Letter S

The Definition of Shotgun Shell

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Shotgun Shell

The cartridge for a shotgun. It is also called a "shell," and its body is usually made of plastic (metal shotgun shells are very rare, paper shotgun shells are extinct) with a metal head. Small shotshells are also made for rifles and handguns and are often used for vermin control.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Half Cock

A middle position for an external hammer that effectively provides a safety function. With a firearm with non-rebounding hammers, when on half-cock, the firing pin will not rest on the firing-pin.

Key Fastener

A horizontal wedge, press-fit through the forend of a vintage gun, through a lump attached to the underside of the barrel and out the other side of the forend. To secure the forend in position. Also called a crosspin or a wedge fastener.

Misfeed

Is a failure of the next round to completely enter the chamber. Misfeeds and failures to feed are very similar, a failure to feed is a round that never even leaves the top of the magazine, while a misfeed is a round that leaves the magazine but does not enter the chamber.

Musket

A Muzzleloading long gun which has a completely smooth bore and is intended to fire a single projectile rather than a collection of shot.

Live Fire Exercise

Any exercise in which a realistic scenario for the use of specific equipment is simulated. In the popular lexicon this is applied primarily to tests of weapons or weapon systems that are associated with the various branches of a nation's armed forces, although the term can be applied to the civilian arena as well.

Muzzle Energy

The power of a projectile or a load of shot at the point that it exits the muzzle of a firearm, normally expressed in foot-pounds.

Selective-Fire

A firearm's ability to be fired fully automatically, semi-automatically or, in some cases, in burst-fire mode at the option of the firer.

Drilling

A three-barrel gun. Typically it has two shotgun barrels side by side on the top, with a third rifle barrel underneath. This provides a very versatile firearm capable of taking winged animals as well as big game. It also is useful in jurisdictions where a person is only allowed to own a single firearm.

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.

VCCLEA

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. It is an act of Congress dealing with crime and law enforcement that became law in 1994. Of the sections of the bill, it included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.

Twist

The length, within a rifled barrel, required to accomplish one full rotation. 1:12 Twist, means a bullet passing down the bore would complete one revolution in twelve inches. 1:7 Twist, means a bullet passing down the bore would complete one revolution in seven inches, which makes it a tighter twist than 1:12. Different weights of bullet require appropriate rates of twist.

Gas Operated

The superheated air created by burning powder. A gas-operated firearm is one that uses the energy from these superheated gases to work the action in semi-automatic and automatic guns.

Crane

A swing-out arm on a revolver, to which the cylinder is mounted when opened facilitates loading and cleaning.

Porting

Openings at the muzzle end of the gun through which some of the spent gases can escape. Porting reduces perceived recoil and lessens muzzle rise but increases the noise and flash.

Upset Forging

A process that increases the diameter of a workpiece by compressing its length.

Headstamp

Markings impressed into the base of a cartridge case, normally identifying the maker's name, the cartridge calibre designation, and sometimes the date.

Picatinny Rail

A metal bar, available in a variety of lengths, with a continuous row of Weaver-like scope mount base slots, which when attached to a firearm, allow convenient attachment of a variety of sights, lights, slings, bipods and other accessories designed to fit this standard system.

Machine Pistol

A handgun-style fully automatic or burst-mode firearm.
A machine pistol is not the same thing as a Submachine Gun

Blown Pattern

A shotgun pattern with erratic shot distribution, generally caused by gas escaping past the wads and getting into the shot.