Letter H

The Definition of Headspace

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Headspace

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.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Upset Forging

A process that increases the diameter of a workpiece by compressing its length.

Magna

Smith & Wesson term for a revolver grip design introduced in the 1930s where the top of the grip extends higher than it had in earlier configurations, to provide a more comfortable hold.

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."

Powder

The chemical propellant which is burned to produce the hot gases which send the projectile flying downrange.

Six O'Clock Hold

A sight picture of when the center of the target rests on top of the front sight when the sights are properly aligned. Also see center hold and cover hold.

Checkering

A regular pattern of fine grooves cut into the surface of a stock to aid in gripping a gun. Originally done for utility only, checkering has become an art form in itself; craftsmen adorning the borders with ribbons, fleur-de-lys, floral carving, etc. The amount of coverage, the precise regularity, and the number of lines per inch indicate the quality of the work. Too-fine checkering, however, defeats the purpose of the work altogether.

Muzzle Flash

A muzzle flash is the visible light of a muzzle blast, which expels high temperature, high pressure gases from the muzzle of a firearm. The blast and flash are caused by the combustion products of the gunpowder, and any remaining unburned powder, mixing with the ambient air. The size and shape of the muzzle flash is dependent on the type of ammunition being used and the individual characteristics of firearm and any devices attached to the muzzle (such as a muzzle brake or flash suppressor)

Slug Gun

Slang for a shotgun which is set up specifically to fire a slug (a large, single projectile) rather than shot (multiple projectiles contained within a single shell).

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.

Gas Port

A small hole in the barrel of a gas-operated firearm through which expanding gases escape to power the autoloading system.

Primer Pocket

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

SP

Abbreviation for soft point

Clip

A clip IS NOT a magazine. A clip is used to load a magazine.
A clip is a simple, disposable narrow spring-lined channel-rail that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine of a repeating firearm. This speeds up the process of loading and reloading the firearm as several rounds can be loaded at once, rather than one round being loaded at a time. The term clip commonly refers to a firearm magazine, though this usage is absolutely completely totaly 100% incorrect. In the correct usage, a clip is used to feed a magazine or revolving cylinder, while a magazine or a belt is used to load cartridges into the chamber of a firearm. in which cartridges are supplied for military weapons. The shooter positions the clip vertically above the firearm's magazine, then pressing down with the thumb, slides the cartridges from the clip and down into the magazine.

Head

Head [of a Stock]. The forward end of a buttstock, where it meets the receiver and accepts the bulk of the gun's recoil when fired.

Short-Stroking

On a pump-action firearm, being too gentle with the fore-end and either not pulling it all the way back at the beginning of the stroke, or not shoving it all the way forward at the end of the stroke. Which may result in the old case or shell failing to eject and a misfeeds, or the gun will not fire when the trigger is pulled. The term is used most often to refer to pump-action shotguns, but it is possible to similarly short-stroke any type of firearm which requires the user to manually cycle the action (lever action rifles, for example).

Stripper Clip

Simple clips made of metal or sometimes plastic that hold several rounds of ammunition in a row and is used to quickly fill a magazine.

BUG

Abbreviation for 'Back Up Gun'

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.

Thumbhole Stock

A rifle stock, with a sculptured throughole at the wrist for the thumb, said to be more ergonometric to hold than a traditional stock. Apart from being slower to mount, totally useless for a counter-dexterous person, it is so unmitigatedly graceless as to be beneath consideration.