The parts of a firearm which load, fire, and unload the gun.
Modern shells or cartridges are comprised of a shell (or case) containing primer, gun powder and projectile.
AK: As in AK47, abbreviation for an automatic assault rifle designed for the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1947 (Avtomat Kalashnikov)
An abbreviation devired from Arma Lite, the first manufacturer of that style of gun.
Also called a self-loader or semi-automatic; firearm action type which fires, ejects empty cases, and loads a fresh cartridge with each pull of the trigger.

Impact area for archery and firearm projectiles.
Black powder
: A gun powder mixture made from charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate used in firearms prior to 20th century.
Bolt action:
A manual firearm action type. After firing, operating the bolt ejects an empty case and loads a fresh cartridge from the magazine.
Break Action:
A manual firearm action that opens the barrel for manual removal of an empty case and manual reloading of a fresh cartridge.
Bolt lock: A button or lever on firearms which must be depressed in order to open the action once the firearm is cocked.
Bore: The interior diameter of a gun barrel.
Bullet: A single projectile fired from a handgun or rifle. It is one part of a cartridge.


Measurement of the diameter of the bore or bullet for rifles and handguns. The measurement can be in hundredths or thousandths of an inch, or the metric system.
Cap lock: Percussion ignition muzzle loading firearm; uses a small metal percussion cap, which is struck by the hammer, creating a flash which ignites powder.
Carrying positions: Ways in which a firearm can be carried so that the mussel is pointed in a safe direction. Various carrying positions are used when in a group.
Carbine: A shorter version (shorter barrel length) of a rifle which uses the same ammunition as the full scale rifle.
Cartridge: Ammunition; round; shell; tube containing a complete charge for a firearm.
Case: Holds the components to form a round of ammunition; also called a “shell”.
Center fire: A of cartridge which holds primer in the rear center of the cartridge head.
Chamber: The part of a firearm which holds and supports a round of ammunition for firing.
Choke: The constriction at the end of a shotgun barrel which controls the spread of the pellets shot.
Cylinder choke: One type of shotgun choke.

Firing a gun.
Double action: Type of handgun action which cocks and releases the hammer with one pull of the trigger.
Dry-fire: Pulling the trigger on an unloaded firearm, often used as a training technique.

Gun, including muzzle loading, shotguns, rifles, and handguns.
Flintlock: A type of muzzle loading firearm which uses flint and steel to create a shower of sparks to ignite the powder.
Forearm (or Forend): The forward section of the stock.
Full choke: One type of shotgun choke which is very tight for longer range shooting.
Fuel: Something that burns.


Measurement of shotgun barrels, as in 12 gauge, 20 gauge, etc.
Grooves: Spiral cuts inside the bore of rifled barrels.
Gun: Firearm; including muzzle loading, shotguns, rifles, and handguns.


Part of a firearm action that causes ammunition to discharge by a striking the primer.
Handgun: Any type of hand-held firearm, including a revolver, semi-automatic pistol, a bolt action, or a break action pistol which is intended to be held and fired using one hand.
Hang fire: A dangerous condition in which the trigger is pulled but the firearm does not discharge immediately and will discharge at a later time.
Hull: A shot gun shell case.
Hunt: Chase; pursue; track; trail; all hunters must possess a hunting license.
Hunter orange: A bright florescent color commonly incorporated into high visibility safety clothing, such as hunting gear and traffic safety vests.


To set on fire.


Lever action:
A manual firearm action type; after firing, operating the lever ejects an empty case and loads a fresh cartridge from the magazine and cocks the action.
Lock: The firing mechanism of a muzzle loading firearm.


That part of a firearm which stores extra rounds of ammunition.
Muzzle: The end of a firearm barrel through which bullets or shot exit.
Muzzle loader: A traditional firearm which is loaded from the muzzle.


A small metal tube on a cap lock muzzle loading firearm. A metal percussion cap fits over the nipple to create a flash to ignite powder.


Obstacle; barrier.
Open sight: Uses a rear sight and a front sight.

Peep sight:
A rear sight with a small aperture, or peephole, through which the shooter looks at the front sight.
Pellets (shot): Projectiles fired in shot shells, various sizes are available.
Pistol: A semi-automatic handgun.
Powder flask: A container made of brass, copper, leather to hold a supply of gun powder.
Powder measure: Very small container designed to hold enough powder for one shot only.
Primer: A small metal cup containing an explosive compound used to ignite powder. Sometimes called a cap.
Pump action: A manual firearm action type. After firing, operating the pump ejects an empty case, moves a fresh cartridge from the magazine and cocks the action.

A rod used on muzzle loading firearms to seat projectiles firmly. Ramrods are also used to clean firearms.
Revolver: A handgun that uses a revolving magazine.
Rifling: Spiral grooves in a firearm’s bore; rifling aids in accuracy.
Rim fire: A of cartridge which holds primer in the rear rim of the cartridge head. This is most commonly used for a .22-caliber.


A mechanical device designed to prevent the discharge of a firearm.
Shot: Pellets used in shot shells. Sizes range from 12 (small) to F and T (very large).
Shot shell: Ammunition used in shotguns.
Single action: A type of handgun action which requires the hammer to be cocked by hand every time the gun is fired.
Slug: Heavy projectile for shotgun ammunition used for hunting certain big game species. Think of it as a “bullet” the size of the shot gun gauge.
Smokeless powder: Also known as progressive burning powder, this is the gun powder used in all modern firearms, but not in any muzzle loading firearm.
Smoothbore: A type of shot gun barrel which has no rifling. Smooth bore barrels are used to fire pellets.
Stock: The part of a firearm that is used to hold and aim the gun.


Telescopic sight:
A sighting system on firearms which magnifies the size of the target.
Trigger: The lever on a firearm that is squeezed to discharge the gun.
Trigger guard: The loop of metal that surrounds the trigger to help prevent accidental firing.


Paper, fiber, or plastic insert used in shot shells to seal gasses from the gun powder and assist in evenly projecting pellets through the barrel.


The area in which your shot may be effective.

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