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


Recoil Operation

Recoil operation is an operating mechanism used in locked-breech, autoloading firearms. As the name implies, these actions use the force of recoil to provide energy to cycle the action.

Dummy Round

An inert ammunition-shaped object, used in practice to simulate misfeeds and other malfunctions and also used in dry fire practice. Unlike a blank, a dummy round contains no charge at all. A snap-cap is a type of dummy round.

Double Rifle

Two independent rifles, built on one frame, designed to allow two virtually instantaneously quick, totally reliable shots. The barrels may be arranged either side-by-side or over-and-under. The apogee of the gunmaker's art. Particularly useful against dangerous game, which may be moving, and in your direction, with vengeance on its mind.

Powder Charge

The amount of propellant powder that is suitable for specific cartridge-bullet combination, or in the case of shotshells, for a specific weight of shot and wad column.

Weapon

Anything that can be used in an offensive attack or in defense of an offensive attack. Guns are not necessarily weapons.
A gun can be used as a weapon, but so can a pencil, fist, car, a wad of paper or any other object used to attack or retaliate against an offensive attack. Even words can be used as a weapon.
Guns and other objects should be always called what they are; gun, rifle, pistol, pencil, knife, tomato or whatever they are. They should never be referred to as a weapon, EVER.
Some examples of the proper usage for the word "weapon" would be:
"One weapon used in the attack against the left flank was dirt clods".
"The marshmallow gun was the weapon of choice used in the accounting vs marketing skirmishes."
"The liberal leftists use words and restrictive controlling laws as weapons against the freedom of the people."

Shell

An empty ammunition case.

Handspanner

German for Hand-Cocking or Cocker/De-Cocker. A type of action on a break-open gun or rifle where, in place of a traditional top tang safety, a somewhat more robust tab is fitted. Normally such a gun is carried in the field loaded, but with the action not cocked, an exceedingly safe condition. Then, when ready to fire, the shooter, instead of pushing a safety tab forward, pushes this larger tab forward, cocking the mainspring, making the gun ready to fire. Then, if the shot is not taken, he may simply slide this tab rearwards again, de-cocking the gun and returning it to the still-loaded, but very safe position.

Howdah Pistol

Normally, a break-open, double-barrel, side-by-side pistol of large calibre, used by a maharaja when hunting tiger on the back of his elephant (in the howdah, the basket compartment in which he sits). The howdah pistol is the weapon of last resort in case the tiger tries to join him in the howdah.

Stance

How the shooter positions her body while shooting. The three most widely used handgun stances are Weaver, Isosceles and Chapman stance.

Bersa

A firearms manufacturer located in the city of Ramos Mejia in Argentina. The company was founded in the mid-1950s by Italian immigrants Benso Bonadimani, Ercole Montini and Savino Caselli, all of them mechanical engineers with experience working for Beretta. Bersa is most famous for their Bersa Thunder .380 pistols and the Thunder Ultra Compact Pro Pistols (available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 acp). The full size Thunder combat (Thunder 9) pistol is the standard sidearm of the Argentina Armed Forces, Buenos Aires Provincial Police and several other law enforcement agencies in South America. The company is well known among firearm enthusiasts for producing high quality guns at reasonable prices and it spends little money on advertisement. Lifetime warranty coverage is provided to the original owners. They are strong and well built, nicely engineered, accurate, visually appealing and very reliable.

Button Rifling

Rifling that is formed by pulling a die made with reverse image of the rifling (the 'button') down the pre-drilled bore of a firearm barrel.

Adjustable Stock

The stock is the wooden, polymer, or metal handle of a long gun that extends from the trigger back to where the gun is braced against the shoulder. An adjustable stock is one that can be easily lengthened or shortened to fit shooters of different sizes.

Dud

A round of ammunition that does not fire.

Muzzle Brake

An attachment to or integral part of the barrel that redirects some of the pressurized gas that propelled the bullet out the muzzle to the sides and possibly rearwards from the direction of the bullet travel. This reduces the recoil of the firearm.

Nipple

A small metal tube extending through the breech of a percussion firearm through which the flame passes from the percussion cap to fire the powder charge.

Blown Pattern

A shotgun pattern with erratic shot distribution, generally caused by gas escaping past the wads and getting into the shot.

Bolt Action

A type of firearm action in which the guns's bolt is operated manually by the opening and closing of the breech (barrel) with a small handle. As the handle is operated, the bolt is unlocked, the breech is opened, the spent shell casing is withdrawn and ejected, the firing pin is cocked, and finally a new round/shell (if available) is placed into the breech and the bolt closed.

Carbine

A rifle with a relatively short barrel.

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