I don’t want to go off half-cocked, but I bet you’ve got a favorite gun expression/idiom. Shoot!

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154 Responses to Question of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Gun Expression?

      • It refers to the occasional phenomenon of the spark from the flint lighting the powder in the pan of a flintlock rifle but failing to ignite the powder in the chamber. You get a flash, but no bang. It looks like something is happening but it never comes to fruition.

      • STDBTT was what you said first. They ain’t worth a bullet was what you said second to call them off if they looked like they thought STDBTT was actually called for.

        Gotta have a safety word.

      • some new yorker writer dedicated multiple essays to the origins of this phrase. as yet it has not been determined, although it doesn’t seem to be ballistic.

      • I never associated it with football knowing quite well that it takes ten yards for a new set of downs.
        I assumed it was referring to the entire contents of a cement mixer.

        • I was told it was a reference to the length of the ammo belt that fed the .50 cal machine guns on US planes during WWII.

          “Give ’em the whole nine yards” meant hit them with everything you have.

          Wikipedia is skeptical of this theory.

  1. Also from The Godfather: “Jeez, my ears”.

    Whatsamatter? Too loud for ya? I left it loud on purpose, scares away any pain in the ass innocent bystandera”.

  2. The loudest sound in the world is a bang when you expected a click.
    The second loudest sound in the world is a click when you expected a bang.

      • The balls being referred to are canon balls. The brass monkey is a metal ring (usually brass) meant to retain the pyramid of canon balls when they are stacked. When the ambient temperature drops sufficiently it makes the ring constrict, causing the balls in the pyramid to come tumbling down.

  3. “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people”
    And
    “Bullets don’t kill people. Gaping holes in vital organs kill people.”

  4. “I am La Longue Carabine ! My death is a great honor to the Huron! Take me! You tell him?”

    Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis)
    “Last of the Mohicans”. 1992

  5. “It’s the shoulder thing that goes up.”

    I say this in my head every time I tuck my pistol under my belt.

  6. “I am going to shoot you in the balls if you take one more step!” Oh wait, that is what my wife says when she sees a twinkle in my eyes after she has had a long day at work.

  7. I am surprised this didn’t get posted

    “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?

  8. “Incoming fire has the right of way.” -Clint Smith

    -or-

    “Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t.”

    • “Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t.”

      That makes no sense at all. However, “Those who beat their swords into plowshares get stabbed by those who don’t” might have some validity.

      • “That makes no sense at all.”

        That comment clearly went straight over your head. Long week already?

        Here, let me use a gem from Jeff Cooper to clarify: “Bushido is all very well in its way, but it is no match for a 30-06.”

        Or maybe you’re the visual type:

        • One thing to love about that scene is it was not according to the script. He was supposed to use the whip to take the sword away, but Ford got tired of trying and just pulled the gun out and fired. The director decided that was better than what was written and went with it.

      • “tracer bullets work both ways…”

        Between you and Curtis this thread is giving me a headache. Unless of course you mean this as a joke since you can see them both ways but only one guy needs to move out of the bullet’s path. In the latter case, well played.

        • he only needs to move if it’s going to hit him. but either way, he can see where it came from.
          the right of way may be a short lived privilege.

        • Right, when you get real good at dodging incoming bullets you let me know.

          The quote is quite obviously meant to mean that like a car coming through a green light, you don’t really want to be in the way and if you are it’s likely going to ruin your day.

  9. The term the whole nine yards comes from the nine yards of ammunition that is on the roller shoot in a B-17 Flying Fortress there are two door gunners have nine yards of ammunition on their shoot that feeds the M2 heavy machine gun. The comment that used to be made was give Jerry the whole nine yards or I gave Jerry the whole nine yards Cherry meaning the luftwaffe pilots they were in combat with. We’ll see if it posts this message now that I’ve tried over 10 times to get it to post it.

  10. “Si vis pacem, para bellum”
    Translates to “If you seek peace, prepare for war.”
    The phrase has been around since the 4th or 5th century.

    Ever wonder why the 9mm Luger is sometimes referred to as the 9mm Parabellum?

    Warning: Wikipedia cut & paste job:
    The above phrase was the motto off German arms maker Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM), who developed the 9mm Parabellum cartridge for its Luger semi-automatic pistol in 1902.

    The term is an opposed parallel to the English use of “peacemaker” to mean the Colt Single Action Army handgun.

  11. Hit me with your best shot.

    There goes the whole shooting match.

    Keep both eyes open.

    And when people say, “Oh, shoot!”, I respond, “Oh, bang!”

  12. “Best check your headspace & timing”, or a number of shorter variations; when one of my guys is not paying attention to detail or otherwise screwing up when they should know better.

    “Tracking”, interrogative of; used after work-call, initial instructions, or corrective training.

    My crew are all civilians, with the exception of one current Guardsman who spent 8yrs on active as a 13B. Not all of them are into shooting, but everyone knows what I mean….

  13. Not quite idioms but…

    1. “If you do X, I am going to pull out my pistol and shoot you in the head. If you do Y, I will pull out my pistol and shoot you in the head. If you do Z, I will pull out my pistol and shoot you in the head.”-Mike from Breaking Bad (paraphrase).

    2. “Surprise, Mothafucka”-Probably the coolest thing to say before you draw your pistol.

  14. well, since I don’t see it, may as well add it to the pile.

    “I came into this world kicking, screaming and covered in someone else’s blood and I am perfectly happy to go out the same way.”

  15. “Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me”, says Mae West

    I would rather be tried by twelve then carried by six. I first read this at Bob Anderson’s Gun Shop as a teenager in the 60’s in Smithfield, RI.

  16. Since this thread has changed into a favorite quotes survey, here’s a couple of my favorites:

    “Some men just need killin’.” — James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok

    “I never shot a man who didn’t deserve it.” — reportedly said by Wild Bill Hickok, but never confirmed

  17. I like, “acute onset lead poisoning,” and “It’s not a gun, it’s a portable orifice installer.”

    But I guess those are euphemisms…

    • I’ve heard “It’s not a gun, it’s a hole punch.”

      One guy I heard it from actually used a .22 as a hole punch for heavy leather! First he shot it, then cleaned up the hole using the empty brass. I have since used empty .22 brass as a hole punch for leather, rubber, and plastic, but the only time I actually shot a hole that way was when I had a 10: spike to drive into oak — one careful pop from a .22 mag and the spike started VERY nicely.

      Another expression:

      A shot in the dark.

  18. If we’re going with quotes then “Shoot straight you bastards! Don’t make a mess of it.” by Breaker Morant has to be the winner as advice from the prisoner to his firing squad…

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