The Definition of 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
A material added to an explosive to slow its burning rate.
Something that will prevent or hinder something from happening.
A bolt action which is locked by pressing the bolt handle in and down, thereby turning its locking lugs into the receiver.
A soft appendage, usually of some kind of rubber, often fitted to the butt end of a shoulder-mounted firearm to reduce the sensation of recoil.
A recoil pad has the additional benefit of being less vulnerable to damage than a checkered wood butt or a brittle horn or plastic buttplate.
The cartridge for a shotgun. It is also called a "shell," and its body is usually made of plastic (metal shotgun shells are very rare, paper shotgun shells are extinct)
with a metal head.
Small shotshells are also made for rifles and handguns and are often used for vermin control.
A barrel without rifling. Smooth bore barrels are commonly used in shotguns and in large bore artillery that fire fin stabilized projectiles.
The firing mechanism of a a muzzle-loading weapon. In breech-loading firearms, the lock is the firing mechanism and breech-sealing assembly.
Attribute of a break-open gun whereby the barrels drop down simply by pressing the toplever without muscling them
open manually. The Holland & Holland system utilizes a coil spring within a cylindrical housing mounted just ahead of the forward lump to urge the barrels open.
The Purdey system utilizes residual energy remaining in the mainspring after the gun has been fired.
Both systems enable a shooter to load more quickly when birds are coming fast.
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.
An unexpected delay between the triggering of a firearm and the ignition of the propellant.
This failure was common in firearm actions that relied on open primer pans, due to the poor or inconsistent quality of the powder.
Modern weapons are susceptible, particularly if the ammunition has been stored in an environment outside of the design specifications.
Reloaded ammunition may also be the cause if not reloaded properly
A shotgun term which refers to the manner in which the pellets spread out as they exit the gun.
"The pattern" refers to the overall shape of the entire set. A tight pattern is one in which the pellets are closely grouped when they land on target.
A loose pattern is one in which the pellets are widely spread.
A small piece of leather or cloth. A patch can refer to the wadding used in loading a muzzle loading firearms or the piece of cloth used to clean a firearm bore.
A felt, paper, cardboard or plastic disk that is used in a shotshell. Also in muzzle loading, a piece of cloth used to seal the bullet in the barrel. It's purpose and function is the same as a shotgun wad.
An optical sight, offering some magnification, often variable, with some kind of adjustable aiming grid inside (a reticle),
which when mounted on a firearm, usually a rifle, makes sighting easier.
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.
The relationship between a bullet's weight and its diameter. A long bullet, such as the original 7.62x54R
loading for the Mosin Nagant 91/30, will have a high sectional density and consequently greater
penetration than a shorter bullet of similar construction. A shorter bullet with less sectional
density will have relatively less penetration, but greater knockdown power.
Dummy cartridges with spring-loaded "primers" used to test the mechanical functioning of a firearm, particularly the trigger
pulls, hammer-fall and ejector-timing of a break-open gun. It is not advisable to dry-fire a break-open gun on an empty chamber.
Hardened steel parts can shatter without the soft brass primer to act as a shock absorber. Snap caps cushion the blow of the hammer and
firing-pin when the use of a live cartridge would be impractical.
A type of cartridge whose bullet diameter is substantially less than the body diameter of the casing.
The face of the action of a break-open firearm which houses the firing pins and receives the direct recoil of the fired round.
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