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Gun Terms & Definitions

The following is a listing of common gun terms, abbreviations and definitions.

 

 

ACP 

What Does ACP Mean? ACP stands for Automatic Colt Pistol. Developed by Colt, it designates a type of rimless cartridge design.

 

Action

What Is The Action Of A Gun? It's a term used to describe the physical mechanism or process for the way ammunition is loaded, locked into the chamber and extracted. Examples of action types include single action, double action, bolt, pump, semiautomatic, lever and automatic.

 

Ammunition

What Is  Ammunition? With regard to rifles and pistols, ammunition is an assembly of components (bullet, primer, casing and gun powder) that when fired through a gun shoots the bullet forcibly at a directed target. People often confuse bullets with ammunition and use the terms interchangeably, however the bullet is projectile and the ammunition is the entire assembly of components needed to go "bang".

 

Anvil (Primer)

What Is The Anvil Of A Primer? (Ammunition) The anvil of a pistol primer is the part that holds the shock sensitive explosive against the bottom of the primer and also provide a "flash hole" for the flame to ignite the gun powder. The anvil is the structure that crushes against and detonates the explosive.

 

Backstrap

What Is A Backstrap? (Gun) The backstrap is the reap part of a handgun grip. Gun manufacturers offer them in a variety of shapes, textures and sizes which are detachable and interchangeable. Thicker backstraps increase the grip size. They offer the shooter to custom tailor the grip of the gun to the shooter's hand size.

 

Barrel

What Is A Gun Barrel? The barrel of a pistol is the long metal tube that protrudes from the front of the gun. It contains and directs the pressurized gases that propel the fired bullet in a fixed direction. The barrel also contains the rifling (grooves on the inside of the barrel) which spin the bullet as it discharges from the gun.

 

Beavertail

What Is A Beavertail? (Handgun) The BeaverTail of a pistol is the oval or tear drop shaped protrusion at the back of a pistol (resembling the tail of a beaver). A beavertail grip gives a more positive grip to the gun and protects the shooters hand from the pistol slide. Some pistol beavertails are built into the pistol while other's are offered as optional accessories.

 

Blueguns

What Are Blueguns? Blueguns are detailed replicas of actual weapons, designed primarily for Law Enforcement and Military Training. They are fabricated in "Law Enforcement Blue" - the most recognized safety color in the world. Blueguns are the most detailed and durable training weapon available in today's market.

  

Bore Light

What Is A Bore Light? A bore light is a specially designed light for inspecting rifle, shotgun and hand gun barrels for obstructions, rust and pitching. Many bore lights use soft LED light to eliminate intense glare. They are used to inspect used guns prior to purchasing for barrel imperfections, bulges, tooling marks, scratches and filings.

 

Bore Snake/ Boresnake

What Is A Bore Snake? A bore snake is simply a long piece of specially designed "cleaning floss" that is pulled through the barrel of a gun. It is more effective than cleaning patches because the entire length of the snake rubs along and cleans the inside of the barrel as compared to the small surface area of a cleaning patch. It is said a boresnake has 160 times more cleaning area than a standard patch. In addition to that, it contains an integrated bronze brush to loosen fouling and lead deposits.

 

Breech

What Is The Breech Of A Gun? The breach is the end of the barrel into which the ammunition is inserted. It is the back part of the gun barrel.

 

Break Free CLP

What Is A Break Free CLP? Break Free CLP is a gun cleaning and lubrication product known for doing three important tasks simultaneously. It cleans, lubricates and protects metal in one application and is recognized as the standard by which maximum metal performance and protection is ensured.

 

Bullet Seating Depth

What Is Bullet Seating Depth? The seating depth of a bullet refers to how deep a bullet is set within a casing. It is measured from the bottom of the bullet to the top of the case mouth.

 

Bullet Setback

What Is Bullet Setback? Cartridges sometimes may be damaged or altered in some way and can cause an unsafe condition. An example is a cartridge that has had the bullet pushed back deeper than normal into the casing. This can change the combustion space characteristics and gunpowder burn rate boosting pressures two unacceptable and unsafe levels. Repeated loading and unloading of the same cartridge can cause a condition known as setback. When bullets have been pushed deeper into the case, the overall length of the round is noticeably shorter than other rounds of like make or style.

 

Cannelure

What Is Cannelure Of A Bullet? Cannelure is the circumferential groove or marking around a bullet. It is used in conjunction with crimping to secure the bullet to the case. Other uses may include identification purposes or to hold lubricant. All bullets do not have them. Tools are sold to make cannelures on bullets for specific purposes.

 

Cartridge (Bullet)

What Is A Cartridge? A cartridge (also called a round of ammunition) is the completed product consisting of a metal casing (usually brass), gunpowder, primer and bullet or shot for small firearms. Cartridges are sized and made to fit precisely into the firing chamber of a gun.

 

Case Tumbler

What Is A Case Tumbler? A case tumbler is a vibrating machine that is used to clean spent ammunition cases prior to reloading. Used and dirty ammo cases are placed into the tumber with a cleaning media with a little liquid polish (sometimes). The tumbler is then turned on and begins to vibrate shaking the casings against the media and polish. The rubbing action of the cases against the meidia polished the brass cases. After an hour or so the cases are removed from the media and look clean and shiny.

 

Casing (Bullet)

What Is A Bullet Casing? A bullet casing or case is the metal cylindrical container portion of a cartridge (round of ammunition) that contains a bullet, gunpowder and primer. Bullet casings are usually made of brass and are sized and shaped in accordance with the caliber and weapon used.

 

Center Fire Cartridge

What Is a Center Fire Cartridge?  A center fire cartridge is a metal ammunition cartridge which employs a centrally located primer at the base of the cartridge. This differs from a rimfire cartridge which utilizes the explosive priming mixture in the rim of the cartridge. Center fire cartridges can be reloaded, while rimfire cartridges cannot.

 

Chamber

What Is The Chamber Of A Gun? The chamber is the space at the breech end (back end) of the barrel into which a cartridge of ammunition is loaded before the gun is fired. The chamber is shaped and sized to accommodate the caliber and ammunition type of the gun. The chamber will allow the projectile or bullet to pass through when fired but contains and restricts the passage of the casing, holding it in place until it can be ejected.

 

Connector (Glock)

What Is A Connector In A Glock? The connector of a Glock pistol is a "L" shaped part with one long leg and one short leg. At the end of the long leg there is a raised, angled section and a hook. The connector, along with the trigger spring, determines the trigger pull weight.

 

Crimp

What Is A Crimp? A crimp with regard to cartridge ammunition is the bend of the case mouth against the bullet. The crimp is located at the top of the case. Crimping is used to hold the bullet to the casing. There are two types of crimps, a roll crimp and a taper crimp. Not all ammunition has crimps.

 

Cylinder

What Is The Cylinder Of A Gun? (Revolver) The cylinder of the revolver is the part that spins and contains individual chambers that hold the ammunition cartridges. Each time the trigger of a double action revolver is pulled or when the hammer is pulled back the cylinder revolves and positions a chamber containing a cartridge into firing position.

 

Decap

What Does Decap Mean? Decap or decapping is the process of removing the primer from the primer pocket of a casing. Decapping is usually done in a reloading press by a decapping pin. Using the force of the reloading press the primer is pushed out of the pocket by the pin.

 

DA (Double Action)

What Does Double Action Mean? Double action is the action type of a revolver where two specific actions are conducted each time the trigger is pulled. The chamber revolves and a new round of ammunition is positioned for firing. Simultaneously, the hammer is pulled back and released causing the striking of the firing pin and the firing of the weapon.

 

Deprime

What Does Deprime Mean? (Reloading Ammunition) Depriming (or decapping) is the process of removing the primer from the primer pocket of a casing. Depriming is usually done in a reloading press by a decapping pin. Using the force of the reloading press the primer is pushed out of the pocket by the decapping pin.

 

Dry Fire/Dry Firing

What Does Dry Firing Mean? Dry Firing is when you pull the trigger on a gun that contains no ammunition. It is performed to check the function of the gun as well for trigger pull and flinching training exercises. Before you dry fire your gun, check with your manual to be sure that it will not damage your firearm. It is generally not recommended to fire guns with rimfire cartridges. Most centerfire modern day firearms will not be hurt by dry firing.

 

Double Charge

What Is A Double Charge? Double charging your powder measure is one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make when reloading ammunition. Double charging is when you accidently reload your case with twice the amount of gunpowder than the recommended powder charge. Firing double charged reloaded rounds may cause your gun to explode and cause serious injury.

 

Dummy Ammunition

What Is Dummy Ammunition? Dummy ammunition is safe, inert simulated ammunition made without primers and gunpowder. It is made to the same physical dimensions as live ammo and are used for training and practice. Use them for dry fire practice, clearing jams, trigger control exercises, testing reassembly and functionality and even loading and unloading for novice shooters. Dummy ammunition can be used to check check gun function including magazine feeding, action timing, extraction and ejection of all guns. Live ammo should never be used except in actual test-firing on the range.

 

Extended Magazine Release

 

Extended Slide Lock

 

Extended Slide Stop Lever

 

Extractor

What Is An Extractor Of A Pistol? The extractor is small spring loaded hooked mechanism that grabs onto the rim of a spent cartridge and removes (extracts) it from the chamber of the gun.

 

Extractor Depressor Plunger

What Is An Extractor Depressor Plunger Of A Glock? The extractor plunger of a Glock pistol is small spring loaded metal rod (or plunger) that pushes against the extractor forcing it to return to it's original position after a spent cartridge is removed from the chamber of the gun.

 

Extractor Depressor Plunger Spring

What Is An Extractor Depressor Plunger Spring Of A Glock? It's is small spring that pushes on the extractor depressor plunger, which in turn pushes against the extractor forcing it to return to it's original position after a spent cartridge is removed from the chamber of the gun.

 

Field Strip (Guns & Firearms)

What Does Field Strip Mean? Field stripping a firearm is to disassemble it to the minimal amount necessary for cleaning, inspection, etc. without the use of special tools.

 

Firing Pin

What Is A Firing Pin Of A Gun? The firing pin of a pistol is generally a lightweight, slender metal rod with a shaped end that transfers energy from the hammer of the gun to the primer. A striker serves the same function as a pin but is usually heavier and comes in direct contact with the spring that provides the striking force (no hammer mechanism). Striker mechanisms are generally simpler since they incorporate the function of both the hammer and pin into one.

 

Firing Pin Safety (Glock)

What Is A Glock Firing Pin Safety? The firing pin safety of a Glock Pistol is a small spring loaded metal plunger that blocks the firing pin channel and prevents the pin from moving forward accidentally. When the trigger is pressed the safety is pushed up and out of the way allowing the pin to move forward and hit the primer.

 

Firing Pin Safety Spring (Glock)

 

Firing Pin Spring

 

Flinching (Gun)

What Does Flinching Mean? Gun Flinching is the unwanted motion of your body when you anticipate recoil and the loud bang. Anticipated recoil is difficult to overcome. When you anticipate recoil you tend to push forward (or down) the muzzle of the gun which usually results in low shots on the target.

 

FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) Bullet

What Is A Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Bullet? A full metal jacket bullet is a lead bullet that is coated or jacketed with a coating of a harder metal (usually copper). This metal jacket reduces barrel fouling and improves bullet penetration. The jacket also limits the expansion of the bullet and helps keep the mass of the bullet into one piece.

  

Frame/Receiver

What Is The Frame Of A Firearm? The frame is the main body of the firearm. It's the part that contains the serial number. It contains the grip and the operating parts of the firearm. With reference to handguns (revolvers and pistols) the receiver is also called the frame of the gun.

 

Frangible Bullet

What Is A Frangible Bullet? A frangible bullet is a bullet that is designed to break into tiny particles as it strikes a target that has a surface harder than the bullet itself. Because they fragment into smaller pieces, these bullets have reduced penetration and are therefore used to limit the danger behind the intended target and to avoid ricochets. Frangible bullets are often used for home defense because they do not penetrate drywall or other such barriers.

 

FTE

What Does FTE Mean? FTE = Failure to Extract or Failure to Eject. Failure to Extract and Eject have different meanings even though FTE is used for both terms. Extraction refers to the removal of the spent cartridge case from the chamber. If you have a spent case that it stuck in the chamber or your extractor is broken, you have a Failure to Extract. Ejection is where the spent case is forcefully thrown or ejected from the action of the gun. If the ejector is broken or the round is underpowered such that it does not have sufficient energy to drive the slide all the way to the rear you have a Failure to Eject. You can also have a Failure to Eject by "weak-wristing" or "limp-wristing" the pistol. One type of Extraction failure is a stovepipe. A stovepipe is when the spent casing gets caught by the slide before being ejected from the gun. The empty case gets caught by the closing slide and gets stuck sticking out the side of the slide. It looks like a stove pipe. Stovepipes are associated with problems with certain ammunition or pistols that jam because the shell isn't ejected properly.

  

GAP

What Does GAP Mean? GAP stands for Glock Automatic Pistol (Cartridge).

 

Hammer (Gun)

What Is The Hammer Of A Gun? The hammer is that part of the gun which through the force of a spring and the pull of a trigger moves back then releases forward (usually striking a firing pin) striking the primer of a cartridge and causing the gun to discharge. Hammers may be internal or external.

 

Handloading (Ammunition)

What Is Handloading? (Ammunition) Handloading is the loading of small arms ammunition through use of hand-powered equipment. Handloading may involve the use of all new ammunition components (bullet, primer, gunpowder and case) or the reuse of casings through reloading.

 

Hang Fire

What Does Hang Fire Mean? Hang fire is when you pull the trigger to fire a gun, but the gun takes a few seconds to go off. It does not go off immediately. Old, outdated or defective primers are the cause of most hang fires. The primer is struck by the firing pin but the primer does not detonate immediately. A few seconds may elapse before the primer goes off and ignites the gunpowder to propel the bullet through the barrel. When you experience a hang fire it is recommended to wait at least 10 seconds before opening the breach to investigate (while keeping the barrel pointed down range).

 

Headspace

What Is Headspace? (Guns) Headspace is a distance measured from chamber cartridge stop (the portion of the chamber that stops the forward movement of the cartridge) to the closed breech face (bolt face).

 

Hollow Points (Bullets)

What Are Hollow Point Bullets? A hollow point bullet is a specialized bullet with a hollowed out tip. The purpose of the hollow tip is to cause the bullet to expand as it hits it's target. As the bullet expands, it causes greater damage to the target (bigger hole, more tissue damage, blood loss and shock) and as a result the bullet does not over penetrate (designed to remain in the target). Hollow point bullets are used primarily for self defense (causing greater damage to the target) and situations where you have to be concerned with over-penetration (bullet going through walls and causing collateral damage).  They are sold in a variety of shapes and designs. Some are designed for extreme expansion or fragmentation on impact.

 

Jam

What Is A Jam? (Gun) A jam is a mechanical failure of a gun. Jams may occur as a result of bad ammunition, lack of lubrication or mechanical problems. Common jams include failure to feed, stove pipes and failure to extract.

 

Kick/Kickback (Gun)

What Is Kickback? (Gun) Kickback of a gun is the "recoil" or "kick" of a gun when it is fired. It is the sudden backward and upward push caused by the forward momentum of the bullet.

 

Lead Bullets

What Are Lead Bullets? Lead bullets are the simplest type of bullets. Lead is commonly used for bullet construction because lead it is a heavy material, inexpensive, soft and easy to work with.

 

Limp Wristing

What Is Limp Wristing? Limp wristing is when you hold a pistol too low on the grip or too weak causing it to jam. By holding it too low you change the dynamics of the motion of the slide by allowing the muzzle to flip upward. The slide may not have sufficient momentum to operate properly causing a jam. This problem is cured with a high handed and firm grasp.

 

Locking Block

 

Locking Block Pin

 

Magazine

What Is A Magazine Of A Gun? A magazine is a device for storing and feeding ammunition into a firearm. Magazines may be built into the firearm as an integral part of the gun or may be detachable (removable). Detachable magazines are sometimes referred to as a clip. Magazines operate by storing the then moving the ammunition (by the force of a spring) into a position such that the uppermost round may be fed into the gun chamber by the action of the firearm. Magazines come in many shapes and sizes.

 

Magazine Catch

What Is A Magazine Catch Of A Gun? A magazine catch is a spring loaded part of a firearm that holds and locks in the magazine of a gun. It allows the operator to release and replace the magazine usually with the press of a button or lever.

 

Magazine Catch Spring

What Is A Magazine Catch Spring Of A Gun? It's the spring used in conjunction with the magazine catch to hold and lock in the magazine of a gun. It often takes the form a strip of spring metal.

 

Magazine Floor Plate

What Is A Magazine Floor Plate? A magazine floor plate is the removable bottom of a magazine.

 

Magazine Follower

What Is A Magazine Follower? The magazine follower of a pistol is the small part part that sits on top of the magazine's spring. It is the part that pushes against the ammunition, forcing the ammunition upward in the magazine.

 

Magazine Insert

What Is A Magazine Insert? A magazine insert of a Glock magazine is a small piece of formed flat plastic that is installed on the bottom end of the magazine spring. The insert mates with the floor plate in the bottom of the magazine.

 

Magazine Loader

 

Magazine Spring

What Is A Magazine Spring? A magazine spring is the spring contained within the magazine of a gun. It provides the force required to push the ammunition into the correct position for feeding into the chamber by the action of the gun.

 

Magazine Tube

What Is A Magazine Tube? A magazine tube of a magazine is the body of the magazine. The "tube" houses the follower, spring, insert (if applicable) and floor plate.

 

Magnum

What Does Magnum Mean? (Guns & Ammo) Magnum is a term used to describe a cartridge of ammunition that is larger and more powerful than normal and features greater than normal power or velocity. It also refers to the gun designed to shoot it.

 

Malfunction

What Is A Malfunction (Gun) Malfunctions of a gun are generally categorized as misfires or jams.

 

Match Bullet

What Are Match Bullets? A match bullet is a specialized bullet that is designed for greater accuracy. The bullet is manufactured in accordance with stricter specifications and better materials. Match bullets are used by shooters in competition and by military and police snipers.

 

Misfire

What Is A Misfire? A misfire is a malfunction of the cartridge of a gun. Specifically it is a malfunction of the primer or gunpowder of the cartridge. Misfires can be categorized as duds, hang-fires and squibs. Duds happen when the primer is struck by the firing pin and nothing happens (failure to discharge). A hang-fire is when you have a delayed discharge (you pull the trigger and the gun fires after a few seconds or more). A squibs occurs when their is insufficient gunpowder or insufficient burning of the gunpowder and the bullet gets stuck in the barrel.

 

Muzzle

What Is The Muzzle Of A Gun? The muzzle is the end of the barrel which points toward the target. It is where the bullet or projectile comes out of the barrel.

 

NIB

What Does "NIB" Mean When Buying A Gun? NIB means "new in box" and is often used when referring to the condition of a gun or firearm.

 

OD

What Does "OD" Mean When Referring To A Glock Gun? OD means "Olive Drab" which is the green/yellow/tan color of some Glock frames.

 

Plinking

What is Plinking? Plinking is when you shoot guns at various items like tin cans, bottles and things you find on the ground. It's a form of informal target shooting that people do for fun. Plinking gets it name from the sound the bullet makes when it hits a can or other hard object. The sharp metallic sound sounds like a "plink". Any gun can be used for plinking. The most common caliber used for plinking is the .22 caliber long rifle because they are inexpensive, don't make a loud sound when they go off and are less powerful than larger calibers.

 

Plus P Ammunition

 

Pocket Hand Gun

 

Point Shooting

What is Point Shooting? Point Shooting is recognized as the skill of shooting a gun (generally a handgun) without the use of the gun sights. It is like what you see in the old cowboy movies and it varies greatly in style and technique. Point shooting is a natural and instinctive way of shooting a gun. You simply point it and shoot. My instructor at the range teaches his students to hold their arm out and point to him with their index finger. That is the way they should point shoot. It is their natural stance, one that they can repeat over and over with little or no training.

 

Primer

What Is A Primer? With regard to firearms, a primer is a device used for containing an explosive shock sensitive compound that may be exploded by percussion or other means for the purpose of igniting a charge of gun powder.

 

Primer Indent

What Is A Primer Indent? A primer indent is the indentation of a primer caused by the impact of the firing pin or striker. Also known as firing pin impression.

 

Print/Printing

What Is Print/ Handguns? With regard to handguns, print or printing refers to the faint outline of a gun that can be seen through the clothing of a person carrying a concealed handgun. It is an indicator that the person is carrying a concealed weapon.

 

Range Bag

What Is A Range Bag? A range bag is typically a nylon or canvas bag that a shooter brings to the range or the field which contains his guns, ammunition, supplies and accessories. (See RangeBag Contents).

 

Rangemaster

What Is A Range Master? A Rangemaster is the "guy in charge" at the shooting range or gun range. He is responsible for ensuring that all gun safety rules are followed at all times.

 

Receiver/Frame

What Is The Receiver Of A Firearm? The receiver is the main body of the firearm. It's the part that contains the serial number. It contains the grip and the operating parts of the firearm. With reference to handguns (revolvers and pistols) the receiver is also called the frame of the gun.

 

Recoil

What Is Recoil? (Gun) Recoil of a gun is the "kick" or "kickback" of a gun when it is fired. It is the sudden backward and upward push caused by the forward momentum of the bullet.

 

Recoil Buffer

What Is a Recoil Buffer? A recoil buffer is a device that is installed into a semi-automatic pistol to reduce felt recoil, enhanced muzzle control and a provide a longer service life to the pistol. A recoil buffer helps to reduce the battering of the action.

 

Recoil Spring

What Is A Recoil Spring? The recoil spring of a pistol is the metal spring usually located within the slide which returns the slide to the forward position (battery) after a shot is fired.

 

Reloading (Ammunition)

What Is Reloading? (Ammunition) Reloading ammunition is not quite as the name implies. Only one part (the casing) of a fired round of ammunition is reused for reloading. The bullet, gunpowder and primer which also makeup a complete cartridge are consumed during the firing process and cannot be reused. In essence, reloading involves the cleaning of the spent case, the reshaping of the case to specifications, the expansion of the case mouth (to accept a new bullet, the removal of the old primer, the installation of a new primer, the filling of the case with gunpowder, the insertion of a new bullet to the proper depth and the securing of the bullet to the casing by crimping. Reloading is performed by many to increase the accuracy of their ammunition, save money on ammunition, make ammunition when ammo is in short supply and to custom taylor their ammunition for guns/shooting objectives.

 

Reloading Press

 

Revolver

 

Ricochet (Bullet)

 

Rifling

What Is Rifling Of A Gun? The rifling of a gun refers to the spiral grooves found inside the barrel of a gun. The grooves are designed to impart a rapid spin to the bullet or projectile as it passes through the barrel. The spin of the bullet as it flies through the air serves to stabilize the bullet (like a gyroscope). Stabilized bullets don't tumble end over end and have greater accuracy.

 

Rim (Cartridge)

What Is The Rim Of A Cartridge? The rim is the flange or ledge found at the bottom of a cartridge. In semi-automatic pistols, the extractor engages (grabs) the rim to pull the cartridge from the chamber after it is fired.

 

Rimfire Cartridge

What Is a Rimfire Cartridge? A rimfire cartridge is a metal ammunition cartridge which employs the explosive priming mixture in the rim of the cartridge. This differs from a center fire cartridge which uses a centrally located primer at the base of the cartridge. Centerfire cartridges can be reloaded, while rimfire cartridges cannot.

 

Rimless Cartridge

What Is A Rimless Cartridge? The term rimless cartridge is a misnomer. Rimless cartridges have a rim but it doesn't protrude out as far as other cartridges. The rim has the same diameter as that of the case body. An undercut is provided on the case adjacent to the rim to provide a feature and surface for the extractor to grip.

 

Round Nose Bullet

What Is A Round Nose Bullet? It's a bullet with a spherically shaped nose. They tend to feed well in semi-automatic pistols. The rounded tip of the bullet has better aerodynamics than flat point bullets.

 

Sear

What Is A Sear? (Gun) The sear of a gun is a part of the trigger mechanism that holds the hammer back under the tension of a spring. When the trigger of the gun is pulled, the sear moves and releases the hammer and firing the gun. The sear can be part of the trigger mechanism or a separate part.

 

Semi-Automatic Pistol

 

Setback (Bullet)

What Is Bullet Setback? Cartridges sometimes may be damaged or altered in some way and can cause an unsafe condition. An example is a cartridge that has had the bullet pushed back deeper than normal into the casing. This can change the combustion space characteristics and gunpowder burn rate boosting pressures two unacceptable and unsafe levels. Repeated loading and unloading of the same cartridge can cause a condition known as setback. When bullets have been pushed deeper into the case, the overall length of the round is noticeably shorter than other rounds of like make or style.

 

Sideshields (Eye Protection)

What Are Side Shields? Side Shields are usually clear, see through plastic slip-on shields that add an extra level of safety to existing safety glasses. They cover and protect the side or lateral area of the eyes.

 

Sight Picture

 

Single Action

What Does Single Action Mean? Single action of a gun refers to the action type of a handgun where the hammer of the gun is manually pulled back (cocked) before the trigger is pulled.

 

Slide

What Is A Slide Of A Pistol? The slide of a pistol is the spring loaded part of a semi-automatic pistol that moves back and forth as a pistol is fired. It generally houses the firing pin/striker and extractor. As the slide moves back, the extractor removes the spent cartridge from the chamber. As the slide moves forward a fresh cartridge is pushed from the magazine into the chamber of the barrel.

 

Slide Cover Plate (Glock)

What Is A Slide Cover Plate Of A Glock Pistol? The cover plate of a Glock pistol is the flat serrated plate on the back of the Glock slide. It fits into grooves of the slide and is held into place by spring tension. The cover plate must be removed to gain access to the firing pin and extractor components.

 

Slide Lock

What Is The Slide Lock Of A Pistol? It's the spring loaded lever that locks the slide back after the last round is fired in a magazine. It may also be used to manually lock open the slide or to close the slide.

 

Slide Lock Spring

 

Slide Stop Lever

 

Smokeless Powder

What is Smokeless Powder? Smokeless Powder is a propellant used in firearms. It isn't "smoke free" as the name implies but produces a small amount of smoke as compared to the older black powder that was used previously. It leaves a small amount of residue that is non-corrosive. Black powder leaves a heavy, fouling corrosive residue. The invention of smokeless power made possible the development of modern semi-automatic and automatic firearms which would not be able to operate with the corrosive and heavy fouling of the black powder.

 

Snap Caps

What Are Snap Caps? Snap Capsare simulated ammunition used to safely dry fire a firearm. They contain no primer, powder or projectile and usually contain a spring operated false primer for absorbing the firing pin impact force. Some of the older centerfire guns as well as rimfire weapons should not be test fired with and empty chamber as this may lead to damage to the firing pin or other components of the gun. Snap caps are used to prevent this damage. They are also useful as a training tool for loading and unloading drills as well as training for jams, misfires and other problems.

 

Soft Point Bullet

What Is A Soft Point Bullet? A soft point bullet is a jacketed bullet that has the lead core exposed at the nose of the bullet for greater expansion that full metal jacket bullets, but less than that ofhollow points. It is also know as a soft nosed bullet and jacketed soft point (JSP).

 

Spacer Sleeve

 

Speed Loader (Revolver)

 

Speed Strip

 

Spitzer Bullet

What Is A Spitzer Bullet? A spitzer bullet is type of rifle bullet with a pointed tip. It is used in many intermediate and high-powered rifle cartridges. It is also known as a spire point bullet.

 

Spring Cups

 

Spring-Loaded Bearing

 

Squib

A "squib" load is defined as one which has insufficient power to propel a bullet through the barrel of a gun. The squib or stuck bullet may get stuck anywhere from the chamber to the muzzle end. Squib bullets are dangerous because they can bulge the barrel or cause it to burst if not removed before another round is fired. Firing another round before the squib is removed may cause the gun to explode and/or cause injury or death to the shooter or people near by.

 

Stovepipe

What Is A Stovepipe? (Guns) One type of gun failure is a stovepipe. A stovepipe is when the spent casing gets caught by the slide before being ejected from the gun. The empty case gets caught by the closing slide and gets stuck sticking out the side of the slide. It looks like a stove pipe. Stovepipes are associated with problems with certain ammunition or pistols that jam because the shell isn't ejected properly.

 

Striker

What Is A Striker Of A Pistol? The firing pin of a pistol is generally a lightweight, slender metal rod with a shaped end that transfers energy from the hammer of the gun to the primer. A striker serves the same function as a firing pin but is usually heavier and comes in direct contact with the spring that provides the striking force (no hammer mechanism). Striker mechanisms are generally simpler since they incorporate the function of both the hammer and the firing pin into one.

 

Taking Up The Slack

What Does "Taking Up The Slack" Mean? Taking up the slack is the term used for pulling the trigger to the point where the striker or firing pin is released (where resistance is felt and the trigger "breaks").

 

Trigger Break

What is Trigger Break? Trigger break is the point at which the striker or firing pin is released and the firearm discharges. You can feel and hear the point "break" by dry firing your gun. As you slowly pull back the trigger, at some point in the rearward movement you feel and hear the release and impact of the firing pin.

 

Trigger Finger

What Is Trigger Finger? Trigger finger is typically the forefinger of the strong hand used to actuate a trigger, but any finger can be one.

 

Trigger Group

What Is Trigger Group? Trigger group is the entire assembly of a firearm's trigger components.

 

Trigger Guard

What Is A Trigger Guard? The trigger guard is a protective structure surrounding the trigger to prevent the accidental pulling of the trigger.

 

Trigger Job

 

Trigger Lock

What Is A Trigger Lock? A Gun Trigger Lock is any lock that prevents the trigger from being pulled.

 

Trigger Overtravel

What Is Trigger Over Travel? (Gun) Trigger overtravel is the rearward distance that the trigger moves after the sear is released. It's the extra distance that your finger and the trigger moves after the break point. Overtravel is important because it has an effect on the accuracy of the shot. Any movement during the firing of a gun has a negative effect. When you pull the trigger and hit the break point of the trigger you use a little more force to overcome the resistance of the break. After it releases your finger continues rearward at a relatively high speed and comes to a sudden stop at the end of it's travel. This extra distance that your finger moves and the sudden stop causes movement in the gun and may result in a missed shot.

 

Trigger Overtravel Adjustment Screw

What Is A Trigger Over-Travel Adjustment Screw? A trigger over-travel adjustment screw is a screw located on the trigger, the trigger screw or the frame that is used that is used as a mechanical stop and prevents the trigger from moving beyond the trigger break.

 

Trigger Pull

What is Trigger Pull? It's the amount of force (expressed in pounds) on a trigger needed to fire a gun. It is measured with a trigger pull gauge.

 

Trigger Pull Gage

What is a Trigger Pull Gage? "Pull" is the amount of force (expressed in pounds) needed to move the trigger rearward in order to fire a gun. A trigger pull gauge is a spring loaded mechanical device used to measure the amount of this force. The gauge is an excellent tool for use for adjusting triggers to increase accuracy and maintain performance.

 

Trigger Pull Weights

What are Trigger Pull Weights? Trigger Weights are a set of metal weights used to measure trigger pull. One end of a wire is attached to the weight, the other to the trigger. When enough weight is added the trigger actuates. The total weight used defines the "pull" of the trigger.

 

Trigger Reach

What Is Trigger Reach? Trigger reach is the distance from the front of the trigger to the grip front.

 

Trigger Return Spring

What Is A Trigger Return Spring? The spring used to bring the trigger back to it's original position after a firearm is discharged.

 

Trigger Safety

What Is A Trigger Safety? A trigger safety is a mechanical device used to stop the inadvertent pulling of a trigger.

 

Trigger Shoe

What Is A Trigger Shoe? A trigger shoe is an accessory that is mechanically added to the blade of the trigger to give the trigger a wider surface area for easier pull. Some trigger shoes are serrated or textured to provide additional grip.

 

Trigger Slack

What Is Trigger Slack? Trigger slack is the amount of movement after the trigger is pressed before resistance is felt. Also called trigger creep and military creep.

 

Trigger Stop

What Is A Trigger Stop? A trigger stop is a mechanical device (over-travel adjustment screw) used to prevent a trigger from traveling beyond the trigger break (point at which the striker or firing pin is released and the firearm discharges).

 

Turret Press (Reloading)

What Is A Turret Press? (Reloading Ammunition) A turret press for reloading ammunition is a type or press featuring a rotating turret containing multiple dyes. Each dye in sequence performs a different reloading function with each pull of the press handle. Typically, one dye will shape and resize thecasing, another will remove the old primer and install a new one. Other dyes fill the casing with gunpowder, set the bullet depth and crimp the casing.

 

Wadcutter Bullet

What Is A Wadcutter? (Bullet) A wadcutter bullet is a specialty bullet made in the shape of a cylinder and with sharp shoulders. It is used for shooting paper targets. Wadcutters cut a very clean and defined hole in the target reducing scoring errors. Because the wadcutter is a flat nose bullet it does not feed well into semi-automatic pistols and therefore used only in revolvers. Wadcutters are usually made of lead. The nose of the bullet may loaded flush with the mouth of the case or it may extend above it.

 

Weak Wristing

What Is Weak Wristing? Weak wristing (also known as limp wristing) is when you hold a pistol too low on the grip or too weak causing it to jam. By holding it too low you change the dynamics of the motion of the slide by allowing the muzzle to flip upward. The slide may not have sufficient momentum to operate properly causing a jam. This problem is cured with a high handed firm grasp.

 

WWB

What Is WWB Ammo? WWB is an acronym for Winchester White Box. It is known for being inexpensive ammunition and us usually sold at Wal-Mart stores.

 

Feedback Comments

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Locking Of A Shotgun

November 26, 2011
What is the meaning when someone says LOCKING OF A SHOTGUN? This a question on the STATES TEST
Suzi

Response - Suzi,
Sorry, I have never heard of it.
I don't know that much about shotguns but I am also surprised to see that the term "locking of a shotgun" can't be found anywhere on the internet (via Google search), especially if it is on a test. Good luck.
Tanner

Reply - Tanner, thank you very much for your help. Suzi

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