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Glossary Gun Terms Beginning E and F

Fitting inset into the breech end of a barrel that kicks out fired shells.

Adjustment of the point of impact of a firearm in the vertical plane; the knob used on an iron sight or telescopic sight to raise or lower the point of impact.

Capability to perform work. As measured in foot-pounds, the amount of force it takes to lift and object weighing one pound, one foot.

"V" shaped rear leaf sights mounted to a rifle barrel on a block or on a quarter-rib, sometimes solid standing, sometimes folding, and often mounted in a row of similar leaves, each of a slightly different height, marked with the range for which each is regulated.

A fitting inset into the breech end of a barrel, when the gun is opened the extractor lifts the cartridge so it may be removed by hand.

Although we have two eyes for depth perception, there is a natural tendency for one eye to take precedence over the other, regardless of the relative visual acuity of each eye.

To test for eye dominance, pick out a small object several feet away. With both eyes open, center your right index finger vertically over the object. Close your right eye. If your finger appears to jump to the right, you are right eye dominant. Then open your right eye and close your left eye. If your finger remains in position in front of the object, you have confirmed your right eye dominance. Alternatively, if in the above test, upon closing your right eye your finger remains in position covering the object, you are left eye dominant. If you close your left eye instead and your finger appears to jump to the left you have confirmed your left eye dominance.

A projectile containing an explosive component that acts on contact with the target. Seldom found and generally ineffective as such bullets lack the penetration necessary for defense or hunting.

Any substance (TNT, etc.) that, through chemical reaction, detonates or violently changes to gas with accompanying heat and pressure. Smokeless powder, by comparison, deflagrates (burns relatively slowly) and depends on its confinement in a gun`s cartridge case and chamber for its potential as a propellant to be realized.

A type of action used primarily for single shot rifles whereby some kind of lever actuates a breechblock, moving it downwards in a vertical recess to expose the chamber. May have visible or enclosed hammer.

An inclined, polished area on a repeating firearm, just behind the chamber, that helps guide a cartridge into the chamber when pushed forward by the closing bolt.

Federal Firearms [Dealer's] License. To ship a firearm, a selling dealer must have in his possession a copy of the receiving dealer's license.

A relatively slender forend on an over & under gun

An unembellished firearm used to hunt in rough terrain where one might prefer not to put a more expensive, deluxe grade gun at risk of damage.

A shotgun, generally stocked to shoot where it is pointed and of relatively light weight because it is often carried a great distance.

A rifle, shotgun or handgun using gunpowder as a propellant. By federal definition, under the 1968 Gun Control Act, antiques are excepted. Under the National Firearms Act, the word designates machine guns, etc. Airguns are not firearms.

A Brilliant, slightly iridescent, and perishable blue finish on highly-polished steel achieved by heating to a temperature of about 500°F. Often seen as small-part details on pre-World War I Colts and the best contemporary American custom rifles.

The narrowly rounded, pointed component of a cartridge firearm that impacts and causes detonation of the primer.

A complete cartridge of several obsolete types and of today's rimfire and center-fire versions.

The tendency for blue finish to deteriorate into rust, seemingly without either wear or ill treatment.

A muzzle attachment intended to reduce visible muzzle flash caused by the burning propellant.

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.

A rifle barrel mounted firmly to the receiver, but not touching the forend. Done so that the stock will not adversely affect accuracy by impinging upon the natural vibration of the barrel when the rifle is fired.

A rifle or pistol barrel, often of octagonal cross-section, into which longitudinal grooves have been milled. Fluted barrels, while more expensive to make than round barrels, dissipate heat more rapidly and they provide a better stiffness-to-weight ratio.

The continuation of the application of the fundamentals of shooting through and immediately after the firing of the shot. Follow-through enables the shooter to integrate, maintain and continue the shooting fundamentals before, during and after the shot.

A smooth, sometimes contoured plate, within a magazine, at the top of a spring, across which cartridges slide when being loaded into a chamber.

One of the three major dismountable components of a break-open gun (the others being the barrel(s) and the action/buttstock) which secures the barrels to the receiver, often houses the ejector mechanism, and for some, provides a handle for the one's secondary hand.

An acid etched or phosphate finish, applied typically to shotgun actions, forming a gray-colored, non-reflective matte finish which also provides some protection from rust.

When shooting a pistol with iron sights, visual focus should be on the front sight. This will leave the target and rear sight slightly fuzzy, but clear enough to establish proper sight alignment and sight picture.

Front, metal, part of a handgun's grip---which together with the backstrap, provides a mounting frame for the grip panels.

A rifle or carbine with a one-piece stock extending to the muzzle.

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