Letter B

The Definition of Break Action

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Break Action

A firearm whose barrels are hinged, and rotate perpendicular to the bore axis to expose the breech and allow loading and unloading of ammunition.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Trapdoor

As in Trapdoor buttplate or Trapdoor Pistol Grip Cap, one of these articles of furniture including a hinged plate, covering a small compartment below in which may be stored several extra cartridges, sight bits, extra springs or pins, cleaning rod, etc.

Gloaming Sight

A second, folding or pop-up front sight bead of larger than usual size, perhaps not as accurate as a normal fine bead, but easier to see in the gloaming (twilight) or dawn.

Fouling

The accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces. The fouling material can consist of either powder, lubrication residue, or bullet material such as lead or copper.

AK

AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova (Kalashnikov rifle when translated into English). When someone says "an AK" they are usually referring to the AK-47 rifle which was originally designed in Russia by Mikhail Kalashnikov.

Beavertail

A large piece of curved metal at the top of the grip on a pistol which protects the user's hand from getting "bitten" by the hammer or slide. It is nearly always the top part of the grip safety commonly found on many 1911-style pistols.

Trap Gun

A shotgun, often with only a single relatively-long barrel, with relatively tight choke boring and a relatively high-combed stock used for shooting clay pigeons in the game of Trap, where the birds are launched at least 16 yards ahead, usually rising and going away from the shooter at relatively low angular velocity. To better absorb recoil, a trap gun is normally heavier than a field gun because one shoots a lot but walks only a little.

Cylindro Conoidal Bullet

A hollow base bullet, shaped so that, when fired, the bullet will expand and seal the bore. It was invented by Captain John Norton of the British 34th Regiment in 1832, after he examined the blow pipe arrows used by the natives in India and found that their base was formed of elastic locus pith, which by its expansion against the inner surface of the blow pipe prevented the escape of air past it.

Head

Head [of a Stock]. The forward end of a buttstock, where it meets the receiver and accepts the bulk of the gun's recoil when fired.

Smooth Bore

A barrel without rifling. Smooth bore barrels are commonly used in shotguns and in large bore artillery that fire fin stabilized projectiles.

Windage

The setting on the sights used to accommodate the wind or adjust for horizontal (side-to-side) errors in the alignment of the sights with the bore of the firearm.

Lockplate

A metal plate on which the firing mechanism is mounted on percussion and earlier firearms.

Cartouche

A mark within a border, typically stamped into the wood, especially of an American military rifle. It shows the initials of the name of the accepting inspector and often, the date he accepted the firearm into service.

Cast Off

An offset of a gun stock to the right, so that the line of sight aligns comfortably with the right eye while the butt of the stock rests comfortably on the right shoulder. Almost all right-handed shooters benefit from a little castoff and most custom built guns are made this way. The only question is how much. The castoff of a gun is about right when, with the gun comfortably mounted, the front bead lines up with the center of the standing breech.
A stock offset to the left, for shooting from the left shoulder is said to be

Carry

Slang for a gun or the action of carrying a gun concealed, e.g "The Bersa Thunder .380 is a fantastic gun for carrying" or "Do you carry?".

Underhammer

A type of lock in which the hammer pivots in a vertical arc, striking the nipple on the underside of the barrel. Since the nipple's flash channel goes straight into the powder at the breech end of the barrel, ignition time is very fast. For this reason, and because it gets the hammer out of the way, underhammer locks are commonly used on muzzleloading benchrest rifles which are used for target shooting, and where accuracy is the goal.

Crosshairs

The cross-shaped object seen in the center of a firearm scope. Its more-proper name is reticle.

Semi-Automatic

A firearm designed to fire a single cartridge, eject the empty case and reload the chamber each time the trigger is pulled. It uses the energy from the fired shot to eject the empty case and feed the next round into the chamber.

Folding Stock

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

CFP

Abbreviation for Concealed Firearms Permit.

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