Letter T

The Definition of Trigger Jerk

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Trigger Jerk

Yanking the trigger back abruptly, thus pulling the muzzle of the gun downward at the moment the shot fires.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Lock Time

The interval of time between trigger release and the detonation of the primer. Generally, the faster the lock time the better, because this makes it easier to shoot accurately.

Back Action

A sidelock action where the mainspring is mounted rearward towards the butt. The back action is often used in double rifles where the need for strength requires as little steel as possible be removed from the bar of the action.

Slide Bite

A phenomenon which is often grouped with hammer bite. In this case the web of the shooting hand is cut or abraded by the rearward motion of the semi-automatic pistol's slide, not by the gun's hammer. This most often occurs with small pistols like the Walther PPK and Walther TPH that have an abbreviated grip tang. This problem is exacerbated by the sharp machining found on many firearms.

Erosion

The wearing away of a barrel's metal surface by a bullet or shot charge or by the heat of powder gases.

Trigger Control

Not putting your finger on the trigger until your sights are on target, then pulling the trigger smoothly, and following through by realigning the sights before allowing your finger to come off the trigger.

Musketoon

A musket shortened for cavalry use.

Stutzen

German for a short rifle or carbine.

Trapdoor

As in Trapdoor buttplate or Trapdoor Pistol Grip Cap, one of these articles of furniture including a hinged plate, covering a small compartment below in which may be stored several extra cartridges, sight bits, extra springs or pins, cleaning rod, etc.

High Kneeling

A shooting position in which one or both knees are touching the ground, but the shooter is otherwise erect.

Handspanner

German for Hand-Cocking or Cocker/De-Cocker. A type of action on a break-open gun or rifle where, in place of a traditional top tang safety, a somewhat more robust tab is fitted. Normally such a gun is carried in the field loaded, but with the action not cocked, an exceedingly safe condition. Then, when ready to fire, the shooter, instead of pushing a safety tab forward, pushes this larger tab forward, cocking the mainspring, making the gun ready to fire. Then, if the shot is not taken, he may simply slide this tab rearwards again, de-cocking the gun and returning it to the still-loaded, but very safe position.

Gunpowder

Also called black powder, gunpowder is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. The term gunpowder also refers broadly to any propellant powder. Modern firearms do not use the traditional gunpowder (black powder) described here, but instead use smokeless powder.

Failure To Fire

Any malfunction that results in no shot fired when the trigger is pulled. Commonly caused by a failure to feed, bad ammunition or a broken firing pin.

Snap Caps

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.

Sporting Clays

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

Tunnel Claw Mount

A claw [scope] mount with openings through which a shooter can use a rifle's iron sights without removing the scope.

Reactive Targets

Targets that do something when you hit them, such as fall over, burst, send up smoke, or make a noise.

Ballistic Coefficient

A measure of projectiles ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the deceleration—a high number indicates a low deceleration. Ballistic Coefficient (abbreviated as BC) is a function of mass, diameter, and drag coefficient. In bullets it refers to the amount that drop over distance and wind drift will affect the bullet.

Double Feed

A malfunction in which the spent case fails to eject from a semi-automatic firearm and blocks the chamber. As the fresh round is brought forward it cannot enter the chamber. It is cleared by stripping the magazine from the gun, racking the slide several times to eject the spent case, and then reloading.