In gun culture, there is a lot of firearms terminology that can be intimidating for those attempting to communicate without being familiar with the jargon associated with the firearms industry. The Arms Guide’s Gun Glossary posts will focus on a few of these terms at a time, defining them for those of us (like myself) who weren’t born super-tactical-gun-guru-badasses.
Round (noun) – a unit of ammunition consisting of a projectile (bullet, slug, or shot pellets, for example) seated into a casing or shell – which is ejected during the operation of firing. In the example of one round of 9×19 FMJ ammo, the projectile is a lead bullet with a copper jacket which may be seated into a brass casing. The end of the casing houses the primer, which, when struck, ignites the powder within the casing, causing an expansion of gas that propels the bullet forward and out of the barrel.
Bullet (noun) – the projectile launched through the gun barrel during fire, can be many different configurations, e.g., full metal jacket, lead nosed, or hollow point.
Magazine (noun) – an enclosed container for a quantity of ammunition that usually utilizes a compressed spring to feed the contained ammunition into the firearm’s chamber (may be internal or external, fixed or detachable).
Clip (noun) – a frame that holds several rounds of ammunition to facilitate loading into a magazine.
Extract (verb) – the action of an empty casing or cartridge exiting the firing chamber.
Action (verb) – the movement of a handgun’s slide during fire e.g., I actioned the slide to eject the dud round.
(noun) – the mechanism a gun uses to fire e.g., lever action, bolt action, or semi-automatic. This is also applicable to the method a firearm uses to shoot, e.g., single action, double action, or DA/SA.
Hope this helps. If the word (or acronym) for which you’re looking isn’t in this post, let me know in the comment section, and keep your eye out for more common firearms terminology in future editions of The Arms Guide’s Gun Glossary.
you guys ought to pull this over to a seperate page dedicated glossary….it would help us gun guys to direct the non gun guys to for reference when they want to call a mag a clip….
I wasn’t trying to be critical or sound like a know it all. I just felt it was something that should be pointed out for the sake of accuracy. God knows I’m certainly not perfect. I’ve been shooting since childhood and still have plenty to learn! I hope you weren’t offended or anything. I really respect what you do and appreciate your huge contribution to the community. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have subscribed to your YouTube channel and the Arms Guide! 🙂
Hopefully, one day, I can contribute some writing to something like the Arms guide and my YouTube channel will do half as well as yours! Keep up the awesome work Destinee! Can’t wait to see and read more.
hartcreek I’ve not seen that ad… I don’t watch tv >.< I end up missing out on a lot of pop culture stuff that way. Oh well :]
hartcreek I’ll see what I can do ;]
CK5150 That’s on the list, for sure!
Don1974 It wasn’t terribly long ago when I felt intimidated to try to talk with someone behind the counter when I wanted to buy a new gun… I hate feeling like I have no idea about what I’m talking, so to remedy that, I spend hours researching before I buy anything. It helps, but there are still things I learn about the industry every day. So, I want to try to share my experience through this site, and my YouTube channel as I continue to learn and hope that it helps others in similar positions (i.e., newer to the shooting sports).
ristin59 Thanks :]
alfonzo1955 Ooh, that’s a good one.
JunkfoodZombie You make an excellent point… Modified.
JunkfoodZombie You make an excellent point… Modified.
I cringe ever time i see that Coors add for Silver Bullet with the cartridge going across the screen.
How about adding photos too for some examples such as magazine and clip as well as other terms.
AlessioBaldi -yeah, what you said….
And not everything with a scope is a “sniper rifle.” 🙂
I could never understand why gun store employees felt the need to talk down to people. The worst is when they give bad advice. I know one guy who tries to sell everyone the same gun. It’s what he carries and that’s his choice. It’s a good gun, but there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to firearms. He should ask a lot more questions than he does before making suggestions. Or, in his case…….his ONE suggestion. =/
Don’t run. At first, lets teach them that not every pistol is a glock, not every revolver is a 44magnum, not every rifle is an ak 47 assault rifle and not every shotgun have sawed off barrels ;D
Now if you could just teach the idiots on TV the differences between semi-auto and select fire/full auto weapons!
Nice article indeed! It’s great the firearms community has someone like you to help bring new people into the sport. The younger and/or new shooters need someone that; first of all speaks their language and secondly does so in a way that makes them comfortable. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve witnessed some gun store commando, employee or customer, makes a person new to firearms feel stupid. We, by “we” I mean the firearms community, need new shooters not only because its a fun, exciting thing for them to get involved with but it also helps protect current and future generations from those that want to erode or just outright get rid of the 2nd Amendment. Having new people become and then stay responsible gun owners benefits ALL of us. Good work Destinee!
Maybe because of the military terminology, where ammo with standard fmj bullets is defined as “ball”.
Many people use the word ball to identify every bullet, and this must be due to the fact that in origin, before miniè bullets where invented, muskets and pistols where loaded with spherical bullets.
I’ve always wondered why FMJ ammo is called “ball”
This is a good idea. I hate to be a pain, but the definition you have for ejection is really more the definition for extraction. The case is extracted from the chamber and then ejected from the firearm. There are actually two separate parts in most guns. One of them is an extractor to pull the case from the chamber and then there is an ejector to eject the cartridge from the firearm itself. It is a subtle difference, but there is a difference. Sorry to be picky but I just wanted to make that clear for everyone. Keep up the good work Destinee. Thanks.