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


Patch Box

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

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.

Butt

The rear end of a rifle or shotgun. (The portion that rests against the shoulder.)

Wheel Gun

Slang term for a revolver.

Inertia Firing Pin

A firing pin which moves freely forward and backward in the breechblock.

Full Stock

A rifle or carbine with a one-piece stock extending to the muzzle. Sometimes called a Mannlicher stock, although such a term is confusing because Mannlicher Schoenauer rifles are built with both full and half stocks. Traditional in Europe for close-range woodland hunting, but not noted for extreme, long-range accuracy.

Double Triggers

On guns (mainly shotguns) that have two barrels, there is a trigger for each barrel that work independently from each other.

Long Gun

Another term for rifle.

Ejector Star

On a revolver, the collective ejector, manually operated through the center of an opened cylinder, when activated, clears all chambers at once.

Hand-Detachable Locks

The firing mechanism of a break-open gun which may be removed for inspection or cleaning without the use of tools. The release latch may be plainly visible or concealed. A feature typically seen on sidelock guns but also on the Westley Richards "droplock" boxlock action.

Crisp Trigger

A trigger that breaks (to release the hammer) easy.

Leading

Fouling of a firearm bore by metal particles from bullets adhering to the metal surface caused by heat or friction.

Slide

The upper portion of a semi-automatic pistol that houses the barrel and contains the breechblock and portions of the firing mechanism. Ejecting the spent case as it moves to the rear and loading a fresh cartridge into the chamber as it moves forward again. As its name states, it slides along tracks in the top of the frame during the recoil process providing the linkage between the breechblock and barrel.

MOA

Abbreviation for Minute Of Angle

Rifle

A shoulder-fired long gun which has a rifled barrel.

Bersa

A firearms manufacturer located in the city of Ramos Mejia in Argentina. The company was founded in the mid-1950s by Italian immigrants Benso Bonadimani, Ercole Montini and Savino Caselli, all of them mechanical engineers with experience working for Beretta. Bersa is most famous for their Bersa Thunder .380 pistols and the Thunder Ultra Compact Pro Pistols (available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 acp). The full size Thunder combat (Thunder 9) pistol is the standard sidearm of the Argentina Armed Forces, Buenos Aires Provincial Police and several other law enforcement agencies in South America. The company is well known among firearm enthusiasts for producing high quality guns at reasonable prices and it spends little money on advertisement. Lifetime warranty coverage is provided to the original owners. They are strong and well built, nicely engineered, accurate, visually appealing and very reliable.

Cover Hold

Sometimes also known as cover-up hold. A sight picture of when the center of the target is completely covered by the front sight when the sights are properly aligned. Also see center hold and six o'clock hold.

Reticle

A matrix of dots, posts or lines, visible inside a rifle's telescopic sight, normally adjustable via exterior knobs for windage and elevation. After careful adjustment at a known range, the shooter aims the rifle by superimposing this matrix onto the target. With good estimation or range, cooperation from the wind, a clear eye and a steady hand, he may have a reasonable expectation of hitting his target.

Jump

The amount of change in the bore axis, measured both vertically and horizontally, while the projectile moves from the chamber to the muzzle when it is fired.