Kirsten Weiss: The Correct Way to Pronounce Lapua

Kirsten Weiss bites the bullet and talks to TTAG (not necessarily in that order)

In our relentless pursuit of blogging brilliance TTAG’s permanently prowling for new talent. After posting a trigger control video by Kirsten Weiss I decided to reach out to the Wyoming marksperson to see if I could convince her to generate some fresh content for America’s most popular firearms blog. My first stumbling block: pronouncing the name of her Finnish ammo sponsor/supplier. Turns out I’ve been putting the accent on the wrong syllable. Like everyone else I know I said Lah-POO-ah. Nope. It’s LAH-poo-ah. So now you know. As for the rest of our conversation, let’s just say isoja kaloja kannattaa pyytää vaikkei saisikaan. Pronounce that.


  1. avatar joe smith says:

    Dang, I thought I was saying it right way.

    1. avatar Peter says:

      Now we need a lesson for Leupold.

  2. avatar NickS says:


    Oh… my mistake. I thought you sneezed while typing that.

  3. avatar Hal J. says:

    Now for fun, let’s everyone in the class pronounce “Garand”.

    Just for the record, the correct way to say it is “GEH-rend”. That doesn’t stop 99.9% of people (including me) from saying “guh-RAND”.

    1. avatar Don says:

      wow, I never knew that!

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yup, I heard that on NRA’s guns and gold show. thought I heard wrong and had to look it up.
      Good reminder.

    3. avatar Pulatso says:

      Even R. Lee Ermey misprounced it in his Lock and Load series.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        John pronounced his name GEH-rend. But the gun will forever be known as the guh-RAND. As the Cornelius Brothers said, it’s too late to turn back now.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Time for John C. to change his last name. I vote for AWESOME.

    4. avatar Lolinski says:

      How do you pronounce “Dragunov” while we are on this subject?

      1. avatar Hal J. says:


      2. avatar int19h says:

        Drah – goo – NOFF.

        But you shouldn’t use that, anyway. It’s called SVD 🙂

        It’s kind of inconsistent in Russian. We do use name of the designer to refer to the firearm colloquially, but not always – e.g. it’s used for MN, AK, Nagant revolver and Mauser handgun, and Browning MG; but not for PPSh or SVD or TT. Also, sometimes the name is not used as is, but in an inflected form that basically means “of X” or “made by X”. E.g. MN is referred to as “Mosinka”, not just “Mosin”, with “-ka” meaning derivation. On the other hand, AK is just “Kalashnikov”, or, more commonly, “kalash” (they say the latter actually became a boy’s name in some African countries!).

        While we’re at it, Simonov (of SKS and PTRS fame) is SEE – mo – noff, Tokarev (TT, SVT) is TOH – kah – rev, Sudaev (PPS) is soo – DAH – yeff, Shpagin (PPSH, DShK) is SHPAH – gin, and Degtyaryov (DP, PPD, PTRD, RPD, DShK) is Deg – tya – RYOFF. I hope I didn’t forget anyone…

    5. avatar CarlosT says:

      That’s because it’s such a guh-RAND rifle.

      Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week, tip your waitresses.

    6. avatar CyborgCowboy says:

      As far as I’m concerned, the man’s name is pronounced “GEH-rend” but his machine is pronounced “guh-RAND”. Let’s not even get into “car-BEAN” versus “car-BINE.”

  4. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    “big fish, you should ask though should not”


    (Google translate. Other online search engine translators are available)

    1. avatar Hal J. says:

      Babylon: “Big Fish is there in asking even if you shouldn’t ”
      Microsoft: “Although there should not be the big fish might want to ask”

      It seems to lose something in translation…

      1. avatar Don says:

        That’s sexual harassment and I don’t have to take it.

    2. avatar Tanner McClure says:

      According to Wikiquotes, it means “Big fish are worth fishing even if you don’t catch one.” I guess it’s kinda like “go big or go home.” Or like when you’re at the bar and you debate with yourself whether to hit on the pretty girl you might have a 30% chance with or the mega hot babe you’ve only got a 2% chance with. It’s worth exhausting that 2% before going for the 30%.

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        Well exactly.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          A two at ten is better than a ten at two.
          Go ugly early.
          And always date your weight class…

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        The secret of success: go ugly early.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Tom, truest pearls of wisdom I’ve seen on TTAG.

        2. avatar Bill says:

          Tom and Ralph, thanks for the good quotes, I can’t believe I have never heard those words of wisdom like that before. I am now going to use them as if there were my own.

  5. avatar Accur81 says:

    That is one fine woman.

    1. avatar Derrick says:

      I bet she would look even finer with a 3 1/2″ 12 Gauger in her mouth. That would be down right sexy.

      1. avatar tfunk says:

        I’m hoping she’ll be satisfied with 2 3/4″

        1. avatar Albert Wong says:

          I for one am glad she decided on .22lr!

          Gives hope for us Asians who are mainly pistol cartridge equipped!

      2. avatar LongBeach says:

        God I love this site. Thank you, gentlemen.

  6. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Don’t worry about the pronunciation. Finnish is often said to be the hardest language in the modern world to learn. Check out the verb conjugation…simply incomprehensible !

  7. avatar Kyle says:

    SISUKAS SUOMALAINEN! (From a 75% Suomalainen poika.)

  8. avatar Don says:

    So wait, more like “LAH-pwa” or “lap wa”, no “oo” sound?

    Please advise.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      LAH poo ah.

      1. avatar Adam says:

        Haha….you said pooh

    2. avatar Kirsten says:

      Actually Don, you’re first guess is the most correct. “LAH-pwa” will get we English speakers the closest to finnish pronunciation (and maybe get some free pickled herring at all the finnish parties….) “LAH-poo-ah” is a very close second! (slim herring chance)

      1. avatar Don says:

        Thanks! Also my girlfriend and I both shoot rifle and think you are “way cool” and like your shooting technique videos!

      2. avatar Jeff in MS says:

        I’ve always used “Lop-wah.” But I’m Southern. We have words yawl don’t.

        Hey, jeet yet?
        Naw, jew?

  9. avatar JuanCudz says:

    What on earth does she have in her mouth?

    1. avatar Hal J. says:

      I zoomed in on it; I’m pretty sure it’s a .22 rimfire cartridge.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        I think the point here is: “She has ammo, get her!”

  10. avatar 505markf says:

    I will never visualize the phrase “bite the bullet” the same way again. As far as I’m concerned, the Finns – and Swedes for that matter – can pronounce things however they want as long as they keep cranking out such fine weapons and ammo.

  11. avatar Sean says:

    I didn’t know she was shooting out of Wyoming I thought it was Nebraska.

    1. avatar Tyler Kee says:

      She works for Gunwerks now.

  12. avatar Avid Reader says:

    I used to have some Finns as neighbors in an office next to mine. Great people, and they threw the best parties-single malt scotch, smoked salmon, reindeer sausage, and Cuban cigars.

    We’ve all gone our separate ways, but I have fond memories of those get-togethers.

  13. avatar KevinMA says:

    It’s Lev-i-o-sah, not Lev-i-o-suh

    1. avatar Roll says:

      It’s my dang niece’s fault I know that’s a Harry Potter reference…

  14. avatar skippysanchez says:

    I hard-wired my mouth to mispronounce Fiocchi and Hornady long before I learned otherwise.

  15. avatar Roll says:

    Excuse me Miss, that’s not the proper place to put your bullets.

  16. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I learned something from this post.

  17. avatar SD3 says:


    Got it.

    1. avatar KevinMA says:

      So the LAH-poo-ah is what goes in the LAH-trine?

  18. avatar Totenglocke says:

    Yikes, that lip ring. I just want to make an electromagnet and wave it in front of her face.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      It’s not a lip ring. She’s dangling a .22LR from her teeth.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I thought the same thing (with great disappointment) until I got TTAG up on my big screen. I was immensely relieved to discover that it’s just a round of .22LR.

      For the life of me, I cannot understand why young people put hardware into their faces. I sort of understand the tattoo thing, to a limited extent, but every time I see one of those rings in a young person’s face, I’m really tempted to say “Hey, {son|daughter}, I’ve got a set of side-cutting pliers right over here in my toolbox; please allow me to help you with that hardware affliction… I promise I have steady hands and it won’t hurt.”

      As someone who dreams of growing my business to a point where I’d be in a position to hire someone, I’ve thought rather long about whether I’d hire someone with facial hardware to do retail or customer interface work. And I have to say, after thinking about it a long, long time, the answer is “probably not.”

      1. avatar LongBeach says:

        I am one of the young people of which you speak, and I share your opinion.

  19. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Can’t resist. Finnish, Swedish, Ishish…

    I miss John Candy

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    What’s the correct way to pronounce “Weiss?”

    1. avatar C says:

      Auf Deutsch?

    2. avatar Howdy says:

      “weiss” pronounced as “vice” to non natives. Closer to “fice”. The Germans would still understand you and forgive the difference.

  21. avatar C says:

    I wouldn’t correct her grammar.

  22. avatar Joe Grine says:

    While we are at it… the Russian 9×18 Makarov pistol and ammunition caliber is more correctly pronounced “muh-KAR ov” not “MAK ar ov” The Russians actually refer to it in the feminine, i.e. “muh-kuh-ROH-vuh,” but that’s probably asking too much of Americans to go that far. 🙂

    1. avatar int19h says:

      The first part is correct, the second is not. The pistol’s full name is “Pistolet Makarova”, yes. But “Makarova” is not feminine – it is the genitive case of the last name “Makarov”, i.e. literally the whole phrase means “Makarov’s pistol”. And, in any case,, that is pronounced “mah-KAH-roh-vah”, stess remains where it was. Same thing goes for other guns – it’s “Avtomat Kalashnikova” (again, not feminine, -a just means ‘s), “Samozaryadniy Karabin Simonova” etc.

      When the pistol is called simply by the name of the designer, it is just “Makarov”.

      1. avatar Loaded Diaper says:

        Voi Vitu! Perkele! I still can’t find the ammo I need even though I can pronounce Lapua correctly! Send me a case or two Jyrri NYT!

  23. avatar Crashbbear says:

    I speak American gosh blammit! LaPOOah! CarBINE! FiOTCHi! TANGFOLIO! I’m grown, I says what I wants!

  24. avatar Ron smith says:

    What idiot thought it was proper to take a picture with lead ammo hanging from your mouth? Yeah she’s hot but wtf. Stupid picture. I could think of plenty of other things to put in …….. Well you know…..

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