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I don’t understand why people think gun manufacturers are “pandering” to women when they offer a standard handgun in pink or purple with glitter. What’s wrong with appealing to women with fashionable firearms? (And yes, their aesthetic sense is generally different from men’s.) As for other female-specific changes, what else is there? Lightening the springs for easier racking (as above) isn’t just a girl thing . . .

Elderly buyers and people with arthritis need apply. Women have smaller hands? There are plenty of smaller-framed handguns and the multiple backstrap trend enables larger handguns for the double-X chromosome set. AR’s have adjustable stocks.

So . . . aside from color, is there really such a thing as a “woman’s gun”?

Unauthorized Jeremy S. edit: Sharon from EAA gave us a tour of the Pavona line at SHOT Show this year:

98 Responses to Question of the Day: Is There Such a Thing As A “Woman’s Gun”?

  1. Hey, what’s wrong with pink, I like pink.
    My wife chose a 1911 because of the single stack narrowness. It fits perfectly in her hand. So I say that makes it a “Woman’s Gun”.

  2. Women are more focused on external appearance then guys.

    Man sees a Glock and thinks “whatev, its a tool.”

    Woman sees a regular Glock and thinks ‘ewww’. There are exceptions, but if it wears on a girls body its gotta look good no matter what “it” may be.

      • There are many beautiful guns, and there are many men who appreciate that beauty, whether it is the wood, the engraving, the finish, or the styling. And there are many ugly, simply functional guns–like Glocks.

        • Yeah, Google “court guns and barbecue guns” to see what the well-dressed Texas lawman will wear …

    • Man sees a Glock and thinks “Whatev, it’s two pieces of crudely carved pressure-treated lumber screwed together. Wait, that’s a gun? Why is it shaped to fit robotic grippers instead of human hands?”

      Fixed it for you.

      As far as men not caring what a gun looks like, that’s ridiculous. There is a huge industry selling entirely cosmetic shit to bolt onto ARs and 1911s and most other guns that is doing brisk business selling to dudes.

      • To say nothing of people who will spend thousands of dollars on fit-and-finish beyond what is needed to be functional.

        And somtimes (*cough*Cabot*cough*) it will even be at the expense of functionality and there will STILL be men insisting that you really want one and won’t admit it.

      • And I think two-tones are ugly as sin. So I agree with you.

        Studies show that women’s main complaint about their guns is that they don’t like to talk about their feelings.

    • Hell, I spent about 25 bucks to get nicer looking grips on my 1911. Cause while I’m not aesthetics driving, I figure if function is equal, not looking like crap is good.

    • Aside from generalizing (or stereotyping) which is often a bad thing, you are moatly wrong in my experience.

      I work at a gun store (big one, starts with a “C”) and far more of my female customers dislike the colored guns than like them.

      Those that dont want straight black guns often prefer bronze, stainless, or subtly colored guns (blue, purple, grey, or sometimes pink).

      Pepto Bismo pink is the LEAST favorite option.

      More to your point, most of my female customers just want it easy to use/shoot and be reliable. Just as many if not more of my male customers consider guns for their aesthetics. It may be shape (M&P over glock), tradition (1911 over Beretta), or color (stainless over black).

  3. There are guns that are easier for women to hold, usually based on grip size, but even that is not a hard rule. There are guns which have parts or components more friendly to weaker wrists, but then that also is hardly just for a woman. I think the idea that women need some other kind of gun is a bit silly, more often than not, I see men using their wife as an excuse to buy some “unmanly” gun that they want, and when the wife actually tries something of a larger frame, or less “sexy” looking, the husband gets irritated that she doesn’t want the little .380 that HE really came in to get. The sooner the industry starts treating women like normal shooters, the better. Pink and dainty works for McDonalds happy meal toys… give the boys a race car and the girls a pony, but for guns its just absurd.

  4. Kind of ironic that EAA is selling a ‘woman’s gun’ give how much they love to use scantily clad ladies as models in their catalog.

    Still the question is valid. Woman tend to be weaker than males. A firearm with lower weight and bulk is going to be easier to pick up out of the proverbial box and use. Time is going to tell weather or not this marketing idea will work though.

    • Scantily clad women have a valid place in their ads, so long as part of the ad is to show where their gun is concealed on that scantily clad woman. Otherwise not so much.

      • EAA’s ads are just awful. What’s up with the “Terminator” woman with pistols as legs?

        You want a woman in an ad? Put Jessie Duff or Julie G in it and you’ll get everyone’s attention.

        • I…. didn’t see that one. Still the main point holds out. The ads are always kind meh at best.

    • Not every everyone has a problem with scantily clad women… Plenty of women are not ashamed of their body parts. Sad that you see it otherwise, trying to white knight for the feminazis…

      Good luck with that, by they way… Maybe they’ll cut your manhood off with a box cutter instead of pinking shears? Am I offending women by knowing what pinking shears are? Or does that make me a homo? What about my hot pink toenails?

      [rolls eyes]

  5. Until they make one with a uterus, no.
    They, like most other objects, have no gender specific qualities to them other than the artificial ones we apply with our own bias and prejudice.

  6. It make more sense to me that aside from the color everything else would be gender neutral. Some women are bigger and stronger than some men. Marketing smaller, lighter guns as being for women or bigger heavier guns as being for men is dumb. You get a gun that works for you not because a marketing department says it is right for you. Well, I think you should at least.

  7. My wife hates to shoot her .38 Spl Airweight, ‘cuz it hurts. She didn’t buy it to shoot, she bought it to carry, ‘cuz it’s light. I’d say that makes it a woman’s gun. I’d sell the durn thing, it really DOES hurt, and unlike her, I like to shoot!

    • She might want to look at the S&W 351PD or the Ruger LCR in .22Mag. Or some of the older lightweight Smiths in .32H&R Mag. Not as powerful a stopper as the .38s, but pretty effective wound channels with the Hornady 22 WMR 45 gr FTX Critical Defense ammo.

      • .327 Federal Mag is a nice new thing, lots of promise even tho I don’t think it will be a huge commercial success.

        • I’d say that .327 Fed Mag is pretty close to already being dead. Ruger doesn’t even make DA revolvers in that chambering anymore, and they helped invent it. Everybody else who made .327 revolvers has stopped.

          It’s a shame, because it really does seem like a very nice revolver cartridge. I’d love to see it gain popularity and someone make a lever gun that uses it.

  8. The wife has a Charter Arms . 38 in turquoise. She liked the color. Her P22 was because the slide was easy to rack, single action for follow up shots, and the .22 is a low recoil weapon. Plus, she likes to point out you can cover her shot group with a quarter when she engages the laser sight.

  9. I love reading the hoo-hah over this issue, as if advertising guns for sale to women was something new. Smith & Wesson made one of their .32 Safety Hammerless (aka “Lemon Squeezer) top-break revolvers in a 2” barrel configuration, manufacturing 78,500 of this model between 1900 and 1909. These were advertised for sale to women who are on a “Wheeling Tour” on their bicycle, for fending off tramps and mean dogs.

    The woman in one ad (wearing full Victorian-era skirt, blouse and hat) is shown pointing her Bicycle Revolver in the face of a mean-looking tramp with a club (reaching for her bike) with the caption “Have a Care!” There is a copy of this ad in Roy Jinks’ (S&W Historian) book, “Smith & Wesson – Images of America”.

    This ad campaign was aimed at independent women who were not willing to be victims waaay back in the “repressed” Victorian era, when women were supposedly confined to the home and the protection of their male relatives or husbands. Guess someone forgot to tell that to American women and S&W.

    I don’t see how things have changed today, except that idea of independent women being able to protect themselves does not fit the media narrative, so the media has to try to demonize gun manufacturers and any woman who dares to NOT rely on the government to protect her.

  10. Until someone markets a picatinny-mounted set of molded breasts or testicles, I’m not going to see any gun as being gender-specific. They’re unisex tools designed for a particular use, not for the one carrying it.

  11. My daughter sees a pink gun and says, “Oooh! I want one!” (And she says she wants her next gun to be a .45.)

  12. Sure. A “woman’s gun” is the kind of gun women would buy, if that’s substantially different from what men would buy.
    Women, I’m told, are more recoil sensitive than men, so more small-bore weapons, and more compensators on big-bore weapons. Also, women have smaller hands than men on average, so smaller grips and more single-stacks. They can’t carry as much, so more polymer. And as one person already noted, women care more about the aesthetic appeal of the things they buy, and they have different aesthetic sensibilities than men.

    Of course I write this while being armed with a compact polymer-framed 9mm. It’s double-stacked though.

  13. My wife can make any gun look sexy … and hers, if she likes it.

    That said, when we look at guns, we both care first and foremost about fit, functionality and our ability to hit the target with it.

    After that, I tend to look more at the mechanical aesthetics, and she looks at more practical things like how easy it is to clean. (I.e. she likes her 1911 a bit less after working with a Springfield XD(m) … and I like the Beretta PX4 for its rotating barrel mechanism.)

    • Exactly. A “woman’s gun” is whatever gun she wants. Happy wife, happy life. Btw, my wife hates pink.

      • Likewise here.

        Mine actually prefers either basic black with rosewood grips, or all stainless as its easier to tell when you got all the gunk off when cleaning.

  14. Yes, The gun in her hand is ‘The Woman’s Gun’. Even if she lets me shot it it still remains ‘The Woman’s Gun’.

  15. —years ago I remember a 9mm marketed as such—lighter springs, etc.,—–think it was called ‘k9’—(don’t know why),—-I think no polymer—but +p was a no no———it was also recommended for persons with a less firm grip—

  16. There are guns made for big hands (with lots of musculature behind them) and guns made for small hands. (And rifle stocks for long vs. short arms.) Given statistical tendency women will fit into the smaller/weaker “bucket” more often than men. It’s a shorthand to call them women’s guns but of course, it relies on a stereotype of women (and of men).

    The idea of bright colors and glitter… again, that’s a “tends to be women” thing, especially pink. I know at least one female POTG who can’t stand pink, though.

    I support more options for more different people. Will it make sense to market some of those options primarily to women? Sure. Does it make it any less a gun? Absolutely not.

    As an aside, a woman wearing a gun is just freakin’ hot. When more women realize this, gun makers will never succeed in meeting demand.

  17. “Question of the Day: Is There Such a Thing As A “Woman’s Gun”?”

    “Evil” and “Good” are no traits with which a gun can be imbued. Gender, the same.

    Besides, I wouldn’t trust my guns anymore if the bled for a week and didn’t die. Would they be able to make sandwiches, tho?

    [rolls eyes]

  18. Asking what is a woman’s gun and what is the best gun to carry is pretty much the same question. The answer to both is whatever gun you are most confident with and will actually use. And thats how I lost my CZ-82 to my girlfriend…

  19. My beautiful wife is not a girlie-girl. She likes shiny black revolvers and thinks pink/orange/purple/baby s##t guns look awful. Personally if I got a pink pistol I wouldn’t give a rat’s azz…

  20. Actually me and my sister have lots of good ideas on chick guns. Need to find someone to help us build them, haha.

    I’d argue there are very very few actual chick guns. And I think there should be.

  21. A woman’s gun is the one she’s holding, be it blued, stainless, parkerized, camo, or cerakoted pink with purple stars and rainbow grips adorned with rhinestones and carried in a lace-trimmed soft case. If a person is drawn to something that they feel is their style, cool. The more variety of options, the more people feel welcomed or see that they fit. My 10-year-old daughter refuses to wear dresses. My 6-year-old son digs My Little Pony (he’s a tiny brony). I dig CZ75s, my buddy loves Glocks… whatever. Let’s shoot!

    • I submit that the point is moot if you’re staring down the “front” end of a firearm!
      .
      A women behind it? No importa
      Pink? No importa
      Caliber? They all look big from this angle
      Size? In this case, At this time? No importa
      .
      The big question is: “Am I gonna die?”
      .

  22. My wife hates the “pink” guns and accessories. Making something pink then slapping “for women” on it is the height of tone deafness from the OFWGs in charge of the industry.

    Every gun a woman can fire is a woman’s gun, and the same applies to men. My wife bought an M&P9 for her self and is now wanting to sell it to get an M&P45.

    • “tone deafness from the OFWGs in charge of the industry”

      Unless it increases total sales without an equal decrease in the non-pink version. Then it’s just a successful marketing campaign.

      I personally HATE pink guns but I know several women(and 1 guy) who own them. I would never discourage their choice because it was a selling point for them. I personally like chrome, nickel or stainless while some think it’s gaudy or flashy….. To each their own.

      Daisy and Crossman sold TONS of pink(and blue) BB guns that may help introduce the next generation of girls to shooting. I’d guess quite a few of those young girls wouldn’t have wanted a BB gun in the first place if they didn’t see the pink ones.

  23. My wife hates pink guns.
    She is also cursed with two problems. Very long fingers, her heal to finger tip distance is longer than mine.
    And she has compromised hand strength.
    That makes the H&K VP9 perfect for her. It has the easiest slide spring in its class plus the tabs. She can easily rack this gun. But she cannot rack my FNS9.
    The thumb paddle mag release is perfect for her too.
    I doubt H&K was thinking of my wife, and people like her, when they designed this pistol. But they scored a win.
    No tiny pocket 380.
    Her smaller EDC is the Walther CCP. Also an easy slide.

  24. My girlfriend expressly doesn’t want color on her guns; she prefers the all “black, tactical look” (her words) to her guns.

    I, on the other hand, am torn between my love for FDE and old fashion, polished wood grain.

  25. First time women handgun buyers have overwhelming picked 380 full size pistols or 38 revolvers over the mico any caliber when we have taken them out to test fire various guns. Unless of course the boyfriend, husband, brother, comes in with them. We get a few women a year that actually trust us to help them pick a gun. Most come in wanting something in the mico 9 range. A lot of older women can’t rack the slides on the small guns so if they are willing one of us will meet them at a range close by and take a variety of different pistols for them to try. A lot of Bersa 380’s have been sold this way. The springs even on the compacts are much easier for them to work and the blast and recoil is not to bad. The J frame S&W also is populer loaded it with lighter bullets. I wouldn’t call either a woman’s only gun but a lot of women have preferred them over the 9mm and 45. Women probably more so than men are all about price. Some want “pretty” but bottom line is price and reliability. We always explain that as far as going bang 100% of the time your best bet is a revolver and after that a pistol with double strike capabilities.
    My parents are getting up there now and mom started several years ago with a small 9mm. Last year she told me she couldn’t rack the slide anymore and dad had to do it for her. So I gave her a revolver and she’s back on the range every week again.

  26. Q made it quite clear he thought Bond’s .25 cal Beretta was a ladies gun. Culturally the Bond novels seem so dated, but some issues continue to play, don’t they Mr. Farago? Perhaps the awards should have been the Golden Bullseye Awards?

  27. If it is a question of function, I would say no. If it’s a question of taste, I would say, possibly. I have taught marketing at the college level, and while that doesn’t make me an expert, I have learned that women “tend” (meaning not true in every case, but true overall) to have more varied and stronger preferences in any kind of personal products. By personal products, I mean products that can be carried in purse or on a person, or is routinely on or close to the body. So if my lips are dry, I just want a “lip balm” of any kind. My wife wants Carmex, in the little yellow jar.

    So I see this as a marketing issue. If women choose to have different, more specific preferences in guns, manufacturers will sell more guns to women if they discover and respect that. They will not have success if they offer what guys think women want or ignore the factor altogether. Also, guys’ comments on those preferences is completely futile.

    • “Also, guys’ comments on those preferences is completely futile.”
      .
      Or, in spite of women asking men for their opinion, ANY OTHER ITEM OF PERSONAL wear, adornment, or accessory. For women, guns fall into all of those categories, so give it up, guys!
      .

  28. Daughter was going to buy a “nightstand gun” and invited me along to “hang out”. She wanted to go to a big store thinking she would get a better price. Clerk tried to steer her to guns “more suitable to women”. Had enough of that and went to the shop where I do all my business. The owner treated her with respect, like she had a brain to think and knew what she wanted. All true. She walked out of there with a gen4 Glock 21sf. It’s suitable enough for that woman that she shoots lights out at 25 yards.

  29. I think that most of efforts to date to create a “woman’s gun” have been superficial and misguided. When I took my wife shopping for a handgun, I fell for the stereotypes of what a woman’s gun should be. Fortunately I was smart enough to know that we had to look at many guns to find the right one for her. I started out with the assumptions that her gun needed to be a small frame, light weight, small caliber gun, and quite possibly a revolver. All of that was wrong. The gun my wife eventually selected for herself was a full size, all steel CZ-75B in 9mm. Reasoning? She’s recoil-sensitive and more weight means less felt recoil. She was primarily interested in a target range fun gun and home defense gun, so the large form factor was not a problem. The 2 lb., full size CZ-75B turned out to be the best fit for her. It addition to its other good attributes, its recoil spring and controls are light enough that she can operate it with her weaker hand strength.

    As a side note, my wife hates pink (and purple, and red, and blue, etc.) guns made to appeal to women. She recognizes that some women may like these colors and is fine with that, but it’s not for her.

    To me, if the industry truly wants to produce guns tailored for women, they need to do some serious research in ergonomics. In particular, they need to study women’s hands and the ways that their bodies interact with gun designs. There are many good designs out there that my wife tried and couldn’t use because she couldn’t pull the slide or couldn’t operate the controls effectively. Our hands are virtually the same size and I have no trouble with these designs, but she has far less grip strength than I do. There may be other factors as well. It is my belief that the first company to study these things and produce a true lady’s model will have a runaway hit on their hands. More and more women are getting into shooting, and I bet they will line up to buy a gun that is truly comfortable for their hands and bodies.

    • Ergonomics, period. For men and women. And adjustability or variety of backstrap, length of pull, etc. And work with people in the optometric/ophthalmologic world on better iron sight designs. And still, individual hands and eyes are exactly that. I noticed how perfectly my SR9C fits in MY hand, but only after I added a Hogue grip sleeve to it. It may not fit someone with longer or shorter fingers. I could hardly get on the target with a full size M&P9, but found the 9 mm Shield to be excellent. Attention to individual needs will help male and female shooters alike.

  30. There are sidearms better suited to people with smaller hands, weaker hands, bigger hands, and stronger hands. Sexual dimorphism being what it is, I’d wager that more women than men fall into the smaller and weaker categories.

  31. Women’s guns are just like men’s guns, only more accurate.

    At least that’s been my observation.

  32. Not in the least. There are guns that are made under direction of marketing folk who do not shoot and are given the moniker of women’s guns, but nothing specifically.

  33. If a woman owns a gun, it’s a woman’s gun, even if it’s black and scary. If a man owns a gun, it’s a man’s gun, even if it’s pink and has boobs.

  34. As has been stated before a woman’s gun is the one that works for her. I recently took my wife to a factory shoot where she could try all the reps guns.mu wife wantwd a semi auto and j was pushing her to 9mm. We ran into the same issue time and again grip size. Sadly none of the vendors carried their smaller backstraps and we weren’t going to spend money on a gun and hoped it worked. After trying several smaller carry size semi auto models xdm, sig, glock and walther . She had the same issue the grip didn’t feel snug in her hand and therefore the gun didnt feel secure . The sig .380 with the smaller grips worked but she wanted the 9mm after firing it. Eventually she fired the walther ccp in 9mm and it fit.

    So long story short a woman’s gun is the one that feels right to her.

  35. I buy handgun in colors, Black and Stainless Steel. Will buy based on how it fits my hand, good sights or can be replaced, or modified with white nail polish, Has to able to lock slide back on pistols, totally different from racking the slide, I can rack the slide on pretty much any pistol by doing it properly. I have very few handguns that sport original grips, but that is more about function than form, have long fingers so need beefier grips to keep from digging fingernails into my shooting hand. Only pink is a grip sleeve on my Bersa Thunder9 UCP, pink gun rug, pink loader (only to keep husband from “borrowing” it) Do I like beautiful handguns, of course – have some vintage, out of production revolvers that are like pieces of art, glossy black paint, shiny stainless steel, mustang medallions on Colt Detective .38 OME grip. Strum & Ruger Firebird medallions vintage OME rosewood on Ruger SP 101 grip. Now holsters are a different story, I buy beautiful leather holsters, basket weave or craved. If I happen on a nice, comfortable, a little dirty beat up holster, I will clean it and use leather dye & gloss coat to restore to it’s former glory. Are mine girl guns or guys guns? (excepting the Bersa) You would not know which gender owns it by looking at it.

  36. I had never been “pretty gun” shopping till I took my soon to be wife to the gun store. She had a P11 in 9mm that she hated. While small it would twist just about out of her hand when fired. I being the man picked out a .44 special bulldog, she say’s NO that’s ugly. She then then picks out the shinyest chrome .38 snub revolver and say’s here it is! Out the door we went and she still shoots AND carries it today. (12 years later) So my two cents, let the wives pick their own guns within reason. She wants a .50 auto loading barrett rifle too…Why? who knows. I’m not gonna argue!

  37. So . . . aside from color, is there really such a thing as a “woman’s gun”? Yes, Ithaca makes shotguns with stocks tailored for women. Go to their website.

  38. In my opinion, any gun that works for a woman is a woman’s gun. My husband and I have the same gun, the Kahr PM9. My first gun was the Ruger LCR 38 Specail +P. I wanted my first gun to be a revolver because I was a lititle freaked out by the idea of a 9mm. Also, I’d shot my husband’s Glock 19 and didn’t like it. But, then I was at the range with him and shot is Kahr and I loved it. It kicked less than my Ruger and I was more accurate. It’s also easier for me to conceal. Also, my hands aren’t my strongest feature, but I could move the slide on the Kahr. I had intended on getting the same gun. The other thing I liked about it is since my husband has then same one he was better able to teach me how to use it. As a first time 9mm owner, that was important to me. SO, When I went shopping for it I saw it in Tiffany blue and I was sold. I am by no means a girly-girl…I don’t worry about my hair or wear makeup, but I like color. I also like to be different. So, the Tiffany Blue Kahr was perfect for me. It’s a gun I enjoy shooting, I’m good at shooting it and the added bonus is it has a little color.

    Would I buy a gun just cuz it’s colored. No. I’d have to like it first and it would have to work for me. I think for manufacturers to pick guns and label them as women’s guns isn’t a wise choice. Each woman has to decide what works for her on the merits of the gun itself. Ultimately, it’s for self defense, so we need to be able to use it to defend ourselves…the color is really irrelevant. With that said, everyone has different esthetic tastes, and offering gun models with some variety is a smart idea.

  39. I’ve been selling guns for a few years now.

    There’s no such thing as a “woman’s gun”. Sometimes women buy J-frames, and sometimes women come in looking for a J-frame and leave with a Glock 19. The biggest difference between men and women is that women seem to be more inclined to carry off-body than men.

  40. Question of the Day: Is There Such a Thing As A “Woman’s Gun”?……….

    Yes .. Any gun that is PINK!
    Pink is associated , politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness.

    Because Pink makes everything -softer, Gentler, and delicate, that would mean any gun that is Pink, should be very safe and won’t hurt as much, thus making it ideal for a woman.

  41. I bought a Ruger LCP for pocket carry. My wife shot the pistol and loved it. She is proficient with a pistol most people cannot shoot. Finally we saw an LCP Custom at a good price, she bought it on the spot. I had been trying to push her into a Bersa Thunder or a G42.

  42. Mine shoots Walther PP, Bersa Thunder and lately a Colt Mustang XSP. Quite well I might add.
    By the way, did anyone else notice that chick is hot?

  43. There is no gun “for women” that wouldn’t work in the hands of a man and the reverse is also true. There is however targeted marketing to gain an under utilized share of the market so more power to them for doing so. Women vote too and the more firearms we have in responsible hands the better it is for us all. If some of the ads offend women, the product won’t sell and the market will weed those out.

    Victoria’s Secret is focused on advertising to women even though any OFWG could wriggle into something lacy from their catalog if it made them feel special. If I don’t care about that why would I care about this?

    Note to TTAG: Please do NOT start another “send us your pics” after reading the above example.

  44. 21 yrs ago I took my girlfriend, now wife to the range with a SW Kit 22, SW 38 snub, SW 66 357, Python 357, 1911, Beretta 9, Beretta 380, Sig P230 380, Browning Hi Power. This was before the selection we have today. She shoots them all but kept coming back to the Sig P230 explaining to me that it felt good in her hand and she was confident and accurate. We still have the P230 and another. She has stepped up to a Sig P239 9mm and we have a pair of those. She shoots the 357’s & 1911’s but, they just do not feel good in her hand. Go for comfort and confidence. I am happy with her selections…..as long as I have my 870 handy….

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