DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: What Makes a Gun Beautiful?

Reanna Kadic (courtesy

Somehow I don’t think that the AR above will be joining 3-Gun competitor Ms. Reanna Kadic at her Junior Prom. But there’s no question that both gun and girl are lovely. Yup, I reckon Ms. Kadic’s AR is a babe. But then my aesthetic appreciation runs the gamut, from the minimalist GLOCK 19 (true story) to the epic Ma Deuce to a sublime Holland & Holland shotgun. Question: what makes some guns gorgeous and renders others “physically challenged”? Please give examples (and links if possible).

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  1. avatar Jim Jones says:

    The same reasons that makes cars or other mechanical objects beautiful; engineering and ergonomics. My self-defense weapons are functional and durable. All the others ones? I just reward good designs with those.

    1. avatar Mudshark says:

      Do not use the suicide prevention # hotline, they put u on hold while they send cops rollin. Like I need more problems.

      1. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

        Watcha got going there mud shark? Talk to me instead

      2. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

        Hate it when they put you on hold
        So what’s up?

      3. avatar gs650g says:

        Let us know when they pick you up, mmmm kay?

  2. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    It’s like anything else the beauty is in the eye…
    The most beautiful is the moment, the brief moment when you squeeze the trigger and know it’s all good before the round even exits the barrel because it will do it’s part when you do yours.

  3. avatar california richard says:

    No idea what makes a gun beautiful…. But she gets a +1 on the “10 point beautiful woman scale” for keeping her finger off the trigger.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Nah. She’s just protecting that perfect nail.

  4. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    For me, revolvers have an inherent beauty that semi-autos just don’t. I even think the Smith & Wesson Governor and Chiappa Rhinos are awesome.

    As for long guns, I prefer AR platforms but think that (most) shotguns look better.

  5. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Should I put on some Marvin Gaye for this thread? Maybe, Luther Vandross?

      1. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

        “You’ll never find another GUN like mine…” hehe. Seriously it’s all opinion. I’m a long-time antique dealer and gravitate to beautiful wood,patina and form. Works of art as it were…

        1. I would tend to agree (as you gathered from my Content Contest article, about my Purdey shotgun).

          But at the same time it’s hard not to find something ‘beautiful’ in a tuned, tricked out SBR AR15 that’s built to your exact requirement.

          I also agree with Ed Rogers, above, that revolvers have a particular aesthetic. The original Navy Colt, for example, is just a gorgeous pistol.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Add some Al Green to the play list.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      Just not Barry White, OK?

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        Barry Manilow? Barry Gibb? Barry O’Bama?

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          Of the Dublin O’Bamas?

  6. avatar Another Robert says:

    Beautifully-figured wood and deep-blue steel.

    1. avatar kenneth says:

      I’ll second that. Nothing is so gorgeous as a good piece of walnut. Check out these babies at 1:56- 2:20:
      And they aren’t even stocks yet!

  7. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Good God, man.

  8. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

    A quality of fit and finish that is sadly not as common as it once was. I like my military guns in well used shape, though. Trench art and minor battle damage are always a plus.

  9. avatar passthebrass says:

    I tend to appeal to character features, so they all look good to me. Tooling marks on a ’44 Mosin? Thats a feature. Bluing deep enough to swim through on a Python? Drool. The cast zinc brick of a slide on a HiPoint? I wouldn’t kick her out of the safe. The classic lines on an old SxS shotgun? Let me run my hand down them long barrels. The Zip .22? …Hit the lights we’ll make this work.

  10. avatar S.CROCK says:

    If a gun is just stamped plastic attached to metal it is not attractive but probably practical. If a gun has good ergonomics and machinery that went into it and some good wood work then it is a beauty. Also classic guns like 1911s and M1 Garands have a special beauty to them.

  11. avatar Skippy says:

    I agree on revolvers, particularly with birds head grips.

  12. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    This is something that’s extremely subjective. I love not only a gun that’s aesthetically pleasing but also the internal mechanisms. I love brilliantly engineered firearms where you can take apart the mechanisms and appreciate both the quality of manufacture and their well thought out designs. Even with tactical tupperware or an MSR like an AR.

  13. avatar APM mobile says:

    Beautiful guns are always ones that I don’t own:-(

    1. avatar IdahoPete says:

      PS: Pearl grips also work if they are well done, George Patton notwithstanding.

      However, I also believe my M-1 Garand is a thing of beauty.

  14. avatar Gregolas says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, based on experience, prejudice, education, influence of friends and relatives, not to mention “Je ne sais quoi”. I have no use for engraving, “fine” shotguns and rifles worth thousands, cocking serrations at the front of a slide, or beaver tails on a 1911.
    But history, especially military, can make me fall in love. I hold that a S&W K-frame 3-inch, heavy bbl, round butt revolver the most symmetrical and elegant of all handguns. I love the mechanical innovation, operation, and lines of a HK P7. I love any stock 1911. The most beautiful handgun ever is the Luger. The most beautiful rifle? An M1 Garand. Submachine gun ? Thompson, M1A1, with a Cutts compensator just like Sgt. Saunders’ on “Combat”, of course. But an MP 40 is close. A S&W Mod. 25-2 in .45acp is lovely for is beautiful blue, 61/2 inch bbl. and amazing cloverleaf accuracy at 25yds. I can’t resist the romance and legacy of Ma Deuce, or a Civil War Springfield or Enfield rifle.
    Finally, my Gen 1 G19, my EDC since 9-89. Ugly, but flawlessly reliable. “Old Heinrich” is tops for cocealabilty, capacity, durability and real-world accuracy.
    These are the guns I love. Some I own, some I dream of owning.
    Your favorites are different, and all just as worthy and valid.

  15. avatar Ing says:

    There’s something about lever-action rifles. Take a look at the Marlin 336 on the Skinner Sights website and tell me that isn’t beautiful. I dare you.

    1. avatar Joe says:

      Agreed. But I’m a fan of the Henry Big Boys with the brass receivers. The fit and finish are superb.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Also agreed. I chose the 336 as my example because I own one that’s adorned with Skinner sights, but you can’t top those Henry rifles. My son’s Henry Golden Boy is so pretty some people almost don’t dare to shoot it.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    The institutional design of many modern guns is not beautiful. ARs and modern semi-auto pistols work great for the most part, but sadly they have no soul. They aren’t crafted, they’re assembled. They are appliances. It would be just as easy to ogle a washing machine as it would be to ogle a black plastic gun.

    Modern guns that exhibit wonderful craftsmanship and aesthetics for no other reason than the manufacturer’s pride, now what’s beautiful. Unless the guns don’t work, in which case they are not so beautiful.

    Even old guns that were never intended for any purpose but to be tools of war or hunting can be beautiful, because they were made by people who cared about the way their products looked as well as the way they worked.

  17. avatar YouDontUnderstandEconomics says:

    I think you’re projecting your own desires. And did you not read junior prom? She’s probably 16, ya perv.

  18. avatar Gman says:

    What is the most beautiful gun I own? Babe.

    Babe is a thoroughbred
    Blued steel and mahogany dancing together in harmony
    Her fit and trim are timeless
    A model of rarest gems
    Never holstered or mistreated
    As shiny as the day she was made

  19. avatar oldandshaky says:

    1. 1911’s — practically all, but simple lines are better.
    2. revolvers — not too overbuilt, but blued or stainless or nickel.
    3. military rifles or carbines with proven effectiveness, proud history, and lots of wood — beaten up or clean.

  20. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Just as a woman becomes more beautiful when she serves me a fine meal, a gun gains a special place in my heart when the steel starts ringing and the clay targets disintegrate.

    My Grandpa taught me many years ago, not to select a bride based on her looks. I extrapolated that advice onto my firearms purchasing decisions, and so far it has served me well.

  21. avatar George says:

    All guns are beautiful, do not body shame.

    Except zip gun and hi-point.

    1. avatar billy-bob says:

      Nothing a little cashpat can’t fix.

  22. avatar matty9 says:

    Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk, 7 1/2″ barrel, 44 Remington Magnum. Blued, mahogany grips. Tight groups, clean light single action trigger.

  23. avatar mk10108 says:

    Beautiful is the owner operator of said armament.

  24. avatar Tim U says:

    For me, function leads to form. Many guns that look good happen to work really well.

  25. avatar 7.62x54r says:

    My 91/30 with the screwdriver attached to the front looks pretty good to me.

    1. avatar Royal Tony says:

      7.62x54r for drilling pilot holes? Genius! No muss, no fuss!

      1. avatar kenneth says:

        That’s how Col. Patterson got the holes in the train rails that he used to build the cage that failed to capture the Tsavo maneating lions back in 1800 and whatever it was. Except he used a .303.
        It failed by the wierdest coincidence imaginable, but it wasn’t the holes fault. One of the human laborers he was using for bait opened fire at point blank range, missed the lion, and hit the bolt holding the door closed.

  26. avatar Nynemillameetuh says:

    An exemplary fulfillment of its purpose makes a firearm beautiful.

  27. avatar Accur81 says:

    Beautiful bluing, perfectly polished walnut, matte stainless steel, and even bits of FDE plastic do it for me. Examples: classic Winchester 70, Rem 700, Browning, H&H, Sako 85, Colt Python, Smith Revolvers, etc.

    As to the “new” guns, Wilson Combat, La Rue Tactical, Dan Wesson, Sig Legion, cool AR builds, and high quality stainless steel barrels.

  28. avatar gs650g says:

    Ruger revolvers are so well made they should be in museums

    1. avatar matty9 says:

      True, except they work so damned well

  29. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “What Makes a Gun Beautiful?”

    The one in my hand the very moment I need it the most to defend myself or the ones I love…

  30. avatar anaxis says:

    My 110 year old Winchester Model 1906 takedown .22 is a thing of beauty…. the bluing is long gone, but it has a perfect plum-colored patina and the Winchester rollmarks are still distinct. The wood has lots of honest wear from years of varmint-duty on a Michigan farm, and each scratch or dent tells a story. The bore was worn smooth from countless thousands of rounds, but after receiving a quality barrel liner along with some replacement parts in the action and attention from a quality gunsmith, it’s laser-like accurate and reliable. I have other rifles that are attractive and fun in their own rights, but I reach for the Winchester whenever I feel the need for some quality alone-time on the range.

  31. avatar Will Drider says:

    While I can admire artisan craftsmanship, I would not own any. Mechinical design and its resulting function is the true beauty of a firearm. The rest is just skin deep and normally does nothing to improve the results at the target. Never saw a pink or stainless finish outshoot a blue or black on. Lol

  32. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    Beauty in all things – cars, women, guns – is pretty subjective. My appreciation of beautiful things hasn’t changed very much over the years. 65 Mustangs still look great. My wife of 40 years is still a hot number (Remember “Granny Oakley” with the pink hat and coach gun?). The classics in my collection like my SAA Colt clone, Winchester 94, 1911’s, Garand, Model 70, Smith 686 are all beautiful guns. Maybe its because they fit my hands so well and maybe its because they have so much history to remember (and I could say the same for momma but don’t tell her!). I’ve got a couple of AR’s and a striker fired Springfield XD9, but the best guns I own are steel and walnut and remind me of the days gone by.

  33. avatar Justin Case says:

    Trick question, right?

    “Any handgun lovingly embraced and protected by a Leather DeSantis Gunhide holster.”

    What did I win?

  34. avatar Icanhas.10mm? says:

    What Makes a Gun Beautiful?


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