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Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/24/06
WA Australia

What I would like to know is why does it stir so much political correctness and hostility amongst certain members of this forum when people refer to a tattoo machine as a "gun".



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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Krystof from IP: 141.154.190.200 on 05/24/06
Off the Map, Easthampton MA

Because it is what it is. Tattoo Machines are just that, Tattoo Machines. I don't even mind if they're referred to as Tattoo Devices or Tool of the trade, but it is most definitely not a gun. Guns are completely different. People use guns to shoot things with. Tattoo artists use guns to shoot people that keep calling their machines "guns"( j/k)

On the flip side, why do people not otherwise educated INSIST in them calling them guns? They don't look like guns, they don't operate like guns, they don't function as a gun. When a tattoo artist corrects someone by telling them that it is a machine, why do they question what it is called and not accept it? Do these same people see a car and call it a bus? Do they see a soda and call it a potato chip? And why does it become such a hard habit for some people to break?


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by kmesiano@yahoo.com from IP: 24.73.138.86 on 05/24/06

When i was first starting out the older guys would tell me that they didnt call them guns because "guns" is what needle junkies call thier "rigs"..........and they didnt want that association.

I dont know if that has evolved into something else...im sure if you ask 5 differnt artist you will get 5 different answers.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Ducky from IP: 151.196.117.254 on 05/24/06
The Stream

speaking for the younger generation, we grew up being told that's what they were, because we didn't grow up around people who know the correct word. Just like i know a wifebeater as that, a wifebeater (the shirts), but a lot of people find that term to be wrong, and prefer it to be caled a tank-top...but i learned that a tank-top is like, with the really thin straps...it just depends on when you grew up what you know it as.

Now, what you know it as, and what it is, are two different things. I mean, for some reason i say fire hydrant when refering to a fire truck, and those are two totally different things....i don't know why, and i know it's crazy, but i just do!

As far as the tattoo machine, i trust the guys on here, and am glad i found that out before i walked into a shop and made an ass of myself n.n


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/24/06
WA Australia

OK, good comments back so far but please can anyone explain why the term "tattoo gun" appears in the Oxford English Dictionary and the term "Tattoo Machine" does not.

A literal definition of a gun is a device that fires a projectile. It could be mis-interpreted that the needle of a tattoo machine is a projectile as it does indeed "project" from the device (at a rate that would make most automatic weapons owners etremely jealous)

Personally, although interested in the reasons, I find it a little pedantic that so many even care so much about what it is called.

If you understand that some people use the term gun and others machine then there is no inherent problem with that surely?


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/24/06
WA Australia

OK, good comments back so far but please can anyone explain why the term "tattoo gun" appears in the Oxford English Dictionary and the term "Tattoo Machine" does not.

A literal definition of a gun is a device that fires a projectile. It could be mis-interpreted that the needle of a tattoo machine is a projectile as it does indeed "project" from the device (at a rate that would make most automatic weapons owners etremely jealous)

Personally, although interested in the reasons, I find it a little pedantic that so many even care so much about what it is called.

If you understand that some people use the term gun and others machine then there is no inherent problem with that surely?


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Ducky from IP: 151.196.117.254 on 05/24/06
The Stream

it may just be the fact that in today's society, a gun is not a posative thing, it's a negative thing...and, it is in fact a machine, not a gun...out of respect leave it what it is


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/24/06
WA Australia

Out of respect for what exactly? I asked a question that nobody has yet answered properly with logic and intellect. If this forum is genuinely here to answer questions like this then why would I "leave" the subject unanswered?

My point is this, mostly in Europe, tattoo "devices" are refered to as guns, where as in the USA they are refered to as machines. All I want to know is why the American artists get so offended by the use of the word gun. I agree that gun is probably not a positive word in American Society but does that mean the rest of the world should conform to one country's terminology? I think not.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.123.65.229 on 05/24/06

We've talked about this in the past, check out some of the older threads. In short, in modern american society the uneducated public, scratchers, and hacks tend to refer to their tools as guns and professional custom tattoo artists *almost* always refer to their tools as machines. Professionals dont like to be associated with hacks and scratchers, rightfully so.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Krystof from IP: 71.233.140.22 on 05/24/06
Pisst Fish, West Springfield MA

When in Rome...... If you're over here, you can call it a machine, and if you're in Europe, feel free to call it a gun. No need to make waves, Aye Mate?


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/24/06
WA Australia

Two extremely valid points there gabe and krystof

Gabe: are we to assume from your post that you consider most european tattooists to be scratchers?

Krystof: Totally agree with the "when in Rome" sentiment but this is the internet and, as its name might imply, is an international network.

Look guys, I am not trying to stir things up, I was only curious as to why this division exists between terminology. I am English and I know that we have certain differences in our languages such as sidewalk/pavement and trashcan/dustbin but nobody gets bothered which one either of us use in those cases.

The moment somebody posts on this forum using the word gun, it seems that every artist on here immediately spits the dummy and berates this person as an inferior being.

Remember also that this forum is allegedly here to help people without professional knowledge of tattooing.

If you are going to bother responding to the "uneducated" would it not be simpler just to explain the differences between terminology in countries rather than making accusations of incompetence.

Or is it just that every artist here likes to have somebody to beat on and the newbies make easy targets?


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Ducky from IP: 151.196.117.254 on 05/24/06
The Stream

nobody is asking you to conform...go ahead and call it a gun over there all you want...but if you are in america, just like you have to learn a language to communicate, you have to learn what is accepted and respsected. If i'm ever in Europe, i won't be talking about things with american terms and hope you understand, i'd learn the European term for it...same should ring true for you.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by legacy from IP: 24.44.170.151 on 05/24/06
underground

I personally dont give a shit what you call it. I know what you are referring to either way it goes. I'll tell you this though it could be that people refer to a tattoo machine as a gun because it is known for "shootin" ink out of it.....As far as artists getting upset....I think honestly it comes down to feeling the need to correct someone because of their own insecurities.......Bottom line, what you call it has absolutely nothing to do with the tattoo process....Around here if someone drives a big car we call it a boat..now it's not literally a boat but it's understood...


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.123.65.229 on 05/24/06

Of course I dont think european tattoo artists are scratchers simply because they use the term gun. I dont think anyone is a scratcher simply because they use the term gun, nor is anyone a professional simply because they use the term machine. That doesnt negate the fact that in America scratchers often refer to their tools as guns and professionals almost always refer to their tools as machines. Really you can go through the archives and read through everyones thoughts that go round and round... I dont care what you call your tools, but when your in America and talk about using yer guns, professionals wont take you as seriously (though if you say it with a thick yurpean accent with a kick ass portfolio I doubt anyone would think twice).


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/24/06
WA Australia

Legacy: Finally somebody who has satisified my need for an answer. I am glad to end this thread without it having turned into the usual blood sodden battlefield that seems to be commonplace in this forum.

Thanks to all of you who replied


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by kmesiano@yahoo.com from IP: 24.73.138.86 on 05/24/06

How many full time tattoo artists even give a shit .....thats a better question.
What a tired ass old topic...................call it what you like ..
........i call mine BOB.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by legacy917@optonline.net from IP: 24.44.170.151 on 05/24/06
underground

you're welcome inky


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 05/24/06
Painted Angel Studios

Ok INky...Heres my take on it...for many years the implement used in prison tattooing and by at home tattooers ( no judgements here ) commonly manufactured from a small rotary motor such as that from a casette player and a bic pen for a tube with a sharpened guitar string for a needle was called a "gun"...I am in no way demeaning that tool...I have seen some amazing works come from that type of thing...I think the term :machine" came about when the tattoo industry was making a full fleged effort at "legitimizing" the art of tattoo and bringin it out of the darkness so to speak...by using the term "machine" I think it was an effeort to separate the "pros" from the amateurs.In the past 20 years or so the term "machine" has become the industry norm for the tool we use to create skin art....Hope I have helped..TAz, Painted Angel


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/24/06
WA Australia

Ah Taz, glad you posted, I have seen many of your other comments on this forum and in your favour, you seem to respond less emotively and more informatively than most on tattooing subjects.

I assume from this style of writing that you have been in the business a while and know your stuff.

Interesting thoughts on the Prison "gun" and yes, some amazing work has been done with these pieces of equipment

As somebody here said, this probably is a tired old subject but i am grateful to all that posted new thoughts and will go away a happier and more informed person

Thanks :-)


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by ink_junkie from IP: 68.119.249.30 on 05/24/06
missouri

when you call my machine a gun
it's the same as calling my mom a whore


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/24/06
WA Australia

Jeez, IJ........if that is a genuine statement and you are not just having a laugh with us all then you either lack the maturity to own a tattoo machine or should get a psychological examination.

Note to self........careful how you speak if you ever get ink done by IJ in case he kills you in a bizarre phsychotic episode...:-)


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by legacy from IP: 24.44.170.151 on 05/24/06
underground

lmfao @ junkie


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Bubblez from IP: 202.7.190.131 on 05/24/06
Western Australia

Well in all honesty if you look at the definition of the word machine you can see that it is more accurate to the tattooing process than that of gun.

machine - any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks.

gun - a weapon that discharges a missile at high velocity (especially from a metal tube or barrel)

I don't see a tattoo machine as a weapon usually (though in the wrong hands it could do a bit of butchering) so I guess that is way some people become offended by the term, their art being linked to a negative word.

Different countries will always have different terms and language structures. America and Australia both use the English language yet we both spell words differently (such as colour/color) and when someone drinks a lot in Oz we're pissed (I've had some odd looks saying 'let's get pissed').

Personally I think the term 'ink sewer' (and no not refering to sewer pipes) is a good one the needle goes up and down and the person behind the machine has to have skill in order to produce a beautiful end result.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 05/25/06
Painted Angel Studios

I think you may be surprised at the vehemence of some in this trade when it comes to this subject...and to correct Ink Junkie if I may ...that sayng came from my old friend Jack Armstrong billed as the "oldest living tattoo artist in the world"...His original version was as such..."Tis a lesser crime indeed to call my father a thief and my mother a whore than to call the sacred machine of tattooing a "GUN"....There ya have it!...But he was close...TAz


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Krystof from IP: 71.192.231.137 on 05/25/06
Pisst Fish, West Spfld MA

Inkypinky- you still didn't answer my questions while we were on the topic-


On the flip side, why do people not otherwise educated INSIST in them calling them guns? They don't look like guns, they don't operate like guns, they don't function as a gun. When a tattoo artist corrects someone by telling them that it is a machine, why do they question what it is called and not accept it? Do these same people see a car and call it a bus? Do they see a soda and call it a potato chip? And why does it become such a hard habit for some people to break?

BTW, I got the impression that you started to get a little defensive when this was one of the tamer posts I've seen in a while, yet you started casting stones:

"Jeez, IJ........if that is a genuine statement and you are not just having a laugh with us all then you either lack the maturity to own a tattoo machine or should get a psychological examination.

Note to self........careful how you speak if you ever get ink done by IJ in case he kills you in a bizarre phsychotic episode...:-) "

I know you were most likely joking, but really-I think all of us gave valid reasons on what we consider the differences in a non "blood sodden battlefield" kinda way.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by legacy from IP: 24.44.170.151 on 05/25/06
underground

Aw man .....i thought he was being original.......I take back my lmfao


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/25/06
WA Australia

Krystov

Firstly, in respect of your earlier post, the analogy was so poor that I expected the questions at the end to be simply rhetorical. Since you have asked again, I will try to explain

On the flip side, why do people not otherwise educated INSIST in them calling them guns?

>>I suspect this is because they hear the term "gun" from others and maybe it is the next best word in the absence of the correct term.

When a tattoo artist corrects someone by telling them that it is a machine, why do they question what it is called and not accept it?

>>Not all tattoo artists refer to them as machines, there are differences of opinion hence the entire purpose of my post.

Do these same people see a car and call it a bus? Do they see a soda and call it a potato chip?

>>I am not sure, you would have to ask them. If you find any, tell them their mother is a tattoo gun and I bet you don't get punched.

And why does it become such a hard habit for some people to break?

>>Because habits are by definition hard to break

BTW, I got the impression that you started to get a little defensive when this was one of the tamer posts I've seen in a while, yet you started casting stones:

>>This was not a cast stone, and no defense intended, just humour. Of course I was joking with my phsychological examination remark....but if you want to hear it seriously, would you 100% trust the mental state of somebody who genuinely speaks about a tattoo machine in the same way as they speak of their mother? Good luck with that if you do.

I know you were most likely joking, but really-I think all of us gave valid reasons on what we consider the differences in a non "blood sodden battlefield" kinda way

>>I dont understand this remark, if you read on you will see that I thanked everyone for their contribution and for keeping it nice. The "Blood sodden battlefield" referred only to some of the other threads that I have read on this site.

Bubblez: I loved the "ink sewer" description.........had me in stitches so to speak :-)


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 58.104.1.239 on 05/25/06
WA Australia

Sorry Krystof I spelled your name wrong in my last response...I forgot my place and used the European spelling......my apologies.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Krystof from IP: 71.192.231.137 on 05/25/06
Pisst Fish, W.Springfield MA

Fair enough, thanks for the intelligent answers, and don't worry about the spelling, that's one thing that many of us have gotten used to on these forums:)


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Ducky from IP: 151.196.117.254 on 05/25/06
The Stream

Inky, i still don't understand how that one post up near the top answered your question....the post was simply an opinion which matched yours...and you said it answered your question...while, before that was even posted, there were a number of answers which gave actual reasons more than one person's opinion, and you pretty much blew them off as stupid?


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 220.238.148.104 on 05/25/06
WA Australia

OK Ducky, That's actually a fair point and maybe in your opinion, it's a little shallow of me to to close this post.

What I learned from my this post is that

1. It really doesnt matter what you call a tattoo mahine, it has absolutely nothing to do with the art form at all.

2. There are people in the industry who give great credence to the name "machine" though none here could really explain for definite the reasons behind such emotive responses to the word "gun" being used. A few made suggestions why it may be so, but none could really explain the apparent anger.

3. It appeared that the people who advocate the word "machines" were extremely dedicated to their opinions and they appear to have a belief that using the word machine is somehow contributing to the purity of the artform.

It is not my place to judge who is right or who is wrong but it was nice to gain some experience of the consensus of opinion out there.

Given these facts and the comments about this being a tired old issue, I thought it best to close the post gracefully as it appeared nobody could contribute anything further of value on the subject.

If you personally still have a vested interest in further debating this issue, then maybe you could take the advice posted earlier and search the archives for articles on this subject :-)


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by inkypinky from IP: 220.238.148.104 on 05/25/06
WA Australia

Sorry Ducky

I forgot to mention in my last post, can you please quote my posts where you think I "pretty much blew them off as stupid" so that I can answer you correctly and completely


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by no one from IP: 216.75.170.81 on 07/28/06

Staple gun, solder gun (different than a soldering iron), hot glue gun, nail gun. Sewing machine, flying machine, milling machine, killing machine.

Seems like it should be called an ink gun or a tatooing machine rather than a tatoo gun or a tatoo machine. It's more like a sewing machine than anything else, but I certainly do see similarities to other "guns".

The reasons why are merely just cultural, and expecting logic from anything relating to the English language is insanity. I do think, tho, that getting bent out of shape because someone says "gun" on an online forum could be thought to demonstrate ignorance of cultures other than the American one, which is sort of funny since the pedant is probably trying to demonstrate worldliness.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by andrew from IP: 203.214.122.15 on 07/28/06
Australia

I reckon its the same reason in Australia/England/New Zealand/etc we call "it" going to the toilet, and in the US its going tothe bathroom. (we have those too but they are much bigger than a water closet)

As described above you say machine in an attempt to appear "professional".Only the (insert derogatory terms) use that archaic term 'gun' in the US apparently.

Machines do sound less painful than guns and no doubt smell better too.
But I imagine it is still the tried and true reciprocating needle.

Gotta love the little differences though, they sometimes are all we have, to erm, differentiate with....

So tattoo machines eh, nah dont think it will catch on here but keep trying, we have fries and other americanisms with lots of things now.

ps the word Gun appears to come from Gundhild, a German womens name which meant warsword, according to Wikipedia. To this day here if you are a 'gun at ' doing something, you are quick and precise.

pps Probably worth checking out the entry for Tattoo, and (ahem) Tattoo Gun at Wikipedia if you have a taste for the edumacation. The discussion page I found particularly enlightening.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Ducky from IP: 151.196.120.47 on 07/28/06
In Bed....i hope x.X

May i do the honors Taz?


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Ducky from IP: 151.196.120.47 on 07/28/06
In Bed....i hope x.X

^--- That is a Gun That is a machine ----^


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by Ducky from IP: 151.196.120.47 on 07/28/06
In Bed....i hope x.X

"Out of respect for what exactly? I asked a question that nobody has yet answered properly with logic and intellect. If this forum is genuinely here to answer questions like this then why would I "leave" the subject unanswered?"

That is when you discredited all prior responses that did not match your own opinion


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 07/29/06
Painted Angel

Good job Ducky!...With you and Dana and the other regulars I think I am leaving this forum in GREAT hands...TAz


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by †dragonslayer† from IP: 63.225.45.124 on 08/23/06
St.David az.

if it was a gun it would have been named a gun.it's a freakin MACHINE.anyone who says different needs to be shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by melissa_hewett@hotmail.co.uk from IP: 213.2.51.78 on 08/24/06

No_one

"expecting logic from anything relating to the English language is insanity"

I think that is a little judgemental and inappropriate.

Please do define what "relates" to the english language,
1. An English person?
2. Someone who speaks it?

or are you just getting at the English language in general? and not "anything relating to it"?


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by keaz@kreationz.net from IP: 66.82.9.52 on 08/24/06
Texas, USA

Andrew:
Our "water closets" are both our toilet room and our bath room. We call a "water closet a 1/2 bath and a "bathroom" a full bath, but both are refered to as bathrooms.

The word "gun" has multiple bad connotations. Even in the USA military an M-16 is called a rifle and it is frowned upon if call a gun.

Everyone:
I think the real problem is not word usage, but rather stigma associated with the word gun as being used by the uneducated in America. As the #1 world ecomnomy we tend to get a big head and think it's our job to fix the rest of the worl, but that's another topic.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by †dragonslayer† from IP: 63.225.45.124 on 08/24/06
St.David az.

that is a good point.ist not really what its called because we as humans normally call it what we want.just like everything else.we basically do what we want. so just call it what you want.†††††


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by magnum@kma.com from IP: 130.36.27.120 on 08/24/06

A grease "GUN" is used to apply grease to a zerk fitting, and it is never refered to as a grease machine. GET OVER IT!!! It just don't matter!!


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by cravink@hotmail.com from IP: 65.2.26.56 on 08/24/06
Miami

test


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.161.130.210 on 08/24/06
TattooNOW Offices @ Off the Map Tattoo

Get over it? theres nothing to get over... Professional tattoo artists in the US call their instruments machines. Scratchers, hacks, and maybe a very few "rebels" call them guns. Call them what you will.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by †dragonslayer† from IP: 63.225.45.124 on 08/25/06

there is a difference between gun and machine.but everyone calls it something different.i call it either a machine or a piece of shit.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by vishuskinit from IP: 72.71.220.30 on 08/25/06
tilton nh

most pieces of shit machines are just badly tuned or need to be gone through, you can revive any machine as long as the frame can still hold all the pieces where they need to be... even then you can figure somethin out.


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RE:Is it a Gun or a Machine?

Posted by mod.life@ymail.com from IP: 174.58.15.164 on 06/24/11

Hello,

A tattoo machine is a tattoo machine not a tattoo gun. You can check out tattoo machines and other tattoo equipment on my website www.ModLifeSupplies.com


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