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


Firing Pin

A needle like metal part of a modern firearm that gives a vigorous strike to the primer initiating the firing of the cartridge.

Hammerless

A firearm with a coil-spring-actuated firing pin, or with its hammer enclosed inside the action body; i.e.. no externally visible hammer.

Point of Impact

The point where the projectile from a firearm hits.

Jump

The amount of change in the bore axis, measured both vertically and horizontally, while the projectile moves from the chamber to the muzzle when it is fired.

Stovepipe

Failure of a spent case to completely eject from a semi-automatic firearm. The case usually stands on end while lodged in the ejection port.

Grip Panels

The interchangeable surfaces that are installed on the part of the gun that you hold. Users change grip panels to improve the look or feel of the firearm, or to personalize it so that the gun is more suited to a different hand size. Some grip panels are chosen for function, while others are chosen for looks. Common grip-panel materials are wood, plastic, and rubber.

COL

Abbreviation for Cartridge Overall Length.

External Safety

A safety lever or button found on the outer surfaces of the firearm and is accessible to the user. Enabling the external safety should prevent accidental pulling of the trigger. However, the best safety is always you.

Center Of Mass

For self-defensive shooters, Center Of Mass (COM) represents the area of an attackers torso within which the most vital organs are likely to be disrupted by a gunshot. Shooting to COM is considered the most expedient way to stop an assailant from continuing threatening behavior.

Slide Lever

A slang term for slide catch.

Obturation

The process of a bullet expanding under pressure to fit the bore of the firearm, or a cartridge case expanding under pressure to seal the chamber.

Dry Fire

To pull the trigger and release the hammer of a firearm without having a cartridge in the chamber.

Trigger Break

The point at which the trigger allows the hammer to fall, or releases the striker, so that the shot fires. The ideal trigger break is sudden and definite. "Like a glass rod" is the cliche term shooters use to describe the ideal crisp, clean break.

Closed Bolt Firing System

A type of firearm in which the action is closed, with a cartridge in the chamber prior to firing. When the trigger is pressed the cartridge is fired, and the action cycles loading another cartridge into chamber and when firing is stopped the bolt remains closed and the chamber remains loaded.

Side-By-Side

A shotgun with two barrels which are situated next to each other. Somtimes also abreviated as SxS.

Iron Sights

The mechanical sighting system which usually comes with the firearm made of metal with no optics.

Recoil Lug

A stout flange, invariably incorporated into the underside of the front receiver ring of a bolt action, and also frequently incorporated into the underside of the barrel of a heavily-recoiling rifle, which when properly bedded, transfers recoil to the stock.

Falling Block

A type of action used primarily for single shot rifles whereby some kind of lever actuates a breechblock, moving it downwards in a vertical recess to expose the chamber. May have visible or enclosed hammer. For any given barrel length, it allows a shorter overall rifle length compared to a bolt action because no space is taken up by the forward-and-back cycling of the bolt. Most of the better British makers produced them in limited numbers around the turn of the last century, the Farquharson being the most iconic. Perhaps the best-known falling block action today is the Ruger No.1.

Battery

Most firearms do not have literal batteries. But a firearm is said to be in battery when the breech is fully closed and locked, ready to fire. When the breech is open or unlocked, the gun is out of battery and no attempt should be made to fire it. A semi-automatic is out of battery when the slide fails to come all the way forward again after the gun has fired, making it dangerous or impossible to fire the next round. This condition can be created by a misfeed, a dirty gun, weak springs, the shooter's thumbs brushing against the slide, riding the slide, or any of several other causes.