posted on June 29, 2012 14:38
By Tim H. Martin
Recently, I watched the movie "Full Metal Jacket." There's a scene where Private Joker asks Private Pyle if he'd named his rifle yet. I had to laugh, because I'd been giving my firearms a girl's name for as long as I could remember.
I didn't even know it was a tradition for some members of the military, and I didn't know it was considered bad luck not to give your rifle a name until Private Joker warned Private Pyle to do so. He ended up naming his M-16 Charlene. To me, giving my guns a name just seemed like the natural thing to do.
My first gun-naming recollection was from back in the 1970s, when I was 16-years-old. I'd slaved all summer in an Alabama sawmill to earn enough money to buy a Browning .22 semi-automatic for squirrel hunting. I named the beautiful little rifle Beverly, after a high school sweetheart.
My next rifle was purchased in the early 1980s. I bought her with money given to me by my Grandfather Martin. Before he passed away, Granddaddy gave each of his grandchildren $500 to spend on anything we pleased. That was a lot of money back then.
I was a poor college student at the time and couldn't afford a deer rifle. It took me about two seconds to decide a brand new .243 Remington Model 700 ADL would be more pleasing than paying for books and tuition.
I named that .243 after an Auburn University cheerleader I'd taken a shine to named Ginger. That name seemed to be a perfect fit.
Both had perfectly balanced frames, both were elegant and slender, both were light and sporty, yet tough as hardwood. The rifle had a slightly marbled, honey-colored walnut stock. She simply looked like a Ginger.
I recently gave Ginger to my son and told him the story behind her name and what this special heirloom meant to me. He took his first deer with that rifle in 2010, which makes Ginger even more special.
More recently, Johnnie Belle, is the Remington Model 700 LSS that I bought shortly after joining Buckmasters in the 1990s. I've used the .300 win mag to shoot everything from whitetails, to bears to wildebeest.
I named her after my grandmother, who had traits similar to that rifle. Both were old, gray workhorses that I always depended on in tough situations. And both would kick me like a mule if I wasn't minding. How perfect is that?
I have a few more named firearms in my safe, but now I want to hear about yours.
We'd love you to tell us if you've named your firearms and why.