Ammo in music

Robert Johnson thinks that his 32 - 20 ( Winchester) is better than her 38 Special.Someone might disagree … re=related

That’s a very hard song to play as recorded


That’s a nicely cleaned up recording. The best original (un-remastered) I’ve heard sounds like it was recorded from under the floor boards of some juke joint. Mr. Johnson should’ve used his .32-20 on the jealous girl that poisoned him to death…Sad end to a great bluesman.

Most people have no clue what the song’s about. I even saw it on a compilation album as “.30-20 Blues”. Maybe ol’ Robert was a wildcatter?


If we are going to start a thread on ammo (etc) in music then I am going to get in quick and claim the high ground with Shotgun Boogie. And then I am going to get terribly pedantic and ask a question about the song.

“I asked her what she’d got, she said a *** .410”

*** in the song it was either box (as in boxlock) or Fox (as in the make)

Anybody know?

He was a genius and a great guitarist,there aren’t too many of the modern ultra fast guitarists that could properly play slow Johnson’s songs .That’s because he actually played as 3 guitarist at the same time : bass , fills and slide riffs !

I think that Robert had never the chance to tape an album using high - quality sound systems , as seen in “Mississippi Adventure” , where you can see an historical reconstruction of one of Johnson’s recording sessions inside what could well be an hotel room ! … re=related


I think it is “Fox .410”


Johnson was so talented, one would think he made a deal with the devil to be that good…


yes,and that movie was about that devil’s deal

Vince & Dave

He sings “Fox four ten” .Maybe “Fox” is a shotgun brand

“Fox” is a shotgun brand, owned now by Savage/Stevens and originally Ainsley-Fox (I don’t guarantee that spelling - no time right now to look it up.

John Moss

I was going to post this type of thing earlier tonight.

I like Choctaw Bingo by James McMurty
Makes reference to “that steel cased ammo with the Berdan primers, from some East Bloc nation that no longer needs it”

In Neil Young’s great album “On the beach”, there’s a song named “Revolution Blues”. Some verses say:

Well, I’m a barrel of laughs with my carbine on
I keep them hopping 'til the ammunition’s gone
But I’m still not happy,
I feel like there’s something wrong…

The LP was released in 1974 but it took 19 years to make it to CD.

“Silent Running” by Mike and the Mechanics: “…there’s a gun and ammunition just inside the doorway, use it only in emergency…”

Let’s not forget there is also a band actually named after a cartridge…

“.38 Special”

Doesn’t the 1812 overture have drum sounds that are supposed to represent exploding shells?


AC DC “Gimme a bullet”

“Gimme a bullet to bite on
Something to chew
Gimme a bullet to bite on
And I’ll make believe
I’ll make believe it’s you”

And there is a Japanese rock band with the name ‘9mm Parabellum Bullet’ :)

…with an additional shameless plug for the Dutch rockband ‘the Golden Earring’.
Some nice ballistics in this clip:

Rubber Bullets - 10CC

Bang Bang -Sonny and Cher

Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price (…the bullet went through Billy and broke the bartender’s glass)

Machine Gun - Jimi Hendrix/Band of Gypsies ( sound of a machine gun simulated by JH on his guitar)

Actually references to guns or ammunition are exceedingly rare in popular music which is suprising given the society and culture represented in American County music in particular. The only music that contains numerous references is rap and its various derivatives. I don’t think we want to go into that.

If we were to talk about cars instead we would have pages.

[quote=“AKMS”] Doesn’t the 1812 overture have drum sounds that are supposed to represent exploding shells?


Actually its to represent cannon fire and on occassions real cannons have been used, in the original performance for example. its to represent the noise of battle. But who is going to quibble?

One of my favourites from the brilliant but now largely unknown English “NWOBHM” band Saxon is “Machine gun” (Wheels of Steel, 1980).

“Move in to the front underhanded fire
Hear the bullets flying millions every hour
Tracers in the night shooting across the sky
For God’s sake cover me I don’t wanna die”.


Most of what I listen to was around well before I was born. I just can’t seem to get into the repetitive, computer generated music that is released today.

In 1976 Bob Dylan released the album “Desire”. Some say it’s his most inspired album from the '70s.

In that album appears the only song dedicated to a gangster that I know of. It’s titled Joey.

When they tried to strangle Larry, Joey almost hit the roof
He went out that night to seek revenge thinking he was bulletproof.

There’s a song by The Rolling Stones, titled Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Heartbreaker. It was released on the 1973 album Goats Head Soup.

Heartbreaker, with your forty four
I wanna tear your world apart…

I thought the Canadians would have come up with the Ian & Sylvia twofer:

Ella Speed:
Now the deed old Bill Martin done
Well he shot Ella with a Colt 41.

The Renegade:
Daylight came late over high coastal mountains.
The renegade stood watching with his rifle by his side
Then he emptied his gun up into the pale yellow sunrise
And he ran down the hillside the to place where he died.

I can’t believe that no one has mentioned (Maybe only John Moss, Ray and I are old enough to remember) the Country-Western songs by Marty Robbins. He wrote and sang many songs that mention gun fights.

There is Big Iron

[color=#FF0000]Texas Red had not cleared leather when a bullet fairly ripped
And the rangers aim was deadly with the big iron on his hip.

and then there is Feleena

[color=#FF0000]She flirted one night, it started a gun-fight
And after the smoke cleared away, on the floor lay a man
Feleena’s young lover, had shot down another

And the song El Paso is about the same Feleena (but spelled different)

[color=#FF0000]Felina is strong and I rise where I’ve fallen;
Though I am weary, I can’t stop to rest.
I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle,
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.

Anyone likes WWII music? … Ammunition … &objkey=81