Letter T

The Definition of Terminal Ballistics

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Terminal Ballistics

A sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior of a projectile when it hits its target.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Musket

A Muzzleloading long gun which has a completely smooth bore and is intended to fire a single projectile rather than a collection of shot.

Skeet

A shotgun shooting sport in which the competitors attempt to break aerial targets directed toward them or crossing in front of them from different angles and elevations. It is an Olympic shooting sport.

Expanding Bullet

An expanding bullet is a bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet. See also Dum-Dum Bullet

COM

Abbreviation for Center Of Mass.

Double-Base Powder

A rapidly burning powder made by absorbing nitroglycerine into nitrocellulose (guncotton).

SP

Abbreviation for soft point

Muzzle Control

Being aware of and responsible of which direction your firearm is pointed at all times, and always keeping it pointed in a safe direction.

Double Action

An action type that when the trigger of a gun is pulled, the gun gets cocked and the hammer (or striker) is dropped. This applies to both revolvers and semi-automatic guns. On a double action revolver, when the trigger is pulled, the hammer is cocked before releasing. With a double-action semi-automatic pistol, the hammer does not have to be manually cocked (via actually pulling back the trigger or tracking the slide), the hammer (or striker) will be cocked while the trigger is being pulled. A firearm that only the hammer drops when the trigger is pulled is a single action gun.

Can

Slang term for a firearm sound suppressor.

Kurtz

German for "short." Seen as part of a cartridge designation. On some German manufactured guns that use .380 ACP, the designated caliber is 9mm Kurtz (9mm Short), which is also the same as the Italian 9mm Corto

Night Sights

A type of iron sights that glow or shine in the dark, intended for use in low light conditions. Some night sights consist of tiny tubes of tritium, while others use a phosphorus paint.

Pistol Grip

The handle on a pistol. Can also refer to a vertical grip behind the trigger on a rifle.

GCA

Gun Control Act of 1968. It is a U.S. federal law that regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners. It primarily focuses on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers. It also prohibits all convicted felons, drug users and the mentally ill from buying guns amd raised the age to purchase handguns from a federally licensed dealer to 21.

Sight Picture

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

Loaded Chamber Indicator

A mechanical device that protrudes from the gun when a round is in position ready to be fired, giving a visual and tactile indication that the gun is loaded.

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.

Cable Lock

A cable with a padlock at the end. It is threaded through the action of the firearm rendering the gun safe and useless until the lock is removed.

Gape

The degree to which the barrel(s) of a break-open gun drop down; the size of the opening space, which should be sufficient to allow for ease of loading, unloading and properly-functioning ejection. A good gape is easier to achieve on a side-by-side than an over & under where the bottom barrel is well-enclosed by the action body.

Pinfire

An early form of complete, self-contained cartridge. It included bullet, powder and ignition primer, all in one package. The primer was located towards the base of the cartridge, but completely internally. The pin, shaped like a little finishing nail, pointed on the inside end and resting on the internal primer, projected radially about a quarter-inch to the outside of the base of the cartridge. When loaded, a pinfire gun showed the tips of the pins exposed through small slots in the tops of the breech faces of the barrels. To fire, hammers fell on the pins, driving them (through the wall of the cartridge) into the internal primer.