Do you name your guns?

I’ve always wondered about that since it’s not really something that I do.  I’ve called guns by names, but when going in to the safe to get my 686 I say “Oh, I’m getting my 686” or if I have multiples it’ll be something like “I’m just going to grab my primary IDPA revo”.  Things like that.

That’s not to say that I don’t name some inanimate objects – my first car that I bought and paid for with my money was always “Old Girl”, no matter what.  “Here me, Old Girl?  We’ll get through this snow drift just fine”, etc.  My Subaru is named Squeaker, because well, it squeaks.  Actually, when I think about it, I’m much more likely to name and converse with a car than I am with a gun.

I guess I always felt like naming a gun was like naming a baseball bat or a screwdriver; it’s an implement.  But a car, well a car has a soul.  It carries you to adventures, is there for you when you need to get away, it makes sense to me to name a car.  But that’s just me.  So do you guys name your guns?  I’m sure that lots of my readers name their cars, but I’m curious about your guns.  Do you name them and then refer to them by those names?


  1. When STI offered custom serial numbers on frames, I took advantage of it, and my wife and I have several STI guns with unique personalized serial numbers. Each gun is configured for a specific use (IPSC Open, Steel Challenge, etc.) for a specific person (trigger length, thumb safety, mag release, grip color, etc.).

    Greg Hamilton from InSights Training had a great line that went something like this: “A 1911 is like a samurai sword, built by a master craftsman, with a name and a personality, customized for its owner. A Glock is a like a Roman short sword, each identical to the next. Lose yours, grab another and it looks and works just the same.” (Greg, like a lot of trainers, started out as a 1911/Gunsite guy but now carries and recommends the Glock.)

    1. Karl, I think that’s an apt analogy, and it’s why I don’t really name my guns. Because most of my guns are sporting implements, it would be odd to name a baseball glove and thus I find it odd to name a gun. When you look at my defensive firearms, they definitely conform to the “Roman short sword” model in that they’re simple and robust.

  2. Only one, my 1911 carry gun is named Beth.
    In honor(?) of a girl i went to school with, a mean, hateful bitch who hurts people when she spoke.
    Seemed appropriate.

  3. I have a modest collection of US military firearms and I have named all of them. Here’s an example:
    “M1917 – Eddystone 457,xxx. My sons and I call it “Daddy Con” after my grandfather who carried one while serving as an infantryman in the trenches in ‘17 and ‘18.”
    And so on for a Garand, M1903, M1 Carbine, etc.

  4. The only gun I have named is my SOCOM II, which is referred to as Thumper. I call it Thumper because the people on both ends of the barrel get thumped when it fires.

  5. In thinking about all the guns I own, the ones that I’ve done the most customization of (and the ones I shoot most often) have more personality.

    My problem with stock guns is that having seen the direct and immediate performance benefits of upgrades to sights, trigger, a mag release I can reach w/o shifting my grip, etc, I see no virtue in choosing to “stay stock” – because all that means is that you accept all the performance- and cost-reducing decisions the factory made to split the difference between price and performance and make the gun “mostly work OK” for those whose body geometry and shooting skill fall at the median.

    When the subject is life-saving equipment, max performance (which includes max reliability) should be priority 1, given the consequences of failure.

    1. The closest thing I have to a “stock” gun is my Model 60, and that’s just because the spring kit I ordered hasn’t come in yet. The “roman gladius” theory is a guideline – the more I shoot guns, the fewer failure points I want them to have and I want them to be simple to operate. Hence why when I’m not shooting OPG, I shoot and carry only S&W revolvers. I can pick up any gun in my safe, whether it’s a J, K, L, or N frame and know that it has the exact same manual of arms as all the other guns.

      That’s not to say the guns are “stock”. I like to convert all my wheelguns to DAO when I have the time and money, I usually swap the rear sights for Cylinder and Slide fixed rears or Bowen Rough Country rear sights; and they always have action jobs done.

  6. I’ve got a Marlin 60 I call Rodent Reaper, although since she’s been in my possession, she hasn’t shot anything but clays and paper. The Bersa 380 I had I called Bertha. Need to think of a name for the SR22 I just picked up. But usually I just use some part of the model name to refer to the gun in conversation with other gun friends.

  7. I carry a CS45 that my brother misread the first time he saw it so it has always been the “chef’s special” I guess if I ever have to serve it up, it will seem that way. Otherwise, like Aaron said, they come to me already named.

  8. I do. Not all of them are named, but the most commonly used ones are.

    My oldest hunting rifle, a 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser is named after my wife.

    I’ve got a .300 Weatherby that I call “Bruiser” for obvious reasons.

    And of course, I do call my current AR build “Vera”.

  9. I only have one named gun, and that’s by accident. When I ordered a 3-gun rifle, the parts listing looked like: DPMS lower, EGW upper, JP fire control group, BCG from somewhere else . . .. So that rifle is Frank. (As in, Frankenstein’s monster.) I don’t want it to have a name, but it stuck.

    I generally agree with the above posters who say that it’s a little creepy and/or unnecessary. Usually, to me they’re “the Beretta” or “the .270,” etc. (It helps that I only have one of anything.)

  10. I agree with Todd G.

    “I don’t name my guns, and I usually find it a bit creepy when people do.”

    I know a guy who names all of his guns girls names and it just makes me think he’s psycho. I admit though I get a kick out of people naming their guns like “rodent slayer death machine” or some other funny thing, you know they aren’t really taking it seriously. But if they address the gun as “Ethel” and won’t refer to it as an AK… yeah thats just wierd.

  11. I can see people finding it weird to name guns, but personally I think naming a gun gives me a greater bond with the weapon. Being that this will be what could see me through a life and death situation, I want to have that level of comfort/familiarity, beyond a mere “implement” or “tool.” Similar to the samurai and his sword, since I got into shooting via martial arts. Of course, I’m a laid back guy, so I didn’t really go super serious with the naming 😀
    686 Plus – Lucky
    870 Express Tactical – Chapel
    XD9SC – Greenpiece (guess what color it is)

  12. In my family, the collection of hunting rifles are not named per se, they are known by the family member who bought or first used the gun. Thus, we have Uncle Zeo’s 7mm and Opa’s .30-06 and so on. I honestly don’t know the makes of most of these guns, but they (and the associated loading data, which in some cases goes back 50 years) are a tangible and functional connection to my family history. Kinda cool, IMHO.

    Personally, the only guns I’ve named are Vera (the AK), and my Functioning Wall Hanger, a Mosin-Nagant M91/30. I named her Olga, because she’s a big, ugly 75 year old Russian.

  13. I name my carry guns so that my wife and I can talk about them if needed without tipping anyone off. If we’re in an uncomfortable situation, she can say “is Pablo around?”

  14. I jokingly call my Benelli 12 gauge B.E.T.S.I.E which stands for Blow Everything To Sh*t In Emergency

  15. I don’t name my guns, I call them what they are, however my wife, who does own a pair of .22LR and at one time a .380 gave each of them a name because she couldn’t remember what each of them were. So there was Paco, a Bersa Thunder 380, Plinker, a Walther P22, and Rusty, a Ruger 10/22. And no, the Ruger is kept clean, no rust on it.

  16. I only named the 1894c I bought with a tax rebate stimulus check. In honor of Nancy Pelosi, who sent me the money, I call that rifle “Gummint Cheez”.

  17. Speaking of which, I wonder what percentage of the Govt stimulus checks went to gun buying? Given that the checks coincided to a great part with the rush on guns I’d guess a sizable percentage, i know mine did!

    (Best thing the govt ever did for me)

  18. We have:

    A Sig 239 named Siguette
    A Sig 229 named Sigmund
    Siguito the Sig Mosquito
    The Dragon (a 10/22 modified with a skeleton stock and a pistol grip)
    Numerous Marco Polo’s (M&P’s)
    We sold Kahr-oline the PM9

    And yes, I name my cars, too 🙂

  19. Like John I’ve got a shotgun I call Frank, short for Frankenstein, just because it’s so damned goofy looking and I’m not afraid to ugly it up any more than it already is.

    That’s really the only one I’ve “named” I guess. Unless you want to count my Taurus products which collectively share the name “f*cking piece of sh*t.”

  20. My #1 Mk III Enfield got called “Smellie” a few times. Then it quietly said to me, “Old chap, if you call me that once more, I shall lose my point of aim. So stop it.”

    I now call it Mr. Enfield in public, or Lee when we are alone.

  21. I named my rifle overseas, just seemed like the thing to do. Of course the clone I built of it is lovingly referred to as “Josie Jr.”

    I named my last AR project as well, but that was simply because “Sigtyr” sounded better than “random midlength.”

    Otherwise, no.

  22. Some of mine have nicknames. For instance, I have multiple sigs. The P226 and P225 are “big brother” and “little sister.” And when I got the P220 Match, the family became big brother, little sister, and The Crushinator.

  23. I named the carbine I was issued in the military Fifi, but that was mainly a “these guys have seen way too many war movies” reaction towards my fellow conscripts.

    I can see the need for nicknames for tools if the pool of gear becomes large enough that some sort of identifiers are needed. But as I’ve never been that rich, I’ve never been in that situation. 🙁 Thus, I drive “the Jeep” as it’s the only one I have, shoot “the Smith&Wesson” as I only have one pistol from that company, etc. On the other hand I did have a friend who named just about every important or semi-important tool he has, even if he only has one of them, so I guess this is one of those YMMV-thingies.

  24. My kids name my guns for some reason. My S&W MP15 is the “Panther” gun. It’s little brother the S&M MP15-22 is the “Cub” gun. The .243 win that my son has only shot once is called “the death gun” because I didn’t take my brother-in-laws advice and put a recoil pad on it before he shot it. Bad daddy! Bad!

  25. Yep, my brother and I gave them names for the same reason as Mark above. When his wife got one, it got named Vera obviously.

    It has come in handy to talk about them on occasion without getting weird stares.

  26. I named my EBR AR-15 Elvira, as in “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”. My old and trusty Colt Gubmint Model is Big Mouth.

    My other guns, as yet, are unnamed.

  27. All my vehicles end up being called, “The Beast.” Usually a few months before they go to the junkyard. Otherwise they don’t often get named.

    Some of my guns seem to require names. I think it may be because I was exposed to the Davy Crockett story as a younster watching TV with my grandad. Crockett named his rifle, “Old Betsy” and the idea of naming guns may have stuck with me.

    One of my Smith & Wesson .41 Magnums has an eight and three eighths inch barrel. It acquired the name, “Long Tall Sally,” as soon as it arrived here.
    That’s from the old blues line, “Long tall Sally, she’s so tall, she sleeps in the kitchen with her feet in the hall.”

    An M1 Garand that I bought years ago may have gone through two wars. (The stock looks like it). It is often called, “The Old Vet.” My M1A, on the other hand, is just called the M1A.
    My deer rifle? “The Deerslayer.” (It’s about time it lived up to it’s name again).

  28. Sure, I name ’em:

    Glock 22 (now sold) Gen 1 was “Franz”
    S&W 638-3 with factory curlicues engraved on cylinder is “Pip”, Rem 870 is “Boomer”
    Stainless Colt 1911 is “Betty” (as in Archie, or Betty Page)
    Parkerized Springfield Armory Loaded 1911 is “Black Bart” and the M-1 is “Ole Branch” (about as heavy as one, of course).

    Ruger BH in .41 Magnum (1973!) and Yugo SKS are as yet unnamed!

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