Letter R

The Definition of Reticle

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Reticle

A matrix of dots, posts or lines, visible inside a rifle's telescopic sight, normally adjustable via exterior knobs for windage and elevation. After careful adjustment at a known range, the shooter aims the rifle by superimposing this matrix onto the target. With good estimation or range, cooperation from the wind, a clear eye and a steady hand, he may have a reasonable expectation of hitting his target.

Reticle

A matrix of dots, posts or lines, visible inside a rifle's telescopic sight, normally adjustable via exterior knobs for windage and elevation. After careful adjustment at a known range, the shooter aims the rifle by superimposing this matrix onto the target. With good estimation or range, cooperation from the wind, a clear eye and a steady hand, he may have a reasonable expectation of hitting his target.


18 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


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.

Chamber

The rear portion of the barrel or firing cylinder in which the cartridge is inserted prior to being fired. Rifles and pistols generally have a single chamber in their barrels, while revolvers have multiple chambers in their cylinders and no chamber in their barrel.

Slide Catch

Sometimes also known as a slide lock, slide release or slide lever. On a semi-autmatic gun, the lever or catch that holds the slide open (after the last round is fired or when racking an empty gun). Typically they are located on the left side of the frame about mide barrel. Some of the newer semi-automatic pistols have an internal slide lock. Even though on pistols with an external slide catch, you can push down on the lever to release the slide, it should never be used in such a manner. The proper way to release the slide is to rack the slide.

Throat Erosion

The wearing of the portion of the barrel where the gas pressure and heat is highest as the projectile leaves the chamber. The greater the chamber pressure the more rapid throat erosion occurs which is compounded by rapid firing which heats and weakens the steel.

Quad Barrelled

A gun, typically artillery, with four barrels, such as the ZPU

Ricochet

A rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile.

Riot Gun

A popular term for a short barreled repeating shotgun as frequently used in law enforcement and personal protection.

Rim

The edge on the base of a cartridge case which stops the progress of the case into the chamber.

External Safety

A safety lever or button found on the outer surfaces of the firearm and is accessible to the user. Enabling the external safety should prevent accidental pulling of the trigger. However, the best safety is always you.

Bullet Trap

A type of backstop that catches the fired bullet and prevents it from exiting the area. Bullet traps are most commonly used on indoor ranges.

Range Finder

A device used to determine the range to a target. Many range finders work by bouncing a laser beam off the target or nearby object and measuring the time for the reflection to arrive back at the instrument. It is also possible to use various passive optical devices such as a mil-dot telescopic sight.

EDC

Abbreviation for Every Day Carry

Pre-Travel

Some triggers can be pulled slightly backwards before the shooter can feel any tension and before the hammer or striker begins to retract. Pre-travel is any movement of the trigger that begins before the trigger starts to engage.

Double-Barreled Shotgun

A shotgun with two barrels, usually of the same gauge or bore. The two types of double-barreled shotguns are over/under (abbreviated as O/U or OU), in which the two barrels are stacked on top of each other, and side-by-side (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other. See photo at right for example of side-by-side double-barreled shotgun. For double-barreled guns that use one shotgun barrel and one rifle barrel, see combination gun.

Patch

A small piece of leather or cloth. A patch can refer to the wadding used in loading a muzzle loading firearms or the piece of cloth used to clean a firearm bore.

Expanding Bullet

An expanding bullet is 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. See also Dum-Dum Bullet

Chain Gun

A type of machine gun or autocannon that uses an external source of power to cycle the firearm.

SMLE

Abbreviation for Short Magazine Lee Enfield. The standard British Army rifle from around 1895 to 1957.