Letter H

The Definition of Half Cock

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Half Cock

A middle position for an external hammer that effectively provides a safety function. With a firearm with non-rebounding hammers, when on half-cock, the firing pin will not rest on the firing-pin.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Bipod

Sometimes spelled Bi-Pod. A support device that is similar to a tripod or monopod, but with two legs. On firearms, bipods are commonly used on rifles to provide a forward rest and reduce motion. The bipod permits the operator to rest the weapon on the ground, a low wall, or other object, reducing operator fatigue and permitting increased accuracy.

Quaker Gun

Not really a gun at all. During the U.S. Civil War, both sides would take tree branches or tree trunks, paint them black, and position them so that they appeared to be rifles or artillery pieces. By doing so, they could fool the other side into believing that they had more artillery than they really did.

Wildcat Cartridge

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.

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.

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.

WSM

Abbreviation for Winchester Short Magnum.

CQB

Abbreviation for Close Quarters Battle.

Red Dot Sight

A type of reflector (reflex) sight for firearms that gives the uses a red light-emitting diode as a reticle to create an aimpoint.

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.

Scope

A magnifying tube through which the shooter may see the target and aim the firearm. Scopes contain a reticle, commonly in the shape of a cross, which must be properly centered upon the target for accurate aim.

Semi-Wadcutter

A bullet design featuring a conical extended nose, with a flat point, and a sharp edged shoulder that serves to cut a full diameter hole in the target. This design also may be found with a hollow point to facilitate expansion. A modified wadcutter bullet design with slightly sloping edges, designed to load smoothly in a semi-automatic pistol.

Weapon

Anything that can be used in an offensive attack or in defense of an offensive attack. Guns are not necessarily weapons.
A gun can be used as a weapon, but so can a pencil, fist, car, a wad of paper or any other object used to attack or retaliate against an offensive attack. Even words can be used as a weapon.
Guns and other objects should be always called what they are; gun, rifle, pistol, pencil, knife, tomato or whatever they are. They should never be referred to as a weapon, EVER.
Some examples of the proper usage for the word "weapon" would be:
"One weapon used in the attack against the left flank was dirt clods".
"The marshmallow gun was the weapon of choice used in the accounting vs marketing skirmishes."
"The liberal leftists use words and restrictive controlling laws as weapons against the freedom of the people."

Shell

An empty ammunition case.

Mainspring

A strong spring which activates the striker or hammer of a firearm.

Velocity

The speed at which a projectile travels. Velocity is usually measured in feet per second or metres per second.

Semi-Automatic

A firearm designed to fire a single cartridge, eject the empty case and reload the chamber each time the trigger is pulled. It uses the energy from the fired shot to eject the empty case and feed the next round into the chamber.

Frame

The common part of a handgun to which the action, barrel and grip are connected.

Double Triggers

On guns (mainly shotguns) that have two barrels, there is a trigger for each barrel that work independently from each other.

Pump Action

A type of mechanism for removing a spent shell casing from the chamber of a firearm and inserting a fresh cartridge into the chamber. This type of mechanism is most commonly used in shotguns and rimfire rifles.