How to Choose a First Handgun for a Woman

first handgun for a woman

If you are looking for a first handgun for a woman, you have a lot of choices. To make a good decision you have to know what you are planning to use it for.

If you are looking for an everyday carry gun (EDC), weight and size is going to be a consideration. You will want something smaller, that is easy to carry. Remember if you it is inconvenient you (or your lady) will find excuses to leave it behind.

Now when you go lightweight, you are giving up control and potentially accuracy. A good gun for the home might be heavier. Recoil will be less and you might be able to get a better grip on a bigger frame gun.

Check out this video for a couple more considerations. Let us know what else a woman should look for in her first gun.


  1. Totally disagree with going the revolver path. Almost every female student I’ve had that started with a revolver has moved to the small semi-autos (.380, 9mm). The revolver’s trigger pull (unless you get a trigger job) is too much for most women, thus they pull their shots and don’t hit the target consistently. However, with a semi-auto they are much more effective *and* with good training and practice they are able to operate their semi-auto with confidence and competence.

    • I have to agree with you. I prefer my Glock 19 to any revolver I’ve tried. I just don’t like the kick with the smaller revolvers, and my accuracy is way better with my semi-automatic.

  2. As a female I have to disagree. I love my revolvers. I own several, as do my DIL’s. Some of my sons and my husband own a mixture but mostly carry semi, although one son carries a 357. And us females can make every shot count with our revolvers!

  3. I disagree with the revolver path as well. I DO agree with the statement that a first time gun buyer (male or female) should go out on the range and either rent or borrow a gun and try it. However, think about it…if you’re in a life or death situation, you’re going to want to fire at the perpetrator as quickly as possible and not have to worry about all of the motions required in using a revolver. With a semiautomatic you don’t have to worry about that. If you’re comfortable with it, fine, use it, but for a first time gun buyer…no.

    • I’m not sure what “extra steps” your talking about with a revolver. We recommend revolvers to new shooters go are less likely to be well trained and knowledgeable about what they are shooting because a revolver is the most simple handgun out there. Point, shoot. It’s that simple. No safety’s, slides, no jams, no failures, nothing. Revolvers are 99.999999% reliable, the only reason a loaded revolver won’t fire is if the cartridge is a dud. Semi autos often have manual safties, require racking if you aren’t carrying with one in the chamber, and can jam up. They are far more complicated than a double action revolver.

      • I agree with Jordan. Most people have never been in a high pressure situation, most speak from the shooting comfort of the range. The less that you think about what to do, and the more muscle memory developed, a revolver is best choice for the amatuer.

  4. They all already fail. The way to let a woman select a gun is 1) let them make the choice themselves 2) take them to a range where they can actually fire them. The woman in this video is biased towards revolvers.

  5. My wife likes the larger calibers. She likes the 1911A1. I’d love to find a double stacked 1911 that wouldn’t jam. I’d get one for each of us and lots of extra mags.

  6. The 1911 is rather large sometimes. I’d like to try a Commander or Officer size 1911 sometime. All steel though. Every bit of weight helps to control the gun.

  7. Revolver all the way, no jams. I have an XD9 and I simply do not have the strength to operate the slide efficiently and it jams every time. No jams with my revolver. I want something I can count on if the need arises to defend myself.

    • No offense but it is probably jamming because you don’t have the strength in your wrists to hold the gun in place while the slide recoils. “Limp wristing” is an issue some woman run into. If you don’t have the strength to rack the slide this may be part of your issue.

  8. gordon bolinder says:

    Definately think revolvers are rhe way to go with womens first pieces no jams and point n shoot

  9. michael651 says:

    There is no doubt which is more reliable due to a multitude of potential reasons. I carry a 1911. It has never jammed while i am shooting it. It has jammed multiple times while others were shooting it.. just today in fact. After they got the hang of it, they seldom jammed and their accuracy was exceptional. But, there was still the occasional jam. We were firing revolvers today as well.. guess how many jams? I do think autos are easier for most to shoot well and carry, but there is simply no denying which one is more likely not to jam. There are strengths and weaknesses to both designs. But revolvers are more reliable. It is just a fact.

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