Whether you’re a woman looking to add to your concealed carry handgun, or you’re just starting out, finding the best 9mm handgun can seem like an overwhelming task. There are a lot of brands on the market, and many models that boast they will be the one to keep you feeling safe.
The truth is, the best handguns for women are the ones that feel most natural to draw, hold, point, and shoot. There are a variety of models and styles that can offer comfort and confidence. Your concealed carry handgun should be comfortable to wear all day and become an extension of yourself. This way, you always have the confidence that you can protect yourself in any situation.
Purchasing your first firearm
If you’re new to purchasing a concealed carry gun, your first visit to the gun shop might be an amazing experience, or a confusing one. The gun shop clerk can answer all your questions.
However, for women who are new to guns, the vernacular used and the various acronyms may cause your head to spin! Ask the clerk to slow down and explain the terminology.
A family-owned gun shop is a great choice when searching for your first handgun. The owners and employees in these shops tend to be more invested in their clients’ satisfaction, like many small businesses that depend on word of mouth.
If the clerk tries to sell you on a gun that doesn’t feel right, let him or her know. They will be more than happy to show you other weapons that will appeal to you more.
When it comes to handguns for women, it’s important to have as much information about the type of firearm you are looking to buy, including some of the brands you’ve researched and found to be the ones you want to look at first.
Visit the gun range
Another option is to visit a gun range first. Most ranges have various pistols and revolvers you can rent and shoot to see which ones feel the most natural in your hands.
Even if your state doesn’t require it, take a firearms safety and defense course. A safety course can help you gain valuable insights not only about gun safety but gun maintenance, too. Gun maintenance may help you decide on what kind of gun you want to purchase, especially if a model is more challenging to clean and maintain than others.
Lots of ranges will also let you rent time with a skilled instructor to help you not only try out different guns but operate them properly. The experts can share their knowledge, show you all of the features and accessories, let you try add-ons and modifications, and work with you to find your best aim and stance.
Deciding on the best caliber for your concealed carry is also a matter of preference. The gun should be fit for use. While a small handgun isn’t suitable for hunting, it must be adequate for self-defense. More concealed carry handguns are being manufactured with higher calibers that offer better stopping power, so there are several good pistol choices on the market.
The 9mm, .40, and .45 have the best stopping power, but the .40 and .45 have a higher recoil, which can decrease accuracy unless you put in a lot of practice.
A .380 is extremely light and has minimal recoil, but the stopping power is less than its counterparts. Less stopping power means you will have to train more to ensure you are more accurate with your aim. Good aim can sometimes be hard to achieve in a high-stress situation where you are scared, sweaty, and shaking.
The best-concealed carry handgun is probably going to be a 9mm handgun. The following is a list of the seven best 9mm handguns for concealed carry by women.
New or used?
If it’s your first time buying a firearm, many women want to buy new so they can be assured of the quality of the all-new components. New guns also come with a manufacturer’s warranty which will cover repairs and replacement parts should anything not work when you begin firing your new gun.
While some gun shops may offer a warranty on used guns, these may not cover previously undiscovered issues. Also, any modifications that have been made to the gun by the previous owner could have voided an existing manufacturer’s warranty.
1. Glock 19, Gen 4 9mm Compact
There’s a saying in the gun world, especially when it comes to semi-automatic concealed carry pistols: you just can’t go wrong with a Glock. Glocks are the standard issue available for most law enforcement, and for a good reason. They are incredibly durable and hold up in any environment.
They have a high-capacity magazine, very rarely stick or misfire, and are just a very reliable firearm. With a modular backstrap grip, you can adjust the fit of the gun to your hand, and it’s a bit smaller overall, which makes it a better fit for women with small hands. It also has a reversible magazine catch, making it an excellent choice for ambidextrous users.
The Glock 19 is a great fit if you want to use an inside the waistband holster, shoulder holster, or bra holster, ensuring they’re ideal for women’s self-defense. It’s intuitive and easy to shoot, with relatively little recoil. Here are the stats on the Glock 19:
- Weight: 30.16 oz
- Width: 1.26″
- Height: 5.04″
- Capacity: 15+1, with optional 17, 19, 24, 31, and 33
- Barrel Length: 4.01″
- Trigger Pull: 6.5 pounds
2. Glock 26 Gen 5 9mm Subcompact
This 9mm handgun is one of the most sought-out concealed carry pistols on the market. Lovingly nicknamed “The Baby Glock,” the 26 is small and extremely concealable, but still packs a lot of 9mm stopping power for your defense.
The magazine capacity is lower than the Glock 19, but it’s still higher than other counterparts on the market for its size. Like the 19, it comes with a reversible magazine catch for ambidextrous shooters, and interchangeable backstraps to custom fit the grip to your hands.
Because of its size, the Glock 26 is excellent for any concealed carry holster, including waistband, shoulder, and bra. With a loaded magazine, it’s considerably lighter than the 19, but it doesn’t compromise in control or power. Here are the stats on the Glock 26:
- Weight: 25.75 oz
- Width: 1.26″
- Height: 4.17″
- Capacity: 10+1
- Barrel Length: 3.43″
- Trigger Pull: 6.5 pounds
3. Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield M2.0
Smith & Wesson is another great brand name with reliability and durability a key component of every firearm they manufacture. The M&P 9 Shield 2.0 is a lightweight, slim pistol that’s easy to carry concealed anywhere you go.
From the photo, you can see that the textured tape grip is one of the more striking features of this particular model, adding extreme control to the palm of the hand. The magazine is a bit smaller than other models, but with its smooth, light trigger pull and low recoil, it’s extremely accurate when firing.
The M&P 9 Shield M2.0 is extremely thin, lightweight, and durable, delivering a lot of power in a small package. It’s easy to conceal and wear concealed all day long in the holster of your choice. A perfect choice for women’s defense. Here are the stats on the M&P9 Shield M2.0:
- Weight: 18.3 oz
- Width: .95″
- Height: 4.6″
- Capacity: 7+1, 8+1
- Barrel Length: 3.1″
- Trigger Pull: 6.5 pounds
4. Springfield XD-S Mod.2 3.3″ 9mm
The Springfield Armory doesn’t cut corners when it comes to quality. This compact pistol is extraordinarily lightweight and easy to conceal in any holster. The textured grip and finger molds add complete control, and the Pro Glo Tritium sights give added accuracy, especially if you have to shoot one-handed.
It has a smaller magazine capacity, on par with many other compact models, but the 9mm rounds continue to deliver premium stopping power. Because of the slimness of this model, it fits well into smaller hands. The magazine release is easy to reach without having to compromise the grip.
If you read any review of this firearm, it notes that with a longer trigger pull than other models, it can take some getting used to. Still, once you do, you’ll notice the consistency and accuracy of the inherent firing power with minimal recoil. Here are the stats on the Springfield XD-S Mod.2 3.3″:
- Weight: 22.5 oz
- Width: .975″
- Height: 4.7″
- Capacity: 7+1, 8+1, 9+1
- Barrel Length: 3.3″
- Trigger Pull: 6.14 pounds
5. Ruger EC9 Handgun
Ruger makes some of the most affordable concealed carry pistols on the market, so if you’re looking for cheap handguns, they’re the brand to start with. The Ruger EC9 is extremely lightweight, with a sharp trigger pull that is smooth and satisfying every time. It’s accurate, with minimal recoil, and has a finger grip extension floorplate to help fit your hands and improve your grip.
The magazine capacity is on-par with concealed carry handguns of its size, and its compact frame makes it the perfect concealed carry choice. It fits well in any holster, and because it is so lightweight, you’ll likely forget it’s there most of the time.
The bonus to the EC9 model is that it comes in fun colors, including pink, teal, pink camo, light blue, and silver. If you’re looking for a concealed carry pistol with a little bit of personality, the Ruger EC9 is the place to start. Here are the stats on the EC9:
- Weight: 17.2 oz
- Width: .90″
- Height: 4.50″
- Capacity: 7+1
- Barrel Length: 3.12″
- Trigger Pull: 5 pounds
6. Sig Sauer P320 Compact
The Sig Sauer P320 series is a go-to for concealed carry pistols, partly because of its 3.9-inch barrel length. It is one of the most intuitive shooters on the market and one of the few which boasts a large magazine capacity for a gun its size. Sig Sauer guns are built to last in any environment and are among the most trusted brands by former U.S. service members for defense.
The striker-fire makes the trigger pull crisp and easy, with low recoil and added accuracy. You can also play around with calibers, adding the .357SIG, .40S&W, and .45 Auto calibers, depending on your preference using the interchangeable trigger group. It’s an extremely versatile gun, yet compact and easily concealable.
The grip modules are completely interchangeable as well, making it easier to custom fit the grip to your hand and preferences. Even with all these features, the Sig P320 is very affordable, making it one of the top choices of concealed carry. Here are the specs on the Sig Sauer P320:
- Weight: 25.8oz
- Width: 1.3″
- Height: 5.3″
- Capacity: 15+1
- Barrel Length: 3.9″
- Trigger Pull: 5.4 pounds
7. Kahr Arms CW9 9mm
This little pistol from Kahr Arms is an affordable, lightweight, and fun gun to use for concealed carry purposes with only a 3.5-inch barrel length. The grip and frame are black polymers, and the barrel is stainless steel for a sleek contrast against the frame. This is a unique-looking handgun, particularly from the side profile.
The magazine is about equal to other compact pistols its size, but it packs the same 9mm punch as expected. It has an easy disassembly process for cleaning and maintenance. Its slim frame is the perfect size for concealed carry, making it an excellent choice for any holster location.
The grip is designed for maximum control, and the smooth trigger pull gives greater intuitive accuracy. One of its better features is the ease of the slide for loading, which lessens the time spent reloading, which can mean a lot in a dangerous situation. Here are the specifications for the CW9:
- Weight: 15.8oz
- Width: .90″
- Height: 4.5″
- Capacity: 7+1
- Barrel Length: 3.6″
- Trigger Pull: 5.8 pounds
As a woman, carrying concealed is a top priority in this day and age. Women have to be smart about defending themselves, and having a concealed carry pistol is a great tool in case you ever end up in a situation where your life is in danger.
Take your time as you decide which gun is the best one for you: don’t let anyone talk you into a gun you’re not happy with. Spend plenty of time researching concealed carry pistols before you head to the gun shop, and if you can, spent lots of time trying them out at the range. Don’t forget to try out your gun in multiple holsters and decide which will be the most comfortable for carrying concealed.
Become a well-armed woman by choosing the right 9mm handgun for all of your concealed carry needs. Buy now at our online marketplace or visit us today.