Concealed Carry for Women


benny p
March 19, 2013, 08:17 PM

I am posting as an inquiry for my wife. We moved recently to a new, larger, town and she has begun to see the need to carry for protection. Not due to an incident, but she works as a nurse on a rough side of town and has seen whats it's like.

I have a glock 22 which I didn't think would be a good choice for her, so I bought a Glock 19 which I thought would fit better in her hand and wouldn't kick as hard as a .40.

I would like an opinion from someone who's wife carries often, or from a female who has a personal preference. She has a pretty skinny mid section with fairly wide hips. Not sure that a IWB holster would be the best as far as comfort is concerned. She tried on my Comp-tac but she is a lefty and I am right handed so its not a perfect comparison. Also IWB is not always an option depending on the attire.

I know the Glock isn't the smallest or easiest to concealed so a good ambi pistol recommendation might also be helpful. prefer 9mm, semi-auto with a 10+ capacity.

Thanks in advance.

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March 19, 2013, 08:27 PM

All such info there!

March 19, 2013, 08:29 PM

BOTH of you read the site from beginning to end

March 19, 2013, 08:40 PM
Having instructed countless women, and many clueless husbands/boyfriends the best advise I can give to start off is find the weapon she is comfortable with, NOT THE ONE YOU THINK SHE NEEDS. Once you get past that, it's a matter of training after that.

March 19, 2013, 08:42 PM
My wife carries a Ruger LCR. It was the right balance of stopping power (.38 spec) and recoil that she could handle. Plus she can conceal it pretty well. May or may not work for your wife, but you could let her see one and try it out. The recoil is suprisingly light.

March 19, 2013, 08:50 PM
my wife carries a LWS32, has a model 60 and g26 for the house. these are what she chose, not me.

March 19, 2013, 08:51 PM
Go over basic safe gun rules with her, then go to a range and rent several different makes and models. Load magazines and let her shoot.

My wife wanted me to teach her to shoot - after 23 years of marriage. I thought she should have a gun that fit her, so she held a few and fell for a LC9. Three shots later, she was done with that gun. She tried every Glock, XD, M&P, and Ruger at the range - and the M&P 9c was the winner. She's also deadly accurate with a .38 airweight snubbie and a 1911A1.

There are several good ways to carry in scrubs if need be - but start with a gun she enjoys shooting. Hopefully, every round she'll ever shoot will be in practice.

March 19, 2013, 08:55 PM
I have a glock... I didn't think.... I bought... I thought...
Stay out of it and let her do it. The big city likely has a range with some female instructors.

Another +++1 for

March 19, 2013, 08:57 PM
Stay out of it and let her do it. The big city likely has a range with some female instructors.

Another +++1 for
Brutal - but pretty much on target. If she wants your opinion, she'll ask you. You don't pick out her shoes, do you?

March 19, 2013, 09:35 PM
See if there is a (gals n guns) group around your area. Great bunch, glad my better half found them..

They have all the answers, women always do

March 19, 2013, 09:56 PM
Don't know how small your wife is, but I'm about 5'2" and I carry a S&W M&P9C. It comes with a 12 and 17rd mag and I can conceal the 12rd comfortably in most shirts I wear. I can get my whole hand around it easily and it feels good to hold. Recoil hasn't been an issue for me but it's not too bad in that regard either. Trigger pull is smooth and not terribly long like a lot of other compact guns. Not to mention a very good looking gun...

just my .02.

March 19, 2013, 10:20 PM
Another positive for Cornered Cat. Excellent site, I've read all of the articles.

Faliaphotography is an awesome youtube channel she can check out, the author covers a variety of issues concerning women and firearms.

Fateofdestinee seems to be another good youtube channel, but I can't vouch for all of her videos as I've only seen a few.

March 19, 2013, 10:21 PM
My wife is a nurse as well and after browsing corneredcat, The Well Armed Woman, and a few other female oriented shooting sites, she purchased Undertech Undercover compression concealment clothes.
She bought 2 tank tops and 2 pairs of shorts. Her Sig P238 conceals very well especially under scrubs which are difficult clothes to mount a holster to.
My wife is also a lefty so her HK USP 9 has ambidextrous safety but her Sig does not, so I recommend a Sig P938 "Blackout". It has Hogue style grips and ambi safety. Only drawback: 7 in the mag maximum.

March 19, 2013, 10:29 PM
a large gun store or a gun show and let here fondle all the pistols there. One will speak to her. My wife and her friend used my Glock 22 for practice for their CHL. My wife is 5'11" and her friend is about 5' 2". They shot up alot of ammo. The friend liked the Glock 27 better and could shoot it better. Both passed the course. The school used Glock 17s. Wife ended up with a Steyr S9 for carry. She also has a SW M60 and a PF9. I don't know what her friend ended up buying. chris3

March 20, 2013, 07:42 AM
Stay out of the way more or less. My wife went through 4 different handguns I suggested and didn't like any of them. I let her try my SR9c at the range it is somehow now hers. Rentals will be your best friend and anyone you know who will let you take out their firearms for a test run even better.

March 20, 2013, 08:13 AM
As sugested above let her decide. If she dont like it she wont carry. My wife has a XD9Sc that she uses mostly for purse gun. She will wear it but with her small frame it is a little unfomfortable to wear. Her go to gun to wear is a j frame or lcp. And when i am not looking she grabs my kimber ultra carry too. You can point her in direction but let her decide. My wife really wanted to get a SR she loved shooting it but she didnt like the fact of a manual safety...which i could care less about..but at the same time she has no problem with the manual safety on the kimber. So it has all to do with comfort.

March 20, 2013, 08:27 AM
prefer 9mm, semi-auto with a 10+ capacity.

She does or you do?
Unless your wanting to add to your personal firearm collection, with a built in excuse of "I bought it for her and she didnt like it". Do as every poster has already mentioned.

The only other tid bit, is that women have more options than we do. undergarments like thunderwear, flash bang, purse holsters, etc.

Shadow 7D
March 20, 2013, 08:50 AM
Read the sticky at the top of this forum, here is a link

Take her gun shopping to get ideas, go to a range for her to see which of those ideas work
YOU hold purse and hand over cash....

Money spent for her to take classes like one of the NRA womens classes is money well spent.

March 20, 2013, 09:12 AM
My wife has picked out both of her hanguns, the first is her S&W SD9VE, it is on the big side for anything but purse carry so this is her bedside handgun.
Her second handgun was a S&W Bodyguard 380 and is small enough to be easily hidden BUT she found out that due to a long ago broken trigger finger, could not get used to the long not very smooth trigger pull and continually jerked it of target when shooting it.
She loves my Sig P238 and while it is small enough to be easily hidden, it has a single action trigger so you either get over the fear of carrying it cocked and locked and having to remove the safety while under duress or you carry it chamber empty and have to rack the slide. (I offered to buy her one cause I like mine so much but she said no)
We recently purchased a Sig P290. It is about the same size as the P238 but has a nice smooth double action trigger and weighs a bit more. I have pretty much convinced myself that eventually, It will be lost to me forever and end up her normal carry weapon.

Like everyone else says, go to gun shows, let her handle lots of different handguns, don't be afraid to dry fire it for she is the one who will be pulling the trigger, rent a few at the local gun range for her to shoot.
Ask her whether she is comfortable carrying a cocked and locked single action or instead a double action. Its her handgun, so it needs to be her choice, unless you want to and can get away with growing your collection trying to find one that she likes.

BTW don't rule out a small 380ACP, they are easier to hide, a well placed shot will do plenty of damage, and if 6+1 aren't enough, maybe its time to find a different place of employment.

BTW my wife has informed me that right now we have enough hanguns:(

hope this helps,


March 20, 2013, 10:46 AM
My wife is a small woman and I bought her a S&W Bodyguard, very long trigger pull and the slide was kinda hard for her to operate so bought her a Walther PK380 and she fell in love with it. She took her Texas concealed carry class with it and shot a score of 270 with it, now I added the Bobyguard to my stash of cary weapons, Seecamp .32acp and Glock .40.

March 20, 2013, 11:05 AM
She took her Texas concealed carry class with it and shot a score of 270 with it,

250 is max score here

March 20, 2013, 11:38 AM
My wife is a nurse also and recently switched to an XDS in 45acp from a S&W 642 38+p. Her favorite way to carry in scrubs is a Galco Belly band or a Smart carry. Tell her to check out this website and her vids on you tube.

March 20, 2013, 12:41 PM
+ for Cornered Cat, ad letting her fondle (preferably shoot) as many as she can to make her own pick. Picking a gun and picking carry options are probably best handled in concert though - "so you like that..where ya gonna put it?" or "so you want to carry in your front pocket, here's a selection of guns that will actually fit, like any?"

Does she wear scrubs pretty much all the time to/from work? That should open up a bunch more options. Fashion tends to be limiting in many cases due to skinny jeans, waist-hugging shirts, etc.

Fiancee is a Glock Girl but needs something smaller to carry and is very difficult to find something that will work (issues with autos, issues with size/recoil/sucky sights on snubbies, etc). You may find you're in the same boat where you have to start looking at more exotic options than your standard LGS fare to find something that works, and the 10+9mm goes right out the window. For example, I'm not thinking older, ~3" J-frame 32H&Rs, mid-to-high-cap mid-size 32s and 380s, etc fit the bill better from a concealability/shootability standpoint for our circumstances and am fanning out the search from there.

March 20, 2013, 02:37 PM
Get her some instruction and let her decide. Many ranges and gun clubs offer beginning shooter classes.

Don't be surprised if she likes a large gun. My wife's favorite pistol is one she bought herself after shooting mine: Ruger KP90 .45 ACP. She also favors full size Ruger SR guns in 40 S&W and 9mm and of course my BHP in 9mm. Her next purchase is likely to be an SR45.

March 20, 2013, 03:01 PM
I did too!:) Since she doesn't like it I decided to pick up a pocket holster for it from We are heading on vacation in a few weeks so I figured since she wasn't going to carry it, I would get a pocket holster and toss it in my sweat pants when I walk the dogs in the evening.


March 22, 2013, 09:19 PM
My wife's been carrying 2" (or thereabouts) .38 spl revolvers for decades. She pointed out that when you looking at the business end revolver, there is no question that it's loaded. And, with the laser sights she adopted when they first became available, they leave no doubt where those hollow points are going to end up.

Yet, she's smart enough to know that while intimidation may work on some critters, for those not so cowed, her ability to place those hollow points where she wants, when she wants is due to her familiarity with said revolvers.

March 22, 2013, 09:38 PM
If your wife doesn't like the Glock 19, might find a rental range that has the Ruger SR9 and/or SR9c. My wife wasn't crazy about the grip on my G19, but she really likes everything about the SR9, including the manual safety.

I'm not saying to push your wife toward the SR9, but it's worth having her take a look at it.

March 22, 2013, 11:12 PM
My wife carries a S&W 296 .44 special loaded with Buffalo Bore 200 grain anti-personnel hardcast lead flat wad-cutters, most often in a purse, in a fanny pack, or OWB, in that order (although I wish it was in reverse order).

March 23, 2013, 07:38 AM
I once owned a Ruger LCR .38 special-for a VERY short time. Wife saw it and it took her about 30 sec to declare it "HER GUN". Shoots it well and carries it a lot. She's happy with it.

March 23, 2013, 01:15 PM
Mine carries a S&W 360....she has a few autos but has trouble with slides so the revolver was her choice and works well for her.

March 24, 2013, 07:19 PM
The only guidance I gave my wife was to show her how to shoot properly, how to operate the various firearms, and choosing a quality firearm.

We went to several rental places and let her decide which she was most comfortable with.

She was just naturally is better with a DA revolver, and chose the S&W 642 in .38SP.

March 27, 2013, 10:39 AM
My wife is also a home health nurse and often has to travel to unsavory neighborhoods. I stayed out of the decision as much as possible. She settled on a Ruger LCR with the Crimson Trace laser after trying dozens of others. This is not a gun I shoot particularly well, but it is HER gun and she handles it with aplomb.

March 27, 2013, 11:18 AM
Carry options.

March 27, 2013, 12:40 PM
Here are some options for concealed holsters for her.

March 27, 2013, 01:43 PM
I know a couple career male nurses that carry fairly large "utility purses" or whatever you want to call them. Lord knows what they got shoved in there but they carry them at all times.

March 27, 2013, 04:02 PM
Selecting the right handgun for a woman can be a touchy issue on this forum. I asked for suggestions once for my wife who has recoil issues and ended up getting called a liar.

I think if most of the posters here that carry concealed handguns are honest will admit to trying several different weapons and more $$$$ than we care to admit (and may still be) in the quest for the perfect CCW. It should not come as any surprise for the same process to occur for her.

Searching for the perfect handgun for my wife is a challenge as she isn’t a “gun person” and has no interest in concealed carry as her job will not allow it. She also has weak wrists from carpel tunnel. Recently I was at the LGS where my daughter works and we choose (well I paid for it anyway) a Taurus 22 Magnum revolver as a gift for my wife. Hopefully she will be able to handle the recoil of the 22 Magnum. “Internet experts” be danged 8 rounds of 22 Magnum is far from a “mouse gun” caliber. If not well the quest will continue and I will have a nice compact 8 shot revolver for use here on the farm or if she does like it who knows I just might get a second one for myself!

My daughter on the other hand has become a big gun fan and wants to get her concealed carry permit. She can safely handle firearms and has no problems with powerful semi-automatic handguns. In fact the next handgun she wants is a lightweight small frame 38 revolver. (If things work out right I hope to buy her a S&W 442 for her birthday also).

So in my case the two ladies in my life are at total opposite ends of what they can handle and their interest level.

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