Letter C

The Definition of Centerfire (Center Fire)

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Centerfire (Center Fire)

A cartridge with its primer located in the center of the base of the case.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Heel & Toe Plates

Protective plates, usually of steel or horn, covering the top and bottom of a gunstock's butt only (the heel and the toe); leaving wood exposed in the center

Biathlon

A shooting sport that combines both skiing and rifle shooting. It is the only shooting activity in the Winter Olympics. There is also a summer biathlon which involves running and shooting but it is not yet an Olympic event.

Forend Iron

The steel skeleton of the forend (above), into which any moving parts are fitted and which mates to and revolves about the action knuckle when the gun is opened.

Antique Firearm

Defined according to Section 921 (a) (16), Title 18, U.S.C. as:

A. any firearm (including any firearm with matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and
B. any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

Ricochet

A rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile.

Rifling

Spiral grooves formed into the bore of a gun barrel, which cause the bullet to spin upon firing, thus stabilizing it much like a thrown football. Rifling may be cut, swaged, or forged into the barrel.

SMLE

Abbreviation for Short Magazine Lee Enfield. The standard British Army rifle from around 1895 to 1957.

Factory Ammo

Ammunition that has been assembled by a commercial vendor of ammunition and sold in retail stores. This is as opposed to Hand loads which have been assembled by individuals and are not typically sold.

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.

Forcing Cone

In a shotgun barrel, A tapered area a few inches from the breech end, providing a transition between the chamber (approximately the diameter of the outside of a shotgun shell) to the bore proper (approximately the diameter of the inside of a shotgun shell). The forcing cone provides the transition between the exterior and the interior diameters of the cartridge. Older shotguns usually have more abrupt forcing cones suitable for then-current thick-walled paper shells with fibre wads. Newer shotguns usually have more gradual, longer forcing cones suitable for thinner modern plastic shells with obturating plastic shot-cup wads.

DST

Abbreviation for Double-Set Trigger

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.

Matchlock

An early system of ignition for muzzle-loading firearms where a priming charge is loaded into a flashpan with a separate, manually-operated cover. To fire, the cover is opened and then a slowly smoldering wick, held in the nose of the curved arm, is lowered by means of a lever (precursor to a trigger) to ignite a priming charge which then ignites the main propellant charge inside the barrel.

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).

Crown

The area inside the bore nearest to the muzzle.

Ammo

Slang word abreviation for Ammunition.

WSM

Abbreviation for Winchester Short Magnum.

Sling

A long strip of leather, plastic, or nylon which is fastened at the fore and rear of the gun for the easy carry of long guns.

Shell Casing

A hollow, piece of metal (or plastic in the case of a shotgun shell) that is closed on one end except for a small hole which holds a primer. The open end holds the bullet. The hollow portion holds the powder. Together the assembled unit is called a cartridge.

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