Letter S

The Definition of Self-Opening

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Self-Opening

Attribute of a break-open gun whereby the barrels drop down simply by pressing the toplever without muscling them open manually. The Holland & Holland system utilizes a coil spring within a cylindrical housing mounted just ahead of the forward lump to urge the barrels open. The Purdey system utilizes residual energy remaining in the mainspring after the gun has been fired. Both systems enable a shooter to load more quickly when birds are coming fast.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Cartridge Overall Length

This is the maximum overall length the cartridge can be (and is expected to be) in order to function properly in magazines and the mag well of a bolt action rifle.

Silhouette Shooting

A handgun or rifle shooting sport in which the competitors attempt to knock over metallic game-shaped targets at various ranges.

Practical Shooting

A shooting sport that simulates the use of a small arm in its intended role either as a tool for hunting or personal defense. True practical shooting limits the small arms, ammunition, and accessories used to those items that would actually be used in the role simulated.

Lock Speed

The same as Lock Time

Varmint Gun

Usually a rifle, but not always. A small-caliber firearm or high-powered air gun primarily used for hunting non-native or non-game animals such as rats, squirrels, gophers, jackrabbits, marmots, groundhogs, porcupine, opossum, coyote, skunks, weasels, and other animals considered to be nuisance vermin destructive to native or domestic plants and animals.

Capper

A hand tool used in the field for inserting live and removing spent primers from cartridges.

Federal Assault Weapons Ban

Part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. It produced a 10-year federal ban on the manufacture of new semi-automatic assault weapons with certian specifications. Firearms with specific features were defined as assault rifles. Including the AR-15, certain versions of the AK-47, the TEC-9, the MAC-10 and the Uzi, several of which had become the preferred weapon of violent drug gangs. The act also bans large-capacity ammunition magazines, limiting them to 10 rounds. The law did not apply to weapons that were already in legal possession.
Because this law was not renewed by congress in 2004, the ban was lifted.

BUG

Abbreviation for 'Back Up Gun'

Follower

A smooth, sometimes contoured plate, within a magazine, at the top of a spring, across which cartridges slide when being loaded into a chamber.

Bolt Thrust

The amount of rearward force exerted by the propellant gases on the bolt or breech of a firearm action or breech when a projectile is fired. The applied force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity.

Failure To Extract

A semi-automatic firearm malfunction in which the extractor fails to move the empty case out of the way as the slide travels back. A failure to extract often causes double-feed malfunction.

Sling

A strap, usually of leather or sturdy webbing, fitted to the fore and aft (usually) of a rifle as an aid to carrying over the shoulder and as an aid to holding the rifle steadily while aiming.

Squib

An underpowered powder charge, usually caused by a fault in cartridge loading, often insufficient to expel a projectile from the muzzle of a firearm. If such a blockage is not cleared, the next attempted shot could cause the barrel at least to bulge, and very possibly to burst.

C&R

Abbreviation for Curio and Relic

Tracer

A type of ammunition that utilizes a projectile or projectiles that contain a compound in its base that burns during its flight to provide a visual reference of the projectile's trajectory.

Magna

Smith & Wesson term for a revolver grip design introduced in the 1930s where the top of the grip extends higher than it had in earlier configurations, to provide a more comfortable hold.

Fulminate Of Mercury

A highly sensitive explosive used as a primer compound.

Toe

The bottom of the butt-end of a gun stock.

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.