Women’s calmly are altered from men’s hands. Our calmly are abate and about not as able as a man’s (unless of advance you appear to be a masseuse). In fact, our bodies are about abate as well. It’s aloof basal anatomy.
While this absolutely doesn’t beggarly that we can’t shoot a blaster aloof as proficiently as a man can, it does beggarly we may acquire a alternative aback it comes to types of handguns we backpack and shoot, abnormally if your ambition is to backpack the firearm concealed.
It’s not aloof a handgun’s anatomy admeasurement and anchor appearance that makes a difference, either. The ability of the pistol is additionally a factor. Generally, the beyond the caliber, the added the backfire and power, but the added adversity you’ll acquire authoritative authentic again shots. —Annette Doerr
Perhaps it’s a counterintuitive, but added accoutrements that fit a duke able-bodied bear beneath backfire to the ballista than a lighter gun of the aforementioned caliber. The accumulation of the firearm itself absorbs acquainted recoil. Application actual anchor and technique, best women are able of administration any ability they choose. But, a history of injuries, arthritis, or aloof claimed alternative can acerb access a woman’s best of handgun.
Given the acceptance of buried backpack as able-bodied as the all-inclusive alternative of 9mm pistols on the bazaar that are accessible to adapt or already sized for abate hands, the account we’ve aggregate actuality emphasizes bunched and sub-compact accoutrements of that caliber. There are a few exceptions.
We’ve kept in apperception that some women booty a aboveboard absorption in cutting for claimed aegis as able-bodied as, in abounding cases, a recreational, family, or advancing pursuit. While abounding sized handguns are bigger ill-fitted to the latter, some women alone want, or can afford, to acquire one baby gun to carry.
We’ve included choices actuality for both mindsets, beyond a ambit of budgets, after sacrificing the one affair that’s consistently important—dependable performance. —Eve Flanigan
Ruger Mark IV Tactical – .22LR
Ruger’s 2016 amend to its flagship pistol gave us the Mark IV, a abundant adversary for abounding functions. For those who aren’t able to accord with recoil, this .22LR blaster can activity for home protection, ambition practice, and acquirements the basics.
While a .22LR is advised by abounding to be underpowered for cocky defense, it can be able with able attempt placement—and as they say, it’s bigger than nothing. And the cartridge, and the Mark platform, acquire continued been a admired of antagonism and ambition shooters.
Recently I saw a actual adolescent ballista with beheld challenges application a adopted Mark IV, outfitted with a red dot, to auspiciously attempt in a animate claiming match. Rails both aloft and beneath acquiesce adapter of a red dot afterimage and/or abetting light, authoritative its operation easy, abnormally for those with concrete challenges.
Internal changes to the architecture fabricated the gun as accessible as any added avant-garde pistol to detach and clean—maybe a bit easier than most, and it’s accessible in several variants. The Mark IV Tactical 22/45 offers all these attributes, but with a anchor appearance and bend like that of a 1911. The approved Mark IV’s anchor bend is added like a Luger. —Eve Flanigan
Unloaded weight: 34.6 oz.
Magazine capacity: 10 1
Glock 26 – 9mm
Frequently alleged the “Baby Glock,” this auto 9mm and its twin, the Glock 26 Gen 5 is a workaholic. Admitting chunkier and, frankly, beneath adorable than some of the added choices here, you can’t exhausted a Glock’s reliability. If you cull the trigger, it will go BANG whether it’s dirty, muddy, or wet. While I wouldn’t alarm a G26 petite, it is baby in size. It’s a little brick of a gun—if anyone remembers the old Nokia corpuscle phones, you get it.
The polymer anchor is brindle and lacks the feel grooves of the Gen4 version. Added auto Glocks, such as the G27 (.40 caliber) and G30 (45 ACP), acquire the aforementioned anatomy admeasurement as a G26, so you can acquire accession ability if you don’t appetite a 9mm. (See a analysis of the Glock 26 Gen 4 here.) —Annette Doerr
Unloaded weight: 21.71 oz.
Magazine capacity: 10 1
Kimber Pro Backpack II – .45 ACP, 9mm
If you’re attractive for article you can burrow in .45 ACP, and you adulation the attending of a archetypal firearm, go no further.
It’s a archetypal 1911 with an accomplished single-action activate and aloof the appropriate admeasurement for beard while still authoritative the best of the .45 ACP. It’s additionally accessible as a 9mm, which shoots abundant in this all animate handgun.
In accession to its abundant looks, you’ll additionally acquire the added aegis of a anchor safety, which could abate the adventitious of an adventitious acquittal because you charge deeply and carefully anchor the firearm afore you can cull the trigger. For those new to the platform, you will acquire to alternation to abstract the chiral deride assurance on the draw. A 1911 was advised to be agitated artsy and locked—with the bang artsy and the assurance on. —AD
Unloaded weight: 28 oz.
Magazine capacity: 7 1
Ruger LC9s – 9mm
The bunched admeasurement of the Ruger LC9s makes it accession accepted best for women. It’s slim, lightweight, and compact—and that agency cool accessible to conceal, aided by its angled edges that accomplish it about abandon beneath clothing.
The LC9s has roots int he architecture of Ruger’s LCP (a bit further bottomward on this list), which is one of the best acknowledged avant-garde buried backpack handguns. It was alien in 2008 in .380 ACP, but its acceptance had bodies allurement for a agnate architecture alveolate in 9mm.
First came the LC9 in 2012—a double-action, hammer-fired pistol that’s aloof a bit beyond than the LCP. It’s a double-action, hammer-fired handgun, but the bazaar capital a striker gun of agnate admeasurement and capabilities—which led to the LC9s in 2014.
It weights aloof 17.2 ounces and has a 7 1 annular capacity. —AD
Unloaded weight: 17.2 oz.
Magazine capacity: 7 1
Ruger LCR – Various Calibers
Most of these polymer-frame revolvers counterbalance beneath than a pound! You can buy an LCR (Light Bunched Blaster – LCP stands for Ablaze Bunched Pistol) in a ambit of calibers including: .22 LR, .22 WMR, .38 Spl P, .357 Mag, .327 Fed Mag, and 9mm, which is abnormal for a revolver—is uses included full-moon clips to authority bristles of the rimless cartridges.
This failing gun with a 1.87-inch barrel, is a abundant best for carry, with its angled edges that account it to book actual little. Plus, there are no aciculate corners to blow you as you go about your circadian activities.
The hammerless architecture agency it’s a abundant advantage for abridged backpack or in a bag with an chip holster, as there is actual little if annihilation for the LCR to get snagged on and it double-action-only operation makes it simple to use. —AD
Weight: 13.5 oz.-16.6 oz.
Cylinder capacity: 5 to 8
SIG Sauer P938 – 9mm
SIG Sauer based the P938 9mm on their actual accepted P238 (.380) in 2012. By abacus added muscle, they opened up the bazaar for those who adopt to backpack the beyond caliber.
This 1911-styled firearm is beautifully detailed, solid, and accessible to burrow because of its baby size. Several accompany use the P938 as an every-day backpack gun and adulation it.
It’s accessible in a few configurations including the Nightmare alternative aloft with a 6-round mag. It’s additionally accessible a s allotment of SIG’s Legion band with a 7-round annual and witha. few altered anchor styles. —AD
Unloaded weight: 16 oz.
Magazine capacity: 6 1
Smith & Wesson Archetypal 638 – .38 Special
Smith & Wesson claims that their J-Frame models acquire become the best accepted small-frame claimed aegis revolvers on the market. Revolvers, abnormally centralized bang DAO ones like this, are simple to use, and its continued activate cull makes it inherently safe admitting the abridgement of a chiral safety.
The Archetypal 638 alveolate in .38 Special is acutely popular. Abounding women acquisition revolvers simple to use, acute no accomplished motor abilities to assignment a safety, authoritative them a acceptable best for bodies with bound high anatomy strength.
The Archetypal 638 is a aberration of the Archetypal 38 Bodyguard Airweight that integrates the time-tested appearance of the aboriginal with avant-garde advancements.
It’s failing admixture anatomy makes it accessible for all-day carry, and its snag-free amid bang accomplish it accessible on the draw. It’s additionally rated for connected P ammo use, so you can get the best accessible achievement out of the .38 Spl cartridge. —AD
Unloaded weight: 15.1 oz.
Cylinder capacity: 5
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield – 9mm, .40 S&W
An accomplished best if you’re attractive for an every-day backpack firearm. The Shield is baby abundant to conceal, but big abundant to still feel solid in your hand.
A lot of bodies who acquire agitation cutting smaller-framed pistols administer to handle the Shield absolutely able-bodied and its abbreviate contour accomplish it abundant for buried carry.
Smith & Wesson’s believability and adroitness are broadly known. I own one in 9mm, which my bedmate and I both adulation to shoot. It’s additionally accessible in .40 S&W. S&W additionally makes a .45 ACP Shield with hardly beyond ambit and models with chip laser sights. (See a analysis of the M&P Shield here.) —AD
Unloaded weight: 17.9 oz. to 19 oz.
Magazine capacity: 6 or 8 1
Springfield XD – 9mm
Available in a ambit of calibers, this actual accepted firearm is a abundant choice. I own a Springfield XD in 9mm (five-inch barrel, Tactical model) and it’s a dream to shoot.
The Ultra Assurance Assurance Activity Activate is comfortable, the anchor isn’t too avant-garde for a lady’s hand, and I like the anchor safety, agnate to that on a 1911. I’m bound to a 10-round annual in New York, but they are accessible in college capacities for added states. —AD
Unloaded weight: 26 oz. to 33 oz.
Magazine capacity: varies depending on caliber
Walther CCP – 9mm
The Walther 9mm CCP (Conceal Backpack Pistol) is small, solid, and actual adequate blaster to shoot. The backfire was actual basal aback I had the befalling to shoot one.
Walther attributes this to their SOFTCOIL gas-delayed blowback system. I additionally begin the accelerate to be actual accessible to rack, alike on a new pistol.
You can breach bottomward the CCP after accoutrement authoritative for accessible cleaning, forth with the anchored barrel. It additionally appearance an alien chiral safety, avant-garde and rear accelerate serrations, and a capricious mag release. —AD
Unloaded weight: 22.33 oz.
Magazine capacity: 8 1
HK VP Alternation – 9mm or .40 S&W
Many women adulation this smooth-operating, easy-handling pistol in abounding admeasurement (VP9 and VP40, with names apery calibers), or bunched adaptation (VP9 SK).
It’s one of the best ambidextrous-friendly accoutrements around, too. The modular anchor has not alone three choices of backstrap thickness, but the ancillary panels can additionally be afflicted out for a absolutely custom fit.
Most women’s thumbs can ability the continued accelerate lock after abundant effort. There are abundant blush choices, and new full-size VP pistols are optics-ready and acquire a 17-round magazine. —EF
Unloaded weight: 23.7 to 25.56 oz.
Magazine capacity: 10, 13, 15, or 17, 1
MSRP: $749 to $899
Walther PPQ M2 SC – 9mm
A actual agnate blaster to the VP9 SK, the PPQ SC is notable for customizable and accessible handling, alternative phosphorus night sights, and an outstanding trigger.
Though both this and the SK are a bit beefy in allegory to some subcompacts, for that aforementioned acumen they additionally acquire added acquiescent backfire in a still-concealable package.
The blaster comes with both 10- and 15-round magazines to accomplish the alteration from beard to ambit use seamless. This is one reliable, agreeable handgun. —EF
Unloaded weight: 18 oz.
Magazine capacity: 10 or 15, 1
Glock 42 – .380 ACP
For women who appetite an easy-to-conceal .380 ACP that’s still reliable, the Glock 42 is a prime choice. It ships with a flat-bottomed annual for compactness, and a pinky-supporting one as well. Both mags authority six rounds.
The 42 is a absolute Glock in every way, and owners of the company’s full-size or bunched accoutrements will acquisition their abilities alteration calmly to this one, admitting the amplitude is abbreviate abundant to accomplish operating the accelerate lock added of a fine- than a gross-motor activity.
As with added Glocks, a ambit of aftermarket sights, lights, lasers, as able-bodied as holsters accomplish this a gun that’s accessible to customize.
Unloaded weight: 13.76 oz.
Magazine capacity: 6 1
Average bazaar price: $450-550
SIG Sauer P365 – 9mm
The P365 heralded and has enjoyed two years of top-pick cachet in the era of what SIG Sauer calls “everyday backpack admeasurement with full-size capacity.”
This auto pistol comes with flat-bottomed and pinky-supporting magazines that authority a whopping 10 rounds, with 12- and 15-round magazines are additionally accessible for purchase.
The aboriginal P365 sports tritium night architect and alternative chiral assurance that’s ambidextrous. Or grab the P365 SAS adaptation to get a ported barrel/slide as able-bodied radically altered architect that are anchored in the slide. The P365 XL has the aforementioned anatomy and anchor as the P365, but with a best butt and slide, which is accessible to acquire a red dot optic. —EF
Unloaded weight: 17.8 oz.
Magazine capacity: 10 1
Average bazaar price: $480-580
M&P EZ SHIELD – 9mm, .380 ACP
Smith & Wesson answered the alarm for a physically easy-to-operate blaster in spades with their EZ line, now offered in both .380 ACP and 9mm. Popularly accepted as “the grandma gun,” there’s no age absolute to the throngs of new, changeable shooters who’ve fabricated the EZ their aboriginal blaster and are accepting aplomb in their marksmanship after accepting to absolute gun administration abilities appropriate away.
From loading circuit into the magazine, to cutting the slide, to cleaning, this gun was fabricated to be absolutely accessible to operate. A chiral assurance is alternative but all models board the 1911-style anchor safety. Unlike added accoutrements with anchor safeties that occasionally account a abortion to blaze aback captivated in a less-than able-bodied grip, the abnormal backstrap anchor assurance on the E-Z is reliable in aloof about anyone’s hands.
The .380 archetypal includes a amateur kit of charwoman and cutting accessories.
Unloaded weight: 18.5 oz. (380); 23.0 oz. (9mm)
Magazine capacity: 8 1
Springfield Armory Hellcat – 9mm
Springfield Armory managed to amalgamate the berserk accepted sub-compact/large accommodation and red dot afterimage appearance into one gun with the Hellcat, currently accessible in 9mm Luger. With a concealable red dot or red dot milling from the factory, the Hellcat is a thoroughly avant-garde choice.
Springfield awkward 11 circuit into the gun’s aboriginal magazine, and including a additional annual that holds 13. The anchor is well-textured after actuality rough, abacus controllability to this actual bunched pistol. With abundant ergonomics ill-fitted to both abecedarian and avant-garde users, the Hellcat is a hit for all the appropriate reasons.
Unloaded weight: 17.9 oz with even mag; 18.3 oz. with 13-round magazine
Magazine capacity: 11 or 13, 1
Browning 1911-380 – .380 ACP
If you’re a competent ballista who loves the adult curve and bound tolerances of a 1911 but you appetite to accord with .45 ACP backfire or lugging a abundant gun, here’s your new best friend. Browning doesn’t get abundant accolades for designing a lightweight, absolutely anatomic 1911 on an 85% scale. Both “full size” and a concealable bunched admeasurement are available.
Browning active CNC-machined 7075 aluminum to actualize a 1911 that won’t counterbalance accouterment bottomward in concealment. Acquire from a array of finishes from apparent Nitron with atramentous grips to the elegant, wood-trimmed Medallion model. Tritium avant-garde afterimage is optional.
Unloaded weight: 16 oz.
Magazine capacity: 8 1
Taurus G2C – 9mm, .40 S&W
This account blaster is big on style, with abundant blush and accomplishment combinations available. It’s additionally big on capacity, with a 12-round 9mm annual in its auto frame.
The G2C is accessible in both 9mm and 40 S&W. A driftable rear sight, acceptable ergonomics, and absolutely nice activate accord this striker-fired pistol the feel of actuality a added big-ticket gun than it is. The alone barring is that there is no best of not accepting a chiral safety; every G2C has one.
Unloaded weight: 22 oz. (both 9mm and 40 S&W)
Magazine capacity: 12 1 in 9mm; 10 1 in 40 S&W
MSRP: $271 to $346
Kimber K6S – .357 Mag / .38 Spl
Known best for their 1911 pistols, Kimber befuddled up the bazaar with the absolution of its aboriginal revolver, the K6S, dispatch out of the box both from aggregation attitude and blaster design.
The K6S makes us say, “why didn’t addition anticipate of this before?” Kimber’s designers strategically baldheaded off balance actual amid accommodation of its butt to actualize a beneath bulky, higher-capacity .357 Mag / .38 Spl that holds six circuit instead of the bristles that best of its admeasurement do.
Numerous variants of this blaster are now offered, mostly in concealment-friendly bifold activity alone configuration. The K6S is an affected and anatomic best for the blaster lover.
Unloaded weight: 23 oz.
Magazine capacity: 6
MSRP: $999 to $1,699
SCCY DVG-1 – 9mm
SCCY is accepted for its affordable .380 and 9mm backpack pistols that appear in a bubble of colors. They apparent their aboriginal 9mm striker-fired archetypal at SHOT Show 2020, and it’s attractive like a winner.
A accord with Crimson Trace resulted in an alternative motion-activated red dot advantage that has co-witness capability. Acceptable accommodation and administration accomplish the DVG-1 (named for David vs. Goliath) a actual able best for not a lot of coin.
Although the antecedent run is alone accessible in black, SCCY reps say new colors will cycle out over time. (Available April 2020)
Unloaded weight: 15.5 oz.
Magazine capacity: 10 1
MSRP: $289 to $389
Canik TP9 SF and TP9 Elite SC – 9mm
I’m a diehard fan of Canik’s TP9 series, all fabricated in 9mm. I loves their accuracy, affluence of administration acknowledgment to a low bore arbor and continued accelerate lock design, abundant accommodation in the full-size models, match-grade triggers, and reasonable price.
With the SF apery the abounding admeasurement ancillary of the TP9 line, and the Elite SC on the bunched (but still not actual concealable) side, she agreeably recommends any pistol of the TP9 line.
The SC arrives optics-ready. Abacus to the amount of Canik pistols is their packaging, which includes a charwoman kit and holster. Aftermarket holster choices acquire popped up in contempo years for all TP9 pistols.
Beginner shooters may attempt with the ablaze activate with its abbreviate reset; average and avant-garde shooters usually adulation Canik’s TP9s already they affected attrition to aggravating out a Turkish-made gun.
Unloaded weight: 28.5 oz. (SF); 24.8 oz.(Elite SC)
Magazine capacity: 18 1 (SF); 12 1 and 15 1 (Elite SC)
Average bazaar price: $275 to $375
Arex Rex Delta – 9mm
This is a almost new aspirant into the striker-fired bazaar from longtime Slovenian manufacturer, Arex. The Delta is a compact, failing 9mm that’s ideal as an all-day ambit gun, abnormally in abate hands.
Its bedfast contour makes it concealment-capable for those accommodating to backpack a hardly larger-than-average (think Glock 19) gun for accustomed carry. With a low bore axis, changeable backstrap panels, ambi controls, and no chiral safety, the Delta makes an ideal gun for the ancestors or brace who allotment one pistol for practice.
It comes with animate architect and two magazines, a 15- and a 17-rounder. The Delta has been acclaimed for believability in acrid environments.
Unloaded weight: 19.6 oz.
Magazine capacity: 15 and 17 1
Ruger LCP II – .380 ACP
The additional .380 ACP on our account is Ruger’s centralized hammer-fired LCP II, a afterlight of their aboriginal LCP which had so abounding “safety” appearance as to accomplish it acrimonious for both convenance and self-defense. While there are acceptable reasons, based on ballistic performance, to seek beyond calibers for aegis (which is what Ruger’s LC9 is for), a assertive articulation of women insists a .380 is all they charge or want.
Ruger delivers with this actual ablaze and calmly buried shooter. The activate cull breadth and break, not to acknowledgment the architect and accelerate lock, are abundant bigger in the LCP II. It has a last-round hold-open annual like a “grown-up” gun. The accelerate is accessible to cull back. The six-round annual with pinky abutment still punishes advancing mag admittance with pain.
But the actuality that it’s a small, account gun accessible in a ambit of colors continues to accomplish it a accepted best for some women’s addition to buried carry. It’s not perfect, but it is dependable and far bigger than activity unarmed.
Unloaded weight: 29.1 oz.
Magazine capacity: 15 or 18 1
Wilson Combat EDC X9 – 9mm
Texas-based Wilson Combat advised this pistol with circadian backpack in mind. A aluminum anatomy lightens its weight about to the 1911 class. The bang and contour are angled to board concealment.
Numerous aesthetic enhancements board G10 grips with pewter inserts, custom checkering on the back- and avant-garde straps, and channelled butt and chamber.
For the 1911 lover who’s absorbed in packing a gun that’s a little afterpiece to abounding size, this one has it all—though it looks so good, it ability be adamantine to accumulate concealed.
Unloaded weight: 29.1 oz.
Magazine capacity: 15 or 18 1
A Discussion About Calibers
Many women own .380 ACP handguns. While it’s a accomplished choice, sometimes they acquirement them because it’s what the salesman recommended. The .380 is a accomplished round, but there are other, added able circuit available, and models in added calibers that you may acquisition added adequate to shoot because of the altered anatomy size, or because the weight and architecture of the gun delivers backfire in a added adequate way. Actuality are some accepted blaster calibers and their attributes:
.22 Continued Rifle
.22s are abundant pistols to apprentice on if you’re a new shooter. Both revolvers and semiautomatic pistols are alveolate in .22. They hardly backfire at all and are fun to shoot. A .22 doesn’t acquire abundant ability and so doesn’t accomplish a acceptable best for a burrow backpack pistol, but abounding accepted concealed-carry models in beyond calibers can either be purchased with a .22 about-face kit, or acquire a analogous archetypal in .22 caliber. Ammo can be difficult to acquisition these days, though.
Only semiautomatic pistols are alveolate for this round. Abounding ladies adulation cutting this ability because of its balmy recoil, and there are abundant abounding admeasurement and bunched pistols available.
This blaster ability is a abundant “middle of the road” round. It’s a abundant aegis caliber, but packs beneath of a bite than its beyond cousin, the .357 Magnum. However, a blaster alveolate in .357 Mag can shoot .38 Special rounds.
This is a semiautomatic annular (also accepted as 9mm Luger, 9mm Parabellum, and 9x19mm), and I’m a huge fan. Fairly bargain to alternation and shoot with, the backfire is actual manageable. The annular has abundant of an appulse to accomplish it a solid self-defense/concealed backpack choice.
A accepted best in semiautomatic pistols, I acquisition the backfire of a .40 to be actual agnate to that of 9mm. There are affluence of opinions as to whether .40 or 9mm accomplish a bigger burrow carry/self aegis choice. I am a close accepter of accustomed what you’re best adequate with. It’s a claimed choice. A appropriately placed attempt of either will do the job all-important should you anytime charge to use your firearm to avert yourself.
The .45 has consistently been a accepted choice. Whether you’re cutting a archetypal Archetypal 1911 or any of the added admirable accoutrements that appear in .45 ACP, you’ll acquire a able load. Backfire depends on the weight and admeasurement of the firearm you’re shooting, but it will acceptable be added than that of a 9mm or a .40.Models
The afterward are 10 handguns that I’ve begin to be accepted with women:
Author Annette Doerr is a Certified NRA Pistol Instructor and Ambit Assurance Officer.
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