Firearms Definitions You Need To Know

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Rifling

Spiral grooves formed into the bore of a gun barrel, which cause the bullet to spin upon firing, thus stabilizing it much like a thrown football. Rifling may be cut, swaged, or forged into the barrel.

Passive Safety

Any safety, internal or external, which functions apart from the shooter's conscious control. Grip safeties are one example of a passive external safety.

Shooting Sports

There are a lot of different competitions and other games which involve firearms. These are all referred to collectively as the shooting sports.

Shot Size

The size of the pellets in a shotgun shell.

Point Blank Shooting

Shooting a target at a very very close range.

Berm

On an outdoor shooting range, a large pile of dirt that functions as a backstop.

Hammer

The part of the gun that strikes either the firing pin or the round directly when the trigger is pulled then detonates the primer of the load and discharges the gun. Hammers may be external or internal. On a striker fired gun (a gun without a physical hammer) the firing pin is considered the hammer since it releases directly when the trigger is pulled.

CQC

Abbreviation for Close Quarters Combat.

Parkerizing

A chemical phosphate process developed during the second world war to provide an economical, durable and non-reflective surface finish to military firearms.

Bore Diameter

The measurement from one side of the bore to the other. In a rifled barrel this means measurement of the bore before the rifling grooves are cut.

Scope Blocks

A pair of small dovetailed steel bases, screwed usually one to the barrel and one to the front receiver ring of a rifle, to accept mounts for target scopes such as the Unertl where the scope is allowed to move forward in the rings under the recoil of the rifle and which typically carry the windage and elevation adjustments in the mount.

POI

Abbreviation for Point of Impact

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.

Wadcutter

A bullet designed with a full diameter flat point. It is primarily used in target competition because it cuts a clean round hole in paper targets that aids in scoring the target.

Button Rifling

Rifling that is formed by pulling a die made with reverse image of the rifling (the 'button') down the pre-drilled bore of a firearm barrel.

Heel

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

SP

Abbreviation for soft point

Primer Ring

Refers to a visible dark ring created by the primers in centerfire ammunition around the firing pin hole in the frame after much use.

Rifle Bedding

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

Breech

The rear end of the barrel into which the cartridge is inserted

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