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gun terms, where do they come from?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by breakingcontact, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Well-Known Member

    I first noticed lots of guys talking about the "purchase" on a grip or stock.

    While looking at M&P 22 pistol reviews, I keep hearing it called an "understudy" pistol.

    I understand the term and agree it is appropriate, but how are so many people using the same term?

    This coming from the gun makers? The gun rags?

    Also, add your favorite phrases that you hear kicked around.
  2. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Well-Known Member

    Well "purchase" isn't a gun term, it is actually a word. One of the definitions is "A grip applied manually or mechanically to move something or prevent it from slipping."


    I haven't heard "understudy" gun but I guess it makes sense...it is a gun that operates identically to a service caliber, affording a much better training equivalent than say, a Buck Mark or Ruger 22/45. I like the term.

    You'd be surprised how quickly clever terms like that catch on. Just look at the advent of "memes" to get an idea of how ideas spread like wildfire online.
  3. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Well-Known Member

    Just seems like ill hear a term to describe a gun or piece of gear...then everyone is using that term.

    Guess its part of everything being a "tactical system" now.
  4. 303tom

    303tom member

    And there are some they use that I just can`t stand, such as shotty, sounds like some kid that needs to go to the potty, just saying..................
  5. vito

    vito Well-Known Member

    Some gun terms cleary express a point in an abbreviated way and are useful, some seem primarily to make the user feel like an insider. Whatever. I have to end now and take my ordnance delivery system to the range for some tactical simulation exercises.
  6. SDC

    SDC Well-Known Member

    Languages evolve around gun terms the same way they do around everything else; a word that seems to fit the concept it's being applied to best will probably spread and become more common; this is why a web "page" is called a "page", or the empty space at the rear of most vehicles is called a "trunk". Where it tends to get confusing in regards to firearms is where a term or description is borrowed from another language, and then it spreads without people realizing the original meaning of the borrowed word (like "stock"). The field of language that looks at word meanings is called etymology, and it's pretty interesting how closely some of these things are tied to accidents of history.
  7. Nushif

    Nushif Well-Known Member

    I've personally always wondered why very few people seem to buy guns. Most people tend to "purchase a firearm."

    While I get the notion of using words that seem to indicate more education I don't usually see the same pattern in the rest of the speech. It's kinda interesting at times. 8) I get it, words mean things, but at times I wonder whether that's a club we use or something we actually mean.
  8. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    Nushif, that isn't exactly the "purchase" that he was asking about, but you do hear it often in the sense that you used.

    However, I very oftentimes hear "buy" or "bought" just as often if not more than "purchase" when it comes to speaking about requisitioning a new firearm.
  9. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    There are phrases that came from gun terms I like

    Flash in the pan.

    Bite the bullet.

    Don't go off half cocked.

    Give 'em both barrels.

    Loaded for bear.
  10. BLB68

    BLB68 Well-Known Member

    I like to procure armament myself. =P
  11. Nushif

    Nushif Well-Known Member

    Oh, I know, but that did come to mind.

    See, in writing I see purchase a lot more than buy. Spoken, people tend to not stilt their language as much, as far as I can tell.
  12. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    An advantage to the word purchase is that it can be used as a noun or a verb. Example: You can title a thread "Your latest purchase". That is a lot shorter and more simple than "the last gun I bought". And it's less specific...maybe your latest purchase was ammo, or an optic, or magazines...

    Then, once the thread title has the word purchase in it, people are more likely to use that word themselves when they post.
  13. barstoolguru

    barstoolguru Well-Known Member

    It’s the American language; it can be twisted and raped and no one says anything for fear of being called stupid
  14. Nushif

    Nushif Well-Known Member

    Quite likely!
  15. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Well-Known Member

    Gun terminology/language mutates rapidly,,,

    If one more person corrects me when I use the word pistol instead of revolver,,,
    I might have to go postal on them.

    Same thing about magazine and clip.

    My Uncle was 3-years in Europe during WW-II,,,
    He called it a clip that went into his pistol,,,
    Nowadays someone woulda got smacked,,,
    Had they told him that he was incorrect.

    Too many people trying to make themselves feel important.

    Ordinance delivery system my aching back. :barf:


  16. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    Maybe us Texans are just less edumacated....purchase is a big word, you know?... :p
  17. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    Clips and magazines are two different things.

    Complete cartridges/rounds of ammunition are just merely bullets.

    My 20 round AR magazines are not "high capacity", they are regular/standard capacity.

  18. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    What confuses people about the differences is that most pictures show clips with ammunition in them and assume that the clip remains with the ammunition when it is inserted into the firearm. However, most clips do not remain in the firearm once the ammunition that they hold has been loaded (an exception is the M1 Garand's en bloc clip).
  19. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Well-Known Member

    Most of what's been discussed here is just guys saying what their buddies saying. I'm talking mostly about the internet gun advice givers. The YouTube gurus. Where does the original phrase originate?

    Here's another one..."indexing". Yes I get what it means. But could it be said any more? "This right here...gives you a place to index your finger".
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    But if he ran out of ammo and yelled for someone to throw him a clip?

    He would have gotten smacked in the face with 8 rounds of 30-06 ammo in a M1 Garand clip I betcha!


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