In TBC I proudly carried my Khorium Destroyer, crafted for me as a gift from my lovely wife, Cheesi. It was the tank gun back then...kind of a rite of passage into the ranks of the meat shields.
When WotLK came around, I crafted myself an Armor Plated Combat Shotgun the second I hit 80. Great tank weapon when you start your heroicing.
That's a long stretch of time to be carrying nothing but a gun. Veneretio recommended a while back to pick up some thrown weapons for a trash set, but I never really got anything in TBC or early WotLK that I wouldn't be embarrassed carrying in a raid. Thrown weapons back then were pretty much built for rogues, so they were great for trash threat. Plus, throwing has a much shorter cast time than shooting (that was a big deal pre-Heroic Throw, but even now it's helpful to have a secondary option in the event that the pulls are happening quick and HT is on cooldown).
Not too terribly long ago, I coughed up some emblems for the Blades of the Sable Cross, the first really accessible replacement for an Engineering tanking gun in a very, very long time.
There was nothing wrong with the Blades. In fact, they were quite nice. It just felt weird to not have a gun. It was hard enough to take off my goggles, but losing my gun, too? I felt naked...couldn't walk through Tinkertown without getting dirty looks.
Last night during our ICC cleanup (didn't get Festergut, but made some progress on him), Stinky fell and Tatia said she/he/it dropped a BoE: Rowan's Rifle of Silver Bullets.
Thanks, Blizz, for making sure I don't have to bring knives to any more gunfights.
Linnshi and Chu
9 hours ago