Letter S

The Definition of Stance

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Stance

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


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Trigger Pull

The entire process of moving the trigger from its forward-most position to its rearward-most position, causing the hammer to fall and the shot to fire.

Smokeless Powder

The propellant powder used in modern ammunition. It is not an explosive, but rather a flammable solid that burns extremely rapidly releasing a large volume of gas. Commonly called "gunpowder" and usually made from nitrocellulose, or nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin. It is classified as a "Flammable Solid" by the Department of Transportation.

Handloading

The process of assembling cartridge case, bullet or shot, wads and primer to produce a complete cartridge with the use of hand tools in the interest of loading for firearms for which cartridges are not available, experimenting with loads to achieve better performance, or to save money. Not to be attempted without knowledgeable instruction and careful study of the process.

Knurled Surface

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

Fore-End

Also spelled Forend. That part of the stock forward of the action and located below the barrel or barrels. It is designed to give the shooter a place to hold the front end of the gun and protects the shooter's hand from getting burned on the hot barrel.

Powder Charge

The amount of propellant powder that is suitable for specific cartridge-bullet combination, or in the case of shotshells, for a specific weight of shot and wad column.

Trigger Guard

Usually a circular or oval band of metal, horn or plastic that goes around the trigger to provide both protection and safety in shooting circumstances. The shooter's finger should never be within the trigger guard unless the sights are on target and the shooter has made the decision to fire.

Musketoon

A musket shortened for cavalry use.

Fulminate Of Mercury

A highly sensitive explosive used as a primer compound.

Suppressor

Incorrectoly sometimes referred to as a silencer, it is used to reduce the sound of a firearm's discharge. They do not actually silence most firearms but rather lower the intensity of the muzzle blast and change the sound characteristics (works similarly to an automotive muffler by disrupting and spreading out the sound waves). The possession, use, and transportation of silencers have been tightly controlled under federal law since 1934. Any device which reduces the sound of discharge by more than 2 dB is considered by the BATF to be a suppressor.

Flintlock

A system of firearms ignition, in general use circa 1660 - 1825, whereby the pull of a trigger releases a sear from a notch in a spring-loaded hammer, which holding a properly knapped piece of flint, strikes a vertical slab of steel (called a frizzen) scraping off tiny molten particles of the steel, and pushing it forward causes an integral flashpan cover to open forward, exposing a bit of fine gunpowder below, which when contacted by the falling sparks, ignites and sends a flash of fire through the touchhole, into the loaded breech setting off the main charge and firing the gun. The Flintlock system was supplanted by the Percussion system around 1820.

WRF

Abbreviation for Winchester Rim Fire.

Doll's Head

A rib extension on a break-open gun, ending in a circular or semi-circular shape in plan (resembling the head of a doll), mating into a similarly-shaped recess in the top of the receiver, designed to resist the tendency of the barrels to pull away from the standing breech when firing. Because an action's centerpoint of flexing when firing is at the base of the standing breech, not at the hingepin, a passive doll's head extension makes an effective extra fastener, even without additional mechanical locks operated by the opening lever.

Follow Through

Holding the trigger to the rear after the shot has fired, until the sights are back on target, at which time the trigger is released.

Firing Pin

A needle like metal part of a modern firearm that gives a vigorous strike to the primer initiating the firing of the cartridge.

Sporting Firearm

Any gun that can be used in a sport.

Throat Erosion

The wearing of the portion of the barrel where the gas pressure and heat is highest as the projectile leaves the chamber. The greater the chamber pressure the more rapid throat erosion occurs which is compounded by rapid firing which heats and weakens the steel.

Frizzen

The part of a flintlock action that receives the blow of the flint-tipped hammer, which then yields tiny molten fragments of steel ,sparks, which fall into the flashpan, igniting the priming charge and thence, through the touchhole, the main charge.

Burst Mode

A firing mode enabling the shooter to fire a predetermined number of rounds with a single pull of the trigger.