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


Hollow-Point Bullet

A type of expanding bullet with a concavity in its nose to increase expansion on penetration of a solid target. Some hollow-point's are also designed to fragment as they expand. They are least likely to over-penetrate the target and harm an innocent bystander. Commonly used for self-defense.

Dud

A round of ammunition that does not fire.

Machine Gun

A fully automatic firearm that rapidly fires multiple rifle-caliber shots with a single pull of the trigger.

Dry Fire

To pull the trigger and release the hammer of a firearm without having a cartridge in the chamber.

Primer Pocket

The counter bore in the center of the base of a centerfire cartridge casing in which the primer assembly is seated.

Pistol Grip

The handle on a pistol. Can also refer to a vertical grip behind the trigger on a rifle.

Spotter

The spotter is a helper who gives the shooter guidance on how to hit a particular target. In some cases the spotter may just report the location of the bullet impact. In other cases they may judge the speed and direction of the wind, determine the range, and give the shooter the settings to be used on the sights.

EDC

Abbreviation for Every Day Carry

Side-By-Side

A shotgun with two barrels which are situated next to each other. Somtimes also abreviated as SxS.

Submachine Gun

A machine gun that fires pistol caliber rounds such as .45 acp or 9mm Luger (Parabellum)

Improved Cartridge

A wildcat cartridge that is created by straightening out the sides of an existing case and making a sharper shoulder to maximize powder space. Frequently the neck length and shoulder position are altered as well. The caliber is NOT changed in the process.

Blank

A type of cartridge for a firearm that contains gunpowder but no bullet or shot. When fired, the blank makes a flash and an explosive sound (report). Blanks are often used for simulation (such as in historical reenactments, theatre and movie special effects), training, and for signaling (see starting pistol). Blank cartridges differ from dummy cartridges and snap caps, which are used for training or function testing firearms; these contain no primer or gunpowder, and are inert.

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.

Metallic Cartridge

A cartridge with a metallic case. (Early cartridge cases were made of linen, paper, etc.)

Shooting Sticks

A pair of slender and easily-carried wooden dowels or sticks, which when held, crossed, in the fingers of the left hand while also supporting the forend of a rifle, usually shooting offhand, provides somewhat enhanced stability for a more accurate shot.

X-Frame

The frame designation that Smith and Wesson uses for their extra large framed revolvers like the S&W Model 500 and S&W 460XVR

Moon Clip

A moon clip is a ring-shaped or star-shaped piece of metal designed to hold multiple cartridges together as a unit, for simultaneous insertion and extraction from a revolver cylinder. Unlike a speedloader, a moon clip remains in place during firing, and after firing, is used to extract the empty cartridge cases.

Center Of Mass

For self-defensive shooters, Center Of Mass (COM) represents the area of an attackers torso within which the most vital organs are likely to be disrupted by a gunshot. Shooting to COM is considered the most expedient way to stop an assailant from continuing threatening behavior.