A girl and her gun (cc)
One of the most challenging aspects of firearms today is finding that perfect handgun for a woman. Granted, many women are more than willing to at least fire anything, in a situation where they need to use a handgun, finding one that's reasonably light and gives them control over the weapon is paramount. Today, with the composite materials being used in many newer handguns and with the variety of calibers available, finding a pistol that is easy to conceal/carry while still providing control and plenty of knock-down power, there are lots of great guns for women.
According to Women Size Matters (Sorry Guys)
Most women who choose to carry a gun want one that will fit easily in a smallish purse or are easily concealed in their clothing. However, anyone who needs a gun wants one that will provide them with the power they need to definitively stop an attacker. That means using a gun that chambers .380, .38, 9mm or even .40 caliber ammunition. These loads will provide enough knock-down power to stop almost anyone in their tracks. However, these loads don't have the kick to knock the shooter top over teakettle in the process.
Here are some great guns that are both light, easy to handle and have the stopping power you'll want:
Colt Detective Special - .38 - ~35 ounces- This classic revolver has been around forever. The short 2" barrel and chambering for 6 shots is a good choice. It has enough weight to eliminate almost all of the kick from a .38 SPL load. This makes for a good purse gun, although concealment under tight clothes is a challenge.
Ruger LCP - ~9.40 ounces - This may be the most popular choice for a small pistol. It fires the .380 a round that is at the minimum range for self defense, but the pistol is so small you'll forget you even have it on you. It's a great summer carry option if nothing else. If you want something with a little more punch check the LC9 below.
Ruger LC9 - ~17.10 ounces - Big brother to the Ruger LCP the LC9 packs a 9mm punch in a fairly slim frame that feels really good in your hand. The trigger has a long draw and reset but the pistol is reliable and a great choice for a pocketbook carry.
Kahr P380 - .380 - ~10 ounces - Small, light, easy to conceal in fairly tight clothing. 6 shot magazine makes for easy reloading.
Kimber Solo - 9mm - ~15 ounces - Very nice gun for those who want the advantage of the integrated Crimson Trace lasersight in a conceal/carry firearm. Both 6 and 8 shot magazines available.
Sig Sauer P290 - 9mm - ~20 ounces - Sig Sauer is big in the government markets and this one is a small, light alternative for those who want a conceal/carry with the Sig branding. Good concealability and control from a small handgun. 6 shot magazine capacity.
S&W Shield - 9mm and .40 - ~20 ounces - Smith & Wesson's answer to the small conceal/carry weapon. 6, 7 and 8 shot magazine capacity. The 9mm is probably the better choice for those with smaller frames, as there is less recoil.
Today, there are lots of great choices for women who want to conceal/carry a handgun. Whether you want one for strictly utilitarian purposes or even if you have a desire for a pistol as a fashion statement (yes, there are pink guns available!), you can have your gun and shoot it too.
A few other common options; Ruger LCP, Ruger LC9, Kahr PM9, and Keltec PF9. Make our recomendations in the comments section, and we'll add them to the list.