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GLOSSARY GUN TERMS BEGINNING A

ACP – AUTOMATIC COLT PISTOL
Colt’s proprietary designation for a type of rimless cartridge design, such as .45 ACP.

ACTION
The working mechanism of a firearm. Various types exist, including single-shots, multi-barrels, revolvers, slide- or pump-actions, lever-actions, bolt-actions, semi-automatics and automatics.

ADL – A GRADE DELUXE AND BDL – B GRADE DELUXE
Suffix designations used by Remington to signify grades of various models of bolt action rifles. The ADL version is generally the basic model. The BDL version generally adds a hinged floor plate, slightly better wood, checkering, contrasting forend tip and pistol grip cap.

AE or AUTOMATIC EJECTORS
Fittings inset into the breech end of barrels of a break-open gun that kick out fired shells, while only raising unfired shells enough to be removed by hand.

AIMING
The process of achieving the proper relationship between the target, the front sight and the rear sight. Aiming consists of two components: sight alignment and sight picture.

ALEX HENRY FOREND
A groove at the forend tip for tying a rifle into a vehicle-mounted rack, adopted by Bill Ruger for his single shot Model No. 1.

ALKANET ROOT
Alkanna tinctoria or Anchusa officinalis, related plants of the Boraginaceae family, whose root, when steeped in a solution of turpentine and/or linseed oil makes a reddish stain favored by the London gun trade to impart an underlying reddish hue to fine gun stocks. Dyers' Bugloss.

AMMUNITION
This generally refers to the assembled components of complete cartridges or rounds i.e., a case or shell holding a primer, a charge of propellant (gunpowder) and a projectile (bullets in the case of handguns and rifles, multiple pellets or single slugs in shotguns). Sometimes called "fixed ammunition" to differentiate from components inserted separately in muzzleloaders.

AMPERSAND "&"
A mark used by Colt to indicate a revolver having been returned to the factory for repair or refinishing.

ANIB
As new in original box. Perhaps fired, but in virtually new condition.

ANSON & DEELEY (ACTION)
A type of box lock action design developed in 1875---the essence of simplicity utilizing only two springs and three moving parts (per barrel). One of the most successful action designs ever and still produced to this day by innumerable makers in many countries.

ANSON FOREND RELEASE
A latch for securing the forend to the barrels of a break-open gun, operated, via a longitudinal rod, by a pushbutton exposed at the very tip of the forend. Typically seen on Purdey and Boss guns.

ANTIQUE
By federal definition, a firearm manufactured prior to 1899 or a firearm for which ammunition is not generally available or a firearm incapable of firing fixed ammunition.

APERTURE SIGHT
A type of gun sight, mounted towards the rear of a rifle through which one simply looks, placing the front sight on the target (also called a peep sight). With a small aperture, it can be very accurate. With a larger aperture, it allows faster target acquisition. The attribute is especially beneficial for older people who have trouble focusing at near distances. The small aperture effectively acts as a lens by bending light rays at the edge of its metal-to-air interface.

APUN
Action Patent Use Number. Under patent law during the period of greatest creativity in the British firearms trade (circa 1860 - 1910) gun makers typically numbered each patented component with its own number of use of the patent (not the number of the patent itself as registered with the patent office as in the USA)---irrespective of the serial number of the firearm.

ARC OF MOVEMENT
Refers to the unavoidable motion of a pistol held in a shooting position. Practice decreases the arc of movement.

ARTICULATED FRONT TRIGGER
A hinged front trigger, built to cushion its impact on one's trigger finger as the gun recoils when the rear trigger is pulled.

ARMOR-PIERCING AMMUNITION
By federal definition, "a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium. Such term does not include shotgun shot required by... game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Secretary finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Secretary finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device."

ASSAULT RIFLE
By U.S. Army definition, a selective-fire rifle chambered for a cartridge of intermediate power. If applied to any semi-automatic firearm regardless of its cosmetic similarity to a true assault rifle, the term is incorrect.

ASSAULT WEAPON
Any weapon used in an assault (see WEAPON).

AUTOMATIC (ACTION)
A firearm designed to feed cartridges, fire them, eject their empty cases and repeat this cycle as long as the trigger is depressed and cartridges remain in the feed system. Examples: machine guns, submachine guns, selective-fire rifles, including true assault rifles.

AUTOMATIC PISTOL
A term used often to describe what is actually a semi-automatic pistol. It is, technically, a misnomer but a near-century of use has legitimized it, and its use confuses only the novice.

AUTOMATIC SAFETY
A safety catch on a break-open gun that resets to the "safe" position each time the gun is opened, usually via a limb attached to the top lever spindle.

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2 Comments
  1. This list gave me a much better insight into some of the words I hear all the time, but didnt really know what they were talking about.

    • Thank you, glad you are enjoying it. Visit us often for new lists and information.

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