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Best Gun Type for Women

Best Gun Type for Women

Hey, ladies, I know what you are thinking: I don’t want to carry a giant cannon, it won’t fit in my purse, even though we all know purses are like bottomless pits to Narnia. Sometimes a nice small handgun is what you need. One that fits in your hand perfectly, and is small enough and light enough to carry. Did you know women are more prone to being attacked on the street than men?

This article will try to set out what is the best handgun for you, a woman to carry. You will hear often that a woman should carry a small-caliber handgun like a .22 revolver or a .25  or .32-caliber automatic, but in the real world a small-caliber handgun isn’t guaranteed to stop a 250-pound attacker who might be high on drugs, and getting shot by a puny .25 would instead probably just make the attacker more prone to attack and hurt you.  So a larger-caliber gun like a .38 Special is really a more practical choice.

Over the years it has been illustrated that women get tired of carrying big guns around with them all day like magnums, which are too heavy, too bulky and too powerful, or .45-caliber guns that are also too heavy for a woman to tote around all day or that have maybe too much recoil.

So let’s get practical here: Automatics can jam up solid, and while I am sure a lot of you can change your own tire and open your own doors, if this happens when you need it most you’re in big trouble.  Automatics tend to have fiddly safety catches and are more technical to shoot, having to load the magazine, operate the gun’s slide mechanism and then operate the safety catch. So let’s put these guns aside. The best handgun would be a smallish revolver but with a bit of power behind it.

Firearms dealers have stated that the most popular handguns that are being bought by women are the lightweight .38 Special snub-nosed revolver variety with the 2-inch barrel.  The short barrel means that the gun is a lot easier to carry in a purse or coat pocket, but it is also a powerful, easy-to-conceal and carry revolver.

FASHION TIP: Do you love shopping? There are so many different purses you can buy that actually have a gun compartment!

The .38 Special cartridges are also quite powerful bullets, producing adequate muzzle energy to stop an attacker.  The .38 Special is more powerful than a standard .38 and also the common 9 mm bullet but not as powerful as the heavy duty, wrist-wrenching .357 Magnum.

The .38 Special snub-nosed revolver is not too bulky for you to carry in your purse or in a concealed holster.  You may want to consider a “hammerless” type so that there is no protruding hammer to snag any clothing and can be fired through a coat pocket or purse if needed without the need to extract it and point. A hammerless revolver still has the hammer that fires the bullet, but it is shrouded within the gun.  Internal hammer would be a better description.  There is no ability to cock the hammer before firing the gun, you just have to put the bullets (also called rounds) into the cylinder and pull the trigger to operate it.  Simple and very effective.

There is no safety catch on a revolver, so they have to be handled with great responsibility.  Revolvers however are easy to load. Just open the cylinder on the side and push the bullets in, then close it and it’s ready to fire. With no safety catch on these guns, you should not worry about accidentally firing the gun, as they need a firm, positive and long squeeze on the trigger. Most don’t go off if you were to drop the gun, either — it would be very, very rare for this to happen.

PRO TIP: It has also been proven that one of the hardest guns to snatch or grab out of someone’s hand is a 1½- or 2-inch barrel snub-nose revolver.

I know you are not made of glass, but the nice thing about the snub-nose .38 Special’s recoil is that while it has a bit of attitude, it’s not too violent and won’t hurt your hand or wrist.

You will find that the .38 Special snub-nosed revolver is not very accurate on a 15-yard firing range, but as you would be firing almost point blank at your attacker, firing-range distances are irrelevant. You will not be in a combat shootout, firing at an attacker on the other side of the street or into a vehicle.  You will instead be defending yourself at short range, with the attacker who will be in your face, at arm’s length or at least, just a few paces away.

There are many manufacturers of the .38 Special snub-nosed revolver, and we are not advocating one over the other. This is something you will need to find for yourself. You should consider weight, trigger pull and how comfortable you are with it. There are many different looks, too, from argent black to pink.

PRO TIP: You may want to look for one with a fitted  non-slip rubber grip so it won’t slip around in your hand.

Sometimes a revolver with a visible hammer can have its advantages, such as the deliberate cocking of it while pointed at an attacker. This alone can be enough to frighten them away, but again, we advocate the hammerless handgun because when a gun is produced, it is not there to deter an assailant but to protect yourself.

Dont be a victim. 



Thank you  Vince Lewis for doing a lion’s share of research on this over at




About The Author

aaron krieger

Aaron has worked in advertising and marketing for more than 15 years for such companies as Ford, The Sports Authority, the NHL and many others. He has also worked as a security consultant with national security firms and General Motors Police Vehicle Division and has written several books. Aaron lives in the Metro Detroit area with his wife and three children.


  1. gordon

    Although the snub nose 38 special by no means a bad round I disagree completly this goes for anyone you shouldn’t shoot anything that you aren’t comfortable with its better to have a smaller caliber that you can be confident with than something your not. Further more you need a little lesson on history of what the 38 special was designed for. As far as recoil and acuracy I know of very few shooters that can say that they shoot a double action snub nose 38 special well. Also it is appreciated what your trying to do but stereotyping is never a good thing to do .

    • herrin

      Good points. I do agree that you should never carry anything you aren’t comfortable with and that even a .22 cartridge is better than nothing. Appreciate the good points and discussion.

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