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Ladies, A Good Handgun is Like a Good Pair of Shoes

What is the best handgun for a woman to buy? It seems like a simple thing to ask and it’s something I get asked by a lot of women I work with. I hear women tell me all the time they want to earn their carry license for self-defense purposes but have no idea where to start regarding firearm selection. Or my favorite, and sadly the most common example, women that are persuaded by a handgun counter employee to EXCLUSIVELY purchase a light weight, small caliber revolver because it’s something a woman can “handle” (que *major eyeroll*).

So, let me cut to my big idea: I reject the stereotype that this question has a “one size fits all” answer. In fact, I think a good handgun is like a good pair of shoes: it’s all about comfort, fit and wearability! You wouldn’t allow your husband or boyfriend to buy a special pair of shoes for you, would you? Finding the “best” handgun for you, is 100% all about how it achieves YOUR mission.

For what purpose do you want the firearm to fill? By first identifying your purpose you can then use that to prioritize what’s important to you and your mission. For example, will it be used for home defense or carried on your body for personal defense? If you are going to carry your handgun ON your body (preferred), you’re going to want to opt for a smaller, compact handgun, that is easy and comfortable to conceal.


As a 20 something college student, I am ALL about comfort and minimalism. The more comfortable I am, the more confident I feel. The same principle goes for handgun selection. If I choose a handgun that isn’t comfortable (aka enjoyable) to shoot, I’m not going to want to practice with it as much as I should. In order to understand comfort, you must first understand the fundamentals of marksmanship and gun fit.

In order to know if a gun “fits”, you should be able to execute a proper grip where both of your hands securely encircle the grip of the gun with the “V” of the strongside hand as high as you can get it on the backstrap without interfering with the movement of the slide (or hammer), the strongside fingers wrapped around the front of the grip with the weakside fingers placed on top of them as you use your weakside hand to fill the void on the other side of the pistol, your thumbs layered (not stacked or crossed – except for a revolver – the weakside thumb is crossed over on top of the strongside thumb), and your trigger finger somewhere other than the trigger (preferably placed against the seam between the slide and the frame (or just below the cylinder) until you are ready to fire. If you look at the placement of your hands on the pistol or revolver, you should see a straight line from the slide (or top of the barrel) through your strongside wrist and up your forearm. All the fire controls should be able to be manipulated from this position.

As a general rule, a pistol that is larger and heavier is going to absorb more of the jolt compared to a smaller, lighter pistol. The proper grip is a huge factor in recoil management and can also allow for quicker follow up shots. You should strive to get the same good grip every time you pick up the gun.


Let’s talk about that pair of shoes again! Just like there are easily HUNDREDS of options for shoes, there are hundreds of options for handguns! The two leading mechanical platforms for handguns are known as either a semi-automatic or a revolver. Let’s quickly compare the two and note a few considerations:
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What’s another shopping analogy? OH. Try it on before you buy it! 😊

As your skill set and knowledge of firearms increases, you’ll start to notice that different handguns have various functions. Most ranges and gun stores have rentals you can demo and it is in your best interest to take full advantage of this! By trying and becoming familiar with different firearms and their overall operation, it will make your selection process go so much smoother…and it will probably be more fun!

If you are interested in truly starting at ground zero and learning about pistol handling and knowledge, we can help there also with an NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

Or see a complete course listing at:

And remember, GTBR is here for YOU. Our Team is passionate about what we teach and believe in the importance of education, training, and safety. Please never hesitate to call or email us with inquiries of any type.

-Until next time… The Eyes of Texas are Upon You

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
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