An 80 year old female friend asked me for help choosing a home defense pistol a few years ago. We went to a local gun store and with my help SHE decided on a Berretta tomcat (I think that was the model) in .380. She did not have the strength to pull back the slide on most semi-autos so she liked the fact that a loaded mag could be kept in the gun with the empty barrel tipped up. She could manually load a single round in the barrel and snap it into battery, getting the pistol ready in about 5 seconds. I don't own one of these pistols but she really liked it and it was one of VERY few semi-autos she could handle. And to throw my hat in PigBat's ring, She MUST absolutely pick out her own gun. So take her to the store and let her handle several. Better yet find a place that will let you shoot a representative example and have her SHOOT IT!