It’s that time of year again when I get to dig into the data from our annual survey and present the Top 10 Most Popular Guns For Women in 2018! Thank you to all who took the time to participate! Getting to see your preferences numerically provides such valuable information to help guide other women and the industry as well. In this article I will share the most popular guns purchased in 2018 based on more than 4000 responses. If you recall, last year’s survey revealed that on average, women own 5.6 guns each! That’s a lot of guns and I hope the industry see’s just how significant our purchases are.
I have to say, you all never cease to surprise me and based on your favorite guns this year, you did not disappoint. A quick observation is the expanding diversity of models you all are purchasing, in my opinion the signifies a couple of things. One, the industry listening and is providing more “women friendly” options. Guns with wasier slides to rack, grips more friendly to a generally smaller woman’s hands and small easier to conceal models. Second, women are doing their homework and not just making purchases based on what they guy behind the counter says but are truly considering all of the options, looking at and finding the guns that are right for THEM! This of course, thrills me. As I always say, there is NO perfect gun for women and women must decide through research and trial which gun truly fits them and they can carry and shoot with confidence. You can watch my video series on Choosing The Right Gun For You here.
This information is shared in hopes that it assists women in at least narrowing down the possibilities and gives them a place to start on their personal search for the right gun(s) for them. Click on the manufacturers link for full product descriptions and read The Well Armed Woman Gun Reviews. This vast resource offers feedback from women just like you, all over the country. These are not formal reviews written by gun writers, but regular women sharing what they like and dislike about the guns they chose. I encouraged you to submit one yourselfand help other women make this all so important decision.
Ok, back to The Top 10 Most Popular Guns For Women – 2018. We had a number of huge switch ups from last year and some newbies on the list this year.
The Glock 43 takes the top spot from the Smith & Wesson Shield which has held the number 1 position for the last 3 years. The Glock 43 is just such a reliable, rugged and no nonsense gun. After all, it was born and raised to serve the needs of law enforcement and the military. Personally, I love the clean, sleek and simple design. Full disclosure, it’s what I carry. Read women’s reviews here
Although this is the first year the Shield has not held the #1 position, #2 isn’t too shabby! This gun has been so hugely popular and will continue to be. It is so slim measuring less than an inch wide, which makes it easy to concealable with minimal bulge! It has a very good capacity (8+1) for a smaller, single stack concealed carry gun. The grip a little longer, which makes getting a solid firing grip during the draw easier than some others. The slide isn’t as “buttery” as some of the others, but I tell you what, so many women love and swear by their Shields! Read women’s reviews here
I love seeing this gun in the top three. We usually see the Glock 26 somewhere on the list so I was a bit surprised to see the 19 rise to such a high position and not have the G26 on the top 10 list at all. The G19 is a pretty good sized gun and being a double stack with a capacity of 15 is impressive. I think seeing larger guns on the list may show that as women’s skill and confidence grows, they are more comfortable carrying and shooting larger guns. Honestly, I wish there were more “manageable” double stacks as capacity is a significant consideration. After all, we need at least one more round than the bad guy, whatever that is! Read women’s reviews here
Always a regular on the list of women’s favorites, the Sig P238 is small and very easy to conceal. It’s famous for its very easy racking slide and smooth trigger. These will likely keep it in the Top 10 for years to come along with the fact that they come in a rainbow of color options. Women can not only find a great gun that they love to shoot, but can find one that matches their aesthetic. Read women’s reviews here
The Sig P238 has been in the top 3 for the last three years. This year it has moved down a spot which it shares with the new Smith & Wesson .380 EZ Shield. This gun was just released last year, so it clearly has found a solid spot with women. Both of these guns have really easy and buttery slides, which is a significant feature as many women have difficulty racking the slide. This is however, where the similarity’s end as the EZ is quite a bit bigger and interestingly, there is quite a difference in the price of these two guns. The P238 retails at $738 and the EZ Shield retails at $399. Read women’s reviews here
A big switch up with the 9mm Sig Sauer models. The P365 is another new model just released last year and clearly is a popular choice with women. It replaced the Sig P938 and P320 that tied the 6thspot in 2017. It has great capacity (10+1) for a single stack in a gun that is slightly smaller in size then the Glock 43. Tough combination to beat. Impressive.
I’m glad to see the Ruger LC9S higher on the list this year. I think this new striker fire version of the LC9 solved some issues for many women with its easier slide and shorter and lighter trigger pull. It deserves to be a favorite of the 9mm calibers. There is such demand for smaller, more concealable 9mm’s and with Ruger’s long history in the very compact concealed carry gun (LCP) it’s only natural that they would master the same in a 9mm. Read women’s reviews here
You really can’t get any smaller than the LCP and for people with real struggles with concealment, it is a lifesaver. This is the same spot the LCPIIheld last year. The original LCP held the #6 spot in 2015 and 2016. It is a bit surprising that the LCPII isn’t in the top 10 list this year (It landed in the #15 spot) as it has a much shorter and lighter trigger pull. It is just so concealable because it is so small and thin, my guess is one of these two models will always be on the favorites list. Read women’s reviews here
The Glock 42 has been in either the #4 or #5 spot the last 3 years, so a little surprised to see it here at #8. I do think the new S&W .380 EZ Shields appearance on the .380 market this year perhaps contributes to this shift. Like all Glocks, the 42 is sleek and reliable and easy to conceal. It’s everything that is Glock, in an ultra-concealable form. Read women’s reviews here
The XDS always deserves a spot in the top 10 in my book. It’s quite a bit different than many of the others with it’s higher capacity of 9+1 as a single stack it offers a significant benefit. The very aggressive texturing of the grip really ensures a solid, no slip grip. It does also have a grip safety, which is one of those things that you either love or you hate. Springfield Armory released a couple of new guns recently that I expect to see on this list next year. The 911 .380 and this year the 911 9mm. Likely will give the Sig P238 and P938 some competition. Read women’s reviews here
This gun was number 6 last year so perhaps the popularity of the new P365 is partly responsible for this 10thspot ranking this year. It has a 1911 frame just like the P238 and in a very concealable size. Like it’s smaller sister, the P938 has a very smooth racking slide which is a real benefit for some with weaker hands. Read women’s reviews here
I just love seeing the manufacturers “listening” to women (and all of their customers) and constantly pushing the engineering and design envelopes to satisfy the wants and needs of their consumers. The result? Dozens of options that allow each individual to find the best possible fit for their personal defense partner.
Once again there were no revolvers in the top 10 and in fact, a revolver didn’t show up on the list until the #17 spot. This data truly dispels the myth that women “need” or “should” have a revolver. Of course, revolvers are an excellent choice for many women, so don’t misunderstand or misinterpret this data to believe revolvers are not valued or don’t have a place with the woman shooter. In fact, if I look at the total number of revolvers purchased (Not by brand) they would have been equivalent in number to the 5thplace spot on the list. Revolvers are best for use in a concealed carry purse and for many with weak hands unable to rack a slide on a semi-automatic pistol, they are a godsend.
Seven of the 11 top guns purchased by women listed above are 9mm and four of them are .380 which has been the pattern the last few years. Interestingly, 4.5% of all guns purchased were .22’s. The overwhelming majority were Ruger Mark IV’s, SR22’s and Browning Buckmark’s. There was also an impressive number of larger guns also purchased by women this year. I noted it last year but the number keeps increasing. The HK VP9 and Walther PPQ were hugely popular. Larger GLOCK’s, Sig’s, Berettas, CZ’s, and 1911’s were prominent as well. As I mentioned above, previous survey showed that the average number of guns personally owned by women was 5.6. Women are clearly buying guns to fill a variety of self-defense, training and recreational activities. So if you are of the mindset that all women want are small guns, think again!
#11 – Sig Sauer P320
#12 – Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380
#13 – Tie – Smith & Wesson 9 Shield M2.0
#13 – Kimber Micro 9mm
#14 – HK VP9
#15 – Ruger LCPII
#16 – Walther PPQ
#17 – Ruger LCR
#18 – Walther CCP
#19 – Ruger EC9
#20 – Tie – Ruger SR9c
#20 – Springfield Armory 911 .380