Letter P

The Definition of Passive Safety

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Passive Safety

Any safety, internal or external, which functions apart from the shooter's conscious control. Grip safeties are one example of a passive external safety.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Speedloader

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

WSM

Abbreviation for Winchester Short Magnum.

Magazine Safety

A mechanism that prevents the gun from being able to fire when the magazine is removed from the gun, even if there is still a round in the chamber.

Cal

Abbreviation for Caliber.

Mushroomed Bullet

A description of a bullet whose forward diameter has expanded after penetration.

Slide Catch

Sometimes also known as a slide lock, slide release or slide lever. On a semi-autmatic gun, the lever or catch that holds the slide open (after the last round is fired or when racking an empty gun). Typically they are located on the left side of the frame about mide barrel. Some of the newer semi-automatic pistols have an internal slide lock. Even though on pistols with an external slide catch, you can push down on the lever to release the slide, it should never be used in such a manner. The proper way to release the slide is to rack the slide.

Negligent Discharge

The unplanned discharge of a firearm caused by a failure to observe the basic safety rules, not a mechanical failure of the gun.

Fouling

The accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces. The fouling material can consist of either powder, lubrication residue, or bullet material such as lead or copper.

Over Travel

If the trigger is able to continue moving to the rear after the shot has fired, the trigger is said to over-travel.

Double Tap

Two shots fired in rapid succession. Generally without getting a new sight picture on the target. If the second shot is fired after a second sight picture is captured it may instead be called a controlled pair.

Pump Action

A type of mechanism for removing a spent shell casing from the chamber of a firearm and inserting a fresh cartridge into the chamber. This type of mechanism is most commonly used in shotguns and rimfire rifles.

Recoil

The tendency of a firearm when fired to move backwards, and a little upwards as a reaction to the force of the projectile moving down the barrel. As Newton says, to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. The mass of the firearm provides some inertia to counteract the momentum of recoil. What remains is absorbed by at the shoulder or the hand. The heavier the gun, the less the recoil. The more powerful the cartridge, the more the recoil.

Expanding Bullet

An expanding bullet is a bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet. See also Dum-Dum Bullet

Misfeed

Is a failure of the next round to completely enter the chamber. Misfeeds and failures to feed are very similar, a failure to feed is a round that never even leaves the top of the magazine, while a misfeed is a round that leaves the magazine but does not enter the chamber.

Rolling Block

Helical grooves in the barrel of a gun or firearm, which imparts a spin to a projectile around its long axis. This spin serves to gyroscopically stabilize the projectile, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy.

Grip Safety

A passive, external safety typically located on the backstrap, which must be fully depressed to release the trigger. Most 1911-pattern pistols feature a grip safety.

Double Rifle

Two independent rifles, built on one frame, designed to allow two virtually instantaneously quick, totally reliable shots. The barrels may be arranged either side-by-side or over-and-under. The apogee of the gunmaker's art. Particularly useful against dangerous game, which may be moving, and in your direction, with vengeance on its mind.

Sights

The device that aids the eye in aiming the barrel of a firearm in the proper direction to hit a target.They can be a mechanical, optical, or electronic device. Iron sights or sometimes as open sights, consist of specially-shaped pieces of metal placed at each end of the barrel. The sight closest to the muzzle end of the gun is called the front sight, while the one farthest from the muzzle (and nearest to the shooter) is called the rear sight.

Low Kneeling

A shooting position in which one or both knees are touching the ground and the shooter is as low as possible.

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