Best Handgun for Women

A Comprehensive Guide

Women are the fastest-growing population of concealed carry permit holders in the nation. But Women who want to protect themselves and their loved ones are often left with few options. Most guns on the market are designed for men, which means they’re too big for a woman’s hands or lack safety features that can be life-saving. The best handgun for women is one that fits your hand well, has safety features you can easily reach while under stress, and comes in a color you like. We have all the information you need to make an informed decision about what type of gun will work best for your needs.


$459.99 $537.55 out of stock
Last update was on: May 10, 2022 4:40 am

The G43 is Glock's subcompact, slimline, single stack, 9mm pistol is the answer to your everyday concealed carry needs. It is ultra-concealable, accurate, and fantastic for all shooters regardless of hand size.

The grip has a built-in beaver tail design which allows the shooter to acquire a...

We have reviewed the five best handguns for women so you can make an informed decision about what gun is right for you. Our reviews include details on how these guns fit in small hands, recoil management, and other features designed specifically with women shooters in mind. You’ll find our top picks below, along with links to the store.

Table of Contents

If you are in a hurry to purchase the best handgun for women, and you want to make the best decision, here are our top 3 picks:

Top 3 Best Handgun for Women

This Glock G19 Gen 3 is a versatile pistol chambered in 9mm. It is built with a short-recoil operation and integrated rail for easy mounting of accessories. It is well-suited for service use or personal protection. This Glock 19 is rated in good condition, with some pitting on the left rear...
out of stock
The perfect balance of micro-compact conceal-ability with full-size shoot-ability the P365 XL packs a 12+1 capacity in a micro-compact, highly concealable size yet maintains the comfort and shoot-ability of a full-size pistol. The first P365 offered in the XSeries family, the XL comes standard...
out of stock
The G43 is Glock's subcompact, slimline, single stack, 9mm pistol is the answer to your everyday concealed carry needs. It is ultra-concealable, accurate, and fantastic for all shooters regardless of hand size.

The grip has a built-in beaver tail design which allows the shooter to acquire a...
$459.99 $537.55
out of stock

5 Best Handgun for Women (Ranked And Reviewed)

1. Glock 43


If you are looking for a compact, easy-to-carry 9mm pistol, the Glock 43 is an excellent choice.  It offers a minimalistic design with no external safety or decocker, making it easy to operate. The slim profile of the Glock 43 makes it excellent for concealment, and women who find larger pistols challenging to manage will appreciate its size. It is a double-action pistol, which means it can be carried with a round in the chamber and ready to fire at a moment’s notice without racking a slide. The grip is long enough that the trigger finger rests on the middle of the face of the trigger.


The Glock 43 also features a large magazine catch that can easily be operated by women who have difficulty using smaller catches. The texture on the grip is very aggressive, which is fantastic for women who are concerned about recoil.  The beavertail design helps prevent slide bites.  The trigger pull is about six pounds, which is on the heavier side for a gun of its size. The safe action also provides a very high level of safety against accidental discharge, even when dropped.



2. Glock 19


If you’re looking for something smaller than the standard-size handguns, the GLOCK 19 is an excellent choice. It’s chambered in 9×19 Parabellum and features a standard capacity of 15+1 rounds. The Glock 19’s exceptional durability, accuracy, and low recoil are an asset to any shooter—male or female. The Glock 19’s relatively compact size should feel very comfortable for shooters with smaller hands. It has a grip angle that is natural to point-shooting enthusiasts, making it easy to learn. The Glock 19 can be used effectively with most common defensive loads, though its high magazine capacity means it will typically exhibit more muzzle flip and felt recoil than smaller pistols. 


Weapon manipulation with the Glock 19 is intuitive and smooth, making it an excellent choice for new and seasoned shooters. The standard length of the Glock 19’s trigger is shorter than that of a full-size gun, which can be very helpful for women who are still learning proper shooting mechanics. The only safety on this pistol is its internal firing pin block, which serves as an added layer of security. The modular backstrap system allows you to adapt the grip size to fit any hand quickly. This makes an excellent choice for shooters with smaller hands. The grip texture is very aggressive, making the gun easy to keep in hand while under pressure.



3. Sig Sauer P365


Our third choice is the Sig Sauer P365, a micro-compact pistol that’s easy to conceal. It offers an excellent combination of size and capacity, with 10+1 rounds in 9x19mm Parabellum. This pistol’s small size makes it well suited for shooters who find larger handguns challenging to control. The P365’s grip will make the gun feel very small in your hand, which can cause some difficulty for shooters with larger hands. If you find this an issue, you should make sure to practice shooting with the Sig Sauer P365 extensively before heading out to the range.


Its low bore axis and slim design help reduce muzzle rise and allow the shooter to get back on target quickly, making it an excellent choice for quick follow-up shots when needed. The Sig Sauer P365’s slide has a low profile, which reduces its overall width. This helps make the gun easier to conceal and carry holstered in small spaces such as ankle or waistband holsters. The pistol has Sig Sauer’s excellent trigger, short and crisp. This gives the Sig Sauer P365 a very low pull weight that’s easy to manage for even inexperienced shooters.



4. Sig Sauer P938


The Sig Sauer P938 is a sub-compact 9mm pistol, and it’s an excellent choice for concealed carry. The Sig Sauer P938 is light and compact, making it easy to conceal and carry smaller shooters. It’s chambered in a 9 mm luger with a standard capacity of 7+1 rounds. The Sig Sauer P938 is based on the 1911 platform with modern tactical features, which makes it an excellent choice for shooters familiar with that design.  Its slim profile makes it easy to conceal, with an overall width of just 1.1 inches. This pistol is very comfortable for shooters with smaller hands, and even those with larger hands should find its grip ergonomics intuitive. 


Since the Sig Sauer P938 has a small frame, it typically has more felt recoil than larger handguns. It will require more practice to become familiar with this gun’s handling characteristics, though the Sig Sauer P938 has a low bore axis that can help prevent muzzle rise during firing. This makes it easier to get back on target for follow-up shots. The single-action trigger on the Sig Sauer P938 is very crisp, with a short pull weight of around 3.5lbs. It’s almost impossible for new shooters to accidentally pull the trigger while carrying it cocked and locked, which reduces the risk that they’ll ever discharge their firearm when drawing or moving with it holstered.



5. Kimber Micro 9


The Kimber Micro 9 is a subcompact pistol chambered in 9mm Luger with solid performance. The Micro 9 has an overall length of 6.1″ and a height of 4.07″, making it one of the smallest pistols on this list. Its slim profile makes it ideal for concealed carry and smaller shooters. The Micro 9’s grip is very thin and compact, making it easy to conceal and carry. The Kimber Micro 9 has zebrawood grips which are aesthetically pleasing while being surprisingly durable for a gun of this size. This pistol’s take-down is slightly different than most other handguns on the market, but it’s easy to learn with some practice. The Kimber Micro 9 has 3 dot sights that are simple to use, even in low light conditions or when moving quickly during target acquisition.


The Kimber Micro 9 has a 6 +1 capacity 9mm Luger. Its overall width is only 1.06 inches, making it very slim for its size. The Micro 9’s magazines are easy to load, and the pistol has an excellent single-action trigger that breaks cleanly at around 4 lbs of pressure.  This makes it particularly easy for new shooters to use with accuracy. While the Kimber Micro 9 has a low bore axis, there’s still some felt recoil that inexperienced shooters may find uncomfortable. The sharp recoil of this pistol can be an issue for smaller shooters who lack upper body strength and control.



What To Consider While Buying The Best Handgun for Women?

When choosing the best handgun for women, several essential factors need to be considered. Here are  a few factors that you should consider when selecting a gun for women:

Size and Weight 

If you need your gun for self-defense, the pistol must be large enough to handle the cartridge that you’re using and that it will stop an assailant. Lighter handguns are easier to carry and conceal, but they have less stopping power than larger pistols with greater capacity. Additionally, women tend to have smaller hands, and some prefer firearms with a thin profile for concealment purposes.


It’s essential to consider the caliber of your handgun and how many rounds of ammunition come in each magazine you plan on using for self-defense. While most pistols come with a single magazine that holds between six and 12 rounds, some new models only come with one magazine with room for eight or nine rounds before requiring a reload.


Appearance is a factor that should be considered less than other factors, but it can still come into play for some women with smaller hands and stature. A smaller handgun will likely suit a woman’s body type better than a larger one, and this might also be the case if she has trouble wrapping her hand around a larger grip.


The best handguns for women will be those that fit comfortably into your hands and those that you can shoot accurately. Guns with a lower bore axis tend to have greater accuracy as the recoil energy has less distance to travel before it impacts the shooter’s aim. Having reasonable trigger control is another factor that can improve accuracy.

Trigger Control 

A good trigger for a handgun has even motion with no hiccups during the pull. The pull weight should be 3-5 lbs to ensure an accurate shot every time, as any more will decrease the shooter’s confidence and skill over time. The length of the trigger should be as short as possible to avoid any fundamental or imagined mistakes during the pull.


Women are statistically less likely to engage in a fight than men, so it’s essential to choose a gun that meets your own defense needs. If you live alone and have no family members near you, carrying a weapon with full capacity magazines might make sense. Otherwise, higher caliber pistols with fewer rounds per magazine are recommended for women who live in neighborhoods or cities where there is more of a chance multiple attackers could threaten them.



The best handgun for women usually provides a comfortable fit, no matter the individual’s physical attributes. Women who want to ensure they have the best firearm should take their time shopping and look at several different models before purchasing. We hope our review of the best five handguns was helpful. We hope you find something that suits your needs and experience as a shooter.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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