Letter S

The Definition of Silencer

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Silencer

Improper term for a device that cuts down on the noise a firearm makes when it is shot. The correct term is suppressor. Silencers only exist in the movies.


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Intercepting Sear

A second sear, poised just behind a second notch in the hammer. It is possible that when a cocked firearm is dropped or sharply jarred, a single sear could jump out of its notch and the hammer could fall, firing the gun accidentally. In this event, an intercepting sear would engage before the hammer could fall completely, preventing an accidental discharge. On a gun with intercepting sears, only by pulling the trigger are both sears moved out of the way simultaneously, allowing the gun to fire. Intercepting sears are usually found on better sidelock actions. They are sometimes found on best boxlocks, and can be recognized by an extra screw behind the action fences, in addition to the usual two screws (or pins) along the lower rear of the receiver.

Island Rear Sight

A rear barrel sight base, more articulated than having the sight simply dovetailed into the barrel, but not requiring as much gunsmithing as having it mounted onto a proper quarter-rib.

Cocked

A state of readiness of a firearm. The hammer (or similar mechanism if there is no hammer) only needs to be released by the trigger to cause the gun to fire.

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.

Gas Check

A metal cup placed on the end of a lead bullet to protect the lead against the hot gases of the burning powder charge. Used in some types of firearms ammunition when non-jacketed bullets are used in high pressure cartridges, to prevent the buildup of lead in the barrel and aid in accuracy.

Knurled Surface

A metal surface which contains a pattern of ridges or beads.

Passive Safety

Any safety, internal or external, which functions apart from the shooter's conscious control. Grip safeties are one example of a passive external safety.

Hollow-Point Bullet

A type of expanding bullet with a concavity in its nose to increase expansion on penetration of a solid target. Some hollow-point's are also designed to fragment as they expand. They are least likely to over-penetrate the target and harm an innocent bystander. Commonly used for self-defense.

Lede

The bevelled portion of the rifling at the rear end of the barrel (and the forward portion of the chamber) where the bullet first engages the lands.

Six O'Clock Hold

A sight picture of when the center of the target rests on top of the front sight when the sights are properly aligned. Also see center hold and cover hold.

Dry Fire

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

Derringer

A small single-shot or multi-barreled pocket pistol. Derringers (spelled with two Rs) are called that because of the original desinger and anmufactuturer of that type of gun, Henry Deringer. To get around copyright infringment other designers and manufacturers spell the name with two Rs.

Cannelure

A groove or indention around the circumference of a bullet. Its purpose is to permit the cartridge casing to be crimped tightly against the bullet shank to hold it firmly to the casing. A groove or indention around the circumference of a bullet. Its purpose is to permit the cartridge casing to be crimped tightly against the bullet shank to hold it firmly to the casing.

Snubby

Slang word for short barreled revolver.

BATFE

Abbreviation for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Folding Stock

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

Recoil Lug

A stout flange, invariably incorporated into the underside of the front receiver ring of a bolt action, and also frequently incorporated into the underside of the barrel of a heavily-recoiling rifle, which when properly bedded, transfers recoil to the stock.

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.

Shotgun Shell

The cartridge for a shotgun. It is also called a "shell," and its body is usually made of plastic (metal shotgun shells are very rare, paper shotgun shells are extinct) with a metal head. Small shotshells are also made for rifles and handguns and are often used for vermin control.

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