Best Self-Defense Handguns for Women (2021)

Whether you are looking for a handgun for competitive shooting or for concealed carry purposes, it is important for you to understand the basics of the particular make and model you want to get. One of the most important things is the feel.

Women’s hands are different from men’s. They’re smaller and have less hand strength. While this does not mean that women cannot shoot a handgun just as proficiently, it does mean that you may have a different preference for the types of handguns you carry and shoot, especially if you plan to carry the firearm concealed.

With so many handguns available on the market, which compact handgun is best suited to your needs? If you’re unsure, no worries! We have dug high and low to review the best handguns for women in this article to help you answer that question.

Handguns Name Editor’s Comment Rating Get The Best Deal
Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield 2.0

Most Recommended Option

1. Choice of either 7+1 round or 8+1 round magazine capacity
2. Simple to activate takedown lever
3. Added thumb safety and Crimson Trace laser version available

10/10 SHOP NOW
Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ 2.0 1. 8+1 round capacity magazine
2. Three-dot front and rear sights with windage adjustable
3. Armonite finished stainless steel barrel
9.5/10 SHOP NOW
SIG Sauer P365 9mm Subcompact 1. Available in 10+1 round capacity or 12+1 extended magazine
2. Textured polymer construction
3. Polymer frame and stainless steel slide
9.5/10 SHOP NOW
Ruger LCP II 380 ACP 1. Micro-compact and slimline design
2. Built-in safety with no external safety lever
3. Magazine capacity 6+1 rounds
9.0/10 SHOP NOW
Ruger Mark IV Tactical, .22 LR 1. Chambered in .22LR
2. Accessory rail above and below
3. Alloy steel material with aluminium grip frame
9.0/10 SHOP NOW
Glock 43 1. Black frame and black slide finishing
2. 6+1 magazine capacity
3. Compact and small size with total length of 6.26 inches
9.0/10 SHOP NOW
Glock 42 1. Flat-bottomed magazine
2. Pinky supporter
3. Striker-fired pistol
8.5/10 SHOP NOW
Glock 26 1. 10-round magazine capacity
2. Features identical internals to the Glock 19
3. Larger grip size
8.5/10 Currently unavailable
Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380 1. Made of polymer, steel, and plastic
2. Operating on a lithium four-hour battery
3. Overall length of 5.25 inches
8.5/10 Currently unavailable
Springfield Armory – 3” Sub-Compact Model 9mm 1. Three distinct grip zone textures and ergonimic features
2. Features dual spring recoil system and a full-length guide rod
3. Rear grip safety
8.0/10 Currently unavailable
SIG Sauer P238 Nitron Micro Compact Pistol .380 ACP 1. Semi-automatic micro-compact handgun
2. Stainless steel slide that is Nitron coated
3. Single-action only (SAO) trigger system
8.0/10 Currently unavailable
Springfield XDS Essential .45 ACP 1. Two magazines (5 rounds and 7 rounds capacity)
2. 6.5 pounds trigger pull weight
3. Steel dovetail rear and fiber optic front sights
8.0/10 Currently unavailable
Kimber Pro Carry II 1. Single-action (SA) trigger system
2. Recoil spring and full length guide rod
3. Extra grip safety
7.5/10 Currently unavailable
Ruger LC9 1. Double-action semi-auto trigger system
2. Textured polymer grips and slide serrations
3. Super lightweight construction
7.5/10 Currently unavailable
Walther CCP 1. SOFTCOIL gas-delayed blowback system
2. External manual safety with front and rear slide serrations
3. Black frame finish with slides available in black Cerakote or satin-finish stainless
7.0/10 Currently unavailable
Walther PPQ 1. 3-Dot adjustable low profile sights
2. 15+1 magazine capacity
3. 5.6 lbs. trigger pull weight
7.0/10 Currently unavailable
Taurus G2C 9mm Pistol 1. Double-action-only (DAO) trigger
2. White fot front sight and adjustable rear
3. Ships with two 12+1 round capacity magazinest
7.0/10 Currently unavailable

Factors to Consider when Buying the Best Handguns for Women

Before we go straight into our list, there are a few things that one needs to consider when purchasing a handgun for women. Here are a few aspects that you will need to take into consideration before making that final decision:


Most small handguns for women are chambered for either .380 ACP or 9mm ammunition while some might even consider the infamous .38 Special. However, both of the first mentioned calibers are able to provide sufficient stopping power to stop a threat with light enough recoil for comfortable handling. While it is true that 9mm handguns have a stronger kickback compared to .380 ACP handguns, this is often balanced by the larger handgun size. 


A carry gun with lighter felt recoil is more comfortable to shoot as it does not cause your arm to get tired quickly. They also allow for more accurate follow-up shots when required. 


If you’re planning on practicing concealed carry with your weapon, it is critical to choose one that is small and compact enough to fit inside a bag or holster. Typically, subcompact or ultra-compact models will be the best choice for concealed carry. They’re also easier to handle for women with small hands. Full-sized models may be bulkier to handle but they are a great home-defense weapon.


While heavier handguns have lower felt recoil, they can be more difficult to aim for women or shooters with weaker arms. The weight of a weapon also impacts how comfortable it is to carry the pistol throughout the day. 

Magazine Capacity

For women participating in competitive shooting, they may desire a handgun with larger magazine capacity and may consider double-stack magazines. Some might find a full-size mag too overwhelming. However, a single-stack magazine will most likely be sufficient for a self-defense handgun. 

The Best Handguns for Women – Great for Self-defense!

Now that we’ve gotten the basic knowledge covered, let’s dive into our top pistols for women.

1. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm



  • Model: M&P®9 SHIELD M2.0™
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 7+1, 8+1
  • Barrel Length: 3.1” (7.9 cm)
  • Overall Length: 6.1″
  • Front Sight: Steel – White Dot
  • Rear Sight: Steel – White Two-Dot
  • Action: Striker Fire
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 18.3 oz / 518.8g
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Purpose: Concealed Carry, Personal Protection


The S&W Shield model comes in two variants: one with a safety lever and one without. Both have the exact same specification with a 3.1-inch barrel length to make a total overall length of 6.1 inches. These handguns also come with fixed front and rear sight and three-dot systems for a quick view and target acquisition.

Featuring a hammer-less striker-fired system, you don’t have to worry about any snagging issue while drawing the pistol from your holster. You even get two magazines with the purchase, one with 7+1 rounds and the other is 8+1 rounds chambered in 9mm Luger. 

The S&W M&P Shield is designed with rounded features and 18-degrees grip angle to ensure pleasant handling while the Polymer stock has an aggressive textured grip to give you a better hold of the weapon. The best part of the pistol is that it has a much safer takedown, such that you do not need to depress the trigger to release the slide. 

Along with a slimmer profile, the single-stack Shield has a refined trigger that is crisp with a distinct reset that you can feel or hear. Other than that, the Shield pistol comes with Armornite finishing that is very durable and corrosion-resistant. 

One drawback of the S&W Shield is that it does not have an ambidextrous design and is mainly geared to right-handed shooters. So, lefties may have to look elsewhere. Nonetheless, the M&P Shield model is a preferred and widely used choice for female officers in law enforcement, which speaks volumes and makes it at the top spot of our list of best handguns for women. 

You would like this product if:

You want a pistol that is comfortable and accurate. Not only is this pistol super lightweight at only 18.03 oz, it features enhanced textured grip to give shooters a more secure handling. 

You like a crisp trigger. M&P9 Shield gun has a crisp trigger break with audible trigger reset to let you know when it’s ready. 

You might not like this product if:

You like classic hammer-fired pistols. The pistol utilizes a striker-fired operation which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. 


2. Glock 43



  • Caliber: 9×19 (9mm)
  • Length: 6.26”
  • Slide Length: 6.06”
  • Height: 4.25”
  • Width: 1.02”
  • Slide Width: .87”
  • Barrel: 3.39”
  • Weight: 17.95oz. (w/empty magazine)
  • Finish: Black frame / black slide (Tenifer)
  • Capacity: 6+1


Whether you need a small CCW in .380 Auto or a full-sized bear killer, Glock has been offering shooters with almost every option you could ever ask for. Today, we will be reviewing the superb Glock 42 that comes with the same internal safety feature, front and rear fixed sights with the hated designed U shape rear sight as any other Glock.

The semi-auto G43 is made of mostly plastic with a metal slide and it is a very reliable weapon that is trusted by many in the military and law enforcement. The Glock 43 features a 3.39-inch barrel and a total dimension of 6.26 inches with a magazine capacity of 6+1 and two mags. 

The Glock 43 is a striker-fired hammerless system that is chambered in 9mm Luger. It also has a beavertail design to prevent slide bite and aggressive texture on the pistol grip for better retention. This also allows for reduced barrel flare and better overall control of the weapon. 

However, the trigger pull weight of the pistol can range from 4 to 6 lbs which can be a bit of a problem. Considering the fact that you need to apply 7 pounds of weight with one finger to depress the trigger and shoot from a one-pound handgun, it is likely that your round placement may be inaccurate. For this, you can opt to get a drop pin connector and get the trigger pull to as low as 3.5 pounds. 

Nonetheless, the Glock 43 still makes for a very good CCW weapon that offers great performance in saving lives, making it a great handgun for women. 

You would like this product if:

You want to practice concealed carry. The Glock 43 features a simple beavertail design to make it very inconspicuous under a shirt or in a holster. 

You want a pistol that is safe to use. Featuring internal safety features this pistol requires users to depress the trigger before you can fire off a shot to prevent accidental misfires. 

You might not like this product if:

You don’t like heavy trigger pulls. Other than needing to depress the trigger, you also need to apply 7 pounds of weight to pull the trigger, which may be a little heavy for some. 


3. Glock 26 Gen 5


  • Overall Length: 6.4″
  • Height: 4.17″
  • Barrel Length: 3.4″
  • Width: 1.18″
  • Weight: 21.17oz unloaded, 26.12oz loaded


The G26 is a lightweight, small footprint, and high magazine capacity sub-compact Glock that has been named as one of the deadliest in the world. Praised as the Baby Glock, the G26 weighs in at 26.07 punches loaded with a barrel of 3.43 inches and an overall length of 6.42 inches to be a truly concealable handgun for a woman. 

The Glock 26 features an enhanced Hexagonal Glock match barrel and a DLC finish or “frying pan finish”. Regardless of what it’s called, the finish is robust and anti-scratch for better durability. Something we noticed is that the finger notch was removed from the front grip with everything else remaining pretty much the same with an ambidextrous slide stop lever. 

One highlight about the G26 Gen 5 model is that it has a ten-round double-stack magazine, but you can easily upgrade it to a 17 or 30 round magazine for target plinking or target shooting. This way, you won’t have to waste time reloading. 

While there have been some complaints on grip and drawing issues with the Gen 5 due to a short grip, you can always get an extended magazine for it. And it will still be easy to conceal. 

Other than that, the Glock is simple to use and maintain without requiring any special tools. All you need is a basic gun cleaning kit to get the pistol cleaned and ready for action. 

All in all, the Glock 26 is one of the best handguns for women and is perfect for concealed carry. 

You would like this product if:

You want a product with plenty of rounds. The Glock 26 comes with a 10 round double-stack magazine but you can also easily upgrade it to a magazine capacity of 17 or 30 rounds that last you through the whole day at the shooting range. 

You want a pistol that is comfortable and easy to use. On top of a durable DLC finish, the pistol also has an ambidextrous slide stop lever with a simple and easy to use operation. 

You might not like it if:

You have larger hands. Due to the relatively short grip, there has been several complaints about the grip causing drawing issues. 

4. S&W M&P Bodyguard .380


  • Caliber: 380 Auto
  • Capacity: 6+1
  • Safety: Thumb Safety
  • Barrel Length: 2.75″ / 6.9 cm
  • Overall Length: 5.3″
  • Front Sight: Stainless Steel Drift Adjustable
  • Rear Sight: Stainless Steel Drift Adjustable
  • Action: Double Action Only
  • Grip: Synthetic
  • Weight: 12.3 oz / 348.7g
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Slide Finish: Armornite®
  • Frame Finish: Matte Black


If you’re looking for a lightweight, pocket-sized gun, then the M&P Bodyguard 380 may just be the one for you. The pistol has a 2.75-inch barrel and an overall length of 5.25 inches to make it a great choice for concealment while the Shield’s grip width makes it suitable for small hands. Not only is this a good pick for a women’s carry gun, but it does amazingly for men too. 

The Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard pistol comes with a relatively low capacity of 6-round and a safety lever that may take a little time to get used to. However, the pistol is made of polymer, steel, and plastic to ensure good durability in all types of environmental conditions. 

On top of that, the laser sight can be easily installed by the user within minutes and it is fully adjustable for both elevation and windage. Operating on a lithium four-hour battery, the laser can also be easily activated by a natural firing grip. 

The small S&W Bodyguards are sometimes known as belly guns or belly busters and they’re ideal for close-range defense. Accurate shot delivery is where the S&W Bodyguard really excels at. The .380 handgun fires off smaller rounds and less recoil, which means more accurate shooting to give you the shots right where you need them. Overall, it is one of the best handguns for women that is small enough for concealed carry and self-defense. 

You would like this product if:

You want to practice concealed carry. The M&P Bodyguard features a small and lightweight design to make it very inconspicuous under a shirt or in a holster. 

You want a pistol that is comfortable and easy to use. On top of providing reliable shooting accuracy, the pistol also has much less kickback for easier handling and pistol control. 

You might not like this product if:

You want a product with plenty of rounds. The Glock 26 comes with only a 6+1 round capacity magazine. So if you need extra rounds, you may need to carry an additional magazine with you. 

You are shopping on a tight budget. Without a doubt, this gun has one of the best specs compared to most subcompact pistols on the market. However, coming at a price tag of $699.99, not everybody would be comfortable in paying such an amount.

5. Springfield Armory – 3” Sub-Compact Model 9mm


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Length: 3″
  • Overall Length: 6.25″
  • Height: 4.75″
  • Width: 1.2″
  • Weight: 26 oz
  • Slide Finish: Melonite
  • Capacity: 13+1 (accepts full sized XD Magazines)
  • Safety: Grip


The Springfield Armory Sub-Compact Model has the comfort and feels that make the fit very natural. The grip zone has three distinct textures and ergonomic features to suit smaller hands. The new construction not only makes good contact with your hand, but it also gives you the true extension of yourself when handling it. 

The pistol is chambered in 9mm caliber and comes with a dual spring recoil system and a full-length guide rod. Other spec includes fiber optic sights, low profile combat steel rear sights, X-Tension compact magazine, hammer forged steel slide with melonite finishing, and black polymer frame. 

The 3” sub-compact model is easily one of the best weapons we have reviewed with all the improvements and upgrades to the MOD 2. The one thing we think that the women would love best about it is the rear grip safety that needs to be depressed in order to fire the weapon. 

This is great as it means you don’t have to worry about accidental discharge no matter how you conceal it. At nearly four pounds on the trigger pull, this makes for an awesome choice for women with small hands who need a weapon for self-defense. 

You might like this product if:

You want a pistol that is comfortable and accurate. Not only is this pistol super accurate, but it also features a good grip design and balanced weight to give shooters a more secure handling. 

You want a gun that is easy to use. The Subcompact pistol does not require any tools to takedown and delivers a point and shoot operation. 

You might not like this product if:

You don’t rear grip safety. The pistol requires the rear grip safety to be depressed in order to fire off a shot, which may be cumbersome for some. 

6. SIG Sauer P238 Nitron Micro Compact Pistol .380 ACP


  • Trigger Action: Striker-Fire
  • Magazine Capacity: 6+1
  • Finish: Hard Coat Anodized
  • Handgun Type : Semi-Auto
  • Barrel Length: 2.7″
  • Caliber : .380 ACP
  • Sight: Contrast Sights
  • Rimfire/Centerfire: Centerfire
  • Gun Type: Handgun


The engineers in SIG Sauer have designed the P238 Nitron in response to many requests for a subcompact pistol. The SIG P238 is a good looking, small handgun that offers the same accuracy and stunning reliability of their larger counterparts. 

Classified as a semi-automatic micro-compact handgun, the P238 is said to be the perfect women’s handgun as it can be easily managed with small hands. It also features a stainless steel slide that is Nitron coated to resist wear and corrosion to last you many years. 

Other than that, the alloy frame is even hard coat anodized with a barrel of .27 inches and an overall length of 5.5 inches. Although the slide is not as easy as other .380 pistols, it is definitely lighter than most. 

However, some women may not fancy the SIG Sauer P238 as it is a single-action only (SAO) system that would require a bit of practice and self-training to adjust to. To help with that, the manufacturer has suggested that you chamber a round, cock the hammer, and then only apply the safety. However, one concern is that the external hammer can get snagged while drawing from a concealed position. 

You might like this product if:

You want a durable gun. Featuring a stainless steel slide that is Nitron coated, this pistol is set to last you for many years of operation. 

You might not like this product if:

You want to practice concealed carry. The pistol has an external hammer that may can snagged on your clothes while you draw. 

7. Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ 2.0



  • Caliber: 380 Auto
  • Action: Internal hammer fired
  • Length: 6.7″
  • Height: 4.98”
  • Width: 1.15” (1.43” including the slide “wings”)
  • Barrel: 3.675” stainless steel Armornite™ finish
  • Trigger: ~5lb.
  • Sights: 3-Dot steel, adjustable rear
  • Safety: Grip safety + available with or without ambi thumb levers
  • Weight: 18.5 oz. w/empty magazine
  • Slide: stainless steel Armornite™ finish
  • Capacity: 8+1


The Smith & Wesson Shield EZ model was released in January 2020 and is the stretch version that is easy to manipulate the slide and many other things. The Smith & Wesson has also claimed that the magazine is easy to load and the gun is also easy to clean such that you don’t have to pull the trigger to disassemble it. 

Standing at 4.98 inches tall with a barrel of 3.675 inches and an overall length of 6.7 inches, the Smith & Wesson Shield EZ is a great choice for many women to exercise concealed carry for the first time. Other than an 8+1 round ammo capacity magazine, the pistol also features a white three-dot front and rear sights with windage adjustable. 

Aside from an Armornite finished stainless steel barrel, the S&W Shield EZ has an underframe Picatinny rail for laser or sights. It also has a thumb safety lever that can be made to suit left-handed shooters. The pistol also comes with a rear grip safety lever that can be activated with a firm pressure during gripping. 

Overall, this Smith & Wesson EZ “Grandma gun” is pretty reliable and makes for a great self-defense handgun for women as well as for home defense. They even have a version with a Crimson Trace laser.  

You would like this product if:

You want a safe pistol. The EZ gun comes with a thumb safety lever that needs to be activated with a firm pressure to fire off a shot, ensuring no accidental misfires. 

You want to take it straight to the shooting range. It comes with a white dot front sight and adjustable rear sight right out of the box to let you hit the bullseye every single time. 

You might not like this product if:

You want a high capacity pistol. At only 8+1 magazine capacity, you may need to bring along an extra magazine for extended shooting periods at the range. 


8. SIG Sauer P365 9mm Subcompact Handgun



  • Barrel Length: 3.1
  • Brand: Sig Sauer
  • Caliber Gauge: 9mm Luger
  • Frame Size: Sub Compact
  • Weight: 17.8 oz.


The SIG P364 pistol has a short 3.1-inch barrel and chambers the 9mm Luger rounds. It also offers an impressive 10+1 round capacity (or 12+1 with the extended magazine) in a sleek black finish for a modern appearance. This is what SIG Sauer calls an “everyday carry size with full-size capacity”.

The striker-fired pistol actually utilizes a double-stack magazine while still maintaining its very slimline construction. With a full length of 5.8mm, the P365 is still best for concealed carry.

Not only is it small enough to conceal, but the gun has a textured polymer construction to enable a firm positive grip. This is especially helpful for recoil management. Furthermore, the main body is also made from super-strong material, which contributes to the overall weight of only 1.11 pounds, making it a great handgun for women.

Although it is a polymer frame pistol, the slide has a strong and durable stainless steel construction with both front and rear serrations to allow for a non-slip racking process. 

On top of that, the striker-fired pistol is complemented nicely with SIG Sauer’s incredibly smooth and crisp trigger. And since there are no manual safety features, you’ll be able to quickly engage a threat for quick reaction situations. You can also add a DPM 3-stage recoil spring system and guide rod to the single-stack gun for better shooting and reduced muzzle rise.

Other than that, the SIG Sauer P365 9mm pistols come with two 10-round mags and the renowned SIG Sauer X-Ray 3 day/night sights that work great for short-range targets at all kinds of light conditions thanks to its Tritium inserts. Overall, the P365 is one of the best handguns for women looking for a self-defense and concealed carry weapon. 

You would like this product if:

You want to practice concealed carry. The P364 features a slim profile design thanks to a one-inch width to make it very inconspicuous under a shirt or in a holster. 

You want a gun with high capacity. The pistol comes with a 10+1-round magazine (or a 12+1 round extended magazine) in the package and a convenient push-button mag release for quick reloads. 

You might not like this product if:

You want a gun with a manual safety. The gun does not come with a manual safety, which means you’ll need to be extra careful with it to prevent any accidental misfires. 


9. Springfield XDS Essential .45 ACP


  • Caliber: 45ACP
  • Capacity: 5 + 1 RDS
  • Weight: 21.5 oz.
  • Barrel: Melonite; Fully Supported Ramp
  • Sights: Steel Dovetail Rear; Fiber Optic Front
  • Slide: Forged Steel, Melonite Finish
  • Frame: Black Polymer
  • Magazines: 1 – 5 Round Flush Fitting, 1 – 6 Round With Mid-Mag X-Tension, Stainless Steel
  • Overall Height with Magazine: 4.4″
  • Overall Length: 6.3″
  • Overall Width: .9″


The Springfield XDS Essential is a small powerhouse that lets you fire off a larger caliber for concealed carry or home defense uses. The pistol also comes with two magazines, one with 5 rounds and another with 7 rounds. 

On top of that, the XDS pistol has an aggressive grip checking but it does feel a lot better once you’ve added the Hogue sleeve to it. The trigger pull is around 6.5 pounds and the handgun continues to deliver great accuracy even after running 200 rounds through it. 

However, one thing that can be said is that it is a bit on the heavy side with 21.5 ounces. But after a little practice at the shooting range and getting used to, you’ll find that this still makes for one of the best handguns for women.

You would like this product if:

You want to practice concealed carry. The compact and slimline design makes it very inconspicuous when kept under your clothes. 

You want a pistol that is reliable and durable. Delivering great accuracy after more than 200 rounds, you can trust that the gun will get your shots right where you want them. 

You might not like this product if:

You want something lighter. At 21.5 oz, this handgun might be a little too heavy for some. 

10. Ruger LCP II 380 ACP 



  • Barrel length (in.): 2.75
  • Manual Safety: No
  • Rate of twist: 1 in 16 in.
  • Front sight: Integral
  • Caliber: .380 ACP
  • Product weight: 10.6 oz.
  • Metal finish: Blued
  • Product length (in.): 5.17
  • Magazine capacity: 6+1
  • Rear sight: Integral


The Ruger LCP II is slightly smaller than the G43 with a barrel length of 2.75 inches and a total length of 5.17 inches. The dimensions ensure it is a comfortable choice as a handgun for women. It also comes with only one 6-round mag and a cable lock. 

The LCP II is a deep and easily concealable handgun that is very comfortable to point and shoot. In fact, it is one of the best concealed carry hand guns for women just for this reason. Regardless of ammo, the handgun continued to perform well between 7 to 17 yards out. Although it’s not built to shoot longer distances, it still did a great job with no issues at all. 

The Ruger LCP II comes with built-in safety and no external safety lever. This easy to operate handgun is a good example of the best handgun for women for concealment and self-defense. 

You would like this product if:

You want to practice concealed carry. The micro-compact and slimline design makes it very inconspicuous when kept under your clothes. 

You want a pistol that is reliable and accurate. Delivering great accuracy between 7 to 17 yards out, you can trust that the gun will get your shots right where you want them. 

You might not like this if:

You want a pistol with high-capacity. The LCP II only comes with one magazine with 6+1 rounds. So you may need to bring along another extra set of magazine if you plan to shoot for an extended period at the range. 


11. Ruger Mark IV Tactical, .22 LR



  • Capacity: 10+1
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Front Sight: Fixed
  • Barrel Length: 4.40″
  • Grip Frame: Aluminum
  • Grips: Checkered Synthetic
  • Finish: Blued
  • Width: 1.20″
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable
  • Barrel Style: Threaded
  • Weight: 34.6 oz.
  • Overall Length: 8.50″
  • Height: 5.50″
  • Grooves: 6
  • Twist: 1:16″ RH


The Mark IV is a great contender for many functions such as home protection, target practice, and even shooting at the range. Chambered in .22LR, many may consider it to be underpowered for self-defense, but in reality, the cartridge can be very effective with proper shot placement. 

The 10+1round capacity pistol even has rails both above and below to allow for attachment of your favorite red dot and/or auxiliary light to make its operation easy. Other than that, Ruger has also made several internal changes to the design to be as easy to disassemble and clean as any other modern pistol. 

Overall, the Ruger Mark IV is a great first handgun for women who want to exercise concealed carry and home defense. 


12. Kimber Pro Carry II, .45 ACP, and 9mm Pistol


  • Height (inches) 90° to barrel: 5.25
  • Weight (ounces) with empty magazine: 28
  • Length (inches): 7.7
  • Magazine capacity: 9
  • Recoil spring (pounds): 22.0
  • Full-length guide rod


If you’re looking for a .45 pistol that can be easily concealed, then look no further. The Pro Carry II is a classic 1911 with an excellent single-action trigger. It is also made to the perfect size to make it one of the best handguns for women to exercise concealed carry. 

In addition to its great looks, shooters also get to enjoy extra grip safety, which helps to reduce the likelihood of an accidental discharge. 

13. Ruger LC9s, 9mm Pistol


  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Length: 6”
  • Height: 4.5”
  • Width: .9”
  • Barrel: 3.12” – 1:10 RH twist – Blued
  • Trigger: 5.2 pounds
  • Sights: Drift-adjustable 3-dot
  • Safety: Manual thumb safety
  • Weight: 17.2oz. w/empty magazine
  • Slide Finish: Blued
  • Capacity: 7+1


This compact gun is yet another popular handgun for women and concealability. It is slim, lightweight, and compact to make it super easy to conceal. Thanks to its rounded edges, it can almost disappear under clothing during concealed carry. 

The Ruger LC9s has been designed based on one of the most successful modern concealed carry handguns, the LCP. The LCP was first introduced in 2008 in .380 ACP, but many had been asking for a similar design chambered in 9mm instead. 

For that, the company came up with the Ruger LC9 in 2012, which is a double-action, hammer-fired pistol that is slightly larger than the LCP. But then the market wanted a striker gun with similar size and capabilities, which then led to the LC9s in 2014. 

14. Walther CCP (Conceal Carry Pistol)


  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Length: 6.41”
  • Height: 5.12”
  • Width: 1.18”
  • Barrel: 3.54”
  • Weight: 22.33oz. (w/empty magazine)
  • Finish: Black frame / Slides available in black Cerakote or satin-finish stainless
  • Capacity: 8+1


Just by its name, you already know that this Walther pistol is one of the best for pocket carry. It is small, solid, and very comfortable to shoot. It even has a manageable recoil making it one of the best handguns for women to handle and carry concealed. 

Walther attributes their great recoil control to their SOFTCOIL gas-delayed blowback system. Other than that, racking the slide is also very easy. You can also disassemble the CCP without special tools, meaning it is easy to clean and maintain. The handgun also comes with an external manual safety, front and rear slide serrations, and a reversible magazine release. 

15. Walther PPQ M2 SC, 9mm Handgun


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Length: 4″
  • Sights: 3-Dot Adjustable Low Profile
  • Trigger Pull: 5.6 lbs
  • Trigger Travel: 0.4″
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Overall Length: 7.1″
  • Height: 5.3″
  • Safety: 3 Auto
  • Width: 1.3″
  •  Weight Empty:24.5 oz


The PPQ SC gun is popular for its customizability and easy handling and we bet most women would love these features. Many have also praised its optional phosphorus night sights and outstanding trigger. However, the pistol is rather chunky in comparison to other subcompact handguns. And for that reason, the company has made sure that it delivers a manageable recoil in a still-concealable package.

The handgun comes with both 10 and 15-round magazines for you to make a smooth transition from concealment to range use. Overall, the Walther PPQ is a reliable and enjoyable handgun that is great for self-defense. 

16. Glock 42



  • Action Type: Striker Fired
  • Barrel Length: 3.25″
  • Capacity: 6+1-Round
  • Cartridge: 380 Auto (ACP)
  • Finish: Gas Nitride
  • Front Sight: Fixed
  • Length: 5.94″
  • Magazine Included: 2 x 6-Round
  • Magazine Type: Removable
  • Muzzle: Plain
  • Rear Sight: Fixed
  • Stock Material: Polymer
  • Weight: 0.78 lbs


Women looking for a 380 ACP pistol that is reliable may want to take a closer look at the Glock 42. The pistol ships with a flat-bottomed magazine for compactness and a pinky supporter to make it easier to shoot. 

The G42 is a real Glock in every way and those who are used to the company’s full-size or compact guns will find it easy to operate this handgun. As with the other Glocks, you can find plenty of aftermarket accessories such as sights, lights, laser sight, as well as holsters to pair with this handgun. 


17. Taurus G2C


  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 12 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.25″
  • Height: 5”
  • Width: 1.25”
  • Length: 6.25”
  • Weight: 21.15 oz.
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Grip: Polymer Grips
  • Front Sight: Fixed (White Dot)
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable (White Dots)
  • Safety: Manual Safety


Need a budget handgun that is big on style with multiple colors and finish combinations available? Then the Taurus G2C may just fit the bill. Not only that, but the Taurus pistol is also big on capacity with a 12-round magazine in its subcompact frame for easy concealability. 

The G2C is available in both 9mm and 40 S&W handgun calibers. It also has an adjustable rear sight, good ergonomics, and a nice trigger to make sure this striker-fired pistol feels more expensive than it really is. 

Honorable Mentions

With so many models available on the market, it is impossible to list down all the best handguns for women. So here are a few honorable mentions that deserve a spot in our article today. 

  1. Ruger LCR
  2. Ruger SP 101
  3. Glock 19
  4. SIG P239
  5. SIG P238
  6. SIG P365
  7. SIG P938
  8. Glock 17 Gen 4
  9. SIG P320
  10. Kahr CW9
  11. Ruger SR9C
  12. Kahr PM9
  13. CZ 75
  14. Beretta Pico
  15. Walther PPS M2
  16. .38 Special Colt Cobra


We are confident that you can buy in confidence any of the best handguns for women we’ve reviewed today. Before we end our article, you should remember that the highest risk of concealed carry is shooting yourself. Only you and your family should know that you are carrying a gun out in public. 

Hopefully, today’s article and review of the best guns for women have given you enough information and discussion to make the best women handgun purchase to meet your needs. If you’ve found a favorite, make sure to check out our reviews and recommendations on the best handgun or pistol before making the final purchase. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the most comfortable way to conceal carry?

The most comfortable way to conceal carry is inside the waistband, for men or women alike. With the right holster, many women can carry their guns comfortably with little to no extra layering required. 

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