[GUIDE] Firearms Basics

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Pyotr_Zhurov
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[GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Pyotr_Zhurov » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:06 am

Firearms Basics

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For those who role-play around firearms and are interested in putting more detail into their role-play: I've created a small guide for you to read. I'm not very experienced with firearms myself (I've never touched one in my life), but I like to do the necessary research before role-play a subject and thought I'd share the knowledge with you guys.

The main goal of this guide is for you to learn the basics of firearms, ammunition, terminology, cleaning, and maintenance. I hope this guide will help you in your future role-play. Enjoy.

Table of contents

Firearms basics
  1. Types
  2. Terminology
  3. Ammunition
  4. Determining a firearm's condition
  5. Cleaning and maintenance
Firearms Basics

Types
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Beretta 92FS
Handguns

A handgun is a firearm designed to be handheld in either one or both hands. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from long guns such as rifles and shotguns (which usually can be braced against the shoulder). Handguns are small, lightweight (well, most of them), and provide good firepower. They are suitable—not only for defensive situations—but for offensive ones as well. Of course, for each situation, careful choice of the proper handgun and ammunition must be made. Handguns are divided into a few classes: semi-automatics (or pistols), revolvers, and non-automatics (single or multibarreled, single-shot, or magazine fed).

Semi-automatic (pistol)
Semi-automatic handguns use part of the energy produced by burning cartridge powder to remove the used cartridge from the chamber, cock the hammer, and load a new cartridge into the chamber. This way the pistol will be ready for the next shot. Cartridges are usually fed from a box magazine which is located in the pistol's handle. Box magazines may contain up to 15 cartridges (or more) in single or double columns, depending on the pistol model. They are easy and very quick to reload.

Revolvers
Revolvers got their name from the rotating (or revolving) cylinder, which contains cartridges. Usually the cylinder holds from 5 to 7 loads, although some .22 caliber revolvers may contain up to 8-10 cartridges. Loads in the cylinder may be reloaded in 2 ways (depending on revolver design): one by one, as, for example, the Colt PeaceKeeper does (and almost all old-timers), or all simultaneously—when the cylinder is switched to the side or when the is frame "broke open." Both revolvers and semi-autos have two main "action styles": Single Action and Double Action.

Single Action
Single Action means that the Revolver must be manually cocked (and, thus, the cylinder is rotated to the next cartridge) for each shot. This mode was the only one available in all old-time revolvers (such as the Peacekeeper), and is still available in most double-action revolvers. This mode improves accuracy but slows the fire rate.

For semi-automatic handguns, Single Action means that the pistol must be manually cocked for the first shot (this is usually done by pulling the slide, which then cocks the hammer and feeds a cartridge into the chamber). For the second—and all consecutive shots—cocking is done automatically when recoil force pulls back the slide.

Double Action
Double Action for the Revolver means that the hammer for each (including the first) shot is cocked by trigger pull (this action also rotates the cylinder to the next position). This mode speeds up the firing rate and simplifies shooting actions, but greatly increases trigger pull.

For the semi-automatic handguns, the hammer is usually cocked by trigger pull for the first shot only. The second and the rest are done in single-action mode. However, the first load must be fed in the chamber by the slide pull. Most semi-autos and revolvers employ Double-action-only mode, which cocks the trigger for each shot, thus excluding single-action.

WHITESPACE

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MP5
Submachine guns

The submachine gun is an automatic or selective-fired shoulder weapon that fires pistol-caliber ammunition. The concept of submachine gun dates back to World War I; the trench warfare of this war required effective and compact weapons for short-range fighting in trenches; additionally, a lightweight and maneuverable fully automatic weapon was desirable to complement light machine guns in both defensive and offensive scenarios, to cover last 200 meters of assault on enemy positions.

The first weapon which can be considered to some extent as the world's first submachine gun was the Italian Villar-Perosa. This was a twin-barreled automatic weapon that fired 9mm Glisenti pistol ammunition from top-mounted box magazines. It was compact, but its primary tactical role was of short-range machine gun; therefore it was usually fired from some sort of mount, and fitted with machine-gun type spade grips instead of more conventional rifle-type stock.

WHITESPACE

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Benelli Supernova
Shotguns

Main advantages of shotguns are their versatility and short-range firepower. Shotguns can fire multiple projectiles of various sizes, creating a lethal pattern, which will increase chances of hitting target, or single large projectile, powerful enough to drop down a large brown bear, or incapacitate a human being protected in all but the heaviest body armour. Shotguns also can fire special purpose ammunition, such as door buster slugs, and even a high explosive and incendiary rounds, as well as the less lethal ammunition, useful for riot control and other police operations. Most, if not all modern combat shotguns are magazine fed repeaters, with the under barrel tubular magazines being the most common type. Those magazines offer a sleek, slim profile of the gun, but are slow to reload. Some recently developed combat shotguns featured a detachable, box-type magazines, which can be replaced very quickly. Few combat shotguns were developed with rotary, revolver-like magazines or drum-type magazines of relatively large capacity (10-12, and up to 28 rounds), but those magazines are extremely bulky, heavy, expensive and sometimes slow to reload.

The disadvantages of the combat shotguns are the limited effective range of fire (about 50-70 meters with standard buckshot, up to 100-150 meters with specially designed sub-caliber or fleschette loadings). Shotguns also are sometimes relatively large (especially when compared to modern submachine guns), and can have a heavy recoil with the most powerful loadings. The size and weight of the shotgun ammunition effectively limits both the magazine capacity and the amount of ammunition a soldier can carry in the mission.

Pump action shotguns
Pump action means, that for each shot shooter cycles the handguard back and forward (in some guns, such as Russian RMB-93 or S. African Neostead - forward then back). This movement removes the used shell, cocks the action and chambers the new shell. This design is little slower than semi-auto, but offers greater flexibility in shotshells selection, allowing mixing of the different types of loads and usage of low-power or unreliable loads. This feature especially useful for police and home defense usage, since the pump-action shotguns can fire low-powered less-lethal ammunition (with tear gas or rubber buckshot).

Semi-automatic shotguns
Semi-automatic shotguns can use several different actions - inertia recoil (Benelli), gas (Russian AK-47-derived Saiga-12 and Italian Franchi SPAS-15), barrel recoil (Browning designed Auto-5 and Remington 11). Semi-autos usually have less recoil (especially gas-operated ones), and higher rate of fire, but somewhat more sensitive to the loads selection. The greater firepower, offered by semi-automatic shotguns, is especially useful for military applications, where short-range encounters are usually very rapid, and the amount of firepower used in a short period of time is essential to win the scenario and save one's life.

To use advantages of both pump and semi-auto designs, some manufacturers designed select-action shotguns, where user may select the action style with just turn of the lever or so. Such shotguns are Franchi SPAS15, or Benelli M3S90, for example. The disadvantages of those selective systems are somewhat increased weight and greater unit price.

WHITESPACE

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Remington 700
Military rifles

Bolt action rifles
Bolt action rifle is a weapon, which requires a manual operation to reload a weapon prior to each shot. Term "bolt action" comes from the "bolt" - a part of the weapon that is used to feed cartridges into the chamber and to lock the barrel upon the fire. This part also is more generally known as "breech block", but the term "bolt" is usually referred to the longitudinally movable breech block. So, to fire each shot from bolt action rifle, one must manually unlock the bolt, open it to extract and eject spent case, close the bolt, feeding a fresh round into the chamber simultaneously, and then lock the bolt. When trigger is pulled, rifle goes off and another set of manipulations described above is required prior to the next shot can be fired. Bolt action rifles could be further divided in numerous sub-categories, such as single-shot or magazine-fed rifles, rotating bolt or straight pull bolt action rifles etc, but this will not be discussed here, at least for now.

Semi-automatic (self-loading) rifles
Semi-automatic rifles differ from the manual repeaters in fact that semi-automatics used some amount of the energy, generated by the each shot fired, to commence the reloading cycle (extract and eject the spent case, feed a live round and lock the action, cock the hammer or striker). Due to this, semi-automatic rifles are often referred as a self-loading rifles, too. So, as long as a cartridge supply to the action remains uninterrupted (magazine is not empty), gun will fire each time the trigger is pressed, without any other manual operations. However, when gun is loaded for the first shot, it usually requires at first manual loading cycle to be commenced. The key difference between automatic and assault rifles and semi-automatic rifles is that the semi-automatic rifle will fire exactly one shot per each trigger pull, while automatic (assault) rifle will continue to fire continuously as long as the trigger is pulled and cartridge supply to action is not interrupted.

WHITESPACE

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AR15
Assault rifles

An assault rifle is a selective-fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles were first used during World War II. Though Western nations were slow to accept the assault rifle concept after World War II, by the end of the 20th century they had become the standard weapon in most of the world's armies, replacing battle rifles and sub-machine guns. Examples include the StG 44, AK-47 and the M16 rifle.

The term assault rifle is generally attributed to Adolf Hitler, who for propaganda purposes used the German word "Sturmgewehr" (which translates to "storm rifle" or "assault rifle"), as the new name for the MP43, subsequently known as the Sturmgewehr 44 or StG 44. Although, other sources dispute that Hitler had much to do with coining the new name besides signing the production order. The StG 44 is generally considered the first selective fire military rifle to popularize the assault rifle concept. Today, the term assault rifle is used to define firearms sharing the same basic characteristics as the StG 44.

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The U.S. Army defines assault rifles as "short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges." In a strict definition, a firearm must have at least the following characteristics to be considered an assault rifle:
  • It must be capable of selective fire.
  • It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle.
  • Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine.
  • It must have an effective range of at least 300 meters (330 yards).
  • Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles, despite frequently being called such.
WHITESPACE

Terminology
Basic firearms components
Semi-automatic handgun

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Revolver

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Shotgun

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Rifle

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Assault rifle

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Action
The action is really the guts of the gun. It includes all the moving parts that load, fire, and eject the firearm's shells or cartridges.

Stock
The stock (or handle) of the gun in composed of two pieces: the butt and the fore-end.

Barrel
A gun's barrel is the long metal tube, bored out to provide an exit path for the discharging projectile. Once the projectile is fired, it’s forced down the barrel and out of the muzzle by expanding gas forces. In a rifle or a handgun, the bullet travels through the barrel. In shotguns the shot or the slug is shot through the barrel.

Bore
The bore in the inside of the bun's barrel through which a projectile travels when fired.

Breech
The breech is the area of the firearm that contains the rear end of the barrel. This is where the cartridge is inserted.

Cylinder
The cylinder is the part of a revolver that holds cartridges in separate chambers. The cylinder of a revolver rotates as the gun is cocked, bringing each chamber into alignment with the barrel.

Grip
The grip is the portion of a handgun that is being used to properly hold the firearm.

Hammer
The hammer on a revolver is the part that strikes the firing pin or the cartridge primer directly, detonating the primer which discharges the gun.

Magazine
A magazine is a spring-operated container, that can be fixed or detachable, which holds cartridges for a repeating firearm. This should not be confused with a 'clip'.

Muzzle
The muzzle of a gun is the front end of the barrel where the projectile exits the firearm.

Trigger
The trigger is the lever that is being pulled or squeezed to initiate the firing process.

Trigger guard
The trigger guard is the portion of a firearm that wraps around the trigger to provide both protection and safety.

WHITESPACE

Glossary of firearms terms
Click to open: show
accurize, accurizing: The process of altering a stock firearm to improve its accuracy.

action: The physical mechanism that manipulates cartridges and/or seals the breech. The term refers to the method in which cartridges are loaded, locked, and extracted from the mechanism. Actions are generally categorized by the type of mechanism used. A firearm action is technically not present on muzzleloaders as all loading is done by hand. The mechanism that fires a muzzle-loader is called the lock.

ammunition or ammo: Gunpowder and artillery. Since the design of the cartridge, the meaning has been transferred to the assembly of a projectile and its propellant in a single package.

back bore, backbored barrel: A shotgun barrel whose internal diameter is greater than nominal for the gauge, but less than the SAAMI maximum. Done in an attempt to reduce felt recoil, improve patterning, or change the balance of the shotgun.

bandolier or bandoleer: A pocketed belt for holding ammunition and cartridges. It was usually slung over the chest. Bandoliers are now rare because most military arms use magazines which are not well-suited to being stored in such a manner. They are, however, still commonly used with shotguns, as individual 12 gauge shells can easily be stored in traditionally designed bandoliers.

barrel: A tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity.

ballistic coefficient or BC: a measure of projectiles ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the deceleration—a high number indicates a low deceleration. BC is a function of mass, diameter, and drag coefficient. In bullets it refers to the amount that drop over distance and wind drift will affect the bullet.

bayonet lug: An attachment point for a bayonet.

belt: ammunition belt is a device used to retain and feed cartridges into a firearm.

belted magnum or belt: Any caliber cartridge, generally rifles, using a shell casing with a pronounced "belt" around its base that continues 2-4mm past the extractor groove. This design originated with the British gunmaker Holland & Holland for the purpose of headspace certain of their more powerful cartridges. Especially the non-shouldered (non-"bottlenecked") magnum rifle cartridges could be pushed too far into the chamber and thus cause catastrophic failure of the gun when fired with excessive headspace; the addition of the belt to the casing prevented this over-insertion.

bipod: A support device that is similar to a tripod or monopod, but with two legs. On firearms, bipods are commonly used on rifles to provide a forward rest and reduce motion. The bipod permits the operator to rest the weapon on the ground, a low wall, or other object, reducing operator fatigue and permitting increased accuracy.

black powder also called gunpowder: a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. Modern firearms do not use the traditional black powder described here, but instead use smokeless powder.

black-powder substitute: A firearm propellant that is designed to reproduce the burning rate and propellant properties of black powder (making it safe for use in black-powder firearms), while providing advantages in one or more areas such as reduced smoke, reduced corrosion, reduced cost, or decreased sensitivity to unintentional ignition.

blank: A type of cartridge for a firearm that contains gunpowder but no bullet or shot. When fired, the blank makes a flash and an explosive sound (report). Blanks are often used for simulation (such as in historical reenactments, theatre and movie special effects), training, and for signaling (see starting pistol). Blank cartridges differ from dummy cartridges, which are used for training or function testing firearms; these contain no primer or gunpowder, and are inert.

blowback: A system of operation for self-loading firearms that obtains power from the motion of the cartridge case as it is pushed to the rear by expanding gases created by the ignition of the powder charge.

bluing or blueing: A passivation process in which steel is partially protected against rust, and is named after the blue-black appearance of the resulting protective finish. True gun bluing is an electrochemical conversion coating resulting from an oxidizing chemical reaction with iron on the surface selectively forming magnetite (Fe3O4), the black oxide of iron, which occupies the same volume as metallic iron. Bluing is most commonly used by gun manufacturers, gunsmiths and gun owners to improve the cosmetic appearance of, and provide a measure of corrosion resistance to, their firearms.

bolt action: A type of firearm action in which the weapon's bolt is operated manually by the opening and closing of the breech (barrel) with a small handle. As the handle is operated, the bolt is unlocked, the breech is opened, the spent shell casing is withdrawn and ejected, the firing pin is cocked, and finally a new round/shell (if available) is placed into the breech and the bolt closed.

bolt thrust or breech pressure: The amount of rearward force exerted by the propellant gases on the bolt or breech of a firearm action or breech when a projectile is fired. The applied force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity.

bore snake: A tool used to clean the barrel of a gun.

boresight: Crude adjustments made to an optical firearm sight, or iron sights, to align the firearm barrel and sights. This method is usually used to pre-align the sights, which makes zeroing (zero drop at XX distance) much faster.

brass: The empty cartridge case.

break-action: A firearm whose barrels are hinged, and rotate perpendicular to the bore axis to expose the breech and allow loading and unloading of ammunition.
breech pressure or Bolt thrust: The amount of rearward force exerted by the propellant gases on the bolt or breech of a firearm action or breech when a projectile is fired. The applied force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity.

bullpup: a firearm configurations in which both the action and magazine are located behind the trigger.

burst mode: a firing mode enabling the shooter to fire a predetermined number of rounds with a single pull of the trigger.

button rifling: Rifling that is formed by pulling a die made with reverse image of the rifling (the 'button') down the pre-drilled bore of a firearm barrel. See also cut rifling and hammer forging.

caliber/calibre: in small arms, the internal diameter of a firearm's barrel or a cartridge's bullet, usually expressed in millimeters or hundredths of an inch; in measuring rifled barrels this may be measured across the lands (such as .303 British) or grooves (such as .308 Winchester) or; a specific cartridge for which a firearm is chambered, such as .44 magnum. In artillery, the length of the barrel expressed in terms of the internal diameter.

carbine: a shortened version of a service rifle, often chambered in a less potent cartridge or; a shortened version of the infantryman's musket or rifle suited for use by cavalry.

cartridge: the assembly consisting of a bullet, gunpowder, shell casing, and primer. When counting, it is referred to as a "round".

caseless ammunition: a type of small arms ammunition that eliminates the cartridge case that typically holds the primer, propellant, and projectile together as a unit.

casket magazine: a quad stack box magazine.

centerfire: a cartridge in which the primer is located in the center of the cartridge case head. Unlike rimfire cartridges, the primer is a separate and replaceable component. The centerfire cartridge has replaced the rimfire in all but the smallest cartridge sizes. Except for low-powered .22 and .17 caliber cartridges, and a handful of antiques, all modern pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition are centerfire.

chain gun: type of machine gun or autocannon that uses an external source of power to cycle the weapon.

chamber: the portion of the barrel or firing cylinder in which the cartridge is inserted prior to being fired. Rifles and pistols generally have a single chamber in their barrels, while revolvers have multiple chambers in their cylinders and no chamber in their barrel.

chambering: inserting a round into the chamber, either manually or through the action of the weapon.

charger: a speedloader that holds several cartridges together in a single unit for easier loading of a firearm's magazine. A stripper clip is used only for loading the magazine and is not necessary for the firearm to function.

charging handle: device on a firearm which, when operated, results in the hammer or striker being cocked or moved to the ready position.

choke: a tapered constriction of a shotgun barrel's bore at the muzzle end. Chokes are almost always used with modern hunting and target shotguns, to improve performance

clip: a device that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine of a repeating firearm. This speeds up the process of loading and reloading the firearm as several rounds can be loaded at once, rather than one round being loaded at a time.

COL (cartridge overall length): This is the maximum overall length the cartridge can be – and – expected to function properly in magazines and the mag well of a bolt-action rifle.

collateral damage: damage that is unintended or incidental to the intended outcome. The term originated in the United States military, but it has since expanded into broader use.

collimator sight: a type of optical "blind" sight that allows the user looking into it to see an illuminated aiming point aligned with the device the sight is attached to regardless of eye position (parallax free). The user can not see through the sight so it is used with both eyes open while one looks into the sight, with one eye open and moving the head to alternately see the sight and then at the target, or using one eye to partially see the sight and target at the same time.

combination gun: a shoulder-held firearm that has two barrels; one rifle barrel and one shotgun barrel. Most combination guns are of an over-under design (abbreviated as O/U), in which the two barrels are stacked vertically on top of each other, but some combination guns are of a side-by-side design (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other.

cordite: a family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom from 1889 to replace gunpowder as a military propellant. Like gunpowder, cordite is classified as a low explosive because of its slow burning rates and consequently low brisance. The hot gases produced by burning gunpowder or cordite generate sufficient pressure to propel a bullet or shell to its target, but not enough to destroy the barrel of the firearm, or gun.

CQB: close-quarters combat or close quarters battle is a type of fighting in which small units engage the enemy with personal weapons at very short range, potentially to the point of hand-to-hand combat or fighting with hand weapons such as swords or knives.

cylindro-conoidal bullet: a hollow base bullet, shaped so that, when fired, the bullet will expand and seal the bore. It was invented by Captain John Norton of the British 34th Regiment in 1832, after he examined the blow pipe arrows used by the natives in India and found that their base was formed of elastic locus pith, which by its expansion against the inner surface of the blow pipe prevented the escape of air past it.

damascus barrel or damascus twist: An obsolete method of manufacturing a firearm barrel made by twisting strips of metal around a mandrel and forge welding it into shape. See also Damascus steel.
direct impingement: A type of gas operation for a firearm that directs gas from a fired cartridge directly to the bolt carrier or slide assembly to cycle the action.

doglock: The lock that preceded the 'true' flintlock in both rifles and pistols in the 17th century. Commonly used throughout Europe in the 1600s, it gained popular favor in the British and Dutch military. A doglock carbine was the principal weapon of the harquebusier, the most numerous type of cavalry in the armies of Thirty Years War and the English Civil War era.

double-barreled shotgun: A shotgun with two barrels, usually of the same gauge or bore. The two types of double-barreled shotguns are over/under (abbreviated as O/U), in which the two barrels are stacked on top of each other, and side-by-side (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other. See photo at right for example of side-by-side double-barreled shotgun. For double-barreled guns that use one shotgun barrel and one rifle barrel, see combination gun.

double rifle: A rifle that has two barrels, usually of the same caliber. The two types of double rifles are over/under (abbreviated as O/U), in which the two barrels are stacked on top of each other, and side-by-side (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other. The photo at right is of a side-by-side shotgun, but a side-by-side rifle is very similar. For double-barreled guns that use one shotgun barrel and one rifle barrel, see combination gun.

drilling: a firearm with three barrels (from the German word drei for three). Typically it has two barrels side by side on the top, with a third rifle barrel underneath. This provides a very versatile firearm capable of taking winged animals as well as big game. It also is useful in jurisdictions where a person is only allowed to own a single firearm.

drum magazine: a type of firearms magazine that is cylindrical in shape, similar to a drum.

dry fire: the practice of "firing" a firearm without ammunition. That is, to pull the trigger and allow the hammer or striker to drop on an empty chamber.

dum-dum: A bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet.

dummy: A round of ammunition that is completely inert, i.e., contains no primer, propellant, or explosive charge. It is used to check weapon function, and for crew training. Unlike a blank it contains no charge at all.

dust cover: a seal for the ejection port (which allows spent brass to exit the upper receiver after firing) from allowing contaminants such as sand, dirt, or other debris from entering the mechanism.

electronic firing: The use of an electric current to fire a cartridge, instead of a percussion cap. In an electronic-fired firearm an electric current is used instead to ignite the propellant, which fires the cartridge as soon as the trigger is pulled.

eye relief: For optics such as binoculars or a rifle scope, eye relief is the distance from the eyepiece to the viewers eye which matches the eyepiece exit pupil to the eye's entrance pupil. Short eye relief requires the observer to press his or her eye close to the eyepiece in order to see an unvignetted image. For a shooter, eye relief is an important safety consideration. An optic with too short an eye relief can cause a skin cut at the contact point between the optic and the eyebrow of the shooter due to recoil.

expanding bullet: An expanding bullet is a bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet.

extractor: A part in a firearm that serves to remove brass cases of fired ammunition after the ammunition has been fired. When the gun's action cycles, the extractor lifts or removes the spent brass casing from the firing chamber.

falling block action: (also known as a sliding-block action) is a single-shot firearm action in which a solid metal breechblock slides vertically in grooves cut into the breech of the rifle and actuated by a lever. When in the top position, it is locked and resists the force of recoil while sealing the chamber. In the lower position, it leaves the chamber open to be loaded by a cartridge from the rear.

ferritic nitrocarburizing: A case hardening processes that diffuse nitrogen and carbon into ferrous metals at sub-critical temperatures to improve scuffing resistance, fatigue properties and corrosion resistance of metal surfaces. Also called nitriding.

fire forming: the process of reshaping a metallic cartridge case to fit a new chamber by firing it within that chamber.

forcing cone: The tapered section at the rear of the barrel of a revolver that eases the entry of the bullet into the bore.

fouling shot: A fouling shot is a shot fired through a clean bore, intended to leave some residue of firing and prepare the bore for more consistent performance in subsequent shots. The first shot through a clean bore will behave differently from subsequent shots through a bore with traces of powder residue, resulting in a different point of impact. Also, the Fouling Shot Journal, a publication of the Cast Bullet Association.

forward assist: A button, found commonly on M16 and AR-15-styled rifles, usually located near the bolt closure, that when hit, will push the bolt carrier forward, ensuring that the bolt is locked.

fouling: The accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces. The fouling material can consist of either powder, lubrication residue, or bullet material such as lead or copper.

frangible: A bullet that is designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact to minimize their penetration for reasons of range safety, to limit environmental impact, or to limit the danger behind the intended target. Examples are the Glaser Safety Slug and the breaching round.

frizzen: an "L" shaped piece of steel hinged at the rear used in flintlock firearms. The flint scraping the steel causes a shower of sparks to be thrown into the flash pan.

gas check: is a device used in some types of firearms ammunition when non-jacketed bullets are used in high pressure cartridges, to prevent the buildup of lead in the barrel and aid in accuracy.

gas-operated reloading: a system of operation used to provide energy to operate autoloading firearms.

gauge: The gauge of a firearm is a unit of measurement used to express the diameter of the barrel.

general purpose machine gun: a machine gun intended to fill the role of either a light machine gun or medium machine gun, while at the same time being man-portable.

grain: is a unit of measurement of mass that is based upon the mass of a single seed of a typical cereal. Used in firearms to denote the amount of powder in a cartridge or the weight of a bullet. Traditionally it was based on the weight of a grain of wheat or barley, but since 1958, the grain (gr) measure has been redefined using the International System of Units as precisely 64.79891 mg. There are 7,000 grains per avoirdupois pound in the Imperial and U.S. customary units.

grip safety: A safety mechanism, usually a lever on the rear of a pistol grip, that automatically unlocks the trigger mechanism of a firearm as pressure is applied by the shooter's hand.

gunpowder, also called black powder: is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. The term gunpowder also refers broadly to any propellant powder. Modern firearms do not use the traditional gunpowder (black powder) described here, but instead use smokeless powder.

hammer bite: The action of an external hammer pinching or poking the web of the operator's shooting hand between the thumb and fore-finger when the gun is fired. Some handguns prone to this are the M1911 pistol and the Browning Hi-Power.

hang fire: An unexpected delay between the triggering of a firearm and the ignition of the propellant. This failure was common in firearm actions that relied on open primer pans, due to the poor or inconsistent quality of the powder. Modern weapons are susceptible, particularly if the ammunition has been stored in an environment outside of the design specifications.

half-cock: The position of the hammer where the hammer is partially but not completely cocked. Many firearms, particularly older firearms, had a notch cut into the hammer allowing half-cock, as this position would neither allow the gun to fire nor permit the hammer-mounted firing pin to rest on a live percussion cap or cartridge. The purpose of the half-cock position has variously been used both for loading a firearm, and as a safety-mechanism.

hammer: The function of the hammer is to strike the firing pin in a firearm, which in turn detonates the impact-sensitive cartridge primer. The hammer of a firearm was given its name for both resemblance and functional similarity to the common tool.

headspace: The distance measured from the part of the chamber that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to the face of the bolt. Used as a verb, headspace refers to the interference created between this part of the chamber and the feature of the cartridge that achieves the correct positioning.

headstamp: A headstamp is the markings on the bottom of a cartridge case designed for a firearm. It usually tells who manufactured the case. If it is a civilian case it often also tells the caliber, if it is military, the year of manufacture is often added.

heavy machine gun: a larger class of machine gun.

high brass: A shotgun shell for more powerful loads with the brass extended up further along the sides of the shell, while light loads will use "low brass" shells. The brass does not actually provide a significant amount of strength, but the difference in appearance provides shooters with a way to quickly differentiate between high and low powered ammunition.

holographic weapon sight: a non-magnifying gun sight that allows the user to look through a glass optical window and see a cross hair reticle image superimposed at a distance on the field of view. The hologram of the reticle is built into the window and is illuminated by a laser diode.

improved cartridge: A wildcat cartridge that is created by straightening out the sides of an existing case and making a sharper shoulder to maximize powder space. Frequently the neck length and shoulder position are altered as well. The caliber is NOT changed in the process.

IMR powder or Improved Military Rifle: A series of tubular nitrocellulose smokeless powders evolved from World War I through World War II for loading military and commercial ammunition and sold to private citizens for reloading rifle ammunition for hunting and target shooting.

improvised firearm: a firearm manufactured by someone who is not a regular maker of firearms.

internal ballistics: A subfield of ballistics, that is the study of a projectile's behavior from the time its propellant's igniter is initiated until it exits the gun barrel. The study of internal ballistics is important to designers and users of firearms of all types, from small-bore Olympic rifles and pistols, to high-tech artillery.

iron sights: are a system of aligned markers used to assist in the aiming of a device such as a firearm, crossbow, or telescope, and exclude the use of optics as in a scope. Iron sights are typically composed of two component sights, formed by metal blades: a rear sight mounted perpendicular to the line of sight and consisting of some form of notch (open sight) or aperture (closed sight); and a front sight that is a post, bead, or ring.

jacket: A metal, usually copper, wrapped around a lead core to form a bullet.

jeweling: a cosmetic process to enhance the looks of firearm parts, such as the bolt. The look is created with an abrasive brush and compound that roughs the surface of the metal in a circular pattern.

keyhole or keyholing: Refers to the shape of the hole left in a paper target by a bullet fired down a gun barrel which has a diameter larger than the bullet or which fails to properly stabilize the bullet. A bullet fired in this manner tends to wobble or tumble as it moves through the air and leaves a "keyhole" shaped hole in a paper target instead of a round one.

Khyber Pass copy: a firearm manufactured by cottage gunsmiths in the Khyber Pass region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

kick: The backward momentum of a gun when it is discharged. In technical terms, the recoil caused by the gun exactly balances the forward momentum of the projectile, according to Newton's third law. (often called kickback or simply recoil)

length of pull: The distance between the trigger and the butt end of the stock of a rifle or shotgun.

lever-action: is a type of firearm action which uses a lever located around 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.

light machine gun: machine gun designed to be employed by an individual soldier.

live fire exercise or LFX: Any exercise in which a realistic scenario for the use of specific equipment is simulated. In the popular lexicon this is applied primarily to tests of weapons or weapon systems that are associated with the various branches of a nation's armed forces, although the term can be applied to the civilian arena as well.

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.

machine gun: a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm.

machine pistol: a handgun-style fully automatic or burst-mode firearm.

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.

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.

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

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 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 will do.

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.

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.

NRA or National Rifle Association of America: is an American organization which lists as its goals 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).

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.

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.

obturate: An ordnance word; to close (a hole or cavity) so as to prevent a flow of gas through it, especially the escape of explosive gas from a gun tube during firing. The process of obturation is where a recess in the base of a bullet allows for expanding gases to press against the base and inside skirt of the bullet creating a gas tight seal to the bore. See also swage.

offset mount: Is where it may not be practical to mount a telescopic sight directly above the receiver and barrel of a firearm. This was noted with many military and service arms where new ammunition needs to be fed from above along a similar path, in reverse, to the spent cartridge cases being ejected clear. Not often seen or used today, although complete or partial sets of offset mounts attract keen interest from restorers and collectors.

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.

percussion cap: a small cylinder of copper or brass that was the crucial invention that enabled muzzle-loading firearms to fire reliably in any weather. The cap has one closed end. Inside the closed end is a small amount of a shock-sensitive explosive material such as fulminate of mercury. The percussion cap is placed over a hollow metal "nipple" at the rear end of the gun barrel. Pulling the trigger releases a hammer which strikes the percussion cap and ignites the explosive primer. The flame travels through the hollow nipple to ignite the main powder charge.

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

pinfire: an obsolete type of brass cartridge in which the priming compound is ignited by striking a small pin which protrudes radially from just above the base of the cartridge.

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

POA: point of aim.

POI: point of impact.

powerhead or bang stick: a specialized firearm used underwater that is fired when in direct contact with the target.

pump-action: A rifle or shotgun in which the handgrip can be pumped back and forth in order to eject a spent round of ammunition and to chamber a fresh one. It is much faster than a bolt-action and somewhat faster than a lever-action, as it does not require the trigger hand to be removed from the trigger whilst reloading. When used in rifles, this action is also commonly called a slide action.

quad-barrelled: A gun, typically artillery, with four barrels, such as the ZPU.

ramrod: a device used with early firearms to push the projectile up against the propellant (mainly gunpowder).

rate of fire: the frequency at which a firearm can fire its projectiles.

receiver: the part of a firearm that houses the operating parts.

recoil: The backward momentum of a gun when it is discharged. In technical terms, the recoil caused by the gun exactly balances the forward momentum of the projectile, according to Newton's third law. (often called kickback or simply kick)

recoil operation: Recoil operation is an operating mechanism used in locked-breech, autoloading firearms. As the name implies, these actions use the force of recoil to provide energy to cycle the action.

red dot sight: a type of reflector (reflex) sight for firearms that gives the uses a red light-emitting diode as a reticle to create an aimpoint.

reflector (reflex) sight: A generally non-magnifying optical device that has an optically collimated reticle, allowing the user to look through a partially reflecting glass element and see a parallax free cross hair or other projected aiming point superimposed on the field of view. Invented in 1900 but not generally used on firearms until reliably illuminated versions were invented in the late 1970s (usually referred to by the abbreviation "reflex sight").

revolver: a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing.

ricochet: is a rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile.

rifle bedding: a process of filling gaps between the action and the stock of a rifle with an epoxy based material.

rifling: Helical grooves in the barrel of a gun or firearm, which imparts a spin to a projectile around its long axis. This spin serves to gyroscopically stabilize the projectile, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy.

rimfire: A type of firearm cartridge that used a firing pin which strikes the base's rim, instead of striking the primer cap at the center of the base of the cartridge to ignite it (as in a centerfire cartridge). The rim of the rimfire cartridge is essentially an extended and widened percussion cap which contains the priming compound, while the cartridge case itself contains the propellant powder and the projectile (bullet).

rolling block: A form of firearm action where the sealing of the breech is done with a circular shaped breechblock able to rotate on a pin. The breechblock is locked into place by the hammer, thus preventing the cartridge from moving backwards at the moment of firing. By cocking the hammer, the breechblock can be rotated freely to reload the weapon.

round: a single cartridge.

sabot: a device used in a firearm to fire a projectile, such as a bullet, that is smaller than the bore diameter.

safety: A mechanism used to help prevent the accidental discharge of a firearm, helping to ensure safer handling. Safeties can generally be divided into subtypes such as internal safeties (which typically do not receive input from the user) and external safeties (which typically allow the user to give input, for example, toggling a lever from "on" to "off" or something similar). Sometimes these are called "passive" and "active" safeties (or "automatic" and "manual"), respectively.

sawed-off shotgun/short-barreled shotgun (SBS): a type of shotgun with a shorter gun barrel and often a shorter or deleted stock.

selective fire: A firearm that fires semi–automatically and at least one automatic mode by means of a selector depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in this mode. The most common limits are two or three rounds per pull of the trigger.

semi-wadcutter or SWC: A type of all-purpose bullet commonly used in revolvers which combines features of the wadcutter target bullet and traditional round nosed revolver bullets, and is used in both revolver and pistol cartridges for hunting, target shooting, and plinking. The basic SWC design consists of a roughly conical nose, truncated with a flat point, sitting on a cylinder. The flat nose punches a clean hole in the target, rather than tearing it like a round nose bullet would, and the sharp shoulder enlarges the hole neatly, allowing easy and accurate scoring of the target. The SWC design offers better external ballistics than the wadcutter, as its conical nose produces less drag than the flat cylinder.

shooting range: a specialized facility designed for firearms practice.

shooting sticks: are portable weapon mounts.

short-barreled rifle (SBR): a legal designation in the United States, referring to a shoulder-fired, rifled firearm with a barrel length of less than 16" (40.6 cm) or overall length of less than 26" (66.0 cm).

single-action: Usually referring to a pistol or revolver, single-action is when the hammer is pulled back manually by the shooter (cocking it), after which the trigger is operated to fire the shot. See also double-action.

single-shot: A firearm that holds only a single round of ammunition, and must be reloaded after each shot.

slamfire: a premature, unintended discharge of a firearm that occurs as a round is being loaded into the chamber.

sleeving: A method of using new tubes to replace a worn-out gun barrel.

slide bite or Snake bite: A phenomenon which is often grouped with hammer bite. In this case the web of the shooting hand is cut or abraded by the rearward motion of the semi-automatic pistol's slide, not by the gun's hammer. This most often occurs with small pistols like the Walther PPK and Walther TPH that have an abbreviated grip tang. This problem is exacerbated by the sharp machining found on many firearms.

sling: is a type of strap or harness designed to allow an operator carry a firearm (usually a long gun such as a rifle, carbine, shotgun, or submachine gun) on his/her person and/or aid in greater hit probability with that firearm.

snubnosed revolver: a revolver with a short barrel length.

speedloader: A device used for loading a firearm or firearm magazine with loose ammunition very quickly. Generally, speedloaders are used for loading all chambers of a revolver simultaneously, although speedloaders of different designs are also used for the loading of fixed tubular magazines of shotguns and rifles, or the loading of box or drum magazines. Revolver speedloaders are used for revolvers having either swing-out cylinders or top-break cylinders.

spitzer bullet: an aerodynamic bullet design.

sporterising, sporterisation, or sporterization: The practice of modifying military-type firearms either to make them suitable for civilian sporting use or to make them legal under the law.

squib load, also known as squib round, pop and no kick, or just squib: A firearms malfunction in which a fired projectile does not have enough force behind it to exit the barrel, and thus becomes stuck. Squib loads make the firearm unsafe to shoot, unless the projectile can be removed.

stock: The part of a rifle or other firearm, to which the barrel and firing mechanism are attached, that is held against one's shoulder when firing the gun. The stock provides a means for the shooter to firmly support the device and easily aim it.

stopping power: The ability of a firearm or other weapon to cause a penetrating ballistic injury to a target, human or animal, sufficient to incapacitate the target where it stands.

stripper clip: A speedloader that holds several cartridges together in a single unit for easier loading of a firearm's magazine. A stripper clip is used only for loading the magazine and is not necessary for the firearm to function.

silencer, suppressor, sound suppressor, sound moderator, or "hush puppy": A device attached to or part of the barrel of a firearm to reduce the amount of noise and flash generated by firing the weapon.

swage: To reduce an item in size by forcing through a die. In internal ballistics, swaging refers to the process where bullets are swaged into the rifling of the barrel by the force of the expanding powder gases.

swaged bullet: A bullet that is formed by forcing the bullet into a die to assume its final form.

swaged choke: A constriction or choke in a shotgun barrel formed by a swaging process that compresses the outside of the barrel.

swaged rifling: Rifling in a firearm barrel formed by a swaging process, such as button rifling.

Taylor KO Factor: mathematical approach for evaluating the stopping power of hunting cartridges.
telescoping stock or collapsing stock: A stock on a firearm that telescopes or folds in on itself in order to become more compact. Telescoping stocks are useful for storing a rifle or weapon in a space that it would not normally fit in.

terminal ballistics: A sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior of a projectile when it hits its target.

Throat Erosion(firearms): The wearing of the portion of the barrel where the gas pressure and heat is highest as the projectile leaves the chamber. The greater the chamber pressure the more rapid throat erosion occurs which is compounded by rapid firing which heats and weakens the steel.

trigger: A mechanism that actuates the firing sequence of a firearm. Triggers almost universally consist of levers or buttons actuated by the index finger.

trunnion: a cylindrical protrusion used as a mounting and/or pivoting point. On firearms, the barrel is sometimes mounted in a trunnion, which in turn is mounted to the receiver.

upset forging: A process that increases the diameter of a workpiece by compressing its length.

underlug: 1. The locking lugs on a break-action firearm that extend from the bottom of the barrels under the chamber(s) and connect into the receiver bottom. 2. The metal shroud underneath the barrel of a revolver that surrounds and protects the extractor rod. The two types of underlugs include half-lug, meaning the shroud does not run the entire length of the barrel but instead is only as long as the extractor rod, and full-lug, meaning the shroud runs the full length of the barrel.

underwater firearm: a firearm specially designed for use underwater.

varmint rifle: A small-caliber firearm or high-powered air gun primarily used for varmint hunting — killing non-native or non-game animals such as rats, house sparrows, starling, crows, ground squirrels, gophers, jackrabbits, marmots, groundhogs, porcupine, opossum, coyote, skunks, weasels, or feral cats, dogs, goats, pigs and other animals considered to be nuisance vermin destructive to native or domestic plants and animals.

wadcutter: A special-purpose bullet specially designed for shooting paper targets, usually at close range and at subsonic velocities typically under 800 ft/s (240 m/s). They are often used in handgun and airgun competitions. A wadcutter has a flat or nearly flat front that cuts a very clean hole through the paper target, making it easier to score and ideally reducing errors in scoring the target to the favor of the shooter.

WCF: An acronym for a family of cartridges designed by Winchester Repeating Arms Company, called Winchester Center Fire, as in the .30-30 WCF or .32 WCF.

wheellock: an obsolete mechanism for firing a firearm.

wildcat cartridge or wildcat: A custom cartridge for which ammunition and firearms are not mass-produced. These cartridges are often created in order to optimize a certain performance characteristic (such as the power, size or efficiency) of an existing commercial cartridge. See improved cartridge.

windage: The side-to-side adjustment of a sight, used to change the horizontal component of the aiming point. See also Kentucky windage.

x-ring: a circle in the middle of a shooting target bullseye used to determine winners in event of a tie.

yaw: The heading of a bullet, used in external ballistics that refers to how the Magnus effect causes bullets to move out of a straight line based on their spin.

zero-in or zeroing: The act of setting up a telescopic or other sighting system so that the point of impact of a bullet matches the sights at a specified distance.
WHITESPACE

Ammunition
Calibers
The caliber of any firearm is the measurement of the bore of its barrel. It could be measured directly as the diameter of the bore, or some intermediate system could be used as in the case of shotguns, where the caliber or gauge equals the number of lead ball bullets of that diameter which could be molded from one pound of lead. In the case of rifled firearms, the caliber is the measured diameter between lands or grooves of the rifling (see the picture). However, for many reasons actual (measured) caliber may differ from the caliber designation. Most often this misnomer is based on historical or marketing issues. Another source of complications is that there are two measuring systems used worldwide – the metric system and the imperial or inch system. Metric calibers are measured in millimeters, i.e. “7.65 mm” or “9 mm”; Inch calibers are measured in hundredths or thousandths of an inch, with the omission of the leading zero, i.e. “.30” or “.300” (0.30 inch or 7.62mm) or “.45” (0.45 inch or 11.43mm). The direct relationship between metric and inch calibers is represented as 1 inch = 25.4 millimeter, or 1 millimeter = 0.039 inch. In some cases, the nominal inch caliber is the same as the bore diameter (between the lands), as in the case of many .30 caliber weapons that have bore diameters of 0.30 inch or 7.62mm. In other cases, the nominal caliber may match the bullet diameter (slightly wider than the bore) e.g. the .40 S&W. However, in a few cases, the nominal inch calibers have no direct relationship with actual bore or bullet diameter, as with .38 caliber rounds which have bullet diameters ranging from 0.357 to 0.401 inches; these cartridges retain their misleading designations from the age of black powder revolvers. Metric caliber designations tend to be more accurate, but may still vary between whether bore (e.g. 7.62mm) or bullet (e.g. 9mm) diameters are used.

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Even if two firearms have exactly the same actual caliber, they may use cartridges of very different size and power, i.e. Soviet TT pistol and US M1 Garand rifle both have bores of 7.62mm diameter, but their cartridges are very different in size and power. Therefore, in most cases it is insufficient to know just the caliber of a firearm to procure suitable ammunition, and some additional information needs to be provided. The simplest way is to give any cartridge its own name, i.e. 9mm Steyr and 9mm Luger, or .357 Magnum and .357 SIG. In either case, the calibers (bullet diameters) are the same, but the cartridge shapes, dimensions and power are different, and they are NOT interchangeable. However, there are far too many cartridges to give them all names, so the most convenient (and most common) way with metric designations is to use the case length in conjunction with the caliber. The typical designation that follows this pattern is 9x19, where “9” means the caliber and “19” is the cartridge case length, both measured in millimeters. If several cartridges of different properties have same caliber and case length, some additional information must be provided, usually in the form of a name or suffix, which distinguishes the shape of case head. The sample of the “name” use is 9x23 Largo / Bergmann and 9x23 Steyr cartridges, which were independent developments but are virtually indistinguishable in size and power. Another example is 9x23 Winchester, which, while having the same external dimensions as previous two 9x23 cartridges, has thicker case walls and thus can withstand heavier pressures; this cartridge can be easily loaded into firearm designed for either of former cartridges, but to do so would be extremely dangerous! Yet another example is a fourth cartridge with the same caliber and case length, the 9x23SR, more generally known as .38 Super Automatic or simply .38 Super. This cartridge has semi-rimmed case, that is, it has both the extraction groove and a diminutive rim, as it was designed in around 1898 to be used both in semi-automatic pistols and revolvers. Another example of similar designations but different actual dimensions are 9x18 PM and 9x18 Police cartridges. While these are identical in designations, actual calibers are different, as the 9mm PM bullet has an actual diameter of 9.2mm, and the 9mm Ultra has an actual bullet diameter of 9.02mm. Therefore, mismatching one such cartridge for another may be very dangerous for both gun and shooter. The source of this mismatch is that most western calibers are measured between the grooves of the rifling, and therefore are same as actual bullet diameter; in Russia and USSR, some calibers were measured between the lands of the rifling, therefore actual bullet diameter is bigger than measured caliber.
Considering all said above, great care must be exerted when selecting proper ammunition for any firearm.

WHITESPACE

Bullet types
Many and various bullet types have been developed for fighting, training and other applications; only the most common are mentioned below.

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Lead bullets are the oldest type and today used mostly in revolver and small-bore rimfire ammunition. These are formed from lead, or more often, an alloy of lead and antimony. Such bullets are inexpensive but usually can’t withstand higher velocities, and produce significant lead fouling in a rifled bore during prolonged use. Lead bullets are most often used for target shooting and practice, and (sometimes) for hunting.


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Jacketed bullets are the most common and are the only available for military weapons due to international treaties. Such bullets are designed using a lead core that is enclosed by a gilding-metal jacket. These bullets are known for good penetration, but stopping power is often less significant than that of expanding bullets. Jacketed bullets are sometimes referred as “ball” bullets on historical grounds.


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Hollow-point bullets are currently the most popular choice for police and self-defense ammunition. Such bullets are designed with the hollow cavity in the nose (therefore the common name “hollow-point”). This cavity causes the bullet to expand once it hits the soft tissue of human or animal body; thus results in reduced penetration but a wider wound channel and faster target incapacitation.


Armor-piercing pistol ammunition is nowadays mainly intended for use against adversaries with body armor. The simplest AP bullets for handgun ammunition are usually made from solid brass or bronze; sometimes these bullets are made with pointed tips to further improve penetration. Since such bullets, because of their hardness, may cause excessive wear to the barrel, they may be covered with some a softer materiel, such as Teflon. In some cases, AP bullets are made with the traditional soft brass or other gilding-metal jacket and with a composite core, made of a hardened steel penetrator together with some other filler. One example of such ammunition is the Belgian FN 5.7mm SS190 bullet, which has core made partly of steel (front) and partly of aluminum (rear). Another example is the Russian 9mm 7N21 bullet, which has a hardened steel core that passes throughout entire bullet and is exposed at the tip; the space between the jacket and core is filled with polyethylene.

WHITESPACE

Determining a firearm's condition
Overall state
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Look at the overall condition of the firearm. Notice the condition of the bluing, stock finish, checkering, butt plate or recoil pad, pistol grip cap, forearm tip, and so on. Check the crown at the muzzle end of the barrel. There should not be any obvious dings that might affect the accuracy of the firearm. Look for rust pitting on external metal surfaces. The firearm doesn't have to be perfect in every area, but it should show care rather than neglect. A firearm could be rough on the outside, yet perfect on the inside, but the chances are that an owner who didn't care for the external parts of a gun also didn't care for the parts you can't see. Look carefully down the external length of the barrel to see that it looks straight and there are no subtle bulges. Don't buy the firearm if you suspect that the barrel has been bulged, no matter how slightly, or is not straight.

WHITESPACE

State of the bore
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If a firearm is used, the bore can get worn down. Of course, it can be maintained and the grooves restored or have the entire barrel replaced, but as the bore gets worn down it can lose its spin, lose velocity and suffer at a loss of accuracy. The first thing any gun owner will do before buying a firearm is inspecting the bore. If its gritty, scratched and damaged they generally won't buy it.

WHITESPACE

Trigger
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This is equally as important as the first two requirements. There are some very good quality guns that have a very rough trigger from the factory. However, a good gunsmith can usually fix this with no problem. Having a smooth trigger is very important. Most of the time when a shooter pulls a shot, it is due to a poor trigger press or trigger control. A smooth trigger on a good pistol will make it easier to have better trigger control, thus, better accuracy.

WHITESPACE

Cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning
1. Get a cleaning kit

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Whether you purchase a pre-assembled cleaning kit from a sporting goods store or you assemble the necessary components individually, you'll need a few basic things to have in your arsenal of cleaning supplies. A basic set includes:
  • Cleaning solvent
  • Lubricant, or gun oil
  • A bore brush
  • A patch holder and patches
  • Cleaning rod
  • A nylon cleaning brush
  • Flashlight
  • Cotton swabs
  • Microfiber cloths for polishing

2. Unload the firearm

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Always take the time to properly unload your gun and double-check to make sure that it's unloaded every time you pick it up to clean it. Remember that your gun may still have a round ready to fire after you remove the magazine, so check and remove this round.
After opening the chamber, look through the barrel from back to front. Confirm that no round remains inside, either in the chamber or stuck in the barrel. No gun can be considered unloaded until you have looked through the barrel.


3. Disassemble the firearm

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Semi-automatic pistols and rifles will generally be stripped into their major components: barrel, slide, guide rod, frame and magazine. Revolvers, shotguns, and most other sorts of guns will not need to be stripped to clean them.
Field stripping is not necessary to clean the gun thoroughly. Don't take apart your gun more than you have to unless it requires repair. Likewise, some guns can't be stripped at all and it won't be necessary to do anything but open the chamber to clean it.


4. Clean out the barrel with cleaning rod and patches

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Soak the bore, or inside of the barrel, using a cleaning rod, patch holder and the right size cotton patches for your gun. Work from the back of the bore if you can. If not, use a muzzle guard. The muzzle guard keeps the cleaning rod from banging against the muzzle, which can cause your gun to malfunction.
To thoroughly clean the barrel out, push a solvent-soaked patch through the bore until it exits the other end. Remove the patch, don't pull it back through. Pulling it back through will just redeposit all the gunk you clean off.


5. Alternate the bore brush and patches to thoroughly scrub the barrel

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Remove the patch holder and attach the bore brush. Run the bore brush back and forth along the full length of the bore 3 or 4 times to loosen any debris. Next, reattach the patch holder and run solvent-soaked cotton patches through the bore. Remove them when they exit the front. Repeat this process until a patch comes out clean.
Run one more dry patch through to dry it out and inspect it closely for any build-up you may have missed.


6. Lubricate the barrel
Attach the cotton mop to the cleaning rod. Apply a few drops of gun conditioner or lubricant to the cotton mop and run it through the bore to leave a light coating of gun oil on the inside.


7. Clean and lubricate the action with solvent
Apply solvent to the gun brush and brush all parts of the action. Wipe them dry with a clean cloth.
Next, lubricate the moving parts of the action lightly. A light coating helps prevent rust. A heavy coating gets gummy and attracts debris, so only use a small amount.


8. Wipe down the rest of your gun with a luster cloth

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This is a flannel cloth that comes pre-treated with a silicon lubricant. It will remove any remaining debris, including acid from fingerprints, and add shine.
If you don't have a particular cloth designated for cleaning guns, old t-shirts and pairs of socks work really well for the purpose. Use something you've got lying around and won't need to reuse.

WHITESPACE

Maintaining
1. Clean your gun after every use
A good-quality firearm is a significant investment, whether you're using it for sport, hunting, or home defense. Make sure you give it the attention it deserves whenever you get back from a round of firing it.
The whole cleaning process, start to finish, only takes 20 or 30 minutes. It's worth it to do it regularly. You might even consider getting out old guns from the back of the closet and doing them all at once while you've got the materials out. Can't hurt.

2. Consider investing in a barrel snake and/or ultrasonic cleaners

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Like everything else, gun cleaning technology is cutting edge. For rifles and shotguns, barrel snakes are long multi-purpose cleaners that make the job much quicker and easier, some featuring lights on the end that allow you to see the interior of the barrel much more easily. It cuts down on time and makes the job more efficient.

3. Store your guns unloaded in a cool and dry environment
To ensure the longest life for your gun, don't store them anywhere they'll be significantly affected by the elements. Keep them indoors, in temperature-controlled environments. Consider investing in trigger locks to keep your gun safe and tamper proof.
Soft or hard cases are available for guns, anywhere as cheap as $15 or $20. If you have a higher budget, there are also lockable gun cabinets and safes made for the purpose of storing guns in a controlled and locked environment.

WHITESPACE

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Pyotr_Zhurov
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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Pyotr_Zhurov » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:07 am

I'll be working on a guide for role-playing around illegal firearms as well. Stay tuned.
If you have got any feedback regarding this guide, please let me know.

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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Patrick_Latessa » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:09 am

Ha ha! Great guide.

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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by William_Donoghue » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:16 am

very useful way thank u
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Evans
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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Evans » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:43 am

A lot of detail and well written, good job!
Last edited by Evans on Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Joey_Rodrigo » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:29 am

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i like

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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by J. Puentes » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:07 am

Excellent.

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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by BreaDough » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:21 am

this is nice

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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by JayBiatch » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:33 pm

Loving this bro! Good attention to detail!
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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Jörgen » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:43 pm

War Against Clipazines.

I like it.
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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by KoNos » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:06 am

Looks great keep it up!
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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Clem-Clem » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:17 am

Actually amazing. Love it, definitely useful :P
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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Superb » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:29 pm

Good one, worth reading.

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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Bloodseeker » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:49 pm

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Woozyarth
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Re: [GUIDE] Firearms Basics

Post by Woozyarth » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:39 pm

This is a nice guide that I can use when RPing the handgun, beside I know some basics of the firearm.

Thanks.
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