7 Slang Tactical Gear Terms from the Lighter Side


The world of tactical gear is a serious one, but it’s not without a sense of gallows humor. Here are seven terms from the lighter shade of black.

Bane Dangerous Scale

Named after gunwriter Michael Bane. The more often someone tells you how dangerous they are, the less dangerous they actually are. The more direct the statement, the greater negative impact on the scale. Mike: “The third time this guy told me how dangerous he was, I knew my trained attack beagle could take him.”


Mall Ninja GunAcronym for “Chicks Dig It”; used for guns, gear, cars, stereos, etc, that men kid themselves into believing women appreciate. The guy who gets stuff “CDI” is no threat on the range. He’s usually so convinced the coolness of the gear will see him through that he hasn’t practiced.


This is assembled of parts from various manufacturers. While many manufacturers assemble rifles from parts supplied by subcontractors, they are not Frankenguns. A Frankengun typically has mismatched upper and lower receiver colors (gray and black, old and new, etc.) and scrounged, surplus, salvaged or obsolete parts. Commonly, it is built from the least expensive parts, parts found, saved, salvaged or refurbished.


A word coined by Jeff Cooper, “an unreasoning fear of weapons. Specifically, firearms.” Someone who cannot discuss things firearm or firearm-related rationally due to a fear of guns is a hoplophobe.


As in “M4-forgery”: a copy of the Colt without the name and without the select or burst-fire fire control system. Some use M4-gery as a derisive term, for rifles not Colt-made or not real machineguns. Others simply use it to describe semi-auto clones of the M4, Colt or other brands.

Mall Ninja

Someone who seems compelled to have all kinds of cool gear, equipment and clothing. Upon closer look, you often discover that: A) Their gear is all cheap knock-offs, B) they are all talk, not having been anywhere or done anything, and C) can’t back up their talk. A typical Mall Ninja is barely capable of finishing a practical competition match without DQ-ing himself.

Sweeney’s Equipment Paradigm

Once any piece of gear has a high enough quality or sufficient durability, extra cost is better put to practice ammo. A $1,000 scope will not serve you as well as a $500 scope and $500 in practice ammo. A $50 scope and $950 in ammo, however, is probably a wasted $50 scope purchase.

Serious Tactical Terminology

Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Volume 4, by Patrick Sweeney.Patrick Sweeney offers all the serious tactical terms you must know in the Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Volume 4. The author also covers the latest news, information and gear for this popular tactical rifle.

Click to order the Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Volume 4.

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