Glossary - Letter B
B: Abbreviation for Blue or Blued to describe the finish of the firearm. See blued.
BA: Abbreviation for Bolt Action.
BAC: Abbreviation for Bindon Aiming Concept. Also; the common use acronym for Browning Arms Company. See Browning below.
BACK BORE: Modification done on a shotgun to decrease shot pattern spread. Typically used on "Tactical" shotguns or "Scatter Guns" so the shot stays together in a tight group retaining more mass for longer range increasing the "Knock Down" power of the load.
BACK STOP: Material that stops projectiles that have passed through a target; it may be of natural material, such as a hillside, or man made for the purpose of stopping bullets from leaving the designated range area.
BACK STRAP: That part of the revolver or pistol frame that is exposed at the rear of the grip.
BACKSTRAP: Alternate spelling for BACK STRAP as above.
BAFFLE: A sound barrier used to contain or to reduce, redirect or suppress sound waves created by firearms. Baffles are placed either overhead, alongside or at ground level. In a tactical situation trees and or man made structures can be used to baffle sound from sniper rifles.
BALL: Originally a spherical projectile, now generally a fully jacketed bullet of cylindrical profile with round or pointed nose. Most commonly used in military terminology.
BALL AND DUMMY: is a training exercise wherein the shooter makes an effort to employ all the control factors for firing a good shot. The ammunition inserted into the pistol by the coach is a random selection of live or dummy ammunition. This training aids the shooter in overcoming reaction to the recoil and loud noise of firing, preventing uncontrolled reflexes from disturbing the hold, and perfecting sight alignment.
BALL POWDER: This is a trade name for a double-base smokeless powder developed by Olin Industries. The grains have a spherical, or flattened spherical, shape.
BALLISTICS: The science which studies the behavior of projectiles in motion. Also, the science of projectiles, such as bullets, bombs, rockets and missiles in flight. The science of ballistics include several sub-categories such as; Interior, Exterior, Terminal, Forensic or Criminal and also specialized Wound Ballistics. For a detailed explanation of the many disciplines of ballistics please see the detail box below.
Interior Ballistics deals with the propulsion and motion of a projectile within a gun or firing device [in the chamber and in the barrel].
External / Exterior Ballistics is concerned with the motion of the projectile while in flight, and includes the study of the trajectory, or curved flight path, of the projectile.
Terminal Ballistics is concerned with the phenomena occurring at the termination of the projectile's flight; such termination may result from impact on a solid target or explosion of the projectile.
Forensic, Criminology & Police Ballistics: The term ballistics is generally applied to the police and forensic identification of the firearm from which a bullet or shell was fired. Forensic Ballistics and bullet matching to firearms is made possible because of microscopic imperfections in a guns barrel that make unique characteristic scratches and grooves on bullets fired through it. New technology also include a small imprint or microscopic stamp to be place or etched into the case head of a spent or fire cartridge.
Wound Ballistics is the medical and technical study of wounds created by ballistic projectiles, typically bullets and shot as fired from firearms. Wound Ballistics includes the evaluation of literature in the field of forensic & wound ballistics, as well as encouraging and promoting new work in wound ballistics. The leading agency for scientific study of Wound Ballistics is the International Wound Ballistics Association or IWBA on the Internet at URL: http://www.IWBA.com
Please see the detail box below for additional information on the science of ballistics.
|BAR - B.A.R.:
Acronym and common use "nick name" for the
Automatic Rifle. See BAR detail box and graphics
BARRICADE: A structure on the range that is used as part of a course of fire. Barricades are usually wooden in construction and are used for cover.
BASE: The lower part of a firearm also know as the receiver.
BATF - Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Also know as the ATF: ATF is a division of the Treasury Department that has the authority to regulate many aspects of the firearm market. BATF is responsible for licensing firearms dealers, controlling the importation of firearms, and tracking firearm production. BATF also works with law enforcement agencies to track firearms used in crimes. For more information see: ATF Responsibilities & History.
BATTERY: The term battery refers to the position of readiness of a firearm for firing where all the components are in the proper position. A semi-automatic is said to be "out of battery" when the slide is retracted enough to prevent the firing pin from striking the primer (thus preventing the gun from firing). Failure to return to battery is a fairly common mode of failure for semi-automatics. Causes for semi-automatics failing to return to battery during normal operation include under lubrication and weak springs. This problem is usually easily fixed by a competent Gunsmith or Armourer.
BATTERY CUP: A type of primer used in shot shells which makes use of an outside cup to support it in the case.
BARREL: The barrel of a gun is a tube of varying length through which the bullet or shot is discharged. Discharging the bullet through the barrel determines the bullet's initial direction and trajectory. The seal created between the bullet and the surface of the barrel keeps the gas produced by the burning gunpowder trapped behind the bullet once it leaves the cartridge case. As a result, the bullet continues to accelerate until it exits the gun at the muzzle. Thus, to a certain degree, the longer the barrel, the higher the velocity achieved by the bullet. Additionally, modern gun barrels are rifled, which causes the bullet to spin, giving it more stability in flight.
BARREL BAND: A metal band, either fixed or adjustable, around the for end of a gun that holds the barrel to the stock.
BARREL BREAK: Another term for a muzzle. An attachment to or integral part of the barrel intended to trap and divert expanding gasses and reduce perceived recoil. Also referred to as an EVACUATOR. Muzzle Breaks have many commercial names like the Weatherby's Accu-Break and the BOSS System by Browning.
BARREL BREAK IN: A procedure to properly clean and cure a new barrel on a rifle to improve accuracy and to prevent premature barrel erosion and wear. Proper break in procedures close the pores of the barrel metal which have been opened and exposed through the cutting and lapping process. There are as many opinions and procedures as there are hairs on the back of a hound dog. The procedure below is from a high quality barrel manufacturer and should apply to most firearms. Check your owners manual for specific details.
BARREL INSERT: A safety device to prevent unauthorized use of a pistol. A wide variety of handgun safety devices are manufactured which insert into the barrel or chamber of the gun and provide a physical barrier against loading the handgun. A barrel insert can be a metal rod, a plastic plug, or a plastic cable which inserts through the barrel and blocks the chamber. Another style of barrel insert is a plastic pin that inserts into the barrel attached to a strong rubber band which hooks around the back of the hammer, securing it in place.
A thin steel tube usually permanently inserted into the barrel to either
change the caliber, restore the gun, or to make the gun more functional
when the barrel is formed from softer material.
BARREL TIME: The interval between the time the bullet starts to leave its seat until it reaches the muzzle. This is significant because is it linked to recoil time, which affects the point of impact.
BARREL RIB: Additional material along the top of the barrel that allows for quicker alignment of the muzzle with the target and adds weight to improve the balance of the firearm.
BARREL THROAT: The breech end of a barrel is chambered and somewhat funneled for passage of bullet from cartridge case mouth into barrel.
BARRELED ACTION: A combination of barrel and receiver or frame and breech bolt, together with the other parts of the mechanism by which a firearm is loaded, fired and unloaded.
BATTERY: The condition of a firearms breechblock in firing position. Used as "in battery" or "out of battery" malfunction or condition.
BATTERED CARTRIDGE: An unserviceable or damaged cartridge. The cartridge is deformed in such a way that it will not chamber in the rifle.
BAYONET: An edged weapon mounted on the muzzle end of a firearm as a backup weapon. The first bayonets were essentially daggers which were stuck in the muzzle of a musket, so that it could be used as a pike in close combat. This was superseded by the socket bayonet, which (naturally) features a socket that goes around the weapons barrel, so that the musket could be fired even while the bayonet was mounted. Socket bayonets were used widely in the 18th and 19th centuries. They have been replaced by knife bayonets, which are basically knives that can be mounted onto rifles or shotguns. Bayonets have been made to fit muskets, rifles, shotguns, and even handguns. Most bayonets are easily detached from the weapon, but some are semi-permanently mounted on the gun. Examples of these include the Soviet SKS carbine and M1944 Omission-Nagant.
BAYONET LUG: A fitting on a firearm to which a bayonet is attached. Under the so called Assault Weapons Ban, a Bayonet Lug can no longer be manufactured or mounted onto a civilian or sporting firearm.
BB: A spherical pellet of: a. plated steel of .175-inch diameter for use in air guns; b. lead or steel of .180-inch diameter for use in shotguns.
BB CAP: Bulleted Breech Cap; a small low-power 22-caliber cartridge for short range shooting. Its ancestry goes back to the 1840's.
BB GUN: Common name for any of the many air guns that shoot a .175-inch spherical steel or plated steel pellet.
BDC: Abbreviation for Bullet Drop Compensator.
BEAD: a. A round sight normally used at the muzzle end of a shotgun. b. The front sight on some older rifles, in which the sight is viewed as a round ball or bead on a narrow post. Common usage includes the term "To draw a Bead on someone" or to "Bead the Target" a carry over from olden days when most sights were bead sights.
BEAD SIGHT: The small cylindrical top portion on some forms of front sights. Typical on shotguns.
BEARING SURFACE: That portion of the bullet surface which bears on, or touches, the bore.
BEAT: The sniper's operational area where established control measures (boundaries, limits) define his territory.
BEAVERTAIL FOREND: A wider than normal forend. See Forend.
BEDDING: The point of attachment of the receiver and the stock. Also refers to the fit or fitting of the metal parts of the barrel and receiver with the stock. The barrel lays in and is attached to the bedding.
BEDDING BLOCK: Point of attachment of the receiver and the stock. As above.
BELL: To open or flair
the mouth of a case slightly in order to seat a bullet more easily. Also
used in reference to a rifle barrel which is worn at the muzzle (as in "a
BENCH REST SHOOTING: A shooting sport in which the competitors seek to place ten or more consecutive shots into the smallest possible group on a paper target at various ranges. All firing is done from an artificially supported shooting position using a bench rest rifle. It is a severe test of the mechanical precision of both the small arm, the ammunition and the shooter.
BERDAN: also Berdan Primed: A common European priming system which makes use of an anvil formed in the case itself. Cases that are Berdan Primed typically can NOT be easily reloaded, unlike American style Boxer Primed cartridges.
BERDAN PRIMER: Invented by Colonel Hiram Berdan of the US Army in the 19th c., this is the most common type of center fire primer manufactured outside the USA.
BERM: An embankment used for restricting bullets to a given area or as a dividing wall between ranges. Also backstop, baffle.
BIATHLON: A shooting sport that combines both skiing and rifle shooting. The biathlon is the only shooting sport in the Winter Olympics. There is also a summer biathlon which involves running and shooting but it is not yet an Olympic event. Please note many other shooting sports are in the Summer Olympics.
BIG BORE: In America, any firearm using a center fire cartridge with a bullet .30" in diameter or larger. Other countries have similar definitions and technical specifications for the term, with the intended specification designed to ensure humane kills in hunting of game with rifles of specified "Big Bore" calibers. The "big bore" specification also comes into play during range safety planning as big bore rifles typically have lethality at long range and require adequate safety precautions.
BIG FIVE: The term "Big Five" of "Classic Big Five" refers to the 5 classic big and dangerous game cartridge calibers. Though many of them were developed decades ago, they are still widely used and very effective when shooting dangerous game animals.
BIG FIVE: The term "Big Five" of "African Big Five" refers to the 5 classic big and dangerous game animals of the African continent. In years past, no hunter was considered worth his salt if he had not completed the "Big-Five".
BIPOD: A two-legged support attached to the fore-end of a rifle, used mainly for long range and accurate shooting. Also written as BI POD.
BIRD SHOT: Individual projectiles of less than .24" in diameter, designed to be discharged in quantity from a shotgun. The size of the shot is given as a number or letter--with the larger number the smaller the shot size. The size designation was originally based upon the size of a mesh through which the shot would pass. The finest size generally used is #9 which is approximately .08" in diameter and the largest common size is #2 which is approximately .15" in diameter. However, bird shot is available in a range of sizes from .05" (#12) to .21" (TT). A quick rule of thumb states that shot diameter in hundredths of an inch is given by subtracting the shot number from 17.
BLACK POWDER: The earliest type of firearms propellant that has generally been replaced by smokeless powder except for use in muzzleloaders and older breech loading guns that demand its lower pressure levels. A propellant powder once used in ammunition and as the bursting charge in artillery projectiles. Generically called "gunpowder." Black powder is no longer in general use except in replicas of antique firearms. It is classed by the Department of Transportation as an explosive. See Smokeless Powder.
BLACKOUT: Condition where the exit pupil of a scope is smaller than the pupil of the shooter, which results in the target image forming on only part of the eye, with a surrounding black ring. This makes it more difficult to focus on the target.
BLANK: A cartridge that does not contain a bullet. T hey are often used as starter pistols or in theatrical productions. You should be very aware that a "blank" can produce considerable energy and propel expanding gases and particles out of the barrel with considerable force. Never, ever assume that a gun, even a specifically designed "blank gun", can be handled with less care and caution than any other firearm. Always treat each and every firearm as though it were loaded and fully functional. Noted celebrities such as Brandon Lee and John Eric Huxton were badly injured or killed when people disregarded proper safety procedures in handling guns loaded with blanks.
BLANK AMMUNITION: A type of ammunition that contains powder but no solid projectile that is used to simulate gun fire or launch a grenade or other large projectile from a suitably equipped firearm. While a blank cartridge contains no projectile the blast and resulting debris can be extremely dangerous or lethal at close range.
BLANK CARTRIDGE: A round loaded with black powder or a special smokeless powder but lacking a projectile. Used mainly in starting races, theatrical productions, troop exercises and in training dogs.
BLASER: Maker of fine arms and Europe's leading manufacturer of hunting and sporting rifles. Blaser (pronounced BLÄ º ZER - as in Blah` Zur) of Isny, Germany only started making fine arms in 1963, but have quickly moved to the fore front in quality, workmanship and innovative technology. The R93 bolt action rifle is commonly heralded by the hunting press as the "bolt action rifle of the century" and it remains unrivaled in both quality and performance in modern rifle technology. For more information see the info block below.
BLOOP TUBE: A metal tube, with over-caliber inside dimensions, added to the front of a barrel to extend the sight radius. Normally used in target shooting with short-barreled weapons.
BLOWN PRIMER: Malfunction condition where the primer has fallen completely out of its pocket when the cartridge is extracted after firing.
BLOWBACK: A type of semiautomatic or fully automatic gun design in which there is no mechanical locking of the bolt. Instead, the breech is held closed only by the weight and inertia of the bolt, with some slight assistance from the recoil spring, until the bullet leaves the muzzle. Classic examples of the blowback semiautomatic pistol designs are found in the Browning series of pocket-sized pistols in .25, .32 and .380 calibers as well as the famous Walther PP and PPK series of handguns. Nearly all successful submachine guns, including the popular Uzi and Ingram or MAC 10's as well as the HK MP5 family, use the blowback action. 2. A gun malfunction in which the powder gases escape rearward and into the action.
BLUE: The chemical oxidation to color ferrous metal parts various shades of blue or black.
BLUING: The blue or black finish of the metal parts of a gun. The process is actually one of controlled rusting and brushing and is usually created with an acid bath. Bluing minimizes light reflection, gives a "finish" to the bare metal, and protects some what against rust.
BMG: Acronym for Browning Machine Gun.
BOAT TAIL: A bullet design having a tapered base or truncated conical base design, which raises the ballistic coefficient factor by reducing the aerodynamic drag, providing greater stability at subsonic velocities. Drag partly comes from the effects of cavitations (turbulence) and the progressive reduction of the diameter toward the rear of the bullet allows the air to fill in the void. Originally designed for extreme range machine guns barrages, boat tail bullets offer some ballistic advantage on the target range at 800-1000m, as most match-type bullets have boat tails to help flatten trajectory. They have little practical use at shorter ( LE/hunting ) distances, as few modern cartridges drop below the speed of sound at these shorter distances. Typically abbreviated HPBT for Hollow Point Boat Tail.
BODY ARMOR: Term for protective clothing, equipment and bullet resistant vests used by Law Enforcement and Military personnel to protect them from the effects of bullets and fragmentation from firearms and explosives. Modern body armor is made from Ceramic Plate, special hardened alloys and Kevlar, a synthetic woven fiber. Also refereed to as Bullet Proof Vests. See Bullet Resistant.
BOFORS: Swedish arms and industrial company. Bofors AB is now a part of the SAAB Group. Bofors Defence - developer of defence systems Bofors Defence is a Swedish defence systems company wholly owned by United Defense. This makes it strong on both the Swedish and the international markets as well as providing a transatlantic technology link for the future advanced systems. Apart from the company's end-to-end competence Bofors Defence's ambition is to be the global leader in intelligent ammunition and in many other areas of technologies. Bofors Defence has a wide range of products that include mission-assigned systems for precision response as well as protection systems, ammunition and launchers. Web URL: http://www.boforsdefence.com/eng/home.asp
BOFORS GUN: Generic term for the Swedish-designed Bofors 40mm Automatic Canon. In fact all guns made by Bofors ABB are technically Bofors Guns but the term is typically used to refer to the AA Gun found on ships and in Anti Aircraft Artillery Batteries of many countries. Bofors 40mm gun is a fully automatic cannon intended primarily for use against aircraft. Firing 40mm ammunition, it was first fitted to ships before and during the Second World War, quickly becoming standard for most western naval ships. Many navy ships of the world are still fitted with updated Bofors guns.
BOLT: The breech closure of a breech-loading firearm. The bolt on a modern rifle typically contains the firing pin or striker that male contact with the primer when the trigger is pulled and an extractor that ejects the spent cartridge. The bolt also pushes the cartridges into the chamber. Keep in mind that many rifles are Bolt Action the most common being Semi Automatic Action but most non bolt action rifles also have a bolt.
BOLT ACTION: A firearm in which the breech closure is in line with the bore at all times; manually reciprocated to load, unload and cock; and is locked in place by breech bolt lugs engaging abutments usually in the receiver. There are two principle types of bolt actions, the turn bolt and the straight pull type. With the more common "Turn Bolt" action, the shooter grasps a handle and rotates it up to unlock the bolt lugs from the receiver and then pulls the bolt to the rear to extract the cartridge or to prepare and load a new cartridge. Moving the bolt to the rear and subsequently pushing it back to the forward and down locked position also cocks the firearm. "Straight Pull" bolts do the same as above but one has to simply pull the bolt to the rear to unlock, extract and then straight forward to cock, load and lock the action. In both types of bolt action guns, the action of the firearm is opened and closed by physically grasping the bolt handle and cycling it by hand.
BOLT CARRIER ASSEMBLY: An integral component of the action that houses the bolt and firing pin in many semi automatic rifles like the M16 and AR-15 variants.
BORE: 1. The inside of a barrel. 2. The interior of a firearm's barrel excluding the chamber. 3. The diameter of the barrel as measured across the lands of a rifled barrel.
BORE DIAMETER: In rifled firearms is the original dimension of the barrel before the rifling grooves are cut or swayed. Bore diameter is expressed in caliber and in millimeters.
BORE SIGHT: Technique for aligning sights or optical scopes with the axis of the bore. Done by looking through or shining a light or laser down the bore of a firearm and manually aligning the sights or the scopes cross hairs to the same place the bore is pointing to.
BORE SIGHTING: A method of aligning a barrel on a target by aiming through the bore. May be part of the sight alignment procedure. When sighting in a scope tools like a collimator can be used.
BOTTLENECK CASE: Cartridge case with a neck diameter smaller than its body diameter, hence creating a shoulder.
BOTTLENECK CARTRIDGE: An ammunition cartridge that uses a bottlenecked case as in the .357 SIG, the .400 Cor-Bon and 30 Luger.
BOXLOCK ACTION: A type of firearm action typified by the Parker shotgun in the U.S. and by Westley Richards in England. Generally considered not to be as strong as the side lock. Developed by Anson & Deeley, the box lock is hammerless. it has two disadvantages: Hammer pin must be placed directly below knee of action, which is its weakest spot, and the action walls must be thinned out to receive locks. These are inserted from below into large slots in action body, which is then closed with a plate. Greener cross bolt, when made correctly, overcomes many of the box lock weaknesses.
BOX MAGAZINE: A form of ammunition supply in which the cartridges are contained in a metal box, either detachable from the firearm or permanently attached forming an integral component, and are pushed towards the mouth of the magazine by a spring so as to enter the feedway of the firearm.
BOXER: also Boxer Primed - Boxer Primer: Type of ammunition ignition or priming device invented by the British Colonel Boxer in the 19th century, this is the most common type of center fire primer used in the USA. Boxer Primers have a 3-legged internal anvil, permitting the use of a single, central flash hole in the case head. Such cases can be conveniently de-primed by means of the decapping pin in standard reloading dies. This type of primer is used in most American made rifle and pistol ammunition. Boxer Primed cartridges are easy to reload.
BRAS: An acronym for Breath, Release [half of it] Aim, Squeeze [the trigger]. Technique taught to basic trainees in boot camp and reiterated on each visit to the rifle range for weapons qualification and marksmanship training.
BRASS: Breath Relax Aim Slack Squeeze
BRASS: A synonym for expended metallic cartridge cases. Original cases were made of brass and although there are several other metals and alloys used in modern cases the term is still used to describe spent or empty cases with out regard to there make up.
BREAK IN: A barrel wear in process for the initial use of a new rifle barrel, by alternately firing and cleaning, a progressively larger number of shots, until a certain number has been reached. This process must be completed before load development for the rifle is started, and/or before the rifle is sighted in for a specific load. One such process is as follows: - Clean before firing - Clean after every shot (w/o the bore brush) for the first 10-20 rounds - Clean after every 5 shots for the next 20-40 shots. - Clean after every 10 shots for another 20-40 shots. - Shoot 20 shots without cleaning before sighting in for good.
BREATH CONTROL: is the ability to temporarily suspend breathing while firing a shot without being conscious of the need to take another breath. This awareness disturbs the shooter's concentration on maintaining perfect sight alignment.
BREECH: The rear end of the bore of a firearm where the cartridge is inserted into the chamber. Breech 2. That portion of a gun which contains the action, the trigger or firing mechanism, the magazine, and the chamber portion of the barrel(s).
BREECH, HANDGUN: The breech is the area of the handgun that contains the mechanical action, the chamber and the attachment of the barrel to the frame.
BREN GUN "Brno-Enfield": The Bren Gun is a WWII and Korean War vintage Light Machine Gun (LMG). The Bren was originally a Czech design and its name resulted from the combination of "Brno" and "Enfield", the location of the small-arms factories in Czechoslovakia and Great Britain respectively that contributed to its development. The "Bren Gun" is gas-operated and air-cooled. The Bren was first produced in 1937 and became one of the most widely used weapons of its type. It was produced in .303 caliber for British use and was manufactured as a 7.92-millimetre weapon for Chinese Nationalist troops. See details below.
BRENNEKE SLUG: As a dedicated and widely experienced big game hunter, and a highly accomplished ballistics expert, Her Brenneke knew he would never take slug to market that wouldn't meet his own demanding standards. His standards meant taking some of the most dangerous game the world has to offer: bear, boar, lion, tiger, leopard, even Cape Buffalo - all using only his own remarkable shotgun slugs.
BROWNING ARMS COMPANY:
Famous American arms maker located in Morgan, Utah. Established in
1880 by John Moses Browning, the Browning Arms Company is still in
business today. Browning's corporate headquarters is nestled in the
Rocky Mountains of northern Utah in a small town called Mountain Green,
population 1,700, located about 40 miles northeast of Salt Lake City.
You can contact Browning's Customer Service directly by calling
1-800-333-3288 or you e-mail them directly at:
For further information, please feel free to contact Browning at:
On the Web at URL: http://www.browning.com
BROWNING AUTOMATIC RIFLE (B.A.R.) (BAR) : The Browning Automatic Rifle or B.A.R., is exactly as its designation states "A Browning Automatic Rifle" and though this term normally is in reference to the Military Model M1918, a commercially available variant of the original name-sake is still in production today, as a semi-automatic sporting rifle manufactured by the Browning Arms Company. The original "Browning Automatic Rifle" or "B.A.R" is the American military model 1918 or M1918. This BAR was issued to American and allied forces in World War One, World War Two & Korea as a select fire automatic battlefield rifle and Light Machine Gun (LMG).
B.A.R. M1918 was produced in the United States starting in 1918 and widely used in other countries as a light machine gun (LMG). The BAR is a gas-operated, shoulder fired, select fire rifle invented by John Moses Browning (1855-1926), the famed American gun designer of unmatched impact. The M1918 BAR has been chambered for various types of ammunition, but was most frequently chambered in .30-06 Springfield. The M1918 is about 47 inches (120 cm) long, it has a 20-round magazine and weighs 19.4 pounds (8.8 kg). The M1918 BAR can fire up to 650 rounds per minute but can also fire single shots or bursts of two or three to increase accuracy. It can be fired from the shoulder or mounted on a bipod. The BAR was used by U.S. infantry forces in World Wars I and II and the Korean War. It remained in U.S. Army service until 1957. Even after being removed from the official inventory, it was used by Special Operations Forces in Viet Nam.
BROWNING, JOHN MOSES: Famous American arms maker and inventor. Born; January 23 1855, and died, November 26, 1926. See below for information and details.
BUCKHORN SIGHT: An open, metallic rear sight with sides that curl upward and inward.
BUILT-IN LOCK: An intrinsic safety device. Some types of handguns are manufactured with locks mounted in the grip of the gun which locks the action. Some handguns are manufactured with these types of locks, or they can be added by the owner. Found in both keyed and combination styles, built-in locks prevent the handgun from being fired by someone other than the person who has access to the combination or key. There are a variety of mechanisms depending on the type of lock. One device locks the manual thumb safety in the engaged position, while another type internally secures the hammer. Most handguns currently available in the consumer market do not come equipped with built-in locks, but most newly designed handgun do. After-market kits can be purchased allowing both pistol and revolver owners to retrofit their weapons.
BURN RATE: also: BURNING RATE: A term which is used to describe the rapidity with which a given powder will burn. The term itself is a relative one based on a comparison with other powders.
Comparative Powder Burning Rates
The chart below lists powders currently and commonly available in the US. They are listed in order from the fastest burning to the slowest burning. Note that the former Hercules powders are now produced by Alliant Powder, and the former Dupont powders are now produced by IMR Powder.
Temperature Effects on Powder
All temperatures are indicated in Fahrenheit
Data based upon the 308 Win. cartridge using all the same lot numbers Winchester cases, Winchester Large Rifle Primers and Sierra 168 gr. BTHP Match bullets. Note that many ball powders can exhibit unexpected extreme changes in pressure below 35 degrees F and above 105 degrees F, rising pressures 10,000 psi or more at elevated temperatures. Be careful at the temperature extremes!
Data courtesy of Varget.
BULL: The central blackened portion of a target that appears as a dot to the shooter taking aim. The center ring is a "10" or "bull's-eye".
BULL BARREL: A heavier, thicker than normal barrel with little or no taper. Typically used on target and sporting rifles. The heavy contour adds stability and decrease barrel droop.
BULLET: That portion of the cartridge which becomes a projectile when in flight. 2: The projectile expelled from a gun. It is not synonymous with cartridge or ammunition but the term bullet or bullets is commonly used incorrectly to describe ammunition or cartridges. Bullets can be made of many materials, shapes, weights and constructions such as solid lead, lead with a jacket of harder metal, round-nosed, flat-nosed, hollow-pointed, etc. Bullets come in many designs, and each design will dictate how it behaves both in flight and after it strikes a solid object. In simple terms, you can divide bullets into four broad categories; Wad cutter, Round-Nose, Hollow Point and Pre-Fragmented. Common usage of the term bullet include; using the word bullet or bullets to describe ammunition, as in "I have to buy some bullets". See bullets by category below.
BULLETS BY CATEGORY - TYPE AND TYPICAL APPLICATION
Commercial Handgun Bullet Types and Applications
Remington Commercial Rifle
The Swift A-Frame bullet has a progressively thickening jacket to control expansion or mushrooming in a uniform and predictable manner to 2x the caliber. The protected rear core provides momentum for very deep penetration on tough game. This bullet is ideally used for larger game.
The Hornady V-Max bullet has a hollow core keeping the center of gravity at the rear for greater stability. The polymer tip creates a high ballistic co-efficient for velocity retention, flat trajectory, and absolute tack driving accuracy. The boat tail base reduces drag for greater down range energy. This bullet is used for small game.
The Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet provides a high ballistic co-efficient, resists deformation in the magazine, and initiates expansion on impact. The tapered jacket and lead alloy core allow controlled, immediate expansion. This is an extremely accurate long range load for use on medium game.
The Boat Tail bullet provides extremely uniform concentricity for better in-flight stability, as well as a superior combination of weight retention and accuracy. Normally, accuracy would be sacrificed to gain weight retention. The secant ogive nose profile creates a high ballistic co-efficient for maximum retained energy, long range velocity, and a flatter trajectory. This bullet design is also used on medium sized game.
The Core-Lokt Soft Point bullet locks the progressively heavier jacket mid-section to the lead core, preventing separation, yet allowing expansion to nearly twice the original diameter for maximum energy transfer. A bullet of this design is ideally used for big game, especially when hunting in heavy brush.
The Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point bullet has the expansion characteristics of our Core-Lokt soft point, but provides a flatter trajectory, and higher down-range velocity and energy. The sleeker nose profile also gives this big game load a higher ballistic co-efficient.
The Bronze Point Expanding bullet is a good choice for long range medium game. The bronze insert has a high ballistic co-efficient producing flat trajectory and maintaining high velocity and energy at extreme ranges. The tip is driven backward on impact to create rapid expansion that is controlled by the pre-grooved jacket. The tip also protects the bullet nose from being deformed in the magazine.
The Power-Lokt Hollow Point bullet produces benchrest type accuracy for varmints or small game at extreme ranges. The copper jacket is electrolytically bonded to the lead core producing near perfect concentricity and gyroscopic balance resulting in sub minute-of-angle accuracy.
BULLET, ARMOR PIERCING: A projectile or projectile core that may be used in a handgun intended to pierce steel armor that is constructed entirely, or has a core constructed, from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, depleted uranium, or a fully jacketed projectile larger than 22 caliber intended for use in a handgun whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile. The term does not include shotgun shot or projectiles intended for sporting purposes.
Legal Note: The Gun Control Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. Sec. 922 (a) (7)) prohibits the manufacture or sale of armor piercing ammunition, except for use by law enforcement and the military.
BULLET, DUM-DUM: A British military bullet developed in India. s Dum-Dum Arsenal in 1897-98. It was a jacketed .303 caliber rifle bullet with the jacket nose left open to expose the lead core in hopes of greater effectiveness. Further development of the bullet was not pursued because the Hague Convention of 1899 outlawed such bullets for warfare.
BULLET DROP: Term used to describe the measure of a bullet’s fall after it crosses the line of sight for the second time, i.e., beyond the zero or sighted-in range, due to the effect of gravity.
BULLET DROP COMPENSATOR: Any device that is integral to the rifle telescope that is designed to compensate for the bullet's trajectory. Abbreviated BDC.
BULLET ENGRAVING: The grooves cut into a bullet by barrel rifling. Note: When a bullet travels down the barrel, the grooves (or rifling) leave an imprint on the bullet. The matching of the marks on a bullet to the rifling of a particular firearm is an important tool for law enforcement in determining whether a bullet was fired from a particular firearm.
BULLET, FULL METAL JACKET: A projectile in which the bullet jacket (a metallic cover over the core of the bullet) encloses most of the core with the exception of the base. They are used mostly for target shooting and military use.
BULLET, HOLLOW POINT: A bullet with a cavity in the nose, exposing the lead core, to facilitate expansion upon impact. Hollow point cartridges are used for hunting, self-defense, police use, and other situations to avoid over-penetration.
BULLET, WAD CUTTER: A generally cylindrical bullet design having a sharp shouldered nose intended to cut paper targets cleanly to facilitate easy and accurate scoring.
BULLETPROOF: An item that can not be penetrated by a bullet. In common usage, a piece of equipment that is very tuff or hard to break as in a Bullet Proof Action.
BULLETPROOF VEST: Term used to describe protective clothing that is in fact only bullet resistant.
BULLETPROOF VEST PARTNERSHIP
PROGRAM: Federally funded program to assist Law Enforcement
Officers and Jurisdictions in purchasing bulletproof vests and equipment.
BULLET RESISTANT: Proper
term for protective clothing and vest used by Law Enforcement and Military
personnel to protect them from the effects of bullets and fragmentation
from firearms and explosives. For additional information on Bullet
Resistant equipment ratings see the detail box below.
Ratings - Body Armor Resistance Levels
Class I, IIA, II , IIIA+ are for protection from HAND GUNS.
Class IIIA, III, IV are for protection from LONG RIFLES.
The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center has a web site with a variety of relevant information about vests and other public safety equipment at http://www.nlectc.org/. If you would rather call, their toll-free number is 1-800-248-2742.
BULL PUP a.k.a. BULLPUP: A rifle in which the breech mechanism is set back in the stock so that the rear of the receiver is against the shooters shoulder. It permits the use of a full length barrel in a firearm which is, overall, shorter than a conventionally stocked firearm of the same barrel length. Bull Pup is also written "BullPup".
BULL PUP ACTION: A rifle action, as above where the breech mechanism is recessed back into the stock so that the rear of the receiver is near the butt stock. This system allows a full length or carbine length barrel in a rifle that has a much shorter over all length. In a modern assault rifle this "Shorty" design is very effective and quite "handy". Common Bullpup or Bull Pup assault rifles are the Steyr AUG Model STG77 and the M17S Bushmaster below.
BUTT PLATE: A protective plate attached to the butt or buttstock of a rifle. The "butt plate" was added to wooden stocks to protect them from chipping or splitting when the rifle was grounded or dropped. Original Butt Plates were made of metal with brass and steel being commonly used and ornate gun having gold and silver with inlays and fancy engraving. The function of the modern butt plate remains the same as in days of old, though they are now used to protect both wood and synthetic stocks. The butt plate is also used to attach recoil pads. Butt Plate is also written BUTTPLATE and are sometimes referred to as the BUT PAD.
BUTTPLATE: Same as above. A protective plate attached to the butt or buttstock of a rifle. The "butt plate" was added to wooden stocks to protect them from chipping or splitting when the rifle was grounded or dropped. The function remains though now used to protect both wood and synthetic stocks. The butt plate is also used to attach recoil pads. Buttplate is also written BUTT PLATE.
BUTT STOCK a.k.a. BUTTSTOCK: The rear portion of the stock. The end of the stock. Also written as "buttstock".
BUTT STROKE: To strike someone or something with the butt of a rifle or handgun.
BUTTONED UP: Term used to state that the hatches and compartments of an armored vehicle are closed and in the combat ready position.