Letter D

The Definition of Derringer

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Derringer

A small single-shot or multi-barreled pocket pistol. Derringers (spelled with two Rs) are called that because of the original desinger and anmufactuturer of that type of gun, Henry Deringer. To get around copyright infringment other designers and manufacturers spell the name with two Rs.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Casket Magazine

A quad stack box magazine.

Follower

A smooth, sometimes contoured plate, within a magazine, at the top of a spring, across which cartridges slide when being loaded into a chamber.

Brick

A box of ammunition roughly equal in size and weight to a brick. Most often used to describe a 500-round container of .22 Long Rifle ammunition.

Pitch

The angle of the butt of a gun in relation to the line of sight. Pitch is measured by resting the gun with its butt flat on a floor, the top of the receiver against a wall and its muzzle pointing up. The distance of the muzzle from the wall is the gun's pitch down.

Recoil Pad

A soft appendage, usually of some kind of rubber, often fitted to the butt end of a shoulder-mounted firearm to reduce the sensation of recoil. A recoil pad has the additional benefit of being less vulnerable to damage than a checkered wood butt or a brittle horn or plastic buttplate.

Speed Loader

A device used to load magazines or revolver cylinders quicker than by hand.

Magazine Follower

Same as Follower. A plate, mounted to the top of a spring, inside a magazine, over which cartridges may slide smoothly as they are guided into the chamber of a repeating firearm.

Machine Gun

A fully automatic firearm that rapidly fires multiple rifle-caliber shots with a single pull of the trigger.

Birdshot

A type of shotgun ammunition which uses very small pellets with individual projectiles of less than .24" in diameter designed to be discharged in quantity from the shotgun. The size of the shot is given as a number or letter-- with the larger number the smaller the shot size. It is so named because it is most often used for hunting birds. The finest size generally used is #9 which is approximately .08" in diameter and the largest common size is #2 which is approximately .15"

Pellet (shotgun)

Small spherical projectiles loaded in shotshells and more often called "shot."

Terminal Ballistics

A sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior of a projectile when it hits its target.

Gunpowder

Also called black powder, gunpowder is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. The term gunpowder also refers broadly to any propellant powder. Modern firearms do not use the traditional gunpowder (black powder) described here, but instead use smokeless powder.

Quarter Master

The person who supervises stores and distributes supplies and provisions.

Sear

The part of the trigger mechanism which holds the hammer or striker back. Pressure on the trigger causes the sear to release the hammer or striker, allowing it to strike the firing pin and discharge the weapon.

Clicks

A unit of adjustment for a sight.

Rate of Fire

The frequency at which a firearm can fire its projectiles.

Bore Diameter

The measurement from one side of the bore to the other. In a rifled barrel this means measurement of the bore before the rifling grooves are cut.

Straddle Floorplate

A hinged plate covering the bottom of a rifle magazine and extending rearward on either side of the triggerguard. This design allows it to be more securely fastened for one more imperceptible step towards total reliability.

Ballistic Fingerprint

A fired case has marks upon it that it picked up from the extractor, ejector, and breechface of the gun when the shot went off. A bullet fired through a rifled barrel also has rifling marks unique to the barrel that launched it. A record of these marks, when stored in a central database, is called a ballistic fingerprint. Some states require this record to be made by law, so that individual guns can be located from bullets or casings found at the scene of a crime.