Letter B

The Definition of Black Powder

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Black Powder

Also known as Gun Powder. A mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. Modern firearms do not use the traditional black powder described here, but instead use smokeless powder.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Hair Trigger

A trigger that breaks from an extremely light touch.

Shoulder

To bring the butt of a long gun's stock to the shooter's shoulder, preparatory to firing the gun.

Holographic Weapon Sight

a non-magnifying gun sight that allows the user to look through a glass optical window and see a cross hair reticle image superimposed at a distance on the field of view. The hologram of the reticle is built into the window and is illuminated by a laser diode.

Recoil

The tendency of a firearm when fired to move backwards, and a little upwards as a reaction to the force of the projectile moving down the barrel. As Newton says, to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. The mass of the firearm provides some inertia to counteract the momentum of recoil. What remains is absorbed by at the shoulder or the hand. The heavier the gun, the less the recoil. The more powerful the cartridge, the more the recoil.

Slide Bite

A phenomenon which is often grouped with hammer bite. In this case the web of the shooting hand is cut or abraded by the rearward motion of the semi-automatic pistol's slide, not by the gun's hammer. This most often occurs with small pistols like the Walther PPK and Walther TPH that have an abbreviated grip tang. This problem is exacerbated by the sharp machining found on many firearms.

Cover Garment

Any piece of clothing that covers the holstered gun. When the gun is worn on the belt, the most common types of cover garments are vests, sweaters, and jackets.

Shell

An empty ammunition case.

Can

Slang term for a firearm sound suppressor.

NRA

The National Rifle Association. This organization coordinates shooting events on a national level, provides firearms training to civilians and law enforcement, fights restrictive firearms legislation and supports the constitutional right of law abiding citizens to own and carry firearms.

SBS

Abreviation for short-barreled shotgun.

Traditional Isosceles

In the Traditional Isosceles stance, Both arms are stretched almost equally forward with the gun centered forward. The knees are straight or only slightly flexed, and the entire body is upright and parallel to the target. This is an acceptable range stance provided recoil control is not an issue and you don't need to make rapid follow-up shots. However, if you are practicing for self-defense, you will probably want to use the Modern Isosceles stance stance instead.

Nipple

A small metal tube extending through the breech of a percussion firearm through which the flame passes from the percussion cap to fire the powder charge.

Clay Pigeon

Originally, live pigeons were used as targets, but they were gradually replaced with clay disks and ultimately banned. Later clay has been replaced with more suitable raw materials.

LDA

Abbreviation for Light Double Action

Magna

Smith & Wesson term for a revolver grip design introduced in the 1930s where the top of the grip extends higher than it had in earlier configurations, to provide a more comfortable hold.

Takedown

A firearm that can be separated into (at least) two subassemblies in order to make a shorter package than when put together, without tools. There is no specific requirement regarding how this disassembly must be accomplished; the mechanical design is up to the creativity of the maker. This arrangement allows for more convenient transportation of a firearm, but with rifles, where the action normally separates from the barrel, usually at a small sacrifice in accuracy. Takedown firearms can also be called take-apart firearms. Good examples of a takedown guns are the Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle, the Ruger 10/22 Takedown or the TNW Aero.

Drop Safety

A mechanical safety that prevents a gun from firing when it is unintentionally dropped.

Short Recoil

A semi-automatic pistol in which the barrel and breechblock are locked together for only a short distance of rearward recoil travel, at which point the two are uncoupled, the barrel is stopped and the breechblock continues rearward, extracting the spent casing from the chamber. Upon returning forward, the breechblock chambers a fresh round and forces the barrel back into its forward position. Most modern recoil operated semi-automatic pistols use short recoil.

Gas Vent

A passage built into a firearm to allow the safe conduct of unexpected gas, as from a pierced primer, to minimize damage both to the gun and to the shooter.