Is it Time to Put Away the Pink?

By Suzanne Wiley published on in Firearms

I see this headline all the time, “Women Fastest Growing Demographic of Gun Owners,” or something very similar. In the last few years, it has been a big deal that more women than ever are choosing firearm ownership. And now, women make up nearly half of all gun owners—making the playing field just about equal. So isn’t it about time to put away the pink and make firearm and shooting related gear for every shooter?

Picture shows a close up of a woman with bright pink fingernails holding a pink and silver Taurus small semi-automatic handgun.

Should the firearms industry stop marketing  pink guns to women?

To be fair, in the past, the shooting sports and protection of the family was almost exclusively a men’s only club. Women who shoot and shoot well were an anomaly, hence women such as Annie Oakley and Plinky Toepperwein were famous. It was a spectacle to see a woman shooting better and faster than most men.

That all started to change in the 1980s when firearm sales stagnated and manufacturers started to reach out to an untapped market—women. Smith & Wesson released its Lady Smith revolver and advertising campaigns focused on a Mother’s protection of her child.

As society has changed, so have the expectations of women. Young women are now delaying marriage more than ever. The average age of marrying is 28, while millennials are waiting even longer and marrying in their 30s. The 30 to 40% divorce rate with increasing single motherhood means that women are spending longer periods being self-reliant. Unlike our grandmothers and great grandmothers, these un-partnered women no longer depend on a father or spouse to protect them.

Silly Boys, Guns Are For Girls

Internet popularity and positive role models help, too. Women such as Natalie from Girl’s Guide to Guns and Olympian Kim Rhode, and Top Shot’s openly gay competitor Chris Cheng help women see themselves in this younger generation of shooting enthusiasts and realize that guns aren’t just for white, older Southern conservative men. You can shoot your AR-15 and then go for a mani/pedi. Or that you don’t have to wear baggy cargo pants and a tac vest to “fit in.”

More women-owned companies that cater to a women’s needs help shooters feel more comfortable and welcome as well. For example, Lisa Looper of Looper Law Enforcement and designer of the Flashbang bra holster has a program that allows her female dealers to host holster parties where experienced pistol instructors demonstrate the use of the women’s holsters in the comfort of someone’s home. These types of parties resonate with many women. We are so used to attending wine and cheese parties where our hostess displays and sells scented wax, romance products, skin care or jewelry.

Use of a .22LR rifle makes practice easy and enjoyable

Not all women want a pink gun.

Therefore, since we have established that we are here in significant numbers, isn’t it time we level the playing field? Let’s stop marketing and making “women’s only” products. Let’s stop labeling the smaller pocket guns or pink guns as “ladies models.” I know short male shooters who appreciate a shorter than standard length of pull on a long gun, but wouldn’t be caught dead killing a deer with a rifle or shotgun decked out in Muddy Girl camo. In addition, I know a lot of women who don’t just dislike, but loathe, the color pink. In fact, Barbara Baird recently penned an opinion piece on the Women’s Outdoor News aimed at Under Armour asking them to stop putting pink accents on its women’s hunting camo. She writes, “It’s because by adding pink accents to your otherwise all camo apparel, you cut out the ability for me to wear your camo while turkey hunting. This effectively removes a season of wear and I have to buy other camo, or alter yours. And, by the way, I don’t see any light blue on your men’s hunting camo.” She makes an excellent point.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking the firearms industry to become gender neutral. Believe me, I love my pink range gear and smaller-sized earmuffs, but I also love black, red and blue, too. If you are going to make a small .380 ACP pistol in pink, couldn’t you just as easily make your full-sized .45 in pink, too? How tough would the Beretta 92 look with pink or Tiffany blue accents, amiright? Sig Sauer has the right idea. The company’s P238 .380 and P938 9mm semiautomatic handguns come in a variety of custom-like finishes that appeal to both men and women.

But don’t stop there! Give us the black, FDE, dark blue, zombie green, stainless, orange, violet, rainbow or whatever options, too. Because now, it’s not about drawing us ladies in, but about keeping us here.

Men, do you feel pigeonholed by the firearms industry when you are sold on FDE, OD Green or gray finishes on firearms and accessories? What do you guys and gals think about marketing pink products to women? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

For more articles like this, read the following:

SLRule

Introduced to shooting at young age by her older brother, Suzanne Wiley took to the shooting sports and developed a deep love for it over the years. Today, she enjoys plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

View all articles by CTD Suzanne

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Comments (91)

  • Kurt

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    Barbara, two thumbs up on your comment, pardon my typing, trying to do it with a broken finger.
    Stay Safe.

    Reply

  • Barbara

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    I completely agree with your article. I hate the fact that they use pink to denote something as being for a women. I specifically look for items that are not pink but I will certainly purchase a pink item if it fits my needs. It really just sends the message that we need someone else to identify what is best for us. Most women I know are too independent than that. If all men’s items were available in baby blue, they would understand how silly this pink thing really is.

    Reply

  • Get A Life!!!

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    Gun owners should be a tight knit brotherhood/sisterhood that sticks together through thick and thin.
    The only thing we should complain about is a firearm getting into the hands of someone who shouldn’t have one. We shouldn’t be feeding the anti gunners anything they could use against us, or they will start limiting our freedom of things such as color choice of firearms.
    Let’s be more concerned about the people who shouldn’t have guns that are giving “US” a bad name and reputation.
    Let’s stick together and use your comments and concerns on more serious issues, rather than “color” choices of firearms.
    There is only one reported case of a gun killing someone. Back in the late 1800’s a guy hung his muzzleloader over a fireplace. The fireplace got so hot it ignited the powder and the bullet struck the guy dead. Since then every shooting has involved a person shooting someone, not the gun shooting someone. Let’s focus on keeping our firearms out of the hands of the wrong people. Our (gunowners) reputation is at stake and were even looked down at in some communities.
    Let’s Stick together and stop feeding the anti gunners. Thank you for taking the time to read this and hope everyone understands what I’m trying to say.

    Reply

  • Another Shooter

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    Suzanne, I’m glad to see someone finally asking this question. I personally detest how some companies market the hardest-to-manipulate pistols out there to women by making them pink (and now lavender, etc). Women in my classes seem to have never thought about the fact that good ol’ black is generally the most concealable color. Much as I dislike pink gun stuff, I will admit it has invited some new members of the shooting community who otherwise would’ve put fashion before personal protection. And getting new people, after all, is one major purpose of marketing, so I guess that’s a success.

    Reply

  • Roy Holbert

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    Get a Life!!!. Great comment. I am not particularly fond of pink guns, with exception of the ‘Muddy Girl Cammo’ (is that right?). No woman I ever knew would own a pink gun, but don’t ban the because they’re one color as opposed to another. You’re right, this is music to gun grabber’s ears. It meas, perhaps, less guns out there, or perhaps not. Anyway, if my life depended on it, I would pick a pistol that was purple with pink pokadots , if it would safe my life. As for ‘Muddy Girl Cammo(?)’. Fella way back when, determined that the color pink tended to blend into the back ground when viewed from a certain distance. The cammo in question tends to do the same thing with the addition or the muddy color that breaks up the pink as to not be so shockingly ‘PINK’ and adding a touch of Macho to the whole thing.

    Reply

    • OLD AND GRUMPY

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      Had to Google Muddy Girl Cammo Had not seen it. Warning ! Keep the safe search on ! Nothing like that in the woods when I was a kid.

      Reply

  • Get a Life!!!

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    I’ve noticed in my 50 years of this life when someone wants to be recognized by something as small as trying to stop a manufacturer from producing something as minute and meaningless as the color of a firearm, the “ANTIS” (Antigunners) grab it and take it to extreme measures. Just let the supply and demand either increase or decrease for the demand of something as simple as a color. It’s no different than a skin color, deal with it. Don’t purchase a pink firearm if you don’t like pink, if you like pink then purchase pink.
    Try to get your name publicized by doing something positive instead of doing something negative. It’s like the big scare when they tried to ban “Black Guns”, now a supposedly gun owner wants to ban pink guns. What’s your next food for thought to give to the Antis? THANKS a lot……

    Reply

    • Suzanne Wiley

      Suzanne Wiley

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      In no way did I or will I ever advocate for the banning of any gun—regardless of color. I am sorry you misinterpreted the post.

      Reply

    • Get a life!!!

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      No misinterpretation on what I’m quoting…What I read was Quote: “Our own, Suzanne Wiley writes a plea to the firearms industry to stop trying to lure women into the shooting sports with pink pistols and revolvers.”
      Small black guns were here long before small pink ones were. If it takes luring women with pink firearms to expand the brotherhood/sisterhood then let’s lure people in.

      Reply

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