Letter I

The Definition of Igniting Charge

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Igniting Charge

The charge used to ignite the propelling charge.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Toe

The bottom of the butt-end of a gun stock.

Light Machine Gun

A machine gun that is designed to be carried and opperated by a single person.

Sear

The part of the trigger mechanism which holds the hammer or striker back. Pressure on the trigger causes the sear to release the hammer or striker, allowing it to strike the firing pin and discharge the weapon.

Short Trigger

A trigger that doesn't have to travel very far before it reaches the break. In a 1911 semi-auto pistol, a short trigger is a different part than a long trigger, and (in addition to providing less motion) it features a shorter reach which may be of benefit to a small-handed shooter.

Shot

In shotgunning, multiple pellets contained in the shell and sent downrange when the shotgun is fired.

Slide Bite

A phenomenon which is often grouped with hammer bite. In this case the web of the shooting hand is cut or abraded by the rearward motion of the semi-automatic pistol's slide, not by the gun's hammer. This most often occurs with small pistols like the Walther PPK and Walther TPH that have an abbreviated grip tang. This problem is exacerbated by the sharp machining found on many firearms.

Cordite

A family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom from 1889 to replace gunpowder as a military propellant. Like gunpowder, cordite is classified as a low explosive because of its slow burning rates and consequently low brisance. The hot gases produced by burning gunpowder or cordite generate sufficient pressure to propel a bullet or shell to its target, but not enough to destroy the barrel of the firearm, or gun.

Plinking

Informal shooting at any of a variety of inanimate targets.

Gauge

System of measurement for the internal bore diameter of a smooth-bore firearm based on the diameter of each of that number of spherical lead balls whose total weight equals one pound. The internal diameter of a 12 gauge shotgun barrel is therefore equal to the diameter of a lead ball weighing 1/12 pound, which happens to be .729" (Or in British: Bore.) The Gauge/Bore system is also used, by convention, to describe the internal barrel diameter of large-bore, 19th century, English, single-shot and double-barrel rifles.

COF

Abbreviation for Course of Fire.

Gas Check

A metal cup placed on the end of a lead bullet to protect the lead against the hot gases of the burning powder charge. Used in some types of firearms ammunition when non-jacketed bullets are used in high pressure cartridges, to prevent the buildup of lead in the barrel and aid in accuracy.

Youth Rifle

A short, lightweight rifle. Some are small enough for a young child to easily handle, while others are large enough to perfectly suit teenagers, average-sized adult women, and small-statured adult males.

Loaded

A firearm is loaded when a cartridge is in its firing chamber. However, for safety reasons all firearms are always treated as loaded at all times.

Shell

An empty ammunition case.

Three Rules

The NRA teaches the Three Basic Rules of Safe Gun Handling. There are additional rules, but these are the three that if any two are followed, nobody will be hurt. However, obviously, all three should always be followed.

Rule One: ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
Rule Two: ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
Rule Three: ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
The NRA established these three rules in 1871. They were created to be easy to understand and remember, ensuring the highest possible level of firearm safety.
See also The Four Rules

Benchrest

A device used (usually set on a counter) to support a shooters arms and/or hands to help make steadier shots.

Grip Safety

A passive, external safety typically located on the backstrap, which must be fully depressed to release the trigger. Most 1911-pattern pistols feature a grip safety.

Sporterizing

The practice of modifying military-type firearms either to make them suitable for civilian sporting use. Common sporterizing includes changing the stock or sights.

Jam

A malfunction which locks up the gun so badly that tools are required in order to fix it. Sometimes used to denote a simple malfunction, but many people make a distinction between a complete jam and a simple malfunction.