Letter H

The Definition of Hair Trigger

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Hair Trigger

A trigger that breaks from an extremely light touch.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


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.

Antique Firearm

Defined according to Section 921 (a) (16), Title 18, U.S.C. as:

A. any firearm (including any firearm with matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and
B. any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

Extended Top Tang

A display of gunmaking skill with a possible benefit of strengthening the wrist of a heavily-recoiling rifle, whereby the top tang of the action is made extra long, shaped and inletted into the top of the buttstock, extending along the top of the wrist and up over the comb. Popularized by Holland & Holland and adopted by several of the finest contemporary riflemakers in the USA.

Wheel Gun

Slang term for a revolver.

Polygonal Rifling

A type of gun barrel rifling where the traditional lands and grooves are replaced by "hills and valleys" in a rounded polygonal pattern, usually a hexagon or octagon. Polygons with a larger number of edges provide a better gas seal in relatively large diameter polygonally rifled bores.

Globe Sight

A front sight assembly, primarily for target rifles, consisting of a tube, housing interchangeable beads and blades. The tube guards against imperfect aiming due to sight pictures influenced by reflections.

Pair

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

Jeweling

A cosmetic process to enhance the looks of firearm parts, such as the bolt. The look is created with an abrasive brush and compound that roughs the surface of the metal in a circular pattern.

Biathlon

A shooting sport that combines both skiing and rifle shooting. It is the only shooting activity in the Winter Olympics. There is also a summer biathlon which involves running and shooting but it is not yet an Olympic event.

Hammer Bite

The action of an external hammer pinching or poking the web of the operator's shooting hand between the thumb and fore-finger when the gun is fired.

AR

Contrary to some people's belief, AR does NOT stand for Assault Rifle. The designation AR stands for the original designing company ArmaLite.
An AR is a firearm platform originally designed by ArmaLite and built by Colt, an AR is a lightweight, intermediate cartridge magazine-fed, air-cooled rifle with a rotating lock bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation or long/short stroke piston operation. It has been produced in many different versions, including numerous semi-automatic and selective fire variants. It is manufactured with extensive use of aluminum alloys and synthetic materials. Types of ARs include AR-15, AR-10 and AR-7.

Charging Handle

A device on a firearm which, when operated, results in the hammer or striker being cocked or moved to the ready position.

Reflector Sight

A generally non-magnifying optical device that has an optically collimated reticle, allowing the user to look through a partially reflecting glass element and see a parallax free cross hair or other projected aiming point superimposed on the field of view. Invented in 1900 but not generally used on firearms until reliably illuminated versions were invented in the late 1970s (usually referred to by the abbreviation "reflex sight").

Loaded Chamber Indicator

A mechanical device that protrudes from the gun when a round is in position ready to be fired, giving a visual and tactile indication that the gun is loaded.

Moon Clip

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.

Double-Barreled Shotgun

A shotgun with two barrels, usually of the same gauge or bore. The two types of double-barreled shotguns are over/under (abbreviated as O/U or OU), in which the two barrels are stacked on top of each other, and side-by-side (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other. See photo at right for example of side-by-side double-barreled shotgun. For double-barreled guns that use one shotgun barrel and one rifle barrel, see combination gun.

Gas Operated

The superheated air created by burning powder. A gas-operated firearm is one that uses the energy from these superheated gases to work the action in semi-automatic and automatic guns.

Musketoon

A musket shortened for cavalry use.

Trigger Control

Not putting your finger on the trigger until your sights are on target, then pulling the trigger smoothly, and following through by realigning the sights before allowing your finger to come off the trigger.

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