On Gun Names

Uncle has a gunporn post up where he asks this question:

when did gun names start becoming just numbers?

People quickly point out that most guns are either named after their year of patent, year of first issue, or simple +1 after the last model number (Glock is a great example of that the Glock 17 was the 17th patent held by old Gaston, and his next gun was the G18, followed by the G19) others like S&W use elaborate codes, like the Model 42 is a J-Frame .38 Revolver with a completely concealed hammer (centennial) and the gun is all carbon steel. The 642 is essentially the same gun but with an aluminum frame and a stainless cylinder. 342 same idea just a titanium cylinder. 242 is a bit of a different breed of critter, but you can see how they’re related.

Seems that all the cool guns out there have lame names. M1911? LAME name, awesome gun. S&W 638? Great gun, total formula name. Kahr PM45 again formula name. Mosin Nagant M1891? Year of issue, way to be original Sergei! Even the FAL, besides the name looking like “FAIL” at first glance, its just an acronym for “Fusil Automatique LĂ©ger” AKA “Light Automatic Rifle”. That’s like buying the new Ford “Four-Door-Sedan”! Its not a cool name, its practically a parts number! Walther PPS? “Police Pistol Slim” Not quite as bad as “Nintendo Wii” but close!

Now what about guns with cool names?

The Desert Eagle! BADASS! Yeah it sounds rugged and tough! too bad its a boat-anchor-heavy gun with a solid reputation for jamming, that fires expensive ammo. Really just relegates this gun to BBQs and range days, rather than being any good at hunting, self defense, or life in the trenches.

Para Ord PDA and Warthog, first they’re just M1911s at their root, on top of that they’re poorly made 1911s with oddball parts and a good history of being unreliable. Furthermore the PDA (Personal Defense Assistant…GREAT Name!) uses their LDA trigger which takes the best part of the M1911 design and ruins it puts a massive failure point in your gun. The Warthog eats from Magazines that would be cheaper if you cast them from pure gold.

CZ VZ-61 Skorpion I would LOVE one of these in its origonal military configuration of full-auto with folding stock. Still in that form its a .32 ACP closed-bolt SMG with a high cyclic rate that eats from a 20 round magazine. Hardly winning stats right there. The civilian version is a semi-auto pistol in .32 that’s about 20Xs the size of every other .32 on the market….yeah, cool name, and I think they’re neat, but not great guns.

Cobra Patriot! America! FUCK YEAH!….yeah….horrible gun.

Taurus Judge? I AM THE LAW! Yeah I don’t even need to throw up a link, you guys know what it is, and know its lame.

Chiappa Rhino! Great Name! Sounds tough and ugly! Neat looking guns too! Too bad most reviews I’m reading they really aren’t ready for prime time.

Seems to be that a gun’s name is inversely correlated to how good a gun it is.

The only exception that comes to mind are the civilian a law enforcement revolvers from Colt. The Python is one of the greatest revolvers ever made, and the name shows it. There’s also the Anaconda and Diamondback, as well as a few more snake names. I dunno if I can consider my Colt Trooper to be a cool name or simply a utilitarian name, I will say the Detective Special is a good name for exactly what the gun was. Of course Colt doesn’t MAKE them anymore. They also don’t make the Colt Woodsman, nor the Colt Vest Pocket.

While I was typing this I also got thinking about Beretta, The “PX4” and “CX4” are kinda utilitarian names, but adding the “STORM” to the end it gets cooler. Also all those cat-named guns like the Couger, Bobcat,Tomcat, Cheetah, those are cool names, and they’re cool guns. All they need to throw in is “Hellcat” and “Sex Kitten” to round out the line. Also “Jetfire” is a cool name, even tho its just a wimpy .25, they’re still nice little guns.

So maybe there are some other guns that are worth a mention.

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24 Responses to On Gun Names

  1. North says:

    The Name Game!

    Glock glock bo bock, banana fana fo fock me my mo mock, Glock!

    I got in trouble as a kid for singing that song with my friend Buck.

  2. bluesun says:

    Lamest of all is the Mini-14. “Hey, lets take the M-14, which is pretty cool, and then scale it down and chamber it in a wimpier cartridge and use an adjective to describe it that denotes wimpiness!”

    Not. Awesome.

  3. Mark says:

    There are a lot of guns everyone knows by just the nickname. (Well, gun guys do.) Brown Bess, Peacemaker, Tommy gun, Garand, Pig, and Ma Duece just to name a few. Those are the ones I think are cool.

  4. Thor says:

    Ah, Mad Ogre made the similar comments a few weeks ago. But, I say to you there are some guns out there with appropriate naming. My Broadsword from Crusader Weaponry is nearing delivery, and all of their weapons offerings are named in a creative manner.

  5. PhillipC says:

    What about the Ruger Blackhawk and Ruger Redhawk?

    • Weerd Beard says:

      ooh! Good point! Good names, and good guns. Especially the “Super Redhawk Alaskan”, that is a VERY well named gun, and one I wouldn’t mind lugging around some day!

    • Weerd Beard says:

      I have handled both, but shot neither the Whitney nor the Olympic Arms Wolverine. They look awesome, and I hear they are indeed sweet guns.

      And the name does indeed fit!

      • Dave H says:

        I’ve heard remarks that the Wolverine is an adequate pistol, with about the same quality you’d expect from a vanilla Ruger Mark I, but I want one so bad! It looks like something a secret agent would carry.

        I’m tempted to spin up an arms manufacturing company just so I can name guns after famous ones from science fiction. Delameter, Lewiston, Noisy Cricket…

  6. Art says:

    I’ll throw the Dillon Aero M134 minigun in the mix.
    Ya gots the manufacturer, a light, urbane, subsidiary name, a model number and lastly, generic nickname.
    And the generic nickname minigun part? It’s like that 375 lb., 6’6″ biker named “Tiny”


    • Weerd Beard says:

      Actually as stupid as it sounds, “Minigun” is to my understanding been a very practical name, as it is a scaled down version of massive auto-cannons like the GAU 8 Avenger, or the various Vulcan Cannons.

  7. Pingback: SayUncle » Gun names

  8. TennGoodBoy says:

    Did you mention the Chief’s Special?
    I have two of them. No, Im not related
    to Ed McGivern. Love my Redhawk 44
    mag fer packin in bar country…

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Well technically there is no such thing as a “Chief’s Special” or “Centennial” revolver, as all examples of those are all variously numbered J-Frame series guns.

      “Bodyguard” had a similar distinction until the latest “Bodyguard” line of Polymer Guns showed up in the S&W stable.

  9. TomcatTCH says:

    don’t forget the absolute crazyness of there being three M1 long guns in US service for WWII.
    M1 Carbine
    M1 Garand
    M1 Thompson

    Talk about nuts. “Hey, I need ammo for my M1” just wouldn’t have worked very well.

  10. JMosesB says:

    Colt Double Eagle!! (crappy gun though)

  11. There’s two light machine guns that are used by quite a few countries, the m249 SAW and the M240B by their us designations.

    The M240 is called the FN MAG by their designers (mitrailleuse d’appui gĂ©nerale/ general purpose machine gun), FN also Makes the FNC (fusil nouveau carbine, modernised rifle, carbine) which in addition to the previous FAL tells you pretty much all you need to know about how FN used* to name its most successful guns.

    The m249 however, is called the minimi, mini mitrailleuse/mini machine gun, so FN stayed pretty utilitarian in their nomenclature, they just lightened up a bit

    *Since then there’s been the SCAR, the HAMR, the Five-seveN … though there’s still just letter-number guns too (P90 and F2000)

  12. Pingback: Handgun Radio: Cool Handgun Names | Weer'd World

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