With manageable recoil and subcompact or compact pistol options available for smaller hands, the 9mm is an excellent choice of concealed carry handgun for women.
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When looking for a 9mm pistol for self defense, many women want a smooth trigger, manual safety, polymer frame, and less recoil than is common with smaller caliber EDC guns. Other factors ladies should consider include ease of racking, magazine capacity, trigger pull, safety features, and how a carry pistol fits in their small hands.
Ruger's striker-fired version of the LC9 boasts an easier slide and a shorter, lighter trigger pull that many women will love. Its single-stack magazine with seven-round capacity means a slim 9mm pistol that's concealable and easier to hold.
I carry a Glock 19, and many women love both the Gen 4 and Gen 5. While double stack means it's not quite as compact as other options, it offers minimal felt recoil which makes it one of the best handguns for women at the range or for home defense.
As a devoted Glock girl, I had to add two of their reliable no-nonsense 9mms on this list. With a width of just over an inch and an overall length of 6.26 inches, the Glock 43 is easy to conceal, although its compact size mean it only has a six-round magazine.
At less than an inch wide, the S&W M&P Shield is one of the best guns for concealed carry for women and is available with or without a thumb safety. This micro-compact model weighs less than 21 ounces.
Walther's PPS M2 LE offers generous grip surface and is only 1 inch thick, which means great recoil management and fabulous service as an everyday carry gun.
Most shooters find the magazine release on the PPQ much easier to handle than most other handguns. Both of these Walther options have become concealed carry favorites for men and women alike with their small footprints and extreme accuracy.
If you're not partial to 9mm, consider a .380 ACP such as the Sig Sauer P238 for your concealed carry gun. It's also worth pointing out that some women, especially those newer to firearms, prefer a revolver over a semi-automatic for carrying in purses.