Best Handguns For Women – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

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Are you a woman in search of a handgun that fits up perfectly? Or are you a man looking for a handgun for your wife, your daughter, or an important woman in your life? Either way, you are not alone and you are in the right place. It’s imperative that those who conceal carry should use their pistol for self-defense if and when needed in a dangerous situation.

As statistics have shown, women are subject to being victims of random (or targeted) attacks by assailants much more often than men. That’s why it is important for women to conceal carry a pistol so they can be prepared at all times. But which handgun will be best for a woman? While many handguns are currently flooding the market, a select few stand out as the best on the market.

Before we get to the list of our top picks, let’s talk about whether or not any handgun can be used by a woman and how you can choose one out of the options listed below.

Comparison Chart of the Best Handguns For Women

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Red laser sight built-in
  • Contains 7 to 8 + 1 rounds
  • Best overall handgun for women
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  • Fires 380 rounds
  • 6-round capacity magazine
  • Runner-up for best overall handgun for women
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  • Rear sight equipped with night sights
  • Best self-defense handgun for women
  • Includes three magazines, each containing 15 rounds
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

Can Any Handgun Be Used By a Woman?

Not every handgun can be used by a woman, and there are a few reasons why. For one, let’s take a look at the trigger pull weight on some pistols. They may require an uncomfortable level of pressure to be applied, meaning that you might not be able to quickly get a shot off. Another issue would be the weight; some firearms may be too heavy for a woman’s hand and may cause some ergonomic issues. Lastly, some handguns may be too large for a woman’s hand to hold easily. 

How Do I Choose a Handgun?

This is where things can get tricky. While there are many handguns available on the market, it can be hard to tell which one will be the best possible option. That’s why we recommend you keep your eye on some of the vital characteristics and features of each handgun so you know which ones stand out to you as interesting. Here’s what you need to look for:

Price

Of course, the price might be a concern for those who are on a budget. That said, it should not be the only reason why you make a purchase. If you are on a budget it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be regulated to finding only cheap models. You should try to find the best quality and performance that you can afford in a handgun, even if it means spending slightly above your budget range.

Lighter Trigger Pull

If there is one interesting characteristic that you need to look for, it’s a lighter trigger pull. You want to find one that will allow for getting a shot off with just enough pressure. But be careful, some triggers' pull weights may be so light that the trigger will be overly sensitive to the touch. Consider purchasing a handgun that has a trigger pull weight of 3 to 4 pounds as a good starting point. 

Size

The size of the pistol may be an important factor for a woman. That’s because you want to keep it concealed and out of plain sight as much as possible. If you are serious about concealability, you may want to consider a compact or subcompact pistol as your best option. If you know that you can handle a full-sized pistol, you may be able to find one that will be suitable. 

Quick Take - The Best Handguns For Women

These are our recommendations for the best handguns for women:

  1. Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield 2.0
  2. Ruger LCP 2.75" 380
  3. Sig Sauer P226 Legion

Review of the Best Handguns For Women

Below is a list of the best handguns on the market for women. While you read through the list, you may want to make a note of what features and characteristics stand out the most. If you have an idea of what you want in a handgun, you may find the features and characteristics you have written down as a good reference for which one best matches your description.

Remember, close enough is better than nothing at all. Now, let’s take a look at the first handgun on our list -- the “best overall” choice:

Pros

  • Lightweight even when fully loaded
  • Excellent concealability; no bulging at all
  • Red laser allows for accurate, precise shooting
  • Does not snag on clothing when being drawn or re-holstered
  • Super durable construction; made from corrosion-resistant materials

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users of the Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield 2.0 were women who were looking for a pistol that allowed maximum concealability and sharp, precise accuracy. This pistol did not disappoint them in the slightest. They said that it was easy to shoot and easy to handle, making them feel more confident in being able to use it in a self-defense situation. One user said that she was able to handle this and still hit accurate shots in a “run and gun” session at the range. She added that the trigger pull was nice and light, thus leading to firing off several rounds rather quickly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pistol is small enough to attain maximum concealability, which is a good thing if you want to keep it out of plain sight. One of the more impressive features that you can find on this pistol was the built-in laser sight. Put this to good use and it will work well with the other built-in sights to ensure that you can get a precise shot every single time. If accuracy is what you want, rest assured that you will get just that.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the perfect concealed carry pistol for when you want to put it in a holster or somewhere else like a purse or glovebox. Concealability is one of the most impressive characteristics you can find in a pistol. That way, you are able to carry under the radar and keep yourself sharp in a dangerous situation. No one in your surrounding area also needs to know that you carry. Give yourself peace of mind in knowing that you can protect yourself (and those around you) with this pistol at your side.

Bottom Line

The Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield 2.0 is well-deserving of the “best overall” spot on our list. It’s got the measurables to be concealable and proves that it can be accurate from a good distance, thus taking out your assailants if and when you need to. There is no denying that this pistol will give you years of faithful service considering S&W’s reputation of being one of the most reliable brands in the business.

Pros

  • Easy to load
  • Perfect for concealed carry
  • Trigger pull is nice and light
  • Great durability and overall quality
  • Can be relied on as either a primary or secondary pistol

Cons

  • May not be the best for range shooting
  • May not be recommended for appendix carry
  • Trigger pull may be too sensitive for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

New users say that this pistol was really easy to shoot. With 6 rounds at their disposal, they were able to empty out their entire magazine with ease thanks to the ability to make quick follow-up shots. One user said that being able to shoot fast was what she was looking to do with a concealed carry pistol (and she got exactly that). What also won her over was the overall size for concealability. She said the last pistol she tried to use was too large and she couldn’t keep it concealed because of bulging.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The 380 is perhaps one of the more popular calibers when it comes to concealed carry. One of the reasons is that the pistols designed to fire such rounds are often small in size. Even a full-sized might be the same size as a compact pistol of a different caliber. With that said, 380 pistols are known for being superior in concealability. If you want to carry a pistol while keeping it out of plain sight, this might be the best possible choice for you.

Who Will Use This Most

This pistol will come in handy if you are looking for total concealability. Carrying with some stealth is pretty intriguing, to say the least. And it could be better that way if you want to carry a pistol without making other people look at you funny or feel uncomfortable. There is no shame in carrying a pistol to protect yourself. But if you really want to keep one at your side without anyone knowing (and doing so legally), this is the pistol you may want to consider.

Bottom Line

The Ruger LCP 2.75” 380 is no slouch when it comes to concealability. It also has the quality and performance that will stand out from the pack. It might be the runner-up for now, but don’t be surprised if this is one of the few pistols duking it out for the top spot at some point in the future. Thus far, it has the advantage because of its concealability and ease of use.

Best Self Defense Handgun for Women:
Sig Sauer P226 Legion

Pros

  • Easy to maintain control
  • Trigger pull is smooth and easy
  • Firing power packs a good punch
  • Excellent for self-defense and EDC carry
  • Night sights are easy to see in low-light conditions

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, this pistol was a huge hit with women. Not only was it small for concealed carry purposes, but it was excellent for around the clock use for all those things that went “bump” in the night. One user said that she put this to the test at the range in both an indoor and outdoor setting. While indoors, she managed to see the night sights in low light. She said that if and when she uses this in a possible home invasion, she knows that she will be able to get a good aim on anyone who was stupid enough to break in.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pistol allows you to have three magazines at your disposal. Equip one and keep the two extra at your side. You have just enough firing power at your disposal to defend yourself against dangerous attackers. On top of that, this has the night sights that will allow you to get a good accurate shot if and when you need to. It’s no picnic if you are using a pistol with sights that are invisible because of the lack of light. So if you want a pistol that will give you the unfair but much-needed advantage over a home invader, this SIG Sauer pistol is worth the investment for all your self-defense needs.

Who Will Use This Most

This pistol will be great for keeping at your side or keeping it at home. Any dangerous situation can and may happen anywhere and anytime, so it’s good to have a pistol like this close to you so that you are prepared to defend yourself if the opportunity presents itself. Your life (and the lives of your family) are important. Don’t make the mistake of taking them for granted in a situation where threats against their lives or yours are present.

Bottom Line

The SIG Sauer P226 Legion 9mm might save your life. It’s the kind of pistol that will allow you to get the upper hand on any threats that pose a danger against you. Whether you keep this in a holster or in your dresser drawer, this pistol will make sure that you are prepared for a worst-case scenario.

Pros

  • Excellent concealability
  • Trigger pull is super easy
  • Easy to load; only takes a few minutes
  • Red laser provides excellent accuracy and precision

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This pistol really generated a lot of good reviews from most women who purchased it. Considering the fact that it was one of the most affordable handguns on the market, they also were happy with the overall concealability. Users were able to hit their targets accurately from 25 to 40 yards out. Shooting groups, as expected, were consistently tight regardless of which 380 ammo was used.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Once again, we look at another 380 pistol that might excel above all the rest when it comes to concealability. Of course, it’s also one of the most reliable 380 pistols on the market. After all, it’s a Smith and Wesson, so you probably wouldn’t expect anything less. This is one of the more affordable models for 380 pistols. If you looked at a 380 that we previously reviewed but found it out of your price range, then don’t fret. This is one of the more affordable alternatives. It’s just as durable, reliable, and all-around awesome as any top-notch 380 on the market.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great starter pistol for most beginner shooters. If you are a woman starting out with concealed carry, expect this to be one of your best options. This pistol will leave a lasting first impression. It’s concealable, accurate, and just all-around awesome. It won’t forsake you or leave you hanging in the situations where you need this most. If these check off a few boxes of what you are looking for in a pistol, then you know that this is the winning option.

Bottom Line

The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard will certainly live up to its name. It’s the bodyguard that will stick by you and fend off any attackers that dare mess with you. Of course, this pistol won’t suck the life out of your bank account, nor will it jam on you. Plus, with its maximum concealability and overall performance, it’s hard to say no to a pistol like this, even if you could afford any pistol on the market.

Best Pink Handgun for Women: 
Bersa Thunder 380

Pros

  • Durability is superb
  • Super concealable carrying
  • Accurate and reliable shooting
  • Trigger pull is not too heavy or too sensitive
  • Accommodates gloved or two-handed shooting

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new users loved this pistol’s overall performance. It was accurate from 20 to 40 yards out while being able to consistently leave tight shooting groups. One user said that the concealability was quite impressive and it didn’t make carrying it all that uncomfortable. She also said that the pink finish is a nice touch and allowed her to see it much better in the dark. Overall, she added that she was much more confident in this pistol than the previous one that she’s used in the past.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Yes, the pistol is pink. And yes, it looks pretty sharp. But rest assured, that is not the only reason why it stands out. This is another 380 pistol that you can choose you are interested in finding a pistol that will provide excellent everyday concealability. Also, 380 will fire shot after shot without any kind of jamming or malfunctions. It’s pretty much what a handgun should do no matter who is using it. Thankfully, the trigger pull makes it easier to shoot, but it’s nowhere as light and sensitive as some others.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be an excellent pistol for beginners (and for those who appreciate the color pink). But in all seriousness, if you are a newbie to concealed carry than rest assured, this might be one of the best pistols that will guide you through the training process and beyond. You might not need another pistol for quite a while thanks to the durability and overall reliability of this pistol in particular. If you want a first-time handgun that can stick with you for the long run, consider purchasing this.

Bottom Line

The Bersa Thunder 380 ACP is undoubtedly one of the coolest pistols on the market in terms of looks. But the performance will probably be more impressive. It’s an ACP that will allow for quicker shooting and making sure those shots land with such precision and accuracy that your jaw will drop. Meanwhile, you’ll be more confident in yourself when you are ready to take on any attackers that probably should have known better.

Best 9mm Handgun for Women:
Glock G26 G4

Pros

  • Perfect for concealed carry
  • Fits most hand sizes with ease
  • Solid and durable construction
  • Accurate and really dependable
  • Accommodates left-handed and right-handed shooters

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

One of the major things that have made many new users impressed with this pistol was the overall reliability. After firing well over 100 rounds, they did not experience a single malfunction or jam. They were also able to conceal carry this with ease without reporting any bulging that exposed their concealed firearm. One user said that she was glad to find a pistol that would allow her to appendix carry most of the time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Now we focus our attention on the 9mm. These rounds are roughly the same size as 380 rounds, and they have a good amount of stopping power when they are used in a self-defense situation. But to fire those bad boys with one of the most reliable handguns on the market is even better. This Glock model is known as the “Baby Glock”. It’s small enough to conceal and has a trigger pull that is easy enough to get a quick shot off (followed by quicker follow-up shots). If you fancy yourself a fan of the 9mm and want a pistol that will give you stealthy concealed carry and reliable, accurate shooting, then this is your best possible choice.

Who Will Use This Most

This will likely be best for a woman who is more apt to conceal carry with a super concealable pistol that can fire accurate shots at distances that some handguns won’t reach (up to 45 yards). It’s also perfect for those who are in search of a pistol with excellent firing power that can pack a punch. Make no mistake about it, a Glock is not something you want to underestimate. If you need a pistol that will fly under the radar while keeping you and your loved ones safe, whether you are at home or on the go, consider the Baby Glock as one of your best options.

Bottom Line

If you prefer shooting 9mm ammo, then the Glock G26 G4 is perhaps one of the best pistols you can find. Invest your hard-earned money into this sucker and you’ll have a sidearm that will be reliable for as long as you use it. Glock attained this reputation from being reliable and didn’t earn it for nothing. If you want a pistol that you know won’t malfunction or jam on you, this could be exactly what you need.

Best 22 Handgun for Women: 
Walther Arms P22 Military

Pros

  • Magazine is easily removable
  • Perfect for self-defense and EDC use
  • Excellent accuracy and stopping power
  • Provides excellent gripping and control
  • Easy to pull the trigger; smooth and has no creep

Cons

  • Loading may be a bit difficult
  • Trigger quality could be better
  • Rear sights could be easier to adjust for windage and elevation

What Recent Buyers Report

Many new users were impressed with the overall handling ability of this pistol. The grip allowed for excellent control in both dry and wet weather conditions without the use of gloves, according to some users. Meanwhile, they were able to hit their targets with effective accuracy up to 40 yards. One user said that she was impressed with how effectively accurate it could be and how far it could go. While she expected it to be effective up to 30 yards, she was in for a real surprise.

Why it Stands Out to Us

While there really isn’t a “best caliber” for concealed carry, a lot of people have their preferences. A .22 caliber has a good amount of stopping power and is preferred compared to many others. Yes, it’s got some good stopping power and accuracy to boot, and there is no doubt that’s exactly what you are going to get out of this pistol. The design itself is rugged and the construction materials make it stand out even more. With a pistol made from high-quality steel and polymer, you shouldn’t expect anything less. For something that is lightweight when fully loaded and can maintain long-term durability, this pistol fits the bill when it comes to looking for longevity and a pistol that won’t weigh you down while it sits in the holster.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for a caliber that is pretty accurate and might be a good starter caliber to work with, the .22 will perhaps be one of the best choices to go with. This pistol is built to last, which will make a newbie to concealed carry appreciate it more. It’s got a trigger pull that isn’t too mushy or too hardcore. If you want a pistol that will leave a lasting impression, you should consider using this pistol for the short or even long-term.

Bottom Line

The Walther Arms P22 Military pistol is the closest thing to a tactical pistol that women will use in a concealed carry situation. It’s rugged, provides excellent firing power, and will stop an assailant cold in their tracks. This pistol is an absolute beast without being difficult to use.

Best 380 Pistol for Women: 
Kahr Arms CW380

Pros

  • Super concealable
  • Allows for quick shooting
  • Durable, solid construction
  • Trigger pull is smooth and easy
  • Grip allows for excellent control, even in bad weather

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This pistol was something that had everything a woman would want in a pistol, according to several new users. The gun was very durable, had a trigger pull that was easy and light enough to pull, and provided excellent concealability in one small little package. One user said that it is perfect for all kinds of applications like concealed carry and target shooting. She also added that the accuracy was consistent with different targets ranging from 20 to 30 yards out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The pistol might be from a name that is probably unheard of. But rest assured, once you fire this pistol it will leave you with an impression that you will never forget. It’s versatile, accurate, dependable, and a pretty cool pistol to have on hand. Even though it’s small and durable, it’s the type of pistol that will stand the test of time, You will be proud to keep at your side until you need it in those self-defense or target shooting situations.

Who Will Use This Most

If you want a pistol that has the right measurables for maximum concealed carry and want excellent versatility along with it, this might be a no-brainer option for you. It’s no ordinary pistol that will be cheap and flimsy in quality. But it will be your best sidekick for years down the road. Choose the right holster for this pistol and it will give you superior concealability while preparing you for any danger that may lurk ahead.

Bottom Line

The Kahr Arms CW 380 pistol might be one of the better choices for some users. But a 380 is without question one of the better calibers that you can go with if concealed carry is your intended purpose. There is nothing better than a 380 when it comes to concealing a pistol for stealthy, out of plain sight carry. On top of that, the firing power will certainly leave you impressed. This pistol is a textbook example of how a 380 pistol should work.

Best Concealed Carry Handgun for Women:
Glock G43 G3

Pros

  • Fits in most holsters
  • Excellent firing power
  • Solid and well-constructed
  • Allows for maximum concealability
  • Accurate, precise shooting
  • Effective with targets up to 35 yards out

Cons

  • May be difficult to load sometimes
  • Trigger pull weight could be a tad heavier
  • May not be appropriate for appendix carry

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, new users had nothing but great things to say about this pistol. Reliability was one of the first things that came to mind. No jamming, no malfunctions, no problems. The accuracy was sharp and spot-on according to most buyers. One user even said that she was able to get a good handle on this during her recent run and gun session at the range. She was able to maintain control of her pistol while she was on the move and firing at her practice targets.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Once again, we look at a Glock that is proven to be one of the most reliable pistols available. The reputation of being reliable certainly does precede it. If you want a pistol that doesn’t jam and need to tie a name to it, then Glock might be one of them. This has the perfect measurements to make it the ideal concealed carry pistol for self-defense. If you are a woman who wants a sidearm that will get assailants to think twice about attacking you, something like this could do you some good.

Who Will Use This Most

This is for the woman who has been using a handgun for quite some time and wants something with a bit more concealability compared to the pistol that’s she’s using now. You might be using a pistol right now that might be a bit hard to use. Maybe it’s a little larger in size. Rest assured, this pistol is at the right size for you to handle and even carry with a great amount of concealability. Who says you need a big pistol to knock out an assailant?

Bottom Line

If you want a Glock that will be one of the best concealed carry pistols that you can find on the market, then you may want to consider the G43 G3 9mm as one of your top options. You won’t be disappointed in the pistol’s overall durability and concealability in the slightest. Once you have this in hand, you will certainly want to give it a few test shots at the range.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Handgun

If you have yet to invest in a quality handgun, you might want to know about the benefits that go along with it. It’s good to make a more informed decision rather than find a pistol that is disappointing and falls short of what it promises. With that said, here’s what to expect as far as benefits go:

Long Term Use

Longevity is important in a pistol. You want something that will last you years or even decades if you take the best care of it. A pistol that has high-quality materials will stand to last you a long time compared to something that is cheap and flimsy.

Excellent Concealability

Concealability is one of the major reasons why you want to carry a pistol (especially when it’s out of plain sight). It’s better to find a pistol that has the right measurables so it won’t be bulging in your pocket, waistband, or holster. Most quality pistols will come in handy when you carry them on a regular basis. 

Consistent Reliability

A pistol that is excellent in quality will always give way to consistent reliability. Think of it like this: if something falls apart or is made from cheap, flimsy materials then it won’t be as reliable in use. In fact, it would be rendered useless. Keep in mind that better quality will always yield consistent reliability guaranteed. 

Conclusion

The best handgun for women is one of these listed above. Each of them has their share of quality characteristics and features, but which one will fit you best? Whether you want something that can go the distance or give you better handling, no pistol should be difficult for a woman to use. Find one that checks off all the boxes of what you need in a pistol and you may find the winning choice sooner rather than later.

About Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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