Letter S

The Definition of Saturday Night Special

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Saturday Night Special

A slang term for a small inexpensive handgun. Saturday night specials have been defined as compact, inexpensive, small-caliber handguns with perceived low quality; however, there is no official definition of "Saturday night special" under federal law, though some states define "Saturday night specials" or "junk guns" by means of composition or materials strength. Low cost and high availability make these weapons attractive to many buyers despite their shortcomings.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Parkerizing

A chemical phosphate process developed during the second world war to provide an economical, durable and non-reflective surface finish to military firearms.

Mauser Action

The premier bolt action, whose design by Paul Mauser coalesced in 1898, and from which were derived the Springfield 1903, the Winchester Model 70 and many others.

Multi-Barreled

A gun with more than one barrel, the most common being the double-barreled shotgun.

Ejector Star

On a revolver, the collective ejector, manually operated through the center of an opened cylinder, when activated, clears all chambers at once.

Striker

In a handgun that does not have a hammer, the striker is a linear driven, spring loaded cylindrical part which strikes the primer of a chambered cartridge. The striker replaces both the hammer and firing pin found in hammer driven pistols.

Hammer Bite

The action of an external hammer pinching or poking the web of the operator's shooting hand between the thumb and fore-finger when the gun is fired.

Match Grade

A higher quality item used to increase accuracy, generally used for competition in a match. Match grade ammo and barrels are the most common improvements made to a firearm to improve accuracy for competition.

Eye Relief

The distance that equates the exit pupil size of a rifle scope's ocular lens to the entrance pupil of the user, in order to achieve the largest, unvignetted view. This distance must be sufficient to ensure that the ocular rim of the scope does not lacerate the shooter's eyebrow upon recoil. And, the scope should be positioned so that eye relief is suitable when the rifle is comfortably mounted.

Silencer

Improper term for a device that cuts down on the noise a firearm makes when it is shot. The correct term is suppressor. Silencers only exist in the movies.

Necking Down

Shrinking the neck of an existing cartridge to make it use a bullet of a different caliber. A typical process used in the creation of wildcat cartridges.

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.

Prime

To prepare or charge a muzzle loader for firing.

Bore Axis

An imaginary line which runs right down the center of the handgun's barrel and out though the back end of the gun. A handgun may have a high bore axis, with the imaginary line running out into space well above the shooter's hand. Or it may have a low bore axis, with the imaginary line running either straight through the shooter's hand or just skimming the surface slightly above her hand. A high bore axis tends to create greater perceived recoil and more muzzle flip when firing the gun than does a low bore axis.

NRA

The National Rifle Association. This organization coordinates shooting events on a national level, provides firearms training to civilians and law enforcement, fights restrictive firearms legislation and supports the constitutional right of law abiding citizens to own and carry firearms.

Percussion Cap

A small metal explosive-filled cup which is placed over the nipple of a percussion firearm. As the cap is struck by the hammer, it explodes and sends a flame through the flashhole in the nipple to the main powder charge.

Small Arms

Firearms designed to be carried and used by an individual or individuals.

Pistol Grip

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

Projectile

A bullet or shot in flight after discharge from a firearm.

Cylinder

The part of a revolver that holds cartridges in separate chambers radially around a central hingepin. The cylinder revolves as the handgun is cocked, , either to the left or to the right depending on the gun maker's design, bringing each successive cartridge into position, and locked into alignment with the barrel for firing.