The Definition of Gape
The degree to which the barrel(s) of a break-open gun drop down; the size of the opening space,
which should be sufficient to allow for ease of loading, unloading and properly-functioning ejection.
A good gape is easier to achieve on a side-by-side than an over & under where the bottom barrel is well-enclosed by the action body.
19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know
Typically used in the .22 caliber cartridge designation .22 Long Rifle, which is abbreviated .22LR.
A pair of slender and easily-carried wooden dowels or sticks, which when held, crossed, in the fingers of the left hand while also supporting the forend of a rifle,
usually shooting offhand, provides somewhat enhanced stability for a more accurate shot.
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.
The distance, or clearance, between the base of a chambered cartridge and the breech face (or bolt face) of a firearm.
This is a critical dimension, particularly in high powered rifles. If there is too little headspace, the bolt will not close.
If there is too much headspace the cartridge will not be properly supported in the chamber and the cartridge will expand upon
firing and may rupture, blasting high-pressure gas into the action and possibly into the body of the shooter.
Headspace should be .003" - .006" in a centerfire rifle. It can be checked with a set of "Go and No-Go"
gauges specific to the calibre in question. (See below.) With a standard cartridge, the headspace is
registered by the shoulder, with a belted cartridge, the headspace is registered by the forward edge of the belt.
A metal cup placed on the end of a lead bullet to protect the lead against the hot gases of the burning powder charge.
Used in some types of firearms ammunition when non-jacketed bullets are used in high pressure cartridges, to prevent the buildup of lead in the barrel and aid in accuracy.
A device used to reduce the time and/or effort needed to reload a firearm's magazine.
Abbreviation for 'Bad Guy'
A concept created by eminent gun writer Col. Jeff Cooper. A scout rifle, generally, is a bolt action carbine firing a
medium power round suitable for taking large game (e.g., .308), fitted with a long eye-relief telescopic sight mounted on the barrel, and a back up set of iron sights.
Slang for hearing protection. Applies to either muffs or plugs.
Two shots fired very quickly with the use of the sights.
A type of cartridge whose bullet diameter is substantially less than the body diameter of the casing.
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.
Originally, live pigeons were used as targets, but they were gradually replaced with clay disks and ultimately banned. Later clay has been replaced with more suitable raw materials.
A semi-automatic pistol in which the barrel and breechblock are locked together for the full distance of rearward recoil travel,
after which the barrel returns forward, while the breechblock is held back. After the barrel has fully returned,
the breechblock is released to fly forward, chambering a fresh round in the process.
Abbreviation for Cartridge Overall Length.
A rifle projectile made with the tip of the bullet open as a means of increasing accuracy as
compared to standard military bullets that are made with a closed tip and an open base.
The are not designed to expand like a hollow point bullet but may fragment.
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.
A small orifice at the breech end of the barrel of a muzzle-loading firearm through which the exploding priming charge is conducted from the flash pan to the main charge.