Letter P

The Definition of Parkerizing

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Parkerizing

A chemical phosphate process developed during the second world war to provide an economical, durable and non-reflective surface finish to military firearms.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Mississippi Rifle

Nickname for the U.S. M1841 Rifle, a .54 caliber muzzleloading rifle. The name comes from their use by a group of U.S. Volunteers from Mississippi who were commanded by Jefferson Davis in the Mexican War. Some were later rebored to .58 caliber.

Shooting Range

A specialized facility designed for firearms practice.

Double-Set Trigger

Usually only found on black powder muzzle loading rifles and pistols, pulling the rear (set) trigger converts the front (main) trigger to a light, hair trigger (too light and sensitive to be carried safely in the field). While the front trigger is always at the ready, if one has the time, using the set trigger feature may allow for a more accurate long-distance shot. Operates using its own miniature firing mechanism (sear, spring and hammer) when cocked, to multiply the force of a pull on the main trigger.

Handspanner

German for Hand-Cocking or Cocker/De-Cocker. A type of action on a break-open gun or rifle where, in place of a traditional top tang safety, a somewhat more robust tab is fitted. Normally such a gun is carried in the field loaded, but with the action not cocked, an exceedingly safe condition. Then, when ready to fire, the shooter, instead of pushing a safety tab forward, pushes this larger tab forward, cocking the mainspring, making the gun ready to fire. Then, if the shot is not taken, he may simply slide this tab rearwards again, de-cocking the gun and returning it to the still-loaded, but very safe position.

Night Sights

A type of iron sights that glow or shine in the dark, intended for use in low light conditions. Some night sights consist of tiny tubes of tritium, while others use a phosphorus paint.

Racking the Slide

Pulling the slide back to its rearmost position, and then letting it go forward under its own spring tension. Racking the slide loads the chamber and prepares the gun to fire in a semi-automatic handgun.

Trigger Jerk

Yanking the trigger back abruptly, thus pulling the muzzle of the gun downward at the moment the shot fires.

Cylinder Drum

On a revolver, a spring activated device housed in the bottom of the frame beneath the cylinder that engages alignment notches in the cylinder. It stops the cylinder's rotation and holds it in place each time a chamber in the cylinder is in alignment with the barrel.

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.

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Collapsible Stock

A stock on a long gun that can be shoved into itself to shorten it, either for storage or to make the gun fit shooters of different sizes.

Sniper

A military person designated as a special marksman who is used to shoot designated targets of opportunity at long range.

Second Amendment

The second article in the United States Bill of Rights which states, "A well regulated militia being necessary for a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Casket Magazine

A quad stack box magazine.

Ear Muffs

Hearing protection that completely covers both ears and is usually attached to a headband.

Airsoft (Air Soft)

A type of airgun that shoots spherical non-metallic pellets.

Metallic Cartridge

A cartridge with a metallic case. (Early cartridge cases were made of linen, paper, etc.)

Recoil Spring

The recoil spring is the powerful spring that cushions the slide in its rearward travel and then sends the slide forward again with enough force to drive the fresh round firmly into the chamber. The strength of the recoil spring is calibrated to run the slide without any outside assistance.

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.