Letter C

The Definition of Cartridge

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Cartridge

The assembly consisting of a bullet, gunpowder, shell casing, and primer. Cartridges also include shotgun shells and black powder packets used in muzzle loading guns.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Muzzle Flash

A muzzle flash is the visible light of a muzzle blast, which expels high temperature, high pressure gases from the muzzle of a firearm. The blast and flash are caused by the combustion products of the gunpowder, and any remaining unburned powder, mixing with the ambient air. The size and shape of the muzzle flash is dependent on the type of ammunition being used and the individual characteristics of firearm and any devices attached to the muzzle (such as a muzzle brake or flash suppressor)

Trigger Break

The point at which the trigger allows the hammer to fall, or releases the striker, so that the shot fires. The ideal trigger break is sudden and definite. "Like a glass rod" is the cliche term shooters use to describe the ideal crisp, clean break.

Mauser Safety

A small lever mounted to the cocking piece of a Mauser 98 action (and its copies such as the Springfield 1903), rotating on a longitudinal axis from left (Fire), up to the top (Safe, but allowing bolt movement), and over to the right (Bolt and firing pin locked Safe). While commendable for locking the firing pin instead of just the trigger, its up-and-over arc of operation requires a scope to be mounted awkwardly high. Paul Mauser is not to be blamed; when his safety was developed, telescopic sights were in such infancy as not to be worthy of mainstream consideration.

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.

CFL

Abbreviation for Concealed Firearms License.

Cocked

A state of readiness of a firearm. The hammer (or similar mechanism if there is no hammer) only needs to be released by the trigger to cause the gun to fire.

Follower

A smooth, sometimes contoured plate, within a magazine, at the top of a spring, across which cartridges slide when being loaded into a chamber.

Monoblock Barrels

A method of building a pair of barrels where the entire breech end of both barrels and the lumps together are machined from one solid piece of steel. The barrel tubes are then fitted separately into this monoblock and the ribs attached. Often identifiable by a distinctive ring around the barrels about three inches in front of the breech end. The favored jointing method of the Beretta company. An incorrect euphemism for sleeved barrels.

Quad Barrelled

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

Iron Sights

The mechanical sighting system which usually comes with the firearm made of metal with no optics.

Load

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

Collateral Damage

Damage that is unintended or incidental to the intended outcome.

Elevation

The setting on the sights of a firearm that controls the vertical placement and the altitude above mean sea level. This is important for long range precision shooting because the air density changes with elevation and affects the path of the bullet.

Headspace Gauge

Plugs of hardened steel, precisely machined in relation to the standard dimensional specifications of a given cartridge, normally in sets of three: "GO", "No-Go" and "Field". By loading these plug-gauges into the chamber in succession, one can check that the action should close on the "Go" gauge. It should not close on the "No-Go" gauge, but might were enough force to be used. And, it absolutely should not close on the "Field" gauge.

Chamber Throat

This is the area in the barrel that is directly forward of the chamber, which tapers to the bore diameter.

Malfunction

A misfeed or other failure to fire which can be cleared on the spot and without tools.

Dud

A round of ammunition that does not fire.

Thumbhole Stock

A rifle stock, with a sculptured throughole at the wrist for the thumb, said to be more ergonometric to hold than a traditional stock. Apart from being slower to mount, totally useless for a counter-dexterous person, it is so unmitigatedly graceless as to be beneath consideration.

Cold Clean Bore

The first shot from a rifle that has been cleaned, and not fired recently may go to a different point of impact, for the same point of aim than a rifle that has been fired recently. This first shot is referred to as a shot from a cold, clean, bore.