Question of the Day: What Words Would You Want on Your Barrel? offers a round-up of special edition 1911s commemorating the 100th anniversary of JMB’s meisterstuck. Price-wise, the pistols range from Auto-Ordnance’s $658 100th Anniversary 1911PKZ to Ed Brown’s $6995 Classic Custom Centennial Edition [above]. All of them have engravings on the barrel—so that the owner and his BFFs know that, yup, this is a centennial special. I’m a big fan of stark minimalism, but I appreciate the humor / personalization possibilities inherent in this genre. How about “John Moses Browning Wuz Here” or “Still Lethal After All These Years”? And if we’re going there, what would you like engraved on any pistol barrel? I’ve always wanted a gun with an arrow and the words “Point in this direction.” How about you?


  1. avatar Ryan Finn says:

    “In Case of Bad Guy, Pull Trigger”

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      You forgot “Aim”

  2. avatar Mouldy Squid says:

    Si vis pacem, para bellum” for the irony of having the origin of the name for the 9x19mm round on a .45ACP, and the fact that it is pretty much an axiom.

    Ultima Ratio Regum” for the historocity.

    Sic transit gloria mundi” for the darkly humorous.

    Reasonfor the Sci/Fi geek cred; “No one argues with Reason.”

    Personally, I wouldn’t put it on mine, but I can see a lot of people choosing:
    Sic semper tryannis“. That one is a bit too political in the present climate for my tastes

    1. avatar Magoo says:

      Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes

      1. avatar Mouldy Squid says:

        Ha! Yeah, latin does sound pretentious, but if you are going to inscribe a pretentious saying on your firearm, why wouldn’t you choose a pretentious latin saying? 🙂

        Of course, I will be the first to admit that I am over-educated. Damn all those degrees. 😉

        1. avatar Robert Farago says:

          Conservo, Defendo, Vindico. Or we could go with MikeB’s arma virumque cano.

        2. avatar Mouldy Squid says:

          I hadn’t thought of Virgil. “Arma virumque cano” would actually be quite appropriate and nicely obscure.

          And there is always Cæsar’s “Vini, Vidi, Vici“, which would go well on a telescopic sight.

    2. avatar Chris Dumm says:

      Possibly uttered by Brutus during the assassination of Julius Caesar, ‘sic semper tyrranis’ (thus always with tyrants) was once seen as a declaration of American liberty; it was even incorporated into the State Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

      Since then, however, ‘sic semper tyrranis’ has fallen into disgrace; it was shouted by John Wilkes Booth after he murdered an American President, and a shirt with this quote was worn by Timothy McVeigh when he murdered 168 Americans. It is now nearly as shameful as the inscription over the iron gates of Auschwitz, ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ (work shall set you free.)

      Since we are blessed with much better means of choosing and replacing our leaders, the inscription of ‘sic semper tyrannis’ on a firearm would be a poor choice for an American. For others in the world, perhaps not so much.

      1. avatar Ben Eli says:

        Every arm held by Libyan rebels should bare this inscription

        1. avatar Chris Dumm says:

          Roger that.

  3. avatar mitch127 says:

    “Your victim selection process has failed”

    1. avatar Mouldy Squid says:


  4. avatar Buuurr says:

    Front toward enemy

  5. avatar John says:

    Squeeze, you jerk!

  6. avatar Ben Eli says:

    “Al tirah mipachad pis’om umishoas r’sho’im ki savo”
    Do not fear sudden terror, nor the destruction of the wicked when it comes.

    1. avatar Mouldy Squid says:

      What language is that? The phonetics sound interesting.

      1. avatar Ben Eli says:

        Hebrew with Ashkenaz pronunciation. Ashkenazim are Jews with roots in central and eastern Europe.

        1. avatar Mouldy Squid says:

          Thanks for the info. I was going to guess a (transliterated) slavic language of some sort, but the consonants didn’t seem quite right.

          Is it a folk saying, or from some sort of literature?

        2. avatar Ben Eli says:

          It is a quote from the book of Proverbs. It is also said three times a day in some prayer traditions.

  7. avatar Hunter S. says:

    I’ve always wanted to put “pwned!” on the crown of the muzzle…
    it would be small but I would know it was there.

  8. avatar John Fritz says:

    Smile. Wait for flash.

    1. avatar RuffRidr says:

      Lol! That is my favorite one so far.

  9. avatar David says:

    “Warning: Smoking can be hazardous to your health”

  10. Beretta USA Corp on one side and Model 92FS on the other.

    Oops, sorry, just described what’s already on my favorite pistol. 🙂

  11. avatar Gabriel says:

    “Beware the Black Eye”

  12. avatar Blake says:

    Anti Victim Hand Tool.

    Criminals:This means it is not your day.

  13. avatar Bob H says:

    “Shall not be infringed.”
    underneath that in tiny print: (Not valid in NY, MA, NJ, CA, IL)

  14. avatar Jake F. says:

    “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this.”

    1. avatar Mouldy Squid says:


  15. S. MFG. CO.

  16. This is mildly off topic, as it has to do with what’s on the grip, but has anyone else noticed that the 1911 Master Engraved Colt 100th Anniversary Edition – S/N: 1911COLT001 features a portrait of Samuel Colt on the grip.

    I was curious why they would choose Samuel Colt over the designer John Moses Browning?

    1. avatar Magoo says:

      I assume because they are in the business of selling Colt firearms, not Brownings. However, there is a tiny bust of JMB on the slide.

      1. I understand where you are coming from on this, but at the same time, John Browning designed the 1911 for Colt. I consider John Browning part of many companies, as his designs were not specific to Browning Arms. The actual company Browning Arms wasn’t even in existence when he was alive.

  17. avatar WW Paul says:

    How about
    “to WW Paul from his friends at TTAG”?

  18. avatar Nathan says:

    one I’ve seen on a poor decision pistol before:


  19. avatar Ralph says:

    My ex-wife’s picture.

  20. avatar Aaron says:

    “If you can read this, you are too close”

  21. avatar Javier E says:

    ” El Castigo Final” = the final punishment

    “Con Duda Biene Muerte” = with doubt comes death

    “STOP” = stop!!!!!!!
    “Don’t” = don’t
    Repeat ! = keep shooting

  22. avatar Aaron says:

    “Veritas” “Aequitas” from the Boondock Saints

  23. avatar NotImportant says:

    c’est la vie – “such is life”

  24. avatar TheBoojum says:


  25. avatar Cheddat says:

    “Pocket Policeman” has its appeal, though no full-sized 1911 will ever fit in a typical pocket. “Crime Extinguisher,” followed by suitably adapted fire extinguisher instructions (Pull safety; aim at base of crime; pull trigger sweeping side to side, or similar) would be fun. I’ve always liked the guns-like-fire-extinguishers comparison.

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