Letter L

The Definition of Lockplate

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Lockplate

A metal plate on which the firing mechanism is mounted on percussion and earlier firearms.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Terminal Ballistics

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

Can

Slang term for a firearm sound suppressor.

Smooth Bore

A barrel without rifling. Smooth bore barrels are commonly used in shotguns and in large bore artillery that fire fin stabilized projectiles.

Shooting Range

A specialized facility designed for firearms practice.

Direct Impingement

A type of gas operation for a firearm that directs gas from a fired cartridge directly to the bolt carrier or slide assembly to cycle the action.

Timing

The proper adjustment of the various interrelated moving parts of a gun so that every operation works in proper sequence, such as that the two ejectors of a double gun kick out the spent cases at the same instant and with the same force.

Parallax

This occurs in telescopic sights when the primary image of the objective lens does not coincide with the reticle.Telescopic sights often have parallax adjustments to minimize this effect.

Slamfire

A premature, unintended discharge of a firearm that occurs as a round is being loaded into the chamber.

Semi-Wadcutter

A bullet design featuring a conical extended nose, with a flat point, and a sharp edged shoulder that serves to cut a full diameter hole in the target. This design also may be found with a hollow point to facilitate expansion. A modified wadcutter bullet design with slightly sloping edges, designed to load smoothly in a semi-automatic pistol.

High-Capacity Magazine

An inexact, non-technical term indicating a magazine holding more rounds than might be considered "average.".

Zeroing

The act of setting up a telescopic or other sighting system so that the point of impact of a bullet matches the sights at a specified distance.

Drop Safety

A mechanical safety that prevents a gun from firing when it is unintentionally dropped.

Minute Of Angle

A 1/60th part of a degree, the unit of measure used in adjusting rifle sights. As it turns out conveniently, a minute of angle translates almost exactly to one inch at 100 yards (actually 1.047 inches), to two inches at 200 yards and three inches at 300 yards

Handspanner

German for Hand-Cocking or Cocker/De-Cocker. A type of action on a break-open gun or rifle where, in place of a traditional top tang safety, a somewhat more robust tab is fitted. Normally such a gun is carried in the field loaded, but with the action not cocked, an exceedingly safe condition. Then, when ready to fire, the shooter, instead of pushing a safety tab forward, pushes this larger tab forward, cocking the mainspring, making the gun ready to fire. Then, if the shot is not taken, he may simply slide this tab rearwards again, de-cocking the gun and returning it to the still-loaded, but very safe position.

Ogive

A type of curve represented by the curved section of a bullet between its bearing surface and its tip.

Expanding Bullet

An expanding bullet is a bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet. See also Dum-Dum Bullet

Magazine Well

The opening in the bottom of the gun into which a box magazine is fed. On a semi-auto handgun, the magazine well is at the base of the grip; on a rifle, it is usually placed in front of the trigger guard.

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.

Recoil Spring

The recoil spring is the powerful spring that cushions the slide in its rearward travel and then sends the slide forward again with enough force to drive the fresh round firmly into the chamber. The strength of the recoil spring is calibrated to run the slide without any outside assistance.

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