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


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.

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.

Muffs

Slang for Ear Muffs.

Porting

Openings at the muzzle end of the gun through which some of the spent gases can escape. Porting reduces perceived recoil and lessens muzzle rise but increases the noise and flash.

Muzzle Control

Being aware of and responsible of which direction your firearm is pointed at all times, and always keeping it pointed in a safe direction.

Firing Pin Block

A type of internal safety that prevents the firing pin from moving forward for any reason unless the trigger is pulled.

Charging Handle

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

Belt Fed

A firearm, usually (but not always) a fully automatic rifle, that uses a ammunition on a belt rather than a magazine to store the rounds that will be loaded into the gun.

Locking Lugs

A series of projections on the bolt of a firearm designed to fit into corresponding slots in the receiver to lock the action in closed position for firing.

Thunder

With the execption of the BP model series, Thunder is the name of all of Bersa's pistols. The line currently consists of three frames.

• The Thunder .380 series, which is a very reliable and good looking compact blowback system .380 acp pistol (there is also a .22lr version).
• The full size Thunder Pro series (avalable in 9mm and .40 S&W) is a locked breech design.
• The Thunder Ultra Compact Pro series, locked breech, short recoil design which is more of a commander size Thunder Pro (available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 acp).
The Bersa Thunders are well known among firearms enthusiasts for being extremely high quality guns at reasonable prices.

Buckshot

A type of shotgun ammunition that uses medium-sized to large-sized pellets of .24" in diameter or greater, designed to be discharged in quantity from a shotgun. Generally the larger the pellets, the fewer of them there are in casing.

Zero

A firearm is said to be "zeroed in" when its sights have been adjusted so that the bullet will hit the center of the target when the sights are properly aligned upon the center of the target. The farthest distance from a firearm at which the bullet's path and the point of aim coincide. This term is also used to mean the process of insuring that the sights of a firearm are properly aligned so that where they indicate the bullet will strike is in fact where it strikes.

CFP

Abbreviation for Concealed Firearms Permit.

Concealed

Hidden from view. A handgun is concealed when it is carried in such a manner that is unseen.

Curio and Relic

Firearms which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must fall within one of the following categories:

  1. Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;
  2. Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and
  3. Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary channels is substantially less.
A special Curios or Relics license is available from the BATF, which allows collectors to buy eligible firearms in interstate commerce.

Monoblock Barrels

A method of building a pair of barrels where the entire breech end of both barrels and the lumps together are machined from one solid piece of steel. The barrel tubes are then fitted separately into this monoblock and the ribs attached. Often identifiable by a distinctive ring around the barrels about three inches in front of the breech end. The favored jointing method of the Beretta company. An incorrect euphemism for sleeved barrels.

Shooting Sports

There are a lot of different competitions and other games which involve firearms. These are all referred to collectively as the shooting sports.

FFL

Abbreviation for Federal Firearms [Dealer's] License.

Key Fastener

A horizontal wedge, press-fit through the forend of a vintage gun, through a lump attached to the underside of the barrel and out the other side of the forend. To secure the forend in position. Also called a crosspin or a wedge fastener.

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