Letter M

The Definition of Mauser Safety

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Mauser Safety

A small lever mounted to the cocking piece of a Mauser 98 action (and its copies such as the Springfield 1903), rotating on a longitudinal axis from left (Fire), up to the top (Safe, but allowing bolt movement), and over to the right (Bolt and firing pin locked Safe). While commendable for locking the firing pin instead of just the trigger, its up-and-over arc of operation requires a scope to be mounted awkwardly high. Paul Mauser is not to be blamed; when his safety was developed, telescopic sights were in such infancy as not to be worthy of mainstream consideration.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Trapdoor

As in Trapdoor buttplate or Trapdoor Pistol Grip Cap, one of these articles of furniture including a hinged plate, covering a small compartment below in which may be stored several extra cartridges, sight bits, extra springs or pins, cleaning rod, etc.

Gunpowder

Also called black powder, gunpowder is 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. The term gunpowder also refers broadly to any propellant powder. Modern firearms do not use the traditional gunpowder (black powder) described here, but instead use smokeless powder.

Ejector Star

On a revolver, the collective ejector, manually operated through the center of an opened cylinder, when activated, clears all chambers at once.

Autoloader

A firearm that automatically loads the next cartridge to be fired into the chamber either upon the pull of the trigger in an open bolt design or upon the firing of the previous round in a close bolt design.
Autoloader should not be confused with Automatic or Semi-Automatic since the term Autoloader only applies to how the next round is chambered not how many rounds can be fired per trigger pull. All Automatic and Semi-Automatic firearms are autoloaders. Revolvers, bolt action, lever action and pump action firearms are not autoloaders.

Shot

In shotgunning, multiple pellets contained in the shell and sent downrange when the shotgun is fired.

Failure To Feed

A semi-automatic firearm malfunction in which the slide passes entirely over the fresh round, failing to pick it up to insert into the chamber as the slide returns to battery.

Plinking

Informal shooting at any of a variety of inanimate targets.

BUG

Abbreviation for 'Back Up Gun'

Trigger Control

Not putting your finger on the trigger until your sights are on target, then pulling the trigger smoothly, and following through by realigning the sights before allowing your finger to come off the trigger.

Cal

Abbreviation for Caliber.

Choke

A constriction at or near the muzzle of a shotgun barrel that affects shot dispersion.

Sporting Clays

A shotgun shooting sport that combines elements of skeet and trap, and that is designed to simulate field conditions.

Headspace Gauge

Plugs of hardened steel, precisely machined in relation to the standard dimensional specifications of a given cartridge, normally in sets of three: "GO", "No-Go" and "Field". By loading these plug-gauges into the chamber in succession, one can check that the action should close on the "Go" gauge. It should not close on the "No-Go" gauge, but might were enough force to be used. And, it absolutely should not close on the "Field" gauge.

Single Shot

A firearm that is only capable of holding one shot at a time. Each round must be loaded into the chamber manually by hand before each shot.

Back Bored

A shotgun barrel that has a bore diameter increased beyond standard specifications, but less than the SAAMI maximum. Done in an attempt to reduce felt recoil, improve patterning, or change the balance of the shotgun.

Breechblock

The part in the breech mechanism that locks the action against the firing of the cartridge.

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.

Concealed

Hidden from view. A handgun is concealed when it is carried in such a manner that is unseen.

Charger

A device typically made from stamped metal which holds a group of cartridges for easy and virtually simultaneous loading into the fixed magazine of a firearm.

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