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 process of wood carving gun stocks by machine rather than by hand.
A fully automatic firearm that loads and fires live cartridges and ejects the spent cartridges continuously when the fire mechanism is held until ammunition is exhausted, the firearm’s designed burst cycle is completed or the firing mechanism is released.
Also Known As: Full Automatic
Mechanical apparatus used for holding a firearm in a precisely controlled, selected position for testing the accuracy of the ammunition or the firearm.
1. A building for the storage of either ammunition or its components. 2. A receptacle for a firearm that holds a plurality of cartridges or shells under spring pressure preparatory for feeding into the chamber. Magazines take many forms, such as box, drum, rotary, tubular, etc. and may be fixed or removable.
The device that retains or releases the magazine in a firearm. Also known as Magazine Latch or Magazine Release.
Also Known As: Magazine Latch, Magazine Release, Magazine Lock
MAGAZINE CUT OFF
A mechanical device that enables the user to selectively enable or disable the magazine feed mechanism of a firearm.
Also Known As: Cut Off
A repeating firearm in which the ammunition for subsequent firing is fed from a magazine.
A spring-actuated device to move cartridges in a magazine into the feeding position.
1. A part inserted in a magazine to reduce its capacity. 2. A part in the end of a tubular magazine which closes the end and retains the spring.
The spring in a magazine that exerts its thrust against the follower.
A non-technical term commonly used to imply higher performance than standard cartridges or shells of a given caliber, or gauge or similar cartridges. Rifles, handguns or shotguns that are designed to fire Magnum cartridges or shells may also be described with the term Magnum.
Also Known As: Magnum Cartridge
The mechanical, energy storage device that operates the striker or hammer of a firearm.
Failure of a firearm to perform properly due either to the firearm or the ammunition.
A type of rotary magazine.
A full length rifle stock which extends from the butt to the muzzle.
A safety device on some firearms that must be manually engaged and subsequently disengaged to permit normal firing.
A term used in conjunction with a number to designate a specific model or type of firearm or ammunition.
Also Known As: M, Mk
Words or symbols, stamped, rolled, cast or engraved, on a firearm designating the manufacturer, model, origin, caliber or gauge, choke, material, etc.
Ammunition made specifically for match target shooting. Produced with special controls to assure maximum uniformity of cartridge performance.
A dull non-reflecting metallic surface.
Also Known As: Matte Finish
An elongated, heavy weight bullet, usually incorporating annular exterior grooves to hold lubricant.. Designed to be loaded and fired without a patch, it’s major diameter being slightly larger than bore diameter causing engraving by the rifling upon loading.
The greatest charge weight, in grains, of a particular propellant that may be used with other specified ammunition components without exceeding the safe, maximum, allowable pressure limit for the specific cartridge or shell being loaded.
The greatest distance a projectile can travel when fired at the optimum angle of elevation of the gun barrel.
The arithmetic mean of the distances between the centers of each shot hole from the calculated group center.
A mechanically operated clay target throwing device.
A term for the blunt tip of a bullet, specifically the tip’s diameter.
Metallic bullet material left in the bore after firing.
A generic term for rimfire and centerfire ammunition derived from their metallic cases.
Ammunition having a metallic cartridge case.
METFORD RIFLING SYSTEM
A form of rifling with shallow grooves that are arcs of less than half of the groove diameter.
MICROMETER POWDER MEASURE
An adjustable, volumetric device for measuring propellant powders.
A sight with a mechanism for adjusting windage and elevation settings controlled by cylindrically calibrated knobs, usually with detents to control and indicate setting intervals.
1. A term that defines a specific point in the trajectory of a projectile that is half the distance between the firearm and the target. 2. A reduced velocity, centerfire cartridge, used principally in target shooting.
The distance, measured in inches, that a projectile travels above the line of sight at a specific point in the trajectory that is half the distance between the firearm and a target.
A second, smaller bead sight near the middle of the barrel or barrels of some shotguns.
Also Known As: Mid Bead Sight
The angle subtended by one unit at 1000 units.
A conical nosed lead bullet, slightly under bore diameter, incorporating a hollow base, designed to expand into the rifled bore upon firing for gas sealing purposes without the use of a patch.
MINUTE OF ANGLE (M.O.A.)
An angular measurement method used to describe accuracy capability. A minute of angle is one sixtieth of a degree, and subtends 1.047 inches at 100 yards, which for practical shooting purposes is considered to be one inch. A minute of angle group, therefore, equals one inch at 100 yards, two inches at 200 yards, etc.
A visual phenomenon that appears to displace a target from its true position through a shimmering effect. It is caused by heated air that deflects light rays.
Any malfunction during the feed cycle of a repeating firearm resulting in the failure of a cartridge or shell to enter the chamber completely. Also known as Failure to Feed.
Also Known As: Failure to Feed
A failure of the priming mixture to be initiated after the primer has been struck an adequate blow by a firing pin or the failure of the initiated primer to ignite the powder.
The solid section at the breech end of some multi-barrel guns into which the barrels are inserted.
MONTE CARLO STOCK
A stock with a raised comb to bring the eye in alignment with the sight.
Also Known As: Monte Carlo
The open end of a cartridge case or shotshell, from which the projectile or shot charge is expelled in firing.
A type of checkering tool.
MULTIPLE LEAF SIGHT
A type of open, rear sight having more than one folding leaves. It may also have one fixed leaf.
Also Known As: Three Leaf Sight
A descriptive term for the post-impact profile of a bullet that is designed to expand upon striking a target.
A bullet that has expanded upon impact into a mushroom-like shape.
The act of expansion of a bullet upon impact with a target.
Military firearm with long barrel and fore-end or forearm extending nearly to muzzle.
The ignition source for most military muzzle loading rifles of the Civil War era, usually consisting of a copper alloy cup containing the priming mix. They are larger than percussion caps and typically incorporate a continuous or segmented flanges (Wings) at the cup mouth for ease of handling.
The end of a gun barrel from which the bullet or shot emerges.
The resultant noise that occurs at the muzzle of a firearm when the projectile leaves the muzzle and hot gases are released.
A muzzle attachment or feature that uses the propellant combustion gas with the desired effect of redirecting the recoil.
A cover put on the muzzle end of a barrel to keep out foreign matter.
A projectile’s energy at the time it leaves the muzzle of a gun.
The illumination which is the result of the expanding gases from the burning propellant particles emerging from the barrel behind the projectile and uniting with oxygen in the air.
A device put on the end of a barrel with a hole concentric with the bore to admit a cleaning rod and keep the rod from wearing the rifling in this critical area. Not used on guns cleaned from the breech end.
The generally upward motion of the muzzle of a firearm which occurs upon firing.
Any firearm into which the projectile(s) and, usually, propellant charge are loaded from the muzzle of the barrel, or the front end of the cylinder for muzzle loading revolvers.
The velocity of a projectile as it exits the muzzle of a firearm.
The air that is compressed and moves out radially from the muzzle of a firearm after firing a projectile.
An electrical or optical device which signals the passage of shot or a projectile at the muzzle of a firearm.