The Definition of Cordite
A family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom from 1889 to
replace gunpowder as a military propellant. Like gunpowder, cordite is classified as a low
explosive because of its slow burning rates and consequently low brisance.
The hot gases produced by burning gunpowder or cordite generate sufficient pressure to propel a bullet or shell to its target,
but not enough to destroy the barrel of the firearm, or gun.
19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know
A craftsman's signature stamp, discretely placed to identify his work.
A catch built into the receiver of a break-open gun to keep the toplever in its extreme right position when the barrels are removed.
This device makes it slightly easier to remount the barrels. As the barrels are mounted and the breech closed,
the barrels contact some kind of release pin (marked with the arrow) and the toplever automatically returns
to the center locked position. Because, however, it requires a separate act to find and to depress this tiny
tab to re-center the toplever on a broken-down gun, this feature may be irritating when trying to put a gun away in its case.
To hit someone with the grip of a pistol.
The degree to which the barrel(s) of a break-open gun drop down; the size of the opening space,
which should be sufficient to allow for ease of loading, unloading and properly-functioning ejection.
A good gape is easier to achieve on a side-by-side than an over & under where the bottom barrel is well-enclosed by the action body.
"V" shaped rear leaf sights mounted to a rifle barrel on a block or on a quarter-rib, sometimes solid standing, sometimes folding,
and often mounted in a row of similar leaves, each of a slightly different height, marked with the range for which each is regulated
The process of assembling cartridge case, bullet or shot, wads and primer to produce a complete cartridge with the use of
hand tools in the interest of loading for firearms for which cartridges are not available, experimenting with loads
to achieve better performance, or to save money. Not to be attempted without knowledgeable instruction and careful study of the process.
The forward portion of a bottlenecked cartridge case. Also the portion of a rifle chamber in which the neck of the cartridge case rests.
An early form of complete, self-contained cartridge. It included bullet, powder and ignition primer, all in one package.
The primer was located towards the base of the cartridge, but completely internally. The pin, shaped like a little finishing nail,
pointed on the inside end and resting on the internal primer, projected radially about a quarter-inch to the outside of the base of
the cartridge. When loaded, a pinfire gun showed the tips of the pins exposed through small slots in the tops of the breech faces of the barrels.
To fire, hammers fell on the pins, driving them (through the wall of the cartridge) into the internal primer.
An air gun that shoots a skirted pellet.
A internal locking device built into a firearm, usually operated with a key, to render it unable to be fired. A good example of a internal trigger lock are the ones found on the
semi-automatic pistols manufactured by Bersa.
The forward end of the bolt which supports the base of the cartridge and contains the firing pin.
Crude adjustments made to an optical firearm sight, or iron sights, to align the firearm barrel and sights.
This method is usually used to pre-align the sights, which makes zeroing (zero drop at XX distance) much faster.
Abbreviation for Accidental Discharge
A secure storage place for ammunition or explosives.
On a firearm, it is the container, either fixed to a firearms's frame or detachable, which holds cartridges waiting to be fed into the gun's chamber.
Detachable magazines for the same gun may be offered by the gun's manufacturer or other manufacturers with various capacities.
A gun with a five-shot detachable magazine, for instance, may be fitted with a magazine holding 10, 20, or 50 or more rounds.
Box magazines are most commonly located under the receiver with the cartridges stacked vertically.
Tube or tubular magazines run through the stock or under the barrel with the cartridges lying horizontally (like on a shotgun or lever action rifle.
Drum magazines hold their cartridges in a circular mode (for example the famous drum magazine on a Thompson submachine gun).
On a revolver, the magazine is known as the cylinder.
Internal magazines are built into the firearm and are not removable.
Examples of internal magazines are the tube magazines of a shotgun or the magazine on a Mosin Nagant.
A magazine is not a clip!
Checkering, applied to the otherwise-unfinished butt end of a gunstock.
Any piece that projects from a firearm for the purpose of attaching something to it.
For example barrel lugs are used to attach a break-action shotgun barrel to the action itself.
If the firearm is a revolver, the term may also refer to a protrusion under the barrel that adds weight,
thereby stabilizing the gun during aiming, mitigating recoil, and reducing muzzle flip. A full lug extends all the way to the muzzle,
while a half lug extends only partially down the barrel. On a swing-out-cylinder revolver, the lug is slotted to accommodate the ejector rod.
Also known as a Case. The envelope (container) of a cartridge. For rifles and handguns it is usually of brass or other metal; for shotguns it is usually of paper or plastic with a metal head and is more often called a "shell."
A name for any palm sized handgun which fires a small caliber.