Letter S

The Definition of Snap Shot

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Snap Shot

A quick shot taken without deliberate aim.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Drum Magazine

A type of firearms magazine that is cylindrical in shape, similar to a drum. Probably the most recognizable drum magazine is the magazine for a Thompson carbine rifle, also known as the Tommy Gun.

Dummy Round

An inert ammunition-shaped object, used in practice to simulate misfeeds and other malfunctions and also used in dry fire practice. Unlike a blank, a dummy round contains no charge at all. A snap-cap is a type of dummy round.

Matchlock

A black powder muzzleloading firearm action which relies upon a serpentine or S-shaped piece of metal to hold a smoldering match. By pressing the lower end of the serpentine, the upper end holding the burning match contacts the priming powder in the pan.

Sling

A long strip of leather, plastic, or nylon which is fastened at the fore and rear of the gun for the easy carry of long guns.

Gauge

System of measurement for the internal bore diameter of a smooth-bore firearm based on the diameter of each of that number of spherical lead balls whose total weight equals one pound. The internal diameter of a 12 gauge shotgun barrel is therefore equal to the diameter of a lead ball weighing 1/12 pound, which happens to be .729" (Or in British: Bore.) The Gauge/Bore system is also used, by convention, to describe the internal barrel diameter of large-bore, 19th century, English, single-shot and double-barrel rifles.

Autoloader

A firearm that automatically loads the next cartridge to be fired into the chamber either upon the pull of the trigger in an open bolt design or upon the firing of the previous round in a close bolt design.
Autoloader should not be confused with Automatic or Semi-Automatic since the term Autoloader only applies to how the next round is chambered not how many rounds can be fired per trigger pull. All Automatic and Semi-Automatic firearms are autoloaders. Revolvers, bolt action, lever action and pump action firearms are not autoloaders.

Pattern

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.

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.

Long Recoil

A semi-automatic pistol in which the barrel and breechblock are locked together for the full distance of rearward recoil travel, after which the barrel returns forward, while the breechblock is held back. After the barrel has fully returned, the breechblock is released to fly forward, chambering a fresh round in the process.

Straddle Floorplate

A hinged plate covering the bottom of a rifle magazine and extending rearward on either side of the triggerguard. This design allows it to be more securely fastened for one more imperceptible step towards total reliability.

English Grip

A straight-wrist grip, typical on English shotguns, built for graceful aesthetics, light weight and fast handling.

Mercury Recoil Compensator

A device fitted inside the buttstock of a heavily-recoiling gun or rifle, usually containing mercury and a valve. As the gun recoils, the mercury is displaced temporarily, increasing the duration, and thus diminishing the perceived impact of the recoil. The added half-pound of weight doesn't hurt either.

Snap Cap

An inert ammunition-shaped object, used in practice to simulate misfeeds and other malfunctions. Some folks also use them during dry fire practice to cushion the firing pin as it strikes.

Shooting Sports

There are a lot of different competitions and other games which involve firearms. These are all referred to collectively as the shooting sports.

Trigger Bar

On a semi-automatic pistol, or any other firearm in which the trigger is at some distance from the sear, this is an intermediate piece connecting the two parts.

Crosshairs

The cross-shaped object seen in the center of a firearm scope. Its more-proper name is reticle.

Open Sights

A common type of iron sights in which the rear sight is an open-topped U or a V or a square-notch shape and with a blade type front sight, in contrast to the closed circle commonly found in aperture sights.

Adjustable Stock

The stock is the wooden, polymer, or metal handle of a long gun that extends from the trigger back to where the gun is braced against the shoulder. An adjustable stock is one that can be easily lengthened or shortened to fit shooters of different sizes.

Parallax

This occurs in telescopic sights when the primary image of the objective lens does not coincide with the reticle.Telescopic sights often have parallax adjustments to minimize this effect.