This may sound like a sexist question, but it’s one that I am asked all the time—and usually by women, themselves. The problem is, women have unique preferences and needs, just like men do. Furthermore, there is no reason why a woman can’t handle the same weapons a man can.
The truth is, any person (male or female) in the market for a gun needs to spend some time at a gun range trying out a wide variety of guns. Some will fit better in your hands than others, some will be more comfortable to carry, some will be easier to shoot, etc.
That being said, when someone asks about the best gun for women, they are usually asking for a recommendation on a small gun with little recoil but adequate stopping power for self-defense. For people who are looking guns that meet these criteria, the guns in the list below all fit the bill and might be a good place to start your search. Oh, and if you are looking for something a bit more feminine than the average firearm, be sure to check out the last gun in the list.
The Nighthawk Lady Hawk was designed with the ladies in mind. It is essentially a model 1911 with a smaller frame and a thinner grip. It comes standard as a single-action 9 mm but can be purchased chambered for .45 ACP. As this is a customized gun created out of demand for a “girl’s gun,” it will set you back nearly $3,500.
The Ruger SR9c is the SR9’s compact little sister. It features a slim grip and a weight of just 24 ounces. It is chambered for 9mm ammo and has surprisingly light recoil. It doesn’t have the easiest slide in the world but it’s also not the heaviest. Most users will probably find that they get used to the slide with a little practice. Brand new, this gun retails for about $500.
The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is sleek and slim making it ideal for concealed carry. It weighs in at a light 19 ounces and is only about 6 inches in length. In spite of its size, the M&P Shield comes chambered for either 9mm or .40 S&W giving it full stopping power with surprisingly manageable recoil. The gun retails for about $450.
The Ruger LCP is a tiny gun known as a pocket pistol. It weighs a miniscule 9.4 ounces. The gun is chambered for .380 ammunition, which is considered by many to be too weak for self-defense. However, special self-defense rounds are available which increases the gun’s stopping power. The basic model starts at just under $400.
Billed as a “short-action 1911,” the Springfield EMP is a smaller, lighter version of a standard M1911. As such, it shoots the shorter 9mm and .40 S&W rounds which still give it ample stopping power for self defense. It is available with a couple of different grip options to suit your personal style preferences but this gun will set you back about $1,200.
It almost seems sexist to include a pink gun in a list of guns for women, but I wanted to include something that had an extra feminine touch. This little gun certainly fits the bill. It is a .38 special that has a two inch barrel and weighs in at a mere 12 ounces. If pink isn’t your color, you might be interested in the Lavender Lady. In either color, these guns go for about $400.