Letter S

The Definition of Smokeless Powder

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Smokeless Powder

The propellant powder used in modern ammunition. It is not an explosive, but rather a flammable solid that burns extremely rapidly releasing a large volume of gas. Commonly called "gunpowder" and usually made from nitrocellulose, or nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin. It is classified as a "Flammable Solid" by the Department of Transportation.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Peep Sight

An alternate name for Aperture Sight.

Closed Bolt Firing System

A type of firearm in which the action is closed, with a cartridge in the chamber prior to firing. When the trigger is pressed the cartridge is fired, and the action cycles loading another cartridge into chamber and when firing is stopped the bolt remains closed and the chamber remains loaded.

Derringer

A small single-shot or multi-barreled pocket pistol. 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.

Ear Muffs

Hearing protection that completely covers both ears and is usually attached to a headband.

Centerfire (Center Fire)

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

Grip

The portion of the stock (on a rifle) or frame (on a pistol) gripped by the trigger hand.

Annulus

A tiny circular recess at the base of a cartridge case surrounding the primer pocket. Recoil from fired cartridges invariably impress a discernable ring on the breech or bolt face of a firearm, providing some evidence of the amount of use it has seen.

Overbore Ammunition

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

Trigger Safety

An external, passive safety which can be found on the face of some trigger designs (most notably found on Glock firearms). It is intended to prevent the trigger from being pulled by objects which find their way into the trigger guard area.

Yaw

The heading of a bullet, used in external ballistics that refers to how the Magnus effect causes bullets to move out of a straight line based on their spin.

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.

M1911

The official US military designation for the Colt .45 semiautomatic pistol adopted by the US in 1911. The gun was designed by John Moses Browning, and produced by Colt. During trials, the Browning-Colt design beat out several competing designs, including one from Savage and a .45 caliber version of the German Parabellum ("Luger"). The M1911 saw its first combat in the Philippines and then in World War I. Early use showed that it could be improved and in 1921 the M1911A1 was introduced, which featured a few changes like a reocontoured frame, shorter trigger, and a rounded backstrap. The M1911A1 remained the standard US military handgun until it was replaced in the 1980's by the Beretta M9. However, it remains very popular with civilian shooters in the US, and has been modified extensively to update it to conform to more modern theories of handgun usage.

DA/SA

Abbreviation for Double Action/Single Action. A type of firearm that is designed to operate in double action on the first shot, and in single action on the second and subsequent shots.

Model 70 Type Safety

A small lever mounted to the cocking piece of a Winchester Model 70 rifle, rotating on a vertical axis from front (Fire), halfway back (Safe, but allowing bolt movement), and fully back (Bolt and firing pin locked Safe). While, like the Mauser, commendable for locking the firing pin instead of just the trigger, its fore and aft movement is both easier to operate and it allows lower mounting of telescopic sights, reducing parallax between the line of sight and the line of the bore and increasing the range of distances for which the scope may be reliably sighted-in.

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.

Over-Under

Can also be spelled Over/Under, OverUnder or Over and Under. A firearm (most commonly a shotgun) with two barrels that are vertically aligned with each other, one on top of the other.

GCA

Gun Control Act of 1968. It is a U.S. federal law that regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners. It primarily focuses on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers. It also prohibits all convicted felons, drug users and the mentally ill from buying guns amd raised the age to purchase handguns from a federally licensed dealer to 21.

Bolt Thrust

The amount of rearward force exerted by the propellant gases on the bolt or breech of a firearm action or breech when a projectile is fired. The applied force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity.

X-Frame

The frame designation that Smith and Wesson uses for their extra large framed revolvers like the S&W Model 500 and S&W 460XVR