by Samantha Horvath
It has never been more important than it is in today’s day and age for women to be armed and able to properly handle themselves along with protecting themselves.
In this article, we will go over the top ten concealed carry handguns for women, along with a few ways to carry without giving it away and making it too obvious.
Walking into a firearm dealer can be quite intimidating, especially if you have little to no experience with firearms. They typically run by men with an all-male staff, making it difficult to go in as a woman and feel at ease.
The gruff exterior and monochrome interior of the typical firearms shop is enough to make you second guess your choice, but stop right there lady, and realize that this is the most important decision you will make for your own safety, the safety of your family, and children.
Walking in without an bias is the best way to approach it, but also doing your research will help you along the way to choosing the right firearm for you and your stature.
If you’re a smaller framed woman, you might want something smaller that will fit into your hand easier. A more well-versed woman might want something with a little more spunk.
Going in with a basic idea of what you want will not only help you but also help the salesperson to help you choose the proper handgun for you and your personal needs.
Let’s get right into the nitty gritty! Broken down by the manufacturer, these 10 firearms, are ideal for any woman.
- Sig P238 – For a little guy, this sure does pack a punch. It’s is small enough to easily conceal in your waistband, a thigh spandex holster, or even a bra holster if you choose. It is a .38 caliber pistol and is a great option for any shooter. This handgun is essentially a tiny single action 1911, which in simpler terms, is an excellent weapon utilized by the military for its dependability.
- Sig P938 – another fantastic option that won’t cost you can arm and a leg, the Sig P938 is like the P238 in a lot of aspects, the main difference being this little monster is chambered for 9mm rounds. This is an important difference to note for a couple of reasons. 9mm rounds are cheaper than .38’s, this is very important for anyone who intends to run a few thousand rounds through their handgun.
Smith & Wesson
- Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum Airlite – the miniature version of the Dirty Harry gun. These 5 round revolvers are another great addition to any arsenal. It is very lightweight, easy to handle, and very easy to fire, however, the recoil can be sharp.
- Smith & Wesson Ladysmith .38 Caliber – the name says it all! Now, if you’re looking for a revolver that comes with a variety of awesome colors for the grips, look no further! The stock grips on these tend to be a bit bulkier, but depending on what feels comfortable, they do feel great in the hand and are easier to hold than some of the other grips that come stock on other handguns.
- Ruger 357/.38 Special LCR – Ruger has been a staple in the firearm community for years. They tend to be on the less expensive side, so if you’re working with a budget, Ruger is a great option that consistently produces high-quality handguns, while not breaking your piggy bank. This revolver can run .357 and .38 special ammo, giving you an option to save a few bucks on ammo as well. Revolvers are a great handgun for first-time buyers along with experienced shooters. They are very lightweight, easy to use, and easy to handle.
- Ruger LC9 – Ruger really outdid themselves with this compact firearm. Chambered for a 9mm round, you’ll save money on ammo without sacrificing usage or quality. Coming from the design base of previous successful compact weapons, they made the trigger pull lighter, the overall weightless, and manipulated the weapon to improve overall ease of use.
- Bersa 380 Thunder – are you looking for longevity in a firearm? Bersa offers a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser that’s hard to beat! The Bersa .380 Thunder runs .380 ACP ammo, but you can also find other options like .22 Long Rifle ammo which packs much less of a punch if you’re not too comfortable with the kickback of a regular .380. Originally manufactured in Argentina, the design is sleek, simple, and easy to use.
- Glock 43 – the epidemy of the perfect single stack 9mm weapon. This little guy is the perfect option for a pocket, purse, in-pant, bra, and spandex holster! It is very lightweight, and Glock really can’t be beat, if you have the extra money to spend.
- Glock 26 – originally released in 1994, the ‘Baby Glock’ is the ideal concealed carry for both women and men alike! Since it’s original release back in the 90’s, Glock has continued to improve on the original design with a lighter weight trigger pull, a variety of after-market grips, and a smooth easy to handle handgun that you can’t go wrong with.
- Glock 19 – My absolute favorite concealed carry: the Glock 19 is really a game changer. It is a bit larger than the other firearms previously listed, so this might not be the best option for in-pant holsters, but ideal for purse carry. Chambered for 9mm rounds, this beast is the ideal size for both concealed carry, and often utilized by law enforcement for duty carry pistols as well. Glock outdid themselves with the quality of the Glock 19, and is definitely a weapon that I suggest to any woman looking for something a bit beefier, packing a bigger punch, along with being affordable!
Ways to Concealed Carry Your Firearm
There are quite a few different ways you can conceal your new firearm, all different depending on what you prefer, and is best for your handgun of choice.
- Concealed Carry Purses – these beauties are a great way to carry a smaller firearm. These are specialty purses that come with a pocket that is specifically designed to hold your handgun. It has an easy feature to simply reach and pull it out.
- In-Pant Holster – this type of holster is not for everyone. They can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable depending on the sensitivity of your skin. These holsters sit inside of your pants at either the back, side, or even front, and allow for the handgun to sit nicely inside of your pants without being outwardly noticeable.
- Spandex Holster – these holsters are pretty much exactly how they sound. They are a spandex that you wear that allows you to slip the handgun into the spandex and put it right at thigh level. These are good for women who wear dresses. You can simply pull up the hem of your dress and grab your firearm out of the spandex.
- Bra Holster – again, these are exactly how they sound. A holster that allows you to carry the handgun attached to your bra. These are not exactly the most recommended, but if you feel comfortable with it, then you go girl!
Each of these 10 firearms is a great addition for any personal protection, it all comes down to preference.
The best bet is to head into your local firearms dealer and try out a few of these handguns. If you can find a shop that has an attached range to try shooting before buying, you will be in good shape.
But most importantly, it must feel right in your hand when you’re holding your new handgun.
The grips must be the proper size, angle, and texture to ensure you feel comfortable holding and firing your handgun.
Beyond all of this, the age-old saying rings true: Practice makes perfect. Once you have decided on your ideal concealed carry weapon, you must practice with it to make sure that if it came down to it, you are able to efficiently and effectively shoot your weapon.
Take your firearm to the range and run a few rounds through it to make sure you are completely comfortable. You can even run yourself through a few firing drills.
Holster your handgun, count down from three, draw, and fire. Get fully acquainted with your chosen handgun, and eventually move on to timing yourself. Efficiency is key, and practice will only help.
In times of great struggle, the prepared with prevail.
A decent article, however, however I have some questions.
I wonder how much shooting the author has done with any of the firearms suggested?
My wife, 9 year old daughter and many other ladies I have worked with really do not like any revolvers for several reasons.
1. Double action trigger pull is often well over 12lbs which is easily double that of any semi auto / and Smith&Wesson sells the amazing MP Shield 2.0 which is accurate, easy to use and lighter than both revolver mentioned with better accuracy
2. Reloading a revolver takes quite a bit of practice to do well and quickly, while reloading a good semi auto can be done efficiently and effectively with much less training.
Next, while the drill mentioned is all good, it should be noted that the author did not mentioned safety checks nor did they offer the very real option of getting one on one or group based training from verified instructors, or that the same training can be done using dry fire snap caps at home- after all, with carry methods suggested there are no legitimate ranges that I have been too that allow drawing from all but IWB eg., “in pants” carry.
I am somewhat disappointed that the author seems to have little or no experience in these areas.
Additionally it is still not allowing me to subscribe, which may be doing the same to others. Never had this problem before.
I’m not sure why it’s not letting you subscribe however there have been about 50 new subscribers over the past few days. Did you try a different email address?
Let me say first that I’m not a woman. But I have several adult women in my family, and they come in all sizes.
I have been carrying all types of weapons since I was 19 & I am now 71 and closing on 72. My background is as an army infantry paratrooper, SF light weapons specialist, and LEO. That said, I bow to Jesse’s opins most of the time, but not always. This time I fully agree with him. I’ll try to keep this short, although I’m pretty windy. I am a SIG man, my gun safes will attest to that. The writer states the SIG 238 is .38 cal. WRONG, it is .380 cal. .380 (9mm kurz which is 9mm SHORT)is a baby compared to .38. Sizing goes like this; .38 down to 9mm, then to .380. The .380 is not sufficient in my opinion for a defensive round. The least I would consider is 9mm, especially due to the advancement in 9mm ammo since the ’90’s. She mentions “kickback” of the .380 and recommends the .22LR as an alternative. I call BS on this option, if your going to actually shoot someone in order to protect yourself or loved ones, then carry something that will do the job, and again the 9mm is the least to be considered. If you aren’t comfortable with the “kickback”, then spend more time shooting until you are comfortable with it. Don’t use a “limp wrist” when shooting any handgun, you can’t control it’s movement and it increases “kickback” and you’ll miss your target. Hold it like you mean it, placing the backstrap of the weapon in the “V” created between your thumb and forefinger before you sight in. Do this every time you draw. If your hand is not large enough to do this then you need to change out your grips, or even your weapon to find that proper grip. I taught women to shoot rifles a few times in the army and I was amazed what little they knew about shooting, even after having completed basic training, making one wonder how in the hell they graduated. Women are generally smarter than men, generally more tenacious, and more than capable of accomplishing their goals. But men generally cut them slack because they are the “weaker sex”, again, BS. Some of them can even pee standing up, so men, quit cutting them slack & train them to the same standards. Oh yeah, I said I would keep this short…
John R. Bowie –
So very true, ive yet to meet a woman who when she wanted to learn something let her non male parts stand in the way especially with firearms.
Proper training is not sexually based, nor should it be.
Hello, M.D and Samantha
I’m guessing this review was written at least a couple of years ago, judging from the firearms that were reviewed. So, I’m not posting to be the least bit critical of Ms. Horvath’s opinions, but rather an “update” to the above mentioned products.
I’ve struggled for many years to find the optimum CC handgun for my wife. Well, in all honesty, it’s been a struggle for her, but for me, I take possession of all the culls and the handgun racks on my safes are bulging because of it.
One thing missing in the review article was the manipulation of the slide on semi-auto pistols. The vast majority of the semi’s on the market are very difficult to rack, at least by some women, people with arthritic hands, older folks, etc.
The “S&W M&P 2.0 .380 EZ” is a game-changer for anybody who has experienced racking a slide in the past. This pistol, I’m pretty sure, was specifically targeted at the female shooter, although I understand the marketing strategy of not calling it a woman’s gun.
I can rack the slide with my thumb and index finger. My wife pulls the slide back with little to no effort at all. The trigger is excellent, particularly for a pistol clearly targeted for CC. Even the mag’s are esy to load, featuring a stud on the follower that protrudes outward, so the spring can be compressed with one hand and the cartridges just dropped into the top, much like many .22 mag’s.
The frame is nearly the size of S&W’s M&P 2.0 9mm, with a 4.2″ barrel, if memory serves, so any kick from the .380 is negligible, and a good grip is easy to maintain, for any size hands.
It is available with or without a thumb safety, either model has a grip safety. My wife has the “grip safety only” model and it seems to be perfectly adequate for any shooter.
The only negative I can see up to this point, is the .380 chambering. I’m not a big fan. However, with the frame size and barrel length, I would be shocked if they don’t release a 9mm model very soon.
The only other detractor is actually finding one. They are perpetually sold-out or back ordered at every local dealer or on-line retailer that I typically use. That says a lot about how this pistol has been received.