Letter P

The Definition of Pistol Whip

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Pistol Whip

To hit someone with the grip of a pistol.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Dum-Dum

A bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet. Expanding bullets were given the name Dum-dum, or dumdum, after an early British example produced in the Dum Dum Arsenal, near Calcutta, India by Captain Neville Bertie-Clay in the the mid-1870s. Modern sef-defensive, JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point), ammunition are based on the original dum-dum ammunition design and principles.

Automatic

A type of firearm which, utilizing some of the recoil or some of the expanding-gas energy from the firing cartridge, cycles the action to eject the spent shell, to chamber a fresh one from a magazine, to cock the mainspring and to fire again. Such a firearm will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held back, until the magazine is empty. A machine gun. A firearm thus activated, but which shoots only one bullet with each separate pull of the trigger, while often erroneously referred to as "automatic" is properly termed Semi-Automatic.

Muzzle Control

Being aware of and responsible of which direction your firearm is pointed at all times, and always keeping it pointed in a safe direction.

Sectional Density

The relationship between a bullet's weight and its diameter. A long bullet, such as the original 7.62x54R loading for the Mosin Nagant 91/30, will have a high sectional density and consequently greater penetration than a shorter bullet of similar construction. A shorter bullet with less sectional density will have relatively less penetration, but greater knockdown power.

Low Kneeling

A shooting position in which one or both knees are touching the ground and the shooter is as low as possible.

Slamfire

A premature, unintended discharge of a firearm that occurs as a round is being loaded into the chamber.

Crosshairs

The cross-shaped object seen in the center of a firearm scope. Its more-proper name is reticle.

Safe

A firearm is said to be on safe when its safety is engaged and off safe when it is ready to fire.

Bayonet Lug

A mounting point on a small arm that allows a bayonet or other accessory to be attached.

Clearing

Unloading a gun and double checking that it is unloaded or fixing a malfunction so that the gun is ready to fire again.

Gas Vent

A passage built into a firearm to allow the safe conduct of unexpected gas, as from a pierced primer, to minimize damage both to the gun and to the shooter.

Trigger Scale

A specialized type of hanging scale designed to test trigger pull weight.

Naked Bullet

A bullet not covered by a metal jacket or patch.

JSP

Abbreviation for jacketed soft point

Deringer

The original small single-shot or multi-barreled pocket pistol designed and manufactured by Henry Deringer of Philadelphia. Derringers (spelled with two Rs) are called that because of the original desinger and anmufactuturer of that type of gun, Henry Deringer. To get around copyright infringment other designers and manufacturers spell the name with two Rs. However guns designed and built by Deringer are spelled with only one R

Grip

The portion of the stock (on a rifle) or frame (on a pistol) gripped by the trigger hand.

M1911

The official US military designation for the Colt .45 semiautomatic pistol adopted by the US in 1911. The gun was designed by John Moses Browning, and produced by Colt. During trials, the Browning-Colt design beat out several competing designs, including one from Savage and a .45 caliber version of the German Parabellum ("Luger"). The M1911 saw its first combat in the Philippines and then in World War I. Early use showed that it could be improved and in 1921 the M1911A1 was introduced, which featured a few changes like a reocontoured frame, shorter trigger, and a rounded backstrap. The M1911A1 remained the standard US military handgun until it was replaced in the 1980's by the Beretta M9. However, it remains very popular with civilian shooters in the US, and has been modified extensively to update it to conform to more modern theories of handgun usage.

Gun

A firearm.

Damascus Barrels

Barrel tubes built up by twisting alternate strips of iron and steel around a fixed rod (mandrel) and forge-welding them together in varying combinations according to the intended quality and the skill of the maker. The rod was withdrawn, the interior reamed and the exterior filed until the finished tube was achieved. Damascus barrels may be recognized by any of a variety of twist or spiral patterns visible in the surface of the steel. Before the 20th century, barrels were typically built in this manner because gunmakers did not have the technology to drill a deep hole the full length of a bar of steel without coming out the side.