Letter A

The Definition of Automatic

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Automatic

A type of firearm which, utilizing some of the recoil or some of the expanding-gas energy from the firing cartridge, cycles the action to eject the spent shell, to chamber a fresh one from a magazine, to cock the mainspring and to fire again. Such a firearm will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held back, until the magazine is empty. A machine gun. A firearm thus activated, but which shoots only one bullet with each separate pull of the trigger, while often erroneously referred to as "automatic" is properly termed Semi-Automatic.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Stalking Safety

A safety catch fitted to a hammer gun where a sliding bar moves into a slot in the inner wall of the hammer base, locking it in place in the cocked position. The safety can then be released silently by sliding the tab, avoiding the game-startling sound of the hammer cocking.

Bore

The tunnel down the barrel of a firearm through which the projectiles travel.

  • A smooth-bore firearm is one that does not have rifling on the barrel's internal surface.
  • A big-bore firearm is one that fires a large caliber.
  • A small-bore firearm is one that fires a small caliber.

Patch

A small piece of leather or cloth. A patch can refer to the wadding used in loading a muzzle loading firearms or the piece of cloth used to clean a firearm bore.

Slug Gun

Slang for a shotgun which is set up specifically to fire a slug (a large, single projectile) rather than shot (multiple projectiles contained within a single shell).

Slide Catch

Sometimes also known as a slide lock, slide release or slide lever. On a semi-autmatic gun, the lever or catch that holds the slide open (after the last round is fired or when racking an empty gun). Typically they are located on the left side of the frame about mide barrel. Some of the newer semi-automatic pistols have an internal slide lock. Even though on pistols with an external slide catch, you can push down on the lever to release the slide, it should never be used in such a manner. The proper way to release the slide is to rack the slide.

Drum Magazine

A type of firearms magazine that is cylindrical in shape, similar to a drum. Probably the most recognizable drum magazine is the magazine for a Thompson carbine rifle, also known as the Tommy Gun.

Scope

A magnifying tube through which the shooter may see the target and aim the firearm. Scopes contain a reticle, commonly in the shape of a cross, which must be properly centered upon the target for accurate aim.

Burst Mode

A firing mode enabling the shooter to fire a predetermined number of rounds with a single pull of the trigger.

Wheel Gun

Slang term for a revolver.

Penetration

The distance travelled by a projectile from the point where it strikes the target to the point where it stops.

Quad Barrelled

A gun, typically artillery, with four barrels, such as the ZPU

Hand

In any mechanism, a small lever that engages a notch to actuate movement in one direction only. Specifically, a small spring-loaded lever attached to the hammer of a revolver which actuates the cylinder to advance one increment and move the next chamber into battery as the hammer is cocked.

DT

Abbreviation for Double Triggers

Internal Safety

A safety which is placed within the gun and is not accessible to the user. Internal safeties are generally designed to prevent unintentional discharges when the gun is dropped or mishandled.

Load

A charge of powder, a projectile or a cartridge. Also, to prepare a gun for firing by inserting ammunition into it.

Rolling Block

Helical grooves in the barrel of a gun or firearm, which imparts a spin to a projectile around its long axis. This spin serves to gyroscopically stabilize the projectile, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy.

Chamber

The rear portion of the barrel or firing cylinder in which the cartridge is inserted prior to being fired. Rifles and pistols generally have a single chamber in their barrels, while revolvers have multiple chambers in their cylinders and no chamber in their barrel.

Bedding

That part of the stock on a rifle or shotgun into which the barrel fits.

FPS

Abbreviation for feet per second. A term used in expressing the velocity of a bullet.

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