What are the best first handguns for beginners? Let’s face it, for many women, guns are mysterious and complicated. Many women didn’t grow up with proper instruction on how to use a gun, and they didn’t receive advice on which types of guns to purchase.
Now, women are taking self protection into their own hands and exercising their right to bear arms. As a result, large numbers of women are now on the hunt for their first handgun, and they should feel proud to be doing so.
However, finding the best first handgun can be a challenge. While many women are well practiced in where to buy the best jewelry, purses, and clothes, when it comes to guns, we can feel completely lost.
Best First Handgun: Advice For First Time Buyers
Buying the best first handgun for you doesn’t have to be complicated, or overwhelming. Go ahead, take a deep breath, because we’re going to break this down for you.
When it comes to choosing the best handgun for first time buyers, it’s all about choosing a weapon that’s simple to use, fits your hand well, and is concealable. After all, you’re using a firearm for self defense—so you need it to be with you as often as possible.
In this article we’ll introduce guns for beginners that will help you learn to shoot the easy way. I mean, you could learn to drive on a stick shift, but wouldn’t it be so much easier to learn on an automatic?
So you can start dressing to protect, let’s cover the 7 best handguns for first time owners.
The Glock 19 is one of the best first handguns for several reasons. As a beginner, learning the mechanisms of a gun can quickly be overwhelming. The Glock 19 is a simple gun to learn how to use. As a semi-automatic striker-fired pistol, the trigger is easy to pull, and you don’t have to worry about cocking the hammer or removing any safeties.
Women can struggle with heavier trigger pulls, which can undermine their confidence in a self defense situation. A light trigger pull is a great way to get started and build shooting competence.
This pistol is also extremely accessible; any gun store in the nation will have this gun behind the counter. As opposed to some other guns, this firearm also requires less maintenance. You don’t have to clean it as often, and it doesn’t need as much lubrication. At 7.28” long, 1.26” wide, and 5” high, this gun is known for being concealable, accurate, and reliable. Able to hold 15+1 of 9mm bullets, you’ll feel well protected with this gun by your side.
S&W M&P Compact
The S&W M&P Compact is also a striker-fired pistol, offering an easier trigger pull. Like the
Glock 19, this pistol is a contender for one of the best first handguns. The grip is slightly more aggressive on this firearm than the Glock 19, which means the texture on the frame may not feel as comfortable, but it ensures the gun doesn’t slip out of your fingers.
Models with a thumb safety are available, if you would prefer to have manual safety on your firearm. A manual safety is essentially a feature on a gun that blocks the firing mechanism and prevents a shot from being fired. All guns have safety mechanisms in place, but a manual safety needs to be actively activated and deactivated. Some women like the idea of a manual safety for concealed carry, however, if your trigger guard is adequately protected with a good holster, you should not experience an accidental
This firearm is able to hold 15+1 9mm rounds. With an overall length of 7.3” this firearm is fairly easy to conceal, but also offers less felt recoil than a more compact gun. This gun is also equipped with interchangeable palmswell inserts so you can adjust the grip.
Essentially, this means that when you hold the gun, if your finger is too far away from the trigger, you can replace the palmswell with one that has a shorter length so you can reach the trigger with ease.
As a tip for first time buyers: your grip on the gun should feel very comfortable and natural. Your hand should fit so perfectly into the gun it feels like an extension of your hand. The tighter your grip, the less felt recoil you’ll experience when you shoot.
S&W M&P Shield
This slim lightweight pistol is more compact than the S&W M&P Compact at an overall length of 6.1.” Therefore, this pistol lends itself very well to concealed carry, especially for tighter outfits.
The trigger pull is crisp, and easy to handle. It can hold 7+1 and 8+1 rounds with an extension. Like
most striker-fired pistols, this firearm is fairly simple to use, well designed, and reliable for first time shooters. All of this make the Shield on of the best first handguns for beginners.
This striker-fired firearm can hold 15 rounds and is designed for a 9mm or 40 caliber. At 7.1,” this pistol is fairly easy to conceal. The grip surface is aggressive enough to hold your hand in place, but doesn’t snag on your clothing, which is a huge plus for women’s concealed carry!
The ambidextrous magazine release, and an easy to operate button makes it easy to reload. This gun has all the great features of a Glock 19, but is more comfortable to hold with a sculpted grip, and has a lighter, crisper, more tactile trigger.
Springfield XDS 3.3
Designed for concealed carry, this firearm is an especially good first pistol for women. At 6.3” you can comfortably fit this gun into tight spaces. Also, unlike most pistols, this firearm offers a grip safety for extra protection. So if your hand isn’t firmly gripping the back of the gun, it won’t fire! Able to hold 7+1 rounds of 9mm rounds, this firearm is great for self defense and one of the best first handguns to own.
This pistol is a double action only, which means that the trigger pull is slightly longer and stiffer. However, the trigger pull is specifically designed not to stack, which means that even though it’s a heavier trigger pull it’s smoother. At 5.9” and able to hold 7+1 9mm rounds, the firearm is extremely compact, and also offers good value for the price.
The Taurus is probably the most budget friendly handgun for first time shooters. This firearm is compact, light, reasonably accurate, and not too difficult to shoot. Like the Glock 19, this gun is very accessible, and available at every gun store.
Able to hold 12 rounds at 6.24,” this gun offers generous magazine room while allowing you to conceal easily. While this gun is known for not having the best trigger, as a striker-fired pistol it’s still lightweight to pull. If you don’t want to spend $500+ on your first gun, this is the best budget concealed carry pistol at the $250 range.
You’re now well on your way to making your first purchase. The next step is to go to a gun store, and actually hold some of these guns for yourself. How is the grip? Does the gun feel like a natural extension of your hand? If you pay attention to these details, you’ll be able to find the perfect gun for you.
About the Author
Born in Arizona, Paisley Saris graduated in 2019 from North Idaho College, and will continue her education at Gonzaga University in the fall. She lives in North Idaho with her Husband and two step kids. She’s a passionate advocate for the 2nd amendment, and on her off days she enjoys the outdoors and spending time at the range.