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The Best Self Defense Gun For Women

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Women At Shooting RangeWhile this article may be disputed, but in my humble opinion, guns are a much better gift for a woman than any piece of jewelry. A firearm in a woman’s hand is honestly probably the greatest step toward safety that there is. Firearms are a guarantee of rights for all people, guaranteeing equality when it comes to security.

Many evil men feel they can overpower a woman with ease; hopefully, they are only able to make this mistake once. The old saying that “God made all men, but Samuel Colt made them equal,” applies just as well to women as to men. For a long time guns have been seen as a man’s territory, but as you can see in shows like Top Shot, this will not be the norm for long.

Jessie Duff is lighting the fire for female shooters. She shoots professionally and is sponsored by Taurus. Watching her shoot in competition should change anyone’s mind when it comes to firearms being a “man” thing. With more and more females taking an interest in firearms and their own security, many women are choosing their first guns for self-defense.

This hasn’t been ignored by the gun industry, with ARs, shotguns, pistols, and revolvers now being produced with the fairer sex in mind. Most of these are cosmetic details, offering women lady-like firearms with colors like pink and purple being prominent. I’m not sure how all ladies feel about this, although my wife seems to like the Charter arms pink revolver. I could see some serious female firearms enthusiasts being a bit insulted by this, but anything that can attract new shooters has its place. If my daughter wants a pink 10/22, you can bet that’s what I’m buying.

So what is the perfect weapon for a woman looking to arm herself? For this article I want to focus on the self-defense aspect, which is a life-and-death decision. Your self-defense piece is the most important weapon you can ever buy.

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Before buying any weapon, it would be an asset to give the weapon a “test drive.” Many gun ranges offer their popular models for rent, which can be invaluable for a first-time shooter. If you’re a woman who has never fired before, I suggest taking a basic course in firearms, and again, the smarter gun ranges will offer women’s-only courses. Also, the smarter gun stores are beginning to hire female staff members to give their customers a more varied amount of experiences. Allow me to offer a small piece of advice from my years of gun store haunts: If the guy behind the counter won’t give you the time of day, don’t give him a single penny.

Concealed Carry Weapons

I personally advise most inexperienced shooters looking for a weapon for concealed carry to look into a small-frame revolver. For an inexperienced shooter, male or female, a revolver is a great weapon. Revolvers are very simple and easy to use. No safeties to get in the way or worrying about whether a round is in the chamber, and they are very simple to reload. Plus, they are absolutely dependable in a fight. I am an avid shooter with military experience, and I still prefer a revolver for self-defense.

Smith and Wesson produces a line of small-frame revolvers called the Lady Smith.  These weapons are not pink or purple, but are quite aesthetically pleasing with the great finish every Smith and Wesson has. Smith and Wesson really listened to their female customers when releasing these revolvers.  These revolvers come chambered in .22 LR, .22 Magnum, .38 special, and .357 Magnum. My preference is the .38 special. The .38 special is a great round that’s been around forever, and it’s an excellent balance between power and recoil.

When choosing a Lady Smith, the user has the option of an internal hammer, an exposed hammer, or a shrouded hammer, all of which are just a shooter’s preference. I prefer a shrouded hammer for easier draw, but my wife likes an exposed hammer for single-action shooting.

An excellent concealed carry weapon for a female wanting an automatic is the Ruger LC9. The Ruger LC9 is a 9mm handgun, built on a lightweight polymer frame, and offers a seven-plus-one capacity. That is three more rounds than the Lady Smith in a controllable yet powerful cartridge. This is an ultra-lightweight handgun that can fit anywhere.

An automatic is a weapon that will require a bit more practice to be fully proficient in. However, it can be worth it, especially with the lighter weight and higher capacity offered. A huge advantage between with weapons like the Ruger LC9 or the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard series is the option for a laser.

A laser is an excellent addition to any weapon. A laser is a self-contained force multiplier and a huge confidence booster. Their aid in a low light situation is invaluable. Man or woman, any defensive situation is going to jack your adrenaline through the roof, and this can make it difficult to aim traditionally. A laser offers a sure-fire solution for accurate shot placement.

These two weapons are a small sampling of concealed, discrete firepower. On average, the female frame is smaller than the males, so the concealed weapon may have to be smaller. When choosing a pistol for concealed carry, think practically. An uncomfortable gun will not be carried for very long. Small frame weapons like the Glock 19, the Sig 9 232, and the above-mentioned weapons are all excellent self-defense weapons in a small, comfortable size.

Home Defense

First of all, I want to start by saying if a woman feels most comfortable with her pistol or revolver inside the home, then more power to her. However, I prefer a long gun to a handgun anytime it’s available. In the Marines, we are taught a pistol is just a weapon to fight your way to a rifle, so here we are going to focus on your long gun options.


The shotgun has been the go-to home-defense weapon for as long as I can remember. Designed for close quarters and short ranges, the shotgun is a great home-defense tool. My Remington 870 twelve-gauge with an 18.5-inch barrel is what I use when things go bump in the night.

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Shotguns work by fire a shot of multiple balls, giving you devastating effects on an attacker. Movies tend to over exaggerate the shotgun’s firepower, with it firing a pattern of shot several feet wide and throwing bad guys into the air. This is simply a media myth; however, a standard load of 00 buckshot is more than enough to deal with a two-legged attacker.

Shotguns also have a low penetration compared to a rifle. This reduces the risk of the rounds piercing a wall and hitting an innocent person. I said reduces the risk because it can still happen—buckshot can still penetrate walls at short ranges. The best way to prevent this is by using law enforcement low-recoil rounds or even just a larger birdshot. I would never use anything smaller than a number-four load; at the ranges inside a home, it is still quite lethal, but it lacks the penetration of buckshot.

The law enforcement low-recoil rounds have less power behind them, and this effectively cuts down recoil, penetration, and range. While normally this wouldn’t be desirable, in this case, it makes these an excellent home-defense round, giving you the best of both worlds.

When it comes to choosing a gauge, it’s all going to be about comfort. My wife is not a fan of my twelve-gauge at all; the recoil is just too much for her. She does love her Mossberg 500 youth model twenty-gauge though. The twenty-gauge is substantially less powerful, and the youth model is smaller and easier for her to manipulate. Twenty-guage is a great round for home defense though, as it still packs enough power without the shoulder-bruising recoil. Reduced recoil rounds will not be necessary for a twenty-gauge.


A pistol-caliber carbine may be the perfect weapon for a woman in the home. It combines the low recoil and low penetration of a handgun round with the stability and accuracy of a rifle. For many years, I owned a Kel Tec Sub-2000 rifle chambered in 9mm that accepted Glock mags. This lightweight rifle was very easy to shoot, with the recoil being similar to a .22.

There is the option for an AR-15 configuration chambered in 9mm as well. These guns have become very popular and are made by a variety of companies. The ARs and the Kel Tec both accept thirty-round magazines. Thirty rounds is a lot of firepower, and the ability to quickly reload a fresh thirty rounds should not be understated.

Utilizing 147-grain jacketed hollow points inside the home is perfect to avoid over penetration and still provide a hard-hitting round. A standard 9mm leaving a sixteen-inch barrel contains the same power as a .357 magnum, a well-known man stopper. All that power with minimal recoil makes a very desirable home-defense weapon.

The majority of ARs will already be equipped with a rail system, allowing you to add lights and lasers. A weapon-mounted flashlight/laser is very handy in the home, leaving both your hands available to manipulate the weapon.

Parting Words

I say the same thing to women and men when it comes to purchasing a self-defense weapon: Arm yourself with as much gun as you’re comfortable with. If you’re intimidated by your weapon, then it’s either too much for you or you have not trained enough with it. In addition, bigger is not always better. I would never take a .44 Magnum to gunfight if I had the option for a 9mm Sig.

Ask questions, gather research, and try the weapon out. Seek out appropriate training, and familiarize yourself with your weapon. When you purchase a weapon, never assume you won’t have to use it. If you’re thinking this way, then what’s the point of buying a weapon in the first place?

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