Letter E

The Definition of Expanding Bullet

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Expanding Bullet

An expanding bullet is a bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet. See also Dum-Dum Bullet


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Sight Alignment

The manner in which the sights are lined up properly in front of the shooter's eye, to form a straight path to the target.

WSM

Abbreviation for Winchester Short Magnum.

Toplever

A lever on a break-open gun mounted to the top of the receiver which, when pushed with the thumb (normally) to the right, operates (usually) a Scott Spindle, which in turn withdraws (usually) a Purdey Underbolt from the bites in the lumps of the barrels, allowing them to hinge downwards and the gun to open.

Underhammer

A type of lock in which the hammer pivots in a vertical arc, striking the nipple on the underside of the barrel. Since the nipple's flash channel goes straight into the powder at the breech end of the barrel, ignition time is very fast. For this reason, and because it gets the hammer out of the way, underhammer locks are commonly used on muzzleloading benchrest rifles which are used for target shooting, and where accuracy is the goal.

Flinch

To jerk a firearm off target inadvertently in the instant of firing in timid anticipation of recoil. Commonly caused by learning to shoot with a gun more powerful then they are ready for.

Jump

The amount of change in the bore axis, measured both vertically and horizontally, while the projectile moves from the chamber to the muzzle when it is fired.

AK

AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova (Kalashnikov rifle when translated into English). When someone says "an AK" they are usually referring to the AK-47 rifle which was originally designed in Russia by Mikhail Kalashnikov.

Mag

Slang word for Magazine.

Lands

In the rifling of a bore, the uncut portions of the barrel's inner surface left after the rifling grooves have been cut into the metal. In other words, the raised portion of rifling.

FOPA

Firearm Owners' Protection Act of 1986. It is a United States federal law that revised many provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968. It bans civilian ownership of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986. Firearms made and registered before that date are not affected. The law limits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from inspecting gun dealers more than once a year, with follow-up inspections allowed only The law also specifically forbids the government from creating a national registry of gun ownership.

Thumb Safety

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

Back Action

A sidelock action where the mainspring is mounted rearward towards the butt. The back action is often used in double rifles where the need for strength requires as little steel as possible be removed from the bar of the action.

Yaw

The heading of a bullet, used in external ballistics that refers to how the Magnus effect causes bullets to move out of a straight line based on their spin.

Pair

Two shots fired very quickly with the use of the sights.

Mainspring

A strong spring which activates the striker or hammer of a firearm.

Timing

The proper adjustment of the various interrelated moving parts of a gun so that every operation works in proper sequence, such as that the two ejectors of a double gun kick out the spent cases at the same instant and with the same force.

Clearing

Unloading a gun and double checking that it is unloaded or fixing a malfunction so that the gun is ready to fire again.

Long Rifle

Typically used in the .22 caliber cartridge designation .22 Long Rifle, which is abbreviated .22LR.

Island Rear Sight

A rear barrel sight base, more articulated than having the sight simply dovetailed into the barrel, but not requiring as much gunsmithing as having it mounted onto a proper quarter-rib.