This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
The dramatic rise in number of firearms being purchased by women across the country today is undisputable.
The message is clear: Women (myself included) want to shoot.
We want to arm ourselves for hunting, competition, home defense, and even just plinking!
However, a lot of firearm manufacturers haven’t caught up with the times.
Does This Quad Rail Make Me Look Fat?
Many gun manufacturers are guilty of taking a bulky quad rail, painting it pink, and slapping the label “For the Lady Shooter” on it. UGH!
The gun can always be Cerakoted to change it to whatever color or design she wants. The bulky parts don’t change the fact that they were designed for MEN with larger hands and longer arms.
The color isn’t what makes it a “ladies” firearm accessory!
Women are built differently than men! We typically have smaller hands, a smaller build/frame, some women (especially if they start shooting later in life like I did) are recoil-averse and don’t want a LOUD bang when they shoot.
For most shooters, the firearms and accessories selected for HER gun need to be different than the one selected for HIS!
Granted, there are exceptions to every rule, but this happens a LOT more often than you think!
What to Look for in Rifles and Accessories for Her:
For my first lightweight AR-15, I went with a pencil profile barrel and an adjustable .625 gas block. I pinned and welded the custom comp hider our company designed (Fighting Sheep Dog’s K9-1).
The Mission First Minimalist stock was a no-brainer, as was the low-mass PVD-coated bolt carrier group. The Ergo pistol grip has a slimmer profile, perfect for my smaller hands. The Strike Industries slimline Keymod handguard is easy to get my hands around.
In other words, lightweight EXTERNALLY.
However INSIDE the firearm is a different story.
I used a heavy buffer to control the recoil and our comp-hider pushes the gas out of the sides of the brake like an NHRA Top Fuel Funny car, rather than back and into my shoulder. The flat bottom on the brake controls muzzle rise as well.
The point here being that the lighter weight typically equals more recoil. If you’re going to go lightweight, you’ve GOT to balance the weight reduction by controlling the recoil, otherwise the gun will actually kick harder and therefore make it less fun to shoot.
…NOT just paint it pink.
It’s important to note that NONE of the parts I selected for my carbine were labeled for “women shooters”, but these particular parts are even more perfect for a typical woman’s build than a lot of the parts being pushed on the market today!
And it ain’t just true for rifles!
What to Look for in Pistols and Accessories for Her:
The best rule of thumb when it comes to pistol selection for the lady in your life (or perhaps to the lady reading this) is to let her shoot it first!
I can’t tell you how many times I have performed a background check on a transfer for a gentleman purchasing a .38SPC revolver for his wife who is new to shooting firearms!
The very first time my husband put a gun in my hands, I shot a Rossi snubnose .38 revolver. I put half a box of ammo through it and decided if THAT was what it would be like to shoot a gun, then I never wanted to shoot another one again!
Of course, I’ve since changed my mind after firing a variety of other calibers and currently have my EDC Glock 42 (the single-stack .380) or a backup Charter Arms in .22M (the S&W clone).
If she’s new to firearms, start her off with a rimfire. Yes, I realize I’m opening the can of worms for the “knockdown power” debate, but here’s the thing – if you buy one that kicks too hard, she won’t practice with it.
If she doesn’t practice with it, she won’t use it if/when the time comes for her to defend herself. The worst gun to own is the one that gets left behind, locked in the safe, when it should have been used for defense.
Regardless of what she picks out, she can still customize it with the perfect sights, Cerakote, and other accessories.
What if I could tell you the fastest, easiest way to shop for firearms for the lady in your life?
The Easiest Way to Shop for Her:
Take her with you!
Put the gun in her hands before you buy it!
Spend some time together at the range and let her see what she likes and doesn’t like!
…Not just what’s comfortable in her hands (which is important),
…Not just trigger pull weight in both single and double action (which is also important),
…But actually sending lead downrange.
There are SO MANY varieties of handgun and rifle parts or accessories nowadays that the best choices COULD be endless for the “lady shooter” – if you know what to look for!
Taking the time with our best “Girl Friday” to find the accessories that are most comfortable for HER gun will go a long way towards creating an enjoyable day at the range for all!