Check out the finishes on these Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon over/unders. There's a pink stock with zebra striping (whose owner calls it "better than a boyfriend"), a homage to Old Glory and—wait a minute—are those human skulls?
Beretta asked its Facebook followers for a quick "yes" or "no" on their opinion of custom-shotgun finishes. Seems the feedback was a pretty resounding "no". My favorite comment was, "The finish made a great shotgun look like a punk rock nightmare. No thank you."
I'm hesitant to criticize other folks' shotguns, as doing so would be just one step shy of insulting their bird dogs. However, a colorful finish personally isn't for me. For my taste, it's as if God created walnut trees so that blued steel would have a perfect complement. They just go together—why you'd slap a candy-colored dip over a nice piece of wood, rich in character and natural sheen, I do not know. But some folks seem to like it.
However, Andrew Vavra, marketing specialist for Pheasants Forever, brings up an important point in his blog post, "I Love Pink Guns".
"Some wives and girlfriends would love an invitation to come along and chase birds with you," he writes. "And there’s absolutely nothing wrong if it takes a pink gun to get that conversation started."
Very true. Perhaps some women find the notion of pink guns to be a little condescending, but for others, well, it might be the difference in gaining their interest. Accompanying Vavra's post are photos of 9- and 12-year-old girls having a blast in the uplands with their pink guns--they illustrate Vavra's point more clearly than words ever could.
If a colorful gun is what it takes to get more people interested in the shotgun sports we so love, I'm all in favor. New shooters can always decide later whether they'd prefer oiled walnut.
So, are colorful shotguns for you?