Letter A

The Definition of Autoloader

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Autoloader

A firearm that automatically loads the next cartridge to be fired into the chamber either upon the pull of the trigger in an open bolt design or upon the firing of the previous round in a close bolt design.
Autoloader should not be confused with Automatic or Semi-Automatic since the term Autoloader only applies to how the next round is chambered not how many rounds can be fired per trigger pull. All Automatic and Semi-Automatic firearms are autoloaders. Revolvers, bolt action, lever action and pump action firearms are not autoloaders.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Ballistic Coefficient

A measure of projectiles ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the deceleration—a high number indicates a low deceleration. Ballistic Coefficient (abbreviated as BC) is a function of mass, diameter, and drag coefficient. In bullets it refers to the amount that drop over distance and wind drift will affect the bullet.

Three Gun

A shooting sport where cometitors use three different guns on each stage of the competion; shotgun, rifle and handgun.

Bayonet Lug

A mounting point on a small arm that allows a bayonet or other accessory to be attached.

Turk's Head

A tip for a cleaning rod, a jag, with spirally-radial wires for vigorously scrubbing a gun's bore.

Picatinny Rail

A metal bar, available in a variety of lengths, with a continuous row of Weaver-like scope mount base slots, which when attached to a firearm, allow convenient attachment of a variety of sights, lights, slings, bipods and other accessories designed to fit this standard system.

Decocker (De-Cocker)

On semi-auto matic pistols, a lever that mechanically lowers the hammer without firing the gun.

Necking Up

Expanding the neck of an existing cartridge to make it use a bullet of a different caliber. A typical process used in the creation of wildcat cartridges.

Needle Gun

A needle gun is a bolt-action firearm (the first known type of bolt action rifle) that has a needle-like firing pin, which can pass through fully self-contained (paper) cartridge case to strike a percussion cap at the bullet base. The first experimental needle gun was designed by Jean Samuel Pauly, a Swiss gunsmith, in 1812. The first mass-produced needle gun was invented by the German gunsmith Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse, who, beginning in 1824, had conducted multiple experiments, and in 1836 produced the first viable breech loading gun model using a complete cartridge .

WCF

Abbreviation for Winchester Centerfire.

Front Sight

The front sight is placed at the muzzle end of the barrel. It is often (but not always) in the form of a dot or a blade. To attain a proper sight picture and shoot with the greatest degree of accuracy, the shooter's eye should be focused sharply upon the front sight while shooting, allowing both the rear sight and the target to blur somewhat.

Casing

Also known as a Case. The envelope (container) of a cartridge. For rifles and handguns it is usually of brass or other metal; for shotguns it is usually of paper or plastic with a metal head and is more often called a "shell."

Parkerizing

A chemical phosphate process developed during the second world war to provide an economical, durable and non-reflective surface finish to military firearms.

Peep Sight

An alternate name for Aperture Sight.

Ambi

Short for the word Ambidextrous. Meaning that a feature of a firearms can be used by either hand, for example ambi-safety, ambi slide catch or ambi mag release.

Extended Top Tang

A display of gunmaking skill with a possible benefit of strengthening the wrist of a heavily-recoiling rifle, whereby the top tang of the action is made extra long, shaped and inletted into the top of the buttstock, extending along the top of the wrist and up over the comb. Popularized by Holland & Holland and adopted by several of the finest contemporary riflemakers in the USA.

Rimless

A cartridge in which the base diameter is the same as the body diameter. The casing will normally have an extraction groove machined around it near the base, creating a "rim" at the base that is the same diameter as the body diameter.

Multi-Barreled

A gun with more than one barrel, the most common being the double-barreled shotgun.

Breechblock

The part in the breech mechanism that locks the action against the firing of the cartridge.

Hook

A concave, semi-cylindrical surface cut into the forward lump of a barrel set of a break-open firearm which revolves about the hinge-pin when the gun is opened.