If you want to know the best handguns for women, the best way to find out is to see what women are choosing to train with and carry. Recently A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) hosted its 9th Annual National Conference. All 450 participants were required to go through a “gear check” process where their handguns, belts, holsters, and mag pouches were all reviewed and function checked. The following lists the most popular brands and models that the women brought to training.
Women’s Choices of Handguns
A total of 626 handguns were reviewed and logged by brand and model during the AG & AG gear check process. By far GLOCK was the most popular brand among women at the 2021 training conference. More than 32% of the handguns brought to the event were GLOCK pistols, of which the most preferred models were G19s and G17s. The next popular brand was SIG SAUER, with the P320 and P365 models, followed by Smith & Wesson’s M&Ps and Shields.
|Smith & Wesson||14%|
|Heckler & Koch||5%|
|German Sports Guns||0.2%|
Interestingly, the logs reflect a lot of brand loyalty. For example, if a shooter brought two pistols (typically one for general or competition training vs. one for concealed carry courses), the pistols were usually the same brand, such as a G19 and G43 or a P938 and a P238. Seldom did women with multiple guns cross brand lines. This is noteworthy because it may indicate that if a woman finds a gun she likes, she is likely to purchase more products from the same brand.
Breaking it down further, these are the most popular model of handguns that ladies brought to training:
|S&W M&P Shield||3%|
|S&W M&P Shield EZ||3%|
|SIG P320 Legion X5||2%|
|CZ Shadow 2||1%|
|S&W M&P EZ||1%|
Women’s Choices of Holsters
An appropriate holster properly protects the trigger by covering the trigger guard entirely. During training events and competitions, AG & AG strongly suggests holsters made from kydex. Each holster must be designed specifically for a specific pistol and fits that gun with proper retention (meaning that the shooter hears the firearm “click” into place when seated, and the gun doesn’t fall out without purposely drawing it). While 20% of the holsters were not identified by brand, most of the holsters were from popular holster companies:
|Red Hill Tactical||1%|
|We the People||1%|
Women’s Choices of Gun Belts
Finding a quality gun belt can be a challenge for a lot of women. It’s critical that the belt is rigid material to provide resistance during the drawstroke, and yet it also has to be flexible enough to accommodate women’s diverse body styles and sizes. Here is a list of the belts that women brought to training:
|Blue Alpha Gear||3%|
Best Handguns and Gear for Women
Choosing the right firearm that fits a woman’s hands and that is comfortable during recoil is important so that she enjoys training with it and carrying it for personal defense. Equally important is selecting appropriate gear that have all of the requisite safety features. While the past decade brought a lot of “pink it and shrink it” product designs for women, AG & AG is seeing a dramatic shift in recent years for efficient, safe, and quality product lines for women.
Note: RISE 2021 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.