Best Concealed Carry Pistols For Women (According To Women)

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ Holster

Best concealed carry pistols for women after talking to them at uscca

While out a the Concealed Carry Expo a few weeks back we sold a lot of holsters to women, most of whom were carrying one of a handful of guns. I wanted to get to the bottom of why these women chose these as their carry guns, and then share my findings with you. That way, if you’re on the fence, you can use this as a starting point.

The world is rife with advice, and the gun industry is no different. Every gun store and blog offers advice, some of it false, on the topic of which gun would be best for self-defense. A lot of the time, these folks offer up cookie-cutter examples, and suggest the same pistol for every person.

As if everyone would want a Glock 19, or shoot it well.

Truth be told, everyone is different and has different needs. Not every woman will want or even have the ability to conceal a full-size pistol, nor will everyone shoot the same gun well. I thought it’d be a great idea to write an article about what women prefer for 2023, after talking to several ladies.

The disclaimer is that I’m not a woman. I’m a big, burly man with the ability to talk to women about what they like, carry, and all of this is based on what I’ve learned from these ladies.

So, what are many women considering to be the best concealed carry pistols right now in 2023?

S&W Equalizer

The S&W Equalizer was the most shocking addition to this list and it’s the one most ladies said they were carrying and/or needed a holster for because they planned to carry it.

The Equalizer is a relative newcomer to the concealed carry world, and a lot of ladies who are newer to carrying a gun for self-defense admit to choosing it because of the safety features. It has a grip safety and an optional thumb safety.

Making it more attractive to some ladies with hand strength issues is the easy rack slide and lighter recoil impulse.

What gun makers seem to be doing more often, is listening to their consumer base, and putting deep-cut slide serrations into the racking points is something folks have been asking for. The slide serrations on the Equalizer are nice and deep, not to mention wide.

This allows the user to get a solid purchase on the serrations to more easily chamber a round or clear out a malfunction during practice.

All of the above, combined with the fact that even non-gun folks know who S&W is along with a great starting price is a recipe for success. We do carry holsters for this gun, which you can check out at the below link.

Our S&W Equalizer Holsters.


Coming in with another win is S&W with their EZ. The EZ has been around for longer than the Equalizer and has a much larger number of people who carry it. The number of women who carry this pistol with so many others on the market is simply astounding.

It is chock full of features, and one of the reasons why women like it so much is because of the safety features. Each pistol in this series has a grip safety, and there are options for a manual thumb safety, as well.

In addition, the Shield EZ is available in 3 different calibers: 380 ACP, 9mm Luger, and 30 Super Carry. Each caliber offers its own benefits and I’d suggest you shoot each one to see which is right for you.

If all things are equal between the guns, the 380 Auto recoils less (and is slightly easier to rack) than the other two making it a great option for those with weaker hands, arthritis, or recoil sensitivity. That said, it’s also a weaker cartridge, but still sufficient enough to make a bad guy reconsider his life decisions.

Check out our S&W Shield EZ Shield Holsters here.


All of the above is not meant in any way to discount other guns. There are several solid runners-up, like the SIG Sauer P365 as one example. We can tackle that in a different post.

No matter what you choose, we’ve got a holster for you to carry it in.