Letter M

The Definition of Muzzle

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Muzzle

The open end of the barrel from which the projectile exits.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Erosion

The wearing away of a barrel's metal surface by a bullet or shot charge or by the heat of powder gases.

Checkering

A regular pattern of fine grooves cut into the surface of a stock to aid in gripping a gun. Originally done for utility only, checkering has become an art form in itself; craftsmen adorning the borders with ribbons, fleur-de-lys, floral carving, etc. The amount of coverage, the precise regularity, and the number of lines per inch indicate the quality of the work. Too-fine checkering, however, defeats the purpose of the work altogether.

Scout Rifle

A concept created by eminent gun writer Col. Jeff Cooper. A scout rifle, generally, is a bolt action carbine firing a medium power round suitable for taking large game (e.g., .308), fitted with a long eye-relief telescopic sight mounted on the barrel, and a back up set of iron sights.

Crown

The area inside the bore nearest to the muzzle.

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.

Clay Pigeon

Originally, live pigeons were used as targets, but they were gradually replaced with clay disks and ultimately banned. Later clay has been replaced with more suitable raw materials.

Speedloader

A device used to reduce the time and/or effort needed to reload a firearm's magazine.

Butt

The rear end of a rifle or shotgun. (The portion that rests against the shoulder.)

Thunder

With the execption of the BP model series, Thunder is the name of all of Bersa's pistols. The line currently consists of three frames.

• The Thunder .380 series, which is a very reliable and good looking compact blowback system .380 acp pistol (there is also a .22lr version).
• The full size Thunder Pro series (avalable in 9mm and .40 S&W) is a locked breech design.
• The Thunder Ultra Compact Pro series, locked breech, short recoil design which is more of a commander size Thunder Pro (available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 acp).
The Bersa Thunders are well known among firearms enthusiasts for being extremely high quality guns at reasonable prices.

Lug

Any piece that projects from a firearm for the purpose of attaching something to it. For example barrel lugs are used to attach a break-action shotgun barrel to the action itself. If the firearm is a revolver, the term may also refer to a protrusion under the barrel that adds weight, thereby stabilizing the gun during aiming, mitigating recoil, and reducing muzzle flip. A full lug extends all the way to the muzzle, while a half lug extends only partially down the barrel. On a swing-out-cylinder revolver, the lug is slotted to accommodate the ejector rod.

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.

Battery

Most firearms do not have literal batteries. But a firearm is said to be in battery when the breech is fully closed and locked, ready to fire. When the breech is open or unlocked, the gun is out of battery and no attempt should be made to fire it. A semi-automatic is out of battery when the slide fails to come all the way forward again after the gun has fired, making it dangerous or impossible to fire the next round. This condition can be created by a misfeed, a dirty gun, weak springs, the shooter's thumbs brushing against the slide, riding the slide, or any of several other causes.

Captive Ramrod

A rod, for loading and/or cleaning a muzzle-loading firearm (usually a pistol) that is permanently connected to the gun by some sort of swivel, so as to be easily utilized, but never lost.

Scope

A magnifying tube through which the shooter may see the target and aim the firearm. Scopes contain a reticle, commonly in the shape of a cross, which must be properly centered upon the target for accurate aim.

Gauge

System of measurement for the internal bore diameter of a smooth-bore firearm based on the diameter of each of that number of spherical lead balls whose total weight equals one pound. The internal diameter of a 12 gauge shotgun barrel is therefore equal to the diameter of a lead ball weighing 1/12 pound, which happens to be .729" (Or in British: Bore.) The Gauge/Bore system is also used, by convention, to describe the internal barrel diameter of large-bore, 19th century, English, single-shot and double-barrel rifles.

Ejector Star

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

Gas Check

A metal cup placed on the end of a lead bullet to protect the lead against the hot gases of the burning powder charge. Used in some types of firearms ammunition when non-jacketed bullets are used in high pressure cartridges, to prevent the buildup of lead in the barrel and aid in accuracy.

C&R

Abbreviation for Curio and Relic

Modern Isosceles

In the Modern Isosceles stance, the feet are roughly shoulder width apart, with the gun-side foot closer to the target than the off-side foot. The knees are flexed, and the entire body leans slightly toward the target. The shoulders are closer to the target than the hips, and the hips are more forward than the knees. The shoulders are rotated forward and the head, rather than being upright, is vultured down behind the sights. The entire body thus has an aggressively forward appearance, and is poised to move quickly if necessary.