Letter W

The Definition of WCF

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19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Elevation

The setting on the sights of a firearm that controls the vertical placement and the altitude above mean sea level. This is important for long range precision shooting because the air density changes with elevation and affects the path of the bullet.

Rifle Bedding

A process of filling gaps between the action and the stock of a rifle with an epoxy based material.

Magazine Well

The opening in the bottom of the gun into which a box magazine is fed. On a semi-auto handgun, the magazine well is at the base of the grip; on a rifle, it is usually placed in front of the trigger guard.

Slide Lever

A slang term for slide catch.

Center Hold

A sight picture of when the center of the target is half covered by the front sight when the sights are properly aligned. Also see six o'clock hold and cover hold.

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.

Falling Block

A type of action used primarily for single shot rifles whereby some kind of lever actuates a breechblock, moving it downwards in a vertical recess to expose the chamber. May have visible or enclosed hammer. For any given barrel length, it allows a shorter overall rifle length compared to a bolt action because no space is taken up by the forward-and-back cycling of the bolt. Most of the better British makers produced them in limited numbers around the turn of the last century, the Farquharson being the most iconic. Perhaps the best-known falling block action today is the Ruger No.1.

Matched Pair

Two firearms that are manufactured identical in every way and are sequentially serial numbered and are sold as a set. The most common type of matched pair guns are cowboy style revolvers for a couple of reasons, both guns will feel exactly the same in the hands and they make the set more collectable.

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.

Doughnut Pattern

A shotgun pattern with a hole in the middle generally caused by the interference of the top wad.

Damascus Barrels

Barrel tubes built up by twisting alternate strips of iron and steel around a fixed rod (mandrel) and forge-welding them together in varying combinations according to the intended quality and the skill of the maker. The rod was withdrawn, the interior reamed and the exterior filed until the finished tube was achieved. Damascus barrels may be recognized by any of a variety of twist or spiral patterns visible in the surface of the steel. Before the 20th century, barrels were typically built in this manner because gunmakers did not have the technology to drill a deep hole the full length of a bar of steel without coming out the side.

Throat Erosion

The wearing of the portion of the barrel where the gas pressure and heat is highest as the projectile leaves the chamber. The greater the chamber pressure the more rapid throat erosion occurs which is compounded by rapid firing which heats and weakens the steel.

LC

Abbreviation for Long Colt

Half grip

Round knob, semi pistol grip.

Tracer

A type of ammunition that utilizes a projectile or projectiles that contain a compound in its base that burns during its flight to provide a visual reference of the projectile's trajectory.

Hammerless

A firearm with a coil-spring-actuated firing pin, or with its hammer enclosed inside the action body; i.e.. no externally visible hammer.