Letter O

The Definition of Open Sights

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Open Sights

A common type of iron sights in which the rear sight is an open-topped U or a V or a square-notch shape and with a blade type front sight, in contrast to the closed circle commonly found in aperture sights.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Point of Aim

The point at which you are aiming the firearm at.

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.

Reactive Targets

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

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.

Point Blank Range

The farthest distance that a target of a given size can be hit without holding over or under with the sights. The exact range is determined by the performance of the cartridge used, the ZERO range, and the accepted size of the target area. This term is not to be confused with point blank shooting.

Headstamp

Markings impressed into the base of a cartridge case, normally identifying the maker's name, the cartridge calibre designation, and sometimes the date.

Boattail

The tapered rear end of a bullet. This design is used to increase ballistic efficiency at long range.

Mortar

An artillery piece used to fire shells over short ranges at very high trajectories.

Optical Sight

Usually a telescopic firearm sight.

Fixed Ammunition

A complete cartridge of several obsolete types and of today's rimfire and center-fire versions

Extended Top Tang

A display of gunmaking skill with a possible benefit of strengthening the wrist of a heavily-recoiling rifle, whereby the top tang of the action is made extra long, shaped and inletted into the top of the buttstock, extending along the top of the wrist and up over the comb. Popularized by Holland & Holland and adopted by several of the finest contemporary riflemakers in the USA.

Airgun (Air Gun)

A variety of pneumatic gun that propels projectiles by means of compressed air or other gas, in contrast to firearms, which use a propellant charge. Both the rifle and pistol forms (air rifle and air pistol) typically propel metallic projectiles, either pellets, or BBs. Certain types of air guns, usually rifles, may also propel arrows.

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.

Flat Nose

A bullet shape with a flat nose rather than a rounded one.

Nipple

A small metal tube extending through the breech of a percussion firearm through which the flame passes from the percussion cap to fire the powder charge.

Firing Line

A line, either imaginary or marked, from which people shoot their firearms down range.

Turn-Bolt Action

A bolt action which is locked by pressing the bolt handle in and down, thereby turning its locking lugs into the receiver.

Short Trigger

A trigger that doesn't have to travel very far before it reaches the break. In a 1911 semi-auto pistol, a short trigger is a different part than a long trigger, and (in addition to providing less motion) it features a shorter reach which may be of benefit to a small-handed shooter.

Multi-Barreled

A gun with more than one barrel, the most common being the double-barreled shotgun.