Letter D

The Definition of Dry Fire

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Dry Fire

To pull the trigger and release the hammer of a firearm without having a cartridge in the chamber.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Magazine Follower

Same as Follower. A plate, mounted to the top of a spring, inside a magazine, over which cartridges may slide smoothly as they are guided into the chamber of a repeating firearm.

Railgun

A railgun is an electrically powered electromagnetic projectile launcher based on similar principles to the homopolar motor.
Using a magnetic field powered by electricity, a rail gun can accelerate a projectile up to 52,493 feet (16,000 meters) per second.
A railgun consists of two parallel metal rails (hence the name) connected to an electrical power supply. When a conductive projectile is inserted between the rails (at the end connected to the power supply), it completes the circuit. Electrons flow from the negative terminal of the power supply up the negative rail, across the projectile, and down the positive rail, back to the power supply.

Furniture

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

Small Arms

Firearms designed to be carried and used by an individual or individuals.

Marksman

A person who can shoot up to the mechanical capability of their weapon.

Long Gun

Another term for rifle.

Stripper Clip

Simple clips made of metal or sometimes plastic that hold several rounds of ammunition in a row and is used to quickly fill a magazine.

Key Fastener

A horizontal wedge, press-fit through the forend of a vintage gun, through a lump attached to the underside of the barrel and out the other side of the forend. To secure the forend in position. Also called a crosspin or a wedge fastener.

Checkering

A regular pattern of fine grooves cut into the surface of a stock to aid in gripping a gun. Originally done for utility only, checkering has become an art form in itself; craftsmen adorning the borders with ribbons, fleur-de-lys, floral carving, etc. The amount of coverage, the precise regularity, and the number of lines per inch indicate the quality of the work. Too-fine checkering, however, defeats the purpose of the work altogether.

Speed Strip

A flat piece of rubber which holds revolver cartridges preparatory to loading them into the revolver's cylinder. Similar to a moon clip

Shooting Sticks

A pair of slender and easily-carried wooden dowels or sticks, which when held, crossed, in the fingers of the left hand while also supporting the forend of a rifle, usually shooting offhand, provides somewhat enhanced stability for a more accurate shot.

Double Action

An action type that when the trigger of a gun is pulled, the gun gets cocked and the hammer (or striker) is dropped. This applies to both revolvers and semi-automatic guns. On a double action revolver, when the trigger is pulled, the hammer is cocked before releasing. With a double-action semi-automatic pistol, the hammer does not have to be manually cocked (via actually pulling back the trigger or tracking the slide), the hammer (or striker) will be cocked while the trigger is being pulled. A firearm that only the hammer drops when the trigger is pulled is a single action gun.

C&R

Abbreviation for Curio and Relic

Iron Sights

The mechanical sighting system which usually comes with the firearm made of metal with no optics.

Magnum

From the Latin for "more." A term indicating a relatively heavily loaded metallic cartridge or shotshell and a gun safely constructed to fire it. It generally indicates a round which cannot be interchanged with other loadings of the same caliber (for example, a .22 Magnum shell does not fit within a firearm designed to fire .22 Long Rifle ammunition).

Necking Down

Shrinking the neck of an existing cartridge to make it use a bullet of a different caliber. A typical process used in the creation of wildcat cartridges.

Brass

The term used for the casing on modern rifle and pistol ammunition. It is usually made out of brass but can also be aluminum or steel. The casing on a shotgun shell is usually refered to as a hull

Biathlon

A shooting sport that combines both skiing and rifle shooting. It is the only shooting activity in the Winter Olympics. There is also a summer biathlon which involves running and shooting but it is not yet an Olympic event.

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