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The Top 10 Most Popular Guns For Women – 2018

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. 

How Can You Use This Information?

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.

You can read the lists from the past few years here. 2017   ,2016    ,2015

The Top 10 Most Popular Guns For Women

#1 – Glock 43  Caliber: 9mm Capacity: 6+1

Glock 43

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

#2 – Smith & Wesson MP Shield  Caliber: 9mm  Capacity: 8+1

Smith & Wesson MP Shield

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

#3 – Glock 19  Caliber: 9mm  Capacity: 15+1

Glock 19

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

 

#4 Tie – Sig Sauer P238   Caliber: .380  Capacity: 6+1

Sig P238

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

Smith & Wesson .380 EZ Shield  Caliber: .380    Capacity: 8+1

S&W M&P Shield EZ .380

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

#5 – Sig Sauer P365  Caliber: 9mm  Capacity: 10+1

Sig P365

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.

#6 – Ruger LC9S  Caliber: 9mm Capacity: 7+1

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

#7 – Ruger LCP  Caliber: .380  Capacity: 6+1

Ruger LCP

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

#8 – Glock 42   Caliber: .380  Capacity: 6+1

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

#9 – Springfield XDS  Caliber: 9mm  Capacity: 7+1

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

#10 –  Sig Sauer P938   Caliber: 9mm  Capacity: 7+1

Sig P938

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

Some Additional Thoughts

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.

What About Revolvers?

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.

Other Favorite Guns of Women

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!

The #11 – #20 Top Finishers

#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

Holster Options Image

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34 thoughts on “The Top 10 Most Popular Guns For Women – 2018

  1. Talea says:

    My EDC is a Sig P938 We The People. My husband has a 365, which I love. I don’t regret my impulse buy of the P938 but I probably would have got the 365 if I’d tried them both. I got the P938 to downsize from a S&W 40. The 40 is a nice solid pistol but I didn’t care for the trigger pull (better the more I shot it) and it was just too bulky for me to conceal every day in an office environment. My P938 is a dream to carry and nice to shoot. The grips are raised stars so not the most comfortable, especially compared to the soft rubber grips on the 365.

  2. Lynn Baker says:

    My EDC is a Ruger ec9s and I am very satisfied with it. I was recently introduced to Canik, however, and absolutely love their TP9SFx! Quite the smooth operator, a joy to shoot! I’m going to purchase one as my home defense/range fun gun, as it’s too large for EDC. I’m quite impressed with this brand.

  3. deb26800 says:

    For any gun purchase, do your homework and watch lots of videos. Pay attention to accuracy, ease of racking the slide, and ESPECIALLY take down and reassembly at cleaning time. In Texas we don’t have to conceal, so if I did carry I open carry something I could depend on. Little guns, no matter what the caliber, make me nervous. But I have little hands. The Springfield 1911 EMP 4″ 9mm is one I’d highly recommend if you want to carry on a belt.

  4. Vanessa H says:

    As a new shooter, I tried many 9mm’s before deciding on the Ruger American 9mm. I have bilateral carpal tunnel and was Concerned about the recoil however using the Ruger American I’ve been shooting for over a year and do not have any issues with recoil. Racking the slide is no issue either. I’m surprised that it is not on the list though. I’m considering getting another handgun this spring and I’m looking at Beretta and H&K 9mm. I Also want to get a 22 for practice and welcome suggestions.

  5. Ida Dennis says:

    Stan,I totally agree. The S&W EZ Shield is a great gun for weaker hands like mine.

  6. Ida Dennis says:

    I have RA and just purchased a S&W EZ Shield 380. I love this hand gun. Easy to rack even with my weak hands. The magazine is easy to load. I like the double safety. It fits my hand perfectly. Ladies if you haven’t tried shooting this gun…your missing out. I know 9mm have more stopping power, but it just became too heavy for my body and I consistently shot low. This gun is just right.

  7. Val Aldrich says:

    I tried the Sig, S&W shield and the Walther PPS. I went about 4 times to the range to test them out. I ended up with the Walther and I absolutely love it. I could of gone with the shield too but I really felt most confident with the PPS. I did not enjoy the Sig at all.

  8. Gail says:

    I had a Ruger LC9s as my first handgun 2 1/2 yrs ago. I didn’t enjoy shooting it –even after trying different ammo. It was hard on my wrists and I didn’t like the recoil–it’sa snappy little gun. I won’t even mention the steps to go through to dismantle and clean it. Fast forward to this year when I tried a Sig P365. Bye, bye Ruger, and HELLO to my new little friend. Love the 365, loved it even more when I tried the Sig 365 Elite Ball ammo. Oh and dismantling and cleaning is a breeze!!

  9. I just bought a glock 34 gen 4. nice grip, easy to rack and shoot.The place where I shoot had the glock people do a weekend get together to try different glocks,I really like this gun.I also like my H & K, although it is a heavier gun.My 2nd favorite is the Walther.My carry is my sig sauer P238.easy to conceal carry.So glad I live in Florida.

  10. Katie Braaten says:

    I absolutely LOVE my S&W .38 special+P. Airweight 5 shot revolver. It is my everyday concealed carry gun. I also carry a 5 shot speed loader in my purse, just in case!! You can count on a revolver firing everytime you pull the trigger as semiautomatic’s can jam.

  11. Shannon Clark says:

    I did have a Ruger 38 Special, but with the air weight frame, it just had too much bite in my hand. I couldn’t shoot very many rounds out of it and neither one of us was very accurate with it either. And because I was no longer uncomfortable shooting a semiauto gun, I traded up to the Glock 42 when I got my CPL (it was between that and the Glock 43) and I love it. He just changed the sights to Tritium Night Sights for me. I have been considering a second gun, so I’m going to check out some others in the top of the list.

  12. Keith says:

    CZ Rami 9mm 10+1 is what my wife carries and she loves it. All steel makes it a bit heavier than a polymer frame pistol, but its weight also reduces the direct hand to wrist recoil and muzzle flip associated with lighter weight pistols plus its slide in frame rather than slide on frame design further reduces muzzle flip. Well worth taking a look at and considering for a woman or a man. Probably one of the most obscure and under rated concealed carry pistols in the market. https://www.gunworld.com/guns/czs-rami-9mm-the-most-underrated-carry-subcompact/

  13. Dee says:

    I love that we have a lot of women that responded. I also like that the comments here have questions about individual states…seems we are all a bit curious. I would also love to see the question divided into 2 categories, Home Defense & Conceal & Carry.

  14. Gerry says:

    #17 on their extras list is a revolver. Can get it in .38 or .357 (also 9mm). I recommend .357 so you have the option of .38 or .357…doesn’t work the other wsy around tho…one chambered in .38 can’t handle .357…

  15. Jane says:

    I have Glock 43 and 19. The H and K vp9 and a Walther .22. looks like I need to buy 2 more just to be Average! Lol.

  16. Stan George says:

    Give the S&W EZ Shield another year. It will be #1

  17. Joanna G says:

    I have both the Ruger LC9S and the Ruger SR9C. The LC9S is my carry gun that is either in my Crossbreed Purse Defender holster or my Can Can Hip Hugger Concealment holster. The SR9C is my bed stand gun. Both guns will take any ammo brand you feed it, are reliable, and accurate. The SR9C is a dream to shoot, and I use it at the range as a warm up to the LC9S, which is a little snappy, but not excessively so. I’ve had my eye on a Sig P238 though, to add to my collection. Also looking at a Ruger LCR.

  18. Kathy says:

    Him not one of mine on the list. But concealment is not an issue for me, no one gets a concealed carry permit in NJ. I bought the Neos .22 this year and love the way it fits my hand! My all time favorite is still my first bought 10 years ago, S&W M66 .357. Absolutely love that gun!

  19. Heidi says:

    Have had a Ruger LC9 for years and love it. I was sad not to see a revolver in this list. That’s what I want next and have been looking at. Any advice on 38 specials?

  20. Jill Robertson says:

    Love my GLOCK43. Happy to it #1. Very good article. I repeatedly tell friends, male and female, that a woman MUST choose her own gun. So many men decide what their wives should shoot. Never works out. Men don’t choose purses or shoes for their wives, they shouldn’t choose guns either! My husband works in the industry and he would be the first to tell any man to let his wife choose her weapon.

  21. R.M. Christesen says:

    I have the Sig P238 and had the trigger load lightened by 2 pounds. Helped me with the “anticipation ” factor. Just got the Glock 43 and have only put 250 rounds thru it so far. Added a Hogue grip sleeve (great workout getting it on) and that helped with some of the issues I had with my hand and recoil pain. My go to however is my Colt Government .380 with its smooth 4# trigger and easy slide.

  22. Miquelle says:

    I bought my first gun in 2018 and it was a Glock 43. Oh, how I love it! There’s no way I would have gotten anythong different. It’s a great gun and good size for concealability.

  23. Linda says:

    I have 4 of them, maybe I should go try the others out

  24. Ken Rabidou says:

    Walther pps m2 should be in top 10. My wife prefers mine over here shield.

  25. Virginia says:

    I would be interested in knowing what models the ladies looked at before making their purchase. Did they all make their choice from the same selection and/or do they own any of the other guns in the top 20?

  26. Spring Mason says:

    Totally agree. We got one used from a police officer who was getting a 43X.

  27. Michelle R Hoyt says:

    I have the Ruger LCR 38 and love it, but have been really thinking of getting in addition one of the top 4 listed here! I also have a Single Six and it’s so fun to shoot, not concealable though.

  28. Paula G Hephner says:

    I have carried a Springfield XD40 for the past eight years or more and I love it.

  29. I have 7 of the top 20! I love my Sigs and H&K’s!

  30. I have 7 of the top 20! I love my Sigs and H&K’s!

    1. Margot Aspen says:

      I agree. Was all SIG till I found an HKvp9 @ a gun show at such a good price, it would have been criminal to pass it up. Didn’t realize I’d love it as much as I do.

  31. Debra Palmet says:

    Amazing I have 5 of the Top 20! Or 3 of the top 10!

  32. Debra says:

    I wonder what the list looks like with and without California in there. We can’t get the Glock 43 yet – praying the Supreme Court backs us on reversing the “roster”.

  33. Cindy Blankenship says:

    Love my Glock 43. Easy to conceal . Love the way it fits in my hand when I shoot.

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