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The Top 10 Guns Women Purchased in 2016

It’s that time of year again, the Top 10 time of year. So let’s talk guns, more specifically, the gun’s women are buying. Although I am a fierce advocate of each woman getting her hands on and shooting as many guns as possible to help find the “Right one” for her, I believe there is real value in knowing what firearms other women are selecting as their handguns for self defense. We all know that there is no one right gun for all women, but I think knowing what women across the country are buying, at a minimum, can help to narrow down the possibilities and help to create a great list of guns to try, or at least start with. Yes, all women unique, but we can share some common challenges when it comes to handling and shooting a handgun. Things such as hand size, trigger finger length and strength, hand strength and upper body strength are issues many women share so knowing what the prefrerences are of other women is helpful.

Here are the top 10 firearms women purchased in the year 2016, starting with number 10. Below the list I share thoughts and observations after reviewing all of the data collected. I am no statistician and do not submit this as scientific data, but there are valid deductions to be made and preferences represented in the numbers collected. We have a great resource here at The Well Armed Woman that can be extremely helpful to you as you research to find the right gun for you, and that is reviews written by women of dozens of handgun models. You can see them here

This list was complied from a survey of 1100 women and from The Well Armed Woman holster sales of 2016

Number 10 – Glock 19

Number 9 – Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380

Number 8 – Springfield XDS

Number 7 – Sig Sauer P938

Number 6 – Ruger LCP

Number 5 – Glock 42

Number 4 – Ruger LC9s

Number 3 – Sig Sauer P238


Number 2 – Glock 43

Glock 43 Gun Review

Number 1 – Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield

A couple of things really stood out to me as I poured over survey data, comments and sales figures.  First, is the lack of revolvers in the top 10. Only 5.1% of respondent’s purchased a revolver and this was consistent with our holster sales.  This really snubs the idea that many still have, that a revolver is the best choice for a woman. All of the top 10 models are semi-automatic pistols. Now, there are some great revolvers out there, and for many women it is the best choice. They are best for concealed carry purse carry (They won’t jam if it were necessary to shoot through the purse) and the simplicity of their use are real pluses.  The Ruger LCR and the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .38 were the most popular of the revolver models purchased.

ruger lcr   

The Smith &Wesson M&P Shield is number 1 again holding its solid position as the most popular concealed carry handgun women are buying. The move of the Glock 43 over the Sig Sauer p238 (always an extremely popular gun for women with it’s smaller size and very easy to rack slide) is telling, as the top two firearms are 9mm’s which indicates the popularity of a higher caliber gun in concealable form. In fact, six of the top 10 are 9mm’s.

Another notable shift is the leap the Ruger LC9 from the number 7 spot to the number 4 spot. This is likely due to the improved trigger found on the LC9s which has really made this gun a dream to shoot over its predecessor.  The Ruger LCP continues to be a real favorite due to it’s very concealable size.


Glock 42 still a favorite concealed carry gun chambered in .380 and an extremely popular gun with women. A very interesting surprise was the Glock 19 coming in at number 10. I did not expect that, as it’s a pretty large gun with a larger grip, showing not all women are looking for small guns and I believe also the desire for higher capacity.  Glock again this year has three of the top 10 slots with the Glock 26 coming in at number 11.

Although not in the top 10, coming in at number 12 was the Walther CCP. The numbers surprised me on this one as I expected it to come in higher. My hunch is that the introduction and popularity of the new Walther PPS M2 that came on strong later in 2016, drew some of those numbers. The PPS M2 is one to watch and one that I think will find itself near the top of the list next year.

Walther PPS M2 LE Gun Review

One more very interesting thing I found is that although they are not represented in this short list, was the number of larger guns being purchased by women for concealed carry. Such as the Smith & Wesson M&P’s (Not Shield), H&K VP9, Sig Sauer P320, Walther PPQ and various 1911’s. I believe this is a reflection of the growing confidence and comfort of women gun owners with their role as their own self-protectors.

There are so many excellent guns to choose from, many not listed here so if you are looking for a new gun, I encourage you to continue with your research and try as many guns as you can before making your decision. As I always say, you will know it when you find it!

Don’t forget to check out our gun reviews written by women. You can see them here  and our full selection of the best holsters for women here


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