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Best Defensive Handguns For Women

General handguns for women

  • Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield
  • Ruger SR1911
  • SIG Sauer P320
  • Remington RP9
  • Kimber Amethyst Ultra II
  • Glock 27
  • Republic Forge Defiant Lightweight
  • Glock 19

Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield

handguns, I instantly got interested when Smith and Wesson launched the M&P45 Shield in 2016. The M&P Shield is a striker-fired model offered at the self-defense table in multiple calibers — 9mm,.40 S&W,.45 ACP — which has won a well-deserved spot. Interesting is the .45 ACP chambering, partly because of the challenge of controlling its recoil in a compact model.

The 45 Shield was built to prevent slipping with an intensely textured grip; even pouring water over the weapon didn’t lessen its effectiveness. This has a total length of 6.5 inches — 0.4 inches larger than the smaller versions of calibre — and weighs 20.5 ounces empty. It is easier to cover and grasp with smaller hands as a single stack while staying relaxed with larger hands.Its architecture proved solid on the range by rearward rewinding with minimal muzzle increase. My average group of 5 fired at 10 yards hovered at 1.5 inches and extended at 25 yards to 2 inches.

Why is a .45 ACP concealed carry (CC)? Since the diameter of the bullet is .451 inches before extension, after which it becomes much bigger, and often those two extra millimeters are the difference between reaching and missing vital organs or arteries. Most advocates are wary of endorsing ACP handguns for women because they believe they recoil massively, which is not true:The.45 ACP recovers more than a few, but much less than most people think. It’s easy to master and when you do, you could not only find yourself wearing the 45 Shield, but also loving it as Gollum loved the One Ring.


Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield
Frame Size: Compact slim
Caliber: .45 Auto
Action: Striker-fired, semi-auto
Capacity: 7+1 and 6+1
Barrel Length: 3.3 in.
Front Sight: Steel, white dot
Rear Sight: Steel, white two-dot
Overall Length: 6.5 in.
Frame Width: .99 in.
Frame with Slide Stop: 1.05 in.
Height: 4.88 in. with flush magazine
Grip: Polymer
Weight: 20.5 oz. (empty)
Barrel Material: Stainless-steel, Armornite finish
Slide Material: Stainless-steel, Armornite finish
Frame Material: Polymer

Ruger SR1911

The 9 mm Ruger SR1911 is a 1911-style Series 70 Lightweight Commander; this version has an aluminum frame and 4.25-inch barrel. It’s a little heavier at 29.3 ounces than the original 1949 Colt Ruler, and longer too; its total length is 7.75 inches. Even so, even as a smaller-framed woman, it can be concealed — yes, you can conceal a full-size gun.

Slinging lead, which excels in the SR1911. It ships three-dot sights with Novak Low-Mount; sights are drift adjustable and offer a clear picture of the scope. But its true test was not in my hands but in the hands of my daughter, Grace, who was then 13 years old. She was a newbie in 1911, and at 10 yards, her first five-shot party neatly blotted out the 1-inch bull ‘s eye on the Shoot-N-C target.

The SR1911 also comes in 10 mm. The 10 mm model has a longer barrel and is hard to conceal, but for open carry or pistol hunting it is a superb option. It’s extremely accurate — my first five Polycase rounds created a one-hole group.538-inch — and it feels normal. The larger recline is also blunted by its architecture.

Handguns SPECS

Ruger SR1911
Model Type: Lightweight Commander-style 1911
Caliber: 9mm
Action: Recoil-operated, hammer-fired, semi-auto
Barrel: 4.25 in.
Twist: 1:10 in. RH
Width: 1.34 in.
Overall Length: 7.75 in.
Height: 5.45 in.
Weight: 29.3 oz.
Capacity: 9+1
Trigger: Aluminum, skeletonized, with adjustable over-travel stop
Trigger Pull: 4 lbs., 5 oz.
Slide: Stainless-steel
Slide Finish: Low-glare stainless-steel
Grip Frame: Gray anodized aluminum
Grip Panels: Black rubberized
Sights: Drift adjustable Novak LoMount 3-Dot
Safeties: Ambidextrous extended beavertail grip safety

SIG Sauer P320

After being selected as the winner of the Army’s XM17 Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition, the SIG P320 received recognition. This then failed a drop check conducted beyond U.S. testing parameters; essentially, if the trigger has a stronger pull, it will shoot, and it is dropped in a specific way. SIG has announced that it will deliver updates but the bottom line here is

The striker-fired P320 shines during the trigger-time. This has a broader double-stack grip that suits both big and small hands — mine bigger and Evans’ smaller hands — and feel assists a solid grip, making this one of the best handguns available to women, or anyone at all. Ahead of the break there is a certain take-up; the trigger breaks at a calculated 6 pounds, 3 ounces.

One of the best strengths is the modularity of the P320: Grip modules come in small , medium and large; they have an interchangeable trigger group; and calibers include 9mm,.357 SIG,.40 S&W, and.45 ACP. The full size P320 has an overall length of 8 inches and an empty weight of 29.5 ounces; the Compact model is 7.2 inches long and 25.8 ounces empty.

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