Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shooting iron n.

[note WWI Aus. milit. shooting iron, 18-pounder field gun]

1. (also talking iron) a pistol or gun.

[US]S. Adams letter 31 Jan. in Hist. Mag. (1870) IV 219/1: It puts me in mind of what I remember to have heard you observe, that we may all be soon under the necessity of keeping Shooting Irons .
[US]R. Tyler Contrast III i: He was afraid of some of them ’ere shooting irons, such as your troopers wear on training days.
[US]James Hall Legends of the West 260: This is a poor shooting-iron for a man to have about him [...] it is of no use in the woods.
[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick in England I 239: Paint me with my talkin’ iron in my hand, wipin’ her, chargin’ her, selectin’ the bullet.
[US]T.B. Thorpe Mysteries of the Backwoods 129: Down with your shooting iron, you wild critter.
[US]‘Philip Paxton’ A Stray Yankee in Texas 51: Drop yer shootin’ iron, or ye’ll get more’n ye send.
[UK]Wild Boys of London I 151/2: He had his goodly ‘shooting irons,’ as he termed his revolvers.
[US]J. O’Connor Wanderings of a Vagabond 40: I’ll do anything you want me to, Jack, if you’ll put up that shootin’-iron: it might go off accidentally!
[US]E.L. Wheeler Deadwood Dick in Beadle’s Half Dime Library I:1 82/3: ‘Poppong-jays?’ echoed Filmore, senior. ‘Yas—shutin’-irons—rewolwers—patent perforatin’ masheens.’.
[UK]Bristol Magpie 12 Oct. 5/2: [I]isn’t it dangerous to trust an erratic genius like Collings with a ‘shooting iron’.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 236: Hev ye nary shootin’ iron?
[UK]Sporting Times 31 Jan. 7/2: All went well till one of the guns found himself constantly looking down the general’s shooting iron.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 23 Dec. 5/7: Loud-voiced, rough-mannered ‘Kawlinists’ who invariably carried revolvers, which they termed ‘shooting-irons’.
[UK]H. Macfall Wooings of Jezebel Pettyfer 398: Shootin’-irons dey was not in his providence.
[UK]Conrad Lord Jim 183: Look like a damn fool walking about with an empty shooting-iron in my hand.
[UK]Marvel XV:373 Jan. 11: Whar’s yer shootin’-irons, pards?
[US]J. London Smoke Bellew (1926) 46: ‘I’ve shed my shooting-irons,’ he added.
[US]G.E. Griffin ‘The Uniform We Wear’ Ballads of the Regiment 39: We know the sissy bluffers full of talk about ‘the boys’ / And ‘shooting irons’ and pork and beans.
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 75: I’ve fixed his shooting-iron.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 30: Have you got any shootin’ irons?
[US](con. 1910s) L. Nason A Corporal Once 25: What kind of shootin’ iron you got there?
[US]R.F. Adams Cowboy Lingo 166: The cowboy’s names for his gun were legion [...] ‘talkin’-iron,’ ‘hardware,’ ‘shootin’-iron’.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 7 Aug. [synd. col.] It tells of Wyatt Earp [...] and how he got those pretty niches in his shootin’ iron.
[US]O. Strange Sudden Takes the Trail 16: I’ve got yore shootin’-iron, hombre.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 136: They dressed up [...] with mean-looking shooting irons buckled around their hips.
[US](con. 1870s) S. Longstreet Pedlocks (1971) 58: Don’t nobody git fancy and reach for thar shootin’ irons.
[US]Mad mag. Dec.–Jan. 12: Me tired carrying shooting irons!
[US](con. 1950-1960) R.A. Freeman Dict. Inmate Sl. (Walla Walla, WA) 3: Artillery – shootin’ irons.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 149: A stolen car full of blow and shooting irons.
[UK]Beano Comic Library No. 182 60: Gimme your shooting-irons!
[US] in J. Breslin Damon Runyon (1992) 68: If this savage was alive, I’d get a shootin’ iron and he wouldn’t be alive.
[SA]R. Malan My Traitor’s Heart (1991) 148: He was holding what she called a skietyster in one hand – a ‘shooting iron’.

2. (US) the penis.

[US]Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 192: Sometimes this process is combined with a reference to come-juice and coming – e.g. shooting stick or shooting iron, culty gun, cream-stick, cremorne = cream horn.