The Definition of 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.
19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know
The distance between the rear sight and the front sight. As a longer lever provides greater mechanical advantage, the greater the distance between the two sights, the more inherently accurate they will be.
Incorrectoly sometimes referred to as a silencer, it is used to reduce the sound of a firearm's discharge.
They do not actually silence most firearms but rather lower the intensity of the muzzle blast and change the sound characteristics
(works similarly to an automotive muffler by disrupting and spreading out the sound waves).
The possession, use, and transportation of silencers have been tightly controlled under federal law since 1934.
Any device which reduces the sound of discharge by more than 2 dB is considered by the BATF to be a suppressor.
Most firearms do not have literal batteries. But a firearm is said to be in battery when the breech is fully closed and locked,
ready to fire. When the breech is open or unlocked, the gun is out of battery and no attempt should be made to fire it.
A semi-automatic is out of battery when the slide fails to come all the way forward again after the gun has fired, making it
dangerous or impossible to fire the next round. This condition can be created by a misfeed, a dirty gun, weak springs,
the shooter's thumbs brushing against the slide, riding the slide, or any of several other causes.
A moon clip is a ring-shaped or star-shaped piece of metal designed to hold multiple cartridges together as a unit, for simultaneous insertion and extraction from a revolver cylinder.
Unlike a speedloader, a moon clip remains in place during firing, and after firing, is used to extract the empty cartridge cases.
The amount of work done by a bullet, expressed in foot pounds.
A semi-automatic firearm whose breechblock and barrel are not mechanically locked together when fired.
In such case the breechblock immediately begins to separate from the barrel upon firing.
Blowback is used in comparatively low powered weapons, in which inertia of the breechblock, and cartridge wall adhesion against the chamber,
are sufficient enough to retard opening until breech gas pressures have fallen to a safe level.
Abbreviation for Caliber.
A firearm that is only capable of holding one shot at a time. Each round must be loaded into the chamber manually by hand before each shot.
Sometimes also known as a
slide release or
On a semi-autmatic gun, the lever or catch that holds the slide open (after the last round is fired or when racking an empty gun).
Typically they are located on the left side of the frame about mide barrel. Some of the newer semi-automatic pistols have an
internal slide lock. Even though on pistols with an external slide catch, you can push down on the lever to release the slide,
it should never be used in such a manner. The proper way to release the slide is to rack the slide.
A semi-automatic firearm malfunction in which the extractor fails to move the empty case out of the way as the slide travels back. A failure to extract often causes double-feed malfunction.
The four rules of firearms safety,were originally introduced in the early 1900's by various shooting education sources (with varying phrasing, but same implications), they apply every single time a firearm is handled in any way or for any reason. The NRA
teaches the Three Rules of Safe Gun Handling.
Rule One: All guns are always loaded. (Treat all guns as if they are loaded, no matter what!)
Rule Two: Never point your firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
Rule Three: Never put your finger on the trigger unless your sights are on target (and you have made the decision to fire).
Rule Four: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
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.
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.
A stock on a long gun that can be shoved into itself to shorten it, either for storage or to make the gun fit shooters of different sizes.
A wildcat cartridge, or wildcat, is a custom cartridge for which ammunition and/or firearms are not mass-produced.
These cartridges are often created in order to optimize a certain performance characteristic (such as the power, size or efficiency) of an existing commercial cartridge.
Developing and using wildcat cartridges does not generally serve a purpose in military or law enforcement;
it is more a hobby for serious shooting, hunting, gunsmithing and handloading enthusiasts, particularly in the United States.
There are potentially endless amounts of different kinds of wildcat cartridges: one source of gunsmithing equipment has a library of over
6,000 different wildcat cartridges for which they produce equipment such as chamber reamers.
Checkering, applied to the otherwise-unfinished butt end of a gunstock.
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