Letter I

The Definition of Improved Cartridge

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Improved Cartridge

A wildcat cartridge that is created by straightening out the sides of an existing case and making a sharper shoulder to maximize powder space. Frequently the neck length and shoulder position are altered as well. The caliber is NOT changed in the process.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Slamfire

A premature, unintended discharge of a firearm that occurs as a round is being loaded into the chamber.

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.

Delayed Blowback

A self-loading firearm whose breechblock and barrel are not positively locked together, but which incorporates a mechanism which initially restricts the breechblock from moving when fired, delaying its opening.

LR

Abbreviation for Long Rifle. Typically used in the .22 caliber cartridge designation .22LR. However can be used as an abbreviation for Kentucky Long Rifle

Cant

To tilt a gun to one side or the other, complicating sighting considerably. Can cause material loss of accuracy, particularly with a rifle at longer ranges. Some better long range target rifles are equipped with Spirit Level sights to help control canting.

SMLE

Abbreviation for Short Magazine Lee Enfield. The standard British Army rifle from around 1895 to 1957.

Double-Barreled Shotgun

A shotgun with two barrels, usually of the same gauge or bore. The two types of double-barreled shotguns are over/under (abbreviated as O/U or OU), in which the two barrels are stacked on top of each other, and side-by-side (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other. See photo at right for example of side-by-side double-barreled shotgun. For double-barreled guns that use one shotgun barrel and one rifle barrel, see combination gun.

Nipple

A small metal tube extending through the breech of a percussion firearm through which the flame passes from the percussion cap to fire the powder charge.

Recoil Crossbolt

A steel bolt, mounted transversely through a rifle stock just under and behind the front (and sometimes rear) receiver ring, sometimes concealed in the wood and usually against which the action is carefully bedded. When properly fitted, it helps distribute the recoil and reinforces stock at the point where wood has been removed to accept the action. Recoil crossbolts can be recognized by the flush-mounted circular steel fittings on the side of the stock, but are sometimes finished with contrasting wooden plugs and sometimes concealed completely. Also called Reinforcing Crossbolt.

Cal

Abbreviation for Caliber.

Firing Pin Block

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

Smooth Bore

A barrel without rifling. Smooth bore barrels are commonly used in shotguns and in large bore artillery that fire fin stabilized projectiles.

Detonate

To explode with great violence. It is generally associated with high explosives e.g. TNT, dynamite, etc., and not with the relatively slow-burning smokeless gunpowders that are classed as propellants.

Handloading

The process of assembling cartridge case, bullet or shot, wads and primer to produce a complete cartridge with the use of hand tools in the interest of loading for firearms for which cartridges are not available, experimenting with loads to achieve better performance, or to save money. Not to be attempted without knowledgeable instruction and careful study of the process.

Crisp Trigger

A trigger that breaks (to release the hammer) easy.

Field Gun

A shotgun, generally stocked to shoot where it is pointed and of relatively light weight because one often carries it a great distance for upland birds, the consequent recoil not being an important factor because one actually shoots it very little.

Line Of Sight

An imaginary straight line from the eye through the sights of a firearm to the target.

Mortar

An artillery piece used to fire shells over short ranges at very high trajectories.

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