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


Cold Range

A condition on a shooting range that is completely safe. Any firearms at the range are on the benches, unloaded with open actions and all people have stepped away from the firing line.

Smooth Bore

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

Ramrod

A long, slender, dowel-like tool used to force powder and shot down the bore of a muzzle-loading firearm. For hand-fired guns, normally retained in some kind of receptacle attached to the gun's barrel. Carried separately for muzzle-loading cannon.

Collateral Damage

Damage that is unintended or incidental to the intended outcome.

Pump Action

A type of mechanism for removing a spent shell casing from the chamber of a firearm and inserting a fresh cartridge into the chamber. This type of mechanism is most commonly used in shotguns and rimfire rifles.

Group

A set of holes in a target left by a succession of bullets fired from the same rifle or handgun, using the same ammunition and sight setting. Fired (within the limits of one's marksmanship ability) to determine the inherent accuracy of the rifle/ammunition combination, and to aid in the proper adjustment of the sights.

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.

Lands

In the rifling of a bore, the uncut portions of the barrel's inner surface left after the rifling grooves have been cut into the metal. In other words, the raised portion of rifling.

Furniture

Generally refers to the stock and fore-end of a rifle. Can sometimes also be applied to any detachable accessories like a flashlight.

Antique Firearm

Defined according to Section 921 (a) (16), Title 18, U.S.C. as:

A. any firearm (including any firearm with matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and
B. any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

Boresight (Bore Sight)

Crude adjustments made to an optical firearm sight, or iron sights, to align the firearm barrel and sights. This method is usually used to pre-align the sights, which makes zeroing (zero drop at XX distance) much faster.

Clay Pigeon

Originally, live pigeons were used as targets, but they were gradually replaced with clay disks and ultimately banned. Later clay has been replaced with more suitable raw materials.

CCP

Abbreviation for Concealed Carry Permit.

Accidental Discharge

An unexpected and undesirable discharge of a firearm caused by circumstances beyond the control of the participant(s) such as a mechanical failure or parts breakage. There are very, very few firearms related "accidents" and if the "Three Rules" are followed there will hopefully be no injury. Accidental Discharge should not be confused with "Negligent Discharge".

Pan

The small dished container located on the side or top of a matchlock, wheel-lock or flintlock forearm used to hold the priming powder charge.

Doglock

The lock that preceded the 'true' flintlock in both rifles and pistols in the 17th century. Commonly used throughout Europe in the 1600s, it gained popular favor in the British and Dutch military. A doglock carbine was the principal weapon of the harquebusier, the most numerous type of cavalry in the armies of Thirty Years War and the English Civil War era.

Disc-Set Strikers

Circular steel fittings, about 1/2 inch in diameter, screwed into the breech face of a gun and through which the firing pins pass. Firing pin bushings allow the convenient replacement of broken firing pins. They also allow the renewal of an older gun where, over the decades, leakage of high-pressure gas from corrosive primers has eroded the breech face around the firing pins; and replacing these bushings with new ones, slightly oversized can compensate for a situation where proper headspace has been compromised.

Backstrap

The rearmost surface of the grip on a handgun. the term originated with old pistols. The grips surrounded the frame, making the rearmost of the frame appear as a strap.

High-Capacity Magazine

An inexact, non-technical term indicating a magazine holding more rounds than might be considered "average.".

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