Letter E

The Definition of Ears

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Ears

Slang for hearing protection. Applies to either muffs or plugs.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Flintlock

A system of firearms ignition, in general use circa 1660 - 1825, whereby the pull of a trigger releases a sear from a notch in a spring-loaded hammer, which holding a properly knapped piece of flint, strikes a vertical slab of steel (called a frizzen) scraping off tiny molten particles of the steel, and pushing it forward causes an integral flashpan cover to open forward, exposing a bit of fine gunpowder below, which when contacted by the falling sparks, ignites and sends a flash of fire through the touchhole, into the loaded breech setting off the main charge and firing the gun. The Flintlock system was supplanted by the Percussion system around 1820.

Trigger Jerk

Yanking the trigger back abruptly, thus pulling the muzzle of the gun downward at the moment the shot fires.

Thumb Safety

An external, manual safety which is typically disengaged with the firing-hand thumb.

Over Travel

If the trigger is able to continue moving to the rear after the shot has fired, the trigger is said to over-travel.

Forend

One of the three major dismountable components of a break-open gun (the others being the barrel(s) and the action/buttstock) which secures the barrels to the receiver, often houses the ejector mechanism, and for some, provides a handle for the one's secondary hand.

Wadcutter

A bullet designed with a full diameter flat point. It is primarily used in target competition because it cuts a clean round hole in paper targets that aids in scoring the target.

Single Action

An action type that when the trigger is pulled, the only thing the trigger does is drop the hammer (or striker). This applies to both revolvers, semi-automatic and automatic guns. On a single action revolver, the gun must be manually cocked before it can be fired. With semi-automatic and automatic guns that are single action, the only thing the trigger does is drop the hammer, striker or firing pin onto the cartridge. Then the firearm is cocked again when from the recoil of the fired round. A firearm that the gun is cocked and the hammer drops when the trigger is pulled is a double action gun.

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.

Cylinder

The part of a revolver that holds cartridges in separate chambers radially around a central hingepin. The cylinder revolves as the handgun is cocked, , either to the left or to the right depending on the gun maker's design, bringing each successive cartridge into position, and locked into alignment with the barrel for firing.

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.

Knuckle

The curved, forward end of the bar of a break-open firearm's action, about which the mounted forend iron revolves downward. This area should be kept lightly greased to avoid galling the bearing surfaces.

Failure To Fire

Any malfunction that results in no shot fired when the trigger is pulled. Commonly caused by a failure to feed, bad ammunition or a broken firing pin.

Jeweling

A cosmetic process to enhance the looks of firearm parts, such as the bolt. The look is created with an abrasive brush and compound that roughs the surface of the metal in a circular pattern.

Checkered Butt

Checkering, applied to the otherwise-unfinished butt end of a gunstock.

Buttplate (Butt Plate)

A plate which covers the butt. Some steel buttplates have trap doors covering a recess for storage of cleaning equipment.

Luger

American name for the German "Parabellum" semiautomatic pistol introduced in 1900. The Parabellum was designed by Georg Luger, and based on the earlier Borchardt pistol. The official German military nomenclature was "Pistole '08" or "Po8." At first, it was chambered for the 7.65mm Parabellum round. Soon, it was modified to use the 9mm Parabellum cartridge, which is what most people refer to today when talking about a 9mm cartridge. "Luger" is now a trademark owned by the Stoeger Arms Co.

LDA

Abbreviation for Light Double Action

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.

Quad Barrelled

A gun, typically artillery, with four barrels, such as the ZPU