Letter P

The Definition of Percussion Cap

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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.

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.


18 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Powder

The chemical propellant which is burned to produce the hot gases which send the projectile flying downrange.

NFA

National Firearms Act of 1934. Enacted on June 26, 1934, currently codified as amended as I.R.C. ch. 53, is an Act of Congress in the United States that, in general, imposes a statutory excise tax on the manufacture and transfer of certain firearms and mandates the registration of those firearms. The Act was passed shortly after the repeal of Prohibition. The NFA is also referred to as Title II of the Federal firearms laws.
The NFA includes:

  • Requires the registration of all fully automatic firearms.
  • Requires the registration of all "sawed off" rifles and shotguns.
  • Requires the registration of firearm silencers.
  • Imposes a $200 transfer tax on the above items.

Pigeon Gun

A double-barrel shotgun, with relatively tight choke boring and a relatively high-combed stock used for shooting live pigeons (euphemistically known as flyers) which normally rise when released. To better absorb recoil, a pigeon gun is normally heavier than a field gun as one shoots heavy loads and walks only a little. Because of the inevitable expense of this shooting discipline, pigeon guns are often built to a high standard of quality and reliability in deluxe grades with highly figured walnut stocks and fine engraving.

Saturday Night Special

A slang term for a small inexpensive handgun. Saturday night specials have been defined as compact, inexpensive, small-caliber handguns with perceived low quality; however, there is no official definition of "Saturday night special" under federal law, though some states define "Saturday night specials" or "junk guns" by means of composition or materials strength. Low cost and high availability make these weapons attractive to many buyers despite their shortcomings.

Centerfire (Center Fire)

A cartridge with its primer located in the center of the base of the case.

Mouse Gun

A name for any palm sized handgun which fires a small caliber.

Rate of Fire

The frequency at which a firearm can fire its projectiles.

Follow Through

Holding the trigger to the rear after the shot has fired, until the sights are back on target, at which time the trigger is released.

Sporting Firearm

Any gun that can be used in a sport.

Tang

The recurved top part of a semi-automatic handgun's grip at the point where it meets the slide. On long guns, the tang is the top strap used to screw the receiver to the stock.

Weaver Stance

In the Weaver stance, the body is bladed partly sideways in relation to the target rather than squared towards it (think boxing or martial arts fighter stance). The elbows are flexed and pointed downward. The strong-side arm is slightly straighter than the weak-side arm. Even though the legs are not square to tharget, the hips should be square to the target. The feet should be pointed at the target. The shooter pushes out with the gun hand, while the weak hand pulls back. This produces a push-pull tension which is the chief defining characteristic of the Weaver stance.

Obturation

The process of a bullet expanding under pressure to fit the bore of the firearm, or a cartridge case expanding under pressure to seal the chamber.

Porting

Openings at the muzzle end of the gun through which some of the spent gases can escape. Porting reduces perceived recoil and lessens muzzle rise but increases the noise and flash.

Small Arms

Firearms designed to be carried and used by an individual or individuals.

Brass

The term used for the casing on modern rifle and pistol ammunition. It is usually made out of brass but can also be aluminum or steel. The casing on a shotgun shell is usually refered to as a hull

SxS

Abbreviation for Side-By-Side.

Half Moon Clip

A Moon Clip that hold enough rounds to load only a portion (usually half capacity) of a revolvers cylinder.

Gain Twist

A form of rifling where the helical angle (pitch) sharpens progressively down the bore in the interest of maximizing the bullets ultimate rotational speed by initiating it slowly.