Letter D

The Definition of Damascus Barrels

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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 The rod was withdrawn, the interior reamed and the exterior filed until the finished tube was achieved.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.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Dram

A unit of measure traditionally used for black powder shotgun charges. Today, used for smokeless powders on the basis of the new propellant's equivalent performance to that weight of black powder. Thus, a shotgun shell marked 3 - 1 1/8 would be loaded with the smokeless powder equivalent of 3 drams of black powder, and with 1 ounce of shot. 1 Dram = 1/16 ounce = 437.5 grains.

Hood

Front sight hood. A hollow cylinder fitted to a rifle's front sight ramp, both to protect the delicate front sight bead from impact, and to shade it from oblique sunlight which could have the effect of altering the sight's apparent position.

Articulated Front Trigger

A spring-loaded hinged front trigger on a dual trigger side by side or over under shotgun, built to cushion its impact on one's trigger finger as the gun recoils when the rear trigger is pulled.

Trigger Pull Weight

The ammount pressure needed (measured in pounds) for the trigger finger must put on the trigger before the gun will fire. Trigger pull weight is measured by the number of pounds and ounces of pressure required to pull the trigger past the break.

Doll's Head

A rib extension on a break-open gun, ending in a circular or semi-circular shape in plan (resembling the head of a doll), mating into a similarly-shaped recess in the top of the receiver, designed to resist the tendency of the barrels to pull away from the standing breech when firing. Because an action's centerpoint of flexing when firing is at the base of the standing breech, not at the hingepin, a passive doll's head extension makes an effective extra fastener, even without additional mechanical locks operated by the opening lever.

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.

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.

Gas Port

A small hole in the barrel of a gas-operated firearm through which expanding gases escape to power the autoloading system.

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.

Front Sight

The front sight is placed at the muzzle end of the barrel. It is often (but not always) in the form of a dot or a blade. To attain a proper sight picture and shoot with the greatest degree of accuracy, the shooter's eye should be focused sharply upon the front sight while shooting, allowing both the rear sight and the target to blur somewhat.

Lockplate

A metal plate on which the firing mechanism is mounted on percussion and earlier firearms.

Clay Pigeon

Originally, live pigeons were used as targets, but they were gradually replaced with clay disks and ultimately banned. Later clay has been replaced with more suitable raw materials.

COM

Abbreviation for Center Of Mass.

Ear Muffs

Hearing protection that completely covers both ears and is usually attached to a headband.

Load

A charge of powder, a projectile or a cartridge. Also, to prepare a gun for firing by inserting ammunition into it.

Half grip

Round knob, semi pistol grip.

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.

Holdopen Toplever

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.

Grooves

The cut-away, concave portions of the rifling inside the barrel of a firearm discharging a single projectile.In other words, the lower portion of rifling.