Letter S

The Definition of Snub-Nose

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Snub-Nose

Slang word for short barreled revolver.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Sear

The part of the trigger mechanism which holds the hammer or striker back. Pressure on the trigger causes the sear to release the hammer or striker, allowing it to strike the firing pin and discharge the weapon.

Ammunition

The "packaged" components that are needed in order to fire in a case or shell holding a primer, (which produces the spark) a charge of propellant (gunpowder) and a projectile (bullets, slug or pellets.) Sometimes called "fixed ammunition" to differentiate from the individual components placed separately in muzzleloaders. A single unit of ammunition in modern firearms is called a cartridge. The units of measure for quantity of ammunition is rounds. There are hundreds of sizes of ammunition, examples include .223 Remington, 9mm Luger, 30.06, .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .50 Browning Machine Gun (BMG). The ammunition used must match the firearm.

Sight Picture

What the shooter sees when looking through the sights at the target.

Tang

The recurved top part of a semi-automatic handgun's grip at the point where it meets the slide. On long guns, the tang is the top strap used to screw the receiver to the stock.

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.

Sniper Rifle

A specialized, highly accurate rifle, fitted with an optical sight used by military snipers to engage personnel and hard targets at long range.

Standing Breech

The face of the action of a break-open firearm which houses the firing pins and receives the direct recoil of the fired round.

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.

Gas Port

A small hole in the barrel of a gas-operated firearm through which expanding gases escape to power the autoloading system.

Sporting Firearm

Any gun that can be used in a sport.

Bullet

The single projectile expelled from a gun. It is not the same as a cartridge, the cartridge is complete package, which includes the case, primer, powder, and bullet, which is called or a round. Bullets can be of many materials, shapes, weights and constructions such as solid lead, lead with a jacket of harder metal, round-nosed, flat-nosed, hollow-pointed, etc.

Heel

The top of the butt-end of a gun stock.

Sporting Clays

A shotgun shooting sport that combines elements of skeet and trap, and that is designed to simulate field conditions.

Ejector

A spring-activated mechanism for the ejection of ammunition or and empty shell casing. On doubles, each barrel has a separate ejector.

Recoil Operation

Recoil operation is an operating mechanism used in locked-breech, autoloading firearms. As the name implies, these actions use the force of recoil to provide energy to cycle the action.

Interrupted Thread

A screw with about half of its threading removed in longitudinal sections. Often used at the breech end of a takedown firearm's barrel. When the barrel's interrupted female threads are inserted into the receiver's complementary interrupted male threads, only a partial rotation is necessary for assembly rather than many full turns.

Spotter

The spotter is a helper who gives the shooter guidance on how to hit a particular target. In some cases the spotter may just report the location of the bullet impact. In other cases they may judge the speed and direction of the wind, determine the range, and give the shooter the settings to be used on the sights.

Breechblock

The part in the breech mechanism that locks the action against the firing of the cartridge.

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.

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