Letter S

The Definition of Sight Picture

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Sight Picture

What the shooter sees when looking through the sights at the target.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Four Rules

The four rules of firearms safety,were originally introduced in the early 1900's by various shooting education sources (with varying phrasing, but same implications), they apply every single time a firearm is handled in any way or for any reason. The NRA teaches the Three Rules of Safe Gun Handling.

Rule One: All guns are always loaded. (Treat all guns as if they are loaded, no matter what!)
Rule Two: Never point your firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
Rule Three: Never put your finger on the trigger unless your sights are on target (and you have made the decision to fire).
Rule Four: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.

Locking Lugs

A series of projections on the bolt of a firearm designed to fit into corresponding slots in the receiver to lock the action in closed position for firing.

Chamber Throat

This is the area in the barrel that is directly forward of the chamber, which tapers to the bore diameter.

Back Bored

A shotgun barrel that has a bore diameter increased beyond standard specifications, but less than the SAAMI maximum. Done in an attempt to reduce felt recoil, improve patterning, or change the balance of the shotgun.

Checkered Butt

Checkering, applied to the otherwise-unfinished butt end of a gunstock.

Clay Pigeon

Originally, live pigeons were used as targets, but they were gradually replaced with clay disks and ultimately banned. Later clay has been replaced with more suitable raw materials.

Gunpowder

Also called black powder, gunpowder is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. The term gunpowder also refers broadly to any propellant powder. Modern firearms do not use the traditional gunpowder (black powder) described here, but instead use smokeless powder.

Comb

The top of a gun's stock, where a shooter rests his cheek when mounting a gun. As it is the top of the stock that determines the position of one's eye, and one's eye is the rear sight on a shotgun, the position of the comb is very important in determining the proper fit of a shotgun.

Arsenal

An established place where firearms and ammunition are stored, repaired, or manufactured. The term is misused by the media to mean more than one firearm or any quantity of ammunition, as in "they found an arsenal."

Lockplate

A metal plate on which the firing mechanism is mounted on percussion and earlier firearms.

Pitch

The angle of the butt of a gun in relation to the line of sight. Pitch is measured by resting the gun with its butt flat on a floor, the top of the receiver against a wall and its muzzle pointing up. The distance of the muzzle from the wall is the gun's pitch down.

Slamfire

A premature, unintended discharge of a firearm that occurs as a round is being loaded into the chamber.

Ears

Slang for hearing protection. Applies to either muffs or plugs.

Machine Pistol

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

WRF

Abbreviation for Winchester Rim Fire.

Barrel

A tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity. It is the tube through which the bullet or shot travels. The barrel serves the purpose of providing direction and velocity to the bullet.

Bore Snake

A bore snake is a tool used to clean the inside (bore) of the barrel of a gun. It resembles a short section of rope with a smaller, weighted cord attached to one end to help feed the bore snake through the barrel. A bore snake often has one or more integrated brushes to help clean the barrel, and may also be used to apply lubricant. It is an alternative to using a cleaning rod and patches to clean the barrel of a gun. Bore snakes are made in different sizes for different calibers and gauges of guns.

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.

Brady Law

Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 mandates background checks of gun buyers in order to prevent sales to people prohibited under the Gun Control Act of 1968 legislation. Requires checks to be performed through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Records of who has been checked are not preserved because federal law prohibits the creation of a national registry of gun ownership. Sales by unlicensed private sellers who are not engaged in gun dealing as a business are not subject to the checks under federal law, though they are required by some states.