Letter P

The Definition of Pinfire

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Pinfire

An early form of complete, self-contained cartridge. It included bullet, powder and ignition primer, all in one package. The primer was located towards the base of the cartridge, but completely internally. The pin, shaped like a little finishing nail, pointed on the inside end and resting on the internal primer, projected radially about a quarter-inch to the outside of the base of the cartridge. When loaded, a pinfire gun showed the tips of the pins exposed through small slots in the tops of the breech faces of the barrels. To fire, hammers fell on the pins, driving them (through the wall of the cartridge) into the internal primer.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Bullet Trap

A type of backstop that catches the fired bullet and prevents it from exiting the area. Bullet traps are most commonly used on indoor ranges.

Head

Head [of a Stock]. The forward end of a buttstock, where it meets the receiver and accepts the bulk of the gun's recoil when fired.

Out of Battery

A semi-automatic is said to be out of battery when the slide fails to come all the way forward again after the gun has fired. 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.

Shooting Range

A specialized facility designed for firearms practice.

Handloading

The process of assembling cartridge case, bullet or shot, wads and primer to produce a complete cartridge with the use of hand tools in the interest of loading for firearms for which cartridges are not available, experimenting with loads to achieve better performance, or to save money. Not to be attempted without knowledgeable instruction and careful study of the process.

Bore Axis

An imaginary line which runs right down the center of the handgun's barrel and out though the back end of the gun. A handgun may have a high bore axis, with the imaginary line running out into space well above the shooter's hand. Or it may have a low bore axis, with the imaginary line running either straight through the shooter's hand or just skimming the surface slightly above her hand. A high bore axis tends to create greater perceived recoil and more muzzle flip when firing the gun than does a low bore axis.

Trigger Jerk

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

Marksman

A person who can shoot up to the mechanical capability of their weapon.

Frangible

A bullet that is designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact to minimize their penetration for reasons of range safety, to limit environmental impact, or to limit the danger behind the intended target. Examples are the Glaser Safety Slug and the breaching round.

Sporterizing

The practice of modifying military-type firearms either to make them suitable for civilian sporting use. Common sporterizing includes changing the stock or sights.

Muzzle Energy

The power of a projectile or a load of shot at the point that it exits the muzzle of a firearm, normally expressed in foot-pounds.

Hinge Pin

A short cylindrical rod of hardened steel running laterally near the front of the bar of a break-open gun's action around which the barrel hook revolves when the gun is opened. Over the decades, this pin and its complimentary hook can wear and a gun can sometimes "shoot loose" or "come off the face." The proper cure for this condition is to replace the hinge pin with a new one, slightly oversized, to compensate for wear on both itself and on the barrel hook.

DT

Abbreviation for Double Triggers

Lever Action

A type of firearm action which uses a lever located around the trigger guard area, (often including the trigger guard itself) to load fresh cartridges into the chamber of the barrel when the lever is worked.

Long Rifle

Typically used in the .22 caliber cartridge designation .22 Long Rifle, which is abbreviated .22LR.

Fore-End

Also spelled Forend. That part of the stock forward of the action and located below the barrel or barrels. It is designed to give the shooter a place to hold the front end of the gun and protects the shooter's hand from getting burned on the hot barrel.

Federal Firearms License

A Federal Firearms License (FFL) is a license in the United States that enables an individual or a company to engage in a business pertaining to the manufacture of firearms and ammunition or the interstate and intrastate sale of firearms. Holding an FFL to engage in certain such activities has been a legal requirement within the United States since the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Matched Pair

Two firearms that are manufactured identical in every way and are sequentially serial numbered and are sold as a set. The most common type of matched pair guns are cowboy style revolvers for a couple of reasons, both guns will feel exactly the same in the hands and they make the set more collectable.

Slug Gun

Slang for a shotgun which is set up specifically to fire a slug (a large, single projectile) rather than shot (multiple projectiles contained within a single shell).