The Definition of Matchlock
An early system of ignition for muzzle-loading firearms where a priming charge is loaded into a flashpan with a separate,
manually-operated cover. To fire, the cover is opened and then a slowly smoldering wick, held in the nose of the curved arm,
is lowered by means of a lever (precursor to a trigger) to ignite a priming charge which then ignites
the main propellant charge inside the barrel.
A black powder muzzleloading firearm action which relies upon a serpentine or S-shaped piece of metal to hold a smoldering match.
By pressing the lower end of the serpentine,
the upper end holding the burning match contacts the priming powder in the pan.
18 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know
Incorrectoly sometimes referred to as a silencer, it is used to reduce the sound of a firearm's discharge.
They do not actually silence most firearms but rather lower the intensity of the muzzle blast and change the sound characteristics
(works similarly to an automotive muffler by disrupting and spreading out the sound waves).
The possession, use, and transportation of silencers have been tightly controlled under federal law since 1934.
Any device which reduces the sound of discharge by more than 2 dB is considered by the BATF to be a suppressor.
An offset of a gun stock to the right, so
that the line of sight aligns comfortably with the right eye while the butt of the stock
rests comfortably on the right shoulder. Almost all right-handed shooters benefit from a
little castoff and most custom built guns are made this way. The only question is how
much. The castoff of a gun is about right when, with the gun comfortably mounted, the
front bead lines up with the center of the standing breech.
A stock offset to the left, for shooting from the left shoulder is said to be
A tip for a cleaning rod, a jag, with spirally-radial wires for vigorously scrubbing a gun's bore.
Abbreviation for 'Back Up Gun'
A rifle with a relatively short barrel.
The sliding metal dowel located at the muzzle end of a revolver cylinder.
After firing, the shooter opens the cylinder and depresses the front end of the ejection rod, which forces the empty cases out of the cylinder.
The upper portion of a semi-automatic pistol that houses the barrel and contains the breechblock and portions of the firing mechanism.
Ejecting the spent case as it moves to the rear and loading a fresh cartridge into the chamber as it moves forward again.
As its name states, it slides along tracks in the top of the frame during the recoil process providing the linkage between
the breechblock and barrel.
Sometimes also known as a
slide release or
On a semi-autmatic gun, the lever or catch that holds the slide open (after the last round is fired or when racking an empty gun).
Typically they are located on the left side of the frame about mide barrel. Some of the newer semi-automatic pistols have an
internal slide lock. Even though on pistols with an external slide catch, you can push down on the lever to release the slide,
it should never be used in such a manner. The proper way to release the slide is to rack the slide.
A complete cartridge of several obsolete types and of today's rimfire and center-fire versions
Also known as Gun Powder.
A mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide.
Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a
pyrotechnic composition in fireworks.
Modern firearms do not use the traditional black powder described here, but instead use smokeless powder.
A highly sensitive explosive used as a primer compound.
A craftsman's signature stamp, discretely placed to identify his work.
A hammerless single shot action type whereby a breech-block, hinged at the upper rear, operated by an underlever, tilts downward to expose the chamber.
Markings impressed into the base of a cartridge case, normally identifying the maker's name, the cartridge calibre designation, and sometimes the date.
A firearm's ability to be fired fully automatically, semi-automatically or, in some cases, in burst-fire mode at the option of the firer.
A handgun or rifle shooting sport in which the competitors attempt to knock over metallic game-shaped targets at various ranges.