Letter L

The Definition of Lands

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Lands

In the rifling of a bore, the uncut portions of the barrel's inner surface left after the rifling grooves have been cut into the metal. In other words, the raised portion of rifling.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Thumb Safety

An external, manual safety which is typically disengaged with the firing-hand thumb.

Single Action

An action type that when the trigger is pulled, the only thing the trigger does is drop the hammer (or striker). This applies to both revolvers, semi-automatic and automatic guns. On a single action revolver, the gun must be manually cocked before it can be fired. With semi-automatic and automatic guns that are single action, the only thing the trigger does is drop the hammer, striker or firing pin onto the cartridge. Then the firearm is cocked again when from the recoil of the fired round. A firearm that the gun is cocked and the hammer drops when the trigger is pulled is a double action gun.

SMLE

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

Front Sight

The front sight is placed at the muzzle end of the barrel. It is often (but not always) in the form of a dot or a blade. To attain a proper sight picture and shoot with the greatest degree of accuracy, the shooter's eye should be focused sharply upon the front sight while shooting, allowing both the rear sight and the target to blur somewhat.

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.

Double Feed

A malfunction in which the spent case fails to eject from a semi-automatic firearm and blocks the chamber. As the fresh round is brought forward it cannot enter the chamber. It is cleared by stripping the magazine from the gun, racking the slide several times to eject the spent case, and then reloading.

Shot Size

The size of the pellets in a shotgun shell.

Parkerizing

A chemical phosphate process developed during the second world war to provide an economical, durable and non-reflective surface finish to military firearms.

Shotshell

Same as a Shotgun Shell.

Berm

On an outdoor shooting range, a large pile of dirt that functions as a backstop.

Sights

The device that aids the eye in aiming the barrel of a firearm in the proper direction to hit a target.They can be a mechanical, optical, or electronic device. Iron sights or sometimes as open sights, consist of specially-shaped pieces of metal placed at each end of the barrel. The sight closest to the muzzle end of the gun is called the front sight, while the one farthest from the muzzle (and nearest to the shooter) is called the rear sight.

Open Tip Match

A rifle projectile made with the tip of the bullet open as a means of increasing accuracy as compared to standard military bullets that are made with a closed tip and an open base. The are not designed to expand like a hollow point bullet but may fragment.

Pepperbox

An early form of muzzle-loading revolver wherein, instead of the current practice of having one barrel mated to a multi-chambered rotating cylinder, multiple joined barrels revolve together around a central axis.

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.

Keyhole

The tendency of a bullet to tip in flight and hit a target sideways, leaving a distinctly oblong hole. This destabilization of the spinning bullet in flight is typically caused by a bullet weight inappropriate for the rate of twist of the rifled barrel, an out-of-balance bullet or its having nicked an impediment such as a blade of grass, in flight.

Shooting Range

A specialized facility designed for firearms practice.

Decocker (De-Cocker)

On semi-auto matic pistols, a lever that mechanically lowers the hammer without firing the gun.

Co-Witness Sighting

Co-Witness Sighting is the use of any iron sight mounted onto a rifle that is fitted with an optical sight as a primary sighting system. They come in two basic configurations, fixed or flip-up. The idea is that if you align your red dot and your iron sights you have a backup aiming system on the gun.

Mirage

A tendency for layers of air of different temperatures near the warm ground to cause refraction in the line of sight and disturbance of the perceived point of aim.

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