I hear this question way too often. There are a couple of problems with this question. The biggest issue that I have with this is that somehow, many men think they know what women need. Yeah, I know, that whole issue about what women need is a big issue for men, in general.
Luckily, there are some really good women out there that understand that the male focused industry has done a horrible job of meeting the needs of women, and those same women have gone out and done some great work trying to get a good idea of what works best for women. I will get to the articles in a minute, but first, here is my take:
- Let women make their own decision.
- Let them try out several different guns and see what they like best and can shoot best. The best place to do that is at a range that rents several guns.
- Make sure they get some basic training in safety, first.
This year, the American Rifleman (yeah, I get the irony of the “man” part of it ) published two great articles on the topic.
The first one The Ladies Pistol Project is a great starting point. The idea was to define what a female friendly handgun really is, according to women, not according to some marketing guys that work for gun manufacturers and think that making it pink makes it something that will work for women.
Basically, women like guns that fit them well and that they can shoot well. Sounds like the same thing that men like.
The one item that really caught my eye was that so many women did not like the smaller J-Frame revolvers. I have always felt that they don’t work as well for women as men believe. I felt vindicated when I read that.
The second part of this project was The Ladies Pistol Project II – Concealed Carry Pistols. This is another great article where several women got to shoot and rate several conceal carry pistols to see what they liked best. Again, there were some great results from the project that I encourage everyone to read.
Summary: It isn’t about the color of the gun, as many marketing people seem to think. It isn’t about being able to rack a slide, as we have seen from the survey results from women. It is about comfortable with the gun and being able to accurately shoot it.