Letter F Firearms Glossary

Arsenal Exchange - Firearms Classifieds - Industry Directory

Factory Ammo

Ammunition that has been assembled by a commercial vendor of ammunition and sold in retail stores. This is as opposed to Hand loads which have been assembled by individuals and are not typically sold.

Failure To Extract

A semi-automatic firearm malfunction in which the extractor fails to move the empty case out of the way as the slide travels back. A failure to extract often causes double-feed malfunction.

Failure To Feed

A semi-automatic firearm malfunction in which the slide passes entirely over the fresh round, failing to pick it up to insert into the chamber as the slide returns to battery.

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.

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.

Federal Assault Weapons Ban

Part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. It produced a 10-year federal ban on the manufacture of new semi-automatic assault weapons with certian specifications. Firearms with specific features were defined as assault rifles. Including the AR-15, certain versions of the AK-47, the TEC-9, the MAC-10 and the Uzi, several of which had become the preferred weapon of violent drug gangs. The act also bans large-capacity ammunition magazines, limiting them to 10 rounds. The law did not apply to weapons that were already in legal possession.
Because this law was not renewed by congress in 2004, the ban was lifted.

Federal Firearms License

A Federal Firearms License (FFL) is a license in the United States that enables an individual or a company to engage in a business pertaining to the manufacture of firearms and ammunition or the interstate and intrastate sale of firearms. Holding an FFL to engage in certain such activities has been a legal requirement within the United States since the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Feed

The action of moving live cartridges from the magazine of a firearm into the chamber.

Feed Ramp

An inclined, polished area on a repeating firearm, just behind the chamber, that helps guide a cartridge into the chamber when pushed forward by the closing bolt or slide.

FFL

Abbreviation for Federal Firearms [Dealer's] License.

Field Grade

A plain, functional, unembellished firearm used to hunt in rough terrain where one might prefer not to put a more expensive, deluxe grade gun at risk of damage.

Field Gun

A shotgun, generally stocked to shoot where it is pointed and of relatively light weight because one often carries it a great distance for upland birds, the consequent recoil not being an important factor because one actually shoots it very little.

Firearm

A firearm is a portable gun (pistol or rifle), being a barreled weapon that launches one or more projectiles often driven by the action of an explosive force.

Firepower

A volume of fire delivered by a military unit. Incorrectly used by the media to mean the ability of a small arm to be discharged many times without reloading.

Firing Line

A line, either imaginary or marked, from which people shoot their firearms down range.

Firing Pin

A needle like metal part of a modern firearm that gives a vigorous strike to the primer initiating the firing of the cartridge.

Firing Pin Block

A type of internal safety that prevents the firing pin from moving forward for any reason unless the trigger is pulled.

Fixed Ammunition

A complete cartridge of several obsolete types and of today's rimfire and center-fire versions

Flash Suppressor

Also known as a Flash Hider. A muzzle attachment intended to reduce visible muzzle flash caused by the burning propellant. Flash reducers lessen glare as seen by the shooter, but do not hide the flash from other observers to the front or side of the firearm.

Flashbang (grenade)

A stun grenade, also known as a flash grenade, is a non-lethal explosive device used to temporarily disorient an enemy's senses. It is designed to produce a blinding flash of light and intensely loud noise "bang" of greater than 170 decibels (dB) without causing permanent injury. It was first developed by the British Army's SAS in the 1960s.
The flash produced momentarily activates all photoreceptor cells in the eye, making vision impossible for approximately five seconds, until the eye restores itself to its normal, unstimulated state. The loud blast is meant to cause temporary loss of hearing, and also disturbs the fluid in the ear, causing loss of balance.
The concussive blast of the detonation can still injure, and the heat created can ignite flammable materials such as fuel. The fires that occurred during the Iranian Embassy siege in London were caused by stun grenades.

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

Flat Nose

A bullet shape with a flat nose rather than a rounded one.

Flinch

To jerk a firearm off target inadvertently in the instant of firing in timid anticipation of recoil. Commonly caused by learning to shoot with a gun more powerful then they are ready for.

Flintlock

A system of firearms ignition, in general use circa 1660 - 1825, whereby the pull of a trigger releases a sear from a notch in a spring-loaded hammer, which holding a properly knapped piece of flint, strikes a vertical slab of steel (called a frizzen) scraping off tiny molten particles of the steel, and pushing it forward causes an integral flashpan cover to open forward, exposing a bit of fine gunpowder below, which when contacted by the falling sparks, ignites and sends a flash of fire through the touchhole, into the loaded breech setting off the main charge and firing the gun. The Flintlock system was supplanted by the Percussion system around 1820.

Floor Plate

The detachable plate at the bottom of the cartridge magazine.

Folding Stock

A long gun stock that may be doubled over for conveniently compact storage.

Follow Through

Holding the trigger to the rear after the shot has fired, until the sights are back on target, at which time the trigger is released.

Follower

A smooth, sometimes contoured plate, within a magazine, at the top of a spring, across which cartridges slide when being loaded into a chamber.

FOPA

Firearm Owners' Protection Act of 1986. It is a United States federal law that revised many provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968. It bans civilian ownership of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986. Firearms made and registered before that date are not affected. The law limits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from inspecting gun dealers more than once a year, with follow-up inspections allowed only The law also specifically forbids the government from creating a national registry of gun ownership.

Forcing Cone

In a shotgun barrel, A tapered area a few inches from the breech end, providing a transition between the chamber (approximately the diameter of the outside of a shotgun shell) to the bore proper (approximately the diameter of the inside of a shotgun shell). The forcing cone provides the transition between the exterior and the interior diameters of the cartridge. Older shotguns usually have more abrupt forcing cones suitable for then-current thick-walled paper shells with fibre wads. Newer shotguns usually have more gradual, longer forcing cones suitable for thinner modern plastic shells with obturating plastic shot-cup wads.

Fore-End

Also spelled Forend. That part of the stock forward of the action and located below the barrel or barrels. It is designed to give the shooter a place to hold the front end of the gun and protects the shooter's hand from getting burned on the hot barrel.

Forend

One of the three major dismountable components of a break-open gun (the others being the barrel(s) and the action/buttstock) which secures the barrels to the receiver, often houses the ejector mechanism, and for some, provides a handle for the one's secondary hand.

Forend Iron

The steel skeleton of the forend (above), into which any moving parts are fitted and which mates to and revolves about the action knuckle when the gun is opened.

Fouling

The accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces. The fouling material can consist of either powder, lubrication residue, or bullet material such as lead or copper.

Fouling Shot

A fouling shot is a shot fired through a clean bore, intended to leave some residue of firing and prepare the bore for more consistent performance in subsequent shots. The first shot through a clean bore will behave differently from subsequent shots through a bore with traces of powder residue, resulting in a different point of impact.

Four Rules

The four rules of firearms safety,were originally introduced in the early 1900's by various shooting education sources (with varying phrasing, but same implications), they apply every single time a firearm is handled in any way or for any reason. The NRA teaches the Three Rules of Safe Gun Handling.

Rule One: All guns are always loaded. (Treat all guns as if they are loaded, no matter what!)
Rule Two: Never point your firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
Rule Three: Never put your finger on the trigger unless your sights are on target (and you have made the decision to fire).
Rule Four: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.

FPS

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

Frame

The common part of a handgun to which the action, barrel and grip are connected.

Frangible

A bullet that is designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact to minimize their penetration for reasons of range safety, to limit environmental impact, or to limit the danger behind the intended target. Examples are the Glaser Safety Slug and the breaching round.

Frizzen

The part of a flintlock action that receives the blow of the flint-tipped hammer, which then yields tiny molten fragments of steel ,sparks, which fall into the flashpan, igniting the priming charge and thence, through the touchhole, the main charge.

Front Sight

The front sight is placed at the muzzle end of the barrel. It is often (but not always) in the form of a dot or a blade. To attain a proper sight picture and shoot with the greatest degree of accuracy, the shooter's eye should be focused sharply upon the front sight while shooting, allowing both the rear sight and the target to blur somewhat.

Frontstrap

Front, metal, part of a handgun's grip, which together with the backstrap, provides a mounting frame for the grip panels.

Full Stock

A rifle or carbine with a one-piece stock extending to the muzzle. Sometimes called a Mannlicher stock, although such a term is confusing because Mannlicher Schoenauer rifles are built with both full and half stocks. Traditional in Europe for close-range woodland hunting, but not noted for extreme, long-range accuracy.

Fulminate Of Mercury

A highly sensitive explosive used as a primer compound.

Funeral Grade

A colloquial term to describe a break-open gun, of any quality but often of the very highest, bearing the least possible decoration; having an all-blued receiver with either no engraving at all or only a simple borderline.

Furniture

Generally refers to the stock and fore-end of a rifle. Can sometimes also be applied to any detachable accessories like a flashlight.