Letter S

The Definition of Six O'Clock Hold

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19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


The rear end of the barrel into which the cartridge is inserted

Thumbhole Stock

A rifle stock, with a sculptured throughole at the wrist for the thumb, said to be more ergonometric to hold than a traditional stock. Apart from being slower to mount, totally useless for a counter-dexterous person, it is so unmitigatedly graceless as to be beneath consideration.

Kentucky Rifle

Usually referred to as a Kentucky Long Rifle or simply Longrifle, the Kentucky Rifle is a flintlock rifle with a long barrel and short, crooked stock. It is widely believed to be a largely unique development of American rifles that was uncommon in European rifles of the same period. The Kentucky Long Rifleis an early example of a firearm using rifling, (spiral grooves in the bore). This gave the projectile, commonly a round lead ball, a spiraling motion, increasing the stability of the trajectory. Rifled firearms saw their first major combat usage in the American colonies during the Seven Years war, and later the American Revolution in the eighteenth century.


Abbreviation for soft point

Glock Auto Pistol

A type of .45 caliber ammunition designed in 2002 by Ernest Durham for use in the Glock Model 37.


Synonymous with pistol. A small, short-barreled firearm designed to be fired while held in one or both hands, possibly small enough to be concealed on the person, rather than while braced against the shoulder. The term includes antique dueling pistols, modern single-shot, semi-automatic pistols and revolvers.

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.


How the shooter positions her body while shooting. The three most widely used handgun stances are Weaver, Isosceles and Chapman stance.

Trigger Bar

On a semi-automatic pistol, or any other firearm in which the trigger is at some distance from the sear, this is an intermediate piece connecting the two parts.


The tendency of a firearm when fired to move backwards, and a little upwards as a reaction to the force of the projectile moving down the barrel. As Newton says, to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. The mass of the firearm provides some inertia to counteract the momentum of recoil. What remains is absorbed by at the shoulder or the hand. The heavier the gun, the less the recoil. The more powerful the cartridge, the more the recoil.

Decocker (De-Cocker)

On semi-auto matic pistols, a lever that mechanically lowers the hammer without firing the gun.


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


Visible disturbance in the air by a bullet. Typically this takes the form of image distortion that persists for a fraction of a second in the shape of an inverted V similar to that of a boat wake.

Match Grade

A higher quality item used to increase accuracy, generally used for competition in a match. Match grade ammo and barrels are the most common improvements made to a firearm to improve accuracy for competition.


A hammerless single shot action type whereby a breech-block, hinged at the upper rear, operated by an underlever, tilts downward to expose the chamber.