The best self defense handgun for any person, woman or not, is one with a reliable action, defense capable round (9mm HP +P minimum in my OPINION). I know many women who can shoot magnum and large caliber rounds. It is a matter for experimentation. For weak hands however; you may want to stick to a full size frame for a 38spc and load with +P HP for defense. Another good option if you can afford it is a 1911 9mm. An excellent addon for those who practice less often, is a laser/light on a rail. Big difference.