There are so many choices when trying to decide which firearm to choose as a female for concealed carry. It can be overwhelming when trying to decide. We met with a variety of firearms manufacturers at SHOT Show 2012 and asked them a question “Which firearm would you most recommend for female concealed carry?” Then we asked why. We got answers ranging from medium to extra small size, small to large caliber, semi-automatic to revolver. Look for these products at Armed in Heels. We will continue to bring these to you for great values. So here they are, straight from the manufacturers’ booths, top recommendations for female concealed carry.
Kel-Tec is known for having many super compact options in their line of firearms, so we were excited to hear which one they felt was superior for females. The representative we spoke with walked straight over to the P-32 and said “This one.” The P-32 is smaller than many firearms but has reduced recoil based on its ability to lessen the muzzle energy. It has a 7+1 32 ACP round capacity, is 6.6 oz empty, 2.68” barrel length, and a 5 lb trigger pull. It comes in a variety of color options including combinations of blue, parkerized, green, grey, and chrome. MSRP (varying slightly by color choice) is about $305.
MasterPiece Arms Protector II 380ACP
MasterPiece Arms (MPA) is a smaller manufacturer dedicated to providing quality engineering and manufacturing. They recommended their newly redesigned steel frame Protector II 380 ACP. In mid-2010, MPA released their Protector line. But they have now reengineered it by adding two ports in the barrel, just forward of the chamber, to reduce recoil by directing gas upwards making it easier to keep the muzzle level after firing. The Protector II has a short trigger, though it is a 12 lb pull to prevent accidental discharge. It holds 6+1, creating a small grip that is, ergonomically, more comfortable for females. MPA stands by their products with lifetime warranties. Price is currently not set but is predicted to be $350-$450.
Kahr Arms PM9
Known for its small and midsize firearms, we were excited to see what Kahr recommended from their line. The representative we spoke with singled out the PM9 9mm. The full 3” barrel minimizes recoil while allowing for full size adjustable sights. Empty, this firearm weighs in at just less than 16 oz. The PM9’s design makes it snag resistant, making it a good choice for purse carry or situations where delicate fabric may be near where it is drawn. It can hold 6+1 but an optional extension magazine allows for 7+1. MSRP is around $830.
As an industry leader, we had no doubt that Beretta would be able to recommend something exciting. They did not let us down, leading us straight over to the new 9mm Nano. The newly designed striker fire allows for no external slide stop, making the external completely smooth and free from getting caught on any clothing or material. The 3.07” barrel length, 6+1 capacity, heavier trigger pull, 3 dot low profile sights, and 17.6 oz weight make it a good fit for female concealed carry. When we asked them what their number one reason would be for choosing this firearm over all others, they simply responded, “Because it’s a Beretta.”
Taurus Protector Poly 85
Because Taurus produces both semiautomatic pistols and revolvers, we were curious to hear what they would recommend. Without hesitation, we were lead over to the revolver section to the Protector Poly 85 (the Polymer version of the Protector 85). This 5 round .38 special is ultra-light revolver, weighing 18.2 oz, due to its polymer frame. It has a fully shrouded zero-profile hammer allowing for a quick draw. The grips are polymer, which feel fantastic and smooth in the hand. MSRP is about $365.
Springfield Armory XDS
Possibly creating the most buzz at the Show was a new firearm from Springfield Armory. And when we arrived to find Springfield’s recommendation for females, we were taken straight to the popular new creation: The XDS. This is the first firearm of this size to come in such a large caliber. With only a 3.3” barrel, and an empty weight of 29 oz, this .45ACP has some stopping power. Worried about the recoil? Don’t be. By altering the angles of interior mechanisms, Springfield has figured out to how minimize recoil. As said by them the XDS is the “maximum power in the smallest & most manageable package”. MSRP is still unknown.
Those who have HKs seem to love HKs, so we were hoping to find out what they had in store for females. The representative (along with several eavesdropping HK enthusiasts!) recommended the 9mm P2000SK. With the leading recoil reduction system, adjustable back straps, and LEM-Double Action point and shoot characteristics, it is reliable and easy to operate. Being the smallest HK available, the P2000SK has a 3.26” barrel and 10+1 round capacity. There is a lifetime warranty as HK prides themselves on quality of materials and craftsmanship. MSRP is about $1,035.
Smith & Wesson 642
We knew that professional shooting superstar Julie Goloski Golob would be at the Smith & Wesson booth, so we were excited to have her help recommend a Smith & Wesson for female concealed carry. The first thing she told us was that no one female is the same, so there is no one recommendation that works for everyone. We thought this was great advice and will further discuss it later. So we asked her, instead, what she carried as her concealed firearm. Julie carries a Smith & Wesson 642 38 Special Revolver with Crimson Trace grips. This 5 shot revolver (laser grips optional) has an aluminum alloy frame weighting about 15 oz. The smooth design prevents snagging. And the simplicity of the revolver makes it reliable in high stress situations. Smith & Wesson firearms come with lifetime warrenties. This model with the Crimson Trace Laser Grips and No Lock has an MSRP of $665 (without, $450)
Glock 19 9mm
Glock has a variety of firearms ranging from small to full size, so we were curious how they would pick out one best for females. We had the pleasure of speaking to a female representative who recommended the 9mm Glock 19. This firearm has a 15+1 round capacity (also available in 10+1), 4” barrel, and weight of 20.99 oz. When asked why this firearm was recommended over and above the smaller models, the representative told us “You have to figure out what you like. If you hate shooting it, it’s not a good carry gun. I love this one.” With its larger frame, recoil is minimized and control is easier to maintain. MSRP for this firearm is about $625.
Sig Sauer P238
Sig Sauer has introduced many new firearms to their product line, so we were excited to see them! The representative answered our initial question by saying “There is not ONE best firearm for everyone. You have to pick what’s best for you.” But he then took us over to the P238 and recommended it as a candidate for consideration. The 15.2 oz P238 has a 6+1 380ACP round capacity. Its 2.7” barrel size sits full size sights which allow for maximum visibility. This firearm is designed to be carried locked and cocked, making it simple to operate in high stress conditions. Best of all (ok, maybe not best) it comes in a variety of color options with many additional accessory options to allow for easy customization. Here, we show the ESP with pink grips and engraving. MSRP starts at $665 for simple models up to $790 for highly customized options.
Choosing a Concealed Carry Firearm for YOU
Just as Julie and multiple representatives said, choosing a firearm is not just about taking someone’s word. We have provided some top choices to help you narrow down on your search. But think about shopping for your firearm like shopping for a great pair of jeans: you’ve got to narrow your style, pick your occasion, try them on, and maybe even get them altered for a perfect fit. For choosing a concealed carry firearm this means deciding how you will carry, where you will carry, for what occasions you are preparing for, holding and operating multiple options, and adding or changing accessories (grips, sights, magazines, etc) until you get your perfect fit. We met a firearms instructor who outlined three general guidelines to help from becoming overwhelmed when choosing a concealed carry firearm: (1) Find one that is comfortable in your hand. (2) Pick one that you like the look and feel of. And (3) Don’t be scared to look at lots of options.
We hope this helps you evaluate what concealed carry firearm might be best for you. See these firearms and other recommendations from SHOT Show 2012 at ArmedInHeels.com!