Call Us Today! (210) 639-5418

Glossary Gun Terms Beginning H

HALF COCK
A middle position for an external hammer that effectively provides a safety function. With a firearm with non-rebounding hammers, when on half-cock, the firing pin will not rest on the firing-pin. And, whether rebounding or non-rebounding, an inadvertent pull of the trigger should not release the hammer and fire the gun.

HAMMER
The part of a gun lock, which driven by a spring and released by a pull of the trigger, falls and (usually via an intervening firing pin) strikes the detonating primer of the load and discharges the gun. Hammers may be external or internal.

HAMMERLESS
A firearm with a coil-spring-actuated firing pin, or with its hammer enclosed inside the action body; i.e.. no externally visible hammer.

HAND
In any mechanism, a small lever that engages a notch to actuate movement in one direction only. Specifically, a small spring-loaded lever attached to the hammer of a revolver which actuates the cylinder to advance one increment and move the next chamber into battery as the hammer is cocked. Also: Pawl.

HAND-DETACHABLE LOCKS
The firing mechanism of a break-open gun which may be removed for inspection or cleaning without the use of tools. The release latch may be plainly visible or concealed.

HANDGUN
Synonym for pistol.

HANGFIRE
A perceptible delay in the ignition of a cartridge after the primer or case rim has been struck by the firing pin. This delay may last several seconds.

WARNING: Because a hangfire condition can cause the pistol to fire after a substantial delay, the pistol should be kept pointed in a safe direction for at least 30 seconds before the action is opened to remove the cartridge.

HEADSPACE
The distance, or clearance, between the base of a chambered cartridge and the breech face (or bolt face) of a firearm. This is a critical dimension, particularly in high powered rifles. If there is too little headspace, the bolt will not close. If there is too much headspace the cartridge will not be properly supported in the chamber and the cartridge will expand upon firing and may rupture, blasting high-pressure gas into the action and possibly into the body of the shooter.

HEADSTAMP
Markings impressed into the base of a cartridge case, normally identifying the maker's name, the cartridge calibre designation, and sometimes the date.

HEEL
The top of the butt-end of a gun stock.

HEEL & TOE PLATES
Protective plates, usually of steel or horn, covering the top and bottom of a gunstock's butt only (the heel and the toe); leaving wood exposed in the center.

HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINE
An inexact, non-technical term indicating a magazine holding more rounds than might be considered "average."

HINGE PIN
A short cylindrical rod of hardened steel running laterally near the front of the bar of a break-open gun's action around which the barrel hook revolves when the gun is opened.

HOLD CONTROL
Allows the shooter to maintain proper sight alignment and sight picture while firing the shot.

HOLLOW-POINT BULLET
A bullet with a concavity in its nose to increase expansion on penetration of a solid target.

HOOK
A concave, semi-cylindrical surface cut into the forward lump of a barrel set of a break-open firearm which revolves about the hinge-pin when the gun is opened.

Facebookby feather
Facebookby feather

Comments are closed.

Latest Posts

  • Revolver versus Semi-Automatic
    Revolver versus Semi-Automatic
    Revolver versus Semi-Autmatic Develop the basic knowledge of and understanding of the difference...
  • Texas LTC Course
    Texas LTC Course
    Texas LTC Course This class educates students on the responsibilities and laws applicable...
  • Makes Models and Caliber
    Makes Models and Caliber
    Makes Models and Calibers This course has been developed for the prospective and...