In the days leading up SHOT show in  the gun industry’s version of Disney Land, I have been doing a little thinking about what I would like to see from the manufacturers in Las Vegas this year. So here are my thoughts…

Dear Manufacturers,
First, I would like to thank you for carving out a place for the ladies here in your typically male-dominated world of firearms.  We appreciate the effort on your part and it sure looks like it is paying off. Women are coming in to the shooting sports in droves. Yay for us!  That said, there are a few things I would like to see from you to keep improving in this particular space. I don’t ask a lot, but I do think these little tweaks here and there would make a huge difference to the ladies and we could bring even more chicks in to the world of firearms. (And revenue for you – nudge, nudge.)
First, for the love of Samuel Colt, do me a favor and start naming your guns. Sure, there are some famous models out there, like the Walther PPK (or James Bond gun), that need no introduction (to the experienced shooter, that is), but when I have to remember, like, 6 numbers and letters for every new model I come across, it becomes a little dizzying. Not to mention the fact that that series of numbers and letters makes the gun totally forgettable. A few examples off the top of my head- what was Arnold Schwarzenegger model number in the Terminator movies? Can’t remember? Me neither. I do, however, recall the names of Optimus Prime, the Star Ship Enterprise and The Dreaded Pirate Roberts’ ship, The Revenge. See what I mean?  Most people don’t know their social security numbers until college, but they know their full names within months of being born.  Are we on the same page now?

Bottom line- artists name their work: The Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Starry Night.  And people name the things they love. We don’t call that precious dog of ours German Shephard 2nd Pup 4th litter. We call her Sable because we adore her and think of her as one of the family. Catch my drift? Within the gun industry, we already kind of do this – no one uses the technical name, Barret Model 82A1. We call it the Barret .50 cal. Lesson: simplify for the benefit of everyone involved and be proud of that gun!

I would like to thank LaRue Tactical for doing this very thing with the PredatAR. Good start, guys, but this does bring up another point. My girls out there might dispute this and I am always open to input and suggestions, but can we please go with something less aggressive? More mysterious, perhaps? Think less Jurassic Park and more film noir.  How about The Phantom? Patriotic works too- the Liberty, maybe? Charter has got the right idea with the Pink Lady – the name is a little old school for my tastes and we have got to do something about that font, but since it hearkens a memory of Danny and Sandy singing Summer Nights, I will go ahead and give it my seal of approval.  If you guys are truly stumped, check out the names of OPI nail polish colors to get those creative juices flowing.

Next, you are doing a great job scaling the grips down to fit our hands – thanks for that. And speaking of grips, I recall last year seeing that Walther was testing a customizable back strap with at least 5 or 6 different colors. I thought that was genius! It is the firearm equivalent of being able to switch iPhone cases on a whim. Great idea- I would really like to see more of this kind of thinking. And while I know you are making an effort with the pink stuff, could we see colors like white and turquoise, too? Shake it up a little, if you don’t mind.

Lastly, and this is a super important one, give me an all-inclusive starter kit. Cannon does it with their cameras. Sephora does it with Bare Minerals. Now I would like to see it from you guys, too.  It is a genius way to do some great branding and advertising. Put together a starter kit for the new shooter. Let the shooter choose the gun and have a bag waiting for him or her with cleaning supplies, a video, ammo, a lock, a hard case for flying (with current laws and instructions), ear and eye protection and maybe even a key chain and a pen. I want you to think of me, the consumer. What do I need? Just tell me. Help me out a bit and make all of this stuff less intimidating. Take a cue from Apple. I want the software already built in to my hardware, in a manner of speaking.  If you have questions, you know where to find me.

Thanks again for the forward momentum in welcoming the ladies to this wonderful world. We are glad to be here. I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us at SHOT show this year.

And in the words of one of my favorite authors, Brad Thor

Keep Your Powder Dry,



Now… Lets all go watch Grease.