Yes, women have concerns about the best handguns for them to carry based on practicality, but guess what, the same goes for guys! Gender is really irrelevant when it comes to which firearm to purchase for concealed carry.
So, how to decide, male or female – It’s all about fit, comfort, ability to conceal and training! Sure listen to what your friends have to say, then go down to your local gun shop and get your hands on some firearms, lots of them! All of them!! (It’ll be fun, I promise!)
- Is it comfortable in your hand? Does it fit? (You’ll know). Do you have the strength to control the weight of it? Can you operate the magazine, slide, etc easily? The answers to all of these questions should be yes!
- Is it a size/set up that you can easily conceal if that’s your goal. Go with clothing like you would normally wear, so you can try it. Consider the type of holster required for the gun – would you carry in the waistband? Outside the waistband? Can you add a simple clip onto the revolver to eliminate the need for a holster? There are some great concealed carry clothing options out there, but be realistic- are you going to wear that pair of pants or that shirt every single time you carry?
- Now that you’ve picked one, go train with it, over and over and over. Train as much as possible. Take classes!! You may find through your training that this firearm that you thought was great just isn’t agreeing with you the way you thought it would. Maybe it’s a great gun, just not great for concealed carry for you. That’s OK! (Now back to the gun shop you go, to either trade it in or buy another!)
Alright, now that you know the basic principles that apply, and that are the same for male or female, what do I recommend??
The single stack, slim line Glock 43 in 9mm or Glock 42 in .380acp is a great option. The size of this gun is super easy to conceal, even for a female wearing fitted clothing. This is a great firearm to carry in the summer too, when we typically wear lighter clothing. Glock is consistent and dependable, it always goes BANG (which is why so many law enforcement agencies choose it for their officers). This gun is simple to operate, and easy to take down to clean.
Smith & Wesson 638/442/642
Yes! A revolver makes the list, don’t be so shocked and don’t be afraid, a revolver is a great option for concealed carry for the right person. These revolvers are all .38spl. They have the ability to add a clip onto the frame eliminating the need for a holster. They are all hammerless and won’t get caught up in your clothing. These barrels are short (1.875”) which helps with their concealability. Revolvers are basic and easy to operate. They are great for scary up close and personal self-defense needs. As with most firearms, revolvers are customizable, so if the grip feels a little short, you can change it to a bigger grip!
Ruger LCP II
Although on the smaller side of the concealed carry family, this little 380acp might be right for you. It is always better to carry something a little smaller than ideal than to carry nothing at all. This is where the LCP II comes in – one of the most concealable handguns out there. It’s a single stack, with a very slim profile. It is easy to operate, and with the upgrades made on this second edition, it’s a solid choice. Out of the top 5, this is probably the only one you could pocket carry.
Sig Sauer P365
The first compact double stack of it’s kind! This lightweight 9mm is a great choice for concealed carry. It comes with a 10 round magazine, vs guns of similar size with 6 round magazines. Sig Sauer engineering and design hold true with the clean, crisp trigger pull. On top of the great design, it comes standard with Sig Sauer XRAY3 Day/Night Sights. See SIG SAUER P365 Micro-Compact Firearm.
Smith & Wesson Shield
This single stack is a great concealed carry option in 9mm or .45acp because of the slim profile (less than 1inch!) of this firearm. The price point is great at less than $400. It has the option for a thumb safety and all models come with a striker safety. It is easy to control and has low recoil.
So those are the 5 I recommend, keep in mind that while these are 5 great options for concealed carry, they are not the only options!
Always go back to how it feels to you. Does it fit? Can you conceal it? Have you trained with it?
Those are the keys to being successful with concealed carry!