Letter F

The Definition of Failure To Fire

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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.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Racking the Slide

Pulling the slide back to its rearmost position, and then letting it go forward under its own spring tension. Racking the slide loads the chamber and prepares the gun to fire in a semi-automatic handgun.

Jaws

The vise-like device on a flintlock hammer used to hold the flint.

Magazine Pouch

Commonly shortened to mag pouch, this is a device to hold extra magazines which fastens to the shooter's belt.

Gun

A firearm.

Practical Shooting

A shooting sport that simulates the use of a small arm in its intended role either as a tool for hunting or personal defense. True practical shooting limits the small arms, ammunition, and accessories used to those items that would actually be used in the role simulated.

Soft Point

A metal jacketed bullet design in which the nose of the core of the bullet is exposed to ensure the expansion of the bullet upon impact. Often abbreviated "JSP" or "SP." They tend to expand more slowly than a Hollow Point bullet and are used where deeper penetration and expansion are needed.

Trigger Break

The point at which the trigger allows the hammer to fall, or releases the striker, so that the shot fires. The ideal trigger break is sudden and definite. "Like a glass rod" is the cliche term shooters use to describe the ideal crisp, clean break.

Self-Opening

Attribute of a break-open gun whereby the barrels drop down simply by pressing the toplever without muscling them open manually. The Holland & Holland system utilizes a coil spring within a cylindrical housing mounted just ahead of the forward lump to urge the barrels open. The Purdey system utilizes residual energy remaining in the mainspring after the gun has been fired. Both systems enable a shooter to load more quickly when birds are coming fast.

Mercury Recoil Compensator

A device fitted inside the buttstock of a heavily-recoiling gun or rifle, usually containing mercury and a valve. As the gun recoils, the mercury is displaced temporarily, increasing the duration, and thus diminishing the perceived impact of the recoil. The added half-pound of weight doesn't hurt either.

Barrel

A tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity. It is the tube through which the bullet or shot travels. The barrel serves the purpose of providing direction and velocity to the bullet.

Sniper Rifle

A specialized, highly accurate rifle, fitted with an optical sight used by military snipers to engage personnel and hard targets at long range.

Double-Base Powder

A rapidly burning powder made by absorbing nitroglycerine into nitrocellulose (guncotton).

Tracer

A type of ammunition that utilizes a projectile or projectiles that contain a compound in its base that burns during its flight to provide a visual reference of the projectile's trajectory.

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.

Slug

More correctly a "rifled slug" or "shotgun slug." An individual cylindrical projectile designed to be discharged from a shotgun. The term is often incorrectly used to mean a Bullet.

Bore Snake

A bore snake is a tool used to clean the inside (bore) of the barrel of a gun. It resembles a short section of rope with a smaller, weighted cord attached to one end to help feed the bore snake through the barrel. A bore snake often has one or more integrated brushes to help clean the barrel, and may also be used to apply lubricant. It is an alternative to using a cleaning rod and patches to clean the barrel of a gun. Bore snakes are made in different sizes for different calibers and gauges of guns.

Full Stock

A rifle or carbine with a one-piece stock extending to the muzzle. Sometimes called a Mannlicher stock, although such a term is confusing because Mannlicher Schoenauer rifles are built with both full and half stocks. Traditional in Europe for close-range woodland hunting, but not noted for extreme, long-range accuracy.

Failure To Extract

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.

Forend Iron

The steel skeleton of the forend (above), into which any moving parts are fitted and which mates to and revolves about the action knuckle when the gun is opened.