Firearms Definitions You Need To Know

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Dry Fire

To pull the trigger and release the hammer of a firearm without having a cartridge in the chamber.

Frangible

A bullet that is designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact to minimize their penetration for reasons of range safety, to limit environmental impact, or to limit the danger behind the intended target. Examples are the Glaser Safety Slug and the breaching round.

Adjustable Stock

The stock is the wooden, polymer, or metal handle of a long gun that extends from the trigger back to where the gun is braced against the shoulder. An adjustable stock is one that can be easily lengthened or shortened to fit shooters of different sizes.

Small Bore

Generally refers to a .32 calibre or smaller firearm.

Monte Carlo Comb

The Monte Carlo comb came to rifles via shotgun stocks. It rises well above the ordinary comb line of the stock at the butt and tapers downward toward the point of the comb. This raised portion of the stock lifts the face of the shooter and his or her line of sight well above the standard elevation provided by the classic style. However, the same amount of drop is maintained at the buttstock. A shooter with a long neck who often has trouble getting his or her face down far enough on the comb of the regular stock benefits from the Monte Carlo style.

Riot Gun

A popular term for a short barreled repeating shotgun as frequently used in law enforcement and personal protection.

CFP

Abbreviation for Concealed Firearms Permit.

English Grip

A straight-wrist grip, typical on English shotguns, built for graceful aesthetics, light weight and fast handling.

Biathlon

A shooting sport that combines both skiing and rifle shooting. It is the only shooting activity in the Winter Olympics. There is also a summer biathlon which involves running and shooting but it is not yet an Olympic event.

Off Hand

To shoot while standing and without bracing against anything. Sometimes it can also mean to shoot with your non-dominant hand.

Sights

The device that aids the eye in aiming the barrel of a firearm in the proper direction to hit a target.They can be a mechanical, optical, or electronic device. Iron sights or sometimes as open sights, consist of specially-shaped pieces of metal placed at each end of the barrel. The sight closest to the muzzle end of the gun is called the front sight, while the one farthest from the muzzle (and nearest to the shooter) is called the rear sight.

Sniper Rifle

A specialized, highly accurate rifle, fitted with an optical sight used by military snipers to engage personnel and hard targets at long range.

Folding Stock

A long gun stock that may be doubled over for conveniently compact storage.

Bullpup

A firearm configuration where the magazine and action are behind the trigger.

DST

Abbreviation for Double-Set Trigger

Point Blank Range

The farthest distance that a target of a given size can be hit without holding over or under with the sights. The exact range is determined by the performance of the cartridge used, the ZERO range, and the accepted size of the target area. This term is not to be confused with point blank shooting.

Pellet (shotgun)

Small spherical projectiles loaded in shotshells and more often called "shot."

Chamber Throat

This is the area in the barrel that is directly forward of the chamber, which tapers to the bore diameter.

JSP

Abbreviation for jacketed soft point

Rail

A feature on some guns which allows various aftermarket accessories to be attached the firearm such as flashlights or lasers. On pistols, if equipped, the rail is on the underside of the frame below the barrel. On rifles, a rain can be found above or below the barrel, with AR type rifles, the forestock can be made of rails allowing all kinds of attachments in various positions.

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