Letter C

The Definition of Charging Handle

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Charging Handle

A device on a firearm which, when operated, results in the hammer or striker being cocked or moved to the ready position.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Gunpowder

Also called black powder, gunpowder is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. The term gunpowder also refers broadly to any propellant powder. Modern firearms do not use the traditional gunpowder (black powder) described here, but instead use smokeless powder.

CCL

Abbreviation for Concealed Carry License.

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.

Collapsible Stock

A stock on a long gun that can be shoved into itself to shorten it, either for storage or to make the gun fit shooters of different sizes.

Red Dot Sight

A type of reflector (reflex) sight for firearms that gives the uses a red light-emitting diode as a reticle to create an aimpoint.

Automatic

A type of firearm which, utilizing some of the recoil or some of the expanding-gas energy from the firing cartridge, cycles the action to eject the spent shell, to chamber a fresh one from a magazine, to cock the mainspring and to fire again. Such a firearm will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held back, until the magazine is empty. A machine gun. A firearm thus activated, but which shoots only one bullet with each separate pull of the trigger, while often erroneously referred to as "automatic" is properly termed Semi-Automatic.

Lede

The bevelled portion of the rifling at the rear end of the barrel (and the forward portion of the chamber) where the bullet first engages the lands.

Cheekpiece

A broad, flat, raised area on the side of a buttstock.

Short Trigger

A trigger that doesn't have to travel very far before it reaches the break. In a 1911 semi-auto pistol, a short trigger is a different part than a long trigger, and (in addition to providing less motion) it features a shorter reach which may be of benefit to a small-handed shooter.

Tang

The recurved top part of a semi-automatic handgun's grip at the point where it meets the slide. On long guns, the tang is the top strap used to screw the receiver to the stock.

Half Moon Clip

A Moon Clip that hold enough rounds to load only a portion (usually half capacity) of a revolvers cylinder.

Jam

A malfunction which locks up the gun so badly that tools are required in order to fix it. Sometimes used to denote a simple malfunction, but many people make a distinction between a complete jam and a simple malfunction.

Line Of Bore

An imaginary straight line through the centre of the bore of a firearm extending to infinity.

Hair Trigger

A trigger that breaks from an extremely light touch.

SxS

Abbreviation for Side-By-Side.

Controlled Pair

Two shots fired in rapid succession. It is different from a double tap because in a controlled pair, the second shot will be fired after the shooter has obtained a second sight picture, whereas in a double tap both shots are fired based upon the initial sight picture alone.

Mainspring

A strong spring which activates the striker or hammer of a firearm.

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.

Recoil Crossbolt

A steel bolt, mounted transversely through a rifle stock just under and behind the front (and sometimes rear) receiver ring, sometimes concealed in the wood and usually against which the action is carefully bedded. When properly fitted, it helps distribute the recoil and reinforces stock at the point where wood has been removed to accept the action. Recoil crossbolts can be recognized by the flush-mounted circular steel fittings on the side of the stock, but are sometimes finished with contrasting wooden plugs and sometimes concealed completely. Also called Reinforcing Crossbolt.