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Archive for the Glossary Gun Terms Category


ACP – AUTOMATIC COLT PISTOL Colt’s proprietary designation for a type of rimless cartridge design, such as .45 ACP. ACTION The working mechanism of a firearm. Various types exist, including single-shots, multi-barrels, revolvers, slide- or pump-actions, lever-actions, bolt-actions, semi-automatics and automatics. ADL – A GRADE DELUXE AND BDL – B GRADE DELUXE Suffix designations used by Remington to signify grades […]

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%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 […]

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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 […]

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Glossary Gun Terms Beginning D

DAMASCUS BARRELS Barrel tubes built up by twisting alternate strips of iron and steel around a fixed rod (mandrel) and forge-welding them together in varying combinations according to the intended quality and the skill of the maker. DEELEY FOREND RELEASE A latch for securing the forend to the barrels of a break-open gun, operated by a short pull-down lever mounted […]

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Glossary Gun Terms Beginning E and F

EJECTOR Fitting inset into the breech end of a barrel that kicks out fired shells. ELEVATION 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. ENERGY Capability to perform work. As measured in foot-pounds, the amount of force […]

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Glossary Gun Terms Beginning G

GAPE The degree to which the barrel(s) of a break-open gun drop down; the size of the opening space—which should be sufficient to allow for ease of loading, unloading and properly-functioning ejection. A good gape is easier to achieve on a side-by-side than an over & under where the bottom barrel is well-enclosed by the action body. GAUGE The bore […]

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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, […]

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Glossary Gun Terms Beginning I thru J

IMPORTS Information for foreign sellers and for Americans purchasing firearms abroad. “IMPROVED” CARTRIDGE A derivative version of a basic cartridge, typically whose shoulders have been expanded outward and forward for increased powder capacity for use in a rifle whose chamber has been enlarged accordingly. INLETTED SWIVEL STUDES A type of base for detachable sling swivels whereby the steel base is […]

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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 […]

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Glossary Gun Terms Beginning M

MACHINE GUN A firearm of military significance, often crew-served, that on trigger depression automatically feeds and fires cartridges of rifle size or greater. Civilian ownership in the U.S. has been heavily curtailed and federally regulated since 1934. MAGAZINE A spring-loaded container for cartridges that may be an integral part of the gun`s mechanism or may be detachable. Detachable magazines for […]

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Glossary Gun Terms Beginning N

NIB New, unfired, in original box, although possibly previously owned. NID New Improved Design. An improved version of the Ithaca shotgun: the “Knick” model—stronger and more reliable than its predecessor, the “Flues” model. NIPPLE A small, tubular protuberance, screwed into the breech end of a percussion-system firearm’s barrel, upon which is fitted the percussion cap and through which, at the […]

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Glossary Gun Terms Beginning O and P

OBTURATING BREECH A design of breechloading action whereby the breech slides forward to the barrels (or vice versa) and the one overlaps the other to form a better seal. Ordinarily, modern firearms do not require special obturating breeches because ductile brass cartridges swell slightly when fired, effectively sealing the rapidly expanding gas within the breech. OBTURATING BULLET The effect of […]

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