Title: The Best Self-Defense Pistols for Women

The times when physical force was the deciding survival factor have long passed. Today people get through their day-to-day tasks with their wits and skills, which deprived strength of its crowning title. But even though countless tales tell us stories of smart heroes outwitting hostile tough guys, strength remains an advantageous trait in some situations. Sometimes, that strength can be used against us, and sometimes, we have nothing to counter it. However, there is a way to even the odds or, to be honest, tip the scales in your favor. 

Handguns are the most reliable of women self-defense weapons. To be more precise, they are the primary option if we talk about weapons in particular. Unless you are proficient in cold weapons and always carry a butterfly knife on your person, then your choice is a bit wider. Handguns are an uncompromising tool for self-defense, opposed to milder stun guns and pepper sprays. Whereas more ‘peaceful’ options will win you time or maybe even incapacitate the assailant, it is your safety we are talking about. Not everyone is ready to start carrying a gun, but one can never be too cautious. At the end of the day, you are not going to swing it in front of everybody’s face, so there is no harm in being prepared for a potential assault.

If you are planning on carrying a gun for self-defense, you should look for so-called ‘concealables.’ Those are the guns suitable for concealed carry. Of course, walking with an elephant rifle over your shoulder would probably scare off all potential attackers, but carrying firearms out in the open is considered bad form, mildly speaking. Unless you are a police officer, but in that case, you probably know a good deal about firearms already. For us, mere civilians, concealed carry is the most beneficial option since the attacker won’t see where your gun is and won’t be able to target it before you have time to react. But will any handgun be suitable for concealed carry? That’s a debatable question. We know a thing or two about guns, being a sporting goods store. We’ll share our vision on the topic and give some examples of the best handguns for women.

What Should Women Look For In A Self-Defense Gun?


Handguns can be of different sizes, just like women. We would not recommend you look for the smallest pistols possible because that’s not practical: your handgun should lie comfortably in your hands, it’s in its name, after all. You should be able to hold your firearm firmly and not feel like a cartoon character with a gun too big or too small. Moreover, a handgun’s size rarely has anything to do with its stopping power: it’s the caliber that matters, and you can find the same caliber in several size varieties. If you buy a gun in a retail store – great, you have an opportunity to hold it and get the general feel of it. If you shop online – don’t worry, product listings always contain item measurements so that you can get an idea of it. 


You can’t go wrong aiming for a lightweight handgun simply because it’s more comfortable. You will need to carry a firearm daily, and it should not restrict your movements. Another important factor here is storage placement. Are you planning on keeping your gun in a bag, storing it in the car door, or carrying it on your person? The answer might determine the weight range you might want to choose from. If you are going to carry a handgun in a concealed carry holster, you wouldn’t want it to be too heavy. Light pistols are also quicker to draw, so pay attention to the gun’s weight.


Recoil can be a little tricky. On one hand, you would want to have a handgun with as little recoil as possible. On the other, small guns that are so great for conceal carry tend to have more tangible recoil. The reason for it is construction: small guns have shorter barrels and smaller frames, which fail to absorb the impact and transmit it to your hand. Bigger and heavier guns, in turn, absorb more recoil due to their bulk. Anticipation of recoil might be as disturbing as recoil itself, hindering your precision and general confidence. The trick here is to find balance, as with everything in life. 


The caliber is the feature that determines the gun’s stopping power. Bigger calibers tend to be more impactful, but this power comes with a larger size, which, in turn, makes the firearm harder to conceal. You should choose gun caliber based on how you plan to use your firearm. If you want to acquire a pistol for home defense, you can choose from big caliber pistols since you won’t carry them with you all the time. If you need a women concealed carry handgun, smaller calibers might be more suitable: 9mm, .380 ACP, and .40 S&W. The bullet is still a bullet, regardless of its size. Self-defense scenarios usually involve close-range shooting, so the flight range is not that important. 


A firearm is not only dangerous when pointed at a person. If stored and handled poorly, it might become a threat to the carrier. Of course, the number of people dying from unintentional firearm injuries is relatively low, but cases of non-fatal traumas caused by unintentional discharges are not unheard of. If you purchase a gun for concealed carry, be sure to check its safety features, and don’t forget to acquire a holster that would cover the trigger guard. By following these two steps you minimize your chances of being injured by the very thing that was supposed to protect you. 


A guide is only good if accompanied by practical examples. We will enumerate a few examples of pistols that can fit the role of your protection assistant.

Glock 43 9mm

Glock is famous first and foremost for its pistols, so it’s only natural to find something fitting for self-defense among the ranks. Glock 43 can boast a relatively small size (not the smallest, though), it’s light, easy to conceal, and equipped with all internal safety mechanisms Glock is famous for. It has no rails for accessory mounting, but you would hardly need a red dot sight on your self-defense handgun. 9mm is a classic choice for concealed carry firearms, so that’s a solid contender for a place in your…wherever you plan to carry it, honestly. 

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

This pistol model features a hammerless striker-fire system which alleviates the draw immensely. There is no risk that the pistol will get stuck halfway through because the hammer caught on some piece of clothing. It’s a bit smaller and lighter than Glock 43 and is definitely more affordable. The trigger pull might seem too heavy for some people, but recoil is lighter than in the majority of handguns. 

Sig Sauer P238 .380 ACP

The further we go, the lighter pistols become. This crumb weighs only 15.2 oz and features an even more compact design than the previous contenders. The price of this one, however, didn’t follow the suit. But it is nevertheless a worthy investment. Low recoil and smooth trigger facilitate the accuracy, while a single-action mechanism serves as an extra precaution against occasional discharges. But the draw might be a little awkward, and the grip might feel too tiny unless you have small hands.

Ruger LCP II .380 ACP

The tiniest birdie in the flock, Ruger LCP II is 10.6 oz of protection, concealed in a teensy frame. Well-balanced and accurate, this pistol doesn’t offer many customization options, not to say it needs any. This small warrior can only store six rounds, but this is the maximum for something of its size, so you can say Ruger did everything they could. 

We’ve provided you with guidelines, given you some examples of self-defense pistols for women, and hope at least some of this reading was helpful. Take your safety into your own hands and never fear a challenge. It will all pay off one day.

Huynh Nguyen

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