Letter P

The Definition of Pistol

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Pistol

Synonymous with "handgun." A gun that is generally held in one hand. It may be of the single-shot, multi-barrel, repeating or semi-automatic variety and includes revolvers.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Sniper

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

Semi-Wadcutter

A bullet design featuring a conical extended nose, with a flat point, and a sharp edged shoulder that serves to cut a full diameter hole in the target. This design also may be found with a hollow point to facilitate expansion. A modified wadcutter bullet design with slightly sloping edges, designed to load smoothly in a semi-automatic pistol.

Smooth Bore

A barrel without rifling. Smooth bore barrels are commonly used in shotguns and in large bore artillery that fire fin stabilized projectiles.

Red Dot Sight

A type of reflector (reflex) sight for firearms that gives the uses a red light-emitting diode as a reticle to create an aimpoint.

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.

JSP

Abbreviation for jacketed soft point

Shooting Sports

There are a lot of different competitions and other games which involve firearms. These are all referred to collectively as the shooting sports.

Bullpup

A firearm configuration where the magazine and action are behind the trigger.

Trap Gun

A shotgun, often with only a single relatively-long barrel, with relatively tight choke boring and a relatively high-combed stock used for shooting clay pigeons in the game of Trap, where the birds are launched at least 16 yards ahead, usually rising and going away from the shooter at relatively low angular velocity. To better absorb recoil, a trap gun is normally heavier than a field gun because one shoots a lot but walks only a little.

Repeater

A type of firearm capable of discharging multiple individual shots in sequence, fed from a magazine, via the operation a lever, bolt, slide or some other form of manual operation.

Snubby

Slang word for short barreled revolver.

Knurled Surface

A metal surface which contains a pattern of ridges or beads.

Birdshot

A type of shotgun ammunition which uses very small pellets with individual projectiles of less than .24" in diameter designed to be discharged in quantity from the shotgun. The size of the shot is given as a number or letter-- with the larger number the smaller the shot size. It is so named because it is most often used for hunting birds. The finest size generally used is #9 which is approximately .08" in diameter and the largest common size is #2 which is approximately .15"

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.

Port

An opening. The ejection port is the opening in the side of a semi-auto from which spent cases are ejected.

Globe Sight

A front sight assembly, primarily for target rifles, consisting of a tube, housing interchangeable beads and blades. The tube guards against imperfect aiming due to sight pictures influenced by reflections.

Floor Plate

The detachable plate at the bottom of the cartridge magazine.

Winchester Short Magnum

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

Elevation

The setting on the sights of a firearm that controls the vertical placement and the altitude above mean sea level. This is important for long range precision shooting because the air density changes with elevation and affects the path of the bullet.