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Actual Gun Tats. The Next Big Thing?

I don’t get gun engraving. Sure, OK, why not? But then, why? Engraving a perfectly proportioned, well-made firearm (Bulldog, Bulldog, bow wow wow) would be like tattooing a world class beauty like Angelina Jolie. You know; before she wore a necklace dangling a vial of Billy Bob Thornton’s bood. Strike that, then. And hands-up. I recently bought a 1911 engraved with the three initials Sam and I use to remind each other that we’re stuck with each other throughout all eternity—and beyond! Tastefully done, of course. Anyway, if I was going to highlight a U.S. Supreme Court case on the snout of my revolver, it would be Miranda vs. Arizona. Just sayin’. Or, in that case, not.


  1. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

    Meh. It’d be like tattooing a belt sander. Guns are tools. Neat, loud dangerous tools, but tools nevertheless.

    Now, putting a flame job on a kitchen mixer, THAT I understand.

    1. avatar Magoo says:

      “A gun is a tool, Marian. No better or no worse than any other tool — an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.” –Shane

      “Marge, a gun is a tool. Like a butcher knife or a harpoon or an alligator.” — Homer Simpson

      1. avatar 40&2000 says:

        That Homer quote is one of my all time favorites.

  2. avatar Charles says:

    Title for a reality TV show: “Tat my Gat” or how about “Pimp my Slide”

    1. avatar Buuurr says:

      *coffee spit*

  3. avatar Silver says:

    I could see doing it. In fact, I would if I owned a gun I knew I was going to keep forever. Why not? Personal symbolism is put on everything else, from cars to knives to one’s own body. If doing it makes a gun more personal, then go for it.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    A gun is a tool. You know, like James Brady.

    1. avatar TL671 says:

      Except firearms are useful.

  5. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    how would the po po and jury look at that gun if it was ever used ?? (see he and intent)

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      It depends on the engraving. “Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?” on the muzzle might raise an unfavorable inference, while “Open Other End” might not. But nobody disses 2A, right?

      1. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

        How about “Face to enemy” at the front of the barrel?

        1. avatar Silver says:

          I’d prefer “Say Cheese!”

  6. avatar I_Like_Pie says:

    If you are a GI Joe type who sees a guns as nothing more than a tool….then engraving is useless.

    If you see it as an heirloom or have a fine shotgun then is makes the gun all the more special. Cars, knives, houses etc are little more than tools, but there is no problem with adding some “flair”

    There are too many readers here that are military minded with respect to the full spectrum of the firearm lifestyle. Being an upland hunter and a collector…I can assuredly say that there is a place for engraving on certain guns

  7. avatar Jake F. says:

    For the most part I agree but I still want to get “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this.” put on a G32 when I get it.

  8. avatar Gossven says:

    Its your gun if you want to paint the thing bright pink and hang streamers from the lanyard loop that’s your business. The furthest I have ever felt the need to go was to put different grip panels on a semi, but I don’t own any “pretty” guns so that may change if I ever decide to purchase a less utilitarian piece.

  9. avatar EFI, LLC says:

    As someone who does firearms engraving as a business, we’ve seen all sorts of reasons to engrave a gun. Some are given as prizes or awards, some are commemoratives for a specific event (such as the Heller I vs DC case as in the Charter Arms Bulldog above), some because the owner wants a more personalized firearm, and some because it’s the law (making a short-barrel rifle or short-barrel shotgun).

    We’ve had people engrave everything from dates for birthday and anniversary gifts to wildlife scenes on their hunting rifles.

    Finally kudos to Oleg Volk for taking the above photo. His work is quite distinct and easily recognized.

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