Whether you’re buying a handgun for protection, competitive shooting, or recreation, you want something that you feel comfortable carrying as a concealed weapon.
Men and women biologically have different physical builds, and the type of firearm that fits their body best is also unique. Here are what women should consider when buying a firearm and the six best choices on the market.
Reasons for Women to Carry a Concealed Firearm
Women are a fast-growing demographic in the world of firearms, and there are a few unique considerations for women in the market for a new weapon. In terms of the gun, you want a weapon that fits comfortably in your hands, has enviable stopping and shooting power, a manageable recoil, safety features, and reliability.
The last and least important consideration should be aesthetics. Of course, you want to like your handgun’s look, but it should be secondary to safety features and reliability.
The recoil of any handgun is determined by its caliber, weight, and size. A strong recoil can tire out the shooter’s arm and make any follow-up shots less accurate. Lighter and smaller guns may have a softer recoil, but this isn’t always the case. The best way to test the recoil of a weapon you may purchase is to try it yourself.
The 2 calibers used most commonly in smaller handguns are the 9mm and the .380 ACP. The 9mm usually has a more intense recoil, but it is also more versatile and used in a wide variety of handguns for competitive shooting or defense. Both calibers are strong enough to derail a threat, but light enough to handle.
You need a handgun with a reasonable amount of recoil, but not too heavy to make carrying and shooting cumbersome. Recoil sometimes depends on the caliber, yet some lighter pistols have an intense recoil, while a heavier one may be more manageable. If you’re carrying concealed, the weapon should be light enough that it is comfortable to carry throughout the day.
If you’re looking for a handgun that you can carry concealed, you want a compact or subcompact frame. These pistols are smaller and can more easily fit into a custom holster.
For competitive shooting, you may want a larger capacity, and some compact pistols have double-stack capacity. However, if you're carrying concealed, a single-stack will suit you fine.
Your chosen handgun should be reliable in all situations. When you need it the most, you want to deploy your weapon and fire in one smooth, easy motion.
Certain features are there to prevent your firearm from going off accidentally, like when it’s dropped. A manual safety and a heavier trigger pull make mistakes less likely, and adequate training and practice can reduce the possibility of accidental firing.
Here are the six best choices of handguns for women who would like to carry concealed with these considerations in mind.
1. Glock G42
This .380 is ready to go right out of the box and has fewer jams than other pistols. It has a dual-recoil spring that helps soften the recoil and has a mechanism on the trigger to curtail accidental firing. The polymer grip on the Glock 42 is excellent for smaller hands, and the sleek silhouette fits underneath fitted clothing.
2. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield
This is a fan-favorite because it is only 1” thick, making it perfect for concealed carry. The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield's 9-round capacity for 9mm ammo provides a lot of shooting power for a slim weapon. With low recoil and striker safeties, many gun enthusiasts feel like this is a full-sized pistol in a smaller gun body.
3. SIG Sauer P238
The Sig P238 only measures 5.5” in length and is a single-action handgun with very light recoil. It is modeled after the 1911 beaver-tail style frame and is an excellent choice for shooters who might have trouble racking the slide or prefer a gun with a smaller grip for comfort.
4. Walther PPS
This handgun has a slim silhouette and measures 6.3”, which is ideal for concealed carry. The Walther is the perfect handgun for small hands with its 1” width, and it offers different grip lengths to experiment. Weighing in at 21 ounces, this handgun is heavier than some others but has a 3.2” barrel for snug shooting.
5. Ruger LC9S
The Ruger LC9S resolves some of the issues surrounding trigger quality while maintaining the excellent utility and shootability of the Ruger LC9. It has a smooth trigger pull weight of 4.5 pounds, which is ideal for smaller hands to handle. It measures 6” and weighs 17.2 ounces, putting it squarely in the smaller pistols’ mid-range. There are many safety features for this 9mm chambered gun, including magazine disconnect, integrated trigger safety, and manual safety.
6. Beretta Nano
Made of fiberglass-reinforced technopolymer, this handgun’s design is super sleek. It doesn’t have a protruding slide, and its sights are smooth, so it won’t snag on clothing or anything else when you draw it from your holster. One of the most substantial assets is that you can use the Beretta Nano with either hand, and it has a reversible magazine release.
The Final Word
There are many styles of handguns to choose from if you’re a woman who would like to carry concealed. Weight, recoil, size, safety features, and magazine capacity contribute to the way you carry, draw, and fire a weapon. If the handgun is too heavy, it can take extra time to relieve it from its holster. If it’s too light, it may have a more substantial recoil, which can eventually tire you out.
The best way to choose a handgun to carry concealed is to try them out first. You also need high-quality, gun-appropriate accessories, like a custom-made holster, to make sure that you are the most prepared you can be. At We the People Holsters, we know guns, and we know holsters, and our products are always made in America.