Gun Makers Want to Make Womens’ Day
By George Anderson
Gun manufacturers have always made guns designed for the Harry Callahan’s of the world. Now it’s Kate Moore’s (his partner in The Enforcer, 1976) turn.
For years, female firearms enthusiasts have found that even so-called women’s models have often been too long or heavy for them to be easily used.
Count Clark Miculek, the woman who owns Clark Guns and runs camps teaching women to shoot throughout the country, as among those women who have had reason to complain in the past.
She told The Associated Press, “Any shotgun I get, I have to get cut off. Not a lot of lady models are shorter.”
In response to Ms. Miculek and others, gun manufacturers have developed lighter and shorter shotguns and handguns with improved designs and handgrips. The goal is straightforward. Increase purchases among current female consumers while bringing new ones into the category.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, women comprise 15 percent of the overall shooting sports market. Between the sales of firearms, ammunition and related gear, female consumers are expected to spend $420 million on the category this year. The number of women participating in hunting and target shooting rose 50 percent from 1999 to 2004, according to the group.
Sandy Froman, president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), said the reason behind the number of women purchasing firearms goes beyond sporting purposes and target practice. “The women of America are very concerned about safety and security for themselves and their families,” she said. “I think many of us realize ultimately we’re the ones responsible for our own defense.”
Moderator’s Comment: Will more female-friendly models accelerate the growing number of women purchasing firearms?
What will retailers of firearms need to do if they want to leverage manufacturers’ increased focus on the female market? –
George Anderson – Moderator