Overall - large numbers of weapons have always been issued to official government forces for use in law enforcement and 'peace-keeping' military engagements. - So there is no surprise that clichéd phrases from the shooting world have become common usage in the English language:
- Anyone shooting for gold needs to keep their eye in because a miss is as good as a mile when you need meat in the pot.
- To stay on target - when you're on the firing line - you'll need to keep your powder dry in case you have a misfire and lose the whole lock stock and barrel.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - but modern antibiotics can be a silver bullet and are no flash in the pan.
- Your mate can be a bit of a loose cannon and a bit quick on the draw. - So you may have to bite the bullet if you don't want to fall short and miss the mark .. but give it the full seven yards and you'll have a fair shot at success.
Don't pull the pin too early in case there was a hang-fire - or you'll risk going off half-cocked.
- Still you might spike his guns or put a shot across his bows - but don't make it a shot in the dark.
Finally don't set your sights too high and you should end up in the black without giving anyone the ammunition to use against you and become a hot-shot.
All seemingly good advise eh .. but I reckon that there is so much of this "gun talk" around that when combined with all the fantasy blood and mayhem movies - the average well meaning city inmate feels familiar with much violence - and thinks that they expertly know how to put an end to it by banning the guns. - They overlook that criminals are already law breakers anyway if they have a firearm.
P.S. - Here's another that I've just (22Nov.) noticed: 'tight wad' .. that's someone or a thing that's hard to get anything out of!