"Holster HQ is an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from links on this page that you clink on and make qualifying purchases, thanks for helping support us"


There are several important characteristics to look for when choosing a self-defense handgun.  The firearm must be chambered in a cartridge powerful enough to reliably stop an assailant.  The firearm must fit comfortably in the hands of an average woman.  While smaller firearms are easier to carry and conceal, they are generally not as easy to shoot as larger firearms. Your firearm must be reliable and easy to operate.  Your life may depend on it. So you need your firearm to work every time without fail.  Your firearm must be easy to operate under stress.   Your firearm needs to be functional so make sure you practice carrying and shooting with whatever firearm you are using.  You also want to make sure you have a good holster to secure whatever firearm you are using, as well as comfort and the speed at which you can draw quickly.


SIG Sauer P238

  The P238 is a widely popular concealed carry firearm among women.  This firearm is small, easy to carry, lightweight, and easily concealed under a minimal amount of clothing.   Your firearm needs to be functional so make sure you practice carrying and shooting with whatever firearm you are using.  You also want to make sure you have a good holster to secure whatever firearm you are using, as well as comfort and the speed at which you can draw quickly.


The Sig Sauer P238 is marketed as sub-compact pistol, with a 2.7-inch barrel chambered in .380ACP, a capacity of 6+1, and comes in many different finishes.  The action-type for all models is Single Action Only.  The trigger pull is a heavy 7.5 to 8.5 pounds. Measurements are 5.5 inches in length, width is 1.1 inches, and height is 3.9 inches with an empty weight of 15.2 ounces. Most models come from the factory with SIGLITE night sights pre-installed. 6 round magazine.

The P238 pistol is small and fits a woman’s hand perfectly.  You want to make sure you have a good controlling grip on your firearm.  The sights are accurate.  It is easy to rack the slide; which can be a problem with some firearms.  Trigger pull is gentle and comfortable.  The recoil is negligible.  The P238 is a hammer-fired pistol, making trigger pull consistent (in other words making each shot the same). The P238 is easy to rack and accurate to shoot, however, not as accurate at longer distances.  The P238 has been strongly recommended for first-time gun owners. The sites are easy to aim with and they glow at night.  The biggest complaint withdrawing was the difficulty in releasing the safety with one hand.  The safety on the P238 tends to take a great deal of force to release.   All in all, this is a great firearm for women.


Smith & Wesson M&P Shield


   Caliber: 9mm

   Capacity: 7+1, 8+1

   Safety: Thumb Safety

   Barrel Length: 3.1” (7.9 cm)

   Overall Length: 6.1″

    Front Sight: White Dot

     Rear Sight: White 2-Dot

     Action: Striker Fire

    Weight: 20.8 oz / 589.7g


    The Smith and Wesson M & P shield is for women with larger hands and a lot of strength due to the difficulty in racking the slide.   Women have stated that the M & P shield has great accuracy, but also has a mushy trigger and noticeable recoil.

     The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is a slim, lightweight pistol about the size of your hand.  This pistol can be comfortably carried all day.  This firearm is easy to conceal under lightweight clothing due to its slender size.    

The white dot sights are bright and contrast nicely against the surrounding black and work great during daylight hours.  Luminescent sights work better for low light shooting.   

 Striker-fired for short consistent trigger pull, every time

 Includes 2 magazines; 1 with extended capacity and one flush




  • Caliber: 9×19 (9mm)
  • Length: 6.26”
  • Slide Length: 6.06”
  • Height: 4.25”
  • Width: 1.02”
  • Slide Width: . 87”
  • Barrel: 3.39”
  • Weight: 17.95oz. (w/empty magazine


The Glock 43  Semi-Automatic Pistol utilizes a single stacked magazine in 9 mm to make it slim and compact.  This is specifically designed for concealed carry.   The Glock 43 uses an internal striker that is simply designed. The Safe-Action trigger system makes shooting in stressed situations extremely accurate.  The rough textured polymer grip provides a solid hold.   The Glock 43 is easy to clean.  The Glock 43 is lighter in weight than the M&P Shield by a few ounces and this is a plus for women.   The less weight, the better for concealed carry for women!

The grip on the Glock 43 is very slim which makes it very easy to reach the magazine release with your thumb, even if you have small hands. 

The white-dot front sight and the white-bracket rear sight provide rapid acquisition into dim lighting situations. The Glock 43 Semi-Auto Pistol is a great firearm that’s perfect for everyday carry. 




Caliber: 9×19 (also available in .380 Auto and .40 S&W)

Capacity: 8+1 (8+1 in .380, 6+1 in .40)

Trigger: Short reset striker-fired, 3.8-pound initial pull and 3-pound subsequent pulls (if one rides the reset)

Sights: SIG Sauer-fit front sight and GLOCK-fit rear sight. The front is steel, the rear is a polymer. White 3-Dot style.

Length: 6.35″

Barrel Length: 3.3″

Width: 0.94″

Height: 4.8″

Weight: 20.9 ounces with empty magazine


The BERSA BPCC is an Argentine firearms manufacturerThe shape and size of the BERSA BPCC really encourage an aggressive grip. This firearm is small enough to conceal easily yet large enough to shoot comfortably. The sub-compact size enables easy manipulation of the slide and controls. This firearm has three-dot sights. The Bersa BP9CC sights are a non-typical three-dot set up. The front sight has a single large, white dot. The rear sights have two dots, but they are noticeably smaller than the dot on the front sight


Bersa slenderized the pistol by designing it to load single-stack magazines instead of double-stack magazines. Fully loaded, this gives the BP9cc an 8+1 capacity. The magazine release is ambidextrous, (right and left-handed)  and the slim textured grip frame provides enough length for a full three-finger hold. 

The BP9cc has a number of safety features. The slide contains a key-activated safety lock below the rear sight and a firing pin safety. A loaded chamber indicator is located on the top of the slide. When the pistol is loaded, the indicator can be seen standing up from the slide, but it can also be felt with a finger tip in low-light situations.

This firearm has additional safety: a built-in lock. Rotate it between F for “fire” and S for “safe.”  This process blocks the trigger and locks the slide in battery. 

The BERSA BPCC is accurate enough and easy to shoot quickly.




Action: Safe-Action Semi-Auto Pistol

Caliber: .380 ACP

Slide: Black Gas Nitrate

Frame: Black Textured Polymer

Sights: Fixed

Barrel Length: 3.25”

Overall Length: 5.94”

Height: 4.13”(With Magazine)

Width: 0.94”

Weight: 13.8 ozs. (With Unloaded Magazine)

Capacity: 6+1 Rounds


The slim design of the G42 fits the hands of any shooter; specifically, it gives women or those with smaller hands a comfortable option like they’ve never seen before.  It is simple and fast.  A .380 pistol is a bit easier to deal with for those with smaller or weaker hands. Since .380 is a lower-pressure round, it doesn’t require the spring system to be as stiff as a 9mm pistol in most instances. That also means the recoil is a little less snappy in many instances. Remember though that light, smaller firearms are hard to hold down. However, the Glock 42 is easy to control and is easy to conceal. It is easier to hide when you don’t want anyone to know you have one. Heres Holsters for the Glock 42.


Beretta Nano


  • Type: Recoil-operated, striker-fired DAO-typed trigger
  • Barrel Length: 3.07″
  • Overall Length: 5.63″
  • Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
  • Capacity: 6+1
  • Construction: Stainless/Alloy steel, fiberglass-reinforced technopolymer
  • Finish: Black Nitride
  • Grips: Integral with frame
  • Sights: Removable dovetailed white dot front and rear with lock screws
  • Weight: 17.1 oz.

The BEREtTA NANO is a slim, sleek, snag-free, and easily concealable firearm making it great for concealed carry as it doesn’t catch on your clothes.  It is Beretta’s first striker-fired pistol which is capable of delivering 6+1 9mm rounds accurately. The grip has a front and rear checkered design to keep your hold firm, making it easy to use.  The Nano comes with a reversible mag release that swaps to the left or to the right depending on your preference. It also has an internal automatic striker block safety and a trigger drop safety common to many modern firearms which eliminate the need for external safety. The trigger does have a heavy pull but breaks away quickly.  The Nano also has adjustable, low-profile, three-dot sights.  Make sure to use the right ammo to avoid misfeeds. The Nano doesn’t recommend using +P or +P+ ammo. The Beretta Nano is an accurate and reliable sub-compact pistol that has the power to stop your attacker.   Here’s a holster for the nano.


Springfield Armory XD


Caliber: 9x19mm

Length: 6.3″

Height: 4.4″

Width: .9″

Barrel: 3.3”

Weight: 23oz. (w/empty magazine)

Capacity: 7+1 flush magazine / 9+1 extended magazine


The XD-S is for the person who wants a thin, single-stack subcompact firearm to conceal carry when appropriate. The recoil is mildly negligible and easy to control while shooting.  Very accurate shooting firearm.  The factory sights are good, but not perfect.   The dovetail rear sight is a 2-dot and the front sight is a fiber optic; a nice feature for a gun at this price! The sights are dead-on for accuracy, but one-handed slide racking is a little difficult.  This striker-fired pistol has no external safety so the controls are minimal. The slide lock lever and takedown lever are sturdy.   The magazine ejection controls are right or left-handed and the magazine ejection works great.  

The XD-S features a chamber-loaded indicator on the top of the slide and there are two external safety mechanisms. The trigger safety is identical to that which you’ll find on a Glock. The second is a grip safety, which must be depressed for the trigger to release.

The XD-S is very concealable and has a good ergonomic grip that allows for a quick draw.  Again you always need to practice with your firearm to gain confidence in your draw and accuracy of shooting.  Find XD Holster.


Heckler & Koch VP9SK



  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Length: 6.61″
  • Height: 4.57” with the flush magazine, 5” with an extended magazine
  • Width: 1.31”
  • Barrel: 3.39”
  • Trigger: 4.5lb to 5.5lb.
  • Sights: Luminescent 3-Dot, steel
  • Weight: 23.07 oz. w/empty magazine
  • Slide: Black oxide finish
  • Capacity: 10+1



The H&K VP9SK is a larger,  “subcompact,” double-stack pistol that is made for concealed carry and it has many of the qualities of its larger firearm. It’s a chunky, heavy, small gun of excellent quality with moderate capacity that can afford right-hand or left-hand manipulations. The trigger on this compact model is as good as on the full-sized original.  The recoil is much milder with this firearm due to its larger size. One feature on the slide is the presence of polymer “wings” at the back. I believe they are there to help a weaker operator in racking the slide.  The frame includes a Picatinny rail for lights or lasers and the drift-adjustable 3-dot sights review is good. (The sights are glow-in-the-dark, but not “night sights”). The configurable grip panels allow you to find just the right grip size and contour for your preference. Some shooters will like the Ambi slide-lock lever. Like the magazine release, the slide-lock lever can be accessed on both left and right sides. The VP9SK doesn’t conceal as well as other subcompacts, due to the wide slide and heavier weight. Find VP9SK Holster Here