Firearms Definitions You Need To Know

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Cocked

A state of readiness of a firearm. The hammer (or similar mechanism if there is no hammer) only needs to be released by the trigger to cause the gun to fire.

Chamber

The rear portion of the barrel or firing cylinder in which the cartridge is inserted prior to being fired. Rifles and pistols generally have a single chamber in their barrels, while revolvers have multiple chambers in their cylinders and no chamber in their barrel.

Browning

John Moses Browning was born in Ogden, Utah on January 23, 1855, and was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world. Almost all of his design concepts can be found in some form or another in every modern automatic and semi-automatic firearm. He is regarded as one of the most successful firearms designers of the 20th century, in the development of modern automatic and semi-automatic firearms, and is credited with 128 gun patents. He made his first firearm at age 13 in his father's gun shop, and was awarded his first patent on October 7, 1879 at the age of 24.
The Browning Arms Company was founded in 1878 by John Moses Browning and his brother Matthew Sandifer Browning. The company was founded to market the sporting (non-military) designs of John Moses Browning. The company still exists today mostly manufacturing world class shotguns.

Monte Carlo Stock

A rifle or shotgun stock that has a Monte Carlo style comb

Rear Sight

The rear sight is placed at the end of the barrel nearest the shooter. It may be in the shape of a square notch, a U, a V, a ring, or simply two dots designed to be visually placed on either side of the front sight while shooting.

Collimator Sight

Also known as collimating sight or occluded eye gunsight, a Collimator Sight is a type of optical "blind" sight that allows the user looking into it to see an illuminated aiming point aligned with the device the sight is attached to regardless of eye position (parallax free). The user can not see through the sight so it is used with both eyes open while one looks into the sight, with one eye open and moving the head to alternately see the sight and then at the target, or using one eye to partially see the sight and target at the same time.

Repeater

A type of firearm capable of discharging multiple individual shots in sequence, fed from a magazine, via the operation a lever, bolt, slide or some other form of manual operation.

Mauser Safety

A small lever mounted to the cocking piece of a Mauser 98 action (and its copies such as the Springfield 1903), rotating on a longitudinal axis from left (Fire), up to the top (Safe, but allowing bolt movement), and over to the right (Bolt and firing pin locked Safe). While commendable for locking the firing pin instead of just the trigger, its up-and-over arc of operation requires a scope to be mounted awkwardly high. Paul Mauser is not to be blamed; when his safety was developed, telescopic sights were in such infancy as not to be worthy of mainstream consideration.

Toe

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

Manual Safety

A safety which the shooter must deliberately disengage in order to fire the gun. The most common form of safety mechanism is a switch that, when set to the "safe" position, prevents a pull of the trigger from firing the firearm.

Doll's Head

A rib extension on a break-open gun, ending in a circular or semi-circular shape in plan (resembling the head of a doll), mating into a similarly-shaped recess in the top of the receiver, designed to resist the tendency of the barrels to pull away from the standing breech when firing. Because an action's centerpoint of flexing when firing is at the base of the standing breech, not at the hingepin, a passive doll's head extension makes an effective extra fastener, even without additional mechanical locks operated by the opening lever.

Ejector Star

On a revolver, the collective ejector, manually operated through the center of an opened cylinder, when activated, clears all chambers at once.

Winchester Centerfire

More commonly known as WCF, it is a family of centerfire cartridges designed by Winchester Repeating Arms Company

Inertia Firing Pin

A firing pin which moves freely forward and backward in the breechblock.

ATF

Short abbreviation for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Flashbang (holster)

A flashbang holster is a type of holster for women that allows the firearm to sit horizontally tucked under the bra band. As the gun is pulled straight down, the clamshell opens up and permits the wearer to draw. It is named a flashbang because the wearer hash to pull up their shirt (flash) to draw the gun out of the holster, then shoot (bang). These holsters have become very popular with women that conceal carry since the firearms is neatly hidden under the breast line in clothing and does not require the wearer to stay latched onto a purse or have to deal with the inconviences that come with inside the waist band carry

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.

Muzzleloader

The earliest type of gun, now also popular as modern-made replicas, in which blackpowder and projectile(s) are separately loaded in through the muzzle. The term is often applied to cap-and-ball revolvers where the loading is done not actually through the muzzle but through the open ends of the cylinder's chambers.

Headstamp

Markings impressed into the base of a cartridge case, normally identifying the maker's name, the cartridge calibre designation, and sometimes the date.

FPS

Abbreviation for feet per second. A term used in expressing the velocity of a bullet.

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