Letter C

The Definition of Cast Off

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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

Internal Trigger Lock

A internal locking device built into a firearm, usually operated with a key, to render it unable to be fired. A good example of a internal trigger lock are the ones found on the semi-automatic pistols manufactured by Bersa.

Center Of Mass

For self-defensive shooters, Center Of Mass (COM) represents the area of an attackers torso within which the most vital organs are likely to be disrupted by a gunshot. Shooting to COM is considered the most expedient way to stop an assailant from continuing threatening behavior.

COL

Abbreviation for Cartridge Overall Length.

Fouling Shot

A fouling shot is a shot fired through a clean bore, intended to leave some residue of firing and prepare the bore for more consistent performance in subsequent shots. The first shot through a clean bore will behave differently from subsequent shots through a bore with traces of powder residue, resulting in a different point of impact.

SP

Abbreviation for soft point

Touch Hole

A small orifice at the breech end of the barrel of a muzzle-loading firearm through which the exploding priming charge is conducted from the flash pan to the main charge.

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.

Off Hand

To shoot while standing and without bracing against anything. Sometimes it can also mean to shoot with your non-dominant hand.

Throat

The beginning of the bore of a rifled firearm. The transition between the chamber and the rifling. The area most vulnerable to erosion from high velocity cartridges.

Six Gun

A slang term for a revolver that holds siz rounds. Usually referring to cowboy style revolvers.

Holdopen Toplever

A catch built into the receiver of a break-open gun to keep the toplever in its extreme right position when the barrels are removed. This device makes it slightly easier to remount the barrels. As the barrels are mounted and the breech closed, the barrels contact some kind of release pin (marked with the arrow) and the toplever automatically returns to the center locked position. Because, however, it requires a separate act to find and to depress this tiny tab to re-center the toplever on a broken-down gun, this feature may be irritating when trying to put a gun away in its case.

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.

Naked Bullet

A bullet not covered by a metal jacket or patch.

Twist

The length, within a rifled barrel, required to accomplish one full rotation. 1:12 Twist, means a bullet passing down the bore would complete one revolution in twelve inches. 1:7 Twist, means a bullet passing down the bore would complete one revolution in seven inches, which makes it a tighter twist than 1:12. Different weights of bullet require appropriate rates of twist.

Locking Lugs

A series of projections on the bolt of a firearm designed to fit into corresponding slots in the receiver to lock the action in closed position for firing.

Range Finder

A device used to determine the range to a target. Many range finders work by bouncing a laser beam off the target or nearby object and measuring the time for the reflection to arrive back at the instrument. It is also possible to use various passive optical devices such as a mil-dot telescopic sight.

Neck

The forward portion of a bottlenecked cartridge case. Also the portion of a rifle chamber in which the neck of the cartridge case rests.

Magnum

From the Latin for "more." A term indicating a relatively heavily loaded metallic cartridge or shotshell and a gun safely constructed to fire it. It generally indicates a round which cannot be interchanged with other loadings of the same caliber (for example, a .22 Magnum shell does not fit within a firearm designed to fire .22 Long Rifle ammunition).

Speed Strip

A flat piece of rubber which holds revolver cartridges preparatory to loading them into the revolver's cylinder. Similar to a moon clip

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