Popular gun-related sayings


John Wayne
June 19, 2010, 12:13 AM
Ever stop and think about how many popular sayings originated as gun-related sayings and terminology?

Here's what I came up with off the top of my head:

"Lock, stock, and barrel"
"Faster than a speeding bullet"
"Pull the trigger"
"Drop the hammer"
"In my sights"
"Lock and load"
"Get the lead out" (actually, not sure about this one)
"Hot as a pistol"
"Going off half-cocked"

Don't know of any involving terms like M.O.A., meplat, or magazine follower, but who knows...maybe in a few years?

What other ones are there?

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June 19, 2010, 12:52 AM
"On Target"
"Shoot the Breeze"
"Rapid Fire"
"Hit the Mark"
"Bullet Proof"
"Loose Cannon"

June 19, 2010, 01:30 AM
"Fire in the hole!"
"Keep your powder dry"
"Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey"

June 19, 2010, 01:32 AM
"with guns blazing"
"shot in the foot"
"shoot mouth off"
"shoot first, ask questions later"
"shot down"
"shoot out"
"easier than shooting fish in a barrel"
"shoot" in place of a swear word that shares the same constanants but a different vowel.
"shot glass"
"shoot from the hip"
"a shot in the dark"
"shooting blind"
"shelling out" as in paying for something.
"shot to ..." swear word mentioned above.
"taking aim"
"no one held a gun to your head" as in not being forced into something.
"worth a shot"
"taking out the big guns"
"overshot" as in a plane landing past a runway.
"shooting for gold"
"aim higher/lower" as in setting goals.
"just shoot me now"

June 19, 2010, 01:34 AM
Can't hit the broad side of a barn
Are you packing?

June 19, 2010, 01:41 AM
"straight shooter"
"trigger happy"
"gunning" for something

Straight Shooter
June 19, 2010, 01:42 AM
He's a "Straight Shooter" :D
Bull's Eye
Just a "shot in the dark"
I've got you "in my sights"

June 19, 2010, 01:46 AM
mexican standoff

June 19, 2010, 02:06 AM
flash in the pan
hair trigger
straight shooter
ramrod straight
pull your finger out (actually for old black powder naval cannon)
point blank

Gun nutt
June 19, 2010, 07:20 AM
"M1 thumb." (what I say every time I hurt my thumb)

"Is that a gun or are you just happy to see me?"

"Shootin' blanks" (urological usage)

Harley Rider 55
June 19, 2010, 07:21 AM
Russian Roulette
Saturday Night Special
Hair trigger

June 19, 2010, 07:31 AM
short fuse
gave it to him with both barrels

June 19, 2010, 11:12 AM
gun shy
cocked, locked, and ready to rock
lock and load

June 19, 2010, 11:29 AM
“The full nine yards” it refers to a full belt of .50 BMG ammo from a WWII fighter’s wing gun.

June 19, 2010, 11:34 AM
A flash in the pan.

Rail Driver
June 19, 2010, 11:38 AM
Glock Leg ;)
Spray and pray
Tack Driver
Rail Driver

June 19, 2010, 11:40 AM
"welcome to the gun show" /flex :D

June 19, 2010, 11:59 AM
"smoking gun" as in; That (whatever) proves he did it.

June 19, 2010, 12:05 PM
Hello friends and neighbors //The Shot Heard Round The World ;;American History (look it up)

Shot who ;; as in I did not hear what you just said but the last bit sounded important.
Shoot the moon

June 19, 2010, 12:16 PM
my favorite...

"you can't miss fast enough to win."


June 19, 2010, 12:21 PM

June 19, 2010, 12:32 PM
"Glock" used as a verb, in place of "shoot," regardless of the weapon used.

June 19, 2010, 12:48 PM
"shot for shot"
"in my sights"

June 19, 2010, 02:32 PM
shoot me a memo
shot himself in the foot
he misfired on that one
he should have pulled the trigger on it
who is the new hot shot
that's a bullseye
he's a straight shooter
she's a real pistol
he has a real shot to be CEO.
they're out of ammo on that
she's coming under heavy fire for what she said
let's reload and try again
they're loaded for bear, it's a regular firing squad in there
don't shoot the messenger
he's shooting blanks
and he got shot down
shoot, ya got me
keep it in your sights
don't miss the mark
he got shot off his horse

just too many to list - sorry for duplicates

June 19, 2010, 02:40 PM
"Glock Leg"


June 19, 2010, 04:03 PM
On the bottom of my website and on the contact us page of my website, I have the following phrase. If you have any questions, just shoot me an email and I'll reply promptly. Its kind of a firearm related phrase, indirectly anyways.

June 19, 2010, 04:04 PM
Hope I did not miss these.
1- Hang Fire.
2- Hip shot, referring to a person, not a compliment.

June 19, 2010, 04:08 PM
"Shot him/her/them a nasty look."

June 19, 2010, 04:29 PM
"buy it cheap and stack it deep" in regards to ammo

June 19, 2010, 04:33 PM
Don't go off half cocked.

June 19, 2010, 04:36 PM
A flash in the pan.
I thought this referred to panning for gold?

June 19, 2010, 06:21 PM
From the days of flintlock firearms, where the main charge was intended to be fired by a small charge of gunpowder in the priming pan. If the resultant fire did not pass through the touch-hole and ignite the main charge, it produced noise and smoke, but no substantial effect, and was termed a “flash in the pan”.

June 19, 2010, 06:30 PM
"shot his wad" -- to fire a muzzleloader without loading the ball. Also several X-rated definitions.

June 20, 2010, 03:22 PM
"Maggie's drawers".

June 21, 2010, 04:45 PM
"hotter than a $2 pistol"

June 21, 2010, 07:49 PM
shotgun wedding :)

June 22, 2010, 01:15 PM
"in the crosshairs"
"the whole shootin' match"
"caught in the crossfire"
and one of my favorites: The Firing Line

June 22, 2010, 01:17 PM
See my Sig...

June 23, 2010, 05:17 PM
"Sure as shootin"!

June 23, 2010, 05:31 PM
Yep! We got "The whole shooting match here". We are ready to go.

(I guess these last two are showing my age.)

June 23, 2010, 05:39 PM
Don't call a magazine a clip!:neener:

June 23, 2010, 05:46 PM
"Keep your Powder dry"

'Shot his wad"...uhhhh, I think that was actually about something else...even though it seems to fit a Muzzle Loading condition also.

June 23, 2010, 06:55 PM
Well, I'll be a son of a gun, you all came up with a pretty good list.

Several months ago, I came up with a long, continuous and coherent paragraph incorporating most of these... but of course I never bothered to write it down.

What inspired me to do this was a column that appears in each issue of MHQ magazine -- Military History Quarterly (I highly recommend it). The column is called "Fighting Words" and it explores the origins and lexicography of many of these common gun-related sayings. Always fascinating reading.

By the way, "shot his wad" had its origins in battle, not in the bedroom. In the tense and fearful confusion of battle, it was not uncommon to fumble the priming pan/powder/wadding/ball sequence, resulting in an ineffectual shot. Just as common as shooting the wad (without the ball) was forgetting to remove the ramrod from the barrel before firing... which produced laughter from both sides.

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