Top 30 Slang For Shooting A Gun – Meaning & Usage

Shooting a gun is a serious matter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with the slang associated with it. From “pop a cap” to “bust a cap,” there are plenty of colorful expressions used to describe the act of firing a gun. In this listicle, we’ve rounded up the top slang for shooting a gun that will have you feeling like a seasoned pro. So lock and load, and get ready to expand your gun-related vocabulary!

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1. Blast

To discharge a firearm. “Blast” is a slang term used to describe the act of shooting a gun, often with force or intensity.

  • For example, in an action movie, a character might say, “I blasted my way through the enemy lines.”
  • A person discussing a shooting incident might say, “He pulled out his gun and started blasting at the target.”
  • A gun enthusiast might comment, “I love going to the shooting range and blasting off a few rounds.”

2. Pop off

To fire a gun. “Pop off” is a slang term used to describe the act of shooting a gun, often with a quick and sudden motion.

  • For instance, in a gangster movie, a character might say, “He popped off a few rounds and made his escape.”
  • A person discussing a shooting competition might say, “I need to practice my accuracy when popping off shots.”
  • A gun enthusiast might mention, “I enjoy the adrenaline rush when I pop off a few rounds at the range.”

3. Bust a cap

To discharge a firearm, often in a violent or aggressive manner. “Bust a cap” is a slang term used to describe the act of shooting a gun, typically with the intent to harm or intimidate.

  • For example, in a crime drama, a character might say, “He busted a cap in his rival’s direction.”
  • A person discussing a self-defense situation might say, “If someone threatens your life, you may have to bust a cap to protect yourself.”
  • A gun enthusiast might comment, “I hope I never have to bust a cap, but I’m prepared if the situation arises.”

4. Let loose

To fire a gun rapidly and without restraint. “Let loose” is a slang term used to describe shooting a gun with a lack of control or inhibition.

  • For instance, in a war movie, a character might say, “They let loose a volley of gunfire on the enemy.”
  • A person discussing a shooting range experience might say, “I love the feeling of letting loose with a fully automatic weapon.”
  • A gun enthusiast might mention, “When I’m at the range, I like to let loose and have some fun with my firearms.”

5. Squeeze off

To fire a gun by gently squeezing the trigger. “Squeeze off” is a slang term used to describe the act of shooting a gun with a deliberate and controlled trigger pull.

  • For example, in a sniper movie, a character might say, “He squeezed off a single shot, hitting the target with precision.”
  • A person discussing marksmanship might say, “To improve accuracy, focus on squeezing off each shot instead of jerking the trigger.”
  • A gun enthusiast might comment, “I enjoy the challenge of squeezing off accurate shots from a distance.”

6. Fire away

This phrase is used to encourage someone to start shooting a gun or to give permission to shoot. It can also be used figuratively to mean to start speaking or asking questions.

  • For example, a shooting instructor might say, “Fire away when you’re ready.”
  • In a conversation, someone might say, “I have a question, can I fire away?”
  • In a war movie, a commander might yell, “Fire away!” to signal the start of an attack.

7. Pull the trigger

This phrase refers to the action of pulling the trigger of a gun to fire a shot. It can also be used metaphorically to mean to make a decision or take action.

  • For instance, a firearms instructor might say, “Focus on your target and pull the trigger.”
  • In a discussion about making tough choices, someone might say, “Sometimes you just have to pull the trigger and go for it.”
  • In a crime novel, a character might hesitate before pulling the trigger, showing the internal struggle.
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8. Open fire

This phrase is used to give the command or signal to start shooting a gun. It is often used in military or combat situations.

  • For example, a military officer might shout, “Open fire!” to initiate an attack.
  • In a video game, a character might say, “Open fire on the enemy!”
  • In a historical movie, a commander might order, “Open fire at will!”

9. Take a shot

This phrase means to fire a gun or take a single shot. It can also be used figuratively to mean to try or attempt something.

  • For instance, a target shooter might say, “Take a shot and see how close you can get to the bullseye.”
  • In a conversation about trying new experiences, someone might say, “I’ll take a shot at skydiving.”
  • In a crime drama, a character might say, “I’ll take a shot at finding the truth.”

10. Gun down

This phrase refers to shooting someone and causing their death. It is often used to describe a violent act or a deliberate attack.

  • For example, a news headline might read, “Gang member gunned down in broad daylight.”
  • In a crime thriller, a character might say, “He was gunned down in cold blood.”
  • In a discussion about gun violence, someone might say, “Too many innocent people are being gunned down in our streets.”

11. Shoot up

This phrase is used to describe the act of shooting a gun rapidly and continuously. It can also refer to shooting multiple targets in quick succession.

  • For example, during a shootout in a movie, a character might shout, “Shoot up the place!”
  • In a video game, a player might say, “I need to shoot up the enemy base to complete the mission.”
  • A police officer might radio for backup, saying, “We have a suspect shooting up the neighborhood.”

12. Blast away

This slang phrase means to shoot a gun with great force or intensity. It can also be used to encourage someone to start shooting or to continue shooting.

  • For instance, a soldier might yell, “Blast away!” during a firefight.
  • In a shooting range, an instructor might say, “Go ahead and blast away at the target.”
  • A person recounting a hunting trip might say, “We spotted a deer and blasted away, but it got away.”

13. Pump lead

This slang phrase means to fire a gun, specifically referring to the act of shooting bullets. It often implies shooting a large number of bullets in a short period of time.

  • For example, a gangster in a movie might say, “I pumped lead into him until he dropped.”
  • In a discussion about firearms, someone might mention, “The machine gun can pump lead at an astonishing rate.”
  • A soldier describing a battle might say, “We were pumping lead into the enemy, trying to suppress their fire.”

14. Let fly

This phrase means to shoot a gun without hesitation or restraint. It can also imply shooting with great accuracy or precision.

  • For instance, a cowboy in a Western film might say, “I let fly and hit my target dead center.”
  • In a conversation about marksmanship, someone might say, “He’s an incredible shooter. He can let fly and hit a bullseye every time.”
  • A person describing a self-defense situation might say, “I was scared for my life, so I let fly and managed to scare off the attacker.”

15. Send rounds downrange

This phrase is often used in a military or shooting range context to describe the act of shooting bullets downrange towards a target.

  • For example, a drill sergeant might yell, “Send rounds downrange! Practice your aim!”
  • In a shooting competition, a participant might say, “I need to send some rounds downrange to improve my score.”
  • A firearms instructor might explain, “To become a better shooter, you need to spend time sending rounds downrange and analyzing your technique.”

16. Pop

This term is often used to describe the act of shooting a gun. It can refer to the sound of a gunshot or the action of firing a weapon.

  • For example, in a crime novel, a character might say, “He heard a loud pop and knew he was in danger.”
  • In a conversation about firearms, someone might ask, “Have you ever popped off a few rounds at the shooting range?”
  • A person recounting a hunting trip might say, “I had to pop a few shots to scare away the wild animals.”

17. Fire off

This phrase is used to describe shooting a gun in quick succession. It implies firing multiple rounds in a short amount of time.

  • For instance, in an action movie, a character might say, “He fired off a barrage of bullets at the enemy.”
  • In a discussion about self-defense, someone might suggest, “If you’re ever in a dangerous situation, fire off a few warning shots to scare off the attacker.”
  • A person describing a shooting range experience might say, “I had a blast firing off rounds from various firearms.”

18. Blaze

This term is used to describe shooting a gun rapidly and continuously. It conveys a sense of intensity and speed.

  • For example, in a war movie, a soldier might shout, “We need to blaze our way through the enemy’s defenses!”
  • In a conversation about gun control, someone might argue, “People should not have access to firearms that can blaze through dozens of rounds in seconds.”
  • A person discussing a shooting competition might say, “I saw some incredible shooters blazing through the course.”

19. Plug

This slang term is used to refer to shooting or killing someone with a gun.

  • For instance, in a crime novel, a detective might say, “The victim was plugged with a single gunshot to the chest.”
  • In a discussion about gang violence, someone might mention, “He was known for plugging rival gang members.”
  • A person recounting a hunting trip might say, “I managed to plug a deer with a clean shot.”

20. Smoke

This term is used to describe shooting a gun. It can refer to the act of firing a weapon or the resulting smoke from the gunshot.

  • For example, in a war movie, a soldier might yell, “Smoke ’em out!” before opening fire.
  • In a conversation about target practice, someone might ask, “Are you ready to smoke some targets?”
  • A person describing a shooting competition might say, “The air was filled with smoke as the competitors fired their guns.”

21. Blast off

This phrase is used to describe shooting a gun, often with a sense of excitement or intensity. It can also refer to starting or initiating something.

  • For example, “He blasted off a round into the air to celebrate.”
  • In a video game, a character might say, “Blast off those enemies with your powerful weapons!”
  • A person might say, “Let’s blast off and start this shooting competition!”

22. Light up

This slang term refers to shooting a gun, often with the implication of rapid or continuous fire. It can also mean to illuminate something with gunfire.

  • For instance, “He lit up the night with his rapid-fire shooting.”
  • In a war movie, a soldier might shout, “Light up the enemy positions!”
  • A person might say, “I saw him light up the target with precise shots.”

23. Bust some caps

This phrase is a slang term for shooting a gun, particularly in a rapid or aggressive manner. It can also refer to firing multiple rounds.

  • For example, “He stepped outside and started busting caps into the air.”
  • In a crime novel, a character might say, “I’m gonna bust some caps if they don’t back off.”
  • A person might say, “I can bust some caps with my new semi-automatic rifle.”

24. Pull the trigger on

This slang phrase means to shoot a gun, often with the implication of making a decision or taking action. It can also refer to initiating or starting something.

  • For instance, “He finally pulled the trigger on his plan to open a shooting range.”
  • In a movie, a character might say, “I had to pull the trigger on him to protect myself.”
  • A person might say, “It’s time to pull the trigger on this shooting competition and make it happen!”

25. Shoot the works

This slang phrase means to shoot a gun, often with the sense of giving it your all or using all available resources. It can also refer to taking a risk or going all out.

  • For example, “He shot the works and emptied his entire magazine into the target.”
  • In a sports competition, a coach might say, “This is your chance to shoot the works and show what you’re capable of.”
  • A person might say, “I’m gonna shoot the works and give it everything I’ve got in this shooting tournament.”

26. Smoke ’em

This slang term is often used to describe shooting and killing someone. It implies a sense of superiority or dominance over the target.

  • For example, in a gangster movie, a character might say, “I’m gonna smoke ’em all and take over this town.”
  • In a video game, a player might shout, “Smoke ’em!” when eliminating opponents.
  • A police officer might use this term in a report, stating, “The suspect was armed and threatening, so I had to smoke ’em to protect myself.”

27. Lay down some lead

This slang phrase means to shoot bullets from a firearm. It emphasizes the act of shooting and the impact of the bullets hitting the target.

  • For instance, a soldier might say, “We laid down some lead to suppress the enemy’s fire.”
  • In a crime novel, a detective might describe a shootout, saying, “They were laying down lead left and right.”
  • A gun enthusiast might use this phrase at the shooting range, saying, “Let’s go lay down some lead and see who has better aim.”

28. Spray

To “spray” refers to shooting a gun rapidly and without precision. It suggests a lack of accuracy or control over the bullets being fired.

  • For example, in a action movie, a character might say, “I sprayed the room with bullets, taking out everyone.”
  • In a video game, a player might say, “I sprayed the area with gunfire and got lucky with a few kills.”
  • A police officer might use this term to describe a dangerous situation, saying, “The suspect started spraying bullets in all directions.”

29. Unleash

To “unleash” means to release or fire a rapid series of shots from a firearm. It implies a sense of power and force behind the shooting.

  • For instance, a soldier might say, “We unleashed a barrage of gunfire on the enemy.”
  • In a thriller novel, a character might describe a shootout, saying, “The protagonist unleashed a storm of bullets on the attackers.”
  • A competitive shooter might use this term to describe their performance, saying, “I unleashed my skills on the targets and set a new personal record.”

30. Discharge

To “discharge” a gun means to fire it. This term is often used in a formal or technical context to describe the act of firing a firearm.

  • For example, a police officer might report, “I discharged my weapon in self-defense.”
  • In a military training manual, the instructions might state, “Discharge your weapon only when necessary and with proper aim.”
  • A gun safety instructor might use this term when teaching, saying, “Always follow the proper procedures when discharging a firearm.”