Letter P

The Definition of Pan

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Pan

The small dished container located on the side or top of a matchlock, wheel-lock or flintlock forearm used to hold the priming powder charge.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Pump Action

A type of mechanism for removing a spent shell casing from the chamber of a firearm and inserting a fresh cartridge into the chamber. This type of mechanism is most commonly used in shotguns and rimfire rifles.

Riot Gun

A popular term for a short barreled repeating shotgun as frequently used in law enforcement and personal protection.

Headspace

The distance, or clearance, between the base of a chambered cartridge and the breech face (or bolt face) of a firearm. This is a critical dimension, particularly in high powered rifles. If there is too little headspace, the bolt will not close. If there is too much headspace the cartridge will not be properly supported in the chamber and the cartridge will expand upon firing and may rupture, blasting high-pressure gas into the action and possibly into the body of the shooter. Headspace should be .003" - .006" in a centerfire rifle. It can be checked with a set of "Go and No-Go" gauges specific to the calibre in question. (See below.) With a standard cartridge, the headspace is registered by the shoulder, with a belted cartridge, the headspace is registered by the forward edge of the belt.

Holdopen Toplever

A catch built into the receiver of a break-open gun to keep the toplever in its extreme right position when the barrels are removed. This device makes it slightly easier to remount the barrels. As the barrels are mounted and the breech closed, the barrels contact some kind of release pin (marked with the arrow) and the toplever automatically returns to the center locked position. Because, however, it requires a separate act to find and to depress this tiny tab to re-center the toplever on a broken-down gun, this feature may be irritating when trying to put a gun away in its case.

Fixed Ammunition

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

Cast On

An offset of a gun stock to the left, so that the line of sight aligns comfortably with the left eye while the butt of the stock rests comfortably on the left shoulder. Almost all left-handed shooters benefit from a little caston and most custom built guns are made this way. The only question is how much. The caston of a gun is about right when, with the gun comfortably mounted, the front bead lines up with the center of the standing breech.
A stock offset to the right, for shooting from the right shoulder is said to be

Bersa

A firearms manufacturer located in the city of Ramos Mejia in Argentina. The company was founded in the mid-1950s by Italian immigrants Benso Bonadimani, Ercole Montini and Savino Caselli, all of them mechanical engineers with experience working for Beretta. Bersa is most famous for their Bersa Thunder .380 pistols and the Thunder Ultra Compact Pro Pistols (available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 acp). The full size Thunder combat (Thunder 9) pistol is the standard sidearm of the Argentina Armed Forces, Buenos Aires Provincial Police and several other law enforcement agencies in South America. The company is well known among firearm enthusiasts for producing high quality guns at reasonable prices and it spends little money on advertisement. Lifetime warranty coverage is provided to the original owners. They are strong and well built, nicely engineered, accurate, visually appealing and very reliable.

Pump Action

A type of mechanism for removing a spent shell casing from the chamber of a firearm and inserting a fresh cartridge into the chamber. This type of mechanism is most commonly used in shotguns and rimfire rifles.

Dummy Round

An inert ammunition-shaped object, used in practice to simulate misfeeds and other malfunctions and also used in dry fire practice. Unlike a blank, a dummy round contains no charge at all. A snap-cap is a type of dummy round.

Ogive

A type of curve represented by the curved section of a bullet between its bearing surface and its tip.

Pull Distance

The distance the trigger must travel before it reaches the break point and fires the gun.

Slide Catch

Sometimes also known as a slide lock, slide release or slide lever. On a semi-autmatic gun, the lever or catch that holds the slide open (after the last round is fired or when racking an empty gun). Typically they are located on the left side of the frame about mide barrel. Some of the newer semi-automatic pistols have an internal slide lock. Even though on pistols with an external slide catch, you can push down on the lever to release the slide, it should never be used in such a manner. The proper way to release the slide is to rack the slide.

Crane

A swing-out arm on a revolver, to which the cylinder is mounted when opened facilitates loading and cleaning.

Trigger Jerk

Yanking the trigger back abruptly, thus pulling the muzzle of the gun downward at the moment the shot fires.

Captive Ramrod

A rod, for loading and/or cleaning a muzzle-loading firearm (usually a pistol) that is permanently connected to the gun by some sort of swivel, so as to be easily utilized, but never lost.

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.

Holographic Weapon Sight

a non-magnifying gun sight that allows the user to look through a glass optical window and see a cross hair reticle image superimposed at a distance on the field of view. The hologram of the reticle is built into the window and is illuminated by a laser diode.

Sporting Firearm

Any gun that can be used in a sport.

Extractors

A part in a firearm that serves to remove brass cases of fired ammunition after the ammunition has been fired. When the gun's action cycles, the extractor lifts or removes the spent brass casing from the firing chamber.