Letter I

The Definition of Internal Safety

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Internal Safety

A safety which is placed within the gun and is not accessible to the user. Internal safeties are generally designed to prevent unintentional discharges when the gun is dropped or mishandled.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Firepower

A volume of fire delivered by a military unit. Incorrectly used by the media to mean the ability of a small arm to be discharged many times without reloading.

Riot Gun

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

Trap

A game of competitive clay pigeon shooting on a formally designed layout. In plan view, one launching machine is located 16 yards in front of a straight line, firing rising targets perpendicular to and away from that line. Five competitors shoot five individual targets at each of five stations along that line. Although each target is presented at slightly randomized vectors, trap emphasizes generally a single type of shot, outgoing and rising, and targets are broken at generally longer ranges than Skeet.

Heavy Trigger

A trigger that requires a lot of pressure to pull it past the break point. Rifles tend to have considerably lighter triggers than handguns, and even a heavy rifle trigger is often lighter than a light handgun trigger.

Terminal Ballistics

A sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior of a projectile when it hits its target.

Cast Off

An offset of a gun stock to the right, so that the line of sight aligns comfortably with the right eye while the butt of the stock rests comfortably on the right shoulder. Almost all right-handed shooters benefit from a little castoff and most custom built guns are made this way. The only question is how much. The castoff of a gun is about right when, with the gun comfortably mounted, the front bead lines up with the center of the standing breech.
A stock offset to the left, for shooting from the left shoulder is said to be

Pigeon Gun

A double-barrel shotgun, with relatively tight choke boring and a relatively high-combed stock used for shooting live pigeons (euphemistically known as flyers) which normally rise when released. To better absorb recoil, a pigeon gun is normally heavier than a field gun as one shoots heavy loads and walks only a little. Because of the inevitable expense of this shooting discipline, pigeon guns are often built to a high standard of quality and reliability in deluxe grades with highly figured walnut stocks and fine engraving.

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.

Shot Size

The size of the pellets in a shotgun shell.

Shoulder

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

Pull

The entire process of making the trigger complete its journey past the trigger break.

Match Grade

A higher quality item used to increase accuracy, generally used for competition in a match. Match grade ammo and barrels are the most common improvements made to a firearm to improve accuracy for competition.

Self-Opening

Attribute of a break-open gun whereby the barrels drop down simply by pressing the toplever without muscling them open manually. The Holland & Holland system utilizes a coil spring within a cylindrical housing mounted just ahead of the forward lump to urge the barrels open. The Purdey system utilizes residual energy remaining in the mainspring after the gun has been fired. Both systems enable a shooter to load more quickly when birds are coming fast.

Ear Plugs

Hearing protection that fits inside the ear canal.

Reactive Targets

Targets that do something when you hit them, such as fall over, burst, send up smoke, or make a noise.

Luger

American name for the German "Parabellum" semiautomatic pistol introduced in 1900. The Parabellum was designed by Georg Luger, and based on the earlier Borchardt pistol. The official German military nomenclature was "Pistole '08" or "Po8." At first, it was chambered for the 7.65mm Parabellum round. Soon, it was modified to use the 9mm Parabellum cartridge, which is what most people refer to today when talking about a 9mm cartridge. "Luger" is now a trademark owned by the Stoeger Arms Co.

Trigger Bar

On a semi-automatic pistol, or any other firearm in which the trigger is at some distance from the sear, this is an intermediate piece connecting the two parts.

Trapdoor

As in Trapdoor buttplate or Trapdoor Pistol Grip Cap, one of these articles of furniture including a hinged plate, covering a small compartment below in which may be stored several extra cartridges, sight bits, extra springs or pins, cleaning rod, etc.

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