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GLOSSARY GUN TERMS BEGINNING C

CALIBER
The nominal diameter of a projectile of a rifled firearm or the diameter between lands in a rifled barrel. In this country, usually expressed in hundreds of an inch; in Great Britain in thousandths; in Europe and elsewhere in millimeters.

CANNELURE
A crimped or knurled groove, rolled onto a bullet or the neck of a cartridge case, either to help retain a bullet in its case or to provide a space for bullet lubricant.

CANT
To tilt a gun to one side or the other, complicating sighting considerably. Can cause material loss of accuracy, particularly with a rifle at longer ranges.

CAPE GUN
A two-barreled, side-by-side, shoulder-fired gun having one smoothbore shotgun barrel and one rifled barrel.

CARBINE
A rifle with a relatively short barrel. Any rifle or carbine with a barrel less than 16-inches long must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Shotguns with barrels less than 18-inches long fall into the same category.

CARTOUCHE
A mark, typically stamped into the wood, especially of an American military rifle. It shows the initials of the name of the accepting inspector and often, the date he accepted the firearm into service.

CARTRIDGE
A single, complete round of ammunition.

CARTRIDGE TRAP
A compartment built into the buttstock of a long gun, usually with a hinged cover, in which holes are drilled deep enough to hold several spare cartridges of the type suitable for use in the specific gun.

CASE, CASING
The envelope (container) of a cartridge. For rifles and handguns it is usually of brass or other metal; for shotguns it is usually of paper or plastic with a metal head and is more often called a "shell."

CAST OFF
An offset of a gun stock to the right, so that the line of sight aligns comfortably with the right eye while the butt of the stock rests comfortably on the right shoulder.

CASEHARDENING COLORS
Mottled blue/green/brown colors on a shotgun or double rifle receiver, vintage Winchester receiver or Colt Single Action frame. The colors are the by-product of a heat-treating process that incorporates carbon into the surface molecular structure of the steel, providing a hard-wearing surface without making the entire receiver brittle.

CEASE FIRE
All shooting stops immediately

CENTER-FIRE
A cartridge with its primer located in the center of the base of the case.

CHAMBER
The rear part of the barrel that is formed to accept the cartridge to be fired. A revolver employs a multi-chambered rotating cylinder separated from the stationary barrel.

CHECKERING
A regular pattern of fine grooves cut into the surface of a stock to aid in gripping a gun.

CHEEKPIECE
A broad, flat, raised area on the side of a buttstock.

CHOKE
A constriction at or near the muzzle of a shotgun barrel that affects shot dispersion.

CHOKE TUBES
Short, interchangeable cylinders, of subtly different internal tapers, that screw into a threaded recess at the muzzle of a shotgun.

CLAW MOUNTS
A quick-detachable scope mounting system, popular in Germany and Austria.

CLIP
A device for holding a group of cartridges. Semantic wars have been fought over the word, with some insisting it is not a synonym for "detachable magazine."

COCKER/DE-COCKER
A type of action on a break-open gun or rifle where, in place of a traditional top tang safety, a somewhat more robust tab is fitted.

COCKING INDICATORS
Small devices attached to the internal hammers of a break-open gun and visible from the exterior of the gun to show when each barrel is cocked and when it has been fired.

COIN-FINISH
Generally refers to a high-polish finish, bright steel on the receiver of a break-open gun.

COMB
The top of a gun's stock, where a shooter rests his cheek when mounting a gun.

COMBINATION GUN
A firearm with various different configurations of rifle and shotgun barrels.

COMMENCE FIRING
To begin firing firearm when ready

CONCEALED THIRD FASTENER
An extension protruding rearward from the breech end of a set of side-by-side barrels and entering a complementary recess in the breech face. The top of the extension is locked down by a cam attached to the toplever spindle.

CROSS PIN FASTENER
A horizontal wedge, press-fit through the forend of a vintage gun, through a lump attached to the underside of the barrel and out the other side of the forend. To secure the forend in position. Also called a key fastener.

CROWN
The finish contour of the muzzle or a rifle. May be flat or rounded.

CUT-AWAY
A firearm that has had numerous careful machining cuts taken in its exterior with a view to exposing and demonstrating the functioning of critical parts of its mechanism

CUTTS COMPENSATOR
A cylindrical muzzle extension, with slots on the top, designed to push the muzzle down when a gun is fired, counteracting its tendency to rise.

CYLINDER
The drum of a revolver that contains the chambers for the ammunition.

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