Letter C

The Definition of Clicks

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Clicks

A unit of adjustment for a sight.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Shot Size

The size of the pellets in a shotgun shell.

Reticle

A matrix of dots, posts or lines, visible inside a rifle's telescopic sight, normally adjustable via exterior knobs for windage and elevation. After careful adjustment at a known range, the shooter aims the rifle by superimposing this matrix onto the target. With good estimation or range, cooperation from the wind, a clear eye and a steady hand, he may have a reasonable expectation of hitting his target.

Firearm

A firearm is a portable gun (pistol or rifle), being a barreled weapon that launches one or more projectiles often driven by the action of an explosive force.

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.

Under Barrel

The bottom barrel on an Over/Under shotgun.

Frangible

A bullet that is designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact to minimize their penetration for reasons of range safety, to limit environmental impact, or to limit the danger behind the intended target. Examples are the Glaser Safety Slug and the breaching round.

Head

Head [of a Stock]. The forward end of a buttstock, where it meets the receiver and accepts the bulk of the gun's recoil when fired.

WSM

Abbreviation for Winchester Short Magnum.

Matchlock

A black powder muzzleloading firearm action which relies upon a serpentine or S-shaped piece of metal to hold a smoldering match. By pressing the lower end of the serpentine, the upper end holding the burning match contacts the priming powder in the pan.

Drop Safety

A mechanical safety that prevents a gun from firing when it is unintentionally dropped.

Silencer

Improper term for a device that cuts down on the noise a firearm makes when it is shot. The correct term is suppressor. Silencers only exist in the movies.

Centerfire (Center Fire)

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

BATF

Short abbreviation for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Improved Cartridge

A wildcat cartridge that is created by straightening out the sides of an existing case and making a sharper shoulder to maximize powder space. Frequently the neck length and shoulder position are altered as well. The caliber is NOT changed in the process.

Suppressor

Incorrectoly sometimes referred to as a silencer, it is used to reduce the sound of a firearm's discharge. They do not actually silence most firearms but rather lower the intensity of the muzzle blast and change the sound characteristics (works similarly to an automotive muffler by disrupting and spreading out the sound waves). The possession, use, and transportation of silencers have been tightly controlled under federal law since 1934. Any device which reduces the sound of discharge by more than 2 dB is considered by the BATF to be a suppressor.

Mainspring

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

Bolt Face

The forward end of the bolt which supports the base of the cartridge and contains the firing pin.

Timing

The proper adjustment of the various interrelated moving parts of a gun so that every operation works in proper sequence, such as that the two ejectors of a double gun kick out the spent cases at the same instant and with the same force.

Bore Axis

An imaginary line which runs right down the center of the handgun's barrel and out though the back end of the gun. A handgun may have a high bore axis, with the imaginary line running out into space well above the shooter's hand. Or it may have a low bore axis, with the imaginary line running either straight through the shooter's hand or just skimming the surface slightly above her hand. A high bore axis tends to create greater perceived recoil and more muzzle flip when firing the gun than does a low bore axis.