Letter F

The Definition of Front Sight

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Front Sight

The front sight is placed at the muzzle end of the barrel. It is often (but not always) in the form of a dot or a blade. To attain a proper sight picture and shoot with the greatest degree of accuracy, the shooter's eye should be focused sharply upon the front sight while shooting, allowing both the rear sight and the target to blur somewhat.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Smokeless Powder

The propellant powder used in modern ammunition. It is not an explosive, but rather a flammable solid that burns extremely rapidly releasing a large volume of gas. Commonly called "gunpowder" and usually made from nitrocellulose, or nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin. It is classified as a "Flammable Solid" by the Department of Transportation.

Explosive

Any substance (TNT, etc.) that, through chemical reaction, detonates or violently changes to gas with accompanying heat and pressure.

Tang

The recurved top part of a semi-automatic handgun's grip at the point where it meets the slide. On long guns, the tang is the top strap used to screw the receiver to the stock.

Every Day Carry

Term used for a firearm that a person uses as their usual daily carry gun. It is also used to describe a gun that is good for carrying concealed on a regular basis. Factors for determining an EDC may include caliber, physical size, number of rounds, accuracy and/or other factors.

Primer Pocket

The counter bore in the center of the base of a centerfire cartridge casing in which the primer assembly is seated.

Chain Gun

A type of machine gun or autocannon that uses an external source of power to cycle the firearm.

Wound Trauma Incapacitation

The correct technical term for the ability of a projectile to incapacitate an animal or human shot with a firearm. Incorrectly called Stopping Power.

Lockplate

A metal plate on which the firing mechanism is mounted on percussion and earlier firearms.

Dry Fire

To pull the trigger and release the hammer of a firearm without having a cartridge in the chamber.

Chapman Stance

The Chapman stance uses the same push-pull tension which defines the Weaver, but instead of both elbows being bent, the gun side elbow is held straight and locked in place. Assuming a right-handed shooter, the right arm is punched straight out, while the left elbow is bent and the left hand pulls back to provide tension. As a result of this change, Chapman gets its stability from both muscle and skeletal support. This makes it a little more friendly than Weaver for those who lack upper-body muscle strength.

Clicks

A unit of adjustment for a sight.

Inertia Firing Pin

A firing pin which moves freely forward and backward in the breechblock.

Keyhole

The tendency of a bullet to tip in flight and hit a target sideways, leaving a distinctly oblong hole. This destabilization of the spinning bullet in flight is typically caused by a bullet weight inappropriate for the rate of twist of the rifled barrel, an out-of-balance bullet or its having nicked an impediment such as a blade of grass, in flight.

Muzzleloader

The earliest type of gun, now also popular as modern-made replicas, in which blackpowder and projectile(s) are separately loaded in through the muzzle. The term is often applied to cap-and-ball revolvers where the loading is done not actually through the muzzle but through the open ends of the cylinder's chambers.

Grip Safety

A passive, external safety typically located on the backstrap, which must be fully depressed to release the trigger. Most 1911-pattern pistols feature a grip safety.

Wheel Gun

Slang term for a revolver.

Double Tap

Two shots fired in rapid succession. Generally without getting a new sight picture on the target. If the second shot is fired after a second sight picture is captured it may instead be called a controlled pair.

Hinge Pin

A short cylindrical rod of hardened steel running laterally near the front of the bar of a break-open gun's action around which the barrel hook revolves when the gun is opened. Over the decades, this pin and its complimentary hook can wear and a gun can sometimes "shoot loose" or "come off the face." The proper cure for this condition is to replace the hinge pin with a new one, slightly oversized, to compensate for wear on both itself and on the barrel hook.

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