Glock Forum - GlockTalk banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking about how companies name their handguns and just for the sake of discussion I've decided to assign letter grades based on my own criteria.

The criteria are:

1) Are the names distinctive? Does hearing or seeing a name immediately bring to mind a particular gun?

2) Are the names informative? Does a name contain information about a gun's characteristics?

3) Are the names easy to use? Is a name easy to remember and to spell?

And some grades...

Glock: B-
I give Glock a lot of credit for keeping their model names simple. Then again, all Glock pistols are variations of a single design, so there's no reason for a complicated naming scheme. Glock gets high marks for ease of use and good marks for distinctiveness, even though there can be confusion if the model name is given without the brand (since "17", "24" and "36" are also the names of S&W revolvers) and "22" and "45" could refer to either a model number or to a caliber. The downside to the simplicity of Glock's model names is that they aren't very informative at all, aside from roughly corresponding to the order in which the models were introduced. Someone new to Glocks would have no idea that the G19 and G20 or the G41 and G42 are very different despite being just a single digit apart.

Ruger: D
This grade is based solely upon the Ruger "American" pistol series, which fails on multiple levels.
  • It's the same name used for a line of bolt action rifles.
  • All Rugers are made in the USA and so are all "American" anyway.
  • The model names wind up being much too long by the time all of the modifiers are added. E.g., "American 45 Compact Pro".

CZ:
B-

Kahr:
B+

S&W:
B

This topic could get very complicated] so I will just stop here and await your thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,424 Posts
I'm surprised you don't see more guns with actual names, like SA Hellcat, instead of numbers like the Sig P365. Americans seem to prefer this, look at how we name cars versus European and Asian countries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
S&W is a B but they've had some extremely confusing model numbers. The Model 357 is a lightweight .41 Magnum, for one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
I'm surprised you don't see more guns with actual names, like SA Hellcat, instead of numbers like the Sig P365. Americans seem to prefer this, look at how we name cars versus European and Asian countries.
As you pointed out, this works if you only plan to sell in the US. If you sell in multiple markets, you can't count on the name being helpful in other languages (hard to pronounce, bad translation or bad connotation in local language, etc.), thus requiring multiple names for best marketing. Big companies spend a lot of money finding a non-trademarked name that can be used worldwide. Just think of the fact that even the Canik factory has now embraced the Kanik pronunciation even though the local pronunciation is more like Janik because they want consistency in the world market. K sounds have the advantage of being virtually the same everywhere. Trivia: This was supposedly part of the reason for the name Kodak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
Ruger totally train-wrecked the Vaquero series as well, so F for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,102 Posts
I've been thinking about how companies name their handguns and just for the sake of discussion I've decided to assign letter grades based on my own criteria.

The criteria are:

1) Are the names distinctive? Does hearing or seeing a name immediately bring to mind a particular gun?

2) Are the names informative? Does a name contain information about a gun's characteristics?

3) Are the names easy to use? Is a name easy to remember and to spell?

And some grades...

Glock: B-
I give Glock a lot of credit for keeping their model names simple. Then again, all Glock pistols are variations of a single design, so there's no reason for a complicated naming scheme. Glock gets high marks for ease of use and good marks for distinctiveness, even though there can be confusion if the model name is given without the brand (since "17", "24" and "36" are also the names of S&W revolvers) and "22" and "45" could refer to either a model number or to a caliber. The downside to the simplicity of Glock's model names is that they aren't very informative at all, aside from roughly corresponding to the order in which the models were introduced. Someone new to Glocks would have no idea that the G19 and G20 or the G41 and G42 are very different despite being just a single digit apart.

Ruger: D
This grade is based solely upon the Ruger "American" pistol series, which fails on multiple levels.
  • It's the same name used for a line of bolt action rifles.
  • All Rugers are made in the USA and so are all "American" anyway.
  • The model names wind up being much too long by the time all of the modifiers are added. E.g., "American 45 Compact Pro".

CZ:
B-

Kahr:
B+

S&W:
B

This topic could get very complicated] so I will just stop here and await your thoughts.

Based on your criteria I think just about all of the above fail on #2 except for Ruger.

Glock Model 17 doesn't tell me anything about the gun. Neither does P365. And as you mentioned Glock's numbering can be confusing with the caliber. I give Glock a D- Ruger a C and everyone else a D.

Ruger totally train-wrecked the Vaquero series as well, so F for them.
Just based on naming convention, Vaquero is spanish for Cowboy and they are made for Cowboy action shooting so I think that's a pretty fitting name.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
Larsen E. Pettifogger said it best-

The whole naming system has done nothing but spark confusion. We have the Vaquero and the New Vaquero. So when people are talking about their "Vaquero" half the time there is confusion. So a lot of people started talking OMV and NMV to help eliminate confusion but then the "but" monkeys come out the woodwork and proudly explain that there is no such thing as an Old Model Vaquero. Sort of like the "experts" that have to explain there is no such thing as the .45 Long Colt even though manufacturers and ammo makers use the term. Same dumb thing Jeep did with the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. MANUFACTURERS don't use the same name on different models of your product!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,782 Posts
I love S&Ws, but I don't know if they get very high marks on this. Maybe a C-. Maybe.

Their revolvers and their earlier autos had what should be logical numbering systems (if you know how to translate them), but then they break their own rules and throw in odd ball models that don't fit those rules.

Now they have more obvious labels, but they are unwieldy and sometimes still confuse.

Smith and Wesson M&P9 2.0 Compact.
That's pretty clear, but starts to get a bit long. And, just be sure not to think that your S&W M&P9 2.0 Compact is the 2.0 version of your S&W M&P9 Compact.

And why are the EZ guns considered both Shields and M&P?
EZs are totally different than the other Shield models.
And they certainly aren't very Military & Police. How many LE agencies or armies issue an 8+1 .380 these days?

They should all be distinct lines:
  • M&P service pistols
  • SD budget defensive pistols
  • EZ easy operating pistols
  • Shield & Bodyguard concealed carry pistols

That's probably still too many categories, but it would make more sense.
 

·
DEPLORABLE ME!
Joined
·
12,020 Posts
That is retarded, did it happen when they were under alien ownership?
The old model 57 .41 Mag is blued, should be called the 557. Six (6) is for stainless models like the 657. Three (3) indicates Scandium I believe. 357 model not caliber.

If S&W keeps this up, their going to need a 'wiz wheel' like they used for the 3rd gen autos.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,424 Posts
I love S&Ws, but I don't know if they get very high marks on this. Maybe a C-. Maybe.

Their revolvers and their earlier autos had what should be logical numbering systems (if you know how to translate them), but then they break their own rules and throw in odd ball models that don't fit those rules.

Now they have more obvious labels, but they are unwieldy and sometimes still confuse.

Smith and Wesson M&P9 2.0 Compact.
That's pretty clear, but starts to get a bit long. And, just be sure not to think that your S&W M&P9 2.0 Compact is the 2.0 version of your S&W M&P9 Compact.

And why are the EZ guns considered both Shields and M&P?
EZs are totally different than the other Shield models.
And they certainly aren't very Military & Police. How many LE agencies or armies issue an 8+1 .380 these days?

They should all be distinct lines:
  • M&P service pistols
  • SD budget defensive pistols
  • EZ easy operating pistols
  • Shield & Bodyguard concealed carry pistols

That's probably still too many categories, but it would make more sense.
I am into old S&Ws and I know most of the early revolver models, but still do not find it to be logical, or translatable...to me they make no sense, just have to be memorized. Could you explain any logic behind the early Smith revolvers' names that I may have been missing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,782 Posts
I am into old S&Ws and I know most of the early revolver models, but still do not find it to be logical, or translatable...to me they make no sense, just have to be memorized. Could you explain any logic behind the early Smith revolvers' names that I may have been missing?
Sorry, I can't make much sense out of the early revolvers and don't know them that well.

My comment above was referencing the more recent revolver scheme as already mentioned in the thread (3xx = alloy, 5xx = blued, 6xx = stainless) and the earlier autos, meaning the 3rd gen autos that came earlier than the current M&P, SD, Shield, etc models.

The earlier (but not necessarily earliest) autos had a very informative system that still kept things nice and concise. (Once you understood it, and if they didn't break the rules. I'm looking at you, 6906!)

Rectangle Font Parallel Screenshot Technology


For those interested in 3rd gen autos, the whole article at Lucky Gunner is worth the read:
Guide to Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols & Their Model Numbers (luckygunner.com)

As for the earliest revolvers, ... it's a mystery to me, too!
 

·
Native Mainiac
Joined
·
26,356 Posts
I just think gun names like "Hellcat", "Shield", The Judge" and such are silly and a simple marketing ploy.

I prefer just model numbers so I can correct some idjit who don't know them....like when I thought a S&W41 shot .41 Magnum. I think S&W used a lottery machine that spits out numbered balls at random to name their guns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,060 Posts
Best gun names were in the late 1800's and early 1900's like th classic Peacemaker, Dragoon, Lightning, Sharps, Hand Ejector, Invincible, Volcanic, Walker, Akdal Ghost. Then skipping ahead there were brands as well such as Automag, ASP, Astra, Bobcat, Cheetah, Storm, Hi-Power, Cherokee, Caracal, Liberator, Hamada, Llama, Grach, Nambu, Raven, Hawkeye, Stechkin, Vektor, Viper Jaws, Volkspistole, Wildey, Zafar and Zastava.

Older board members will remember the term "suicide specials", those were inexpensive pistols often made of zinc alloys and other pot metals and sold very inexpensively back in the 1950's and 1960's and some even later. Most were made in an area called "the ring of fire" in Southern California by the predecessors of Davis, Phoenix Arms, Jennings and several others. There were also imported guns from Spain and Italy (like Rigarmi) and even German Rohm and RG handguns. Most were 22 or 25 calibers.

I have to agree with Bren in that my favorite gun name is Yeet Cannon by Hi Point. I like to think that the several threads and polls on Glock Talk and a few other gun boards had a lot to do with the naming of the Yeet Cannon.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top