Letter S

The Definition of Single Action

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Single Action

An action type that when the trigger is pulled, the only thing the trigger does is drop the hammer (or striker). This applies to both revolvers, semi-automatic and automatic guns. On a single action revolver, the gun must be manually cocked before it can be fired. With semi-automatic and automatic guns that are single action, the only thing the trigger does is drop the hammer, striker or firing pin onto the cartridge. Then the firearm is cocked again when from the recoil of the fired round. A firearm that the gun is cocked and the hammer drops when the trigger is pulled is a double action gun.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Mercury Recoil Compensator

A device fitted inside the buttstock of a heavily-recoiling gun or rifle, usually containing mercury and a valve. As the gun recoils, the mercury is displaced temporarily, increasing the duration, and thus diminishing the perceived impact of the recoil. The added half-pound of weight doesn't hurt either.

Scattergun

A slang term for a shotgun.

Pump Action

A type of mechanism for removing a spent shell casing from the chamber of a firearm and inserting a fresh cartridge into the chamber. This type of mechanism is most commonly used in shotguns and rimfire rifles.

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.

Centerfire (Center Fire)

A cartridge with its primer located in the center of the base of the case.

Beavertail

A large piece of curved metal at the top of the grip on a pistol which protects the user's hand from getting "bitten" by the hammer or slide. It is nearly always the top part of the grip safety commonly found on many 1911-style pistols.

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."

Patch Box

Covered compartment in the buttstock of a muzzle-loading rifle used to carry patches or other small items.

Hammer

The part of the gun that strikes either the firing pin or the round directly when the trigger is pulled then detonates the primer of the load and discharges the gun. Hammers may be external or internal. On a striker fired gun (a gun without a physical hammer) the firing pin is considered the hammer since it releases directly when the trigger is pulled.

Monte Carlo Stock

A rifle or shotgun stock that has a Monte Carlo style comb

Carbine

A rifle with a relatively short barrel.

Knurled Surface

A metal surface which contains a pattern of ridges or beads.

Slug Gun

Slang for a shotgun which is set up specifically to fire a slug (a large, single projectile) rather than shot (multiple projectiles contained within a single shell).

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.

Forend

One of the three major dismountable components of a break-open gun (the others being the barrel(s) and the action/buttstock) which secures the barrels to the receiver, often houses the ejector mechanism, and for some, provides a handle for the one's secondary hand.

Firing Line

A line, either imaginary or marked, from which people shoot their firearms down range.

Cartridge

The assembly consisting of a bullet, gunpowder, shell casing, and primer. Cartridges also include shotgun shells and black powder packets used in muzzle loading guns.

Stock

The back part of a rifle or shotgun, excluding the receiver.

Doughnut Pattern

A shotgun pattern with a hole in the middle generally caused by the interference of the top wad.

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