Letter D

The Definition of DA

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19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Hammer

The part of the gun that strikes either the firing pin or the round directly when the trigger is pulled then detonates the primer of the load and discharges the gun. Hammers may be external or internal. On a striker fired gun (a gun without a physical hammer) the firing pin is considered the hammer since it releases directly when the trigger is pulled.

Grip Safety

A passive, external safety typically located on the backstrap, which must be fully depressed to release the trigger. Most 1911-pattern pistols feature a grip safety.

Dry Fire

To pull the trigger and release the hammer of a firearm without having a cartridge in the chamber.

Center Hold

A sight picture of when the center of the target is half covered by the front sight when the sights are properly aligned. Also see six o'clock hold and cover hold.

Magazine Safety

A mechanism that prevents the gun from being able to fire when the magazine is removed from the gun, even if there is still a round in the chamber.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF, BATF, and BATFE) is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice. Its responsibilities include the investigation and prevention of federal offenses involving the unlawful use, manufacture, and possession of firearms and explosives; acts of arson and bombings; and illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products. The ATF also regulates via licensing the sale, possession, and transportation of firearms, ammunition, and explosives in interstate commerce. Many of ATF's activities are carried out in conjunction with task forces made up of state and local law enforcement officers, such as Project Safe Neighborhoods. ATF operates a unique fire research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, where full-scale mock-ups of criminal arson can be reconstructed.

WRF

Abbreviation for Winchester Rim Fire.

Charger

A device typically made from stamped metal which holds a group of cartridges for easy and virtually simultaneous loading into the fixed magazine of a firearm.

WTI

Abbreviation for Wound Trauma Incapacitation.

Point Blank Shooting

Shooting a target at a very very close range.

Trigger Safety

An external, passive safety which can be found on the face of some trigger designs (most notably found on Glock firearms). It is intended to prevent the trigger from being pulled by objects which find their way into the trigger guard area.

Armor-Piercing Ammunition

An armor-piercing shell must withstand the shock of punching through armor plating. Shells designed for this purpose have a greatly strengthened case with a specially hardened and shaped nose, and a much smaller bursting charge.

Spray and Pray

A term often used to refer to the very poor and dangerous practice of rapidly firing many shots at a target as possible in the hope that one or more may hit the target. This practice is a danger not only to bystanders but also to the shooter.

Sniper

A military person designated as a special marksman who is used to shoot designated targets of opportunity at long range.

Lug

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.

Firing Line

A line, either imaginary or marked, from which people shoot their firearms down range.

Snap Shot

A quick shot taken without deliberate aim.

Squib

An underpowered powder charge, usually caused by a fault in cartridge loading, often insufficient to expel a projectile from the muzzle of a firearm. If such a blockage is not cleared, the next attempted shot could cause the barrel at least to bulge, and very possibly to burst.

Trigger Control

Not putting your finger on the trigger until your sights are on target, then pulling the trigger smoothly, and following through by realigning the sights before allowing your finger to come off the trigger.

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