How big a role do looks play in your firearms purchases?


October 27, 2003, 07:27 PM

Some guns are just ugly, and regardless of reliability, price, etc., I wouldn't purchase them. Rugers and S&W come to mind. (Of course these are just my opinions and not intended to flame anyone. :) )

Others, like Berettas and 1911's, are just beautiful works of art that I must have.

So, how much of a role does looks play in your decision whether to purchase a firearm or not?

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October 27, 2003, 07:31 PM
Depends what I am buying it for. I buy some guns almost strictly on looks. For working guns, looks play no role at all.

Andrew Rothman
October 27, 2003, 07:32 PM
I actually thought that my Ruger was quite pretty when I bought it. Now Glocks, on the other hand... :neener:

Looks DID play an additional part -- I wanted black, not silver.

Turns out that IWB is a moist, salty environment, and blued steel can rust!

I went out and bought a new, stainless slide. (And the rest of the gun that came with it, but don't tell my wife!)

Now I realize that no one ever sees my CCW, except at the range, and that I care more about how it shoots than how it looks.

October 27, 2003, 07:38 PM
well if the person working at the gunshop is attractive, i might be talked into buying something i normally wouldnt.

oh wait, you mean the looks of the GUN?? oops, hehehe....
if it shoots, is of a caliber i like, and the price is right, i'll buy. however, i'd never buy one of those clunky hi-points cause 1. its not known for reliability; 2. its butt-ugly!

October 27, 2003, 08:01 PM
Well, I carry an Italian bred supermodel every day. Does that answer your question?;)

October 27, 2003, 08:05 PM
I own a glock. I think that says enough in itself. :what:

October 27, 2003, 08:08 PM
Hey, beauty is only skin deep right? Besides, she may be ugly, but she's got a great personality.

October 27, 2003, 08:10 PM
With pistols, I'm one of those "form follows function" wonks. Basically, if it's black, tactical black* I like it -- basically, anyway. If it's got some doodads, furbalos, buttons, etc., on it, they have to be reasonable for their function. If it's bloated or over designed or has features that say "designer privilege in making a statement", I don't like those features. My penchant for DAO pistols has somewhat spoiled the looks of SA/DA or SA pistols in my eyes. Somehow all the extra "junk" hanging off a 1911 spoils their looks compared to how I used to "see" them. Maybe that's because I think of every protrusion and control as something else to go wrong or to screw up the operation when I need to launch a bullet.

Revolvers can vary considerably with decoration and features that are intrinsically appealing.

Long guns are different. Except for the black tactical rifles/carbines, they offer a great platform for wonderful artistry. A finely finished and tooled walnut stock with engraving on the metal parts can be a thing of rare beauty that incidentally launches projectiles.

(*copyright by Skunkabilly)

October 27, 2003, 08:23 PM
luckily, I have never found a good looking woman working in a gunshop. I'd be driving a Yugo if I had.:evil:

edit to add:

Oh damn. I just thought of one. She's my age, too:confused:

Oh! the gun's looks? :D

Yes, it does matter, though I have bought guns that I couldn't really call good looking, like my XP100 or a Glock 22.

October 27, 2003, 08:27 PM
No way. A nice looking gun is nice but I dont really give a rats brass what it looks like as long as it works to please. You should see my SG! With its mis matched finishes and horrible home camo job, its so ugly they prolly wouldn't steal it. But it's slick as a whistle with a WM under all that ugly!! Its a sleeper.

If I'm buying new, I'll make em walk to the back to get a fresh one if the display model is dinged somehow. I do try to take care of them though, I just don't cry if one gets dinged accidently. Buying scratched name brand guns is a good way to get a great deal...can help whittle the price down a little.

Brian Dale
October 27, 2003, 08:41 PM
I'd like to say that only function matters to me, but I know it isn't true. I like blued steel and nice wood a lot. A beautiful stock wouldn't get me to buy a weapon that wasn't reliable, though. Shape matters, too. Lever rifles, EBRs, nice bolties - there are a lot of things on the list. The Ruger Number 1 looks so good that I wish they were made by a company that I'd buy from (maybe a used one ... Hmmm...) My Remington Model 11 shotgun (same as an Auto-5) won't win any beauty contests, unless the judges are grown-up shotgunners. If it hadn't been my granddad's gift to me, I wouldn't have learned how well they perform. I like balanced looks, whether the aesthetic is "duck-hunter traditional" or ultra-tactical.

There are a lot of handguns that should be on my list of future purchases ahead of a CZ-52. Not the most common ammo; .45 and 9mm (and several other rounds, for that matter) make much more practical sense to me. That almost-Art-Deco style, with a touch of Buck Rogers, grabs me, though. :cool: Once I have my Smith K-frame and a good auto, I'll probably get one. Smith J-frames get so much praise that it feels weird to prefer a Detective Special. A Chief Special would be good, but no matter how well Bodyguards and Centennials work (are those the hidden and shrouded-hammer models?), I don't want either one. They're so ugly that I feel like they're gonna make my eyes bleed. :evil: OOps- gotta go hide in my asbestos-lined bunker now.

Maybe I'm just proof that there's no accounting for taste. :neener:

October 27, 2003, 08:44 PM
How big a role do looks play in your firearms purchases?

Well, I don't and won't own a Glock..........does that answer the question????;)

October 27, 2003, 08:58 PM
i'd like to think that only function matters to me, but it's not true.

I do require a certain "elegance of form and substance" from my guns.

To me, the 1911 pretty much exemplifies this.

October 27, 2003, 09:08 PM
Some but not all, of course. After all, I do own 3 1911s. (Carry one regularly) They are without a doubt the most beautiful guns ever made. I've even done things to pretty one up.:D

However, I also own a Glock 26 and a HK USP45C. Gads, but those are some ugly suckers! But I wouldn't give up either of them.

October 27, 2003, 09:55 PM
Well for a working gun function comes first though I'll always pick black over silver.

For a fun gun I'd like to think function rules but the fact is looks are important too.

For example I don't care how good a pistol is those two tone monstrosities out there will never find their way into any collection of mine.

And silver/nickel/stainless steel???? Puleeeze! (Though I have seen a few western style pistols in SS that I thought might look nice in my Buscadero rig - but then woke up and went "What the hell was I thinking".

Some guns have looks that just grow on ya. For example a Glock. Ugly as sin when I first got my G22 but after awhile it's clean lines and purely functional design started to look good and still does. I used to like the way a Beretta 92 looked but now - they just look gaudy (and the way the barrel pokes out the end of the things - hell - reminds of a damn dog with a hard on). I'll always like the way a 1911 looks.

As to rifles - can't say as I've ever seen one I didn't like the looks of except may an SKS or some of those super modern target type things that look like something out of Star Wars.

Last but not least - for the price we pay for some of the guns we buy they better by god look good!

Yes - unfortunately - looks do matter.

October 27, 2003, 10:09 PM
Looks matter none, performance is everything. All of my firearms are matte finished, non-reflective with nylon/fiberglass stocks or polymer frames(Glocks). I like all go, no show :).

Only a pimp in a cheap New Orleans whorehouse would put a pearl handle on a pistol - General George S. Patton

Just my .02,

El Tejon
October 27, 2003, 10:20 PM
For me, 0; for THR, 110%:D

October 27, 2003, 10:23 PM
Only a pimp in a cheap New Orleans whorehouse would put a pearl handle on a pistol - General George S. Patton

I don't have any pistols with pearl handles (prefer wood) but I believe General George Patton wore a pair of pearl handle pistols.

Brian Dale
October 27, 2003, 10:46 PM
GunneR, in the movie, they were ivory. That's where the quote comes from. There was a THR thread a while back with pictures of his SAA and his .357 Smith (Registered Magnum?), IIRC.

Beetle Bailey
October 27, 2003, 11:02 PM
I like to say form follows function, but it's not always true. I'm not sure exactly what you are asking, but I'll try to cover it all.

I just bought a pistol that will serve as a HD gun. I got a CZ 75 compact in black. I would have liked the satin nickel finish, but it's not available in California due to the DoJ. I was gonna put some aftermarket wood grips on it (CZ lovers know what I'm talking about) but went with rubber grips in part because my guess is they will be better for combat, should the need arise. I might have to buy another CZ so I can have those great wood grips, though :rolleyes: .

There are also lots of rifles that I just refuse to buy because of the ugly design, but I won't mention names. But, with rifles, since I don't hunt, are only going to be used for target shooting (or TEOTWAWKI) and there are a lot of choices for quality stuff that looks good to me.

I also buy Milsurp rifles, so even though I don't consider myself a collector, I will pay more for a nicer copy of the rifle that I want, so if looks = condition, yes looks matter. I mean, of course I want accuracy, but I also don't want it to look like it's been in a war or something :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

October 27, 2003, 11:12 PM
ERGONOMICS .... first .. with reliability ... then looks. In as much as looks do in part reflect on the piece's functionality to a degree ... on a revo ... where is the cyl latch release button ... on an auto . where is slide lock .. safety etc. if these various things are in the right place - for me - then I'll rate the looks better probably.

Beyond looks tho is ''pretty'' ... and that I do not have much interest in. I do admire the engravings on some shotties but that won't influence my purchase .... function is what I am after .. ergonomic finction - and reliability, with strength.

Jammer Six
October 27, 2003, 11:27 PM
How big a role do looks play in your firearms purchases?

I won't buy it unless it looks exactly like a 1911.

Since I only buy 1911's, this hasn't been a problem.

October 28, 2003, 12:51 AM
21.3 percent

October 28, 2003, 01:14 AM
Ergonomics, userfriendliness and reliability...all important but looks make me appreciate it more. You know, like when you take it out of the holster, look at it and think 'damn, you're good' and reholster :o

October 28, 2003, 02:45 AM
Looks play a part. No doubt. How much? Not much. I don't want to own any auto pistol that is nickel plated, or gold anodized. YUCK! I will never own a commemorative weapon to hang on a wall, partly because the look silly to me.

I like nice wood on my stocks. I like parkarized pistols. I like stainless revolvers.

So looks play a bottom 10-20% on my purchase.

October 28, 2003, 02:47 AM
If it doesn't look good, why would I want to bring it into the sunlight and fondle it? Make sure it's not rusting, etc. There are so many to choose from, it's easy to find function and beauty, and anyways, I like the look of Glocks too, it's just screams "functional black"!

October 28, 2003, 01:29 PM
I look good, real good, no matter what type of gun I am carrying. So even an ugly gun is improved in appearance when I hold it...:evil:

October 28, 2003, 01:39 PM
Depends on the purchase.

My favorite gun for home defence continues to be a Glock. Not pretty, but accurate and reliable.

On the other hand, my next purchase is going to be a Duo-Tone Bersa Thunder .380 which I want just because it IS pretty! :cool:


October 28, 2003, 01:48 PM
I believe that is a direct quote from General Patton, and was used verbatim by George C. Scott in the movie. In the movie the grips were ivory, and in real life they were ivory. Does anybody know where his original revolvers are? Are they in a museum somewhere?

"Give me an army of West Point graduates, and I'll win a battle. Give me a handful of Texas Aggies, and I'll win a war." Another direct quote from General George S. Patton.

Just my .02,

October 28, 2003, 01:55 PM
On the other hand, my next purchase is going to be a Duo-Tone Bersa Thunder .380 which I want just because it IS pretty! Go do it Chicken!!! :)

I got my new one to range on Sunday ... love it already and for a blowback ... very comfortable tho some have said the contrary.

Accuracy with Brown Bear FMJ was excellent but for some reason when i put thru some Dynamit Nobel JHP's .... shots went a bit high and left. Yet to work out quite why the discrepancy. Managed to get a coupla spare mags too which arrived today .... from CDNN ( ) .... for $11.99 each . they seem OK and are ''Pro Mag''. Yet to check for actual feed tho.

October 28, 2003, 02:26 PM
Ever see a CZ52. :)

October 28, 2003, 02:40 PM
Ever see a CZ52. And??? :p

Guess most class them as fugly .. but hey ... they shoot good and even the lack of easy slide lock ain't a prob ....... they work and work well.:evil:

October 28, 2003, 02:57 PM
Quite a big part, actually, as do the designer initials JMB. Win Mod. 1897 Cornshucker; Colt Govt Model; Browning Automatic Rifle; etc.

Of course, there is the Colt AR15 which looks as good as it shoots and has the designer Prancing Horse label. For the form follows function crowd, Steyr Scout; Dragunov; AK47 type weapons; Makarov.

October 28, 2003, 03:14 PM
I've never bought a gun because it made me better looking...

Does this work?

October 29, 2003, 10:13 AM
Does anybody know where his original revolvers are? Are they in a museum somewhere?

Patton carried 1911s, a Colt SAA, and a S&W .357 at different times and for different reasons. By the end of the war he was evidentally down to only carrying one gun. All had carved ivory grips. I know the SAA is still in existence (it showed up on the history channel a while back), but am not sure where it is specifically.

Jesse H
October 29, 2003, 11:40 AM
My HS2000/XD9 is ugly. But I carry it because I shoot it well.

October 29, 2003, 11:47 AM
Significant, there are guns that function great and look good so why not.

Gus Dddysgrl
October 29, 2003, 12:18 PM
For me....I haven't decided yet. If it works and I can conceal it hey great. I have to like both looks and function.

However, Matching the occasion and outfit are important. I do recall daddy calling me into his room on a Sunday morning and asking me which gun looked best with his outfit and which one he should carry. I think it was a toss up of blue, black, and wood. I don't remember. Oh well I just know we matched the gun to the outfit he was wearing and how nice he wanted to look.


October 29, 2003, 12:39 PM
You've been 21 a week now Gus ......... feeling good?!:)

Now you're ready to rock!

Gus Dddysgrl
October 29, 2003, 01:35 PM
I haven't gotten my CCW permit yet so I'm still not on top of the world, but am looking into stealing daddy's S&W model 60. I like it. :) I also still like the Glock. So I have no idea what that says about me and whether or not looks matter.


October 29, 2003, 02:14 PM
If it looks blued, adorned with wood, and have a cylinder with large holes then I can live with most any faults it may have.

October 29, 2003, 02:24 PM
On my next benchrest rifle, I'm going to blow the extra few hundred (yup...) $$$ for a hot paint job.

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