Letter O

The Definition of OTM

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19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Cheekpiece

A broad, flat, raised area on the side of a buttstock.

Touch Hole

A small orifice at the breech end of the barrel of a muzzle-loading firearm through which the exploding priming charge is conducted from the flash pan to the main charge.

WC

Abbreviation for wadcutter.

Sawed-Off Shotgun

Common term for federally restricted "short-barreled shotgun (rifle)" as with a conventional shotgun with barrel less than 18" (rifle less than 16") or overall length less than 26.

BATFE

Abbreviation for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Thumb Safety

An external, manual safety which is typically disengaged with the firing-hand thumb.

Breech Pressure

The amount of rearward force exerted by the propellant gases on the bolt or breech of a firearm action or breech when a projectile is fired. The applied force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity. This is also known as Bolt Thrust on firearms that are Bolt Action

Sectional Density

The relationship between a bullet's weight and its diameter. A long bullet, such as the original 7.62x54R loading for the Mosin Nagant 91/30, will have a high sectional density and consequently greater penetration than a shorter bullet of similar construction. A shorter bullet with less sectional density will have relatively less penetration, but greater knockdown power.

Lede

The bevelled portion of the rifling at the rear end of the barrel (and the forward portion of the chamber) where the bullet first engages the lands.

Ejector Star

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

Silencer

Improper term for a device that cuts down on the noise a firearm makes when it is shot. The correct term is suppressor. Silencers only exist in the movies.

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

Drilling

A three-barrel gun. Typically it has two shotgun barrels side by side on the top, with a third rifle barrel underneath. This provides a very versatile firearm capable of taking winged animals as well as big game. It also is useful in jurisdictions where a person is only allowed to own a single firearm.

Erosion

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

Breech

The rear end of the barrel into which the cartridge is inserted

Cannelure

A groove or indention around the circumference of a bullet. Its purpose is to permit the cartridge casing to be crimped tightly against the bullet shank to hold it firmly to the casing. A groove or indention around the circumference of a bullet. Its purpose is to permit the cartridge casing to be crimped tightly against the bullet shank to hold it firmly to the casing.

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.

Overbore Capacity

Is that combination of caliber, barrel length, bullet weight, and case volume which does not allow the complete burning of the charge of ballistically correct powder within the volume of case and barrel.

Handgun

Synonymous with pistol. A small, short-barreled firearm designed to be fired while held in one or both hands, possibly small enough to be concealed on the person, rather than while braced against the shoulder. The term includes antique dueling pistols, modern single-shot, semi-automatic pistols and revolvers.

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