Letter I

The Definition of Inertia Firing Pin

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Inertia Firing Pin

A firing pin which moves freely forward and backward in the breechblock.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Recoil Pad

A soft appendage, usually of some kind of rubber, often fitted to the butt end of a shoulder-mounted firearm to reduce the sensation of recoil. A recoil pad has the additional benefit of being less vulnerable to damage than a checkered wood butt or a brittle horn or plastic buttplate.

Under Barrel

The bottom barrel on an Over/Under shotgun.

Mouse Gun

A name for any palm sized handgun which fires a small caliber.

Matchlock

An early system of ignition for muzzle-loading firearms where a priming charge is loaded into a flashpan with a separate, manually-operated cover. To fire, the cover is opened and then a slowly smoldering wick, held in the nose of the curved arm, is lowered by means of a lever (precursor to a trigger) to ignite a priming charge which then ignites the main propellant charge inside the barrel.

Pan

The small dished container located on the side or top of a matchlock, wheel-lock or flintlock forearm used to hold the priming powder charge.

Pair

Two shots fired very quickly with the use of the sights.

Throat Erosion

The wearing of the portion of the barrel where the gas pressure and heat is highest as the projectile leaves the chamber. The greater the chamber pressure the more rapid throat erosion occurs which is compounded by rapid firing which heats and weakens the steel.

Trigger Slap

An uncomfortable sensation caused by the trigger springing back into the shooter's trigger finger while firing.

Quadrail

Sometimes spelled Quad Rail. First conceived and sold by Knights Armament Company in the mid 90s when Reed Knight saw soldiers duct taping flashlights to their handguards in news footage of Panama, the quad rail has become almost a standard item found on most military rifles. Quad rails allow easy attachment of accessories which aid tactical shooters, such as lights, infrared lasers, foregrips, sling attachment points, and secondary sighting systems. However, nowadays, any full length forearms on an AR, with or without rails may also be refered to as a Quadrail.

Ramrod

A long, slender, dowel-like tool used to force powder and shot down the bore of a muzzle-loading firearm. For hand-fired guns, normally retained in some kind of receptacle attached to the gun's barrel. Carried separately for muzzle-loading cannon.

Hammer

The part of the gun that strikes either the firing pin or the round directly when the trigger is pulled then detonates the primer of the load and discharges the gun. Hammers may be external or internal. On a striker fired gun (a gun without a physical hammer) the firing pin is considered the hammer since it releases directly when the trigger is pulled.

Right To Bear Arms

The unalienable right of all of the people, stated in the Second Article of The Bill of Rights, to possess and use personally owned firearms for sport, recreation, personal protection, and the defense of the nation.

Creep

Sloppy movement (slack) of a trigger before the actual point of let-off.

Half Moon Clip

A Moon Clip that hold enough rounds to load only a portion (usually half capacity) of a revolvers cylinder.

Failure To Fire

Any malfunction that results in no shot fired when the trigger is pulled. Commonly caused by a failure to feed, bad ammunition or a broken firing pin.

Flat Nose

A bullet shape with a flat nose rather than a rounded one.

M1911

The official US military designation for the Colt .45 semiautomatic pistol adopted by the US in 1911. The gun was designed by John Moses Browning, and produced by Colt. During trials, the Browning-Colt design beat out several competing designs, including one from Savage and a .45 caliber version of the German Parabellum ("Luger"). The M1911 saw its first combat in the Philippines and then in World War I. Early use showed that it could be improved and in 1921 the M1911A1 was introduced, which featured a few changes like a reocontoured frame, shorter trigger, and a rounded backstrap. The M1911A1 remained the standard US military handgun until it was replaced in the 1980's by the Beretta M9. However, it remains very popular with civilian shooters in the US, and has been modified extensively to update it to conform to more modern theories of handgun usage.

Wheel-Lock

An early firearm mechanism in which a wheel with serrated edges is wound against the tension of a strong spring and spins against a piece of iron pyrite, sending a shower of sparks into the pan to ignite the charge.

Chain Gun

A type of machine gun or autocannon that uses an external source of power to cycle the firearm.