Letter M

The Definition of Magazine Safety

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Magazine Safety

A mechanism that prevents the gun from being able to fire when the magazine is removed from the gun, even if there is still a round in the chamber.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Percussion Cap

A small metal explosive-filled cup which is placed over the nipple of a percussion firearm. As the cap is struck by the hammer, it explodes and sends a flame through the flashhole in the nipple to the main powder charge.

Aperture Sight

Also known as peep sights, range from the ghost ring sight, whose thin ring blurs to near invisibility (hence ghost), to target aperture sights that use large disks or other occluders with pinhole-sized apertures. In general, the thicker the ring, the more precise the sight, and the thinner the ring, the faster the sight.

Trigger Pull

The entire process of moving the trigger from its forward-most position to its rearward-most position, causing the hammer to fall and the shot to fire.

Squib

An underpowered powder charge, usually caused by a fault in cartridge loading, often insufficient to expel a projectile from the muzzle of a firearm. If such a blockage is not cleared, the next attempted shot could cause the barrel at least to bulge, and very possibly to burst.

Yaw

The heading of a bullet, used in external ballistics that refers to how the Magnus effect causes bullets to move out of a straight line based on their spin.

Muffs

Slang for Ear Muffs.

Flash Suppressor

Also known as a Flash Hider. A muzzle attachment intended to reduce visible muzzle flash caused by the burning propellant. Flash reducers lessen glare as seen by the shooter, but do not hide the flash from other observers to the front or side of the firearm.

Mag

Slang word for Magazine.

Automatic

A type of firearm which, utilizing some of the recoil or some of the expanding-gas energy from the firing cartridge, cycles the action to eject the spent shell, to chamber a fresh one from a magazine, to cock the mainspring and to fire again. Such a firearm will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held back, until the magazine is empty. A machine gun. A firearm thus activated, but which shoots only one bullet with each separate pull of the trigger, while often erroneously referred to as "automatic" is properly termed Semi-Automatic.

Doughnut Pattern

A shotgun pattern with a hole in the middle generally caused by the interference of the top wad.

Silhouette Shooting

A handgun or rifle shooting sport in which the competitors attempt to knock over metallic game-shaped targets at various ranges.

Center Hold

A sight picture of when the center of the target is half covered by the front sight when the sights are properly aligned. Also see six o'clock hold and cover hold.

Failure To Extract

A semi-automatic firearm malfunction in which the extractor fails to move the empty case out of the way as the slide travels back. A failure to extract often causes double-feed malfunction.

Repeater

A type of firearm capable of discharging multiple individual shots in sequence, fed from a magazine, via the operation a lever, bolt, slide or some other form of manual operation.

Duelling Pistols

Single shot pistols, of a design originating in England, in vogue circa 1770 - 1850, built necessarily in pairs, either of flintlock or percussion ignition, usually finely made and cased together with loading accessories. Dueling pistols tended to be lighter and sleeker than their contemporary service pistols. They tended to have smoothbore (or sometimes secret, scratch-rifling), octagon (or octagon-to-round) barrels around nine or ten inches long of some form of damascus steel, bores just over a half-inch, ramrods, rudimentary sights front and rear, single-set triggers, roller-bearing frizzens and curved grips integral with full or half-stocks. They were usually of high quality construction, sometimes with silver furniture, but normally of relatively plain decoration.

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.

Flinch

To jerk a firearm off target inadvertently in the instant of firing in timid anticipation of recoil. Commonly caused by learning to shoot with a gun more powerful then they are ready for.

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.

Laser Sight

A laser sight is an alternative sighting device which enables the shooter to quickly and accurately see where the firearm is aimed even when lighting or other conditions prevent using the gun's normal sights. Lasers may be located within the grips, hung from accessory rails at the front end of the gun, or placed within the firearm.