Do Women Really Want Pink Guns?

It seems I can’t walk in to a gun store without encountering some sort of pink firearm. That’s not to say that they haven’t been around for years – first it was the Crickett rifle, which is small and cute, and probably makes sense in pink, because it’s not like 5 year old girls can fill out a 4473 and buy a gun. Their parents make those choices for them.

But when it comes to pink carry handguns, I start to wonder.

Are women buying these guns? Or are their husbands, boyfriends, and so on buying them a pink gun in the hopes that this will suddenly make them want to carry? I don’t know that I understand that approach. If they’re interested in shooting or self-defense, it shouldn’t take a pink gun to push them over the edge – or should it? I’m a boy, I don’t know these things.

If I was a girl and my significant other bought this gun for me, I would break up with them.

I do know that, anecdotally, I see and hear of far more interest in pink guns from men than women. Not that they are all gay dudes looking to buy them (there must be a few, after all, there is an advocacy group called the Pink Pistols), but it seems like an excuse for a male to buy a gun for a female partner more than something that truly makes the firearm appeal to a woman.

I asked about how to make firearms appeal to women a few months back and the answers I got made a lot of sense, but were not ones that I would have come up with when thinking about the subject, because again, I am not a girl. The basic theme seemed to be that firearms were empowering and helped women feel that they could stand on their own. This is a worthy idea and one I wholeheartedly support – but is making the gun pink going to help this, or just sell more guns, cause be damned?

What do my female readers think about this?

54 comments

  • My mom and wife both laughed about pink guns. My mom wanted an OD G26 before they disappeared, but neither wanted a pink gun of any type.

  • I think it’s a cultural thing, many neophyte and casual female shooters gravitate towards it. I’ve even taken somewhat knowledgeable female shooters to gunshops, and they still show interest in the pink or brightly colored pieces over utilitarian examples simply because of aesthetic, even if it’s more costly or a less desireable model.

  • I found that women tend to gravitate towards more aesthetically pleasing guns in general (mostly two tone pistols), while the pink ones are hit or miss. I hear this exchange a lot: Guy points to pink gun, says “Look, we found the gun for you!” Girl scoffs because she hates pink. The ones who say, “ooh, look at this one, it’s pink” aren’t there to buy a gun in the first place, they were just dragged there. Mostly though, when they’re new shooters and all guns look the same, they look at anything that stands out in some way.

    Also, “sandwiches”?

  • Is that a Sportsman’s Warehouse or Wholesale Sports store?

    • The first photo is from Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson, Arizona and the second is from Fred Meyer in Wasilla, Alaska.

  • IT would be nice to hear from the ladies side of this equation. But for my little part it would be nice to own a blue sporting riffle or pistol. Not all cars are black so why does my handgun of choice or rifle of choice need to be black?

    • Blue paint costs the same as black pain in cars.

      Most guns are not painted, but the metal is treated, giving you various shade of black to silver.
      As for polymer, it’s been claimed that black polymer is the studiest and most cost effective.

      • Well you also have the hard anodize and also cericoat (cant spell today). Then you got powder coat. So my question is why cant they come up with more colors for special releases. Also anodizing you can have a wide variety of colors I am not sure how it is dont but they can.

  • What appeals to women goes a little beyond slapping “feminine” colors on the same fun. My wife hates the look of my p226 but loves the look of the Luger. You could paint a USP purple (her preferred color) and she’d still hate the square, bulky lines. The color thing is just the first fumbling step towards appealing to this new and growing market.

    • I love my pink gun. It all depends on personal preferance. Pink is my favorite color, so naturally I want my gun pink too. The way I went about it was to choose the gun I liked (as no manufacturers make pink guns that meet the specs I’m looking for) and then turned it pink. I think that women who complain about pink guns being sexist need to get over it. As gun stores are seeing, pink guns fly off the shelves…

  • On behalf of my wife, she wants her new AR15 build (we just have stripped lowers at the moment) to be an urban camo design with pink added in equally. So pink, black, grey, white..digital. I think having it look like a toy but be a badass assault rifle is enough to steer respect back to it after being scoffed…and my wife agrees. It’d just be funny if it ended up in court as an exhibit after a lawful home defense shooting.

  • I think it’s about the bullet choice. Make one that fires a bullet that would automatically remove a man’s testicles and it would be a big seller.

  • My girlfriend won’t touch a pink gun – she feels it’s a pandering gimmick for “high maintenance dumb b*tches” (her words, not mine). She won’t hesitate to pick up any firearm that is FDE, OD, foliage, black or camo painted.

  • When I first started shooting, I loved pink guns. As I’ve become more of an enthusiast and serious defense minded shooter, pink is less at the front of my mind. I’m more apt to think of power, round count, how it feels in the hand, trigger weight, ambi controls, combat sights for single hand functionality, conceal ability, etc. I do still think some pink is nice, but now I lean toward accessories in pink such as stocks on my 1911′s.

  • First as a girl color counts. However a pink gun with a crappy trigger doesn’t count. Now nice two tone tiger striping, or a laminated wood stock, A decent mahogany stick or grips with a useful and eye catching shape goes far.

    In the end the thing better shoot and well enough to make any poor shots inattention on my part!

    Eck!

  • My teenage girls both have ARs that I built for them. I gave a choice of colors, with nothing being off limits. One is pink/white/black tiger stripe, and the other is Magpul FDE. After seeing the tiger stripe, my wife asked for a change of color on hers as well. I guess it all depends on the woman.

  • My girlfriend (who is also a gun enthusiast) feels similarly about pink guns. In prior conversations we’ve had on this subject she usually comments that her black Beretta PX4 Storm (her favorite pistol) makes her feel like Trinity from the matrix. In contrast, she usually comments that pink guns just don’t look or feel serious.

  • I know a woman who only wants a pink gun. I tried explaining that a gun should look very serious because it is extremely serious. She doesn’t care. She thinks pink guns are cute and that’s what she wants.

  • You could have titled this post “Do operators really want piston ARs?” or “Do many ninjas really want green lazors?” or “do guys really like striker fired pistols?” Simply put: Some do. Different strokes for Different folks.

    I’ve noticed bright colors on competition race guns, Realtree et al camo dips on hunting shotguns and rifles and these Duracoat jobs are becoming increasingly commonplace. Are the gun manufacturers/distributors going to go to a car-shopping/Dell Computer business model where you can select the details for a gun’s coloring before it leaves the factory/warehouse. If you’re going to blue/finish the firearm anyway.

  • As a parent with 3 boys, do you really want a pink plastic gun in the house which the kids could possibly mistake as a toy ? Sure all safe handling / storage applies, but you never know.
    Most women (my wife included) dont want a “pretty pink” colour. They want something equally intimidating if the need arrive.
    Pull out a pink gun on someone trying to rape you ? Lets see how that goes.

    My wife personally wants something with a smaller frame. If 1911′s had a reduced frame size, reduced slide and took 380 or 9mm, or something similar. She isnt a fan of polymer framed guns for some reason

    All she wants is something that fits her tiny hands and wont rip her wrist off with recoil.

    • Springfield EMP or, smaller still, SIG P238?

    • to begin with, if you teach your children gun safety and they know not to mess with a weapon of any type then there is no issue. secondly when my wife pulls out her pistol Pink or green and blows off your nutsack because your trying to rape her i dont think color is going to be an issue

  • At least I’m not the only one with questionable taste in T-shirts!

  • I suspect that there will soon be a color swatch preview application at the Brownell’s “build your own AR” page so you can pick a color and pattern scheme before building. AR15s = Barbie for men.

  • FWIW My wife is not a fan of pink girly guns. Actually she’s a BLACK gun girl.

  • My wife hates pink guns. If someone asks her about pink guns she responds “F*@K OFF!”
    Her gun of choice is the S.A. EMP 9.

    I know several women who are shooters and the only ones who like pink guns are the “recreational” shooters. Those who carry/ train/ take shooting seriously all tend to dislike pink guns. YMMV.

  • I don’t know about pink in regards to handguns, but when it comes to rifles that will primarily be used recreationally women tend to like fun colored guns; be they pink, purple, blue, yellow, etc. It personalizes the rifle. making it unique and more their own than just another black rifle sitting in husbands/boyfriends safe. For shooting neophytes color dramatically changes their perception of the rifle, it goes from scary to cute.

    The pink sub-compact handguns don’t make much sense in this regard as they’re not fun to shoot recreationally and when they are being held its hard to tell they’re even a different color.

    • This is it. Personalization. I talked to my sister who has pink guns and she backed this up. She hates when she goes shooting with a guy and other people at the range assume the gun(s) are his. She wants people to know when she goes shooting that it’s HER gun. Not her boyfriend’s, not her brother’s, not her dad’s. This is HER gun. She normally doesn’t like or wear pink, but the pink gun gets that message acrossed.

  • i had an ex-gf that would go straight for the pink guns whenever i went into a gunstore. She had the mental capacity of a slug (a very attractive one, but still). My current gf, whom i intend to marry, sent straight for the s&w 1911 E-series, glock 19, and sig 220 first time i took her to a gun store. reason being that they were all black, and fit her hand well. She said the pink pistols were all too tiny and said nobody, especially an assailant would take her seriously.

    Gonna have to put a ring on it guys :) But yes, women do want guns like that, just not the women that know what the hell they’re doing

  • You would never ask the question “do men like shiny gold guns” because you already know the answer is “some do, not all”. Some guys like them, others don’t, and some think they are insulting to both “manliness” and firearm sports in general.

    Why ask the question “do women like pink guns”? Not all women are the same; invariably there will be some who like them, others who don’t, and some who think they are insulting both to “woman kind” and firearm sports in general.

  • I hate pink anything that is pink simply to market to women. Tools, gloves, knives, guns, etc. I think if more gun companies made other color guns women would buy them. One of the sexiest looking guns I’ve seen is a Sig with a reddish slide with engraving. I gravitated toward it because I hadn’t seen something like that… before that, the only non-black or grey guns I saw were pink. I love the idea of colored (not racist here) guns. It’s a way for women to customize them to their liking. Guys, think a hot rod with a custom paint job. This is one of the reasons the interchangeable backstraps on the MP series is such a great idea. A girl can match her gun to her shoes and polish.

  • “If I was a girl and my significant other bought this gun for me, I would break up with them.”

    I second that.

    As a female gun owner I cringe every time I step into a gun show or shop and see those pink guns. My husband has heard my rant on this so many times I am quite sure he knows better than to so much as glance at them. I have seen a few woman look and purchase these pink pistols to my horror. I have no idea what encourages them except they think it is “cute”…..shudder.

  • I am a female who has a “pink” Colt 6920. It was a birthday gift from my boyfriend that came as a result of a joke from when I was in the Marine Corps. Yes it is MARPAT….with a twist. It’s duracoat not plastic furniture; I can feel comfortable abusing it. I use it sometimes during competitions and usually get attention from guys who yes want to get something like that for their girlfriends or little girls. I also have a black AR that I use more frequently. At the end of the day a good rifle or pistol depends on one thing, the shooter behind it…

  • That’s a good point Jeannie. We all see mall commandos with uber tactical dark earth, or demons and skulls custom finishes on their rifles. It’s a question of individuality. Plus, if you get a girl a quality AR with a quality custom pink finish, she knows she’s really going to be the one using it, not you.

  • Have a customer that open carries a pink something(Kahr?), think she makes the money, she usually has a matching pink shirt too.

  • I just had a thought. If you were pulling out a “pink” pistol on someone who also had a weapon pointed in your direction, you would win every time. They would be laughing so hard at your pink pistols that they would not be able to hold an aim on you allowing you to walk straight up to them and pistol-whip them with your hello kitty 9mm.

  • The only thing I care about is if the grip doesn’t kill my hand and if I can get a .45 with a small grip (I knew I should have asked for a .45 for Mother’s Day.).

    I can understand a rifle being personalized (What would be awesome is if I can get an AR-15 in purple…), but not a handgun. Black works just fine for me.

    (Tangent: I have joked with my husband about getting a pink firearm; he simply glares at me. He obviously doesn’t get the joke.)

  • Wow, so some women like pink guns and some hate them. Almost like women were individual human beings with differing tastes and preferences and not some collective hive mind. Who knew?

    So, what is a guy’s favorite color? ;)

  • I bought a pink TCP for my wife at a gun show a while back, and she really likes it. Her friends seem to think that a pink gun is pretty cool. I also got her a pink pocket knife, and she likes it.

    All that being said, she also loves the OD green camelbak I bought her, and she’d probably like an OD pistol, too.

  • no, no, no, no, no … never … even if you gave me one … i HATE PINK GUNS .. now purple, well that’s a different thing :)

  • Re pink guns;

    Similar question comes up in my triathlon group: why does this hardcore athlete female, who can kick your butt on a 15 mile trail run or a three mile swim, choose to ride a girly pink tri bike for 113 miles? The guys’ tri bikes are generally dressed up as race cars or weapons, and there are some female tri bike models in those schemes, but what is behind the pink flowery tri bike market?

    My answer: Guys, imagine there was some item that you had need of, would be tremendously useful in your life, but was heavily culturally identified with effeminate gay men. Some guys might be a bit reluctant to embrace this thing. Then imagine one manufacturer comes out with essentially the same product, stripped of its gay-ness; positively oozing testosterone. I would predict strong sales for this product.

    Sure, some guys would be secure enough in their sexual identity, or perhaps weary of macho posturing, who would just go ahead and buy the faggy version. But there are an awful lot of guys who wouldn’t be caught dead with the effeminate thing, but would happily buy the same thing in a dude-ified version.

    I think that’s what’s going on with pink guns and tri bikes.

    Alath
    Carmel IN

  • When a product designer has no clue of how to make a product women might want, and can’t be bothered to ask one (or a few), he – and it is always he – makes it pink.

    Of course the whole Disney-princess generation may like it. But they will grow up eventually (See “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” if you are unclear on the subject.)

    Until relatively recently in the history of firearms…. grips were too large, springs too hard to make wracking the slide possible, etc. One of the European companies made semi-autos with barrels that tipped up, so you could load the first round without having to operate the slide manually, but I don’t think they ever caught on.

    • I think you may be mistaken about what Peggy Orenstein’s “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” is all about; just look at her website – it’s all pink.

    • As a someone part-way through a BSc. in product design, I object on several counts.

      Firstly, that’s more often than not a call often made by some ass in marketing, as it is by the designer.

      Secondly, I find the “and it is always he” comment just as offensive as you find the lazy product targeting. Stereotyping and laziness are “human” traits, not “male” ones.

  • I recently purchased two 9mm for home defense. All of our others are rifles. We had two 9mm, both identical. To distinguish the two, i purchased a pink Hogue grip for mine- not to mention, it now “grips” better. My next purchase will be a .38 for ccw & possibly a Mossberg I fell in love with at a local gun shop as my “bedside” protection. I don’t give a crap what color it is- as long as it fires when I need it to, it can be slime green!! A friend of mine is an avid hunter- she uses a camo/pink 22. I don’t go looking for a pink/girly gun- if it feels good & I can shoot t accurately- I don’t really care. In my case, when we purchase any gun, we usually purchase two of the same- one for me, one for the hubby. And like the 9mm, I prefer mine to be different & unfortunately, the only color you can find is pink- it’s almost like these pple think women only like pink!!

  • As a woman that recently started her collection beyond the trusty Savage 320 and my Bear Compound bow I have thought about this question myself. Does anyone really want these? That was actually stated out loud on more than one occasion as me and my partner were looking for her new handgun, and the counter help kept showing off the great pink or more feminine options.
    To me I would think if I were to get a gun that is planned for home defense I like many male friends would want something that would be matte in color and would not draw attention to me in a dark environment, say a B&E situation. But if I were to want a cute carry gun, or one to display for my collection I would not be against owning a pink gun if it fight and fired right.

    And come to think of it when looking for someone to hunt with, (IE teach me the ropes since my dad refused to) It might have been easier to swallow for the men teaching me if my Bow was not as bad a$$ looking as their and I wasn’t a better shot than them.

    SO I guess my long answer is, maybe if the gun is right for the job and the gun is the right price.

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