Letter S

The Definition of SxS

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19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Adjustable Trigger

A trigger that can be easily adjusted by the user. Adjustable triggers are common on specialized target-shooting firearms.

Kick

Slang for Recoil.

Wheel Gun

Slang term for a revolver.

Ballistics

The science of cartridge discharge and the bullet's flight. Internal ballistics deals with what happens inside of a firearm upon discharge. External ballistics is the study of a projectile's flight, and terminal ballistics is the study of the impact of a projectile.

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.

Thunder

With the execption of the BP model series, Thunder is the name of all of Bersa's pistols. The line currently consists of three frames.

• The Thunder .380 series, which is a very reliable and good looking compact blowback system .380 acp pistol (there is also a .22lr version).
• The full size Thunder Pro series (avalable in 9mm and .40 S&W) is a locked breech design.
• The Thunder Ultra Compact Pro series, locked breech, short recoil design which is more of a commander size Thunder Pro (available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 acp).
The Bersa Thunders are well known among firearms enthusiasts for being extremely high quality guns at reasonable prices.

Single Shot

A firearm that is only capable of holding one shot at a time. Each round must be loaded into the chamber manually by hand before each shot.

Jacket

A metal, usually copper, wrapped around a lead core to form a bullet.

Three Rules

The NRA teaches the Three Basic Rules of Safe Gun Handling. There are additional rules, but these are the three that if any two are followed, nobody will be hurt. However, obviously, all three should always be followed.

Rule One: ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
Rule Two: ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
Rule Three: ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
The NRA established these three rules in 1871. They were created to be easy to understand and remember, ensuring the highest possible level of firearm safety.
See also The Four Rules

Cape Gun

A two-barreled, side-by-side, shoulder-fired gun having one smoothbore shotgun barrel and one rifled barrel.

Drilling

A three-barrel gun. Typically it has two shotgun barrels side by side on the top, with a third rifle barrel underneath. This provides a very versatile firearm capable of taking winged animals as well as big game. It also is useful in jurisdictions where a person is only allowed to own a single firearm.

Magna

Smith & Wesson term for a revolver grip design introduced in the 1930s where the top of the grip extends higher than it had in earlier configurations, to provide a more comfortable hold.

Suppressor

Incorrectoly sometimes referred to as a silencer, it is used to reduce the sound of a firearm's discharge. They do not actually silence most firearms but rather lower the intensity of the muzzle blast and change the sound characteristics (works similarly to an automotive muffler by disrupting and spreading out the sound waves). The possession, use, and transportation of silencers have been tightly controlled under federal law since 1934. Any device which reduces the sound of discharge by more than 2 dB is considered by the BATF to be a suppressor.

Twist

The length, within a rifled barrel, required to accomplish one full rotation. 1:12 Twist, means a bullet passing down the bore would complete one revolution in twelve inches. 1:7 Twist, means a bullet passing down the bore would complete one revolution in seven inches, which makes it a tighter twist than 1:12. Different weights of bullet require appropriate rates of twist.

Percussion Cap

A small metal explosive-filled cup which is placed over the nipple of a percussion firearm. As the cap is struck by the hammer, it explodes and sends a flame through the flashhole in the nipple to the main powder charge.

Loaded

A firearm is loaded when a cartridge is in its firing chamber. However, for safety reasons all firearms are always treated as loaded at all times.

Chain Gun

A type of machine gun or autocannon that uses an external source of power to cycle the firearm.

Patch

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.

Furniture

Generally refers to the stock and fore-end of a rifle. Can sometimes also be applied to any detachable accessories like a flashlight.