Men and women are different — a shocker, I know.
But this means that women can have different needs or preferences regarding firearms than men do.
Women in general might not like certain guns and operations that men do, and vice versa.
This is not to suggest that women can't handle the same firearms as men.
It has nothing to do with an ability to "handle" anything. It's about what women tend to want in guns.
What Do Women Want in Guns?
The answers are as diverse as the women themselves, and they're often similar to answers from men.
For example, women don't want something in a smaller caliber just because they're women. Women, like men, want the right gun for them no matter what the caliber is.
It's an unfortunate and often repeated falsehood that women don't want big guns.
A woman looking to buy a gun, especially if it's for self-defense purposes, wants a gun that will put down a potential assailant.
And despite what you might have heard, they don't care how big the boom is when that happens.
If there's an issue with women not wanting a big gun, it's in reference to the overall size of the gun, not to the caliber.
There are structural differences between men and women, and by and large, hand size is one of them.
Women tend to have smaller hands than men; if a woman says that a gun is too big, she usually means that it's hard for her to feel like she has control of it in her hands, not that it's too powerful.
Nobody wants to shoot a gun that just doesn't feel like it fits in their hand.
What Are the Best Guns for Women?
There are no "best" guns for women just like there are no best guns for men.
The real question anyone — man or woman — should ask themselves is, "What is the best gun for me?"
Guns are not one-size-fits all or even one-size-fits-gender. Some work better than others for individual needs.
There are a few guns that women do seem to be relatively likelier to buy, however.
Plus, there are guns that seem to take into account the various carry needs, structural differences and overall desires of the female gun owner better than others.
Here are those guns, in no particular order.
1. Smith & Wesson EZ .380
When it comes to guns, Smith & Wesson knows a thing or two.
It's been around a long time, and it takes into account the needs and preferences of its customers when designing new guns. The EZ .380 is a fantastic example of this.
One of the major issues some women have in choosing a gun is related to hand strength — an issue of size and mass, not of muscle.
This Smith & Wesson takes that particular concern into consideration.
The EZ .380 is designed with the intent that it would be easy to manipulate the slide.
As a result, the EZ slide is extremely, well, easy to operate in terms of strength, and it has grooves and serrations to help you grip it better.
The rear of the slide is also slightly larger than the rest, providing tabs to grip to assist in racking it.
The gun also has a thumb assist for easier magazine loading, an eight-round carry capacity, extremely low recoil and safeties that are easy to manipulate.
2. Glock 43
When it comes to polymer-framed striker-fired guns, you can't go wrong with a Glock, and the 43 is very compact and easy to hold.
While its slide is not as easy to rack as the EZ, it's still not a difficult gun to manipulate.
What most women tend to immediately like about the Glock 43 is the light texturing of the gun itself. Some guns are aggressive in their texturing, but a stock Glock will not tear up your hands, and it allows for a solid grip, which is important.
Proper grip is essential for operating the firearm effectively. Plus, for the size, it's a low recoil firearm, especially since it fires 9mm rounds.
3. Sig Sauer P365
The Sig Sauer P365 is a revolutionary gun.
Its compact size would be impressive on its own, but when you add in a carry capacity of 10 rounds in the magazine (and another one in the chamber), it becomes a phenomenal gun.
Plus, it's manufactured by Sig Sauer, which has a long history and great reputation that speaks for itself.
The ergonomics of this gun have many women falling in love with it almost as soon as they hold it.
The slim design, quality texturing and grip angle all combine into a package that fits the hand ideally.
Plus, it fires 9mm, so the feel-good nature of holding it and the large carry capacity of 9mm create the perfect balance for almost anyone.
While recoil is subjective, some have said the recoil of the Sig Sauer P365 is less than the Glock 43.
This is also paired with a smooth, easy trigger pull, making it easier to get the gun back on target and firing again, which can help with accuracy.
All of this is quite helpful if you're forced to use the gun to defend yourself.
4. Kahr P9
The Kahr P9 is a compact 9mm pistol with the ergonomics of a full-size gun. It's easily concealable and fits well in a purse or a concealed carry holster.
Like the Sig, it really has great ergonomics.
The grip angle is different from the Sig, but it isn't like the Glock, either; it's closer to a 1911-style gun, which some women do prefer.
The texturing on the Kahr is unique and much different from other guns.
It looks like it might feel strange; it has grooves that are like slats along the front and back with a mild texturing on the sides.
It's one of those guns that you will likely love the moment you hold it if that type of grip is something that feels right to you.
The P9 is also a 9mm gun and has a carry capacity of seven-plus-one in the chamber, so there's plenty of ammo to be had if you're carrying for defensive purposes.
The recoil is better than some of the other guns on this list due to its slide being closer to that of a full-sized gun, so that's certainly helpful. And speaking of the slide, the P9's is easy to manipulate and has some serrations to aid in grip.
5. Sig Sauer P238
The Sig Sauer P238 is a fantastic gun. It's compact enough to fit in your purse or pocket, but it's also a 1911-style steel-framed firearm.
This makes it heavier, which some women like because it feels heartier in your hand, making it a little easier to hold.
The steel frame weight also helps absorb the recoil. Plus, it's chambered in .380 ACP, which has naturally less recoil than a 9mm does.
The slide on this gun is probably the easiest to manipulate out of all the guns mentioned except for the EZ.
It also has slide serrations to aid in racking like most of the other options, but these are with some additional Sig Sauer flair.
It has a respectable carry capacity of six-plus-one and comes standard with night sights.
No matter what gun you choose, ensure that it's the right gun for you.
No matter how well a particular gun works for another woman, you may not find it to be the best fit.
Find a gun that you enjoy, one that you can manipulate and that works well for your life situation and needs.
That's what matters — not whether the gun is a "woman's gun" or not.
Enjoy your gun, carry your gun and, most importantly, train with your gun, because that's what makes it the best gun for you.