Safety and self-defense are topics that every woman will be or should be well-versed in. There are many different ways to keep oneself safe, and one of the recently rising forms is being able to carry a gun to protect yourself. Carrying a firearm looks different for each person, especially for women, who’s wardrobe and lifestyle can make it more difficult for them to carry or conceal a firearm on their person. So, which guns do we think are best fit for women in 2022? Let’s have a look at a few great options below.
Derringer, Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Plus, Glock 19, Glock 40, SIG SAUER P365, Springfield Hellcat, and Smith and Wesson’s Performance Center 442 are all great guns for women. All the guns on our list are good for self-defense and concealed carry, due to their minimal recoil and smaller size.
In this article, we will discuss what to look for in a gun and which guns we think are the best picks for women. We hope that it will help answer a few questions that arise when women are looking to purchase a handgun for their personal safety and that of their loved ones.
Things to Look For in a Gun
When looking into using a gun for safety, competition, or self-defense, there are several key things you should know about the gun before you purchase it. A couple of things to consider are; the specs of the gun, where to carry and safeguard the gun, and what types of licenses are required to carry your gun in the city/state that you reside in, or the states that you plan on traveling to while transporting it.
The size and weight are other key factors you should consider when choosing the right gun for you. A gun’s recoil, or kickback, is the backward movement a shooter feels when the bullet is discharged, will be an important aspect to consider and feel before buying your gun. If you accidentally purchase a gun or caliber that is too snappy or has too much recoil, it will make the gun more difficult to shoot and control, which might make you uncomfortable when shooting. Also, the magazine capacity should also be a consideration when purchasing a gun to ensure that it’s providing enough ammunition for the purpose you are using it for.
The size of a handgun is crucial. Most women will want something small so that it is easier to place on their person or carry in an unobtrusive way. For self-defense, a handgun, pistol, or similarly smaller gun is more common, as concealed carrying and transport are easier with a small gun than with a larger weapon.
The weight of a gun should always be a consideration for anyone who wants to own or carry a gun. The weight should be something that’s not too heavy to carry around all day on a day-to-day basis. It should also be something that doesn’t affect the handling of the gun either. This will be different for everyone, so there’s no real weight to say is a good one, but women overall should start out with a gun that they feel comfortable handling/shooting and then work their way up from there.
Recoil is the kickback after a gun is fired. The energy required to propel a bullet from the chamber is enormous, and that force and energy have to go somewhere. This will affect where the bullet goes after being shot from the barrel and with more recoil, the accuracy will decrease, making it more dangerous and less controllable. Women (and men), when ever possible, should always try to test fire their potential gun before purchase to see if the recoil is something that you can get comfortable with before you buy it. You may want to test fire your gun with different rounds too. Different bullets/different loads will affect the way your gun feels and may exaggerate the recoil making it feel like a different gun than you thought you were buying.
Along with the recoil is the bullet caliber. Women should consider purchasing guns that use fairly small ammo, such as .380 ACP or 9mm ammunition. Using a smaller and lighter round should help with recoil but still get the job done, if needed.
It is important to figure out how much ammo the gun that you are looking to purchase will carry. Having a magazine that is capable of carrying more than six rounds, like a revolver is usually known for, is especially important in cases of self-defense or even in competitive shooting. Depending on what the gun is used for, single stack or double stack magazines may be best option.
Revolvers & Pistols For Women
This list of handguns, pistols, and revolvers are known in the industry for being good guns for women. Women who carry are often looking for something smaller and easy to handle while also being easy to conceal. As mentioned earlier, you should be conscious of the recoil too.
Derringers are unique guns. They are not considered to be a revolver or an automatic/semi automatic gun. Derringers can come in all sizes but are generally smaller than most guns and are a good option for self-defense. While not the most popular choice, it certainly could do the job for a self-defense situation, and while it’s not mass-produced or constructed like a Glock might be, it is a good option for most women.
Built for personal protection and every-day carry, the M&P Shield EZ is chambered in 380 Auto, 9mm Luger and 30 Super Carry. This gun is super popular with females because it is super easy to rack the slide, has easy to load magazines, and is easy to shoot. The M&P Shield EZ pistol is the latest addition to the M&P M2.0 Super Carry family and provides an easy-to-use protection option for both first-time shooters and experienced handgunners alike..
The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Plus is a larger pistol that holds 10 + 1 or 13 + 1 when chambered in 9mm or 13 + 1 or 16 + 1 if chambered in 30 Super Carry. The 30 Super Carry generally has less recoil than a 9mm and because of it’s design (smaller case) you can usually fit more rounds into a magazine. It is on this list because it has less recoil than many of the other guns on this list. The whole line-up of Smith & Wesson Shield pistols make for a good self-defense gun and for normal carry but is probably more comfortable to open carry.
Glocks are a very popular handgun for self-defense for a variety of different reasons. Glocks are marketed as great pistols for concealed carry, and the brand overall always has high ratings. The magazine capacity is 15 rounds, and that is probably and hopefully more than anyone would need in a self-defense situation.
The Glock 40 is another Glock recommendation for self-defense and concealed carry pistols. The magazine still boasts 15 rounds, and this particular model of Glock likes to market that the grip is more versatile for all hand sizes, which is great for women, making it more comfortable and more stable when fired, which should improve your confidence and accuracy.
Sig Sauer P365
The Sig Sauer P365 pistol is credited with redefining the micro-pistol category of handguns and pistols. It was and probably is still being debated rated number one for concealed carry pistols and is a great weapon for self-defense.
Sig Sauer P365 owned the micro pistol category until the Springfield Hellcat was released. This pistol gave the Sig Sauer P365 a run for it’s money for concealed carry pistols and makes for a great self-defense gun.
Smith and Wesson Performance Center 442
Looking for a revolver? The new Smith and Wesson 442 is a great revolver and perfect for concealed carry. The new Performance Center Model 442 was designed and tricked out with a sleek two-tone finish, high-polished features, Crimson Trace LG-105 Lasergrips, and a Performance Center Tuned Action.
Designed for concealed carry, the Performance Center Model 442 includes a Crimson Trace LG-105 laser grip with red laser for quick target acquisition in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Chambered in .38 S&W Special +P, this new revolver is double action only with a five round capacity. Additional features include a stainless steel cylinder with high-polished cylinder flutes; a high-polished thumbpiece, plate screws, and trigger; and a Performance Center tuned action for a smoother, lighter trigger pull.
Concealed Carry License
Every state will have different laws and rules regarding what concealed carrying looks like in their state. Most states will even restrict concealed/open carry in certain areas of their state. Before purchasing a gun, you should definitely research whether or not your state allows you to open carry or concealed carry with or without a permit.
For example, in Idaho, the concealed carry requirements are relatively lax. Barring any permit restrictions on a person, it is legal to carry a concealed firearm so long as the firearm is legally owned and the carrier is over 18 year of age. It is illegal to carry a weapon, concealed or otherwise, when a person is intoxicated or otherwise under the influence of a drug or alcohol.
Many states will have different rules and laws, and it is your responsibility as a gun owner to research the rules and regulations and follow them to ensure compliance with the law. If you are not sure where to look, you can check out the State-by-State Concealed Carry Permit Laws to see the laws of the states and see sn overview of their rules regarding carrying a firearm, as well as this resource that provides more information.
Ways to Carry a Gun
There are a variety of different ways to carry a gun. Both on one’s person, in a car, or even in a purse specifically designed to hold a handgun or a pistol. It really depends on what you’re carrying and what is comfortable to you. For most guns, you’ll want to purchase a holster that fits how you’d like to carry your firearm. There are thigh holsters, belt holsters (both inside and outside the waistband), belly band holsters, ankle holsters, bra holsters, as well as concealed carriers such as fanny packs and or backpacks modified to carry and accommodate a firearm.
For women who conceal carry, there are some real advantages because of wardrobe/body shape, undergarments that allow you to carry a firearm in places where men can’t carry. For instance, If you wear a skirt or a dress, women say that a thigh holster works pretty well for them.
Women are also able to conceal their firearm using a bra holster which works well with smaller handguns and pistols. This is also an area of the body where most men would struggle to carry a firearm.
When wearing comfort clothing, such as leggings and or yoga pants, a bra holster or belly band holster works pretty well.
Hip holsters and IWB holsters (inside the waist band) or OWB (outside of the waistband) are popular holsters if worn with a tucked or untucked shirt. If you are wearing the right outfit with a coat or jacket you can always rock a shoulder holster.
There are always bags of various different models and types that work well to conceal firearms. Some of these bags have been designed specifically for self-defense and concealed carry. If a woman is not concerned about concealing her firearm, then a simple hip holster is best.
When traveling with a gun in the car, make sure the licensing and registration for your firearm are inline with the rest of your documentation in the event that you are pulled over for a traffic violation.
Where to Store a Gun
Storing a gun is a crucial and important part of owning a gun. If a gun is not stored correctly, it can put everyone in a household at risk, not only by those with evil intent, but also by those who may not know what a gun is.
Guns and ammunition should always be stored in a gun or ammo safe where small children, guests, intruders, or others will not have access to the weapons or ammunition inside of the safe. Ideally, your safe should be stored somewhere out of sight, perhaps in the back of a closet, or under your bed, in a bedside drawer, or in-the-wall gun safe, with a lock that will keep your gun/ammo out of the wrong hands.
If you’re looking for something small to store your gun in, pistol boxes might be the way to go, but if you’ll be expanding your gun collection make sure the safe is large enough for all your needs. Always have more storage for your weapons than you need, lest you purchase a new gun and have nowhere to store it.
As far as storing small handguns and pistols for self-defense, the ORIGINAL PISTOL BOX would be a good first option. It could be stowed under a bed, in a closet, or in a drawer for easy access but out of reach of any children.
Things a First-Time Gun Owner Should Know
When you first buy a handgun, you must practice, practice, practice. Practice how to draw your weapon. Practice how to fire your weapon. Practice carrying your weapon. All that practice will make you more comfortable with your firearm.
Never draw your gun and aim it at anything or anyone unless you intend to fire it. This is called brandishing. Know your laws and stick to them, both for your safety and for the safety of those around you.
Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire, and make sure when you purchase more magazines or any kind of ammo that the ammo works your model of gun.
All of these things are for safety as well as for your own intentions to ensure that you are in control of the weapon and tool you have. Treat it with respect and only use it when you absolutely have to and have no other options. Being safe with the gun you have will exponentially increase yours and others safety.