Saturday, October 23, 2010

Naming guns?

I don't. Some people do.

It has a long tradition, as does decorating arms.

Again, I don't necessarily grok the idea behind the decoration or personalization of what are, to me, tools, but that's just me. For all I know, some people dig racing stripes on their Sawzall and have named it "Suzie".

Some guns provide better platforms on which to write stuff than do others. The AR, with its big, flat expanse of magwell, has spawned a whole cottage industry of laser-etching.

You can also get replacement ejection port cover doors with stuff etched onto them, from your branch of service to "Semper Fi" to cute stuff like "Zombie Hunter". I had a fleeting thought that the M.H.I. logo would look kinda cool there, but I got over it; like I said, I'm just not much on decoration. If there was such a thing as a Shaker-styled gun, I'd be on it like white on rice.

I don't know that I'd term it "tacticool", though. I mean, people have been decorating weapons since long before there were malls, or even ninjas to put in them:
"Ha, Beowulf, I notice that your sword says 'Hrunting' in the serpent patterns on the blade. You are such a Mall Berserkr!"
It just doesn't scan for some reason...


Anonymous said...

I agree but...

If I ever get around to replacing the full-length guide rods (FLGR) on my 1911s with the standard type, this

recoil plug is awfully tempting.

Nick Pacific said...

I think of it as pride of ownership. I used to think it was a waste of psychological capital, like naming a car, until a few months ago.
My wife's revolver is "the LCR," but her 20" AR that she built is "Wendy."

I think there are strong reasons why people do name weapons, and you touched on it yourself with the naming of swords.

alath said...

The one I never get is referring to firearms in the 3rd person feminine. 'I polished her feed ramp, but she still jams with hollow points.'

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Believe the feminine thing copies references to ships.

Though why a ship has to be

Hard to steer?

Costly to maintain?

OTOH, since it was male sailors referring to ships, not likely they would call a ship "he".

Or...wait a minute...maybe certain sailors would?

Bob said...

In one of Ewart Oakeshott's books he mentioned that naming weapons was a Celtic and Gothic tradition, but that the Romans were unsentimental about weapons and treated them no differently than any other tool.

wv: rerant when the first rant wasn't sufficient.

Laughingdog said...

I've actually had a little bit of fun with the laser etching, but only to do what I consider sort of an "anti-etching". So many people were so gung ho about these macho things on their guns. So I got one receiver with Robb's "Don't Panic" logo and another with the radiation symbol (the trefoil), since I'm a nuclear engineer.

I need to finish building it, so I can see if anyone ever thinks I'm shooting depleted uranium because of that symbol.

Laughingdog said...

You know, getting an ejection port cover with "Mall Ninja" would be pretty funny though.

Linoge said...

Well, I guess, strictly speaking, it is a modification that costs money, but provides no actual, substantative increase in effectiveness of either you or the gun, so by that definition, it pretty much is exactly "tacticool".

I am just not sure that if A = B, B = A.

JB Miller said...

I name mine so this doesn't happen:

"Son, get me the Mini-14."

"Which one, Dad?"

Instead I can say:

"Son, get Vera."

And if anyone is listenin that shouldn't, it makes it easier if you aim to misbehave.

Peter said...

* Thinks of Beowulf as a Mall Berserkr *

* Head asplodes *


Anonymous said...

Much as I dislike non-functional decorations on firearms (even DE-functional decorations like the Renaissance Brownings mentioned in your engraving post which for economic reasons keep them from being used in their intended role), I think about my favorite 60's Chevy Super Sports and realize that the wheels, stripes, and badging are what instantly set them apart from Mom's Chevelle, and I wouldn't want it any other way. Plus, yeah, my '61 bug was named, well, Bug.

So, ya know, diff'rent strokes and all that.

As to that Amish minimalist gun you seek...closest I've seen was the FMJ .410 side-by-side; couple pieces of pipe welded to some plate with a trip mechanism inside, some flat black spray paint, and you're done. Used to be a wire-frame .22/.410 o/u with a twist-open barrel/breech and brown powdercoat finish that was pretty plain but beautifully functional, too...mighta been a Charter?


Anonymous said...

I guess I don't feel bad I call my 1911, "The Fat Lady".

Anonymous said...

The .22/.410 was a Bronco.
Also made by Bauer and called the Rabbit.

A .22 and .410 single shots were also produced.

I've had a .410 for years and a .22 for a few years. Someone added a wood panel to the skeletonized grip of the .22.

I have considered getting a couple of revolver engraved but haven't done it yet. Otherwise my stuff is pretty stock. Some of the guns do have names because they seemed to need them.

Tango Juliet said...

I have given my guns all kinds of imaginative names like:

The 1911
The S&W
The .44
The .338
The Hornet
The Mauser
The Varmint Gun

I put many hours of thought into them all.

bluesun said...

@Tango Juliet--

Those last three are even a little bit extreme for me. I don't even go that far with it.

I also don't name cars.

Borepatch said...

A worthy name is a Meditation. A careless or unworthy name psychologically "bubbas" the gun.

WV: "looddle". Don't name you gun this.

BobG said...

My idea of dressing up a gun is to put nice grips on it. Anything else is overkill.
Just my opinion.

reflectoscope said...

If I ever get around to building that AR I've been thinking of, I think I'll call it AT&T.


Stretch said...

Hey! There is nothing wrong with engraving the MHI logo on a weapon.

Laughingdog: Don't be surprised if people see the radiation trefoil and assume you're a pagan. Same symbols mean different things to different people.

Joel said...

Half the named guns in the country seem to be called Vera, for reasons that denote good taste in entertainment if nothing else. I've a friend whose "Vera" is a shortened Garand with a really obnoxious muzzle brake. Appropriate somehow.

Naming a Mini-14 "Vera" is just wrong.

WV=placepti. Plural of placeptus, a very, very young gladiator from Rome's most degenerate period.

Cybrludite said...

The 870 Magnum Express lurking in my pick-up is named "The Beast", due to a trio of consecutive sixes in the serial number.

Darrell said...

Most of my guns, no. The Marlin 39A .22 is named Lil Jess, after a ladyfriend. One of my Swede Mausers is called Kate; heck, sometimes I call all the Swedes Kate.

Anonymous said...

"The one I never get is referring to firearms in the 3rd person feminine. 'I polished her feed ramp, but she still jams with hollow points.'"

Ships, aircraft, cars, and guns are feminine.

I don't name my guns, however. I do name airplanes, boats and the occasional extraordinary car.

Les Jones said...

An ejection port cover has two sides, which leads to some interesting possibilities. What's a good riddle for an ejection port cover?

Phillip said...

I've named a few cars, but they were usually from the '60s or '70s. Can't recall ever naming a firearm, but I haven't found anything that really speaks to me, either.

The GPS in my car, however, is named Carmin. It's a Garmin Nuvi with a female voice... Figured if it was going to tell me how to drive, it should at least have a name.

Anonymous said...

Used to call the ex-'s Mazda the "maznyet". Appropriate.

My Mossberg 500A is called "Miss Mossy", because the guy I bought it from called it that. My Bersa 9mm is "Bertie", and my Remington 879 is "Rembo".

haven't named the Kalashnikov yet...

I guess I'm not too weird...

cap'n chumbucket

RevolverRob said...

I have a gun that says "Lady" on the side, that's my justification for calling it a lady. I don't name guns, just seems weird to me. Imagine being involved in a shooting and the cops show up and take your gun.

"Office, when am I getting Josephine back?" "What?" "My gun, Josephine."

Seems like a quick way to end up with in the psychiatric evaluation ward.


Joe in PNG said...

I've yet to name any of my homebuilt guitars either- I usually refer to them as The (X) copy (e.g. the Rickenbacker copy, the Warwick copy, the PRS copy, the EB-1 sort of copy, ect).

rickn8or said...

My everyday carry Chief's Special says his name is "Snuffy".

George said...

My WWII Colt Nat'l Match slide over Vega frame, with Bomars (the perfect carry 1911) is called 'the B.H. Signature Model', after the guy who had it built who sold it to me (B.H. to protect his anonymity). At 15 yards, you can make 'em touch, without too much effort! Still shoots amazingly after 30+ years!

Kevin said...

Of all my guns only three are named: my 10/22 is "Conan the Borg" after my wife called it "technologically barbaric," my IBM-manufactured M1 Carbine is "Baby Blue," for obvious reasons, and my .260 Remington Encore pistol is "The Power Tool" after one reader's wife called it that.

Nancy R. said...

I don't name my guns, or my ... er ... "girls" ... or anybody else's body parts, for that matter.

Shaker gun? My matchlock is pretty close. It's a pipe attached to a club with a pretty primative ignition system. *grin*

Bubblehead Les. said...

I've thought about naming my weapons in the past, but since most of them come to me already named, i.e., Colt, Springfield, Smith+Wesson, I feel it's redundant.

Ian Argent said...

GPS are (or ought to be, anyway) named Betty.

DON said...

I've only named one gun, my 1939 Turkish Mauser. It was my first surplus imported gun and has really dark dark walnut stock from long storage in the cosmo, I call it the ugly duckling.But it is amazingly accurate even though it has really awful sights. Think I paid $59.00 for it.

Anonymous said...

The first time one of your guns saves your life, you'll name it...

Steve Skubinna said...

I suppose naming firearms can save going into excruciating detail if you have several similar ones ("The Mini-14... no, the stainless one... in the folding stock... no, the Tapco, not the Choate... the one with the red dot sight... yes, I mean the Barska"). However, as others have noted, it can give onlookers the wrong impression of your mental stability.

Or even worse, the correct impression.

Joel, excellent point about the name "Vera." At least for large caliber weapons. Doesn't seem right for your Colt Woodsman.

Tam said...

"The first time one of your guns saves your life, you'll name it..."

Nope, sorry.

Actually, I sold those.

Don said...

I feel the same way about tattoos. . . I'm not against it if you want to do it, go for it, and maybe I'll get one someday. But for now, every time I'm tempted, I get over it.

Anonymous said...

I've had a few that were named "POS"....

Zendo Deb said...

If I had the money for Westley Richards or a Holland and Holland (they both start at what, about 80 grand today) I would have them engraved to the 9s.

Of course given that the case for Westley Richards can cost $5000 I won't be buying one soon. But I might have my name engraved on the thing if I did.

Anonymous said...

Thing is, if Beowulf wants to have a named weapon it's OK. Because Beowulf was the nec plus ultra of Warrior and he had nothing to prove and he wasn't braggin'. Been there, killed the monster, and scared the Swedes, go the tee-shirt , the girl, and a pile of gold to sit on.

Most of named weapons of antiquity legendary and otherwise fall into that boat. Neither they or their wielders were braggarts, or they may have been braggarts but they they had done what they were braggin' about.

So if Carlos Hathcock wants to name his rifle "emily", or the like, that's ok.

If earl, the mall cop, wants to name his piece "Thor's Hammer" that's just dumb, unless Earl's previous job left him sitting on a pile of dead bad guys whilst filling out a ream of official paperwork and he's retired to scaring punk kids, because there's less paperwork involved.

JPG said...

I REALLY lilke guns and shooting. But I just can't accept "the Spirit of the Gun," and the personification or spiritualization of an inanimate object. It kind of accepts the anti-gunners' premise that a black rifle will drag its possessor around to a school ground to wreak havoc.

I held forth on this topic some three years ago: .

Maybe in legendary times, things were different.

McThag said...

I named the AR's because it was easier than saying, "The 16" carbine with the C7 upper, M4 stock and pencil barrel." to differentiate it from the "16" M4 barrel, fiberlite, flat-top."

BRD is a harsh mistress.

The rest of the rifles got named just to continue the joke.

Besides, how do I know R Lee Ermy is not going to stop in and check to see if I have given my rifle a girl's name? Can you afford to take that chance?

Anonymous said...

My car is named Elizabeth, but it is a combo of a single personal reason and one good old automotive historical fact.

My Glock is just "The Glock", though ifn I was able to pick up an STI 1911 and a nice CZ variant, they would most likely get cutesy girls names.

The AR pattern is Mary, but much like the car, whenever working on it, her name changes to a number of unmentionable in polite company terms.


Ross said...

I don't name all my guns, but I do name some. Why? I don't know. Just seems like some of them need them. Like the nickel-plated Model 19 snubby - I call it "Precious" as kind of a joking play on what Gollum called The Ring - I got the gun on my birthday and it's so accurate, so beautiful (no engraving necessary on this beauty!) that it's Precious to me.

OTOH, the 10/22 with the bad finish on the stock, the pitting on the outside of barrel from where some dumb bunny let it get WET all combine to make me call it "beater". (And yes, I realize that that could be construed as a name from The Hobbit.)

tomcatshanger said...

is this at all related to the logo's on the slides of 1911's?