Letter M

The Definition of Mainspring

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Mainspring

A strong spring which activates the striker or hammer of a firearm.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Pattern

A shotgun term which refers to the manner in which the pellets spread out as they exit the gun. "The pattern" refers to the overall shape of the entire set. A tight pattern is one in which the pellets are closely grouped when they land on target. A loose pattern is one in which the pellets are widely spread.

LR

Abbreviation for Long Rifle. Typically used in the .22 caliber cartridge designation .22LR. However can be used as an abbreviation for Kentucky Long Rifle

Recoil Compensator

A device fitted inside the buttstock of a heavily-recoiling gun or rifle, usually containing mercury and a valve. As the gun recoils, the mercury is displaced temporarily, increasing the duration, and thus diminishing the perceived impact of the recoil. The added half-pound of weight doesn#39;t hurt either.

Garniture

A deluxe set of several different associated weapons, being any combination of rifle, shotgun, various handguns, and possibly a knife or two, cased together with appropriate cleaning and loading tools.

Reactive Targets

Targets that do something when you hit them, such as fall over, burst, send up smoke, or make a noise.

Tangent Sight

A style of rear sight, typically used on rifles for either slow-moving bullets or for long ranges, whereby a ladder may be raised from flush with the barrel to a vertical position, and which incorporates a sliding crossbar which may be moved vertically in order to achieve significant elevation.

Snubby

Slang word for short barreled revolver.

Upset Forging

A process that increases the diameter of a workpiece by compressing its length.

Derringer

A small single-shot or multi-barreled pocket pistol. Derringers (spelled with two Rs) are called that because of the original desinger and anmufactuturer of that type of gun, Henry Deringer. To get around copyright infringment other designers and manufacturers spell the name with two Rs.

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

Electronic Hearing Protection

Ear muff or ear plug hearing protection that have internal electronics that amplify human voices while excluding all noises louder than a given decibel rating. Electronic hearing protection is best used when shooting outdoors. When on an indoor range they have a tendency to pick up too much echo and other muffled sounds.

Cocked

A state of readiness of a firearm. The hammer (or similar mechanism if there is no hammer) only needs to be released by the trigger to cause the gun to fire.

Ricochet

A rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile.

Trigger

The small lever on a cartridge firearm, which one pulls to cause the spring-loaded firing pin to impact the primer, causing the gun to discharge. Normally, the trigger simply connects to the sear. Pulling the trigger moves the sear out of its notch, releasing the spring-loaded hammer to strike the firing pin which in turn strikes the primer; or the coilspring-loaded firing pin directly. Other, often-Germanic systems have their own miniature lockwork which, when cocked, allows an exceedingly light trigger pull to discharge the firearm, a setting that would be perilous to carry in the field.

Sight Radius

The distance between the rear sight and the front sight. As a longer lever provides greater mechanical advantage, the greater the distance between the two sights, the more inherently accurate they will be.

Double-Barreled Shotgun

A shotgun with two barrels, usually of the same gauge or bore. The two types of double-barreled shotguns are over/under (abbreviated as O/U or OU), in which the two barrels are stacked on top of each other, and side-by-side (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other. See photo at right for example of side-by-side double-barreled shotgun. For double-barreled guns that use one shotgun barrel and one rifle barrel, see combination gun.

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.

Slide Lever

A slang term for slide catch.

Snap Cap

An inert ammunition-shaped object, used in practice to simulate misfeeds and other malfunctions. Some folks also use them during dry fire practice to cushion the firing pin as it strikes.