Letter M

The Definition of Magnum

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Magnum

From the Latin for "more." A term indicating a relatively heavily loaded metallic cartridge or shotshell and a gun safely constructed to fire it. It generally indicates a round which cannot be interchanged with other loadings of the same caliber (for example, a .22 Magnum shell does not fit within a firearm designed to fire .22 Long Rifle ammunition).


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Night Sights

A type of iron sights that glow or shine in the dark, intended for use in low light conditions. Some night sights consist of tiny tubes of tritium, while others use a phosphorus paint.

Gas Port

A small hole in the barrel of a gas-operated firearm through which expanding gases escape to power the autoloading system.

Moon Clip

A moon clip is a ring-shaped or star-shaped piece of metal designed to hold multiple cartridges together as a unit, for simultaneous insertion and extraction from a revolver cylinder. Unlike a speedloader, a moon clip remains in place during firing, and after firing, is used to extract the empty cartridge cases.

Lockplate

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

Winchester Centerfire

More commonly known as WCF, it is a family of centerfire cartridges designed by Winchester Repeating Arms Company

Ammo

Slang word abreviation for Ammunition.

Close Quarters Combat

a type of fighting in which small units engage the enemy with personal weapons at very short range, potentially to the point of hand-to-hand combat or fighting with hand weapons such as swords or knives.

Break Action

A firearm whose barrels are hinged, and rotate perpendicular to the bore axis to expose the breech and allow loading and unloading of ammunition.

Cock

The term referring to the action of manually drawing the hammer back against its spring until it becomes latched against the sear, or sometimes the trigger itself, arming the hammer to be released by a subsequent pull of the trigger. Some external hammers, and all internal hammers, may be cocked simply by pulling the trigger

Porting

Openings at the muzzle end of the gun through which some of the spent gases can escape. Porting reduces perceived recoil and lessens muzzle rise but increases the noise and flash.

CCW

Abbreviation for Concealed Carry Weapon

Rate of Fire

The frequency at which a firearm can fire its projectiles.

Telescopic Sight

An optical sight, offering some magnification, often variable, with some kind of adjustable aiming grid inside (a reticle), which when mounted on a firearm, usually a rifle, makes sighting easier.

Rail

A feature on some guns which allows various aftermarket accessories to be attached the firearm such as flashlights or lasers. On pistols, if equipped, the rail is on the underside of the frame below the barrel. On rifles, a rain can be found above or below the barrel, with AR type rifles, the forestock can be made of rails allowing all kinds of attachments in various positions.

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.

Monte Carlo Comb

The Monte Carlo comb came to rifles via shotgun stocks. It rises well above the ordinary comb line of the stock at the butt and tapers downward toward the point of the comb. This raised portion of the stock lifts the face of the shooter and his or her line of sight well above the standard elevation provided by the classic style. However, the same amount of drop is maintained at the buttstock. A shooter with a long neck who often has trouble getting his or her face down far enough on the comb of the regular stock benefits from the Monte Carlo style.

Clearing

Unloading a gun and double checking that it is unloaded or fixing a malfunction so that the gun is ready to fire again.

Receiver Ring

The portion of the receiver which is threaded so the barrel can be attached to it.

High-Capacity Magazine

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