About Guns, Where Do I Start?

The Best Guns for Women

What are the best guns for women to carry? Everyone wants to know. There has to be an answer to this question, doesn’t there? It seems like such a simple thing to ask.

Just do an Internet search and you will certainly see articles with titles that claim to have found the Holy Grail of handguns for women. Sorry to burst your bubble, ladies, but despite the fantasy some have that they know which guns are best for a woman, they DON’T know which gun is the right gun for you. There is no best gun for a woman just as there is no best gun for a man! The best gun for you is out there, however. You just have to do some research and have confidence that you will be able to find it. Your lack of knowledge and your newness to gun ownership don’t have to mean you are helpless and dependent on what someone else “thinks” is the right gun for you.

The Best Guns For Women

I realize as a woman first dipping her toes into the waters of the gun world, that finding the right gun can be a bit overwhelming. All you want to know is which gun to buy for yourself, but instead of finding an answer, you get lost in a sea of options and opinions. So lost in fact that it can dampen your enthusiasm and potentially stop you in your tracks.

Genie lampFinding “your” gun really isn’t all that complicated. What makes it confusing is a combination of:  the new shooter’s lack of knowledge,  her lack of confidence, and the mixed opinions and advice of others. The truth is that by following a few simple guidelines, you will not only find the right gun for you, the individual woman that you are, but you will do it with confidence. So, stop looking for the gun that is somehow supposed to be the best for a particular gender based on some generalities that may or may not be true for you.

Making The Right Choice

You CAN make the right selection for you, and I have every confidence you will. It’s really a lot like match-making,  matching what works for you with the model that has those qualities. It is really a discovery process.

There are many guns to choose from, and as you work to narrow them down and zero in on the best possibilities, you need to understand that you will KNOW it when you find it. The right gun will “just feel right” in your hand. I realize this statement lacks scientific flair – but I KNOW you know what I am talking about. Most women I connect with say this is exactly how they knew which gun was the right one!

Some Guidance

Here is some guidance for you. First, do some basic research then trust yourself and your answers to the following five questions. You may find, as I did, that my first gun was perfect for me as my FIRST gun, and as I grew as a shooter, I found the best gun for me changed as well.

Here are some simple questions that will serve as a guide to help you find the right match:

betty appendix carry1. Will you carry the gun on your body?

Answering this question will help determine the overall size of your gun. If you plan on carrying your gun ON your body, (preferred), the most concealable handguns are the smaller, compact, and snub-nosed models. Learn about the basics of concealed carry here

2. How will YOUR body best carry a concealed gun?

flashbang-peach-braThis is a very important question to answer, and just as there are no best guns for women, there is no one best way to carry either. It is all an individual answer that takes time and research to determine.

Let’s be honest, a 32A bust size will not conceal a large Glock in a bra holster very well! Body shape, size, and how you dress are all important factors in selecting your gun. If you have your heart set on carrying a particular way, know in advance what guns those particular holsters will accommodate. Otherwise, you might be disappointed to discover the holster you were counting on carrying with isn’t available for your gun! Read more on concealed carry holsters here.


3. Do I want a revolver or semi-automatic pistol?


Things like hand strength, finger strength, ammunition capacity, and mechanical complexity must all be considered in order to answer this question. Can you effectively pull the trigger of a Double-Action Revolver or “rack” the slide of the semi-automatic pistol? If you are not sure yet how to answer this question, review the pros and cons between a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol here.

Want to know how a revolver works? Read Here

Want to know how a semi-automatic pistol works? Read Here

4. What caliber handgun should you get?

For self-defense, the best caliber for you is the one you can shoot and manage the recoil comfortably and that can do the most damage to stop the threat. This is a simplistic view taken to assist the new shooter as there is much to learn about ammunition. Things such as caliber and the ballistics of different calibers and types of ammunition. I encourage you to take some time learning about ammunition.

In my opinion for self-defense, a caliber of .380 in a semi-automatic pistol or .38 special in a revolver would be the lowest caliber to consider. Of course, any gun of any caliber is better than none, if you just can’t manage these calibers yet, try a .22 and grow in skill and confidence toward higher caliber pistols.

5. How does it fit in your hand?

Right gripYour hand should comfortably wrap the entirety of the grip, giving you a strong handle on it. You should be able to perform the mechanical operations of the gun confidently. (Pulling the hammer back on a single action revolver, pressing the magazine release button, and releasing the slide lock on a semi-automatic pistol for example.) The meat or pad of your finger should lie solidly and comfortably on the trigger. If you have to stretch or change your grip on the handgun to accomplish this, then it’s not the right gun for you. Here is a video I did on hand size. 

6. Most importantly – try it if you can!

Many ranges and gun shops have rentals or demo guns you can try. If possible, find one, even if it means driving a bit of a distance. If you have friends that own guns, perhaps they can take you shooting to try them. Getting the chance to shoot different types of guns of different calibers is the ideal final step in selecting the right gun for you. It gives you the chance to feel how the different gun types shoot. Like with any fine machine, each variety and make will have differences, and getting the chance to feel these first-hand makes for the most successful selections.

There you go, as you can see there are not best guns for women, but the best gun for you. Now you are equipped with some basic guidelines to help you find the right one for you. My hope is that you begin the task of finding your partner in self-protection with some confidence. You now have an idea of what you want, and how to identify the right gun for you. Yes, you very well will still need the assistance of others, but the key here is having their “assistance” – not having to completely rely on their opinions.

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3 thoughts on “The Best Guns for Women

  1. jbuchanan5179 says:

    Ladies, I need some advice.. I love to deer hunt but we are seeing a rapid increase of black bears in my area.. does anyone have any advice on a good handgun to carry as defense against a black bear? Also, has anyone shot a Ruger. 44 magnum Blackhawk? If so I would love to know your experience with that as well.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Yes, Iread articles on best guns for women and bought my first gun sight unseen or unshot. I bought a S&W MP shield 9mm. Because it was in my budget. The first time I shot it (with an instructor) I couldn’t rack the slide. I couldn’t lock the slide and found that was the most recoil I could take with my weak hands and finger. I still shoot this gun but I purchased a S&W MP Shield .380 EZ and it made all the difference. My opinion for me I should have started with the S&W .22. I can handle the very low recoil, easy to pull trigger, easy to fill the magazine and easy to rack the slide. Take Carries advice try before you buy! Also right now 9mm and .22 ammo is hard to find with COVID and the Civil unrest. So if you can shoot other guns with more recoil. The ammo is easier to find. At least here in Atlanta, GA.

  3. Braden Bills says:

    My wife wants to get a gun, so we want to make sure that she gets the right one. It makes sense that having a way to carry it would be important! That way, we can ensure that we find one that is the right size for that kind of carry.

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