Letter S

The Definition of Six O'Clock Hold

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19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Breechloader

A firearm loaded through the breech.

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.

Trigger Control

Not putting your finger on the trigger until your sights are on target, then pulling the trigger smoothly, and following through by realigning the sights before allowing your finger to come off the trigger.

Hinge Pin

A short cylindrical rod of hardened steel running laterally near the front of the bar of a break-open gun's action around which the barrel hook revolves when the gun is opened. Over the decades, this pin and its complimentary hook can wear and a gun can sometimes "shoot loose" or "come off the face." The proper cure for this condition is to replace the hinge pin with a new one, slightly oversized, to compensate for wear on both itself and on the barrel hook.

Thumb Safety

An external, manual safety which is typically disengaged with the firing-hand thumb.

Muzzle Control

Being aware of and responsible of which direction your firearm is pointed at all times, and always keeping it pointed in a safe direction.

Sabot

An oversized, lightweight housing that allows a sub-calibre projectile to be fired in a larger-diameter bore, usually in the interest of increased velocity. The sabot falls away from the actual projectile upon exiting the muzzle. For example, a hunter could use his .30-30 deer rifle to shoot small game with .22 centerfire bullets.

Slide Release

A slang term for slide catch.

Gain Twist

A form of rifling where the helical angle (pitch) sharpens progressively down the bore in the interest of maximizing the bullets ultimate rotational speed by initiating it slowly.

Falling Block

A type of action used primarily for single shot rifles whereby some kind of lever actuates a breechblock, moving it downwards in a vertical recess to expose the chamber. May have visible or enclosed hammer. For any given barrel length, it allows a shorter overall rifle length compared to a bolt action because no space is taken up by the forward-and-back cycling of the bolt. Most of the better British makers produced them in limited numbers around the turn of the last century, the Farquharson being the most iconic. Perhaps the best-known falling block action today is the Ruger No.1.

Blowback

A semi-automatic firearm whose breechblock and barrel are not mechanically locked together when fired. In such case the breechblock immediately begins to separate from the barrel upon firing. Blowback is used in comparatively low powered weapons, in which inertia of the breechblock, and cartridge wall adhesion against the chamber, are sufficient enough to retard opening until breech gas pressures have fallen to a safe level.

Brick

A box of ammunition roughly equal in size and weight to a brick. Most often used to describe a 500-round container of .22 Long Rifle ammunition.

Hot Range

A condition (status) of a shooting range that shooters may commence to fire.

Six Gun

A slang term for a revolver that holds siz rounds. Usually referring to cowboy style revolvers.

Recoil Crossbolt

A steel bolt, mounted transversely through a rifle stock just under and behind the front (and sometimes rear) receiver ring, sometimes concealed in the wood and usually against which the action is carefully bedded. When properly fitted, it helps distribute the recoil and reinforces stock at the point where wood has been removed to accept the action. Recoil crossbolts can be recognized by the flush-mounted circular steel fittings on the side of the stock, but are sometimes finished with contrasting wooden plugs and sometimes concealed completely. Also called Reinforcing Crossbolt.

Propellant

The substance which imparts movement to the projectile in a firearm. In a firearm, usually powder. In an airgun the propellant is air or Co2

Airgun (Air Gun)

A variety of pneumatic gun that propels projectiles by means of compressed air or other gas, in contrast to firearms, which use a propellant charge. Both the rifle and pistol forms (air rifle and air pistol) typically propel metallic projectiles, either pellets, or BBs. Certain types of air guns, usually rifles, may also propel arrows.

Needle Gun

A needle gun is a bolt-action firearm (the first known type of bolt action rifle) that has a needle-like firing pin, which can pass through fully self-contained (paper) cartridge case to strike a percussion cap at the bullet base. The first experimental needle gun was designed by Jean Samuel Pauly, a Swiss gunsmith, in 1812. The first mass-produced needle gun was invented by the German gunsmith Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse, who, beginning in 1824, had conducted multiple experiments, and in 1836 produced the first viable breech loading gun model using a complete cartridge .

Takedown

A firearm that can be separated into (at least) two subassemblies in order to make a shorter package than when put together, without tools. There is no specific requirement regarding how this disassembly must be accomplished; the mechanical design is up to the creativity of the maker. This arrangement allows for more convenient transportation of a firearm, but with rifles, where the action normally separates from the barrel, usually at a small sacrifice in accuracy. Takedown firearms can also be called take-apart firearms. Good examples of a takedown guns are the Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle, the Ruger 10/22 Takedown or the TNW Aero.