Letter C

The Definition of Clearing

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Clearing

Unloading a gun and double checking that it is unloaded or fixing a malfunction so that the gun is ready to fire again.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Pair

Two shots fired very quickly with the use of the sights.

Light Double Action

A double-action semi-automatic firearm which is designed to have a much lighter trigger pull than is usual for a double action.

LCI

Abbreviation for Loaded Chamber Indicator

Extractors

A part in a firearm that serves to remove brass cases of fired ammunition after the ammunition has been fired. When the gun's action cycles, the extractor lifts or removes the spent brass casing from the firing chamber.

Break Action

A firearm whose barrels are hinged, and rotate perpendicular to the bore axis to expose the breech and allow loading and unloading of ammunition.

Mushroomed Bullet

A description of a bullet whose forward diameter has expanded after penetration.

Smooth Bore

A barrel without rifling. Smooth bore barrels are commonly used in shotguns and in large bore artillery that fire fin stabilized projectiles.

Pull

The entire process of making the trigger complete its journey past the trigger break.

Malfunction

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

Scope

A magnifying tube through which the shooter may see the target and aim the firearm. Scopes contain a reticle, commonly in the shape of a cross, which must be properly centered upon the target for accurate aim.

Chamber

The rear portion of the barrel or firing cylinder in which the cartridge is inserted prior to being fired. Rifles and pistols generally have a single chamber in their barrels, while revolvers have multiple chambers in their cylinders and no chamber in their barrel.

Under Barrel

The bottom barrel on an Over/Under shotgun.

Damascus Barrels

Barrel tubes built up by twisting alternate strips of iron and steel around a fixed rod (mandrel) and forge-welding them together in varying combinations according to the intended quality and the skill of the maker. The rod was withdrawn, the interior reamed and the exterior filed until the finished tube was achieved. Damascus barrels may be recognized by any of a variety of twist or spiral patterns visible in the surface of the steel. Before the 20th century, barrels were typically built in this manner because gunmakers did not have the technology to drill a deep hole the full length of a bar of steel without coming out the side.

Sabot

An oversized, lightweight housing that allows a sub-calibre projectile to be fired in a larger-diameter bore, usually in the interest of increased velocity. The sabot falls away from the actual projectile upon exiting the muzzle. For example, a hunter could use his .30-30 deer rifle to shoot small game with .22 centerfire bullets.

Bang Stick

A specialized firearm used underwater that is fired when in direct contact with the target.

Musket

A Muzzleloading long gun which has a completely smooth bore and is intended to fire a single projectile rather than a collection of shot.

Open Sights

A common type of iron sights in which the rear sight is an open-topped U or a V or a square-notch shape and with a blade type front sight, in contrast to the closed circle commonly found in aperture sights.

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.

Magna

Smith & Wesson term for a revolver grip design introduced in the 1930s where the top of the grip extends higher than it had in earlier configurations, to provide a more comfortable hold.