Letter C

The Definition of Caliber

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Caliber

The diameter of the bore of a firearm measured as a fraction of an inch. Although such a measurement may be frequently stated in millimeters. It is correctly expressed as ".40 caliber" (note the decimal point) or as "10 millimeter" (without "caliber" or the leading decimal point). Caliber numbers when used to identify the size of the bullet a gun will file are usually followed by words or letters to create the complete name of the cartridge. These letters often represent a brand name or an abbreviation for the name of the company that first introduced the round.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


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.

Long Rifle

Typically used in the .22 caliber cartridge designation .22 Long Rifle, which is abbreviated .22LR.

Round Gun

Slang term for a revolver.

Mississippi Rifle

Nickname for the U.S. M1841 Rifle, a .54 caliber muzzleloading rifle. The name comes from their use by a group of U.S. Volunteers from Mississippi who were commanded by Jefferson Davis in the Mexican War. Some were later rebored to .58 caliber.

Open Tip Match

A rifle projectile made with the tip of the bullet open as a means of increasing accuracy as compared to standard military bullets that are made with a closed tip and an open base. The are not designed to expand like a hollow point bullet but may fragment.

Bolt Thrust

The amount of rearward force exerted by the propellant gases on the bolt or breech of a firearm action or breech when a projectile is fired. The applied force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity.

Cut-Away

A firearm that has had numerous careful machining cuts taken in its exterior with a view to exposing and demonstrating the functioning of critical parts of its mechanism

Gun

A firearm.

Powder

The chemical propellant which is burned to produce the hot gases which send the projectile flying downrange.

Cover Hold

Sometimes also known as cover-up hold. A sight picture of when the center of the target is completely covered by the front sight when the sights are properly aligned. Also see center hold and six o'clock hold.

Point of Impact

The point where the projectile from a firearm hits.

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.

Pellet Gun

An air gun that shoots a skirted pellet.

Aperture Sight

Also known as peep sights, range from the ghost ring sight, whose thin ring blurs to near invisibility (hence ghost), to target aperture sights that use large disks or other occluders with pinhole-sized apertures. In general, the thicker the ring, the more precise the sight, and the thinner the ring, the faster the sight.

Hand-Detachable Locks

The firing mechanism of a break-open gun which may be removed for inspection or cleaning without the use of tools. The release latch may be plainly visible or concealed. A feature typically seen on sidelock guns but also on the Westley Richards "droplock" boxlock action.

Quad Barrelled

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

Button Rifling

Rifling that is formed by pulling a die made with reverse image of the rifling (the 'button') down the pre-drilled bore of a firearm barrel.

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.