Letter P

The Definition of Pattern

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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.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Tracer

A type of ammunition that utilizes a projectile or projectiles that contain a compound in its base that burns during its flight to provide a visual reference of the projectile's trajectory.

Energy

The amount of work done by a bullet, expressed in foot pounds.

Decocker (De-Cocker)

On semi-auto matic pistols, a lever that mechanically lowers the hammer without firing the gun.

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.

Reticle

A matrix of dots, posts or lines, visible inside a rifle's telescopic sight, normally adjustable via exterior knobs for windage and elevation. After careful adjustment at a known range, the shooter aims the rifle by superimposing this matrix onto the target. With good estimation or range, cooperation from the wind, a clear eye and a steady hand, he may have a reasonable expectation of hitting his target.

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.

Primer Ring

Refers to a visible dark ring created by the primers in centerfire ammunition around the firing pin hole in the frame after much use.

Jaws

The vise-like device on a flintlock hammer used to hold the flint.

Magazine Well

The opening in the bottom of the gun into which a box magazine is fed. On a semi-auto handgun, the magazine well is at the base of the grip; on a rifle, it is usually placed in front of the trigger guard.

Practical Shooting

A shooting sport that simulates the use of a small arm in its intended role either as a tool for hunting or personal defense. True practical shooting limits the small arms, ammunition, and accessories used to those items that would actually be used in the role simulated.

CHL

Abbreviation for Concealed Handgun License.

Winchester Centerfire

More commonly known as WCF, it is a family of centerfire cartridges designed by Winchester Repeating Arms Company

Mercury Recoil Compensator

A device fitted inside the buttstock of a heavily-recoiling gun or rifle, usually containing mercury and a valve. As the gun recoils, the mercury is displaced temporarily, increasing the duration, and thus diminishing the perceived impact of the recoil. The added half-pound of weight doesn't hurt either.

Jeweling

A cosmetic process to enhance the looks of firearm parts, such as the bolt. The look is created with an abrasive brush and compound that roughs the surface of the metal in a circular pattern.

Doll's Head

A rib extension on a break-open gun, ending in a circular or semi-circular shape in plan (resembling the head of a doll), mating into a similarly-shaped recess in the top of the receiver, designed to resist the tendency of the barrels to pull away from the standing breech when firing. Because an action's centerpoint of flexing when firing is at the base of the standing breech, not at the hingepin, a passive doll's head extension makes an effective extra fastener, even without additional mechanical locks operated by the opening lever.

Jacket

A metal, usually copper, wrapped around a lead core to form a bullet.

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.

Dud

A round of ammunition that does not fire.

Island Rear Sight

A rear barrel sight base, more articulated than having the sight simply dovetailed into the barrel, but not requiring as much gunsmithing as having it mounted onto a proper quarter-rib.

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