Letter P

The Definition of Primer Pocket

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Primer Pocket

The counter bore in the center of the base of a centerfire cartridge casing in which the primer assembly is seated.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Folding Stock

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

Riot Gun

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

LC

Abbreviation for Long Colt

Speed Loader

A device used to load magazines or revolver cylinders quicker than by hand.

Dry Fire

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

Spray and Pray

A term often used to refer to the very poor and dangerous practice of rapidly firing many shots at a target as possible in the hope that one or more may hit the target. This practice is a danger not only to bystanders but also to the shooter.

Hook

A concave, semi-cylindrical surface cut into the forward lump of a barrel set of a break-open firearm which revolves about the hinge-pin when the gun is opened.

Combination Gun

A shoulder-held firearm that has two barrels; one rifle barrel and one shotgun barrel. Most combination guns are of an over/under design (abbreviated as O/U), in which the two barrels are stacked vertically on top of each other, but some combination guns are of a side-by-side design (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other.

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.

Slide Lever

A slang term for slide catch.

Off Hand

To shoot while standing and without bracing against anything. Sometimes it can also mean to shoot with your non-dominant hand.

Malfunction

A misfeed or other failure to fire which can be cleared on the spot and without tools.

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.

Blown Pattern

A shotgun pattern with erratic shot distribution, generally caused by gas escaping past the wads and getting into the shot.

Wildcat Cartridge

A wildcat cartridge, or wildcat, is a custom cartridge for which ammunition and/or firearms are not mass-produced. These cartridges are often created in order to optimize a certain performance characteristic (such as the power, size or efficiency) of an existing commercial cartridge. Developing and using wildcat cartridges does not generally serve a purpose in military or law enforcement; it is more a hobby for serious shooting, hunting, gunsmithing and handloading enthusiasts, particularly in the United States. There are potentially endless amounts of different kinds of wildcat cartridges: one source of gunsmithing equipment has a library of over 6,000 different wildcat cartridges for which they produce equipment such as chamber reamers.

Hinge Pin

A short cylindrical rod of hardened steel running laterally near the front of the bar of a break-open gun's action around which the barrel hook revolves when the gun is opened. Over the decades, this pin and its complimentary hook can wear and a gun can sometimes "shoot loose" or "come off the face." The proper cure for this condition is to replace the hinge pin with a new one, slightly oversized, to compensate for wear on both itself and on the barrel hook.

Sling

A strap, usually of leather or sturdy webbing, fitted to the fore and aft (usually) of a rifle as an aid to carrying over the shoulder and as an aid to holding the rifle steadily while aiming.

Timing

The proper adjustment of the various interrelated moving parts of a gun so that every operation works in proper sequence, such as that the two ejectors of a double gun kick out the spent cases at the same instant and with the same force.

DAO

Abbreviation for Double Action Only. Is a type of firearm in which the firing mechanism cannot be cocked in a single-action stage. Firing always occurs as a double-action sequence where pulling the trigger both cocks and then fires the gun.