How To Choose A Handgun For A Woman

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Choosing a handgun for a woman can be complex and overwhelming. There are so many makes and models on the market, all claiming to be easy for women to use.

But what are the real differences? What are you really getting when you buy a gun marketed specifically to women?

Let’s take a look at how to choose a handgun for a woman. We evaluate all the factors you should consider before choosing one. 

How To Choose A Handgun For A Woman

Is There Really a Woman’s Gun?

Let’s be honest.

When you look at many of the handguns available today, they do seem to be created more with women in mind. There are plenty of pink pistols out there, but that doesn’t mean you will perform any better with a gun that has some sort of color or design that appeals more to your sex.

Another thing you may notice is that most gun manufacturers are moving towards shorter barrels. This is most likely the result of trends in the firearms industry toward more compact, easily concealable handguns.

These changes favor women more. The compact shape makes it easier for them to handle it without a hassle.

How To Choose A Handgun For A Woman

Does it Really Matter?

In most cases, a woman with average hand strength and no prior training would have a very difficult time firing a gun with a single-action trigger.

That’s why almost all handguns with external hammers use double-action triggers – they are the only types of triggers strong enough to reliably fire a handgun with a heavier trigger pull.

However, many women have an advantage with these types of triggers due to their familiarity with using other similar types of products.

To a lesser degree, this would apply to guns with stiffer recoil springs or heavier slide-pull weights. These types of handguns also typically have a slightly longer trigger pull in most cases.

This can be a plus for smaller-framed or less experienced shooters, but can also be a drawback for more experienced shooters.

However, you should note that this is more of a personal preference. Some women will prefer single-action revolvers since they have a shorter trigger pull.

How To Choose A Handgun For A Woman the Make and Model

When choosing a model, what features are available in that gun matter just as much as how it feels when you use it. If the slide is extremely hard to rack, the gun will not be enjoyable to shoot no matter how it feels in your hand.

In addition, if the gun only comes with one type of sight – a plain black rear sight – that feature alone will make it more difficult for you to line up your sights and hit where you are aiming.

Choose a model with a longer barrel if possible, as this provides a few advantages.

First, it will give you more sight radius, which will make it easier to line up your front and rear sights.

Another advantage is that longer barrels typically have a longer sight radius, which makes them much easier to aim accurately. Plus, they generally have better recoil control since the weight of the barrel is located out further from your hand.

If you choose to go with a model that has an external hammer, make sure it does not have any type of half-cock notch.

The reason is simple.

If the gun has a short trigger pull for this notch, the hammer can easily slip from the half-cock notch and strike the firing pin accidentally when you are loading or unloading the gun.

This is not only dangerous but also quite possibly fatal if you are using a cartridge with a hollow-point bullet.

Finding Your Ideal Fit

The best way to find the ideal fit for your hands is by visiting an authorized firearms retailer or shooting range that offers rentals. Go there and find three or four guns that feel good to you, then rent each of them for at least an hour.

Too many gun shops are only concerned with making the sale and getting you to sign on the dotted line. That’s why it is so important to try out several models before making a final decision. You may have to visit several stores before you find one that will allow you to do this, but it is well worth the time and effort.

Once you find a store that will let you try out as many as four handguns, there are several things to consider before making your final decision. The first three steps apply to every gun you try:

  • Rack the slide several times and make sure it operates smoothly without catching on the edges of any internal components.
  • Look at the sights and make sure they are not cracked or broken in any way.
  • Ensure that there is no play between the slide and frame by pushing forward slightly with your fingertips. If you feel contact, this means either the bushing is worn out or it’s time to have the barrel replaced.
  • The last step is to make sure that you can reach all controls easily, including the magazine release and slide stop levers. You also want to be sure that operating these controls does not cause your hand to twist in any way.

If you find a gun that passes all of those tests, it can be considered a contender for your purchase. Of course, it’s not the only thing that matters.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a gun for women

How To Choose A Handgun For A Woman – Recommendations

If you are unsure which specific model is best, consider these general guidelines:

Ruger LCP

This gun is one of the most well-rounded choices available. It has enough weight to shoot comfortably all day long without getting tired, yet it is small and light enough to carry in your pocket without causing fatigue.

Ruger LCP gun

The slide has a long enough pull for larger hands, and the standard sights are decent. However, you can also opt for a Crimson Trace laser sight if desired; the added convenience is well worth the investment.

If this gun does become too large for your hands, be sure to take a look at the Ruger LCP II. This gun has many of the same features but with a slimmer frame that will better fit smaller hands.

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard Gun

This gun comes in several calibers, allowing you to find one that matches your needs. It is also small enough to be extremely easy to conceal yet still has enough weight to make it comfortable for almost anyone.

You can choose between a standard thumb safety or take advantage of the grip-based safety that is built into the design. The sights are of decent quality, but you can always upgrade after purchase.

Ruger SR9

If you’re looking for a larger gun that will be comfortable to shoot all day long, this is one of your best choices. It is a bit heavier than the two previously mentioned guns but also has a more substantial frame and color options.

It shoots 9mm Luger ammunition which is potent enough for self-defense while being light enough to carry and practice with all day long. The controls are easy to access and operate, and the standard sights will provide a good sight picture for anyone of any skill level.

Colt Mustang

This gun is one of the lightest on this list yet still manages to feel substantial in your hand. It shoots .380 ACP cartridges but they are generally considered to be the minimum allowable caliber for self-defense.

Colt Mustang Gun

The manual thumb safety can be operated easily by most women, and you also have the option of upgrading to an XS Big Dot sight after purchase if desired. If you are unsure whether or not this caliber is sufficient for your needs, read our article on selecting a pistol caliber.

The trigger pull is long but very smooth, making it easy to keep on target throughout your draw stroke. There are no external safeties to snag on clothing accidentally, and the slide has an only minimal play that does not interfere with operation.

Smith & Wesson SD40

This gun shoots .40 S&W ammunition just like the police and military, but you will find that it is easily capable of firing smaller rounds as well. It comes with a 15-round magazine and one additional extended grip for those who would like the extra security.

The controls are easy to operate and access, and the gun itself is extremely reliable. The standard sights allow you to obtain a solid sight picture for any skill level. The SD40 is one of the best options for anyone who does not need a gun that shoots .45 ACP or larger rounds.

Ruger SR9c

Another quality Ruger option, this gun also shoots 9mm Luger ammunition but in a more compact package designed specifically for concealed carry. It comes with a 10-round magazine in the standard model but can accept larger magazines if desired.

The controls are easy to reach and operate, and the trigger has a short reset that keeps you on target throughout your draw stroke. The slide does not have much play in it, allowing you to obtain a solid sight picture without struggling with mediocre quality sights.


This gun is unique in that it was designed with a traditional double-action trigger, but it also gives you the option of using a decocking lever. This allows you to carry it in double-action mode for the first shot at any time, or to carry it partially cocked and locked like many other striker-fired guns.

H&K P30SK gun for women

The trigger pull is very smooth with a short reset, making it easy to keep on target throughout your draw stroke. The controls are all ambidextrous so you don’t have to worry about being limited if you are left-handed or just prefer to practice shooting with your non-dominant hand.

Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

This gun is one of the most compact options on this list, but it still manages to hold 8+1 rounds in its standard magazine. The controls are simple and easy to access for ease of use with or without gloves.

The rear serrations are aggressive enough to allow you to rack the slide even if your hands are covered in blood, sweat, or mud. The trigger pull is smooth and the reset is almost nonexistent, meaning you can keep up a fast rate of fire if needed without difficulty.

Also consider: Many other manufacturers also produce guns that would serve you well for concealed carry purposes. If none of these options meet your particular needs then it is time to do some research of your own. These are just a few of the many that I have experienced with myself, and they may or may not fit your specific needs.

Some other options to consider include:

Kahr CM40 Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact Taurus PT111 Gen 2 GLOCK 26/27/33 Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380 Kahr CW9 Ruger LC9s Kimber Micro 9mm Sig Sauer P290 SIG SAUER P238

Best Gun for Women

Remember that whatever gun you choose has to suit your particular needs. If you have small hands then a large gun won’t do you any good, and if you have big hands then a small gun will limit your capacity.

Whatever gun you choose needs to be comfortable in your hand so that you can shoot it well, and it should also fit the type of clothing that you normally wear so that it can be concealed properly.

Also, remember to practice a lot.

You can have the best gun in the world, but you won’t be able to hit anything if your skills are not up to par. Make sure that you practice often so that you will know how your gun operates and so that it will be ready for any situation when you need it most.

By choosing a handgun that is right for you and practicing often, you will be able to protect yourself and your family from any threat that may arise.

How to Choose a Handgun for a Woman – Conclusion

Handguns are a great way to protect yourself and your family from potential danger. When choosing a handgun, you should consider the size and how well it fits in your hands.

You should also determine what type of gun you want based on the types of calibers that they shoot. Make sure that whatever gun you choose is comfortable for you to use so that you can defend yourself effectively.

Choose the type of gun you want based on the types of calibers that they shoot. Make sure that whatever gun you choose is comfortable for you to use so that you can defend yourself effectively.

If you have no experience with handguns, you should find someone who does and ask for their advice. A gun can be intimidating at first, but learning how to use one is not as difficult as many people think. Practice often, and remember that a gun is a tool that can help you protect yourself from danger when used properly.

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