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Women Don’t Have to Carry a Tiny, Pink Gun

The Ruger LCP is a micro-compact gun that is often recommended to new women shooters. But should it be?

By now, everyone should know that women make up an overwhelming percentage of new gun owners and concealed carriers. So much so that companies scrambled to introduce products specifically geared for women. Every woman will tell you this was welcomed, and long overdue. However, there was a problem. At least early on, all of the products being made ‘for women' were being made by men, with no real idea what women need. This resulted in simply shrinking a lot of the gear and producing it in pink, purple or some other pastel, Easter egg color.

Case in point, guns like the Ruger LCP, Taurus TCP or the S&W Bodyguard. Somehow they have become a ‘goto' gun for new women shooters. Whether that is from clever marketing or male gun shop owners who had little experience selling guns to women, the fact is many women have been steered to purchase these guns because of really nothing more than the size, and color. I think we can all agree that a little more should go into the selection of an everyday carry (EDC) firearm, than its appearance.

Not everything for women has to be pink.

What is My Beef With these Guns?

Again, micro-compact guns are great and serve a role and purpose. But in comparison to other guns, they are difficult to shoot. Why?

  • Long, heavy double-action trigger
  • Diminutive grip area
  • Short sight radius
  • Poor/basic sights
  • Lack of inherent recoil management
  • ‘Snappy' recoil
  • Difficult to rack the slide

They also have some inherent drawbacks.

  • Lower caliber
  • Low muzzle velocity
  • Low ammo capacity

Now, this is not to say someone can't shoot these guns well. But placing one of these guns into the hands of a new shooter makes learning the fundamentals that much more difficult. When learning a new skill, especially something intimidating like shooting a gun, early confidence is important. And regardless if it is a new woman or male shooter, slapping one of these in their hand is setting them up for early failure.

Options like this ‘Hip-Hugger' bellyband holster from CanCan Concealment are giving women options that fit their bodies.

What is The Solution?

First, for a new handgun shooter, I highly recommend starting out with a .22LR semi-automatic, or a full-size 9mm. This allows them to learn and apply the fundamentals with a gun that is easier to shoot. Once the confidence and proper mechanics are there, introduce them to the smaller gun if that is something that appeals to them.

Second, on average, a woman's hand, and body are more petite than a man's. Women's clothing is more form fitting, stylish and usually does not include a belt. Because of this, concealing a larger gun, in a traditional inside the waistband (IWB) holster that attaches to a belt is a challenge. So I see the appeal of small handguns for women. In fact, no matter what I recommended, initially my wife would only carry the smallest gun I could find, a .380 Beretta Pico. Even though she did not enjoy shooting the gun, she was convinced she could not conceal anything larger.

Times have changed, and there are numerous holster companies that got smart and asked for women's input or are flat out owned and operated by women. Looking for female-specific gear? Can-Can Concealment, Lethal Lace, and Undertech are just a few that are focused on providing gear for women's needs. This has provided women better solutions for concealed carry, designed specifically for their needs. These products can make a world of difference in concealing a slightly larger gun. My wife now carries a Glock 43 in a JM4 Tactical Quick Click and Carry holster.

Combining an appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) holster and an M&P Shield is a concealable pair for many women.

What Guns Do Women Actually Like?

The American Rifleman, a publication of the NRA embarked on the most extensive look into what handguns are really ‘female friendly.' The project was dubbed the Ladies Pistol Project (LPP) used 35 woman shooters and exposed them to 18 of the ‘best handguns for women' as voted on by many internet publications. The women ranked the guns using several criteria and if you're following along with the gist of this article, the results should not be too surprising. Here is the best, rated in class:

  • Trigger: Heckler & Koch VP9
  • Magazine Release: Bersa Thunder Pro XT
  • Slide Stop Lever: SIG Sauer P238
  • Sights: Smith & Wesson M&P 9
  • Recoil: Smith & Wesson 67-5
  • Loading/Unloading: STI 5.0 Marauder
  • Grip width/Circumference: Walther CCP
  • Weight: Walther CCP

This is just one part of the important findings that came from the project. You can see the complete list of guns tested and all the data collected during the LPP by following this link.

The Walther CCP ranked high in several categories during the LPP

Wrapping up:

Again, I think it bears repeating that if you carry one of these micro guns, have confidence, and are proficient–you are in a good spot. If you are okay with the trade off of capacity and caliber for size and comfort, again, great. The point is you don't have to be pigeon-holed into a certain gun because of your gender.

We at recognize that sometimes women can better answer other women's questions when it comes to the world of gun ownership and concealed carry. That is why the company will be launching a second Podcast to augment our highly successful Concealed Carry Podcast. This is going to be a wonderful addition for our female followers.

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11 Responses to Women Don’t Have to Carry a Tiny, Pink Gun

  1. Bill Johnson January 8, 2018 at 11:47 am #

    I bought my wife the Ruger LC9s because she liked the trigger pull which is crisp but not hard to pull, her hands aren’t as strong as they used to be . When we fired it she fell in love with it. It developed a problem where it would load the cartridge but wouldn’t cock the trigger so it had to be sent back to Ruger.

    • Matthew Maruster January 8, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

      Hey Bill, thanks for the feedback. I hope Ruger took care of it for you. I was impressed with the LC9S and thought it hit a good sweet spot of size and ergonomics and it ran well to boot!

  2. Paula Beers January 9, 2018 at 3:50 am #

    Mathew-I am interested in knowing what courses you teach at Zenith. I have been shooting for 3 years.
    I have taken some courses: NRA Basic Pistol
    Class both written and class. Also classes at a gun
    range. I have basic safety practices learned and use them. I have a CC Permit. I belong to a gun range and go shooting every week.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you,
    Paula Beers

    • Matthew Maruster January 9, 2018 at 2:55 pm #

      Hi Paula, Thanks so much for the message! Sounds like you have a great foundation and your skills are being honed. I will send you an email with some more info about the training. God bless!

  3. Richard Gonyea January 9, 2018 at 5:57 pm #

    Wait ,wait, women Own PINK GUNS , I OWN A PINK SCCY 9mm ,I am 6”5’ and 300 lbs I qualified with it with our sheriffs Dept being retired from Law Enforcement I am Married with 4 kids yes married to a women but it’s not my go to carry gun but it shoots great and it was a great price yes everyone got a good laugh at me but that’s why I purchased it so a long story short I guess maybe I am not the only GUY that owns a pink gun, HOPE YOU ALL ALSO GOT A LAUGH FOR THEY TOOK A PICTURE OF ME AT THE RANGE SHOOTING IT IF I COULD POST IT HERE I WOULD FOR YOU ALL ,

  4. Michelle January 12, 2018 at 1:01 am #

    Great article. Thank you. I happen to still carry the first pistol I owned. It’s a CZ 380. Fits me like a glove and I can fire hundreds of rounds at the range with no fatigue. However, concealed carrying it is sometimes challenging.

  5. Georganne Greene January 12, 2018 at 10:41 am #

    I am a NRA Certified Instructor and teach a lot of women, many of them elderly. The guns we have found most popular are the Sig P238 and P938 with the extended mag. They are easily racked, have a manageable recoil and are easily concealed. They hold 7 + 1. Many also use the JM4 magnetic holster because it doesn’t require a belt.

  6. mary January 17, 2018 at 8:57 am #

    Nice to hear that coming from a male 😉 I help run 1 Million Moms Against Gun Control and we posted the article last Friday. Set off a few women that we were attacking pink guns (which is hilarious as I don’t think they actually read the article or know it was written from the male view). Thanks for the take and info from your perspective. The gun world is so very male dominated with lots of “mansplaining” . Because I’m a woman, lots of men think you should only shoot certain guns in a certain color or that pink is what women want…. I’ve gotten into it with several of these “mansplainers”… I am married to a federal officer who carries an HK and I hate the trigger. I carry a S&W Shield in .40 and love it (after adding Pearce grip extensions to my magazines so I had more in the hand…) Thanks again! Here is our FB page =)

    • Matthew Maruster January 17, 2018 at 9:25 am #

      Hi Mary! Thanks for the feedback and for the awesome effort you are putting into ensuring women feel as welcome in the shooting sports and self defense arena as their male compadres.

      I am glad you liked the article and can see where I was coming from. I know some commenters seem to take offense as if the opinion is all pink guns are bad. Like you said many people don’t read articles and only make their conclusion based off of the title. Hopefully the majority see the true meaning of the article is to empower women to select a gun that works for them pink, blue black or whatever color.

      Please extend my thanks to the rest of your team as I am a big fan of responsible gun owners and self-defenders of every ethnicity, gender, age etc. stay safe and God bless!

  7. Nancy McPherson December 3, 2018 at 8:18 pm #

    I recently purchased a Glock 43 for concealed carry and was very pleased to find out that it shoots just like my Glock 19: similar recoil and handling, just a narrower grip, and with a mag extension, I can fit all my fingers on the grip.

  8. Ray April 8, 2019 at 7:55 pm #

    My wife picked her won gun after trying many the one that worked best for her was the Ruger LCRx in 38 special. Let them pick what fits them best and they are comfortable using.

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