Here We Go!
The results are in for the most popular handguns for women for 2019. This data was collected from The Well Armed Woman 2019 survey, in which 5000 women of all ages from all over the country shared their preferences. You can read my article on all of the fascinating data here
First, let’s look at the most popular manufacturers with women.
The top-selling firearm brands were:
- Smith & Wesson
- Sig Sauer
Now, let’s take a look at the most popular guns for women in 2019.
This year, we have quite a change-up from the last few years.
It just goes to show you that the work the manufacturers do to meet the needs of their female customers pays off.
1 Smith & Wesson EZ .380
The EZ .380, a relatively new addition to the Smith & Wesson MP line up has proven to be hugely popular with women. Why? Because the number one issue and challenge for women gun owners is racking the slide. Women have weaker hands and weaker upper body strength on average compared to men. Thus, a firearm that addresses this issue and allows women to rack the slide with ease, naturally, will be extremely popular. Given the fact that the average woman gun owner is more mature in years, this gun doesn’t surprise me at all. Ease of racking must be the single most crucial factor in choosing her gun. In fact, it very well may be why some women chose a .380 over a 9mm. (See below, reference to the new S&W M&P EZ 9mm)
2 Sig Sauer P365
This thrills me. To see a handgun with higher capacity land in second place reflects the need and desire for women to have more ammo in their concealed carry pistols. Most women do not carry spare magazines, so to have this kind of capacity is significant. The design of the P365 is also quite small, allowing for easier and more comfortable concealment with the wide variety of clothing styles women wear. Lastly, even tiny hands can fit the grip on this gun. The capability to have high capacity in a grip that can fit a woman’s smaller hands is significant, and clearly paying off for Sig Sauer.
3 Glock 43
The Glock 43 has been a real favorite with women and has held a top 3 position on this list for years. It’s sleek, extraordinarily reliable, and fits smaller hands. This gun has been and will stay a real favorite of women.
4 Smith & Wesson Shield
The Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm has held the number 1 spot for 3 years straight and only fell to the number 2 spot last year to the Glock 43. With the recent release of the M&P Shield EZ 9mm, I expect we will see this newer, easier to rack version rank very high next year.
5 Glock 19
The Glock 19 is and will always be a favorite and likely rank highly in this survey of women. For women with medium to larger hands, it’s a shoo-in. With its optional capacity of 17 rounds and its rather compact size, it’s easy to understand why. The G19 can accept the following magazine sizes:
Optional: 17 / 24 / 31 / 33
6 Sig Sauer P238
I think the Sig Sauer P238 will also likely continue to be in the top 10. Honestly, the slide on this gun literally racks like spreading soft butter. It’s effortless. Again, with racking the slide being the most significant factor for women when purchasing a gun, it only makes sense that this gun rank well.
7 Ruger SR22
This was a real surprise. Not the fact that it is a Ruger (that is no surprise as Ruger makes an outstanding gun), rather, that a .22 is in the top 10. I am a HUGE believer that any gun of any caliber is better than none. So kudos to the women that aren’t able or comfortable with larger calibers turning to this gun. My other thought is that as shown in my article covering the entirety of the data collected in this year’s survey, women are buying more than 1 gun. So perhaps this is potentially reflected here.
8 Glock 43X
I honestly expected this gun, released in Jan. of last year, to rank higher. It is only ever so slightly longer than the G43 and with a little longer grip, but has a whopping 10+1 capacity (compared to 6+1).
9 Ruger LCP
The Ruger LCP is a legend. The first really small gun (able to fit in a pocket) naturally seems to belong on this list and it has for all of the years I have collected data. What’s interesting is that Ruger now offers the LCP II, which has a substantially easier racking slide and trigger pull, which should speak to women. However, its longevity as a favorite with women demonstrates a women’s need and desire to carry a gun they can very easily conceal.
10 Sig Sauer P320
This is a “newbie” to The Well Armed Woman Top 10 lists for women. However, it was #11 last year, so it’s moving up in the ranks. It’s a rather “beefy” gun, both in size and in weight. So this is rather interesting. It could be perhaps a gun that women are purchasing to train with. Just a guess.
Guns That Didn’t Make the Top 10 Most Popular Guns for Women
But Should Be Noted
11. S&W Shield 2.0
12. Glock 42
13. S&W Shield M&P
14. S&W Shield EZ 9mm
15. TIE: Springfield Hellcat and Sig P938
16. Ruger LC9s
17. Kimber Micro
18. Ruger LCPII
19. HK VP9
20. TIE: Walther PPQ and Springfield XDS M2
32 thoughts on “Most Popular Guns For Women – 2019”
I have the Walther PDP Compact 9mm with the 4″ barrel and it is amazing to shoot. The trigger pull is close to being effortless with minimal recoil using 115gr and 124gr FMJ. The one issue I have is that, as a woman, it is hard to conceal on body but aside from this, it is a great firearm for practice.
I have a S&W bodyguard w laser. Great for conceal carry and I love the laser.
I recently took a firearm course and the instructor suggested I try a .22rimfire pistol (I believe it was a Glock 44 and it came in multiple colors). It had less recoil, as well as a larger grip to work with since I have larger hands.
The result was less hand fatigue, more accuracy due to less recoil. I really want one for target practice. But they are completely sold out in my state.
I thought I was purchasing a Glock 43, but realized I got a Glock 48. It does seem a little big for concealed carry and heavier . I am slender and will have to wear blousy tops to conceal. Was disappointed. Gun shop can’t get Sig P365 in. I bought a sticky holster and my pants don’t always fit tight, so I have to look at holsters for it too. Gun shops are having a hard time getting 9mm ammo in too.
Congrats on the new gun! We carry many holster types – I’m sure one will work great for you! Shop here!
Check Academy Sports (academy.com) for a Sig P365. I was told by the manager of an Academy gun dept that they stock new guns on Sunday night, so if you go first thing Monday morning, you can find a good selection. Same for ammo.
I own the Sig P320. For me… it works. (I do not carry, it is for home defense.) I spent several weeks visiting surrounding Gun Shops, renting AND shooting anything that looked appealing. The P320 felt the best for me.
On that note, I’ve just accompanied my son while he made the same journey. In the course of him trying MANY handguns, I had a chance to re-evaluate my purchase. Happy to say, I still REALLY like my Sig.
Weapon choice is very subjective. Take the time to “shop” and shoot. It can get expensive but it’s well worth it. Then go to the range and TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN.
…. and HAVE FUN !!!
for concealed carry in a waw purse, i prefer a hammerless revolver, just purchased a ruger lcp 38 , comfy grip for med. hands, no hammer, no slide to catch. a bit lighter, smaller than my taurus 38 sp.
I prefer a revolver . I have Smith and wesson bodyguard with laser. Easy to load, shoot and carry.
I carry that also. Conceals easily.
First of all – let me start out with the fact that I have tendinitis in my wrist and it’s very sensitive to shooting at the range – but my safety and training is crucial, so it’s necessary. As someone that has tried and used many different guns over the years, by far, hands down – the new Sig Sauer P365 XL is a home run. I would recommend this to anyone with small hands/sensitive wrists. It still has a kick (as they all do!) but the ergonomics make it so much better. It’s night and day different from the regular P365, which I couldn’t use/the handle didn’t work for me at all. I was bent on getting the Hellcat – until I held it. The ergonomics of the handle pushed into my palm way too much and was very uncomfortable for me. I was so disappointed in how it felt. I carried a Glock 19 for years – had the grip customized and reduced as it was too big for me, but I continued to have trouble with my wrist in my grip as I was always trying to reach the trigger (I have small hands) – and even with the reduced grip, I still would leave the range with a sore wrist because of how I had to hold it in order to use it. My husband carries the Walther PPS and loves it, but the handle digs into my palm and hurts too much. We had the Ruger LC9, which was a turd, don’t bother. The Ruger LCP is ONLY a last resort backup gun when you need super concealment as that kick is a massive wrist killer and there’s no way to shoot that for more than 5 shots without it hurting. With the P365 XL – it’s still small and super concealable (holds 12 rounds!), it fits my hand like a glove, the ergonomics while shooting is great, the arch within the handle is perfect and no pain in the palm of my hand or wrist after shooting hundreds of rounds through it on my first day! I was truly amazed at how great I felt after – so much so, that it made me realize how much the other guns really affected me, and waaaay more than I thought. The new Sig Sauer P365 XL should be at the top of the list!
And PS – alot of the complaints people had over the regular P365 were all addressed in this new XL version. (i.e. the trigger reset is audible and clearly felt) I checked out a ton of videos as well. They really listened to people’s complaints.
And just the balance of my 2 cents – I won’t carry anything under a 9 mm. M&P’s just didn’t work for me either. Glock 43 is just ok, not great, plus I prefer higher capacity. The XL has extended mags, so you can carry 15 + 1 just like the Glock 19 but it’s so much smaller! I literally have spent so many hours walking around various gun stores trying to hold all different sizes and styles and nothing came close to the P365 XL.
Trudi: I’ll bet the reason you like the XL is because it has a steel frame, which weighs more than polymer. That extra weight absorbs the recoil.
My Beretta weighs more than my wife’s Glock; and I feel a lot more recoil with her Glock than with my Beretta.
Thank you for this info. I have RA that causes super painful wrists. I also had a broken bone in my hand years ago and have the same problem with short handles poking that spot in my palm. So I’ll definitely try out your 365xl.
I am a new gun owner and want to know where I might be able to get lessons for shooting and maintenence.
Hi Terri! I suggest taking a look at the Women & Guns: The Basics course as a new gun-owner! You will learn a lot about firearm basics including shooting skills. For the in-person training, you may want to see if there is a TWAW Shooting Chapter near you or use our Instructor Finder tool to see if there is a TWAW Certified Instructor close by. Here are the links for you:
Instructor Finder: https://thewellarmedwoman.com/instructors/
What state are you in?
There are a few really great womans clubs for training
Call me LaFayette Parish
312 330 0036
I am a NRA Instructor for rifle, pistol, shotgun etc.
Hello I’m not very knowledgeable about guns but due to what I do I’ve been looking into carrying for protection but have only shoot a gun twice in my life time I’d like to know what kinda firearm would be fit for a beginner and also to learn a lot more about it them and possibly certify myself
If you are brand new to guns, check out our Women & Guns: The Basics course! It will give you a great base of knowledge before you start your journey as a gun owner.
Looking to purchase a weapon–woman -need the best place to do so. I also need a good trainer in my area
The Springfield Hellcat, in my mind, should be at the very top of the list. Perhaps it is because it was not readily available until the end of December and will make the top for 2020. I have a Sig P365 which I rarely use since getting a hold on the Hellcat. The Sig has a stiff slide and an almost non-detectable trigger reset which makes trigger control much more difficult. I had a Glock 43 and sold it. The trigger pull is very heavy. The 43X is better and the size is great. I have shot the Glock 19 and 48 as well but can’t rave about them. The Hellcat, however, has it all. The trigger pull is smooth and easy. The reset is audible and easy to feel. The grip is comfortable, the sights are easy to see and line up. The small size yet high capacity magazine makes it a perfect concealed carry. The slide lock is stiff but I suspect that will loosen up with a few hundred more rounds and a few cleanings. All in all, it is the perfect gun which leads to amazing accuracy.
Thank you for your honest review. I have been looking into getting my first handgun and really leaning toward the Springfield Hellcat. Seeing that you had a couple of the others that were on the list of best sellers but still prefer the Hellcat just sealed the deal for me.
Jennifer did you end up getting the Hellcat? How do/did you like it? I am leaning towards the Hellcat because the P365 does not have a trigger safety and it has a light safety. I tried looking for aftermarket trigger safety for the P365, but couldn’t find one.
First of all…nothing in my above comment made sense. What I meant to say was that I was leaning towards the Hellcat because the P365 doesn’t have a SAFETY TRIGGER and has a light TRIGGER. I tried looking for aftermarket trigger for the P365 and could find one.
Here’s my two cents, it’s all about what you are comfortable with. Personally, I love my Springfield XD 9mm. I’ve had it for years and it’s never let me down.
You are absolutely right, Karin!
I have to say I agree with most of the top choices ( and the ones I didn’t… I can at least understand why they are on the list). I have a 365 and love it… my mom, who is over 70, just got the #1 pick (.380 EZ) and loves it…
Was a little surprised to not see the HK VP9SK on the list, but did see its big brother the VP9 counter in at #19
I just want to add my 2 cents.
I have had many women trade in the Sig Sauer P365 9 mm for a Smith and Wesson ez 9mm. They didn’t care for the hard to pull back slide. I know adjustments could be made, but if they don’t feel comfortable with it right out of the box-you can loose them. I be been shooting for over 50 years. Love that it’s becoming a gals world. I love my Beretta Nano 9mm. Sadly they don’t make this model
anymore. So sorry I had to miss Shotshow this year. You all are great.
I bet the SW ez 9mm will make the list in 2020 since it was just released. Hellcat will also become more popular too. Kinda of surprise the Walther CCW did not make the list.
They replaced the Nano with the APX carry. It’s much improved. Check it out.
In this article, the Glock G19 is listed as having a capacity of 17 rounds. In fact, it is 15 (+1).
Thank you for catching that. I can see where that was a little misleading. I have edited the portion to be a little more clear. As you stated the standard is 15, but there are optional magazine sizes you can opt for that have higher capacities.