Letter H

The Definition of Hook

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Hook

A concave, semi-cylindrical surface cut into the forward lump of a barrel set of a break-open firearm which revolves about the hinge-pin when the gun is opened.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Bedding

That part of the stock on a rifle or shotgun into which the barrel fits.

Open Bolt

A type of firearm in which the action is in the open position and the chamber empty prior to firing. When the trigger is pressed the bolt moves forward, chambering a cartridge and firing it and returning to the open position. When firing is stopped the bolt remains open and the chamber empty.

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.

Musketoon

A musket shortened for cavalry use.

Energy

The amount of work done by a bullet, expressed in foot pounds.

Squib

An underpowered powder charge, usually caused by a fault in cartridge loading, often insufficient to expel a projectile from the muzzle of a firearm. If such a blockage is not cleared, the next attempted shot could cause the barrel at least to bulge, and very possibly to burst.

Aperture Sight

Also known as peep sights, range from the ghost ring sight, whose thin ring blurs to near invisibility (hence ghost), to target aperture sights that use large disks or other occluders with pinhole-sized apertures. In general, the thicker the ring, the more precise the sight, and the thinner the ring, the faster the sight.

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.

Folding Stock

A long gun stock that may be doubled over for conveniently compact storage.

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").

Buttplate (Butt Plate)

A plate which covers the butt. Some steel buttplates have trap doors covering a recess for storage of cleaning equipment.

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.

Slide Lever

A slang term for slide catch.

COL

Abbreviation for Cartridge Overall Length.

Riot Gun

A popular term for a short barreled repeating shotgun as frequently used in law enforcement and personal protection.

Velocity

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

Drilling

A three-barrel gun. Typically it has two shotgun barrels side by side on the top, with a third rifle barrel underneath. This provides a very versatile firearm capable of taking winged animals as well as big game. It also is useful in jurisdictions where a person is only allowed to own a single firearm.

Malfunction

A misfeed or other failure to fire which can be cleared on the spot and without tools.

Shoulder

To bring the butt of a long gun's stock to the shooter's shoulder, preparatory to firing the gun.