Letter B

The Definition of Butt

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Butt

The rear end of a rifle or shotgun. (The portion that rests against the shoulder.)


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Receiver Ring

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

Selective-Fire

A firearm's ability to be fired fully automatically, semi-automatically or, in some cases, in burst-fire mode at the option of the firer.

Belt Fed

A firearm, usually (but not always) a fully automatic rifle, that uses a ammunition on a belt rather than a magazine to store the rounds that will be loaded into the gun.

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.

Choke

A constriction at or near the muzzle of a shotgun barrel that affects shot dispersion.

Receiver

The housing for a firearm's breech (portion of the barrel with chamber into which a cartridge or projectile is loaded) and firing mechanism. In semi-automatic handguns and revolvers, this part is typically called the frame.

Sling

A strap, usually of leather or sturdy webbing, fitted to the fore and aft (usually) of a rifle as an aid to carrying over the shoulder and as an aid to holding the rifle steadily while aiming.

Cheekpiece

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

Bipod

Sometimes spelled Bi-Pod. A support device that is similar to a tripod or monopod, but with two legs. On firearms, bipods are commonly used on rifles to provide a forward rest and reduce motion. The bipod permits the operator to rest the weapon on the ground, a low wall, or other object, reducing operator fatigue and permitting increased accuracy.

Polygonal Rifling

A type of gun barrel rifling where the traditional lands and grooves are replaced by "hills and valleys" in a rounded polygonal pattern, usually a hexagon or octagon. Polygons with a larger number of edges provide a better gas seal in relatively large diameter polygonally rifled bores.

Battery

Most firearms do not have literal batteries. But a firearm is said to be in battery when the breech is fully closed and locked, ready to fire. When the breech is open or unlocked, the gun is out of battery and no attempt should be made to fire it. A semi-automatic is out of battery when the slide fails to come all the way forward again after the gun has fired, making it dangerous or impossible to fire the next round. This condition can be created by a misfeed, a dirty gun, weak springs, the shooter's thumbs brushing against the slide, riding the slide, or any of several other causes.

Firepower

A volume of fire delivered by a military unit. Incorrectly used by the media to mean the ability of a small arm to be discharged many times without reloading.

Field Grade

A plain, functional, unembellished firearm used to hunt in rough terrain where one might prefer not to put a more expensive, deluxe grade gun at risk of damage.

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.

Round Gun

Slang term for a revolver.

AD

Abbreviation for Accidental Discharge

Reflector Sight

A generally non-magnifying optical device that has an optically collimated reticle, allowing the user to look through a partially reflecting glass element and see a parallax free cross hair or other projected aiming point superimposed on the field of view. Invented in 1900 but not generally used on firearms until reliably illuminated versions were invented in the late 1970s (usually referred to by the abbreviation "reflex sight").

Sight Alignment

The manner in which the sights are lined up properly in front of the shooter's eye, to form a straight path to the target.

Sporterizing

The practice of modifying military-type firearms either to make them suitable for civilian sporting use. Common sporterizing includes changing the stock or sights.