckler & Koch VP9

There are a few variants on the VP9 lineup, including an optics-ready model – so throw on a red dot if you must.

I’ve shot the HK VP9 a few times, and ergonomically, I liked what it offered. It filled my hand without feeling too cumbersome.

Controls were easy to access and manipulate, and it shoots pretty flat.

The HK VP9 and SilencerCo Octane 9: coyote-killing win.
The HK VP9 and SilencerCo Octane work for hunting too.

My only complaint is that moving from a gun with a button-style mag release to the VP9 with a paddle release took some time to get accustomed to.

But if you’re starting out, you likely won’t have this issue.

Ready for more details on the VP9? See our review here.

4. CZ 75 P-01 – 9mm

CZ pistols have quite the cult following, and for good reason. These guns just work.

And out of the many models available, one of our favorites is the CZ P-01. In fact, our editor Allison said she could wax poetic on this model all day long.

CZ P01 with Sig Romeo 1 (2)
CZ P-01 with Sig Sauer Romeo 1

The CZ P-01 serves up a compact design chambered in 9mm. Though created for LE and military use, its smaller stature makes it a perfect 9mm for concealed carry.

Equipped with a decocker, this hammer-fired pistol sports an integral 1913 Picatinny rail for accessories and a 14+1 capacity.

Ask anyone with a CZ, these things are reliable and rugged, and the P-01 is no exception.

In fact, during U.S. Army testing, the P-01 suffered an average of 7 stoppages per 15,000 rounds! (Basically, meaning it boasts a failure rate of 0.05%.)

CZ P01 with Sig Romeo 1 (1)

Yes, CZ pistols can sometimes run a little pricier than your stock Glock, but trust us, they’re worth the extra coin.

730
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

We went hands-on with the CZ P-01, so check out our review!

5. Shadow Systems MR920 – 9mm

If you like the Glock but want something a tad more boujee…check out the Shadow Systems MR920.

This 9mm pistol adopts the basic polymer frame but jazzes it up a bit with an optics cut slide, tritium front sight, extended beavertail, and oversized mag release.

Shadow Systems MR920

Again, like a Glock, there’s no external safety, but the MR920 brings internal safety features that make for a solid pistol.

I personally love Shadow System’s pistols. (I carry the older, now discontinued MR918 as my EDC.)

They run clean right out of the box, shoot smooth, and that trigger…*chef’s kiss* is perfect. Downside is all the looks, and features do come at a price.

Shadow Systems MR920 and Glock G19
Shadow Systems MR920, left, and Glock G19, right.

At close to $1K, this is a pistol you really gotta be committed to buying.

That said, if you want an optics-ready pistol that can take on the most popular red dots on the market, go with the Shadow Systems MR920. You won’t be disappointed.

6. Ruger SR1911 — .45 ACP, 9mm, 10mm

We’d be remiss not to include a tried-and-true 1911 in our list.

While some naysayers might question women and 1911s, we say…well, it did win two World Wars, right?

All kidding aside, the 1911 is a fine platform for women and even beginners.

SR1911 Right
SR1911

With enough practice, you’ll be slinging lead like a pro.

Chambered in .45 ACP, 9mm, or 10mm, the Ruger SR1911 offers a single-stack platform with smooth shooting performance. It’s a full-size gun, but those extra measurements offer plenty of room to grip and control.

This hammer-fired gun does come with an external thumb safety and a bonus grip safety. You might initially find the grips too thick, but they easily swap out for slimmer grip panels.

The Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander in 9mm is a solid pistol that fits a variety of hand data-lazy-sizes.
The Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander in 9mm is a solid pistol that fits a variety of hand sizes.

And that brings us to why 1911s are so versatile for female shooters. Those swappable grip panels give you greater latitude to thicken up or slim down.  

While all models of the SR1911 work great, I love a classic .45 ACP 1911 model.

BEST BANG-FOR-THE-BUCK
850
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

7. Sig Sauer P226 Legion – 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 SW

Offering a little variety in the way of calibers, the Sig Sauer P226 Legion is a full-size semi-auto, double-action/single-action pistol.

What we dig about the P226 Legion are its sweet features. It offers a kickass trigger, contoured beavertail, aggressive front strap checkering, and an X-Five undercut on the trigger guard.

If you’re looking for a hammer-fired pistol and/or a double-action/single-action, check out the SIG P226 Legion. It’s an awesomely precise gun.
If you’re looking for a hammer-fired pistol and/or a double-action/single-action, check out the Sig P226 Legion.

Oh, and it also sports a decocker. The decocker and slide catch lever – Sig’s words, not ours – bring a low-profile design that reduces snagging while carrying.

And yeah, we’ll admit, the P226 is mighty large. Maybe too large for concealed carry on some body types. But under a winter coat or during open carry, it does the trick.

Playing card drill, anyone? The SIG P226 Legion produced this beautiful ten-round playing card drill the first magazine through the gun.
Playing card drill, anyone?

We also like the fact that you can go with 9mm or shake things up and get a .357 Sig or .40 S&W model. (Though those calibers tend to stray a bit northwards price-wise.)

All in all, if you want the safety features of a 1911 without an actual 1911, then the Sig Sauer Legion P226 delivers a nice compromise.

P226 Perfected
1200
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

To read more on the Sig Sauer P226, check out our review here!

8. Ruger LCP II — .22 LR & .380 ACP

An easy peasy pistol, the Ruger LCP II brings a pocket pistol approach to the .380 ACP or .22 LR platform.

Perfect for deep concealment or as a backup gun, the LCP delivers a compact build ready to slip in an ankle or thigh holster.

Sinterfire .380 ACP 75 grain HP Frangibles and a Ruger LCP II. If you like .380 ACP you really should check out Sinterfire’s frangibles
Ruger LCP II

Also, the LCP II ships in a few different colors/patterns, so there’s more wiggle room in terms of getting a certain look to your gun.

Admittedly, it feels a little snappy while shooting but still offers a relatively decent shooting experience.

Ruger LCP II

Retailing for under $350, we like the LCP II from an affordability standpoint.

If you need an entry-level CCW or backup gun or prefer the .22 LR or .380 ACP round, the LCP II is a great option.

300
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

For more on this pistol, see our review here.

9. Sig Sauer P238 – .380 ACP

The Sig Sauer P238 is one of my favorite micro-compact handguns.

It is my go-to in a dress or skirt where I’m using a non-traditional holster set-up like a belly band or thigh holster.

Womens Concealed Thigh Holster
The Sig in a thigh holster. See more holster methods in the Best Way to Concealed Carry for Women.

This Sig comes chambered in .380 ACP, so it can easily work as a backup gun, too, if you like to double up.

Its lightweight hammer-fired design is easy to carry and use. And it sports an external safety, so if that’s a must-have on your carry gun, you’re covered.

Handgun Grip Women Sig Sauer P238
Sig Sauer P238

On the range, this gun brings a smooth shooting experience and is a great little plinker.

If you want the look and feel of the P238, but in a slightly large caliber. Take a look at the Sig Sauer P938. It’s very similar but boasts a 9mm chambering.

Best Looking .380
629
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

What do you think of the Sig Sauer P238? Rate it below!

Readers' Ratings

4.89/5 (1294)

Your Rating?

10. Smith & Wesson Shield – 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, & .380 ACP

The Smith & Wesson Shield is my go-to when a Glock 19 or Shadow Systems just won’t do. Slim and trim, this gun tucks nicely into a belly band or works alongside tighter CCW outfits.

Controls are easy to reach and use, which is great! No fumbling required.

Handgun Women SW Shield 9
S&W Shield 9

The single-stack design limits capacity to 7+1 or 8+1 depending on caliber, so you might want to stock up on spare magazines. 

It’s fairly lightweight and compact, but the tradeoff is a little snap while shooting. It’s not terrible — definitely controllable — but something to be mindful of.

Womens Concealed Carry IWB
Smith & Wesson Shield in an IWB holster.

I also like that you have some options in terms of models. There’s the standard Shield that comes in 9mm or .40 S&W and is your bare-bones model.

The Shield M2.0 adds .45 ACP into the mix as a potential caliber. It also comes in an optics-ready variant.

If you struggle with arthritis or hand strength issues due to injury, the Shield EZ is a great option! It features an easy to rack slide and a grip safety.

S&W M&P Shield EZ .380
S&W M&P Shield EZ .380

There’s a lot of choices, and we like when a company brings some options to its lineup.

Great Value (Sub-Compact)
350
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Read up on the Shield M2.0 with our review here!

11. Walther P22 Q — .22 LR

Ok, so the Walther P22 holds a bit of sentimental value to me. It was my very first pistol.

Walther P22 Side
Walther P22 Side

This .22 LR accompanied me to early classes and range days as I got my feet wet in the world of guns.

Eventually, I sold her for a Springfield Armory XD in 9mm, and yeah, totally regret that.

Huge Tiny Mistake

What really appealed to me and still does, if I’m honest, is the ergonomics. The Walther feels really good in the hand.

It works as a nice little training pistol. Assuming you can find ammo, you can spend all day at the range plinking with this little guy.

Walther P22 and ammo
Plink all day!

I also like that it offers some ambidextrous controls like an ambi mag release and slide safety. And for those that prefer an external safety, it’s got one of those too.

Whether you want a .22 plinker, trainer, or something to start with, the P22 is a solid choice.

300
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Ready to read more? Check out our review of the Walther P22 here.

12. Ruger GP100 — .357 Mag, .22 LR, .44 SPL, and 10mm

Repping the revolver brand, the Ruger GP100 offers up a double-action wheelgun with a variety of models.

Available in models with 5-shot, 6-shot- or 7-shot capacity, there are many variants to choose from. Again, we appreciate brands that spice things up with multiple offerings.  

Ruger GP-100
Ruger GP-100

The base model uses a steel frame paired with a Hogue grip. It also offers a triple-locking cylinder which lends itself to dependability.

We love that disassembly requires no special tools, and cleaning proves pretty easy to accomplish. I don’t like cursing and crying while disassembling my guns, and neither do you, so thank you, Ruger!

thanks

I find the grip frame on the GP100 to be fairly comfortable to grip, and it seems to work well for various hand sizes. 

Honestly, every time I have an opportunity to shoot the GP100, I wonder why I don’t already own one. It’s a nice and reliable revolver!

Best Medium Frame Revolver
799
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

See our full review here!

13. Smith & Wesson 642 — .38 SPL

The Smith & Wesson 642 is one of those models that you either love or hate. Some people find it uncomfortable to shoot, while others, like me, think it fits the hand pretty darn well.

Regardless, the 642 is a decent little snubbie for when you want something lightweight and concealable.

Smith and Wesson 642 (5)
S&W Model 642

Chambered in .38 SPL, the 642 boasts a stainless-steel frame paired with a synthetic grip. What it has going for it is that it can handle +P loads.

So, if you want a little extra oomph, this wheelgun can handle it. Loading with +P rounds, though, might make your wrist a little sore.

Smith and Wesson 642 (3)
The cylinder release of the Smith and Wesson Model 642 Airweight is textured to improve use.

While I don’t recommend plinking at the range with this one – gotta watch out for that snappy recoil on this snub-nosed revolver – it would work well as a backup gun or if you just prefer to carry a revolver.

Best Bang-For-Buck CCW Revolver

Want to know more? See our review here!

14. FN 509 Compact – 9mm

Rounding out our list is a newer pistol by way of FN – the 509 Compact.

This 9mm pistol offers either 12+1 or 15+1 capacity and, if you opt for the MRD version, you get a slide ready to accept optics.

FN 509 Compact
FN 509 Compact

I like when things are easy and ready to go out of the box, so I appreciate FN providing a gun ready to toss a red dot onto.

Optics aside, the FN 509 is a solid performer. It shoots smoothly, handles well, and conceals flawlessly. Controls are easy to reach and manipulate.

FN 509 Compact

Straight up, it just feels and looks nice.

If you’re looking for a decent carry gun that isn’t a Glock, I would highly suggest the FN 509 Compact.

599
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Conclusion

Finding the right gun is a lot like finding the right bra – you have to try a few before you land on the one that fits just right.

Womens Concealed Bra Holster
Some days you’re testing bras…some days you’re testing guns…and some days you’re doing both.

Our suggestion? Find a local range that rents guns and test some out. You’ll quickly figure out what works and what doesn’t. 

While this list is not exhaustive, and there are plenty of other suitable guns for the ladies, we hope we’ve given you a starting point in your pistol purchasing journey. 

Variety of Handguns
Variety of Handguns

Ladies, what’s your go-to handgun? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you’re looking for tips on CCW, check out the Best Way to Concealed Carry for Women or head to our Women’s Category to see all our female-centric articles.

*Article Updated on May 5, 2021, at 2:30 pm PT

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108 Leave a Reply

  • Budman

    Somebody with access to multiple handguns needs to do an article on the amount of strength needed to work the slide of some of these semi autos. In my wife’s case the only one she could handle was the S&W 9EZ.
    Problem is, due to her small stature she finds it hard to carry concealed.
    Would love to find something smaller, even in 380 that she could handle.

    May 7, 2021 2:26 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      S&W makes a 380 EZ that is very easy to work the slide and slightly smaller than the 9mm. You might try to find that in stock somewhere she can give it a try.

      May 7, 2021 2:36 pm
    • Jacki Billings

      I find the issue usually doesn’t fall on the gun but rather the technique. If she’s just pulling the slide while keeping the gun in place, that makes it harder. But if she’s pushing the frame forward while she pulls the slide, that’s easier. Also using a full hand over the slide instead of two or three fingers also helps. :)

      May 8, 2021 9:33 am
    • Jacki Billings

      I also should add, I’m 5’2” and 100lbs. Very petite in stature. I’ve shot every one of these guns and racked the slide with no issues on every gun listed here.

      May 8, 2021 9:37 am
  • LORRAINE

    I have been carrying the Springfield XDS 3.3 in 9mm for 3 years now and I love it. Single stack, 9+1 rounds and goes bang every time! I have average size hands and the grip is textured nicely. Recoil is definately manageable.

    May 7, 2021 6:58 am
  • Greg Edwards

    I didn't see a review of the Torus 2C

    May 4, 2021 8:22 pm
    • Jacki Billings

      Hi Greg, you can find a review of the Taurus 2C here: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/taurus-g2c-review/

      May 5, 2021 6:56 am
  • Tommy

    I live in California and tried to have my daughter who is of average size, try my Gen 3 Glock 19. She could not get a proper fit on the gun. We went to a high end gun range and she was taught by a professional and tried many different firearms. She ended up liking the Beretta PX4. Interchangeable grips made it fit her hands comfortably and the rotation of the action reduced recoil. Rock solid company, adjustable grips for smaller hands, reduced recoil.

    March 23, 2021 9:22 pm
    • Nilsigne

      I also bought the px4 as my first gun. Very comfortable to shoot though the first trigger pull is kinda hard because the double/single action

      May 6, 2021 6:01 am
  • Matthew Mcdurfee

    Objectivity vs personal bias is important for a writer. Never base judgement on what "You prefer" over a know winner for most woman. The S&W EZ is a 100 percent better choice than a full size 1911 in 45 ACP, or even most CZ's due to the very strong slide spring. Also a .38? Maybe with a longer barrel (not 2 inch). That double action squeeze on a revolver can cause serious accuracy issues for a new shooter.

    March 8, 2021 1:00 pm
    • Jacki Billings

      For some women the Shield works. For others it doesn’t. We feel this is a pretty good list to get our fellow ladies started. But of course we encourage every women to try as many guns as she can before buying!

      May 8, 2021 9:38 am
  • Heather Evans-Dorn

    I have a large male population that knows their “guns.” My ex husband’s father was a marine and firefighter. He ”tried” and IMO flailed to teach his son (my ex) about everything you just wrote about. He has a .357 and they bam let me shoot it without any better judgement or a crash course training. They didn’t even give me ear plugs that I didn’t know they had in. I shot it at a “beer can” from about a half acre distance and I actually hit it...but couldn’t hear for 10 minutes and was PISSED. Ever since then I’ve hated the .357 and learned the hard way that it was (trigger happy) and very easy to accidentally shoot it trying to put the safety on, as it was off (and husband was out of town for three months) and we have two young daughters. I almost short myself in the head. The bullet went through our front wooden door and I never found the shell bc for some reason it stays in the chamber. Is that even legal??

    Anyway I threw a fit and made his dad come from out of state to loan me his .22LR smith and Wesson SA. I LOVED IT. During an open house I came home to find 2 ppl stealing from us as the realtor left doors unlocked. I was able to sneak by and grab the .22, “cock” it and aim with without any hesitation...and wasn’t backing down as my girls were in the car still. Unfortunately for me, I let them leave and was not even able to get a vehicle tag number or anything. I feared badly they would come back for revenge until we moved.

    Then I started going to REAL gun ranges and learning how to look at, learn about, chose, handle, and fire at the range. The staff there were all ex police and military. They had super confidence in me (also was watched by video) the first time he taught me what to do, I did it and never looked back. He only had the target half way down the shooting alley- and it was WAY too easy. He pushed the target all the way back it could go. The range was crowed at the time. I had the very first lane closer to the staff and by the concrete wall.

    It was still too easy. I was so darn accurate with the .22 that I fell in love with it. And kept buying more ammo and more targets bc mine was “murdered.” He asked me if I was fibbing that I didn’t have any training before. It was proven when I accidentally pointed the gun (not down) and at my head while loaded. He was convinced after that!

    But everyone was starring at me after a while. As I was shooting non stop so accurately that one staff member said that “I seriously lost my calling as a sharp shooter or sniper.” He said the only criticism he could give was that i didn’t know about a breathing technique where I guess you hold your breath while shooting for better accuracy?

    I only want to protect myself. And my girls as well are alone a lot. The best way to keep my family safe is through education with my 9 and 12 year old daughters and I refuse to keep my gun in a safe at night time while sleeping. I fear someone getting to me or getting the gun before I do! I used to have nightmares about it.

    I don’t care about personal things. Take all you want. I won’t even shoot. But come at MY DAUGHTERS or ME and I know I won’t stop shooting until I’m out of bullets. I fear being targeted and need to find a range again and practice since moving again.

    Anyway- I worry about magazines jamming and having no time to (idk what you call it) when you pull the .22LR SA shaft to shoot?

    I want a firearm that I can grab the fastest and actually shoot the fastest. Of course with accuracy and not a lot of kickback. And enough bullets to shoot to kill if need be in an emergency situation, God forbid. I wish there was a revolver that you didn’t have to pull the hammer back every time to fire- is their one? I think, again that would led to technical difficulties with the firearm itself malfunctioning if its not manual. But the time it would take to pull the hammer really fast is not good. But those magazines if not loaded just right can malfunction.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    January 25, 2021 11:31 pm
    • Konstantinos Frangoudakis

      Ma’am , if what you have is a Smith&Wesson revolver then, it should actually be a DA( Double action revolver ) which means you should be able to just pull the trigger and it cock the hammer and fire the gun , the trigger pull will be heavier and longer but it should still fire . Make sure to unload the fire- arm and Practice dry firing it. Also if you are currently looking for a stronger round and an easier gun shoot you could look into either the Smith and Wesson .380EZ or the 9mm Ez semi automatic pistol they are meant to be lighter recoiling and easier to manipulate for people . I actually bought one for my fiancé so that she could run a gun that she could cock and load her self easier . While still having decent energy .

      March 16, 2021 5:54 am
  • Hope Williams

    I wish you would do the best ccw holsters for women! Please.

    January 20, 2021 12:25 am
    • Jacki Billings

      Hey Hope! We have some suggestions here: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/best-way-conceal-carry-women/

      May 8, 2021 9:36 am
  • Jon

    How about some good CCW’s for women? My wife would prefer not to go around with a cannon dangling from her hip. Also, what are some of the more easy-to-rack ccw’s?

    January 1, 2021 6:28 pm
    • Jacki Billings

      Some of these make good CCW options. The Shield, Sig Sauer P238, Glock 19 and 43 all make decent CCW options. Slide racking for most women is less about the gun and more about technique. We have an article about that here: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/how-to-rack-pistol-slide-weak-hands/

      May 8, 2021 9:48 am
  • Jacek

    I want to buy a gun for my wife but she wants it to be pink, does anyone know where it can be bought or does it have to be customized? Also, if anyone can recommend me, where can I do it? I would appreciate it.

    October 31, 2020 6:56 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      I believe some models from SCCY come in pink from the factory, however, I haven't heard much positive feedback about their quality. I would strongly recommend that she picks a gun based on what works and feels best to her and then send it for Cerakoting in whatever color she desires. Cerakote is reasonably priced, a great finish, and starting with a gun she actually enjoys shooting will improve the experience significantly.

      November 1, 2020 4:05 am
  • Robert Fitzhugh

    Amazed that the H&K Vp9 wasn't included. It is striker fired with 20+ different grip combinations, great sights and trigger with H&K reliability. Glocks have nothing over the Vp9.

    October 18, 2020 4:55 pm
    • Matthew Mcdurfee

      No glock does not, but need to focus away from what you like and what is appropriate for a beginner or woman. So, the S&W EZ is the best beginner womans semi. Easy rack, reduced recoil, easy to load magazine. Simple. Too many guys jump straight to full size guns and scare woman off from shooting, thinking it is funny to watch them jump.

      March 8, 2021 1:00 pm
    • Jacki Billings

      We updated the article with the VP9!

      May 8, 2021 9:52 am
  • JJ

    Uhhh... the PPQ is ugly, but Glocks all over the place? The PPQ is the best gun on this list, looks and all!

    October 7, 2020 7:28 pm
  • Rachel

    Hi! Any recommendations for a lefty gal?

    September 30, 2020 10:14 am
  • Frank

    I don’t agree with all the guns you picked for women. These guns require hand strength to rack the pistol. Most older women do not have the strength in their hands to pull the slide back. So now what , I guess the only gun left is the good old wheel pistol.

    Do you agree or have any other suggestions?

    September 5, 2020 10:02 am
    • Don

      I agree. Took my wife to a gun show only to find out she could not rack any maker's slide. Caliber didn't matter. I was disappointed as was she. Ended up buying an inexpensive Rock Island .38spl snubby.

      All those tv shows showing all them buttered up slides just makes me laugh.

      September 21, 2020 12:08 pm
    • Kathryn

      I tried the Shield EZ and it was indeed easier to rack than all of the similar pistols on the list.

      October 22, 2020 8:32 am
    • Samuel

      One technique I have heard about was to "push forward" with the trigger hand holding the grip of the firearm instead of trying to pull back the slide. This still requires a good grip on the slide, but it does not require strong biceps in tandem.
      Not mentioned in this article, but in my experience:
      The Walther PPS M1 in 9MM and KelTec P3AT in .380ACP may be easier to rack this way. The Kahr PM9 has quite a stiff slide spring with either technique.

      October 26, 2020 7:46 pm
    • Jacki Billings

      It’s less about the gun, and more about proper technique. I’m a petite woman and can rack every one of these guns. Check out our article on how to properly track a slide: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/how-to-rack-pistol-slide-weak-hands/

      May 8, 2021 9:53 am
  • Penny Mitchell

    Thank you
    Great info for women new to gun ownership

    August 25, 2020 8:57 am
  • Doug Hoyle

    I just purchased a handgun for my wife, or I should say that I assisted her in the purchace. I was fairly set on a revolver, but after discussing things my wife, who is generally averse to learning mechanical things, decide she would like to learn on a semi. I was hesitant to go as small as a 380, so we just sort of settled on 9mm. The top of my list was the G43, and somewhere near the top was the Sig 365. If I am completely honest, I wanted the little Sig for myself.

    When push came to shove, there was very little available on the shelves. One that I had seen on a number of visits was a little Kimber EVO SP. Apparently the price was scaring people away because it was left on the shelf while everything else was flying off as quick as it hit the door. I started reading and watching reviews, and I never found a bad review on the little pistol. People who were clearly averse to Kimber were still saying great things about the gun, and nobody had anything negative to say that went beyond cosmetics and aesthetics.

    I went ahead and took a chance, and the next day we took it to the range. It ran flawlessly, and everyone who shot it came away impressed with both how compact it was, and how good the trigger was compared to other striker fired pistols. It comes with three sets of grip panels and a larger backstrap so I fit it to my wifes hand. She ran the first magazine thru it, and I asked her if she would like to try a different thickness grip on it, but she was happy with it with the thinnest panels. I have to say, that I prefer the thickest, as I feel like I never quite have a good hold on it, but it never really gets away from me either. it just doesn't fall readily into a steady grip.

    All in all, I am happy with the purchase. I would like to have spent less, but then I look at the total package, including Tru-glo sights, extra grips etc, and it doesn't seem quite as expensive. It is exquisitely shaped and melted, and disappears in a trouser or jacket pocket, much the way an old Walther 380 would.

    If there is anything I don't like, or at least anything worth mentioning, I haven't found it yet.

    August 1, 2020 10:54 am
  • Kritter

    I was reading an article on best carry pistols which led me to this well written article. I grew up shooting with my father plus spent twenty years in the U.S. Coast Guard with several years doing law enforcement so I was comfortable many different kinds of pistols. When my husband and I got into shooting again, I gravitated towards 1911 styles guns while my husband loves Glock. I can shoot the Glock well, but don’t like the rake angle of the Glock - when I bring the gun up, the Glock angle/sight picture isn’t natural for me.
    My hands are very small, so when I looked for a carry gun, I was tending towards the P238/Colt/Kimber micro since they are mini-1911 style guns and I can reach the slide release with my thumb (my hand has to rotate to reach it with larger guns). I settled on the Kimber micro 380. It just fit me best.
    I really like many of the comments below - especially about how you need to shoot and test different guns to see what feels right. My husband and I have seen repeatedly where the husband/significant other picks the gun and it doesn’t work for the woman. With the recent uptick in crimes, many women are looking for something to defend themselves with. Like mentioned below in several comments, we have found starting new shooters off with a .22 works well and work them up to higher calibers but also anyone who carries a gun must have the correct mindset to be able to shoot it if needed. If were a beginner, the kick of the small barreled gun like the Kimber micro 380 would probably be difficult to get used to. Finally, practicing often is extremely important. Dry firing can only get you so far in terms of skill.

    July 19, 2020 1:52 pm
    • Teresa Simmons

      Appreciate all you have done for our Country!! Thank you! And thanks for your review - I’m just getting started but committed to becoming my own “badass”!

      August 3, 2020 4:27 pm
  • mm

    A little Glock biased.

    July 15, 2020 6:58 pm
  • ron riley

    I'm a former NRA Instructor of 25 years: Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, Personal Protection, & Home firearms Responsibility. Also Shot small bore (22LR) Rifle competition up to and including NRA National matches for 7 years. BOTH my son & daughter shot small bore rifle competition for 6 years at our gun club & Through College. On A partial & Full 4 year college scholarship. Women & young girls are THE BEST Top Level shooters in the world. Note: The FIRST GOLD MEDAL WON BY THE USA at the 1996 Olympics was by a SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL, shooting Shotgun. 1. Learn to shoot a .22LR RIFLE FIRST. Less scary, Less Recoil, More Accurate then a pistol. Easier to control, & be more accurate (hence, More Fun) If you can, shoot indoors where you don't need to deal with bright sun, wind, rain, snow, Heat or Cold. Unless someone giving advice at a range, can shoot Very well, take their advice with a grain of salt (UNLESS IT'S ABOUT RANGE OR GUN SAFETY--Then PAY ATTENTION. If possible have someone that already knows how to shoot come to the range with you, to watch & correct anything you might do wrong, and Answer any questions you might have, When you don't understand ANYTHING, ASK, the ONLY STUPID QUESTION IS ONE NOT ASKED. No One is Born Knowing. Once your really comfortable, try a .22LR caliber Pistol With a LONG barrel. Typically, the longer the barrel, the more accurate the gun, AND Less recoil. I have a Browning Buckmark Hunter pistol with a 7-1/4 inch barrel. My wife who goes to the range & shoots every time, I do. Liked my pistol so much, I had to get her the exact same thing. When you've had all the fun you want at this point, Look into the Smith & Wesson EZ model pistol in either 380 auto (the smaller less recoil version) or 9mm version. The EZ S&W has a REALLY EASY to Work Slide (needed to do, that to load), a decent trigger pull. Easy to Load magazines, and fairly accurate. Sells for List $400, I've seen it for sale on the internet for about $300. ANYONE that was weak hands, wrists, fingers, etc due to RA or age or disease, accident, etc. REALLY NEEDS to check out the S&W EZ 380 auto. If they need or want a gun for protection. You can get fairly cheap Ear muffs (protection) at Harbor Freight. Also you'll want to wear Safety glasses, to protect your eyes, especially when just learning. Tractor Supply has the cheapest gun safes. Greta Quality, just a better price then gun shops. Hint Buy a Larger safe (more guns capability) then your think you will ever need. (like a garage, they have a tendency to fill up fast. Jewelry, paperwork, ammo, guns, etc.) Side issue the gun club my kids shot at, had a JR. Olympic Rifle Team, that was always one of the best (within top 4) in the state of PA. Depending on the kids level of responsibility, we had kids Start to shoot, at 10 years old, Typical, most kids started at 12 or 13 years old. BEFORE THE KIDS COULD JOIN THE TEAM, "Come to practice", they HAD TO COMPLETE AN NRA RIFLE TRAINING COURSE. which was held at the club a couple of times a year. NRA gun courses are 80 percent GUN SAFETY. There are Different safety rules for Gun Handling, Home Storage, Range Rules, and Hunting Rules. Depending what your needs are, you need to find a NRA safety course. Most gun clubs has listings of clubs in each state where you there are courses available.

    June 23, 2020 6:16 pm
  • Laura Sandoval

    I am completely terrified of guns. I’ve had my FOID for almost 2 years, I’ve only been to the range once & that was for a first timers class. I paid $100 for my sister, my 21 yo daughter & I to attend, and sadly neither me nor my sister were able to complete the session. Now my daughter on the other hand, she shot them guns as if she were a pro! I had to walk out because I was so uncomfortable! However, I need to get over this fear.
    I know in your article you stated if there is obviously a tremendous amount of fear, start small. I’m sure I already know the answer, but is this what you would recommend for me?
    I also have 2 other daughters, a bit younger- ages 17 & 14 that I will eventually want to have in the range, if they are comfortable of course. If & when that happens, should they start small as well, or should I just allow them to decide what they’re comfortable with?
    Also! Could you possibly recommend any gun safe or cabinet?
    Thank you so much!

    June 5, 2020 3:11 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      Hello! I would highly recommend starting small and having fun. Getting a cheap .22 LR Plinker like a Ruger Wrangler is a great way of getting started for adults and kids. Plus, it's single-action so it's very safe to use and take your time with.

      June 5, 2020 11:54 pm
  • Robert Thomas

    How do you mean go to the range? They don’t let you shoot new guns.

    April 16, 2020 7:40 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      Lots of ranges have guns for rent!

      April 16, 2020 8:07 pm
    • Connie

      Many ranges have guns available to rent and try.

      June 5, 2020 6:12 am
  • Mike H

    What do you mean the PPQ is ugly? Aesthetically it’s miles ahead of any Glock.

    April 4, 2020 12:54 pm
  • Sig_Sour_P229

    My sister likes the 1911 platform. She has a Kimber.

    March 31, 2020 12:49 pm
  • momma wolf

    love how this was written. this was very helpful, and I'm glad they weren't all pink. ;)
    thanks!

    March 29, 2020 6:58 pm
  • GJ

    I have a question, my son thinks I should have a revolver instead of a glock that I favored as my first time owner of a gun. He says the glock springs, etc for loading clips is complicated and you need strong hands to load them. What do you say to a first time woman buyer and my hands are not small...but it is true I don’t have as much strength as I did when younger?

    March 18, 2020 4:50 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      Hello! The complexity won't be an issue, once you get used to it there isn't much to it. But it does take some hand strength. If you're not sure if you can do it, I would highly recommend heading to a gun range that rents Glocks and testing it out first hand.

      Revolvers aren't bad, but there is a number of advantages that a semi auto has that make them, in our opinion, the best option if you can use them.

      March 18, 2020 6:24 pm
    • Mr. D

      My first gun was a Ruger GP100 stainless steel with a 4 inch barrel. I loaded it with plus p 38 special, 110gr 357 mag, and 125 357 mag ammo and all I can say is I pity the fool standing in my sights.

      March 22, 2020 3:20 pm
  • K Holland

    My wife purchased the Springfield Hellcat and having multiple FTF with hollow point ammo. Springfield Service is terrible so far. Anyone else having this issue?

    March 12, 2020 11:46 am
  • Sim

    Glock 17 and 226 is a man gun

    March 8, 2020 3:38 pm
    • Francis

      ? 2 of my daughters love my sig p226 legion

      July 23, 2020 9:47 pm
      • francis

        I have 3 daughters the middle daughter has never been to the range with me. my oldest has gone 3 times and my youngest goes with me often. my youngest has a S+W MP 9 compact, and is currently looking to buy a 226 legion, they are hard to find right now. my oldest just got her CHL and hasnt picked a EDC yet

        September 1, 2020 11:54 pm
  • Eddie. C

    Purchased my wife the S&W .380 EZ Performance Center in all black. She absolutely loves the gun, shoots it very well and as a new shooter I see her confidence grow every time we go to the range. Smith & Wesson hit a Home-run with this one and now the 9mm version and has gained a fan from my wife.

    March 2, 2020 11:37 am
  • Dave

    Can anyone tell me what holster is used in the photo with the Ruger 1911?

    February 19, 2020 2:26 am
  • Bart Simson

    Lots of opinions...suspiciously influenced by what the bandwagon people tout.
    For example, dealers seem to recommend what they get the highest margin on.... and then when the ads from mfrs sell a bunch Of weapons to a single buyer... police for instance.... they recommend their duty pistol and dealers report the model as most asked for.... hence the best.
    It’s like tell a story often enough..., story is repeated.... and then it’s true.
    Application is often very different for each person. Then there is the wannabes who want to appear technicool... black, painted finishes, “ PLASTIC“ finishes.
    Conveniently it all fits in with what is best for mfrs and dealers.... hmmmm smell a rat?
    So what’s popular with the majority.... reviewed by bloggers who have their own peculiar tastes..... determine what’s best. Whaattt???

    I have my own tastes ... surprise!!! I admit mine is the taste of a 65 yr old. Am I an old fogey or.... do I have an opinion of importance.... because I’ve seen the tricks pulled over a lifetime. I see... the “ Emperors New Clothes” Story over and over again.

    My leanings personally are towards the finest materials, fit and finish, with the safest features and beauty. I’ve owned dozens of firearms from several niches.... that I’ve wanted for years.... before buying. I prefer to try things out.... things that appeal to my tastes.
    I keep what I buy generally.
    My prizes look as new as the days purchased and barrels are not shot out.
    These guns will hopefully last generations.
    I notice that most people who have something neg to say.... certainly write their negative reviews. Negatives.... “often”, not always... point to what they think a weapon should have, or a personal disaster.
    I don’t trust any of these personal reviews.
    Vids by guys in Cammo, from mfrs, dealers.... or heavily pushing opinions that may just be to brag or justify what was really a mistake.... are avoided.
    If you want to know about reliability.... ask a gun repairman... who gets no gain from promotion or sales.
    In life... professionally, I used this technique on equipment purchase committees.... to represent the technical concerns of very expensive computer driven equipment that my employees were going to have to service. We seldom were able to out weigh the weight of uninformed Physicians..... totally emotional preferences....
    They...., sat on the bandwagon..... with the salesmen....

    I don’t talk about my guns. I don’t show my guns. I don’t keep them loaded. I could well stock a band of insurgents but let me tell you, if I don’t feel safe..., if I HAVE to carry, I’ll MOVE first.

    I think.... to promote gun sales.... ammo ought to be dirt cheap. Like $1 a box of 50 .22’s
    To keep in the spirit of the 2nd amendment... we should have access to the same weapons the military has.... within reason. I’m not a nut.
    See with satellites, fleer, night vision..... we can’t upset ANYBODY oppressing us.

    The first step to make Is to change the FIRST amendment and get all these rabble rousing reviews and vids glorifying guns and amping up wannabes.
    It’s an epidemic. Your giving the Liberals the ammunition they want.... and the gun mfrs and dealers reap profits.
    There is a lot of work to be done. Get educated people!
    And don’t believe 95 percent of what you hear and read... anywhere. There is always a bit of truth and a package of lies to suck you in and Politically vote.... for the wrong person.
    I did. I apologize America.

    Trump and every politician that accepts money from special interests should spend a stint in Cuba and water boarded.
    And I’m a Republican.

    January 21, 2020 9:07 am
    • kypcoko

      Thank you , thank you and thank you.

      February 27, 2020 9:55 am
    • Nat

      Hi Bart, thanks for your thoughts. Despite being many years younger I agree with much of your attitude regarding personal gun ownership and the direction of marketing today. But these are just the preferences of one blogger. The old ways still hold true and are not diminished by this article.

      May 14, 2020 1:45 am
  • Torey sovie

    I am a beginner and never have had anything to do with guns but I want to learn my husband and would like to do something together he hunts know a lot about guns I just want one that easy to handle for a women

    January 17, 2020 2:57 am
    • Andrew

      G19,g23,g43

      January 17, 2020 5:25 pm
  • al

    I taught my GF to handle my , Ruger black hawk convertible with an overall length of 13.12 inches, and she loved it. She didn't think it was too big or powerful.

    January 14, 2020 5:43 pm
  • Silk

    Poor Guy has 3 Daughters. U tell your Girls to put a 629 .45 snub nose in their waist if they want protection. Won’t even have to pull it out.

    December 2, 2019 4:45 am
  • James

    I got my fiancee over her fear of guns by having her handle my xd .40 service model and carry it around the house empty. I locked the ammo in the safe. Once she was confident with tearing it down and handling it. We went shopping. She settled on the M&P 380EZ. Its what fit her comfortably. She has become pretty proficient and extremely confident with her 380. Would prefer her carry a bigger round but in a home defense situation, it works. Giving time to reach the rifle

    November 15, 2019 2:51 pm
  • Sua Sponte

    My wife opted for the S&W EZ380 when it came out. I had read a few articles on it and suggested we go rent one at a local indoor range. She had been carrying a Sig Mosquito as she is very recoil sensitive, even after many hours on a range with 9mm. After one magazine she turned to me and said, I guess I know what I'm getting for my birthday. She absolutely loves it and has become very proficient with it. She had tried many other 9mm's but has hand and wrist issues and the EZ380 was a God-send for her. I'm more confident now with her EDC, especially since the previous was 22LR.

    November 2, 2019 6:18 pm
  • BiggyD

    I purchased a SA XD 9mm a while back and when I brought it home I discovered that my wife simply couldn't rack it even after watching a number of videos that shows women easily racking various hand guns using well known standard techniques. I measured the pull weight and found it to be about 18lbs and I could easily rack it myself yet my wife has great difficulty doing so. OK, so you might say that she's abnormally weak-armed, but this problem is not rare and it should be addressed here.

    November 1, 2019 1:06 pm
    • LittleE

      If this technique has not been already tried, my suggestion is: hold the slide with one hand, push the frame forward with the other hand holding the grips. In other words, don't try to pull on the slide, push the handle instead.

      December 23, 2019 1:12 pm
      • miyuki boone

        Yes! That’s how I rack. So easy with my nimble fingers using SA XDM9 and S&W M&P Shield 9.

        January 6, 2020 9:32 am
  • Francis

    Im a father of 3 daughters, 2 of them shoot with me, Ive had a range membership for 2 years now, so thru friendships made and rentals they have tried, I own 3 sigs sp 2022 9mm, p226 9mm legion, p365, and I have a ruger lcp2 .380. they have tried glocks 17 and 19 s+w full size 9 mm. my legion is always everyones fav. Good article everyone should hold, dry fire a few diff guns and brands then rent one, before you buy, it its not a good fit you never will shoot well.

    October 27, 2019 11:20 pm
  • Yosemite

    FIRST AND FOREMOST If it does not fit your hand and is or uncomfortable and or TOO small for your hand such as an old cheap Jennings .22LR or other make or Raven .25 ACP cheap "PRETTY" chrome plated semi auto . LEAVE THOSE "EL CHEAPOS" ALONE!
    If new to the shooting World go to as many gun shops or dealers as you can and handle as many as you can BEFORE you make a decision....Make sure you know or have an idea of what you expect and want the weapon to do and how you will carry it or do you want to keep it at home? OR a weapon that is good for both. Only you can make those decisions. DO NOT let someone else decide for you!
    Whatever our decision may be, BE SURE to shoot and practice every chance you get. Get or make some snap caps to practice dry firing. Also Practice and Practice and Practice and then Practice some more.
    Years ago when I got my first NEW 1911 I was advised to put 500-1K rounds of hardball through it then try other types of ammo. I did so and eats everything and has never needed an work,

    Some firearms one can get larger or smaller grips.There are many different grip options out there. So if you do find a handgun you like but does not fit your hand or feels uncomfortable you MIGHT can find after market grips. There are some grips that might help the weapon be more concealable......

    I am former military security and I have taught many people to shoot that have never had any dealings with any firearms......either rifles or handguns. Most of them were females and people of slight stature. I started them off with a .22 LR revolver and gradually advanced them up in calibers and semi-autos when I and they felt they were ready to move up. More than one eventually could out shoot me with my own weapons and had no issues shooting large magnums with full power loads.

    As for carrying a handgun both Ruger and Smith and Weapon make revolvers with no external hammer. These weapons have the capability of firing through a purse or jacket pocket and make multiple shots without jamming or being snagged. The .357 Magnum offers a choice of offering the option of shooting a second caliber the .38 Special and the +P or +P+ defense or other rounds. So effectively Two different calibers in one gun. Meaning one can do more practice with the firearm with less expensive ammo
    Something to be considered that was not or I did not see mentioned.

    Besides fitting one's hand properly one must have an idea of what they want or expect REALISTICALLY and Legitimately the firearm to do.
    All Firearms are tools. While some tools can do more than job, many tools, like firearms,, some are better for a specific job than others. Especially when loaded with the proper ammo, can perform or do the job adequately.

    If one has a .380 they can shoot accurately and consistently with proper Defensive ammo. Should they trade it in for a compact 9mm or larger caliber that might be the same size or smaller that also has more recoil?
    All these new and improved smaller size Lighter and some have a higher capacity magazines. The lighter the firearm expect more recoil.....You don't get something for nothing. There are always trade offs.
    There is no mention of the .32 ACP.....not many handguns are made in such caliber in this day and age. It was a popular caliber throughout Europe and in Germany during WWII.
    The Walther PPK and the PPKS in .32 ACP or.380 ACP are "small" and the and PPK could easily be concealed by most people.
    I do not see any mention of them in this modern day market. They may be old, BUT that does not mean they don't work. The 1911 is over ONE HUNDRED years old and still going strong.
    I would also mention the Browning 9mm Hi-Power is a weapon that is also dated but none the less effective. After all no matter what you are carrying or using......Hitting your target and bullet placement is what counts and matters......no matter the caliber.
    Personally I believe in carrying the largest caliber (within reason) that you can handle and consistently and accurately shoot. I live in a rural area and normally carry .22 LR mainly for venomous snakes that are close to my house. I never want to have to use any weapon against anyone.....but if I or anyone ever has to do so....you will have to use what you have on hand, I have no trouble depending on that .22 LR if I am forced into such situation all though I would rather have something larger.

    IN GENERAL as long as one can place every round fired into a 12 inch or smaller pie plate center mass the should be good to go unless the recipient is wearing Body Armor.
    Pie plates or foil or old CDs such as the FREE ones that use to be out there such as the ones from AOL or other companies. At 3-7 yards or maybe even 10 yards one should easily be able to maintain such adequate groups and hopefully a lot smaller. With practice and knowing the weapon......no matter the weapon practice cannot be stressed enough.
    No matter how or where you decide to wear a holster or decide to carry a firearm on your person...... be sure to practice drawing the weapon over and over and over until it is second nature or breathing......one quick fluid motion......when/IF the time comes you need to draw and or use the weapon, you are going to need it then and NOW and no time to spare for your advantage......other than what you can make.
    IF you decide or have decided to accept to carry or get a firearm for self defense..BE SURE to familiarize and get to know the USE of DEADLY/LETHAL FORCE Policy in YOUR Community/City/State and follow them. Knowing them and following/obeying them can keep you from going to prison!
    IF I am going to be out and about elsewhere and depending on where I am going I have other larger calibers and appropriate bullet type and extra magazines or speed loaders as appropriate to choose from.

    October 27, 2019 10:03 pm
    • bill moloney

      Jeez start your own gun magazine

      November 24, 2019 5:37 pm
      • Scott

        I thought my wife was long winded!

        November 28, 2019 8:26 pm
    • Serpentina

      Thank you for your very detailed information and suggestions. Your knowledge is greatly appreciated!
      Also, thank you for your service!

      January 16, 2020 6:08 pm
  • Craig

    Good article. I own about 25 pistols (wheel guns and automatics) and live out in the country so I have my own range, so naturally I shoot alot and have taught my daughters to shoot. I bought a S&W M&P 380 EZ to try because of my arthritic hands- and my daughters love it! I have always been a 1911 guy (carried one for 25 yrs on duty) but I must admit, I really like this gun too. I know it is 'only a 380' but there are a lot of good 380 defensive rounds out there. Now my daughters each have their own EZ for self defense.

    October 26, 2019 9:46 am
    • Soonerbassn

      We found that the Walther pk380 was a great fit for my wife. It is also a very easy gun for her to operate the slide. Great trigger and ergonomics. But the best is always the one she will carry.

      October 27, 2019 3:46 pm
  • Lou Feringinot

    You forgot the Canik TP9sfx. Vastly superior to any 1911 for women. All that really matters is- does it fit her hand comfortably, and is it reliable!

    October 25, 2019 8:25 am
  • Chris

    If this helps anyone. I put my 25 yr old daughter through a concealed carry class, then brought her to the range to shoot something she was comfortable with. We tried all kinds of guns and calibers. She has shot my guns over the years, mine not hers. My daughter is 5' 4" and about 125 lbs. But, She has decent sized hands. To my surprise, the gun she loved, for grip, size, and most importantly, dead on accuracy was the Taurus PT 92AF. Moral here, take your loved one to the range and let them choose. Note, she will carry her weapon in her car, not on her. Her decision again.

    July 12, 2019 1:27 pm
  • GEorge J

    I laughed at the beginning . You said that .22 caliber guns are less expensive. Although it mayis tru fro a revolver. I do not know about a semi automatic. I have actually been looking for one and have found them quite expensive considering. What I have seen cost $450 to $750 and more. But I can get a s&w 9mm for $250 a s&w 40 for $300 and any of the guns you listed for $500 or less.
    The rest of the article made sense for a new shooter. I enjoy the articles and find them enlight ingand helpful. I als like to read comments. A lot of self proclaimed experts.

    February 20, 2019 1:55 pm
  • Frank Blazosky

    Major flaw here....At least at my house, the decision for my woman is what is easiest to rack? My wife chose the Sig p238 because it is easiest to grad hold of and easiest to rack, though she was also looking at the SW380EZ. Still I think it comes does to how easy is it for the woman to use.

    February 20, 2019 7:43 am
  • Brandy Humphrey

    This is just about the most insulting article to women I’ve seen in a while. Just wow! In a way a girl can understand, if you can operate a kitchen appliance... I assure you women can understand just as much as men, and as for operating a kitchen appliance, you might want to pull your head out of 1950.

    February 3, 2019 7:35 pm
    • Brad

      Did you notice this article was written by a woman? She is an instructor and she competes professionally with pistols. I’m sure she meant no offense,

      July 12, 2019 5:17 pm
    • Jen D

      It’s intended for someone looking for their first gun. I know nothing and would like something easy to operate. I took zero offense. I have an MD, but I don’t want to have to use it to be able to defend myself.

      September 25, 2019 11:05 pm
  • Michelle

    I'm a female who's just starting to explore the world of handguns. I think most women tend to gravitate to the smaller, compact guns. What a beginner doesn't understand is that the smaller guns have a bigger recoil. I still have many guns to try but I'd like to recommend the Glock 42 for beginner, female shooters. I have very small hands and the Glock 42 was a very comfortable fit. The gun has a nice weight and very little kickback. My accuracy was much better than the smaller, compact pistols I shot. Now it's rounds are not 9mm, they're.380, but maybe a smaller round is better for a beginner.

    December 15, 2018 5:16 pm
    • Dee Dee

      Thank you for this comment, Michelle. I only entered the handgun world a few years ago. I have a particular preference for revolvers, but I finally got a .380 a couple of months ago. I actually sold my first lightweight revolver because it did not fit my hand well and with a 3" barrel, it was not the most concealable. What I have learned thus far is: 1) maybe go with quality but lower cost firearms for your first. My first handgun was in the $500 range. It was very accurate, but again, the grip was too large.
      But I love my little .380 because it is very easy to conceal -- ergo, the only time I do not have it on me is when I know I am going someplace which is "gun free". (I tend to stay away from those.)
      Bottom line, the best handgun for a woman is one that a) she is happy with and will practice with (a lot); b) she will actually be inclined to have on her. My .357 stainless steel snub-nose revolver is my absolute favorite handgun. But when I cannot reasonably carry it concealed, I am very pleased with my .380 super-slim pistol and if I think I may need more, I tuck a .45/.410 derringer-style pistol as an additional option. I carry belly band or just below my knee in an ankle holster.

      May 1, 2019 4:59 pm
    • Curtis

      Hi Michelle, well stated. Between the heavy full-sized steel P226 and alloy-framed CZ 75 PCR Compact, every new female shooter that has tried my handguns has preferred the softer recoil of the P226 and shot better with it. I tend to agree even though the CZ's ergonomics feel better in my hands.

      May 14, 2020 1:50 am
  • John K

    Not a fan of any of these weapons for a woman. I have a daughter with a CCW and my girlfriend who is a very tiny 4’11 with small hands. My GF carried an air weight 38 forever but the first time her and I went to the range she couldn’t hit bupkis at 5 yards, hell it was even hard for me to shoot it with the factory grips. We got her new grips and she did better but she really did not like how snappy it was with her small hands. We rented and fired a lot of different guns to try and find one she liked. Both her and my daughter settled on a sig P238. The weapon carries plenty of ammo to shoot someone and break contact, has fantastic sights out of the box and they both carry everywhere they can since it is small framed yet still heavy enough with it’s all metal frame to help with the recoil. I made them practice and train for a long time after we purchased the pistols. I had them drawing from concealment, taking the safety off, acquiring a target and shooting, re engaging the safety and re holstering. We did this dry fire as well as live with at least 500 rounds each before I blessed them. They are both confident in their ability and the ability of the weapon so I know it’s not going to get left home and I know they can put rounds on tgt to at least 10 yards out effectively. At least once a month if not more I drag each to the range to practice these skills. I think a woman doesn’t want to rethink their wardrobe as hard as a man would to carry. They want to put a light weight pistol in their purse and go about their business. For this I find the P238 optimal

    November 25, 2018 1:07 am
    • Dee Dee

      I agree with your comment up until the next-to-last sentence. Sorry but I think off-body carry is seriously not good.
      I recommend a good belly band style holster or if under a long skirt, an ankle holster just below the knee is supreme. just my opinion, of course.

      May 1, 2019 6:28 pm
  • Gungirl

    OK as a female that carries all the time I range from a .380 to a 9mm for "lighter clothes months" to a .45 or 357 in winter (live in MI it gets cold and people layer up thus the higher calibers). I range from commander size down a Mustang or similar size.. I have become the go to at our local gun shop for the owner when he has a woman that isn't sure about what they want.

    I was a little surprised that there was pretty much "Tupperware" on the list. Not particularly fond of them. I tend to like revolvers but not nearly as much as my 1911 style. The rule around our house is if it can go in my dishwasher to be cleaned it doesn't come home....just my own bias (I readily admit it....I don't like composites - it a mental thing with me but I also find them uncomfortable to shoot). I carry Colt, Kimber, Sig, Ruger (revolver), S&W (revolver), Rock Island, Coonan (357 compact) and have been known to carry a full size 1911 (Colt Govt.)

    I carry multiple ways depending on the situation, how I am dressed, etc. I have a concealed carry briefcase, my purses (I have both specifically designed purses for concealed carry or have retrofitted my favorite, existing purses to take a holster, belly band (I love my belly band.) or shoulder holster..

    Ladies - a couple of notes -
    1. If you are left handed (I am) you have to watch concealed carry purses - not all are set up for left handed girls. You can flip the purse to where it is one, but then any embellishment on the purse is not visible (sorry guys it is girl thing - you pay a bunch of money for a good looking purse and then have to turn the "pretty" toward you - defeats part of the purpose)
    2. A pretty gun isn't always the best choice. I have a Kimber Micro 9 Saffire and you cannot rack it easily, it is to slick and given the size there is just not a good way to grip it. I bought it not with the intention to carry (although I thought I might) but to go with the other Saffires I have in my collection.
    3. Don't let your husband, boyfriend, friend, brother, father, etc. talk you into something you are not comfortable with. If it doesn't fit your hand, you aren't comfortable with it, find it to complex, etc. stand your ground and say no. I have had my husband in the past tell me that "oh this gun gets great reviews and is supposed to be one of the best....yet I held it and hated it. It didn't fit me.
    4. On a lighter note - once you start to carry be prepared to buy purses....lots and lots of purses. It is like an addiction. A word of caution - not all purses can take the fire arm you choose to carry. So make sure the purse will fit the gun you carry. If you buy one that you don't like for some reason you can always sell them on eBay easily if the price is reasonable. .

    July 6, 2018 3:31 pm
    • Dee Dee

      Purse or off-body carry should seriously be the last and final option, imo. I am small-framed, >60 with arthritis and a southpaw. I carry in an excellent belly band, just below my knee in an ankle rig, or not-at-all. If the firearm is not on my person, I do not have control of it. If it is on my person, if I should ever need it, it is right there. Just my opinion.
      I favor my Ruger SP-101 snub nose .357 revolver, but usually have my .380 Beretta Pico in a belly band occasionally with a Bond Arms .45/.410 for accompiament. I cannot fire the Bond Arms with my left hand. So it is easy to have a left & a right on me!

      I rate off-body or purse carry below pocket carry or any other style that requires displacing the firearm in the ladies room.

      May 1, 2019 6:40 pm
  • Goodguys

    The last comment by 'Elize' basically says it all. Full-size semis (even when they are advertised and recommended as 'compact') are, in Elize's own words, "tricky to conceal." This is a code phrase for "I will conceal and carry this for a week or so before deciding that it is uncomfortable or not practical, and then I will leave the gun either at home or in my car." "Tricks" are for circus performers and magicians. Don't be one.

    That's the TRUTH, and is also exactly what happens to most folks when the read some bogus advise advocating for them (Man or Woman) to attempt to carry concealed a FULL-size (six inch of total length or greater), double-stack magazine (aka THICK), semi auto pistol. Do some people carry brick semis religiously? Sure. Do MOST folks KEEP carrying them OVER time, and carry them most EVERYWHERE they legally can? No. Sorry, they don't. They are encouraged to buy a full-size semi that is touted as 'compact' by the manufacturer. After they realize what a PITA it is to conceal and carry it, they leave it at home, or try to fit it in a purse or briefcase, or backpack, or they stow it in the car. (Your car/truck is NOT a holster!).

    My favorite is the IQ-test-waiting-to-happen folks who can't wait to carry a striker-fired pistol 'appendix' style. These folks do this usually (but not always) after realizing what a PITA it is to carry that same brick semi strong side (or ANY side). Then they practice trying to draw and re-holster near their navel while not actuating the custom, hair trigger they have 'modified' on their brick semi (BS) auto pistol. This is probably 90% of the folks reading this article today. But hey, stupid is as stupid does.

    So Lady's (AND GENTLEMEN) listen up. You want to carry a semi-auto pistol comfortably, everyday and almost everywhere you go (legally of course)? You only have two choices (if allowed by law in your jurisdiction). You can OPEN carry, which IMO is usually (but not always) nuts, OR you can opt for a single-stack, 9mm semi auto that is SMALL enough to carry and conceal comfortably, and without PRINTING at all. Weapons are meant to be felt and NOT seen, so you really need to understand that philosophy before carrying any weapon you plan to use for your offensive/tactical reaction to an offensive SBI (severe bodily injury) or ID (imminent death) action being either taken or about to be taken against you or your loved ones.

    Sure single stacks have less carrying capacity. That's why you need to practice engaging simulated threats with that SAME small framed, single-stack, 'effortlessly come-out-of-nowhere' semi auto pistol until you can drill moving, frisbee-sized objects while you also 'may be' moving. If you shoot the bad guy in the chest and the head right out of the gate, his pals WILL either leave or hesitate, and THINK about leaving really hard, giving you a chance to LEAVE (or do whatever you need to do while they are reacting to your having dropped their pal). You don't need to plan on having 15+ rounds and four more 'mags' of ammo on your 'rig' BS. You need to plan to be the first out of the gate, get your solid hit in FIRST, and get your follow ups (if/usually necessary) to put them down FASTER than they can place terminal hits on you. That's the TRUTH of a gun fight, any gun fight. And that's only if you can't LEAVE the area first, and get away (unseen/unnoticed is the goal) without having to display and/or fire ANY rounds. None of this is impossible or impractical if you pick the RIGHT gear and the RIGHT kind of practice. None of it.

    You need a hand gun which has a smooth and predictable DA first pull, and crisp quick reset SA follow ups with NO external safety, and no rough corners or tall 'night' sights or combat lights BS that will snag on anything when your game-changing equalizer briefly comes out of hiding. That's what you need. They exist. Those who are dedicated to the art either already know of such pistols (and carry/prefer them) or should easily be able to locate one.

    I am sick to death of reading articles written by folks that have not only drunk but have BOUGHT the Cool Aide farm, or they rep for Cool Aide. They shoot 'competitively' ("Shooter nod when ready," BEEP, pew pew pew) but have NO IDEA what a real gun fight involves. Otherwise they would not train like they are a part of a circus act. Human beings are the most dangerous animal on the planet because they can both THINK and can be (and often are in life or death situations) UNPREDICTABLE. Training with predicability is training to fail, big time. And purchasing a brick semi that you plan on carrying CONCEALED is training to fail, because when you need it you most likely won't have it IMMEDIATELY accessible. And if you do carry it concealed, the real, serious, professional bad guys, the ONE you need to be ready for, will KNOW you have a firearm on your person and factor that into whatever they decide to do next. Count on it. "Printing" is NOT a force multiplier or deterrent.

    And folks, ambush apex predators do NOT typically WAIT (although they may if it gives them an edge), they are fully capable of both creating and seizing opportunities, And they do NOT play by ANY rules.

    Learn from them, because they are not impossible to put down if you can THINK, and are NOT predictable.

    July 2, 2018 12:13 pm
  • Elize

    I bought a CZ75B a couple of months ago and train regularly with it. It is tricky to conceal, especially as I prefer to use a belly band and appendix carry, but not impossible. Before I got my f.a., I practiced with my husband's Grandpower K100, which is also a very nice gun. My biggest frustration however is finding concealment holsters as in belly bands that are big/broad enough to carry the weight of a full size fire arm, and not let it tip forward. I live in South Africa, by the way.

    May 5, 2018 11:18 am
  • DL T

    Can't trust the recommendations.as it seems like this blog listed sponsors as recs and not based on performance solely. I'm..surprised to see so many semi-automatic gun recs vs CC capable revolvers. such as the Charter Arms versions. These guns listed are also very expensive.

    April 4, 2018 12:20 am
    • Matthew Collins

      We actually don't have sponsors, and we only recommend guns we've used or tested either personally, or as a group, but thanks for keeping us honest! In general, a lot of our collective bias towards semi-autos is going to be based on concealability, and reloading under pressure. Swapping a mag in a semi-auto doesn't require the same fine-motor skills as reloading a revolver, even with a speed loader. The concealability concern with a revolver is you have a very think cylinder which is going to print more than a slim semi-auto, especially when worn under fitted clothes, which is more of an issue for women (most of the time). As far as price...you get what you pay for, I guess.

      April 4, 2018 1:08 pm
  • Travis Adcock

    I was somewhat surprised not to see one either an xds or an xdm on this list. Knowing a lot of women carry firearms in their purse it seems like a good weapon for them because of the grip safety.

    February 27, 2018 8:19 am
  • Chris P.

    I’d also like to recommend an affordable option in 9MM, the EAA Witness. Essentially it’s an Italian made CZ-75 but at a ridiculously good price. Might give it a look.

    January 24, 2018 1:43 pm
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks for the rec, Chris!

      February 13, 2018 8:22 pm
  • Brandee M.

    Do you have an opinion regarding the Walther CCP?

    January 10, 2018 6:14 pm
  • Lance A.

    I don't agree with the recommendations on this article. Whoever wrote this only considered recoil -- they didn't give regard to size and ease of concealment for carrying. The 9mm already has a soft recoil so the platform from which it is shot doesn't have to be bulky and heavy.

    And an all-steel revolver? Really? Women won't carry those, let alone men.

    The only time any lady would buy into any of the guns on this list is if they're really big or if they don't intend to carry concealed.

    November 30, 2017 7:20 pm
    • Elize

      I carry a CZ75B, specifically for self defense, at home and in town. Concealing is tricky, but not impossible, and I don't mean a handbag as concealment. The f.a. has to fit the person - I'm tall and have large-ish hands with long fingers, but I'm not big. In the end a women, or any person, will carry what they feel comfortable with, and even a smaller, lighter f.a. like one of the Glocks, won't mean anything if said person doesn't train with it.

      May 5, 2018 11:13 am
  • Peter P.

    It's a good article but I have to differ with you on your choice of firearms starting with the Sig P250. It that one of the worst trigger actions of any semi-automatic made today and which makes your choice of it troubling seeing as how you also picked its worthy successor, the Sig P320..

    Why on earth did you decide to place two basically similar guns from .the same manufacturer on a Top-Seven list when there are at least seven other semi-autos not from Sig Sauer that are superior and either in the same price range or lower.. For example, the Taurus 809 and PT92, Walther PPQ, Creed and PPS, Springfield XD-9 Mod 2 Service Model, and Beretta APX.

    Some of the guns you selected are difficult for men to operate let alone meant for women to use. For example, while the CZ is a fantastic gun, its thin slide is one of hardest to rack and, on that basis alone, should not have been picked for this list.

    Conversely, the H%K VP9 on your list is one of the easiest slides to rack (with the Walther PK280 being the leader of the pack).

    Your remark that "if a girlfriend of mine really wanted a classic gun with historic appeal, like the Model 66 revolver above, then I’d point her to a full-size 9mm variation like the Rock Island Armory Ultra FS 9mm ($779)."

    Seriously? I thought this article was about women having guns for self-defense and not as collector's items. Plus, $779 is a lot to spend for a 9 mm with limited capacity that's not much higher that what a revolver has..

    Speaking of revolvers, a Ruger LCR (or LCRx would have been a better choice for women due to its wondefully smooth trigger and diversity of calibers available: everything from .22 Magnum to .38 Special to. .327 Magnum and .357 Magnum (which also accepts .38 Special).. Other good choices would have been the Taurus Ultra-Lite 85 that fires .38 Special +P and the Judge/Public Defender that accepts both .45 Long Colt and .410 shotgun shells containing either bird shot, buck shot or slugs.

    I wonder if anyone conducted a survey of women gun owners to see what choices they made, both as their first firearm and their current one..

    November 17, 2017 2:57 pm
    • Peter P.

      TYPO ALERT:

      I meant to type Walther PK380 (not PK280)

      November 17, 2017 2:59 pm
  • Lu Barnes

    My Mother is 78 years old and she has several guns and does have a conceal carry license she is a small lady and finds that guns that you have to cock by pulling back she isn't strong enough to do that so I am looking for a small gun that works for her .....

    July 24, 2017 9:34 pm
    • Eric Hung

      You might take a look at revolvers!

      August 6, 2017 1:59 pm
    • Jlowe\'s Guns

      Look into the p238. I am a dealer and the smaller ladies love these guns. Small caliber and very easy to pull the slide back.

      November 4, 2017 10:11 am
  • Mal Reynolds

    To dry fire a pistol making sure the clip is empty is not enough. Always pull the slide back and make sure the barrel is empty also.

    The SCCY CP-2 is another small pistol with a DAO trigger like the P250. It is built in Florida and costs only around $250. It has gotten good reviews.

    November 24, 2016 5:38 pm
    • ehung

      Hi Mal, thanks for the tip and suggestion!

      November 25, 2016 6:10 pm
    • R Yingst

      A salesman sold my 57 year old daughter a SCCY CP-2 without checking her capabilities to work it. She is small and has MS. Found out she can not load the magazine or pull the slide back. The slide was tough for me to operate.
      She has no problem with my Baby Browning 25Cal. We are going to be looking for a 38 or 38 Special revolver. She will not be carrying and it will be for home defense.

      November 26, 2017 2:58 pm
      • Bobo

        If she has no intention of carrying it, and is set on a handgun and not a shotgun, get something with at least a 3" barrel (if not 4") as the little snubbies everyone loves to recommend for women are harder to be accurate with due to shorter sight radius (especially for someone who doesn't shoot a lot)

        November 30, 2017 9:55 am
  • rickyjames

    I'm Grandpa, not Grandma, but thought I would cross-post my comments from Ms. Keel's excellent article about the P250 that you mention. Perhaps some of your female readers would find this interesting or useful.

    I grew up in the rural South, no stranger to guns and have fired plenty decades ago belonging to my relatives. Moved on to become an urban electrical engineer and left gun culture behind, altho maintaining nothing but respect for those who kept it as part of their everyday life.

    With all the craziness trending in the Obama years, I decided to get a pistol of my own four years ago. I justified it to my quite liberal wife by telling her when the day came that we needed a gun, we wouldn't be able to go and buy a gun. I made a few trips to the local gun range to try out their rental pistols and pretty quickly decided that I was more interested in a hammer fired than a striker fired gun. For a while I was seriously considering getting a CZ-75, which I still think is a great gun. However, the safety and decocker added unwanted complexity, and I was a little unsure about breakdown and maintenance.

    Then I took a NRA basic pistol class from a local instructor because I knew the 10-20% of new stuff I would learn would be worth it - and it was. He had an extensive collection of pistols and let me try them all out. One was a P250. After one clip I knew that was the gun for me. Simple to learn, easy to shoot, easy to strip, easy to reassemble, and once you learn that trigger, dead bang accurate. I can put holes inside the 6 ring all day long from 7 yards with a P250 in either 9mm or 0.40 with no routine practice, and that's good enough for me.

    Not only is the P250 simple with no safety or decocker to worry about, but its modularity is a real plus. The P250 is not just a gun but a system of interchangeable parts that can give you the size, grip and caliber just right for you. I have settled on a subcompact using the compact clip to give me the smallest possible size with a little extra grip length to give my pinky finger a place to be. This is not the sexiest or most rapid-fire gun like a Glock but it is the right gun for me.

    Two other considerations are worth mentioning. A P250 can be easily configured for left-handed shooting (an important consideration for use by my wife) and this is a pretty uncommon feature.

    Secondly, everybody talks about the disadvantages of the P250 DAO (Double Action Only) trigger but never mention its greatest strength - dry firing with an UNLOADED pistol and trigger practice at home.

    Firing a DA/SA (initial Double Action / subsequent Single Action) striker pistol while unloaded only allows one practice trigger pull before having to rack the slide to re-cock the striker before the next trigger pull. That's no way to practice dry fire, and an impossible way to practice for someone who lacks strength to rack the slide easily in the first place. And that trigger pull experienced by dry firing a striker pistol is only the "hard, long, initial" DA pull and never the "softer, shorter, faster" SA pulls after an initial shot that can only be experienced at a professional range while sending lead into the back wall.

    Every single time you ever pull the DAO trigger on a P250, the trigger action will feel exactly the same. Firing it in your own home repeatedly WHILE UNLOADED is a great learning and training experience. With the P250 DAO trigger, it's like a toy cap pistol. Pull the trigger as many times as you want with no slide racking required, and every trigger pull is creating an accurate muscle memory of what to expect in live fire. Put in a battery-powered laser cartridge and you can even "target practice" at home with a P250.

    Now I understand that dry firing at home requires being ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that you have an unloaded pistol, and is no substitute for range practice with live ammunition. But for somebody who is fanatical about safety, dry firing can be valid familiarization training - particularly for someone who is not a regular visitor at the professional firing range.. Dry fire training / practice is easy on the P250, and virtually impossible on other striker fired pistols.

    November 23, 2016 2:04 pm
    • ehung

      Wow, thanks so much for this personal experience. I'm sure it will help out a lot of readers.

      November 24, 2016 10:33 am
    • Karen

      Thank you for such insight, I'm impressed. In regards to your "quite liberal wife" I am as well. However moving from NY to TX has brought a whole new respect for handguns and their trained owners.

      February 27, 2017 5:16 pm
  • Jeff

    Don't forget the S&W 3913 Ladysmith 9mm. It is not made any longer but can be found on the used market.

    October 14, 2016 5:14 pm
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