A Guide to the Best Handgun for Women

An Army marksmanship instructor was asked point blank whether men or women were better shooters. He said that in his course, pretty much all the women at the range get the Expert scoring on their first day, while less than a third of the men can do so.

Shooting isn’t just a man’s world. Women flourish as gun owners too as long as they’ve got guns that are comfortable for them.

What, then, are the best starting guns for women? How do you know which handgun is the best handgun for women? Read on as we explore everything you need to know about picking the right gun for yourself or the lady in your life.

The Reason for Owning the Gun

There are three main reasons for becoming a gun owner in the USA (with a fourth reason hidden in the Second Amendment). These are hunting, sports shooting, and self-defense. The reason you’re buying a gun greatly affects what you want in the gun’s capabilities and what kind of caliber you’ll be looking at.

Personal Protection

Most people in the US (roughly 60%) who become gun owners do so to protect themselves and their homes, which is also why much of this article is devoted to defensive shooting. If you’re buying a handgun for self-defense, you’ll want to make sure it has decent stopping power and ammo capacity.

Many experts say that 9mm is the perfect caliber for women because the ammo is relatively small (meaning magazines carry more ammo) and has a lower-than-average recoil. However, 9mm pistols also boast enough stopping power to neutralize any threats. The ammo is also cheaper on average and easy to find online or in stores.

Pistols also tend to be favored over revolvers. This is due to many pistols having features that mitigate some of the effects of recoil, which is important when you train with the gun.

Training and Sports

If a woman wants to get into sports shooting or just shooting in general but is also nervous about guns, then .22LR handguns are a great option. They aren’t as powerful or jolty as larger calibers, so you can learn all the basics of gun use and safety without feeling like the gun’s punishing you. However, if you wish to shoot in a particular division, you will need to buy a pistol that matches the required caliber and description.

Relative Size

The next factor to consider is how large the gun and its power output is compared to the person who will be using it. More powerful calibers have bigger recoil, which is a problem for many women who are first-time shooters.

You also have to think about how you want to carry the gun when looking at different-sized handguns. It’s easier to concealed carry a tiny 7-round Ruger than the large Baretta M9. If you’re going to keep the gun in a large handbag or open carry, then you can opt for something much larger.

The last consideration for smaller women is how comfortably the gun fits in their hands. Large pistols can be awkward or outright dangerous for new shooters to shoot.

This consideration is less crucial if you’re taking your shooting in a sporting direction. Over months of training, it’s easy to get used to using whichever gun you buy. For defensive shooting, however, it needs to be ready to go on day one.

Great Guns For Women

Since the majority of first-time gun-buying women are going to be looking at getting a self-defense pistol, here are some great options as a starting point. We’ve also thrown in some excellent training and sports handguns for women for ladies looking to break into the sports shooting scene.

Glock 19 and 26

Two Glocks come to mind when we’re talking about self-defense, the Glock 19 and Glock 26. The Glock 19 is as close to the best jack-of-all-trades pistols for concealed carry. It’s small, but not too small, and carries a whopping 15+1 of 9mm.

With the Glock 26, you get the same stopping power in a subcompact package while still being able to carry 10+1 9x19mm rounds. It’s a great gun for smaller women or anyone looking to hide it in a small handbag, pocket, ankle holster, or anywhere else.

Smith and Wesson M&P Shield

Smith and Wesson’s M&P Shield is another great option to consider as a concealed carry self-defense pistol. Like the Glock 26, its tiny profile allows it to be stored anywhere. These also come in at .45 for people who want more power.

Sig Sauer P365X

The Sig Sauer P365X is another one of the best gun options for women. Its larger size allows it to carry up to 18 rounds, which can be employed at a shooting range or for home defense. It isn’t small, so it needs to be carried openly or in a larger case.

FN 502 Tactical

The FN 502 is a great handgun to learn on and use in target and sports shooting. It carries .22LR ammunition, so it’s quite the opposite of the overpowering types of guns. It can be made even more user-friendly (and cooler) with the addition of a suppressor.

Just because it’s a .22 doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous or useful for defense. It simply means there are better guns for those jobs. This handgun excels as a learning device for new shooters.

Let Us Help You Find the Best Handgun for Women

Anyone can buy any gun they want, and everyone who can become a responsible gun owner should. However, certain types of guns are quite uncomfortable for women either because of their relative size or their power output.

The best guns for women are guns that women can easily learn to use for defense or sport. Key things to look at are the size of the gun in the woman’s hands and how comfortable she is with its caliber.

If you’re looking for something small and comfortable to shoot, take a look at our handgun offerings. We can’t wait to hear from you.