The Best Firearms for Women Looking for a Gun

What type of handgun is best for a woman with the purpose of self-defense? Good question. There are two choices, a revolver or a semi-automatic pistol. Your decision will be based on your specific and unique needs, physical traits and your likes and dislikes.


The Revolver

Owning a revolver has its advantages. First, revolvers are very reliable and easy to operate. They aim very well and are the best choice for a CCW. However, the trigger is harder to pull, so if your hand strength is particularly weak, this may not be the best choice for you. Revolvers are also reasonably priced, which makes them an ideal first option. The biggest drawback for a revolver, in my opinion, is the lack of a safety catch. A few models (like Taurus) does feature locking trigger. The biggest benefit of the revolver in my opinion, is that they fit anyone. It doesn’t matter how large or small your hand is because the revolvers’ grip size and shape isn’t dictated by the need to fit a magazine.

My recommendation for a revolver: Smith & Wesson .38 special snub nose revolver


The Semi-Automatic Pistol

Ah, my favorite. The semi. Semi-automatic pistols are slimmer and easier to conceal. Plus, they have less recoil. You will need to be stronger in order to rack the slide to chamber the first round. But as long as you use proper technique, this shouldn’t require a lot more effort. Yes, semi-automatics are more expensive, but worth the money depending on the gun you decide on. Semi-autos are often the best choice for personal and home protection. Just be sure you get one you can operate comfortably—many shooters with low hand strength struggle to function the slide of a big semi-auto, especially under stress.

My recommendation for a semi-automatic pistol: Glock 17 Gen4 Semi-Automatic Pistol



During your search for a gun, you’ll likely come across many different opinions. These are some tips I recommend you keep in mind when deciding on your purchase:

  • Ease of Use: REVOLVER
  • Firing Reliability: REVOLVER
  • Ease Of Maintaining: REVOLVER
  • Ammunition Capacity: SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOL
  • Cartridge Casing Disposition: SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOL
  • Ease of Reloading: SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOL
  • Cool Factor: This depends on you. Personally, I prefer the revolver.


Here’s a list I’ve compiled of the 20 most popular guns for women. I’ve bolded the ones that I own and italicized the ones I’ve shot:

  1. Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm
  2. Sig Sauer P238 .380
  3. Glock 43 9mm
  4. Glock 42 .380
  5. Springfield XDs 9mm
  6. Ruger LCP .380
  7. Ruger LC9s 9mm
  8. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380
  9. Glock 26 9mm
  10. Sig Sauer P938 9mm
  11. Ruger LCR
  12. Smith & Wesson J-Frame
  13. Bersa Thunder
  14. Beretta Nano
  15. Ruger SR 22
  16. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .38
  17. Walther CCP
  18. Ruger SR9C
  19. Kahr PM 9mm
  20. Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm