Letter S

The Definition of Shotshell

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19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


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.

Every Day Carry

Term used for a firearm that a person uses as their usual daily carry gun. It is also used to describe a gun that is good for carrying concealed on a regular basis. Factors for determining an EDC may include caliber, physical size, number of rounds, accuracy and/or other factors.

Speed Loader

A device used to load magazines or revolver cylinders quicker than by hand.

Bullet

The single projectile expelled from a gun. It is not the same as a cartridge, the cartridge is complete package, which includes the case, primer, powder, and bullet, which is called or a round. Bullets can be of many materials, shapes, weights and constructions such as solid lead, lead with a jacket of harder metal, round-nosed, flat-nosed, hollow-pointed, etc.

Howdah Pistol

Normally, a break-open, double-barrel, side-by-side pistol of large calibre, used by a maharaja when hunting tiger on the back of his elephant (in the howdah, the basket compartment in which he sits). The howdah pistol is the weapon of last resort in case the tiger tries to join him in the howdah.

Suppressor

Incorrectoly sometimes referred to as a silencer, it is used to reduce the sound of a firearm's discharge. They do not actually silence most firearms but rather lower the intensity of the muzzle blast and change the sound characteristics (works similarly to an automotive muffler by disrupting and spreading out the sound waves). The possession, use, and transportation of silencers have been tightly controlled under federal law since 1934. Any device which reduces the sound of discharge by more than 2 dB is considered by the BATF to be a suppressor.

Racking the Slide

Pulling the slide back to its rearmost position, and then letting it go forward under its own spring tension. Racking the slide loads the chamber and prepares the gun to fire in a semi-automatic handgun.

Nose

The point of a projectile.

Terminal Ballistics

A sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior of a projectile when it hits its target.

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.

Tangent Sight

A style of rear sight, typically used on rifles for either slow-moving bullets or for long ranges, whereby a ladder may be raised from flush with the barrel to a vertical position, and which incorporates a sliding crossbar which may be moved vertically in order to achieve significant elevation.

Ejector Star

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

SxS

Abbreviation for Side-By-Side.

Pan

The small dished container located on the side or top of a matchlock, wheel-lock or flintlock forearm used to hold the priming powder charge.

Pistol Whip

To hit someone with the grip of a pistol.

Mauser Safety

A small lever mounted to the cocking piece of a Mauser 98 action (and its copies such as the Springfield 1903), rotating on a longitudinal axis from left (Fire), up to the top (Safe, but allowing bolt movement), and over to the right (Bolt and firing pin locked Safe). While commendable for locking the firing pin instead of just the trigger, its up-and-over arc of operation requires a scope to be mounted awkwardly high. Paul Mauser is not to be blamed; when his safety was developed, telescopic sights were in such infancy as not to be worthy of mainstream consideration.

Frontstrap

Front, metal, part of a handgun's grip, which together with the backstrap, provides a mounting frame for the grip panels.

Weapon

Anything that can be used in an offensive attack or in defense of an offensive attack. Guns are not necessarily weapons.
A gun can be used as a weapon, but so can a pencil, fist, car, a wad of paper or any other object used to attack or retaliate against an offensive attack. Even words can be used as a weapon.
Guns and other objects should be always called what they are; gun, rifle, pistol, pencil, knife, tomato or whatever they are. They should never be referred to as a weapon, EVER.
Some examples of the proper usage for the word "weapon" would be:
"One weapon used in the attack against the left flank was dirt clods".
"The marshmallow gun was the weapon of choice used in the accounting vs marketing skirmishes."
"The liberal leftists use words and restrictive controlling laws as weapons against the freedom of the people."

Doglock

The lock that preceded the 'true' flintlock in both rifles and pistols in the 17th century. Commonly used throughout Europe in the 1600s, it gained popular favor in the British and Dutch military. A doglock carbine was the principal weapon of the harquebusier, the most numerous type of cavalry in the armies of Thirty Years War and the English Civil War era.

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