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GLOSSARY GUN TERMS BEGINNING B

%BLUE
Bluing is a thin surface coloring, induced either by heat or by polishing and the repeated application of an acid solution to form a type of blue-black rust. Bluing reduces the reflectivity of polished steel parts and helps inhibit further rust.

BACK ACTION
A side lock action where the mainspring is mounted rearward towards the butt. The back action is often used in double rifles where the need for strength requires as little steel as possible be removed from the bar of the action.

BACKBORING
Enlarging the internal diameter of a shotgun barrel beyond its proper standard (.729" in 12 gauge) by reaming, in an effort to reduce the recoil or to improve the shot pattern.

BAKER EJECTORS
A type of mechanism, built into the forend of a break-open firearm, utilizing a direct-acting coil spring to kick out a spent shell while only raising an unfired shell far enough to remove manually.

BALL
Originally a spherical projectile, now generally a fully jacketed bullet of cylindrical profile with round or pointed nose. Most commonly used in military terminology.

BALLISTICS
The study of the action of propellant powders upon projectiles, their speeds, energies and trajectories. Ballistics can be categorized into three phases: Interior (the projectile's behavior inside the bore), Exterior (the projectile's behavior in flight), and Terminal (the projectile's behavior upon contact with the target).

BAR
The portion of a break-open gun's action extending forward from the bottom of the standing breech, supporting the hingepin. In modern side-by-side guns, it is usually machined to accept the cocking limbs and the main locking bolts as well.

BAR ACTION
A sidelock action where the mainspring is mounted forward into the bar of the action. Often more graceful in appearance than the back action and theoretically allowing faster lock times.

BARREL BAND
A steel band encircling the barrel and forestock of a rifle or musket, helping to secure the barrel to the stock. Almost universal on US military firearms from the Revolution through World War II.

BARREL BAND FRONT SIGHT; BARREL BAND SWIVEL BASE
A front sight base completely encircling a rifle barrel at the muzzle; a loop completely encircling the barrel of a rifle into which a provision for a sling swivel is integrally machined.

BARREL LENGTH
The length of a barrel as measured from the muzzle to the standing breech in a break-open gun or to the bolt face in a bolt-action rifle, including the chamber. A revolver barrel measurement does not include the cylinder, only the barrel itself.

BARREL WALL THICKNESS
The thickness of the walls of a shotgun barrel tube.

BATTERY
A group of firearms selected, as taken together, to be able to accomplish a broad variety of hunting or shooting situations. A 3-gun battery for Africa might consist of a .243 bolt rifle, a .30'06 bolt rifle and a .470 NE double rifle.

BEAVERTAIL FOREND
A broad forend, wrapping partially around the barrel(s) to give a more positive grip and to better protect the hand from hot barrels than does a splinter forend.

BEECH COMBINATION SIGHT
A type of front sight, hinged, to show either an ordinary bead or a very fine bead necessarily encircled by a protective ring.

BELT
A circumferential ridgeline around the base of a cartridge case, typically found on some high powered or "magnum" rifle cartridges to aid in the establishment of proper headspace.

BENCHREST POSITION
Elements of the benchrest position: sit behind the bench, facing the target; feet are flat on the ground; both arms are extended fully forward; back should be straight or leaning slightly forward; wrists are supported by sandbags; and head is fully erect.

BENT - (BRITISH)
A notch in a hammer or firing-pin housing. The sear rests in this notch when the firearm is cocked. When the trigger is pulled, the sear moves out of the bent, allowing the firing-pin to fall under the tension of the mainspring and fire the gun.

BIFURCATED LUMPS
A locking system for over & under guns whereby the barrels are mounted to the receiver via trunnions on either side of the lower barrel and where a pair of bolts move forward into recesses on either side of the barrel-set when the gun is closed.

BISSELL RISING BITE
A lockup design for break-open guns, usually serving as a third fastener to strengthen the lockup of a gun with double Purdey underbolts.

BITE
A notch cut into a barrel's lump(s) into which a bolt slides to lock the barrels in battery.

BLACKPOWDER
The earliest type of firearms propellant that has generally been replaced by smokeless powder except for use in muzzleloaders and older breechloading guns that demand its lower pressure levels.

BLANK CARTRIDGE
A round loaded with blackpowder or a special smokeless powder but lacking a projectile. Used mainly in starting races, theatrical productions, troop exercises and in training dogs.

BLIND MAGAZINE
A rifle magazine without a floorplate. Must be loaded from the top only. While less convenient to unload, it allows for slightly cleaner lines and slightly lighter weight.

BLITZ ACTION
A design where the moving parts of a break-open gun's action are mounted to the trigger plate. Similar in construction to a Dickson Round Action. Often seen on German and Austrian guns. Identified externally by a broader-than-usual trigger plate.

BLUE
A chemical rust process that produces a very dark, almost black, blue finish to the steel parts of a firearm which enhances the appearance and provides some protection from unwanted rust. Sometimes it can have a slight brownish undertone.

BLUNDERBUSS
A short firearm with a barrel of expanding diameter and a bell-shaped muzzle. Enjoyed some popularity in the 18th century.

BOLSTERED FRAME
A firearms action, most commonly on a heavily recoiling break-open weapon, in which the action forging has been enlarged with extra steel at its weakest point---the line extending downwards from the standing breech, at the beginning of the watertable. Also called a reinforced frame.

BOLT-ACTION
A gun mechanism activated by manual operation of the breechblock that resembles a common door bolt.

BOLT STOP
A displaceable flange, usually towards the rear of a bolt action firearm which in normal position, either detented or under spring tension, prevents the bolt from falling completely out of the rifle when cycling the action.

BOLTED SAFETY
A secondary catch on the safety, often seen on big-bore double rifles, designed to prevent its inadvertent disengagement by a careless gunbearer.

BORE
The interior of a firearm's barrel excluding the chamber.

BORE SIGHT
A process by which sights are adjusted to converge on the same line as the bore. Accomplished by placing a rifle in a rest, sighting down the open bore on a prominent distant point at an appropriate range, then aligning the sights to superimpose on the same point.

BOXER
A cartridge case having a primer pocket with one central touchhole at the center bottom. A tiny anvil is built into the primer to provide a surface against which the detonating compound may be sharply pinched by the action of the firing pin. Most commonly used in the USA today.

BOXLOCK
A type of action (receiver) for a break-open gun where the lockwork is contained within a box-shaped housing. (see also: Sidelock).

BPE
Black Powder Express. "As powerful as an express train."

BRASS
A synonym for expended metallic cartridge cases.

BREAK-ACTION
A configuration of breech-loading firearm where upon the release of some kind of latch, the barrel(s), revolving about a hingepin, drop down some 45 degrees, exposing the breech for loading/unloading.

BREATH CONTROL
Minimizes the body movement produced by breathing, which can impair good shooting.

BREECH
The end of a barrel into which a cartridge is inserted.

BRIDLE
A small secondary plate, mounted behind and parallel to a sidelock gun's lockplate which supports the inside ends of the pins about which the moving parts rotate.

BOWNING
An oxidation process applied to the surface of raw steel, undertaken with acids, to produce a finish that resists further rusting. See also Bluing.

BT OR BEAVERTAIL FOREND
A broad forend, wrapping partially around the barrel(s) to give a more positive grip and to better protect the hand from hot barrels than does a splinter forend.

BULLET
The projectile expelled from a gun. It is not synonymous with cartridge. Bullets can be of many materials, shapes, weights and constructions such as solid lead, lead with a jacket of harder metal, round-nosed, flat-nosed, hollow-pointed, etc.

BURGESS FRONT SIGHT
An excellent easily retractable front sight blade, designed and built by gunsmith Tom Burgess.

BURGESS MOUNTS
An excellent quick-detachable scope mounting system, designed and built by gunsmith Tom Burgess. Operated by turning locking levers a detented 90 degrees.

BUSHED FIRING PINS
Circular steel fittings, about 1/2 inch in diameter, screwed into the breech face of a gun and through which the firing pins pass

BUTT
The end of a gun stock; the part that rests on the shoulder when the gun is mounted.

BUTTPLATE
A plate made of some material harder than the wood of the buttstock, fitted to the end of same to protect it. It may be made of hard rubber, horn, plastic or steel.

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