Letter S

The Definition of Slide Catch

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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.

19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know

Adjustable Trigger

A trigger that can be easily adjusted by the user. Adjustable triggers are common on specialized target-shooting firearms.

Factory Ammo

Ammunition that has been assembled by a commercial vendor of ammunition and sold in retail stores. This is as opposed to Hand loads which have been assembled by individuals and are not typically sold.


A tendency for layers of air of different temperatures near the warm ground to cause refraction in the line of sight and disturbance of the perceived point of aim.

Cartridge Trap

A compartment built into the buttstock of a long gun, usually with a hinged cover, in which are drilled holes deep enough to hold several spare cartridges of the type suitable for use in the specific gun.

Isosceles Stance

There are two basic variants of the Isosceles stance, the Traditional Isosceles and Modern Isosceles stance. In both Isosceles stances, the feet parallel pointing toward the target and are roughly shoulder width apart. Both arms are stretched almost equally forward with the gun centered forward, creating the triangular shape which gives the stance its name.

Monte Carlo Stock

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

Rail Mount

Any type of accessory that can be attached to a firearm's rail.

Shooting Range

A specialized facility designed for firearms practice.


A bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet. Expanding bullets were given the name Dum-dum, or dumdum, after an early British example produced in the Dum Dum Arsenal, near Calcutta, India by Captain Neville Bertie-Clay in the the mid-1870s. Modern sef-defensive, JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point), ammunition are based on the original dum-dum ammunition design and principles.

Youth Rifle

A short, lightweight rifle. Some are small enough for a young child to easily handle, while others are large enough to perfectly suit teenagers, average-sized adult women, and small-statured adult males.


The original small single-shot or multi-barreled pocket pistol designed and manufactured by Henry Deringer of Philadelphia. Derringers (spelled with two Rs) are called that because of the original desinger and anmufactuturer of that type of gun, Henry Deringer. To get around copyright infringment other designers and manufacturers spell the name with two Rs. However guns designed and built by Deringer are spelled with only one R

Overbore Ammunition

Small caliber bullets being used in large cases. E.g. .22 bullet in a .45 acp case.


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.

Knurled Surface

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

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.


Failure of a spent case to completely eject from a semi-automatic firearm. The case usually stands on end while lodged in the ejection port.

Point of Impact

The point where the projectile from a firearm hits.


From the Latin for "more." A term indicating a relatively heavily loaded metallic cartridge or shotshell and a gun safely constructed to fire it. It generally indicates a round which cannot be interchanged with other loadings of the same caliber (for example, a .22 Magnum shell does not fit within a firearm designed to fire .22 Long Rifle ammunition).