Firearm Glossary

Term Definition
plinking

plinking: Informal target shooting done at non-traditional targets such as tin cans, glass bottles, and balloons filled with water.

Picatinny rail

Picatinny rail: a bracket used on some firearms to provide a standardized mounting platform.

parkerizing

parkerizing: A method of protecting a steel surface from corrosion and increasing its resistance to wear through the application of an electrochemical phosphate conversion coating. Also called phosphating and phosphatizing.

over-bore

over-bore: Small caliber bullets being used in very large cases. It is the relationship between the volume of powder that can fit in a case and the diameter of the inside of the barrel or bore.

out-of-battery

out-of-battery: The status of a weapon before the action has returned to the normal firing position. The term originates from artillery, referring to a gun that fires before it has been pulled back into its firing position in a gun battery. In firearms where there is an automatic loading mechanism, a condition in which a live round is at least partially in the firing chamber and capable of being fired, but is not properly secured by the usual mechanism of that particular weapon can occur.

NRA

NRA or National Rifle Association of America is an American organization that lists its goals as the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection of hunting and self-defense in the United States. The NRA is also the sanctioning body for most marksmanship competition in the U.S.A., from the local to the Olympic level (particularly bullseye style events).

necking down

necking down or necking up refers to shrinking or expanding the neck of an existing cartridge to make it use a bullet of a different caliber. A typical process used in the creation of wildcat cartridges.

muzzle velocity

muzzle velocity is the speed at which a projectile leaves the muzzle of the gun. Muzzle velocities range from approximately 800 ft/s (240 m/s) for some pistols and older cartridges to more than 4,000 ft/s (1,200 m/s) in modern cartridges such as the .220 Swift and .204 Ruger. In conventional guns, muzzle velocity is determined by the quality (burn speed, expansion) and quantity of the propellant, the mass of the projectile, and the length of the barrel.

muzzle energy

muzzle energy is the kinetic energy of a bullet as it is expelled from the muzzle of a firearm. It is often used as a rough indication of the destructive potential of a given firearm or load. The heavier the bullet and the faster it moves, the higher its muzzle energy and the more damage it does.

muzzle brakes and recoil compensators

muzzle brakes and recoil compensators: devices that are fitted to the muzzle of a firearm to redirect propellant gases with the effect of countering both recoil of the gun and unwanted rising of the barrel during rapid fire.

muzzle

muzzle: The part of a firearm at the end of the barrel from which the projectile exits.

match grade

match grade: Firearm parts and ammunition that are suitable for a competitive match. This refers to parts that are designed and manufactured such that they have a relatively tight-tolerances and high level of accuracy.

magazine

magazine: A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines may be integral to the firearm (fixed) or removable (detachable). The magazine functions by moving the cartridges stored in the magazine into a position where they may be loaded into the chamber by the action of the firearm.

lug

lug: any piece that projects from a firearm for the purpose of attaching something to it. For example, barrel lugs are used to attach a break-action shotgun barrel to the action itself. If the firearm is a revolver, the term may also refer to a protrusion under the barrel that adds weight, thereby stabilizing the gun during aiming, mitigating recoil, and reducing muzzle flip. A full lug extends all the way to the muzzle, while a half lug extends only partially down the barrel. On a swing-out-cylinder revolver, the lug is slotted to accommodate the ejector rod

lever-action

lever-action is a type of firearm action with a lever that encircles the trigger guard area, (often including the trigger guard itself) to load fresh cartridges into the chamber of the barrel when the lever is worked.

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