Why Do I Name My Rifles?

There are times that I look at the things I’ve written, and sometimes feel a bit foolish at the naming conventions I’ve used for my rifles. I have Ascalon, Demeter, Heimdall, Mjolnir, Gungnir, and pistols with varying nicknames. I realize, on the surface, that this is a bit…well…silly.

But, I also like the tradition. Outside the context of firearms, history is full of named weapons. Charlemagne’s sword was called Joyeuse; and his paladin, Roland, had a sword named Durandel. King Arthur had Excalibur.


The sword, Joyeuse, which belonged to Charlemangne

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid, had Tizona and Colada. Literature is full of named weapons, from Beowulf’s Hrunting to the various swords of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (Glamdring, Anduril, Sting, and Narcil, among others).

This is, of course, not limited to swords. The name Ascalon, for which I named one of my rifles, comes from the spear of St. George that slew a dragon. Military members were rather famous for naming their bombers during wartime  such as the Enola Gay and Bockscar (the B-29s that dropped nuclear weapons on Japan). Chuck Yeager flew the Glamorous Glennis, a Bell X-1, to break the sound barrier. The very first nuclear weapon detonated was nicknamed ‘Gadget.’


St. George wielding his spear, Ascalon

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. The tradition of naming weapons has a long and storied past. I can’t say why this is the case, but my guess would be that it is a recognition that these objects are valuable, worthy of special care. Some people name their rifles after people, others perhaps after some shared activity with the weapon. I tend towards names from mythology, and choose names that suit the purpose of the weapon. I think I do this to make them feel more unique, as though they are truly mine. Though, I guess they are, anyway.

I suppose the second reason I do it is that I can talk about them in a public setting without raising eyebrows. Using Ascalon instead of, “the 16″ AR with the scope,” draws less attention.

Anyway, it’s just something that’s been on my mind.

Also, there has been a big bump in traffic around here. I noticed that Loose Rounds gave me a plug on their Facebook page. Thanks, guys!


3 thoughts on “Why Do I Name My Rifles?”

  1. I understand why you name your rifles. I also really like the the topics you explore on your blog, but it is difficult to follow your writing sometimes because of your naming convention. When you say you tried something new with Ascalon, I have to go back and find a post that explains which rifle Ascalon is. For someone who reads more than a few gun blogs, it is really hard to remember who shoots what and your code names add a layer of obfuscation.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! I’ve actually been thinking the same thing. It was one thing to use names exclusively at the start of last year when there was only a handful of posts, but it gets more cumbersome now as there is over a year of content to sift through. I think my future course is that if I use a rifle’s name, then I’m still going to describe what it is. In any case, it should be happening less since I’ve consolidated down to shooting just one rifle most of the time.


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