Letter M

The Definition of Magna

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Magna

Smith & Wesson term for a revolver grip design introduced in the 1930s where the top of the grip extends higher than it had in earlier configurations, to provide a more comfortable hold.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Charging Handle

A device on a firearm which, when operated, results in the hammer or striker being cocked or moved to the ready position.

NFA

National Firearms Act of 1934. Enacted on June 26, 1934, currently codified as amended as I.R.C. ch. 53, is an Act of Congress in the United States that, in general, imposes a statutory excise tax on the manufacture and transfer of certain firearms and mandates the registration of those firearms. The Act was passed shortly after the repeal of Prohibition. The NFA is also referred to as Title II of the Federal firearms laws.
The NFA includes:

  • Requires the registration of all fully automatic firearms.
  • Requires the registration of all "sawed off" rifles and shotguns.
  • Requires the registration of firearm silencers.
  • Imposes a $200 transfer tax on the above items.

Cylinder

The part of a revolver that holds cartridges in separate chambers radially around a central hingepin. The cylinder revolves as the handgun is cocked, , either to the left or to the right depending on the gun maker's design, bringing each successive cartridge into position, and locked into alignment with the barrel for firing.

Clay Pigeon

Originally, live pigeons were used as targets, but they were gradually replaced with clay disks and ultimately banned. Later clay has been replaced with more suitable raw materials.

Slug

More correctly a "rifled slug" or "shotgun slug." An individual cylindrical projectile designed to be discharged from a shotgun. The term is often incorrectly used to mean a Bullet.

Center Of Mass

For self-defensive shooters, Center Of Mass (COM) represents the area of an attackers torso within which the most vital organs are likely to be disrupted by a gunshot. Shooting to COM is considered the most expedient way to stop an assailant from continuing threatening behavior.

Leading

Fouling of a firearm bore by metal particles from bullets adhering to the metal surface caused by heat or friction.

Frame

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

Bull Barrel

Bull barrels are barrels that are not tapered at all. These very heavy barrels, designed for extreme accuracy, are usually seen on target rifles.

Ears

Slang for hearing protection. Applies to either muffs or plugs.

Close Quarters Combat

a type of fighting in which small units engage the enemy with personal weapons at very short range, potentially to the point of hand-to-hand combat or fighting with hand weapons such as swords or knives.

Inertia Firing Pin

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

Slide Bite

A phenomenon which is often grouped with hammer bite. In this case the web of the shooting hand is cut or abraded by the rearward motion of the semi-automatic pistol's slide, not by the gun's hammer. This most often occurs with small pistols like the Walther PPK and Walther TPH that have an abbreviated grip tang. This problem is exacerbated by the sharp machining found on many firearms.

Muzzle Flash

A muzzle flash is the visible light of a muzzle blast, which expels high temperature, high pressure gases from the muzzle of a firearm. The blast and flash are caused by the combustion products of the gunpowder, and any remaining unburned powder, mixing with the ambient air. The size and shape of the muzzle flash is dependent on the type of ammunition being used and the individual characteristics of firearm and any devices attached to the muzzle (such as a muzzle brake or flash suppressor)

MOA

Abbreviation for Minute Of Angle

Rifle

A shoulder-fired long gun which has a rifled barrel.

Point Blank Range

The farthest distance that a target of a given size can be hit without holding over or under with the sights. The exact range is determined by the performance of the cartridge used, the ZERO range, and the accepted size of the target area. This term is not to be confused with point blank shooting.

Sporterizing

The practice of modifying military-type firearms either to make them suitable for civilian sporting use. Common sporterizing includes changing the stock or sights.

Ejector Star

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

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