The Glossary of Industry terms has been compiled by SAAMI’s Technical Committee to facilitate technical interchanges between members of that committee. It is not intended to provide legal definitions of the terms included, and, in light of further experience, the definitions of these terms may change. It is not intended to be comprehensive since it does not cover the full range of the diversity of the sporting arms and ammunition industry’s products. It is, in other words, a working draft that, it is hoped, may be useful in addressing certain technical matters frequently considered by the Technical Committee and is subject to further change and refinement.

It was the committee’s decision that ONLY industry terms would be included which are unique to the firearms and ammunition industry directly. Optical terms have been omitted for the most part. Common metallurgical terms were not included because they are not unique to the industry. Where there is a common term with a usage unique to our industry, it has, however, been included.



A spacer used to maintain center distance of double barrels during manufacture.


A means of holding straps or cords, such as gun slings, together with a loop or clip made of leather, metal or plastic.


A single particle of propellant powder.


An oblong or oval hole in a target that is produced by an unstable bullet striking the target at an angle to the bullet’s longitudinal axis.


The part which draws back a rod which forces home a cartridge on some recoil operated firearms. Also refers to some break-open shotgun ejectors.


Based on the general equation for kinetic energy, Ek=½mv2, which directly uses mass (m) and velocity (v), the following formula is used to calculate the kinetic energy of a projectile (expressed in foot-pounds):


In this formula, W = weight of projectile, in grains; V = velocity, in feet per second; gc= gravitational constant, 32.174 ft/s2


The front section of the action bar flats.


1. A series of regular ridges or rectangles on a metal surface to help prevent slipping. Used on triggers, hammers, bolt handles, etc. 2. Sometimes used in referring to cartridge case or bullet cannelures.