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Best Handguns and Gear for Women in 2023

If you want to know the best handguns and gear for women, look to see what women are choosing to train with and carry. Recently A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) hosted its 11th Annual National Conference, AMPLIFY 2023. Participants included 600 members representing 123 AG & AG chapters from 40 different states. The women were able to choose from among 400 training classes run by 102 of the nation’s top firearms educators. Training classes ran over 3 days, with an additional 2 days of lectures and leadership development.

GLOCK was the Title Sponsor of the 11th Annual A Girl & A Gun National Conference, and GLOCK was by far the most popular choice among the participants: 24.2% of all handguns used were GLOCK models.

All 600 participants were required to go through a “Gear Check” process where their handguns, belts, holsters, and mag pouches were all reviewed and function checked. In total, the women brought 843 handguns for training. Here are the most popular handguns brought by women who attended the Conference:

1. Walther PDP

Walther made huge strides in the women’s market with its launch of the PDP F-Series pistol. Among the 843 handguns that went through Gear Check at AMPLIFY, 11.39% of them were the Walther PDP. More specifically, there were 16 PDP and 80 PDP F-Series pistols. With the PDP, Walther created a handgun with good ergonomics, SuperTerrain slide serrations, and a performance duty trigger, and then really changed the game for women with the F-Series model and its reduced trigger reach, reduced grip circumference, and reduced force necessary to operate the slide.

2. GLOCK 19

The GLOCK 19 is always a favorite at A Girl & A Gun events and it was the second most popular gun among women with 9.61% of all guns being this model. The firearm has a versatile size that can be used for defense, competition, and general skill-builder training courses. The GLOCK 19 is not only the most popular gun for women, but also one of the best-selling firearms in the United States for its magazine capacity and reliability. The pistols at AMPLIFY included Gen 2, Gen 3, Gen 4, and Gen 5 models showing that it is tried and true throughout the ages.

3. Sig Sauer P365

Ranking third most popular at 8.78% was the SIG P365. Of these models, 26 were the standard model and 28 were the P365XL. When concealability is an important factor, the Sig P365 fits the bill.

4. Sig Sauer P320

The fourth most popular handgun among women was the P320 from SIG with 8.07% of all handguns. On site were 38 P320s and 30 X5 Legion models. This gun is easily customized making it a favorite for women.

5. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

Although built on the M&P platform, the Shield stands on its own. 7.00% of the handguns on the range were a version of the M&P Shield. Of these models, 39 were the standard Shield model and 20 were the Shield EZ.

6. Heckler & Koch VP9

Another popular handgun at AMPLIFY was the HK VP9, of which 4.63% of all of the handguns brought for training were this model. Specifically, there were 30 standard VP9 pistols, 3 Match models, and 6 SK models. The VP9 is popular because it has an adjustable grip, comes with 17-round magazines, is optics ready, and has an enhanced HK “light pull” trigger.

7.  GLOCK 17

The GLOCK 17 represented 3.8% of all handguns that were brought by women to the range. This handgun is the “original” GLOCK pistol and still is the primary go-to for many women. When a shooter wants full-size pistol with 17+1 capacity and a ton of aftermarket accessories, the GLOCK 17 is an obvious choice.

8. GLOCK 43

The next most-popular gun among women in 2023 was the GLOCK 43. Its compact, single-stack design makes it popular for concealed carry and for women who prefer the slimline grip, as a reliable alternative to the SIG P365 and S&W Shield. G43s represented 3.86% of all AMPLIFY pistols. Specifically, there were 12 G43 and 19 G43Xs models brought for training.

9. GLOCK 34

Due to its long slide that mitigates recoil and increases speed for competition, the GLOCK 34 is a popular model in the A Girl & A Gun community. Roughly 2.61% of the handguns brought to training were a GLOCK 34.

10. CZ P-10

Making its way into the Top 10 list is CZ’s popular P-10 handgun. This model represented 2.37% of the pistols brought to AMPLIFY for training. Specifically, there were 4 full-size models and 16 compact models. The P-10 is popular among women for its ergonomic grip and ambidextrous magazine release.

Honorable Mention: Smith & Wesson 2.0

Although the 2.0 was just shy of the Top 10 list, 2.14% of the handguns at AMPLIFY were this model. It is popular year after year because of its variety of sizes and options, as well as a narrow grip that allows women with smaller hands to easily reach controls. It is comfortable to shoot with its extended stainless-steel chassis and a low barrel bore axis for reduced muzzle rise and faster aim recovery.

Handguns for Women, Determined By Women

The following lists all of the brands of handguns that the women brought to training:

BrandPercentage
GLOCK24.20%
Sig Sauer20.17%
Walther13.88%
Smith & Wesson12.81%
Springfield6.05%
HK5.22%
CZ4.63%
Canik3.32%
STI1.78%
Beretta1.30%
Kimber0.71%
Ruger0.59%
Shadow Systems0.59%
Wilson Combat0.59%
FN0.47%
Taurus0.47%
Browning0.36%
STI0.36%
Atlas0.24%
Dan Wesson0.24%
FMK0.24%
SAR USA0.24%
Stoeger0.24%
Mossberg0.12%
1911 SS0.12%
Accuracy X0.12%
Colt0.12%
F10.12%
FNX0.12%
Magnum Research0.12%
PSA0.12%
Rock Island0.12%
Spike’s Tactical0.12%
SRO0.12%

Depending on the topic of their training courses, e.g., concealed carry vs. 3-gun, women would bring different models that were most appropriate to the skills learned. Some pistols were very topic-specific, and some were used for general skillbuilder sessions with training that can be applied to both defense and competition. The following lists the most popular models of handguns that the women brought to training:

BrandMake/ModelPercentage
WaltherPDP F-Series9.49%
GLOCK197.24%
Smith & WessonM&P Shield4.63%
Sig SauerP3204.51%
GLOCK173.80%
HKVP-93.56%
Sig SauerP320 X-5 Legion3.56%
Sig SauerP365XL3.32%
Sig SauerP3653.08%
Smith & WessonM&P Shield EZ2.37%
GLOCK342.25%
GLOCK43x2.25%
Smith & WessonM&P 2.02.14%
CZP10C1.90%
WaltherPDP1.90%
WaltherQ5 Match1.54%
GLOCK431.42%
GLOCK19 Gen 51.42%
GLOCK451.30%
CanikSFX Rival1.19%
CanikTP9SFX1.19%
Sig SauerP365X1.19%
SpringfieldXDM1.19%
Smith & WessonM&P Pro Series1.07%
Smith & WessonM&P Shield EZ1.07%
Other31.44%

Popular Gear and Equipment for Women

The most popular holsters at AMPLIFY 2023 were from these brands:

BrandPercentage
Comptac21.27%
Blade Tech8.83%
Safariland6.37%
Black Scorpion5.35%
We the People5.35%
Haven Defense4.63%
Vedder3.33%
PHLster3.18%
Alien Gear1.88%
Pitbull1.59%

The most popular belts worn by women on the range:

BrandPercentage
Nexbelt21.93%
5.11 Tactical11.90%
Kore Essentials6.13%
Safariland4.83%
Blade-Tech3.90%
Black Scorpion3.72%
CR Speed3.53%
Tuff2.97%
Shooters Connection2.23%
Blue Alpha1.86%

And the most popular brands for magazine pouches that were used for training were:

BrandPercentage
Comptac13%
Blade Tech12%
Black Hawk7%
G-Code5%
Black Scorpion4%
Pitbull4%
Haven Defense3%
Safariland3%
We The People3%
TEGE/ Polecraft3%

Note: AMPLIFY 2023 Gear Check Logs listed brands and models of handguns, belts, holsters, and mag pouches. No serial numbers or personally identifiable data was collected. No information on rifles or shotguns was collected during gear check.

About A Girl & A Gun

A Girl & A Gun (AG & AG) is a membership organization whose events are successful stepping-stones for thousands of women entering the shooting community by fostering their love of shooting with caring and qualified instructors who coach them. AG & AG breaks barriers for women and girls in self-defense, and in pistol, rifle, and shotgun shooting sports by welcoming beginners to learn the basics of safe and accurate shooting and providing experienced shooters with advanced-level opportunities. The club has members in all 50 states and hosts recurring Girl’s Nights Out at hundreds of ranges throughout the United States.

For more information about A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League, or to learn how to join, please visit AGirlandAGun.org. Follow AG & AG on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube, and Pinterest for social media and corporate news.

2 Responses

  1. I love my CZ75 P-01. Compact 9mm 10 rounds, easy to clean and shoot, very solid with CZ active military quality. And designed for instinctive aim; one-handed shooting is amazing. Thanks, Robyn, for these wonderful articles.

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