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Glossary Gun Terms Beginning K thru L

KERSTEN LOCK A
Crossbolt running laterally, just behind the breech face, through the top of the standing breech of a break-open gun which passes through a complimentary hole in a flange extending rearward from the top side of a barrel. Double Kersten locks: two such locks; one on either side of the barrel set.

KEY 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 crosspin or a wedge fastener.

KEYHOLE
The tendency of a bullet to hit a target sideways, leaving a distinctly oblong hole. This destabilization of the spinning bullet in flight is typically caused by a bullet weight inappropriate for the rate of twist of the rifled barrel, an out-of-balance bullet or its having nicked an impediment such as a blade of grass, in flight.

KING SIGHTS
Sights made and installed by the King Gunsight Company, noted for their elegant target enhancements to Colt and Smith&Wesson revolvers---particularly, their mirror-lit front sight.

KIPPLAUF
German term for a break-open gun. From the words Kippen (tilt) and Lauf (barrel). (Courtesy, Dietrich Apel.)

KNUCKLE
The curved, forward end of the bar of a break-open firearm's action, about which the mounted forend iron revolves downward. This area should be kept lightly greased to avoid galling the bearing surfaces.

LEAF SIGHTS
Folding blade sights, similar to express sights, but hinged essentially from one position instead of in a long row.

LEVER-ACTION
A gun mechanism activated by manual operation of a lever.

LEVER FOREND RELEASE
A latch for securing the forend to the barrels of a break-open gun, operated by swiveling a lever to the side. It provides a very positive lock; primarily used on double rifles.

LIFTERS
Another name for Extractors.

LTFK – LONG TANG, FLAT KNOB
Full pistol grip. (A term used by Browning shotgun collectors)

LTRK – LONG TANK, ROUND KNOB
Semi-pistol grip. (Another term used by Browning shotgun collectors)

LOAD
To insert cartridges into the firearm

LOCK
Part of the action of a gun; the mechanism by which a pull of the trigger causes a blow to be struck to the detonating primer, firing the gun. It can have an internal or external hammer, be a flintlock, percussion lock, Boxlock, Sidelock, blitz lock or of any number of different designs.

LUMPS
The projections extending downward from the breech end of a side-by-side gun. Into the lumps are machined the hook (to swivel around the hingepin) and the bites (to accept the locking bolts). Also called underlugs.

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