Letter J

The Definition of Jaws

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Jaws

The vise-like device on a flintlock hammer used to hold the flint.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Passive Safety

Any safety, internal or external, which functions apart from the shooter's conscious control. Grip safeties are one example of a passive external safety.

Improvised Firearm

A firearm manufactured by someone who is not a regular maker of firearms.

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.

Hot Range

A condition (status) of a shooting range that shooters may commence to fire.

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.

Casehardening

A heat-treating process that incorporates carbon into the surface molecular structure of the steel, providing a hard-wearing surface without making the entire receiver brittle. The parts to be casehardened are packed in a crucible with carbon-rich media such as bone meal and charcoal, heated to bright orange, about 1800F, then quenched in bubbling oil. Also called Carbonizing.

Standing Breech

The face of the action of a break-open firearm which houses the firing pins and receives the direct recoil of the fired round.

Off Hand

To shoot while standing and without bracing against anything. Sometimes it can also mean to shoot with your non-dominant hand.

Stalking Safety

A safety catch fitted to a hammer gun where a sliding bar moves into a slot in the inner wall of the hammer base, locking it in place in the cocked position. The safety can then be released silently by sliding the tab, avoiding the game-startling sound of the hammer cocking.

Howdah Pistol

Normally, a break-open, double-barrel, side-by-side pistol of large calibre, used by a maharaja when hunting tiger on the back of his elephant (in the howdah, the basket compartment in which he sits). The howdah pistol is the weapon of last resort in case the tiger tries to join him in the howdah.

Heel

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

Bolt Face

The forward end of the bolt which supports the base of the cartridge and contains the firing pin.

Charging Handle

A device on a firearm which, when operated, results in the hammer or striker being cocked or moved to the ready position.

Collimator Sight

Also known as collimating sight or occluded eye gunsight, a Collimator Sight is a type of optical "blind" sight that allows the user looking into it to see an illuminated aiming point aligned with the device the sight is attached to regardless of eye position (parallax free). The user can not see through the sight so it is used with both eyes open while one looks into the sight, with one eye open and moving the head to alternately see the sight and then at the target, or using one eye to partially see the sight and target at the same time.

Open Bolt

A type of firearm in which the action is in the open position and the chamber empty prior to firing. When the trigger is pressed the bolt moves forward, chambering a cartridge and firing it and returning to the open position. When firing is stopped the bolt remains open and the chamber empty.

Straddle Floorplate

A hinged plate covering the bottom of a rifle magazine and extending rearward on either side of the triggerguard. This design allows it to be more securely fastened for one more imperceptible step towards total reliability.

Dry Fire

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

Light Double Action

A double-action semi-automatic firearm which is designed to have a much lighter trigger pull than is usual for a double action.

Head

Head [of a Stock]. The forward end of a buttstock, where it meets the receiver and accepts the bulk of the gun's recoil when fired.

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