When we talk about women and pistols, it seems to frequently be about where I can hide this tiny gun wearing a skirt, or in my clutch. I mean, this information is great, because we have a lot of pistols on the market that is designed to show no printing – which is when the gun is outlined by your clothing. You can get a Glock 42 that holds 6 rounds, costs you $400, and it will disappear on you. Wonderful, fabulous, fantastic… But we know all this already. Women who have never seen a pistol could find one that will work with a four-minute google search.

Instead of that discussion, which I touched on anyways, let’s talk about a general use pistol. By general use, I mean a pistol that I can use on the streets every day, one I can take into the woods for a week, and that can generally just take the beating my lifestyle will inevitably cause. When I looked for one such pistol I was looking for something that wouldn’t sag with a belt and jeans on, or print through a sweatshirt.

That was just for my life in a city though, I also needed a pistol that I could take in the woods where I would be open carrying it no matter the conditions. My first stop was the Glock 19 — but whose wasn’t though? I love Glock, my duty pistol is a Glock 17 and I wish I could keep it forever as my own. Unfortunately, I have such tiny hands that double-stacks make the grip to wide for me. This effectively created a gap in my grip, and I just don’t like that for a gun that is mine and mine alone. So, to recap, I needed strong, reliable, and smaller but not too small — I know, I am a demanding mistress.

Luckily for me, and all those like me, Springfield Armory was up to the task and I didn’t even have to ask! Enter the 1911 Springfield Armory EMP, with the 4” slide, and the concealed carry contour. Golden light in the morning mist as the clouds break, singing angels, laughing children, this is the pistol for me. It’s a single stack, so my grip is better, and it holds nine rounds which honestly is a great balance between double-stack and sub-compact.

It’s a 1911, but it isn’t an ammo snob, and it’s stainless steel so I could pistol whip someone back to WWII if I had to. It doesn’t sag when I’m wearing jeans and doesn’t print in a sweatshirt. It may not be for a night on the town, but it fits in a purse just fine. Honestly, the EMP has allowed me to use one pistol for most of the things I want to do. I think the women just coming into our community will want a good concealed carry weapon, and maybe they’ll want something else eventually as I did.

Nicole is a veteran of the U.S. ARMY, Philosophy BA graduate, and a security contractor for DHS. She likes to shoot, camp, and read any book she can get her hands on. Her favorite writers are Sebastian Junger, Aristotle, and Kurt Vonnegut.