Letter C

The Definition of Center Hold

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19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


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.

Buttplate (Butt Plate)

A plate which covers the butt. Some steel buttplates have trap doors covering a recess for storage of cleaning equipment.

Muffs

Slang for Ear Muffs.

Shooting Sticks

A pair of slender and easily-carried wooden dowels or sticks, which when held, crossed, in the fingers of the left hand while also supporting the forend of a rifle, usually shooting offhand, provides somewhat enhanced stability for a more accurate shot.

Failure To Fire

Any malfunction that results in no shot fired when the trigger is pulled. Commonly caused by a failure to feed, bad ammunition or a broken firing pin.

LDA

Abbreviation for Light Double Action

Point of Impact

The point where the projectile from a firearm hits.

Double-Set Trigger

Usually only found on black powder muzzle loading rifles and pistols, pulling the rear (set) trigger converts the front (main) trigger to a light, hair trigger (too light and sensitive to be carried safely in the field). While the front trigger is always at the ready, if one has the time, using the set trigger feature may allow for a more accurate long-distance shot. Operates using its own miniature firing mechanism (sear, spring and hammer) when cocked, to multiply the force of a pull on the main trigger.

Dram

A unit of measure traditionally used for black powder shotgun charges. Today, used for smokeless powders on the basis of the new propellant's equivalent performance to that weight of black powder. Thus, a shotgun shell marked 3 - 1 1/8 would be loaded with the smokeless powder equivalent of 3 drams of black powder, and with 1 ounce of shot. 1 Dram = 1/16 ounce = 437.5 grains.

Sear

The part of the trigger mechanism which holds the hammer or striker back. Pressure on the trigger causes the sear to release the hammer or striker, allowing it to strike the firing pin and discharge the weapon.

Slug Gun

Slang for a shotgun which is set up specifically to fire a slug (a large, single projectile) rather than shot (multiple projectiles contained within a single shell).

Checkering

A regular pattern of fine grooves cut into the surface of a stock to aid in gripping a gun. Originally done for utility only, checkering has become an art form in itself; craftsmen adorning the borders with ribbons, fleur-de-lys, floral carving, etc. The amount of coverage, the precise regularity, and the number of lines per inch indicate the quality of the work. Too-fine checkering, however, defeats the purpose of the work altogether.

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.

Slug

More correctly a "rifled slug" or "shotgun slug." An individual cylindrical projectile designed to be discharged from a shotgun. The term is often incorrectly used to mean a Bullet.

Long Gun

Another term for rifle.

Riot Gun

A popular term for a short barreled repeating shotgun as frequently used in law enforcement and personal protection.

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.

Small Arms

Firearms designed to be carried and used by an individual or individuals.

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.

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