Women Are Raving About This Amazing New Handgun!

I get a ton of letters from my readers and I try to answer as many as I can. This one came in from a lady named Laura last night around 3:00 a.m. It happens to be about my two favorite topics, women and guns. Everyone wants to know what the best gun for women is. There is a lot of confusion around this topic, and as usual, everyone really just wants a magic pill to solve the whole darn problem. You asked for a magic pill, I’m going to give you a magic pill…

Here’s the email I received last night:

I am in the market for a gun purchase. I am looking for a small semi
automatic that is easy to handle and shoot. I am very petite (size
subzero), and during my concealed weapons class had difficulty even
pulling the triggers on the semi auto and the revolver I was given for
shooting practice. Any recommendations? I like the Colt mustang I
think it’s called the pocket lite. And my husband recommends the glock
19 sub compact.


If you want the short answer, get a Glock 26, a Beretta Nano, or a Ruger LC9, do not get the .380 Colt Mustang Pocketlite.

If you want the long answer, keep reading.

There are a few things I want to address in this letter and hopefully by the end of it you will have an idea of what the best concealed carry gun for women is, i.e., the magic pill.

The primary concern with any firearm purchase is RELIABILITY. That being said, I don’t know any firearm that is more reliable than the Glock 19. Your husband is right about that, however he is wrong about the Glock 19 being a subcompact. The Glock 19 is a compact pistol that shoots a 9mm bullet, and the Glock 26 is its 9mm subcompact counterpart.

Glock 19 Left, Glock 26 Right
Glock 19 Left, Glock 26 Right

As you can see, the Glock 19 is a small gun, the Glock 26 is even smaller.

FirearmWeight UnloadedBarrel LengthOverall Length# of BulletsCost
Glock 19 9mm20.99 oz4.02″6.85″15+1$530
Glock 26 9mm19.75 oz1.26″6.29″10+1$530

If you are looking for a small semi-auto that is easy to handle and shoot, then you can’t go wrong with the Glock 26 subcompact, which shoots a 9mm round.

You mentioned that you were “very petite (size subzero).” Because of that, we need to address ease of conceal-ability. Take a look at these 9mm pistols. I have listed them by overall length.

FirearmWeight UnloadedBarrel LengthOverall Length# of BulletsCost
Kimber 9mm Solo Carry17 oz2.7″5.5″6+1$747
Beretta Nano 9mm19.97 oz3.07″5.63″6+1$475
Kel Tec PF-9 9mm12.7 oz3.1″5.85″7+1$400
Ruger LC9 9mm17.1 oz3.12″6.0″7+1$450
Glock 26 9mm19.75 oz1.26″6.29″10+1$530
Colt .380 Mustang Pocketlite13.7 oz2.75″5.5″6+1 or 5+1$599

*we’ll discuss the Colt shortly

Each of these guns are highiy reliable (with the possible exception of the Kimber 9mm Solo Carry). Let’s go ahead and rule the Kimber out based on possible reliability issues and hard trigger pull of 7 pounds. Obviously, the smaller the overall length, the easier it will be to conceal on your subzero frame, and the more comfortable it will be for you to carry on your person EVERY DAY. If you don’t feel comfortable, then you will not carry it every day, and then what’s the point?

Never A Victim

You should go to the range and rent the Beretta Nano, Kel Tec PF-9, Ruger LC9, and Glock 26. Shoot and handle each of them. You should even go to academy or click this link to buy an inexpensive Uncle Mike’s Nylon Open Top Style Inside-The-Pant Holster, Black just to get a feel for how comfortable or uncomfortable it is to conceal each of these weapons on your person.

The 3 Week Diet

That just leaves three more concerns to cover, 1) trigger pull, 2) the Colt Mustang Pocketlite, and 3) the MAGIC PILL!

You said…

during my concealed weapons class [I] had difficulty even
pulling the triggers on the semi auto and the revolver I was given for
shooting practice.

If you spend any amount of time on my website then you have probably read this at least once, “when the mess hits the fan, you will not rise to the occasion, you will sink to your level of training.” My guess is that when you took your concealed handgun class, it was your first, or one of your first times to ever shoot a handgun. My guess is that on the day you took a class, by which the State certifies you to carry a loaded, deadly weapon, on your person, in public…on that day you had no prior professional firearm training whatsoever. And you are not alone.


Soap Box Moment: I am a huge supporter of the 2nd Amendment and my right to carry, but mother-son of a shut your mouth, they need to do something about this. People are getting certified to carry concealed who have absolutely no gun knowledge. It’s crazy. Ok off my soap box.


Not being able to easily pull the trigger or properly pull the trigger is easily fixed with a little training on proper trigger pull. Of all the 9mm pistols listed above, I like the Glock trigger mechanism the best.

What you have to realize is that getting a concealed handgun license is not an event, it is a lifestyle. You are not just getting a piece of plastic from the State, you are making a decision to live your life in a certain way. That means you have a responsibility to become proficient in the use of your gun. You are going to have to increase your grip strength and overall fitness level. And at some point you are going to have to learn how to generate 4 to 7 pounds of force with your trigger finger. If this is seriously an issue for you, then don’t get a revolver as they generally have harder trigger pull.

Once you get your concealed handgun license, you are going to have to learn how to shoot, learn how to defend your life with a pistol, and practice it all on a regular basis. If you are not willing to do that, then don’t get a concealed handgun because you are going to get yourself killed, get an innocent person killed, or do something that makes every gun owner look like an idiot. Then some jackhole on CNN is going to spout off about how guns kill people, then this will be heard by some ill informed, feeble minded, liberal academia nut job, then my kids are going to come home from 3rd Grade music class talking about how guns kill people and my tax dollars should be used to provide abortions on tap at the local Quicky Mart.

So…don’t worry if you had some initial trigger pull issues. That will dissipate after a few hundred dry fire training drills where you focus on the proper trigger pull.

Now Let’s Talk About the Colt .380 Mustang Pocketlite

Do not buy this gun for concealed carry.

I don’t like the Colt .380 because it shoots a .380 round. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a Navy SEAL or Army Special Forces Guy, but I have been trained to shoot a handgun by some special forces types, and I’ve spent a fortune on Amazon learning about fighting with a pistol, and all of those sources recommend no bullet smaller than 9mm for defensive carry purposes.

Obviously, shot placement is key. If you hit someone in the brain, brain stem, or spinal cord with a .380 bullet, a pellet, or a BB, then you are probably going to instantly or almost instantly stop the threat. But we don’t train to hit the brain stem, brain, or spinal cord, we train to be “combat accurate.” That means we train to shoot a threat in the center mass of the body. We train this way because we are not making a movie about the Navy SEALS and we need to take real world, high probability shots under the most emergency adrenaline fueled circumstances you can imagine (i.e., if you don’t hit the guy you are going to get raped, killed, robbed, or kidnapped).

And in the real world the threat doesn’t instantly disappear with one shot (generally speaking). The bigger the bullet, the better the chance of quickly stopping the threat (generally speaking). And the experts have determined that you don’t want to trust your life to any bullet smaller than 9mm. Which rules out the .380 ACP. Even if you are shooting 9mm, any tactical pistol class is going to train you to shoot an initial 2 to 6 round volley aimed at center mass in order to stop the threat. Literally speaking, 9mm is not the magic bullet. People have survived multiple shots of just about any caliber you can reasonably carry (.38+p, .357 Magnum, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .357 Sig, etc.). The experts had to draw the line somewhere, and they drew it at 9mm, and unless you have the time, money, and inclination to do the research and verify for yourself, I would not buy a .380 ACP caliber pistol as my primary concealed carry weapon. I would buy it for a back up gun…maybe, but I don’t think you want to carry 2 guns on your person given your small stature.

I also do not like the Colt .380 ACP Mustang Pocketlite because of its 1911 style qualities. While the Mustang is not a true 1911 style pistol, it is 1911-ish in that it shares some 1911 features. The Colt 1911 is a single action only pistol, and so is the Mustang. The problem with 1911 style single action only pistols is that carrying a bullet in the chamber is kind of tricky. And you want to carry one in the chamber so that the gun is ready to be fired in an emergency without you needing to remember to cock it or take the safety off.

Lets take the Glock for instance. The Glock is a striker fired pistol, whereas the Colt is a hammer fired pistol. (And that hammer will get snagged on your purse, or pocket, or clothes, or holster when you try to draw it in an emergency, but that can be overcome by the hundreds of hours of training you are willing to put in before you carry it to defend your life.)

Let’s say you are walking back to your car, at night, after leaving the store. You are wearing your Glock 26 in an inside the waistband holster on the right side of your body. Your purse is draped over your right shoulder, your cell phone is in your left hand, and you are reading your facebook page as you walk to your car. Suddenly a man grabs you from behind, picks you up off the ground in a bear hug, and stats running to a parked van with you. You manage to struggle free by whipping your head back and breaking his freaking nose. He drops you but grabs a hold of your left arm as you try to escape. This is the first, and maybe only opportunity, you have to go for your Glock 26.

As he is holding your left arm, struggling to pull you into his van, you remember your training and the hundreds of one handed draw firing drills you did, and almost on autopilot you reach down with your right hand, moving your shirt away so that the gun doesn’t snag, grab the gun out of its holster and shoot him in the head three times at point blank range, so close that you actually left black powder marks on his left cheek. Three 9mm 147 grain jacketed hollow points tear into his face, instantly expand into deadly lead and copper mushrooms, exit the back of his skull impaling themselves deep within the front passenger seat.

  1. It’s a good thing you were carrying one bullet in the chamber because you didn’t have to rack the slide back (which is generally a 2 handed evolution) to get a bullet in the chamber so that the gun would fire.
  2. It’s a good thing the Glock has no external safety (it has 3 internal safeties) because you didn’t have the time or the extra free hand to un-safety the safety.

Now this isn’t the most common scenario, but it certainly is not beyond the realm of probability. If you had the Cold .380 ACP you probably would not have been carrying one in the chamber, because the only way to do this is to walk around with a bullet in the chamber, the hammer cocked back, and the safety on. Most women shy away from 1911 style or 1911-ish pistols because of this. They don’t like to carry around a gun with the hammer cocked back, even if the safety is on.

There are 2 ways around this. What most people do is carry it in what we call condition 1. Condition 1 on a 1911 style pistol is a bullet in the chamber, the hammer cocked back, and the safety on. In that situation you would have been screwed because you only had one hand free and maybe you would have been able to draw your gun, un-safety the safety, and fire all with one hand…maybe, but it was a lot easier with the striker fired Glock…just pull the trigger.

The other way around this is to chamber a round, then do this crazy unsafe 1911 de-cocking maneuver that scares the crap out of me.But since the Colt is single action only, you still have to remember to cock the trigger back with your thumb before firing. And in an emergency all you want to have to remember is to pull the trigger.

Really, there is just no good reason to purchase the .380 ACP Colt Mustang Pocketlite as your concealed carry weapon. I wouldn’t buy any hammer fired weapon for concealed carry. I would buy either the Glock 19, Glock 26, Beretta Nano 9mm, or Ruger LC9 9mm. Due to your subzero size, we can probably rule out the Glock 19 based on conceal-ability factors. If you are not going to get the Glock 26, then the Beretta Nano is probably best for you since it has the same kind of safety features (no external safety to deactivate, just passive internal safeties that prevent inadvertent discharge). And like the Glock, it is double action only.

Here are my recommendations for you

  1. Glock 26
  2. Beretta Nano 9mm
  3. Ruger LC9

If you are still looking for the magic pill, there is not magic pill. Buy a quality gun, and train to use it in an emergency. That’s as close to a magic pill as you get in concealed carry land.