Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Top Ten Manliest Firearms, Evah

Somebody (okay, probably everbody, at some point) came up with their Top Ten firearms list. Their puny example looked like this:

10. SMLE
9. Mosin-Nagant M-44
8. Glock
7. K31
6. AK-47
5. S&W 29
4. AR-15
3. Remington 870
2. Colt 1911A1
1. Barrett M-82

No. Barely 3 for 10 close. (In fact, if it isn't just a catalogue of what he had in his closet that day, plus one cherry on top Dream Item, I miss my guess.)

Having been exposed to other 10 Manliest Firearms Lists, it was time to compose my own.

First, a word on manliness. Any gun you can carry, and not feel the overwhelming need to explain -- is manly. If its presence is one you'd have to justify by saying "I was just plinking/target shooting/quail hunting/acting French/getting in touch with my feminine side" were a fellow shooter to see you with it in your hand, on your hip, or cradled in your arms, it's not manly. 

{Note that there's nothing wrong with any of the above activities, any more than it's wrong to enjoy a tuna salad sandwich rather than a 24 oz. steak medium rare. But in neither case are you, in a primal and unquestionable sense, being manly.}

With that in mind, The List:

10. Martini-Henry Mks I-IV

This is the gun that made British Colonialism famous. It slaughtered...everyone. From India to Africa to Asia to wherever Queen Victoria wanted to plant the Union Jack. Be glad we became independent before the era of the breech-loading rifle. The pores of the stock weep manliness, knowing that somewhere, someone probably used it to stick some heathen right in the breadbasket, or drilled him where he stood, for opposing God, the Queen, and the British East India Company. It was in service from 1871 to 1918. So it even helped kill hordes of Huns, Austrians, and Turks too.

9. HK MP-5

The only acceptable use for the 9mm is to send LOTS of them. This gun is manly because it does so. Accurately. And even, in some versions, darn near silently. The SAS uses them. The FBI uses them. Darn near EVERYBODY ON THE PLANET uses them. There is a reason. This is the gun the 9mm parabellum cartridge was waiting for, for nearly a century. And the only really good excuse for shooting it.

8. SW Model 29

"The world's most powerful handgun, and can blow your head clean off." Okay, the Casulls and some others are now more powerful. Upstarts and rogues. THIS is the gun you want. Not some wussy Walther PPK. Not some crappy launcher of Europellets. But a real Manly Man's sidearm. .44 Magnum in all its ear-splitting, Gun Fearing Wussy pants-wetting, non-politically correct glory. If guns are porn, this revolver is Jenna Jameson.

7. Colt SAA

Every movie and TV cowboy from William S. Hart to John Wayne to Clint Eastwood to McCloud to Walker, Texas Ranger carried one or more of these. And so did an awful lot of real cowboys. Good guys and bad guys, marshals, gunfighters, cavalry troopers, miners, and riverboat gamblers. This gun conquered a continent. If you haven't fired one, or don't own one, or something very like it, you are a shadow of a Manly Man. And you know it, deep down inside.

6. Winchester 1897

I could have named any pump shotgun, but this one is the one that made "trench broom" a reality. It conquered the Philipines, Cuba, France and Belgium. Then went on to beat gangsters, thieves, the Japanese, Germans, North Koreans and Chinese communists, and a good number of North Vietnamese before finally being retired. And I don't want to hear about how the modern versions are made by communists in China. It's not my fault that they're smarter, and know more about a good weapon when they face it in combat, than the pussified twerps in Communist New England.

Buy one, old or new, and hear wussies' knees quake in fear, before you even slam-fire this bad boy.

5. Thompson SMG

"The gun that made the Twenties Roar." It also went from Bataan to Burma to Iwo Jima. Winston Churchill's manliest pose wasn't posing with his two fingered V sign, it was cradling one of these .45 caliber bullet launchers in his manly arms. Sgt. Rock carried a Thompson. Humphrey Bogart carried a Thompson. James Cagney carried a Thompson. There's manly, and then there's MANLY.

4. Colt M1911A1

This is THE only pistol. If ever a handgun deserved an effigy demanding pagan rites and sacrifice, this one does. I saw a picture once of two Marine MPs who stopped sappers trying to bomb the Saigon Embassy. They stopped one guy with 7 shots from a service .45. He'd bled to death, because two of the shots blew his femurs apart, and he couldn't run with no bones in his legs. An Israeli Lt. Colonel, with a fully functional M-48 tank -- with a 105mm cannon, two machineguns, and small arms -- was stopped by a Marine Captain carrying a M1911A1. Guess who won the disagreement?

If the M1911A1 .45 had testicles, you could use them in the PBA to bowl 300 scores.

3. M1 Garand

"The greatest battle implement ever devised."  according to no less a manly man and weapons afficianado  than General George S. Patton. Conquered France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, half of Czechoslovakia (much of it under the aforementioned Gen. Patton), every island in the Pacific, both Koreas, and sent God alone knows how many enemies of America into oblivion with a surprised look on their face and several .30 caliber holes in them. This weapon is designed  to make the buttstrokes (horizontal, vertical, and smash) not just possible, but fun!.

The Army puts an antique musket >ptui!< on its Combat Infantry Badge.

OTOH, the Marines put a pair of crossed M-1s on their Expert Marksmanship badge. And still do pugil stick training and bayonet drills based on the M-1. You figure it out.

2. Browning BAR (not the wussy hunting poseur arm)

This is a MANLY weapon. 20 pounds EMPTY. Fires .30-06 FULL AUTO. Not only used by Bonnie and Clyde, but used by deputies to turn their car into swiss cheese and blow the two of them into dollrags in seconds. They used to assign an ammo bearer to keep up with a guy armed with one of these in combat. REAL Manly Men used to use them to charge pillboxes and machine gun nests and win Silver Stars, DSCs/Navy Crosses and Medals of Honor. This is a gun so Manly that it doesn't NEED a bayonet. This one-man gun was so manly that when we gave it to the South Vietnamese, they made it a CREW-SERVED weapon. WOOF!

1. Barrett M-82

This gun was introduced to American audiences in Navy SEALs: "This is God. I've got him. >>BLAM!!<< (Wall, rooftop, and badguy disappear in a red cloud). Okay, you're clear."

This gun kills VEHICLES. HELICOPTERS. SCUD Missiles. BUILDINGS. From a MILE away, even.

This is the gun that inaugurated the phrase "One shot. One Car Killed."

This is the gun every other gun on this list wants to be when it dies and comes back. The other guns on this list make GunFearingWussies hide in holes. With this gun, there is nothing on a CITY BLOCK you can hide behind, unless it has treads and armor on it. And even then, it'll seriously screw up your day.
That is all.


Randy said...

Honorable mention: Lever action rifle, your choice of caliber. From Jimmy Stewart to John Wayne to Chuck Connors, everyone looks badass holding one of these. Especially on a horse.

Windy Wilson said...

I like your list better. As you said, if you have to make an excuse, it isn't manly.

Aesop said...


1) They're generally carbines, which while they have a clear utility, are vaguely...French.

2) I only had ten spots, and competition was fierce. I went with the SAA instead.

3) Purely IMHO, the only way a lever action rifle looks manly carried on horseback, is if you're weilding two of them simultaneously, reloading by alternately windmilling the entire piece, while holding the reins in your teeth as you charge your opponents. It also helps if you have an eyepatch, a serious attitude, and start the party with the phrase, "Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!"

Anything less doesn't make the cut, and that's a pretty narrow subset.

Anonymous said...

Who would consider the K31 manly? Its Swiss, which is so close to French it might as well be French.