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Gun Terms and Definitions

Ammo

Slang term for Ammunition

Ammunition

Ammunition is gunpowder and artillery, or broadly anything that can be used in combat including bombs, missiles, warheads, landmines, naval mines, and anti-personnel mines. The word comes from the French la munition which is all material used for war. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions.

BG

Acronym for "Bad Guy"

Bullet

A bullet is a projectile propelled by a firearm, sling, or air gun. Bullets do not normally contain explosives, but damage the intended target by impact and penetration. The word "bullet" is sometimes colloquially used to refer to ammunition in general, or to a cartridge, which is a combination of the bullet, case/shell, powder, and primer. This use of 'bullet', when 'cartridge' is intended, leads to confusion when the components of a cartridge are discussed or intended. See the reference section for more detail.

Cartridge

A cartridge (also called a round or a shell) is a type of ammunition packaging a bullet, a propellant substance (usually either smokeless powder or black powder) and a primer within a metallic, paper, or plastic case that is precisely made to fit within the firing chamber of a firearm

Centerfire

A centerfire cartridge is a cartridge with a primer located in the center of the cartridge case head. Unlike rimfire cartridges, the primer is a separate and replaceable component.

Clip

A Stripper clip is a device that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine or cylinder of a 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. Several different types of clips exist, most of which are made of inexpensive metal stampings that are designed to be disposable, though they are often re-used. The defining difference between clips and magazines is the presence of a feed mechanism in a magazine, typically a spring-loaded follower, which a clip lacks

Double Action (DA)

Double Action (DA) refers to the trigger action of a gun that both cocks and releases a hammer when the trigger is pulled.

Failure To Eject/Extract (FTE)

A gun malfunction where an expended case an automatic or semiautomatic weapon fails to exit the gun either entirely or partially.

Failure To Feed (FTF)

A weapon malfunction where the weapon fails to feed the next round into the firing chamber.

Firing Pin

A firing pin is a lightweight part, which serves to transfer energy from a spring-loaded hammer to the primer. The firing pin or striker is generally located in the bolt of a repeating firearm. Firearms that do not have bolts, such as revolvers and many types of single-shot actions, generally have a very short firing pin in the frame, or else attached to the hammer itself.

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

A full metal jacket (or FMJ) is a bullet consisting of a soft core (usually made of lead) encased in a shell of harder metal, such as gilding metal, cupronickel or less commonly a steel alloy. This shell can extend around all of the bullet (alternatively termed a total metal jacket round) or, more often, just around the front and sides with the rear lead part left exposed.

Gun

A gun is a normally tubular weapon or other device designed to discharge projectiles or other material.

Gun Control

Refers to any law, policy, practice, or proposal designed to define, restrict, or limit the possession, production or modification, importation, shipment, sale, and/or use of firearms.

Hammer

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

Hollow-Point

A hollow-point bullet is an expanding bullet that has a pit or hollowed out shape in its tip, often intended to cause the bullet to expand upon entering a target in order to decrease penetration and disrupt more tissue as it travels through the target.

LEO

Acronym for "Law Enforcement Officer" or possibly "Law Enforcement Official"

Magazine

A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines can be removable (detachable) or integral to the firearm. 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. The detachable magazine is often referred to as a clip, although this is technically inaccurate.

Revolver

A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a revolving cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. The term "revolver" refers to a handgun, but other weapons may also have a revolving chamber. These include some models of grenade launchers, shotguns, and rifles.

Rimfire

A rimfire is a type of firearm cartridge. It is called a rimfire because instead of the firing pin of a gun striking the primer cap at the center of the base of the cartridge to ignite it (as in a centerfire cartridge), the pin strikes the base's rim.

Semi-Automatic

Semi-Automatic refers to a gun that when the trigger is pulled, the gun both fires a round and prepares to fire the next round when the trigger is pulled again. The gun however will not fire more than one round per trigger pull.

Single Action (SA)

Single Action (SA) refers to the trigger action of a gun that releases a hammer when it is already cocked.

Single Action Only (SOA)

Single Action Only refers to a trigger action where the trigger, when pulled will only discharge a hammer that is already cocked. The act of pulling the trigger will not cock the hammer on a single action only gun thus pulling the trigger on a firearm with an uncocked hammer will prove to be useless.

Single Action/Double Action(SA/DA)

Single Action/Double Action or SA/DA refers to guns with a trigger action where pulling the trigger will fire a hammer that is in cocked position but also cock the hammer and fire it if it is not previously cocked. It is the best of both worlds.

Slide

The slide is a part on a majority of semi-automatic pistols that moves during the operating cycle and generally houses the firing pin or striker and the extractor, and serves as the bolt. It is spring-loaded so that once it has moved to its rearmost position in the firing cycle, spring tension brings it back to the starting position chambering a fresh cartridge during the motion provided that the magazine is not empty.