Posted on November 13, 2009
Developing pet names for inanimate objects is nothing out of the ordinary, especially when it comes to possessions as prized and powerful as guns. Yet sometimes these nicknames come not from adoration, but from pure disdain or infamy. Here are five historical gun names that are, at times, a hybrid of both good and evil.
1. The Pig
It wasn’t just the M60’s appetite for bullets that contributed to its porker of a moniker. The machine gun’s substantial weight at 23 pounds and unreliability also played a hefty role. The belt-fed machine gun made its debut in 1957 and has been employed by every branch of the U.S. military since. With the ability to shoot up to 1,200 yards, the M60 can be fired accurately at shorter ranges, too, because of its design.
2. Burp Gun
This gaseous nickname for the German MP38 and MP40, according to the Urban Dictionary, comes from its resemblance to a classic gun toy that blasted ping pong balls and was manufactured by Burpco — no joke. Developed in Nazi Germany, the submachine gun was used by paratroopers, platoon and squad leaders along with other troops during World War II. Both weapons were a more simplified version of the MP 36, which was constructed from machined steel.
3. Bloop Tube
We’d be lying if we told you that Bloop Tube was the only nickname for the M79 grenade launcher. It’s also referred to as Thumper, Thump Gun, Blooper and Wombat Gun. We just like Bloop Tube the best because it’s fun to say. Originating in the United States, the M79 struck a chord with American soldiers in the 1960s calling it “the platoon leader’s artillery.” While popular at one time, it was soon replaced by the M203 because of its weight and single-shot ability.
4. Hitler’s Chain Saw
Tacking “Adolf Hitler” to any name gives it an immediate ominous connotation. However, the pairing of it with “chain saw” makes it that much more menacing. It’s probably why the MG 42 was once called the “most terrifying infantry weapons” in Nazi Germany. With the ability to fire 1,200 to 1,500 rounds per minute, it’s no wonder they compare the MG 42’s sounds to the revving of a chain saw.
5. Plumber’s Nightmare
World War II soldiers had a love-hate relationship with the Sten gun, particularly the Mark II variant, because it wasn’t the most reliable gun to carry on the battlefield (jamming, random discharging, etc.). Especially detested by frontline troops, the submachine gun earned a few names: Plumber’s Nightmare, Plumber’s Abortion or Stench Gun. Created in the United Kingdom, Stens were also used in the Vietnam War and Korean War.
(Images via Wikimedia Commons)