Letter B

The Definition of Back Action

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Back Action

A sidelock action where the mainspring is mounted rearward towards the butt. The back action is often used in double rifles where the need for strength requires as little steel as possible be removed from the bar of the action.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Thumb Safety

An external, manual safety which is typically disengaged with the firing-hand thumb.

AR

Contrary to some people's belief, AR does NOT stand for Assault Rifle. The designation AR stands for the original designing company ArmaLite.
An AR is a firearm platform originally designed by ArmaLite and built by Colt, an AR is a lightweight, intermediate cartridge magazine-fed, air-cooled rifle with a rotating lock bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation or long/short stroke piston operation. It has been produced in many different versions, including numerous semi-automatic and selective fire variants. It is manufactured with extensive use of aluminum alloys and synthetic materials. Types of ARs include AR-15, AR-10 and AR-7.

Safe

A firearm is said to be on safe when its safety is engaged and off safe when it is ready to fire.

Creep

Sloppy movement (slack) of a trigger before the actual point of let-off.

Shell Casing

A hollow, piece of metal (or plastic in the case of a shotgun shell) that is closed on one end except for a small hole which holds a primer. The open end holds the bullet. The hollow portion holds the powder. Together the assembled unit is called a cartridge.

Gas Port

A small hole in the barrel of a gas-operated firearm through which expanding gases escape to power the autoloading system.

Submachine Gun

A machine gun that fires pistol caliber rounds such as .45 acp or 9mm Luger (Parabellum)

Shotshell

Same as a Shotgun Shell.

Fixed Ammunition

A complete cartridge of several obsolete types and of today's rimfire and center-fire versions

Load

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

Receiver Ring

The portion of the receiver which is threaded so the barrel can be attached to it.

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.

Rail Mount

Any type of accessory that can be attached to a firearm's rail.

Wildcat Cartridge

A wildcat cartridge, or wildcat, is a custom cartridge for which ammunition and/or firearms are not mass-produced. These cartridges are often created in order to optimize a certain performance characteristic (such as the power, size or efficiency) of an existing commercial cartridge. Developing and using wildcat cartridges does not generally serve a purpose in military or law enforcement; it is more a hobby for serious shooting, hunting, gunsmithing and handloading enthusiasts, particularly in the United States. There are potentially endless amounts of different kinds of wildcat cartridges: one source of gunsmithing equipment has a library of over 6,000 different wildcat cartridges for which they produce equipment such as chamber reamers.

Spray and Pray

A term often used to refer to the very poor and dangerous practice of rapidly firing many shots at a target as possible in the hope that one or more may hit the target. This practice is a danger not only to bystanders but also to the shooter.

Cheekpiece

A broad, flat, raised area on the side of a buttstock.

Mag

Slang word for Magazine.

Combination Gun

A shoulder-held firearm that has two barrels; one rifle barrel and one shotgun barrel. Most combination guns are of an over/under design (abbreviated as O/U), in which the two barrels are stacked vertically on top of each other, but some combination guns are of a side-by-side design (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other.

Muzzle Velocity

The speed of a projectile or a load of shot at the point that it exits the muzzle of a firearm, normally expressed feet per second.

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