How to Choose the Best Handgun for a Woman – Quick Guide

Firearm ownership is a right that can be exercised by every American citizen. Figures tell us that about 22% of American women own a firearm. That is every fifth woman, an impressive number that will probably surprise people who underestimate how many people own a gun. With America’s unique gun violence problem and built-up tension caused by various social upheavals, there are more female gun owners nowadays than ever before. As such, there is a wide choice of firearms for all interested buyers. Is there such a thing as a woman’s handgun? Technically speaking, that term fits every firearm owned by a woman. We won’t even mention those pinky-tiny fool-proof revolvers that occasionally find their way into guides with similar titles. There is no difference between handguns for men and women, neither in looks nor in configurations or caliber. If a handgun doesn’t work for a male beginner, it’s likely to be equally unsuitable for a female one, and vice versa. Does this mean that rules for handgun choosing are the same for everyone? Yes, for the most part. There are some minor peculiarities that women can take into account, but those are not nearly enough to make a fuss over. Why all these best handguns for women titles? Well, we needed to draw the attention of our target audience to let you know that it’s much simpler than you might’ve anticipated. We all use firearms in the same manner and should choose them accordingly.

With that being said, we still play by the internet rules simply because this is how things work. So, what does the best small handgun for women look like? Just as with the meaning of life, there is no definite answer. We know that the best handgun is the one that performs its functions excellently and shoots comfortably. You wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the best gun for concealed carry and the best gun for range shooting are two different guns, right? The same goes for handguns in general. Here’re six points to consider when looking for your perfect handgun.



This point is directly related to the caliber that your perfect handgun will be chambered in. Let’s say you live on the outskirts and have plenty of plinking opportunities. You are still finding your feet and getting acquainted with firearms. In that case, your perfect pistol has rimfire inscribed all over it. If you are in the market for a self-defense handgun you are determined to train with, no rimfire will do. The 9mm Luger pistol is a candidate far more suitable for the title. This caliber is generally famous for its manageable recoil and impact power sufficient for self-defense scenarios. Two other popular handgun calibers for self-defense are .380 ACP and .45 ACP. Each with pros and cons of its own, with 9mm being the sweet spot in between as versatile as a handgun caliber can be.


By underestimating the importance of size, you increase your chances of buying a gun that will end up gathering dust somewhere in a drawer. Apart from being a determining characteristic when choosing the best concealed carry handgun for women, it also affects the general gun-using experience. The size of the gun correlates with such features as grip width and trigger reach, both equally important for determining whether a gun will be a good fit or a disappointment. If you can’t hold your gun comfortably, shooting accurately is out of the question. Too big – and you’ll have a hard time maintaining the balance and taking aim. With a handgun too small you might be inclined to cover the trigger with too much of your trigger finger which doesn’t add to accuracy either.


There is also the question of purpose. A gun for concealed carry shouldn’t be too cumbersome since you’ll spend the whole day wearing it. It should also be comfortable to wear in whatever style you choose. If you are choosing a handgun for home defense, the size becomes a less significant issue. In short, prioritize grip comfort and trigger reach when it comes to size, keeping in mind the handgun’s purpose. If you decide to stick to a small pistol, steer clear of bigger calibers.


The ergonomics of a handgun directly depend on its size. The gun should be easy to operate, load, unload, and fire. It might be the lack of experience that stands in the way. It might also be the unsuitable gauge that causes the problem. Poor ergonomics bring about poor accuracy and might even cause an accident. When buying a gun, make sure you can comfortably reach all the controls, and that nothing disturbs your grip and shooting.


Weight also goes hand in hand with size but doesn’t always depend on it. A smaller handgun featuring a metal frame can be heavier than its bigger polymer-framed counterpart. Then, there is also the question of recoil. The heavier the gun, the more recoil it absorbs and the less of it you feel. However, weight can be both a help and a hindrance. Remember, that being able to merely hold a gun is not enough. You need to keep it steady while taking aim. Nobody knows your upper body strength better than you do. If you feel confident holding a heavier pistol, then get a heavier pistol. A lightweight handgun is not a panacea and is not always the best handgun you can get.



Recoil is a bane of every shooter, man and woman alike. For that reason, the answer will also be pretty universal – the less recoil, the better. Unfortunately, it’s always about compromise when it comes to recoil. Big heavy handguns chambered in small calibers will have the least felt recoil. At the same time, they are hardly suitable for concealed carry or self-defense in general. Recoil affects your accuracy and the speed of follow-up shots and should be reckoned with. The fact that felt recoil varies from person to person doesn’t make it easier to find a suitable model. For that reason, your best tactic is to test firearms at a shooting range before buying.

Safety features

The best self-defense handgun for women is the one that helps fight the danger and doesn’t create a new one. A gun is supposed to shoot only if you want it to. Safety features make sure it stays that way. As you become more experienced with handling a handgun, you will need fewer safety features, but never none at all. Manual safety is the most common form of safety mechanism in the form of a button or a lever. The grip safety is a similar mechanism that is deactivated automatically while you maintain the grip on the handgun. Almost all new handguns are required to have some form of drop safety, but those features work passively and don’t need to be activated. Choose the form of safety you feel comfortable with.

How to find the best handgun for women in 2022? The same way it was done before. The best handgun is the one you feel comfortable shooting. The one that does exactly what it is supposed to. It has many faces and may take many forms. But it’s always the one that gets the job done.