Question of the Day: What Makes a Gun Attractive?

I read a study somewhere [citation needed] that there’s a simple recipe for female beauty: the hip-to-waist ratio. Turns out guys are attracted to women with the ideal hip-to-waist ratio for childbearing, no matter what other measurements are involved. I reckon it’s the same for guns. We’re attracted to weapons that look ideal for the job of shooting a bullet. The math is internalized. Hard-wired. In the same way that someone who knows nothing about airplanes “gets” the beauty of a Douglas DC-3, the beauty of my new (well old) blackened steel Model 67 Carry Comp is elemental (my Dear Watson). But maybe not. What’s your take? What is it that makes you all hot and bothered about any given gun?


  1. avatar Javier E says:

    I like the mechanics of things. Sharp lines, wooden grips, 63 split window, 1965 Mustang, motorcycles…….. Mechanical beauty and the beasts with in them all.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    If I look at it and just “know” that it will feel right in the hand(s), that’s attractive. If it looks like a brick or something that I’d see on the set of the Transformers, that’s not attractive. Extra credit for nice wood, stainless or patinated blued steel, or a muzzle as big around as a railroad tunnel.

  3. avatar KW says:

    I took enough psych in college, including the theories of Sigmund Freud, that I feel uncomfortable answering that question 😉

    1. avatar Javier E says:


  4. avatar porschespeed says:

    Being on the right end of the handle…

  5. avatar Magoo says:

    For me, fine wood and blue steel.

  6. avatar Yawner says:

    For the same reasons that a Hi-Point pistol just looks wrong…..intangibles. If it looks right, it is right. Well except maybe for that new Rhino revolver….

  7. avatar John Fritz says:

    Lots of stainless steel and an absence of polymers.

  8. avatar Ryan Finn says:

    A beautiful piece of walnut and some dark parkerizing.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      I’m with you. I love a good 226 or AR, but they are like a Benz to the Jaguar of an Python or M1A (or 336).

      1. avatar Ryan Finn says:

        Amen brotha

  9. avatar Greg says:


    1. avatar TTACer says:

      I don’t know that the one handed closing warrants the wrath of the all caps, but I agree about PULLING THE TRIGGER BEFORE HE CHECKED IT! AND HE PICKED IT UP WITH HIS FINGER! ON! THE! TRIGGER!

      Sorry, but that was bad.

      1. avatar Greg says:

        Sorry about the caps..sometimes I forget to change them.

    2. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I checked the weapon prior to picking it up and dry firing. Several times (I’m OCD that way). And I say on the video that I shouldn’t close the gun with one hand. But you’re right. It looks bad. Video deleted.

      1. avatar TTACer says:

        So a 31 second video completely devoid of context doesn’t tell the whole story such that we can come to a valid conclusion about the event? Who’da thunk?

  10. avatar Jamie says:

    If it has a wood stock I’m not a fan, except for AK’s. I’m very attracted to any AR that hasn’t been Fuddized with things like an A2 stock, mossy oak camo or a barrel without a flash hider. Most tactical bolt rifles and shottys turn my crank as well.

  11. avatar Magoo says:

    I can name what I like better than I can stumble through any particular aesthetic theory. Here are a few, in no particular order, strictly production weapons, no specials or bespokes, and excluding shotguns, which are almost another topic…

    Browning Hi-Power
    S&W M19
    Remington Model 700
    Walther PP
    Colt Python
    Winchester 1892 short carbine
    Colt Single Action Army

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Old school! You are redeemed, Magoo.

    2. avatar TTACer says:

      Damn bro’

  12. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I like a really nice butt to start and the rest just follows.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Joe, are we still talking guns?

  13. avatar Bob H says:

    I like the smooth curves of the Beretta CX4 and the FNH PS90. I like the sensuousness of the perfect break of a great trigger, and the feel and look of Guncrafter “Shredder” grips. The functional awesomeness of a Big Horn Armory Model 89 Rifle touches my soul. The lack of recoil of an FNH Five-seveN in my wifes hands (and the sparkle it causes in her eyes).
    Oh, and cheap ammo helps too.

  14. avatar Lance says:

    Where to start?
    1911s, preferably without a full length dust cover. The grip angle just makes the pistol look more “engaged” to me.

    Model 1894s, the straight grip and the sleek lines just look good. Plus it is amusing to see all of the guts drop out of the bottom of the receiver.

    Really nice over and under shotguns can even drift into to the hesitate to even shoot territory.

    And too many more to list…

  15. avatar Tarzan says:

    Pink guns… I’m joking. Anything with perfectly balanced proportions. I’m currently working on a mathematical formula to precisely determine what those proportions are. But meanwhile, anecdotal evidence points to, in order of size, Seecamp 32acp, S&W j-frame (any), Bond Arms Ranger, Kahr K9, Ruger Mark III, Sig P239, HK P2000, Steyr M-A1, Sig P220 carry, Many 1911s, Mad Max’s double barrel shotgun, KRISS Super-V, Remington 870 with 14″ barrel, Armsel Striker, Any AK, Springfield SOCOM, and the M134 gatling gun. Oh, I forgot the Colt Walker revolvers. Josey Wales knew what was up.

  16. avatar Pete says:

    OK, that’s a pretty tough question even for a “charmingly eccentric firearms enthusiast” (old, politically incorrect term: gun nut). I REALLY like the old S&W and Merwin&Hulbert top-break revolvers – something about the machining skills needed to make them work, the proportions of the frame/barrel/everything. And of those, the most graceful/best hand-fitting/best proportions are either the New Model No.3 single action .44 Russian with a 6″ barrel, or the Model 1891 single action in .38S&W, with a 4″ barrel. Why? Who knows?

    For that matter, why does a S&W J-frame look better to me with a 3″ barrel than a 2″ snubby? Not a clue. The old flintlock (“Kentucky”) rifles were made deliberately using something called the “Golden Ratio”, which determined the proportions of the stock, barrel length, trigger guard, lock size, patchbox, and bunch of other components, and they are still some of the most graceful, flat-out beautiful guns around.

    Of course, the most beautiful firearm around (form follows function) is either a Quad-.50 (4 Ma-Deuces) on a halftrack, or a .45-70 brass-jacketed Police Gatling gun. Or maybe the 30mm Gatling on the Warthog (A-10). Yowza!

  17. avatar Luis says:

    For me, in the case of my Ruger SP-101 .357 Mag, it was stopping power, concealability and price. As to my Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag, it was stopping power and size, for home defense use. Also, it’d be easier to handle indoors, than a shotgun.

    If, on the other hand, I wanted a “sexy” gun, I’d have gotten a Walther PPK.

  18. avatar Mike the Limey says:

    The L1A1, the Browning Hi Power & the Sterling SMG are to me all fine examples of form & function coming together.
    I like the functionality of the SMLE but for looks the Kar98 has it beat hands down.

    Current military small arms may well be a huge advance functionally but their looks………

  19. avatar E. Zach Lee-Wright says:

    This thread reminds me of the TV show “Hill Street Blues”. In one episode, public defender Joyce Davenport (Veronica Hamel) finds herself in bad need of some personal protection and goes to a gun shop despite a strong aversion to private gun ownership. The shop owner is a very overweight fellow who watches as Ms. Davenport handles a snub nose revolver. He makes the comment “sexy, isn’t it” to which she quietly says “yes”. She then leaves without making a purchase.

    For what it is worth, Hamel was featured in the last cigarette commercial televised in the U.S., for those of us who can actually remember a cigarette ad on TV.

    I was in my twenties when this show aired its seven year run of 132 episodes. I had never heard the terms gun and sexy put together but as soon as I saw the show I remembered the pseudo rape scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Yes, folks, there is something going on here besides bang, bang.

    Back to the thread, I don’t know which gun is sexiest but I know which is not – The Judge line of .410 revolvers.

    And I am….. E. Zach Lee-Wright (just in case there were are any doubters out there).

  20. Pay focus the hardware (zippers, buckles, and other adornments that decorate the outside). And it can’t destroy the items and this really stands for. Whoever else heard in regards to a season the? xboter 2014

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