Etymology
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Bren 

type of machine gun used by the British army in World War II, 1937, short for Bren gun, coined from first letters of Brno, Czechoslovakia, and Enfield, near London. The patent was purchased in Brno, and the gun was manufactured in Enfield.

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misfire (v.)

1752, of a gun, "to fail in firing;" by 1893 of an internal combustion engine; see mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + fire (v.). Perhaps the first element is miss (v.); to miss fire, of a gun, is attested by 1727. Related: Misfired; misfiring. Figurative use by 1942. The noun is attested from 1839 in reference to a gun or cannon.

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unlimber (v.)

1760, "to free (a gun) from its limber," usually for the purpose of bringing it into action, from un- (2) "opposite of" + limber "attach a gun to its limber" (see limber (n.)). Figurative sense is attested from 1864. Related: Unlimbered; unlimbering.

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scattershot (adj.)

1959, figurative use of term for a kind of gun charge meant to broadly spread the pellets when fired (1940), from scatter (v.) + shot (n.). Scatter-gun "shotgun" dates to 1836.

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Thompson (n.)

type of sub-machine gun, 1919, named for U.S. Gen. John T. Thompson (1860-1940), who conceived it and whose company financed it. Familiarly Tommy gun by 1929.

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rifle (v.2)

in gun-making, "to cut spiral grooves in" (the bore of a gun barrel), 1630s, probably from French rifler, from Old French rifler "to scratch or groove" (see rifle (v.1)). Related: Rifled; rifling.

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Kalashnikov (n.)

type of rifle or submachine gun, 1968, from Russian Kalashnikov, name of a weapon developed in the Soviet Union c. 1946 and named for Mikhail Kalashnikov, gun designer and part of the team that built it. In AK-47, the AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikov.

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blunderbuss (n.)

"short, large-bore gun or firearm with a funnel-shaped muzzle," 1650s, from Dutch donderbus, from donder "thunder" (Middle Dutch doner, donder, from Proto-Germanic *thunaraz; see thunder (n.)) + bus "gun" (originally "box, tube"); altered by resemblance to blunder. Related: Blunderbussier.

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Mauser 

type of German army rifle, by 1874; it was introduced 1871, having been invented by brothers Peter Paul (1838-1914) and Wilhelm (1834-1882) Mauser.

After many and most varied experiments, the supreme military authorities of the German empire have now finally decided to supply the whole of the German army—with the exception of the Bavarians, who have a most excellent weapon already in the Werder gun—with a gun of a new pattern, made by a Würtemberg gunsmith of the name of Mauser, who lives at Oberndorf. This new pattern is called the Mauser gun or rifle. This Mauser gun is said to be in every way vastly superior to the chassepot. [G.L.M. Strauss, "Men Who Have Made the New German Empire," London, 1875]
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percussionist (n.)

"player of a percussion instrument," 1921, from percussion + -ist. Earlier "one who uses a percussion gun" (1817).

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