Can You Match the Nickname to the Legendary Gun?


By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Some firearms are so famous that they don't need a formal introduction. They have informal monikers that echo their capabilities and killing power. How much do you know about famous gun nicknames?

The Peacemaker

Few six shooters have the kind of Old West reputation of the Colt Single Action Army pistol, aka The Peacemaker. On the Wild West frontier, this Colt made peace through intimidation … or outright violence.


Tommy Gun

The Tommy gun is so legendary that we included it twice. Whether you call it the "Chicago Typewriter" or "The Chopper," its reliability and high rate of fire made it deadly during the World War II era.


Chicago Typewriter

During the gangster days of Chicago, when men like Al Capone ruled the city, thugs wielded weapons like the Thompson submachine gun, sometimes called the Chicago Typewriter. This famous gun wrote the obituaries of many unfortunate victims.


Frontier Six Shooter

In the Old West, there were a lot of guns, but few achieved the status of the Colt 45, a six-shooter for the ages. It was the Frontier Six Shooter, one that altered the course of many conflicts on the lawless frontier.



Anti-tank rocket launcher weapons, commonly known as bazookas, are also sometimes called "stovepipes" due to their cylindrical appearance. These shoulder-fired weapons launch munitions powerful enough to disable large vehicles like tanks.



In the late 1920s, the Degtyaryov machine gun became a staple of the Soviet army. It featured a pan-shaped magazine on top that resembled a record turntable … but the only music it played was the sound of death.


Potato Digger

The M1895 Colt–Browning machine gun has been called the "Potato Digger," not because it blasts turf, but because of the unique operating mechanism. It can fire more than 400 rounds per minute.



"Boomstick" is a nickname given to numerous guns throughout history, but it is most often attributed to 12-gauge shotguns. Boomsticks don't have much range but they are incredibly handy in the chaos of close-quarters combat.


30 Mike Mike

The term "30 mike mike" is sometimes used to describe a 30mm grenade launcher. It's used to describe the ammunition and the weapon itself.


Big Bertha

Big Bertha was a nickname given to a German heavy artillery gun during the World War I era. The famous gun could throw shells that weighed more than 1,800 pounds.


The Pig

"The Pig" is the M60 machine gun, which has been used in the United States military since the 1950s. It's called "The Pig" due to its unwieldy size and weight.



In the military, "Fitty" is a common term for just about any .50-caliber weapon. And the "Fitty," of course, is so big that it can tear apart both people and machines with ease.


Thumb Buster

The Colt Single Action Army .45 is a six-shooter that packs quite a kick, so it's the "Thumb Buster." Alternately, it's been called The Peace Maker.


Ma Deuce

The M2 Machine Gun from Browning is indeed an epic weapon. It has been in service since 1933, blasting people and vehicles with its scary-big .50-caliber cartridges.



Need to mow down an entire platoon of Nazi troops? Load up the M45 Quadmount, a vicious four-gun assembly that was common during World War II. No one -- especially infantry -- wanted to face the lethality of the Krautmower.


Grease Gun

In the 1940s, the M3 submachine gun entered service in the United States military. The gun looks strikingly similar to a mechanic's grease gun, thus the "Grease Gun" nickname.


The Belgian Rattlesnake

The Lewis Automatic machine gun was a light machine gun that was far more portable than the Vickers or Maxim machine guns during World War I. Its accurate, rapid fire earned it the nickname "The Belgian Rattlesnake."


Mattel gun

During the Vietnam War, the M16 machine gun came to prominence for American units. Many of the earliest models were poorly made, to the extent that soldiers called them toy guns -- and they associated toys with a major toy manufacturer, Mattel. Thus, the Mattel gun nickname.


The Devil's Paintbrush

In the 1880s, British weapons maker Hiram Maxim devised a recoil-operated machine gun that bore his name. On the battlefield, the 550-round-per-minute beast was "The Devil's Paintbrush," painting scenes of bloody carnage.


Staple gun

The Heckler & Koch P7 looks like the kind of handgun that a spy would carry. It's small, lightweight and accurate. And it has a "squeeze" cocking mechanism that resembles that of a staple gun.


Old Slabsides

The Colt M1911A1 is "Old Slabsides," a legendary pistol that became the standard-issue sidearm in the United States military. The nickname comes from the two large slab pieces that make up the handgrip.


Meat Chopper

During World War II, a four-gun configuration made up the M45 Quadmount, a vehicle-mounted machine gun often used against low-flying Axis warplanes. The guns could also be used against men on the ground, thus the name Meat Chopper.


Combat Tupperware

Glock handguns are well-known for their plastic frames. They're sometimes called "combat tupperware," but the name isn't derisive. Glocks are regarded as solid, well-constructed weapons.


Alley Sweeper

The Remington 870 shotgun is iconic for its bulletproof reliability and durability. It's the Trench Sweeper or the Alley Sweeper, useful for clearing out enemies in tight quarters.


Trench Sweeper

During the carnage of World War I, Allied troops sometimes dove headlong into enemy trenches with the "Trench Sweeper," the Winchester Model 1897 shotgun. In the close-quarters combat of the trenches, the spread of the lead shot made up for inaccurate rounds fired under duress.


Black Rifle

Due to its all-black finish, the M16 has been called the "Black Rifle." It became a legendary weapon starting in the Vietnam War era.


Screaming Mimi

During World War II, the Nazis deployed rocket artillery of all types. Allied troops had the serious misfortune of dreading the incoming sound of the rockets, and they nicknamed them "Screaming Mimis."


King of Nines

The Browning Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol was first made in the '30s, and it was called "Hi-Power" thanks to its large 13-round cartridge. It's available in both 9mm and .40-caliber models, but the 9mm is particularly well-regarded -- it's the King of Nines.


"The Right Arm of the Free World"

During the Cold War era, NATO countries frequently used the FN FAL battle rifle. It was so commonly associated with the West that it was called "The Right Arm of the Free World."


The Grand Old Lady of No Man's Land

During World War I, the deadly area between trenches was called "no man's land." It was ruled in part by savage weapons like the Vickers machine gun, a British water-cooled machine gun that mowed down Germans in countless numbers.


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