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.