We are pleased to announce our first Basic Pistol Marksmanship Class, just for women. Many graduates of our Basic Handgun Classes have asked for more training, so we put together a new 3 hour class, just $99, to help improve your shot placement, and introduce you to clearing common malfunctions. All you need for the class is your handgun and 150 rounds of ammunition. This class is designed for the lady that already has her gun, and wants to continue learning in a fun and supportive atmosphere with other women. First class is offered September 24th, 2015 at 6:00pm. Location: Federal Way Indoor Range. REGISTER
Women & Guns Part 4: Why It’s Important for Women to Own Guns
by G&A Staff | March 13th, 20150
Editor’s Note: This article is part 4 of our series about the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) report, “Women Gun Owners: Purchasing, Perceptions and Participation.” We invite you to read part 1 here.
Research shows that the single largest reason motivating women to buy guns is personal defense.
We’ve explored nearly every facet of firearm ownership for women except for a very fundamental question: What are the reasons motivating women to purchase and own firearms? In G&A’s fourth and final installment of the NSSF’s report, we examine the driving factors of a woman’s interest in owning firearms.
According to the survey, the biggest motivator for a woman’s firearm purchase is personal defense. Nearly half of the women in the survey cited either self-defense (26.2%) or home defense (22%) as the “most important reason to own a gun.” Hunting was also a significant motivator for ownership at 15.3 percent, but no other factor garnered more than 10 percent of the responses.
NSSF Report: Women’s most important reasons to own a gun.
To further substantiate the claim that women primarily purchase firearms for defensive use, we can explore the “attitude” data in the report. Exactly 81.6 percent of the women surveyed agreed with the statement, “I feel more secure now that I own a gun.” Only 3 percent disagreed. Nearly 71 percent of the women responded in the affirmative to the statement, “I feel a need to own a gun for safety reasons,” and exactly half of the women agreed that they “feel more empowered” by gun ownership. As a tangible indicator of a woman’s defensive mindset, 42 percent of those surveyed possess a permit or lawful right to carry a concealed firearm and an additional 29.4 percent planned to obtain a permit in the 12 months following the survey.
NSSF Report: How women feel about owning a gun.
There is one trend, other than self-defense, that is emergent in the data: a desire to be self-reliant. Perhaps due to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina or a nationwide movement toward survival preparedness, women are giving more thought to being able to function in an austere environment. Nearly 74 percent of women agreed with the statement that it is “necessary to know how to use a gun for survival” and 4.5 percent of women cited a desire to be self-sufficient as their primary motivator for purchasing a gun. This information may not be groundbreaking news to some, but it is interesting and suggests that women are not immune to societal trends in this area.
Most women gun owners stated they felt more secure and empowered because they owned a firearm.
Women today are buying guns for everything from collecting to competition shooting, but the primary factor influencing women to purchase a firearm is clearly their personal safety and that of their loved ones. This is perhaps the least-surprising conclusion that we’ve seen from the data and one area where the stereotype meets reality.
When we examine the NSSF’s report in its entirety, the data tells us that women are buying guns for self-defense, buying the right hardware for that purpose, and that they are seeking professional training to use them safely and effectively. As gun owners, we should all be supportive and encouraging this movement forward and avoid reinforcing age-old social stereotypes.
Women & Guns Part 3: How a Woman Does Homework
by G&A Staff | March 5th, 20150
Editor’s Note: This article is part 3 of our series about the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) report, “Women Gun Owners: Purchasing, Perceptions and Participation.” We invite you to read part 1 here.
Research shows women are consulting with local gun shops for purchasing information. Photo: Taurus Carry On 2015
In Parts I and II of this series exploring the NSSF’s study on Women Gun Owners, G&A established that the traditional stereotypes regarding women and firearms have proven to be largely misunderstood. So then how are women choosing a firearm to purchase? Are their decisions hasty or guided by a male’s influence as so often portrayed? The NSSF report discusses this issue.
Sixty-seven percent of women in the survey spent a few months thinking about buying a gun before they made their purchase and many considered the decision much longer. Women are not impulsive gun buyers. Less than 5 percent of the women surveyed stated that they made the purchase without at least a few days’ reflection.
NSSF Report: Women’s consideration time before purchasing
During the time that women contemplated a gun purchase, they were doing homework … to a greater extent than male counterparts. Of the women polled, 96 percent sought information from at least one source before purchasing a firearm. The most popular information was gained through a woman’s family. At least half of all female gun buyers consulted a firearm manufacturer’s website and/or discussed the information with friends. Half of the women conferred with personnel across a gun counter before making their final decision, and just over a third consulted online discussion forums. Only 25 percent of the women scanned print magazines or periodicals before making their purchase. By the numbers, it’s also clear that most of the women surveyed considered multiple sources before making a choice.
NSSF Report: Where women do their homework
After the NSSF’s careful research, women primarily headed to local gun shops to make their purchase with 58 percent choosing small local businesses. Almost all of the remaining customers bought from big box stores such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s orWalmart. Less than 13 percent of women polled bought guns at a gun show and less than 1 percent purchased a firearm from a pawnshop.
NSSF Report: Where women purchase guns
It became clear to G&A from the data in this report that women are highly informed buyers when it comes to making a firearm purchase. Women are spending a great deal of time considering their purchase and are actively seeking out multiple information sources before joining the gun-owning fraternity.
Women & Guns Part 2: Types of Guns
by G&A Staff | February 27th, 20150
Editor’s Note: This article is part 2 of our series about the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) report, “Women Gun Owners: Purchasing, Perceptions and Participation.” We invite you to read part 1 here.
NSSF research shows women aren’t always shopping for pink guns, as depicted by this Taurus Model 85revolver.
Last week we explored the raw demographics surrounding women and guns. G&A discovered that many of the long-held stereotypes didn’t fit. In this segment, let’s explore the specific types of firearms that women purchase or own to consider whether the manufacturers are giving women what they really want, or rather what they think women want.
So what type of firearm is a lady more likely to own: Perhaps a revolver? In fact, 56 percent of the women polled own a semiautomatic handgun, making it the most popular type of firearm for women. Shotguns are a close second with 49.5 percent ownership. It’s worth noting that if a woman only owns one firearm, it’s more likely a shotgun (37.7%), with semiauto handguns coming in a very close second. Interestingly, a fifth of the women polled own a Modern Sporting Rifle such as an AR-15 with ¾ of those belonging to women who own but a single firearm. That cliché revolver? Only 36 percent of the respondent women actually owned one.
We have all seen the marketplace respond to female gun purchasers in recent years by offering guns and accessories in various feminine colors and patterns. Are pink and leopard print guns really motivating women buyers? NSSF explored that very question. When women were asked what factors motivated their purchase of a specific firearm (the respondents could choose more than one factor), 93 percent of women indicated that they chose products based on what was best-suited for their particular use. Ninety-two percent of women stated that they chose a specific firearm because it fit their body or hand. Price and value were significant drivers with “best value” being a factor for 74 percent of women purchasers.
So how many ladies made their decision based on a firearm’s feminine look and feel? Only 19 percent. Even fewer, less than 10 percent, chose a firearm based on a feminine color and fewer still were impressed by firearms adorned with leopard spots and flowers. This trend was consistent across both age and geography with younger women and women in the Northeast only slightly more interested in pink guns than women in older age groups.
Get ready for this: Nearly 25 percent of women chose a firearm for its “military look and feel.”
The traditional stereotypes regarding women and firearms have proven to be largely misunderstood. Women are buying guns that best fit their needs and bodies, not those that fit in the traditionalist’s view of what a woman should have.
Think pink? Think again.
Women & Guns by the Numbers
by 0| February 10th, 2015
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)recently released a comprehensive report on women and firearms. The report, “Women Gun Owners: Purchasing, Perceptions and Participation,” represents a survey of more than 1,000 women, which explores nearly every aspect of gun ownership.
G&A Staff will analyze the report, which was released on January 21, 2015, in a forthcoming series to examine several topics surrounding women and gun ownership.
Fifty percent of the respondents, some 500 women gun owners, reside in the southern part of the United States. The swath of big cities, sprawling suburbs, and small towns from Texas and Oklahoma, east across Kentucky and Virginia, and all points south are home to as many gun owning women as the rest of the nation combined. Nationwide, 42.8 percent of women gun owners live in rural areas, while suburban women comprise 39.1 percent. Women in urban areas comprise only 18 percent of the gun owning population, which may be related to the strict gun laws and overall cultural forces of this country’s urban centers. Adult women of all age groups own firearms, but over half of the women gun owners surveyed were between the ages of 25 and 44 years old.
Though we hear a great deal about the number of women who have recently acquired their first firearm, the bulk of those surveyed, 42.1 percent, have owned a gun for at least 10 years. Nearly a third of the women surveyed, though, are part of the female gun surge of the past few years, that’s over 32 percent of respondents who bought their first gun since 2010.
Of those new gun owners, the majorities are between the ages of 18 and 34 so there is evidence of an emergent female gun culture among young women in the U.S. Though 65 percent of women gun owners reported a spouse or significant other as a fellow gun owner, nearly 30 percent were the only gun owners in their households.
Though stereotypes suggest that women gun owners are likely to own but a single firearm, the data suggests otherwise. In fact, 42 percent of the women surveyed own three or more guns with 6.5 percent reportedly owning 10 or more firearms. Just over 30 percent of the respondents did report ownership of a single firearm, but 55 percent of the overall group surveyed plan to purchase another firearm during the next year so that single gun may very well become part of a small collection.
So are all of these guns going into the sock drawer until a bad guy breaks down the door? Apparently not. More than 800 of the women surveyed used their guns in the previous year and nearly 60 percent intend to maintain that level of shooting activity in the next 12 months. Interestingly, 38 percent of the women intend to shoot even more next year, compared to only 3.5 percent who plan to shoot less.
Based on the data, it appears that many long-held stereotypes regarding women and gun ownership are wrong. More women are buying guns, many are buying more than one, and it appears as if they are shooting them with some regularity.
To continue reading: click here for “Women & Guns Part 2: Types of Guns”
The AR-15 rifle, also known as a “black gun” or “modern sporting rifle,” has endured a great deal of controversy over the years. It may be because these firearms look very similar to the ones used by the military, which some folks find intimidating, but the truth is that they function just like any other semi-automatic rifle and can only fire one bullet per trigger squeeze. What’s more, this much-misunderstood design can make the perfect first long gun for women. Here’s why:
1. They work for just about any body size
One of the toughest challenges for a woman who wishes to get into shooting long guns is finding one that works with our anatomy, not against it. A gun that’s too big is difficult to shoulder properly, which is not only uncomfortable to hold, but can result in increased felt recoil. Most long guns (except those designed specifically for smaller-statured shooters) are designed to fit a person of approximately 5’8″ or up…a full five inches taller than the average American woman. What’s more, women tend to have necks that are longer in proportion to our bodies than men do, which makes getting a good cheek weld difficult on a gun that’s too big. However, the AR-15 design features a stock that can be adjusted as easily as a car seat, and as quickly.
2. They are fun and easy to customize
Although many women are perfectly happy to own and shoot guns that look exactly as they did when they left the factory, some of us prefer to own a firearm that’s uniquely our own style. With literally thousands of different accessories available from retailers like Brownells, it’s easy to make your AR-15 perfect for your specific needs. Many AR-15 owners also enjoy painting the guns to reflect their unique aesthetic sensibilities. (For a rundown on how to do that, click here.)
3. They offer reduced recoil
Of course, many women, even beginners, tolerate recoil well. However, some of us—especially those new to shooting—find that a hard-kicking gun seriously ruins what should be a good time on the range. This is where the AR-15 really shines. The semi-automatic action absorbs much of the recoil, keeping it from impacting the shooter’s shoulder and face. Furthermore, the AR-15 is commonly chambered in .223 (or 5.56mm), which is a smaller caliber that doesn’t offer a great deal of recoil, although it’s still quite effective for target shooting and self-defense. Finally, as mentioned above, the fact that its fit is easily customizable allows the shooter to properly shoulder the rifle, which also reduces felt recoil.
4. They are extremely versatile
As with men, women enter the world of gun ownership for a variety of different reasons. Some are concerned about self-defense. Some wish to learn to compete in shooting matches. Others want to reduce animal pests around the house, or to hunt. Often, as time goes by, the new gun owner will decide to expand her horizons and try different aspects of gun ownership. The beauty of the AR-15 is that it’s capable of being the one gun that you use for all of the above. It’s an effective self-defense tool, accurate at long ranges for shooting competitions, and (depending on the laws in your specific jurisdiction) capable of cleanly taking predators and pest species.
If you’re a woman looking for your first rifle, give the AR-15 a try. You just might find it’s the perfect gun for all your needs.
I hope that you have not forgotten what it was like to be a 10-year-old kid on Christmas morning. Now add to that you are a kid in a hunting and shooting family. You have been wishing, hoping, and praying that you will see that new gun under the tree. Can you remember this? Think of Ralphie in A Christmas Story. A lot of our hunting traditions are going by the wayside; I hope that this one has not. I think it does a kid good to hope for the present he or she desires with all their little heart. Hopefully Mom and Dad are on the same wave length, and agree that they are ready for this firearm, and so that long, slender package will be there on Christmas morn. This now leaves Dad and/or Mom to make the right choice and buy our little guy or girl the right shotgun. Get ready for a lecture.
IF YOU GREW UP LIKE I DID, “back in the day,” most kids got whatever shotgun that was handy shoved in their hands, and were basically told to shoot it and don’t complain. Often the young
shooter was laughed at after some old blunderbuss knocked them for a loop after they pulled the trigger. Now let’s see, you give a kid a shotgun that doesn’t fit, it is too big and too heavy, the recoil of which could make a grown man cry. Do we see a problem here? Friends, bad shooting habits can follow us for a lifetime; sometimes it is not our fault. The kid who was forced to shoot Uncle Bill’s Model 97 will never forget that it kicked like the proverbial mule.
He developed a flinch that day, which may very well follow him to the grave. I recently attended Remington’s new products seminar near Fayetteville, W.V. I felt privileged to be there, as the list of people attending consisted of most of the heavy hitters in the outdoor media and shooting industry world. But I will tell you this: on the shotgun range (where Remington was unveiling a brand-new shotgun for 2015), I saw people who I think of as better shotgun shooters than me reveal some bad flinches. You’ve seen it; while using a gun that you are unfamiliar with, you call “pull,” and the bird goes up but the safety is on. You yank the trigger; the barrel akes a big dip downward. Now where might that flinch have come from?
I HAVE MENTIONED BEFORE about working with young people at various shooting functions: National Wild Turkey Federation Jakes Days, Youth Day at the Range and the like. Watch the kid who picks up an ill-fitting shotgun that s too big and heavy for him/her. Most will lean back and heave the gun to their shoulder, usually snagging the stock under their arm because it is too long or them. A gun that fits them allows the young shooter to stand straight and push the gun towards the target as they shoulder it, like we are supposed to do.
Think about this: It is important to get a shotgun that fits your son or daughter now, not one that they “will grow into.” While you are waiting for them to grow into this gun, how many bad days in the field will they have and how many bad habits will they acquire because of a shotgun that is too big and heavy for them?
I want you to consider the pump shotgun for a child’s first gun rather than the auto loader. Now, I do not think there is anything wrong with the auto loader, but pump guns are generally lighter than autos and are easy for small hands to operate. They are safer to operate when it comes to loading more than one shell, and they are usually less expensive. So I am going to offer you a couple of choices that you can consider for the young shooter’s first shotgun.
The first is Remington’s Model 870 Compact Jr. Most youth model shotguns feature a 13-inch length of pull. The 870 Compact Jr. has a 12-inch length of pull, to better fit the smaller shooter, and this feature is adjustable so it can be increased as the shooter grows. All this and the reliability of the Remington 870: can over 10 million, 870 owners be wrong?
Next is the Mossberg 500 Bantam All Purpose. This gun starts with a 13-inch length of pull, however, the Super Bantam model gives you a 12- to 13-inch adjustable stock, and multiple barrel lengths are available. Other options include 12, 20 and .410 bore. I would go for the 20 gauge; don’t start them with a .410. I realize that it may have been your first shotgun, as was mine. Don’t forget lightly loaded shells for the starting shotgunner are just as
important as a gun that fits properly. Let them practice and shoot on paper with target loads; if you are going to turkey hunt, save the heavy stuff for the woods. Remington offers their Managed Recoil STS Target Loads; shell out another dollar or two for a box
of shells that the kid can enjoy shooting. Get that kid a shotgun for Christmas! Not just any shotgun, but one that fits them. Both of you will be glad you did. WSJ
Written by Larry Case