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Gun Glossary - Letter M
Index of Firearm & Gun Terminology

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Letter - M Page Updated: 03 December 2002

M: When indicated for IPSC and IDPA score card use, the letter M indicates a miss.  a.k.a. "MIKE".

M: In typical military nomenclature and model designator application, the letter M stands for Model, as in M1 = Model One.

M1 ABRAMS:  Abrams Main Battle Tank. The M-1 Abrams MBT, is an American main battle tank. It is manned by a crew of four, weighs 54.5 tones, and a top road speed of 72 kmph. It is armed with a 105mm smooth bore main gun with an effective range of 2500m. It can carry 55 rounds of ammunition, including HEAT and SABOT shells.  The M1 Abrams tank is named in honor of U.S. Army General Clayton Abrams, a World War II Tank Commander.

M1 Carbine: The M1 is a US gas operated carbine rifle. It takes a .30 caliber straight pistol type round from a 15/30-round box. It has a muzzle velocity of 585 m/s and has fixed sights set at 275m.

M1A1 Carbine: The M1A1 is a folding stock version of the M1 carbine rifle.

M1A1 MBT: The M1A1 MBT is the current generation U.S. Main Battle Tank (MBT).  It takes a four man crew and is armed with a 120mm smoothbore gun, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, a 12.7 mm (.50 caliber) roof mounted heavy machine gun and a 7.62mm roof mounted machine gun. It is equipped with a laser rangefinder and thermal imaging night sights.  40 shells are carried for the main gun. It has a top road speed of 67 kph. Defenses include Chobham armor and a laser warning system.

M1 GARAND RIFLE: Rifle, Caliber .30-06, M1 Garand. The M1, designed by John C. Garand, was the standard issue military rifle used by the U.S. Army from 1936 to1957, when it was replaced by the lighter M14 rifle. The M1 was one of the first semi-automatic rifles to see action in combat. It offered a great improvement in fire power over the bolt-action M1903 series rifle it replaced. It was rugged, reliable, and tolerant to the abuses of use in the field. The rifle used .30-06 cal. cartridges in eight-round clips. For more information on the M1 Garand see the information below.

America's Great Guns

The M1 Garand
M1 Garand Battlefield Rifle

John Cantius Garand was the original developer of the M1 Garand. The rifle was rugged, reliable, accurate, and durable. The M1 Garand was adopted as the United States Rifle on 9 January 1936. This action had made the United States to be first country make a semi-automatic weapon as its standard military weapon. Its first action of battle was W.W.II where it had a tremendous impact on the war.


Rifle, Caliber .30 [ .30-06 ] M1, Garand


The M1, designed by John C. Garand, was the standard issue military rifle used by the U.S.       Army from 1936 to1957, when it was replaced by the lighter M14 rifle. The M1 was one of the first semi-automatic rifles to see action in combat. It offered a great improvement in fire power over the bolt-action M1903 series rifle it replaced. It was rugged, reliable, and tolerant to the abuses of use in the field. The rifle used .30-06 cal. cartridges in eight-round clips.

The M1C and M1D were sniper versions of the M1 Garand. The two models differed only in the telescope mounts. The M1C mounted a model M81 2.5X telescope; the M1D an M82 2.5X telescope. Both models were used as sniper rifles during World War II, Korea, and during the early years of the Vietnam war. Although considered obsolete, the M1D remained the official U.S. Army sniper rifle until the mid-1960s. Both versions used the standard Army .30-06 cartridge loaded manually, or in eight-round clips.



Semiautomatic, Gas Operated


.30 (.30-06 Springfield)


43.6 in. (1103 mm)

Weight unloaded:

9 lb 8 oz (4.37 kg)

Barrel: 24 in. 4 grooves, right hand twist
Magazine: 8 round internal box, clip loaded, clip ejected after last round fired.
Muzzle: Muzzle Velocity 2800 fps - 2903 ft-lb 
MV @ 500 yards: 1918 fps - 1362 ft-lbs
Ammunition: 174 gr. bullet, 50 gr. charge, Ball M1
Effective Range: 440 yards - Aprox. 400 Meters

"Standard" from 1936 until M14 adopted in 1957

Total production:

Approx. 4,040,000


M1C Sniper Rifle, M82 Telescope, M2 Flash Hider, T4 leather cheek pad 


 M1C and M1D
The M1C, configured as above, was approximately 36 inches long, weighing almost 12 pounds. On the basis of Infantry Board tests of the M1E7 and M1E8 rifles, the M1E7 equipped with a two and one half power telescope was standardized in June 1944 as U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1C (Sniper's).


In order to assure meeting production requirements, the M1E8 was adopted in September 1944 as U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1D (Sniper's), but except for a few prototype specimens the M1D was not produced during WWII, and would not properly be considered as a WWII infantry weapon. Relatively large numbers of standard M1 rifles were converted into M1D configuration during the early 1950's, but it was the M1C that was the principal sniping weapon for the American army in Korea.


The Marines used the M1903A1/ Unertl as its primary sniper rifle, partly because the M1C was in short supply during early action.


Caliber .30 Bullet Performance at 600 Yards with 2800 fps Muzzle Velocity

Bullet  -  Weight in grains Accuracy, Radius Penetration
Ball M2 - 152 grain 7.5 inch 11 inch Oak
Tracer M1 - 152 grain 15 inch Red trace 125-900 yards
AP M2 - 165.7 grain 10 inch  .3 inch of armor
Match M72 - 175.5 grain 3.5 inch 11 inch Oak


In Korea, snipers achieved reasonably consistent results with the M1C between 400-600 yards, with 600 being the maximum effective range. Partly this was due to the poor resolving power of issue scopes, and partly the lack of match grade ammunition. USMC snipers used regular issue .30-caliber ball ammunition. When obtainable, the heavier .30-caliber armor-piercing ammunition was used, for its increased stability at longer ranges, although both lighter and less accurate than match grade.


M1D sniper rifle with M84 scope is shown above an M1C sniper rifle with M81/M82 scope.


The original rear sight of the M1 would not hold adjustments very well, so a locking bar was added in late 1942 which could be tightened after sights were set. This is shown in the M1C. An improved sight, the T105, was standardized by the end of WWII, and is shown on the M1D, above.



United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1

Date Adopted: 9 January 1936

Length: 1103mm (43.50")         

Weight: 4.32kg (9.50 lbs.) 

Caliber:  .30 M1906 Ball M2          

Muzzle Velocity: 853mps (2800 FPS) 


United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1C

Date Adopted: July 1944

Length: 1103mm (43.50")            

Weight: 5.09kg (11.20 lbs.)       

Caliber: .30 M1906 Ball M73            

Muzzle Velocity: 853mps (2800 FPS)      


United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1D

Date Adopted: September 1944

Length: 1103mm (43.50")            

Weight:  5.23kg (11.50 lbs.)   

Caliber:  .30 M1906 Ball M73           

Muzzle Velocity: 853mps (2800 FPS)



For more information on the M1 Garand Rifle see the following Web URL:

The Grand Collectors Association - GCA

Web URL:

The M2 is an American IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle). It is also know as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle or Bradley.  It is armed with a 25mm Hughes machine gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and carries 2 TOW ATGMS.  It has a top speed of 66kph. The IFV replaced the APC or Armored Personnel Carrier series M-113.  See also M2A1.

M2A1: The M2A1 or Bradley IFV entered service with the US army in 1982. It carries a crew of 3 and a 7 man infantry squad.  The M2A1 is armed with a twin TOW 2 launcher in the turret and can carry an additional 5 missiles, including TOW, Dragons and Stingers. The main gun is a 25mm automatic chain gun for which 900 rounds of APDS and HE ammunition is carried. The M2A1 has a top road speed of 66kph.

M2HB: Model 2 Heavy Barrel: The M2HB is the Browning .50 caliber heavy machine gun mounted on American military vehicles and aircraft since the Second World War. It has a muzzle velocity of 890m/s and fires ball ammunition.

M3: The M3 Bradley is the American Cavalry Fighting Vehicle ( CFV) version of the M2.  As the Scout cousin of the Bradley IFV, it has a smaller crew and carries more TOW ATGM's.  It specializes in the Scout and Reconnaissance role and has slightly thicker amour than the M2 IFV.  See also M3A1.

M3 Grant: The M3 Grant Tank was the British designation of the American M3 Lee medium tank.

M3 Lee: The M3 Lee Tank was an American medium tank of the Second World War. It went into production in 1941 and was designed by the Rock Island Arsenal.  It was a 27-ton medium tank with a 75mm gun mounted in a side sponson, a 37mm gun plus co-axial machine gun in a small rotating turret, a bow machine gun and a fourth machine gun on the commander's cupola for all-round and anti-aircraft defense.  It had a crew of six, amour plate up to 57mm thick and could achieve a top speed of 42kmph and had a range of 193km.

M3 Stuart: The M3 Stuart was an American light tank used during the Second World War. It weighed 14.4 tons and was driven by the Continental radial air-cooled W-670-9A engine which developed 250bhp and gave a top speed of 58 kmph and a range of 112 km. The M3 Stuart was crewed by four men and armed with a 37mm and co-axial machine gun in the turret, plus an extra machine gun in the hull front. It had amour up to a thickness of 38mm.

M3A1: The M3A1 (Bradley) CFV is the Cavalry/Scout variant of the M2A1 used by the American army in reconnaissance units.  It carries a crew of 3 plus 2 infantry scouts used to load the twin TOW 2 launcher in the turret.  The main gun is a 25mm automatic chain gun for which 1200 rounds of APDS and HE ammunition are carried. 12 missiles are carried for the TOW missile launcher.  The M3A1 has a top road speed of 66kph.

M4 CARBINE:  A shortened variant of the M16A2 rifle, the M4 provides the individual soldier operating in close quarters the capability to engage targets at extended range with accurate, lethal fire.  The M4 Carbine achieves over 80% commonality with the M16A2 Rifle.  The principle variations from the M16A2 are: 

1. Flat Top Receiver with Mil Spec 1913 Picatinny Rail
2. Telescopic 4 Position Synthetic Stock
3. 14.5 inch Barrel with Step Cut for M203 40mm Grenade Launcher Attachment
4. 4 Position Select Fire: Safe - Semi - 3 Shot Burst - Automatic Fire
5. Front Hand guard with Rail Interface System (RIS) allows attachment of Optical Devices including ACOG's & Night Vision Optics and Infrared Aiming Lasers with a Forward Pistol Grip.

America's Great Guns

The M4 Carbine
M4 Carbine
M4 Carbine shown with Trijicon ACOG

M4 Carbine Specifications

Name: M4 Carbine - M4A1 Carbine
Finish: Black anodized receiver; black oxide barrel
Action: Gas Operated, 3 position Select Fire
Safe - Semi - 3 Shot Burst on M4
Safe - Semi - Auto on M4A1 model
Caliber: 5.56mm (.223 Rem)
Capacity: 30 Round Detachable Magazine 
100 Round Beta C Magazine
Barrel Length: 14.5" with Step Cut*
Overall Length: 29.8 inches to 33 inches
Rifling Twist: Right Hand: 1 turn in 7 inches
Rifling Grooves: 6
Trigger: Smooth
Front Sight: A2 Style Adjustable
Rear Sight: A2 style; Adjustable for windage & elevation. 
Effective out to 800 meters.
Sight Radius: 14.5 inches
Weight: 5.65 lbs. (empty)
Cycle Rate: 700-950 rounds pre minute (rpm)
Special Features: Cartridge case deflector for left handed shooting.
Cleaning kit and sling included. 
Can be field stripped without special tools.
MWS - Modular Weapons System.
RIS - Rail Interface System.

* Step Cut allows mounting of M-203 Grenade Launcher


The M4 Carbine is a lightweight, gas operated, air cooled, magazine fed, selective rate, shoulder fired weapon with a collapsible stock. A shortened variant of the M16A2 rifle, the M4 provides the individual soldier operating in close quarters the capability to engage targets at extended range with accurate, lethal fire. The M4 Carbine achieves over 80% commonality with the M16A2 Rifle and will replace all M3 .45 caliber submachine guns and selected M9 pistols and M16 rifle series.



The M4/M4A1 carbines serves with American Special Operations Forces (SOF), most notably the U.S. Army Rangers, Navy SEAL's and Army Special Forces (Green Berets). The U.S. Army has begun general issue of the M4/M4A1 to rapid deployment (main force) units, like the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne (Air Assault).  The M4/M4A1 carbine is replacing the M16A2 and sometimes the M9 Beretta pistol in the troops' hands because the rifle gives up little to its larger parent in terms of range and lethality while being much handier and more compact.


After the military conflicts in Panama, the Persian Gulf and Somalia, the need for a shorter version of the M16A2 again appeared.  Colt engineers shortened the barrel back to 14.5", recontoured the barrel to mount the M203 grenade launcher and added a modified version of the collapsible, sliding butt stock of the earlier XM177 series rifle. 

They also created a new upper receiver using a modular sight mounting system for use on a sub-variant. In August, 1994, both variations were adopted. The United States Carbine, Caliber 5.56mm NATO, M4 uses the new barrel and collapsible butt stock, but was first issued with the standard M16A2 upper receiver and sights to streamline production, though it now is made with the new modular upper receiver. 

The M4 could be fired either semi-automatically or with three round bursts. The United States Carbine, Caliber 5.56mm NATO, M4A1 uses the new barrel and collapsible butt stock and the new upper receiver with RIS / MWS for mounting a wide variety of sights, including night vision and infrared aiming lasers, as well as the standard sights on a detachable handle, but it is also capable of fully-automatic fire, like the M16A1. 

The M4 and M4A1 have been produced by Colt.  Additionally, the military has begun procuring both the M16A3 and M16A4 from FNMI, FN Manufacturing, Inc.  The M16A3 and the M16A4 are identical to the M16A2, but both have the MWS modular upper receiver. The M16A3 is capable of fully automatic fire, like the M16A1, while the M16A4 uses the M16A2's select fire, three-round burst mechanism.  Additionally, several types of optical sights  have been developed for the MWS upper. The new sights include a "red dot," close combat sight, much like civilian IPSC-style competitors use to quickly index to a target and an infrared thermal sight, to allow a soldier to see a target at night from body heat. 

See: Advanced Combat Optical Gun sight - ACOG for details on M4 Optics.

See: Modular Weapons System - MWS for info on the new M4 M16 A3 upper receiver.

See: Rail Interface System - RIS for information on the new M4/M16A3 upper receiver.

See: SOPMOD M4 for details on SOF Peculiar Modifications & Accessories.

M4 Sherman Tank:
The M4 Sherman was an American tank used during the Second world War. Many varieties were made, but the most common was the M4A3 which weighed 31.57 tones and had a crew of five.  It was fairly thickly armored, up to 108mm and had a 75mm gun plus a co-axial machine gun in a fully traversing turret and an extra ball mounted machine gun in the hull front.  As with the M3 Lee Tank an additional machine gun was usually fitted to the commander's cupola. The M4A3 was powered by a Ford 450bhp V8 engine which gave it a top speed of 42kmph and a range of 160km.

M4A3: see "M4 Sherman"

M5 Stuart Tank: The M5 Stuart is the modified M3 Stuart Tank with a later Cadillac engine which improved the range by 48km.

M5A1: see "M5 Stuart"

M6 Scout: The M6 Scout is An over-under combo gun chambered in .22LR (or .22 Hornet) and .410. It is 32 inches long with an 18 inch long barrel and includes a folding stock. The M6 Scout is marketed by Springfield as a survival rifle.  It is issued to American Air Crews and is integral to the survival evasion and escape equipment packaged in the ejection seat and survival packs for air crew.  It is not designed as a battle field weapon, rather to use for acquiring small game for consumption in a survival situation.

M9: The M9 is a full sized 9mm semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Beretta, and adopted by the American military in place of the M1911.  The M9 is basically the same as the model 92 Beretta.

M11:  The M11 is a medium sized 9mm semi-automatic pistol manufactured by SIG Arms, and adopted by the American military for use by Military Police, CID Investigators, Special Operations Forces and Air Crews as well as for soldiers with hands to small for the large M9 pistol.  The M11 is the same as the SIG model P228 and has a 13+1 capacity.

M13/40: The M13/40 was an Italian Second world war tank of bolted amour plates, up to 40 mm thick, which were prone to split apart under fire. It was armed with a 47 mm gun and had a top speed of 32 kmph and a range of 200 km.

M14: The m14 is a US automatic rifle developed in the 1950s to replace the Garand. It takes a 7.62mm round from a 20-round box. It has a muzzle velocity of 853 m/s and is sighted to 915m with a cyclic rate of 750 rpm.

M16: The M16 (ArmaLite AR-15) is a US automatic rifle. It takes a .233" round from a 30-round
magazine. It has a muzzle velocity of 991 m/s and is sighted to 458m. It has a cyclic rate of 800 rpm.

M16A2: Assault rifle adopted as a standard weapon by the U.S. Army in 1967. The M16 superseded the M14 rifle. It is gas-operated and has both semi-automatic (i.e., auto loading) and fully automatic capabilities. Weighing less than 3.6 kg (8 pounds) and equipped with a 20-round or 30-round magazine, the M16 is 99 cm (39 inches) long and fires 5.56-millimetre (.223 caliber) ammunition at the rate of 700-950 rounds per minute.  Both U.S. and South Vietnamese forces used it during the Vietnam War.  Current issue M16A2 models are equipped with 3 position Select Fire; Safe - Semi - and 3 Shot Burst. 

M22 Locust:  The M22 Locust was an American light air-portable tank of the Second World War. It weighed 7.26 tones and was manned by a crew of three and armed with a 37 mm main gun. It had amour up to 25 mm thick and a top road speed of 56 kmph.

M24 Chaffee: The M24 Chaffee was an American light air-portable tank of the Second World War. It weighed 18.37 tones and was manned by a crew of five. It was armed with a 75 mm main gun and had amour up to 38 mm thick.  It had a top road speed of 56 kmph.

M29: The M29 is a family of American 81mm mortars.

M29A1: The M29A1 is one of the M29 family. It has a caliber of 81mm and a range of 4,700km. It has a sustained rate of fire of between 4 and 12 rpm.

M47: The M47 (Dragon) is an American infantry anti-tank/assault missile. It has a flight speed of 230mph and a range of 1000m.  It is optically wire guided by the operator.

M/46: The M/46 is the FN designed GP or High Power Pistol manufactured in Denmark.

M48: The M48 Chaparral is an American forward area air-defense missile system.  It launches surface-to-air missiles (SAM) which use infrared homing to target heat emitter guidance. The missiles fly at a speed of mach 2.5 to a ceiling of 2,500m and a range of 4,800m.

M60 Machine Gun: The M60 Machine Gun has been the US Army's general purpose machine gun since 1950.  It fires the standard NATO 7.62 mm round and is used as a general support crew-served weapon. It has a removable barrel which can be easily changed to prevent overheating. The weapon has an integral, folding bipod and can also be mounted on a folding tripod. Machine Gun, 7.62mm, M60 series. The M60 was type classified in 1957 as a companion to the 7.62mm M14 rifle. The M60 is lighter than the .30 cal. M1919A6 and only slightly heavier than the .30 cal. M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) it replaced. 

The M60 7.62mm machine gun has been the U.S. Army's general purpose medium machine gun since the late 1950s. The M60 fires standard NATO 7.62mm ammunition and is used as a general support crew-served weapon. It has a removable barrel which can be easily changed to prevent overheating. The weapon has an integral, folding bipod and can also be mounted on a folding tripod. The M60 has a rate of fire of 600 rpm. The M60C and M60D are aircraft versions of the basic M60 machine gun. The M60 series is being replaced by the M240B 7.62mm medium machine gun. 

M60 7.62mm Machine Gun (U.S. Army photo)

M60 Machine Gun Specifications

Length: 42.4 inches (107.70 centimeters) 
Weight: 18.75 pounds (8.51 kilograms) 
Bore Diameter: 7.62mm (.308 inches) 
Maximum Effective Range: 3609 feet (1100 meters) 
Maximum Range: 2.3 miles (3725 meters) 
Muzzle Velocity: 2800 feet (853 meters) per second 
Rates of Fire:   
Cyclic: 550 rounds per minute 
Rapid: 100 rounds per minute* 
Sustained: 100 rounds per minute* 
  * with barrel changes at each 100 to 500 rounds
to prevent over heating and malfunctions. 

Features: The M60 7.62mm machine gun is a lightweight, air-cooled, disintegrating metallic link-belt fed, portable or tripod mounted machine gun designed for ground operations. It is gas operated with fixed headspace and timing which permits rapid changing of barrels. (Associated components: mount, tripod, machine gun, 7.62mm, M122). 

M60 MBT:
The M60 is a series of American tanks. The series entered service in 1960.

M60A3: The M60A3 is an American main battle tank. It was designed in the mid 1950s and entered service in 1960, production ended in 1987. It has a crew of 4, a maximum road speed of 48kph and a 105mm main gun. It carries 63 rounds of APFSDS, HEAT, HEP and WP ammunition and has laser range finding.

M60A5 MBT: The M60A5 MBT is the final version of the M60 series MBT. It was designed in 1956 and entered service in 1960. It is armed with a 105mm main gun, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a cupola mounted 12.7Mm HMG. It has a top road speed of 48kph. It is manned by a crew of four and carries 63 rounds of main gun ammunition. It is fitted with a laser rangefinder and thermal imaging night sight.  This MBT is still in service with the US Marine Corps.

M61A1 Vulcan: The M61A1 (Vulcan) is a 20mm six-barrel Gatling gun mounted on the M163. It has a muzzle velocity of 1036m/s and fires APT ammunition with amour penetration of 45mm at 500m and 31mm at 1000m.

M68E1: The Royal Ordnance M68E1 is a British 105mm rifle mounted on M1 MBT and M60A3 MBT. It was developed during the 1950s for use with the Centurion tank. It has a muzzle velocity of 1458m/s firing APFSDS ammunition and amour penetration of 377mm at 500m and 349mm at 1000m.

M72A2: The M72A2 is an American Light Anti-Tank Weapon (LAW).  It has a caliber of 66mm and a range of 325m.

M72A3: The A3 uses an enhanced warhead and is the replacement for the M72 LAW anti-tank missile.  It lacks a guidance system and is only usable up to 135 meters.

M77: The M77 is a Ruger bolt-action rifle. It is manufactured in various calibers between .22" and .338". It takes a 4-round magazine and is fitted with a receiver for a telescopic sight.

M79: The M79 is an American shotgun styled grenade launcher.  It has a range of 400m and a rate of fire of 5 rpm.

M93: The M93 (fox) is an American reconnaissance vehicle. It carries a crew of 4. It is unarmed and has a top speed of 65mph.

M102: The M102 is an American 105mm caliber light-howitzer. It has a range of 11,500 meters with standard ammunition and 15,100m with rap ammunition.

M106: The M106 is an American mortar carrier comprised of an M113 APC chassis with a hole cut in the roof for a 81mm or 4.2 inch mortar to fire upwards and out of.

M106A2: The M106A2 is a variant of the M106 mortar carrier. It carries a 107mm mortar and 100 rounds of HE and WP ammunition.

M109: The M109 is a series of American self-propelled howitzers. Using the 155mm cannon and shell. 

M109A2: The M109A2 is one of the M109 series. It is armed with a 155mm howitzer and Browning M2 .50 caliber anti-aircraft machine gun.

M113: M113 is a series of American Armored Personnel Carriers (APC). They are lightly armed with a Browning .50 caliber machine gun. They have a top speed of 40mph.  It has been in service since the Vietnam war and carries a crew of 2 plus an 11 man squad. It has a top road speed of 64kmph and a range of 321km. It is armed with a 12.7mm .50 caliber Heavy Machine Gun with an effective range of 2500m.

M113A3: The M113A3 is an American APC. It was designed in the late 1950s and entered service in 1960, the M113A1 upgrade entered service in 1963. It carries a crew of 2 plus a squad of 7 and is armed with a .50 caliber 12.7mm heavy machine gun for which 1200 rounds of ammunition are carried.

M114: The m114 is an American 155mm caliber howitzer series first used during the second world war.  The m114A2 model has a range of 19,300m.

M114A2: see "m114"

M119: The M119 is the American designation for the l119.

M163: see "M163A2"

M163A2: The M163A2 is an American anti-aircraft gun carrier. The M163 is comprised of an M113 APC with an M61A1 Gatling gun mounted on the roof. The A2 version improved the fire control system by integrating the ranging radar with a ballistic computer.

M198: The M198 is an American 155mm towed howitzer with a range of 22,000m with standard ammunition and 30,000m with RAP (Rocket Assisted Projectile) ammunition.

M224: The M224 is an American lightweight company mortar. It has a caliber of 60mm and a range of 3,500 meters.

M230: The M230 is a 30mm chain gun mounted on the AH-64A attack helicopter. It has a muzzle velocity of 790 m/s.

M240: The M240 is an FN Belgian medium machine gun fitted to the M1A1 and M1A2 Main Battle Tank as well as other armored vehicles like the Grizzly and the 6x6 and 8x8 LAV.  It is a .30 caliber air cooled MMG that belt feeds the 7.62mm NATO ammunition with a muzzle velocity of 840 m/s.

M240B: Machine Gun, 7.62mm, M240 series.  After extensive operational and technical tests, the Army type classified the Fabrique Nationale MAG as the M240B 7.62mm medium machine gun as a replacement for the M60 series machine guns. Used as a fixed machine gun, the M240 also replaced the M73/M219 7.62mm and the M85 .50 cal. tank machine guns. The M240B is a ground mounted flexible variant of the M240 / M240C /  M240E1 coaxial / pintle mounted machine gun used on M2/M3 series Bradley Fighting Vehicles, the M1 series Abrams Main Battle Tank, and the U.S. Marine Corps LAV-series of Light Armored Vehicles. While possessing many of the same basic characteristics as the M60 medium machine gun, the durability of the M240 system results in superior reliability and maintainability when compared to the M60. A similar version of the M240, the M240G, is the standard U.S. Marine Corps medium machine gun. The M240 has a firing rate of 700-1000 rpm.

M240 7.62mm Tank Machine Gun

M240B 7.62mm machine gun (U.S. Army photo) 

M242: The M242 is a 25mm chain gun mounted on M2A1 and M3A1 CFVs. It has a muzzle velocity of 1100m/s and fires APDS ammunition with amour penetration of 27mm at 500m.

M249: The M249 is an American Squad Assault Weapon or SAW.  It has a caliber of 5.56mm like the M16 and a range of 1300m. It has a very high cyclic rate of 950 rounds per minute and a muzzle velocity of 924m/s using a modified steel core ammunition similar to standard M16 ammunition.

M249 SAWS: Machine Gun, 5.56mm, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon System (SAWS)  The M249 SAWS light machine gun is gas-operated, magazine or disintegrating metallic link-belt fed,
individually portable machine gun capable of delivering a large volume of effective fire to support infantry squad operations. The M249 fires the improved NATO Standard SS 109 type 5.56mm ammunition.  The M249 replaces the two automatic M16A1 rifles in the rifle squad on a one-for-one basis in all infantry type units and in other units requiring high firepower. The Belgian Fabrique Nationale XM249 "Minimi" was standardized as the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon System in 1982. The M249 filled the void created by the retirement of the M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) during the 1950s because interim automatic weapons (M14 series/M16A1 rifles) had failed as viable "base of fire" weapons.  See SAW for more details.

M249 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapon System (SAWS) (U.S. Army photo)

M256: The Rheinmetall M256 is a 120mm smoothbore gun mounted on M1A1/A2 MBT and Leopard 2 MBT.  It has a muzzle velocity of 1661m/s firing APFSDS ammunition and an amour penetration of 399mm at 500m and 368mm at 1000m.

M551 Sheridan: The M551 Sheridan is an American light tank.  It entered service in 1966. It is armed with a 152mm main gun that fires the Shelaylee Missile and a 7.62mm caliber coaxial machine gun and a .50 caliber anti-aircraft machine gun. It has a top speed of 65mph.

M712: The M712 (copperhead) is an American cannon-launched guided projectile. It flies at
supersonic speed and uses laser homing guidance to locate its target. It has a range of up to 10 miles.

M901A2: The M901A2 ITV is the standard anti-tank missile carrier of the American army. It is based upon the M113 chassis with an Emerson elevating turret on top. It carries a crew of 4, is armed with two TOW- 2 launchers and a 7.62mm machine gun on the roof. 12 missiles are carried.

M1911: The official US military designation for the Colt .45 semiautomatic pistol adopted by the US in 1911.   The gun was designed by John Moses Browning, and produced by Colt.  Early use showed that it could be improved and in 1921 the M1911A1 was introduced, which featured a few changes like a recontoured frame, shorter trigger, and a rounded back strap.  The M1911A1 remained the standard US military handgun until it was replaced in the 1980s by the Beretta M9.  However, it remains very popular with civilian shooters in the US, and has been modified extensively to update it to conform to more modern theories of handgun usage.  Also called  the 1911.

M1911A1:  The M1911A1 was a .45 inch caliber automatic pistol designed by Browning in 1921 and manufactured by Colt. It had a semi-automatic recoil action and took a 7-round magazine.

M1935A: The M1935A was the standard pistol of the French army during the second World War.  It was a 7.65 mm .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol with a recoil-operation. It took an 8-round magazine.

MACHINE GUN: A fully automatic firearm using a cartridge designed and intended for use in rifles or larger firearms.  Machine Guns are firearms of great military significance.  Machine Guns or MG's are often crew-served, and operate so that on trigger depression or pull, the gun automatically feeds and fires cartridges of rifle size or greater.  Civilian ownership in the U.S. has been heavily curtailed and federally regulated since 1934, however civilian ownership of machine guns is legal in most states.  See below for details and history.

Machine Gun Basics

Machine Guns are automatic weapons of small, intermediate and large caliber that are capable of rapid, sustained fire.  Machine Guns are chambered in several calibers ranging from standard military rifle cartridges like the 7.62 NATO or .308 Winchester up to the .50 BMG and .60 caliber for heavy machine guns.  The term "cannon" is typically applied to any gun firing a projectile larger than 20mm ( .80 caliber), so most automatic guns under that are typically referred to as Machine Guns. The machine gun was developed in the late 19th century and has profoundly altered the character of modern warfare.  

Modern Machine Guns are classified into three groups:

Light Machine Gun - LMG, also called the Squad Automatic Weapon or SAW, is typically equipped with a bipod and is operated by one soldier; it usually has a box-type magazine and is chambered for the small-caliber, intermediate-power ammunition fired by the assault rifles of its military unit.  The US Army LMG / SAW uses the same 5.56 NATO (.223 Remington) ammunition used in the basic assault rifle model M16A2.

Medium Machine Gun - MMG, or General-purpose machine gun, is belt-fed, mounted on a bipod or tripod, and fires full-power rifle ammunition.  Medium Machine Guns are typically Crew Served with a Gunner and an Assistant Gunner (AG) and in some cases a 3rd Crewman who serves as an Ammo Bearer and Driver.  Medium Machine Guns are typically employed in supporting roles to the maneuver elements and are often used to suppress the fires of enemy positions while the fire team and squad assault elements maneuver in an attack.  MMG are ordered to "Lift and Shift" there fires at predetermined times as briefed in the Operations Order or Patrol Order or are signaled to "Lift & Shift" there fires by radio or visual signal.

Heavy Machine Gun - HMG Through World War II the term "Heavy Machine Gun" designated a water-cooled machine gun that was belt-fed, handled by a special squad or team of soldiers, and mounted on a tripod or carriage.  Since 1945 the term has designated an automatic weapon firing ammunition larger than that used in ordinary combat rifles; the most widely used caliber is .50 caliber or .50 inch diameter U.S. and 12.7 mm for Warsaw Pact/Soviet and Now Russian or CIS, although a Russian heavy machine gun fires a 14.5mm round of .57 caliber.  The principle difference in the employment of Heavy Machine Guns is that HMG's are always used in a mounted or crew served supporting position and are capable of defeating lightly armored vehicles like Armored Personal Carriers (APC) and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) and are also capable of providing "Plunging Fire".

CLASSES OF FIRE: Machinegun Fire is classified with respect to the GROUND, the TARGET, and the GUN.  

Fire with respect to the GROUND includes:

Grazing Fire: Firing in a straight line about 1 meter (39 inches) above the ground, and when the cone of fire does not rise more than 1 meter above the ground.  When firing over level or uniformly sloping terrain, a maximum of 600 meters of grazing fire can be obtained. Grazing Fire is used to deny maneuver to the enemy and to defend the approaches to critically defended targets.  To prevent the enemy from low crawling under grazing fire, a few degrees of declination is added to the gun during sweeping passes of the covered zone of fire.

Plunging Fire: Plunging Fire is achieved by employing the Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) in an indirect fire mode, similar to artillery.  Because of the long range potential of most HMG's the barrel can be elevated so that the projectiles are highly arched above the line of sight and then plunge downward, impacting on the top of targeted bunkers and fighting positions as well as to the lightly armored roof tops of vehicles, shelters and buildings.  Light Machine Guns (LMG) and Medium Machine Guns (MMG) can not provide Plunging Fire, except when firing from high ground to low ground and when firing into abruptly rising terrain.

Fire with respect to the TARGET includes:

Frontal Fire: Firing directly into the front of a target or target area so that the long axis of the beaten zone is at a right angle to the front of the target.

Flanking Fire: Fires delivered directly against the flank or side of the target.

Oblique Fire: Fires when the long axis of the beaten zone is at an angle other than a right angle to the front of the target.

Enfilade Fire: When the long axis of the beaten zone coincides or nearly coincides with the long axis of the target.  This type of fire is either frontal or flanking.  It is the most desirable type of fire with respect to the target because it makes maximum use of the beaten zone.

Fire with respect to the GUN includes: Fixed Fire, Traversing Fire, Searching Fire, Swinging Traverse Fire and Free Gun Fire.

Most machine guns fire at a sustained rate of 500 to 1,000 rounds per minute. The modern medium and heavy machine gun is typically a belt-fed weapon that will continue to fire as long as the trigger is held back, or until the supply of ammunition is exhausted.  Most medium and heavy machine guns are equipped with a chick change barrel system, that allows long term usage and sustained automatic fire where the spare barrel can be quickly employed to allow the primary barrel time to cool and are alternated to prevent the barrels from seizing due to heat stress.

From the introduction of firearms in the late European Middle Ages, attempts were made to design a weapon that would fire more than one shot without reloading, typically by a cluster or row of barrels fired in sequence. In 1718 James Puckle in London patented a machine gun that was actually produced; a model of it is in the Tower of London. Its chief feature, a revolving cylinder that fed rounds into the gun's chamber, was a basic step toward the automatic weapon; what prevented its success was the clumsy and undependable flintlock ignition. The introduction of the percussion cap in the 19th century led to the invention of numerous machine guns in the United States, several of which were employed in the American Civil War. In all of these either the cylinder or a cluster of barrels was hand cranked. The most successful was the Gatling gun, which in its later version incorporated the modern cartridge, containing bullet, propellant, and means of ignition.

The introduction of smokeless powder in the 1880s made it possible to convert the
hand-cranked machine gun into a truly automatic weapon, primarily because smokeless powder's even combustion made it possible to harness the recoil so as to work the bolt, expel the spent cartridge, and reload. Hiram Stevens Maxim of the United States was the first inventor to incorporate this effect in a weapon design. The Maxim machine gun (c. 1884) was quickly followed by others--the Hotchkiss, Lewis, Browning, Madsen, Mauser, and other guns. 

Some of these utilized another property of the even burning of smokeless powder: small amounts of the combustion gas were diverted through a port to drive a piston or lever to open the breech as each round was fired, admitting the next round. As a result, during World War I the battlefield was from the outset dominated by the machine gun, generally belt-fed, water-cooled, and of a calibre matching that of the rifle. Except for synchronizing with aircraft propellers, the machine gun remained little changed throughout World War I and into World War II. Since then, innovations such as sheet-metal bodies and air-cooled, quick-changing barrels have made machine guns lighter and more reliable and quick-firing, but they still operate under the same principles as in the days of Hiram Maxim.

Most machine guns employ the gas generated by the explosion of the cartridge to drive the mechanism that introduces the new round in the chamber. The machine gun thus requires no outside source of power, and instead uses the energy released by the burning propellant in a cartridge to feed, load, lock and fire each round, and to extract and eject the empty cartridge case. This automatic operation may be accomplished by any of three ways: blowback, recoil, and gas operation.

In simple blowback operation, the empty cartridge case is hurled backward by the explosion of the cartridge and thereby pushes back the bolt, or breechblock, which in turn compresses a spring and is returned to the firing position upon that spring's recoil. The basic problem involved in blowback is to control the rearward motion of the bolt so that the gun's cycle of operation (e.g., loading, firing, and ejection) takes place correctly. In recoil operation, the bolt is locked to the barrel immediately after a round is fired; both the bolt and barrel recoil, but the barrel is then returned forward by its own spring while the bolt is held to the rear by the locking mechanism until a fresh round has fallen into place in the opened breech.

More common than either of these two methods is gas operation. In this method, the energy required to operate the gun is obtained from the pressure of gas tapped off from the barrel after each cartridge explodes. In a typical gas-operated machine gun, an opening or port is provided in the side of the barrel at a point somewhere between the breech and the muzzle. When the bullet has passed this opening, some of the high-pressure gases behind it are tapped off through the hole and operate a piston or some similar device for converting the pressure of the powder gases to a thrust. This thrust is then used through a suitable mechanism to provide the energy necessary for performing the automatic functions required for sustained fire; e.g., loading, firing, and ejection.

Light Machine Guns (LMG)

Heavy machine guns were satisfactory for defensive roles but were not really portable. A number of lighter machine guns (frequently called machine rifles or automatic rifles) began to be used in 1915. These included the British Lewis gun (invented in America but manufactured and improved in Great Britain), the French Chauchat, several German weapons, and the U.S. M1918 Browning automatic rifle (known as the BAR). Most, but not all, of these light weapons were gas-operated. Almost all were air-cooled. Generally, they fired from magazines rather than belts of ammunition because detachable magazines were more convenient and more easily transported. Weighing as little as 15 pounds, they were light enough to be carried by one man and fired rifle-fashion or from a prone position.

After World War I, light machine guns virtually took over the functions of their heavier counterparts, although the older weapons continued in service around the world through World War II and for decades thereafter. In Germany, where heavy, water-cooled Maxim-type guns had been forbidden by the victorious Allies, an entirely new generation of light machine guns was introduced by the Maschinengewehr 1934 and 1942. Recoil-operated and fed 7.92-millimeter rifle ammunition on belts, these were equally effective when fired from bipods or when mounted on tripods for sustained fire. Firing at an extremely high rate (as high as 1,000 rounds per minute), they dealt with the overheating problem by being built with barrels that could be changed in seconds. The MG34 pioneered the quick-change mechanism, while the MG42, being fabricated largely of stamped sheet-metal parts welded and riveted together, could be made cheaply and quickly even in factories designed for automobile manufacture.

The Soviets began to issue their Degtyarev Pekhotny (DP) in 1933 and supplied it to Loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War. In 1944 it was modified into the DPM. British infantry units fought World War II with the Bren, a .303-inch version of a weapon designed by the Czech weapons maker Václav Holek, and U.S. troops relied on the BAR. All were gas-operated and magazine-fed and weighed from slightly over 20 pounds to more than 30 pounds loaded. They fired slowly enough to deliver accurate bursts from their bipods, 350-600 rounds per minute.

After the war, with assault-rifle cartridges becoming standard issue, terms such as automatic rifle, light machine gun, and medium machine gun gave way to general-purpose machine gun (GPMG) and squad automatic weapon (SAW). Most GPMGs were chambered for the intermediate-size 7.62-millimeter cartridges of NATO and the Soviet Union, while SAWs fired small-caliber, high-velocity rounds such as the 5.56-millimeter NATO or the 5.45-millimeter Kalashnikov. Significant belt-fed GPMGs included the West German MG3, a modernized version of the MG42; the Mitrailleuse d'Appui Général (MAG), built by Fabrique Nationale of Belgium; the U.S.-made M60; and the Soviet Pulemyot Kalashnikova (PK). Of the SAWs, the most prominent were the belt- or magazine-fed Minimi, built by Fabrique Nationale, and the magazine-fed Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova (RPK).

Large Caliber - Heavy Machine Guns (HMG)

With the eclipse of the early water-cooled machine guns, the term heavy was applied to machine guns firing cartridges of several times rifle caliber--most often .50 inch or 12.7 millimeters.  Even before World War I, fully automatic weapons were used with ammunition more powerful than rifle cartridges, but such ammunition was not necessary for infantry missions until foot soldiers encountered armored vehicles. During the 1930s, many higher-powered weapons were adopted, although only two had outstanding success. One was the United States' M2 Heavy Barrel Browning. Essentially a .50-inch version of the .30-inch M1917 Browning (a Maxim-type machine gun produced too late to see much fighting in World War I), the M2 was still widely used throughout the noncommunist world decades after World War II and is still used by the US and it's allies all over the world.  

The .50 caliber (.5 inch) cartridge delivered bullets of various weights and types at high muzzle velocities, with roughly five to seven times the energy of full rifle-power ammunition. The weapon is recoil-operated and air-cooled, and it fires at about 450 rounds per minute. The Soviet 12.7-millimeter weapon, the Degtyarov-Shpagin Krupnokaliberny 1938 (DShK-38), is similar, but it was gas-operated. It went into wide use in Soviet-supplied countries. Both of these weapons, as well as their successors (such as the Soviets' Nikitin-Sokolov-Volkov, or NSV, machine gun), were used by infantry units on wheeled or tripod mounts, but they were also mounted on tanks to provide defensive fire against ground vehicles or aircraft.

After 1945, several super heavy machine guns (more than .50 inch) were developed, mostly for antiaircraft use. The single most important was a 14.5-millimeter weapon first introduced by the Soviets for use in armored vehicles. It was recoil-operated and belt-fed and had a barrel that could be changed quickly. Later it was fielded on a variety of wheeled carriages and was known as the Zenitnaya Protivovozdushnaya Ustanovka. The ZPU-4, a four-barreled version towed on a trailer, shot down many U.S. aircraft during that nation's involvement in the Vietnam War (1965-73) and remained in service throughout the Third World long afterward.

  A fully automatic Small Arm that uses a cartridge intended for use in pistols or handguns. Commonly called a "submachine gun."  Examples are the Heckler & Koch MP5 and the German MP44.  Abbreviated MP.

MAGAZINE: A spring-loaded container for cartridges that may be an integral part of the firearms  mechanism or may be detachable. Detachable magazines for the same model of firearm may be offered by the guns manufacturer or other manufacturers with various capacities. A gun with a five-shot detachable magazine, for instance, may be fitted with a magazine holding 10, 20, or 50 or more rounds. Box magazines are most commonly located under the receiver with the cartridges stacked vertically. Tube or tubular magazines typically run through the stock or under the barrel with the cartridges lying horizontally or end to nose.  Drum magazines hold their cartridges in a circular mode. The term magazine can also be used to describe a secure storage place for ammunition or explosives as in a war ships magazine.

The word Magazine may sound like a gun-related publication, but actually it is a small box, generally made of metal, that holds ammunition. Certain types of semiautomatic firearms are loaded by inserting a loaded magazine into the base of the firearm. Magazines are manufactured to hold a specific number of cartridges. A magazine is not a "clip", and use of the term "clip" to refer to a magazine (in spite of frequent TV goofs of this nature) is incorrect.  The Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, limited the magazine capacity of firearms produced after 1994 to a maximum of 10 cartridges. Old "Full Capacity"  and so called "High Capacity" magazines are still legal as long as they were manufactured prior to the ban. Newly manufactured full capacity magazines are marked "Restricted for Military and Law Enforcement Only."

MAGAZINE DISCONNECTORS): (Magazine Safeties) A magazine disconnector is a passive mechanical locking device which is designed to prevent the unintended discharge of the weapon when the magazine is removed from the pistol.   Like the loaded chamber indicator, the magazine disconnector was originally developed in the early 1900s by European gun manufacturers.  When a magazine is not fully inserted into the gun, the linkage between the trigger and the hammer release is disconnected.  This prevents the pistol from being fired, even if a cartridge is in the chamber.


If a pistol is always handled with the magazine removed until the user is ready to shoot, then a magazine disconnector may reduce the risk of unintended discharge.  However, the magazine disconnector may increase the risk of unintended discharge if the user is not familiar with its operation.  An inexperienced user may insert an empty magazine into the pistol, disengaging the safety, and mistakenly assume that the gun is unloaded, even though it contains a cartridge in the chamber. 

For young children, storage of the gun without a magazine prevents unauthorized usage, however, older children can easily disengage the safety by reinserting the magazine. These devices are only found on a limited number of pistol models the most common being the Browning Hi Power.

To properly childproof a firearm it must be unloaded and the ammunition and the firearm secured in separate locations.  This also prevents unauthorized usage by adults.

MAGAZINE RELEASE:  A button (usually) on the side of a semi-automatic that can be pressed to release the magazine.  Also know as Mag Release.

A term indicating a relatively heavily loaded metallic cartridge or shot shell and, by extension, a gun safely constructed to fire it.

MAINSPRING: The spring that delivers energy to the hammer or striker.  The mainspring is the initial source of the energy needed to fire the gun.  Cocking the hammer compresses the mainspring, generating potential energy. The recoil or operating spring in semiautomatic guns is a part of the breech closing system; is not the same as the mainspring.

MAJOR:  Category designation for a type of firearm and ammunition that compete and are scored in the Major Power Factor category in IPSC competition.  Slang for a round that makes the Major Power Factor in IPSC.

MAJOR POWER FACTOR:  A power rating used by IPSC.  A round is said to "make major" if its power factor exceeds 175.   Shooters scores are based on the Major or Minor Power Factor with Major Power Factor scoring higher hit points for B - C and D zone hits.  See power factor.

MAKAROV: The standard Russian military sidearm since the 1950s.  Official designation is "PM" for "Pistolet Makarova."  It was designed by Oleg Makarov.  It is a blowback operated semiautomatic pistol, which fires the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge, and holds 8 rounds in the magazine.  It has also been made in the Peoples Republic of China, East Germany, and Bulgaria. 

MALFUNCTION:  A general term to describe any failure of the firearm to behave as intended.  Malfunctions include failures to fire caused by failures in either the firearm or the ammunition.   They also include cases where the gun fails after firing successfully (stove pipes, failure to feed, etc.)  Competition organizations have different rules for dealing with malfunctions during a course of fire.   Some (such as IDPA) expect the competitor to deal with malfunction on the clock and continue the string.  Others may allow a competitor to re-shoot a string following a malfunction. 

MANUAL THUMB SAFETY: Located on the side of the handgun, manual thumb safeties are intended to reduce the unintentional discharge of the weapon during normal use. Generally found only on pistols, these safeties can operate in several ways.  Depending on the design, engagement of the safety mechanism may lock the slide, move the firing pin out of reach of the hammer, insert a block between the hammer and firing pin, or lock the hammer.  In the locked position, all manual thumb safeties, if functioning properly, prevent the handgun from discharging when the trigger is pulled.  Virtually all pistols produced, have some type of manual thumb safety. The Exception being the more modern designs by SIG Sauer and Glock which have other [read better] built in safeties.  Double action-only pistols and revolvers do not usually include this device.


A manual thumb safety is easy to use in the context of normal handgun operation, requiring only a single digit to operate.  However, these safeties are active devices, requiring active human usage.  A manual thumb safety can be easily disengaged by children and adolescents or unintentionally by the user. Its effectiveness at preventing the unauthorized use of the handgun or an unintended discharge is limited.  There is no industry standard for thumb safety design, however the Clinton / HUD / S&W agreement protocol calls for all firearms to include a manual safety.  Another example of non technical,  non-gun people making feel good regulations that are ineffective and serve no practical purpose.

Guns Don't just go off!

Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

A European firearms manufacturer, now in business with Steyr of Austria.

MANNLICHER STOCK: A full length slender stock with slender forend extending to the muzzle (full stock) affording better barrel protection.  Originally found on the Mannlicher rifle.

MATCH: A shooting meet or organized firearms competition.  Example: IDPA Match.

MATCH ACTION: A firearms action that is specially prepared for shooting in competition or for match use.  Typically Match Actions have a squared and true bolt face, action and locking lugs.  The mechanical tolerances are closer or measured to a higher standard to facilitate improved accuracy and reliability.  A Speed Lock Spring and light weight firing pin are often used to decrease lock time and facilitate near immediate ignition when the trigger is pulled.  The trigger on most match guns is of a two (2) stage design or machined and adjusted to a very light trigger pull weight.

MATCH AMMO: (Match Ammunition) Ammunition special loaded or prepared for enhanced accuracy or to suit the specific needs of a shooting match.  Match Rifle ammunition is typically a hotter faster load capable of shooting small groups and often uses Boat Tail type projectiles that are inherently more accurate.  Some match ammo also uses cases that are more robust for multiple reloads.

MATCH BARREL: A rifle or handgun barrel specifically designed or prepared for shooting in competition or shooting matches.  A typical rifle match barrel is of a more heavy contour and is designed for extreme accuracy and for less barrel sag when fired from a hot barrel.  Often match barrels are made of higher grade steel or stainless steel with lands and groves broach cut to increase accuracy and to lessen the chance of fouling.  Many Match Rifles have specific rifling twists for the specific bullet weight and for the distance to the target.  Most Match Guns are not well suited for defensive or hunting use.

MATCH GRADE:  A commercial designation that implies enhanced accuracy and performance in ammunition and components.  The term is often used to specify a "Match Grade" barrel or for ammunition that is said by the producers to be better suited for competition use.

MAUSER:  German firearms company founded in 1872.  In 1897 Mauser produced the Mauser Gewehr magazine-rifle. It was Germany's answer to the French Lebel M1888. It has been claimed that it was the most successful bolt-action rifle ever designed.

MAUSER, PETER PAUL:  Peter Paul Mauser was born in 1838 and died in 1914.  Mauser was a  German weapons manufacturer from Oberndorf Germany and industrialist who with his brother Wilhelm Mauser (1834–1882) invented a breech loading rifle and a repeating pistol and rifle.  Mauser's impact was truly historic. While some of his original receivers were based on the Dreyse action, was truly basic and one of the first successful metallic cartridge, bolt action rifles. Almost every good original feature of the metallic cartridge, turning bolt action design is attributed to the work of Peter Paul Mauser. He systematically developed his basic design and changed the world of firearms manufacturing forever. Mauser designs and principles for metallic case cartridges and rifle designs are still used in the majority of bolt action or turn-bolt rifles today.

Great Gun Makers of the World

Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH

Original Mauser Factory in Oberndorf

Peter Paul Mauser & Wilhelm Mauser

From the Royal Wuerttemberg Rifle Factory to a Modern High-Technology Enterprise & Global Industrial Conglomerate.

Mauser Time Line


On 31 July 1811 his Majesty King Friedrich I from Wuerttemberg signed the articles of incorporation of the Royal Rifle Factory in Oberndorf.

1812 Opening of the Royal Rifle Factory in Oberndorf with133 employees.
1867 Invention of a brand-new bolt system for breech loaders by Paul and Wilhelm Mauser.
1872 Foundation of "Gebrüder W. & P. Mauser" to operate a weapons factory.
1894 Regrouping to the limited commercial partnership  „Gebrüder Mauser & Cie“.
1897 Renaming of the company into „Waffenfabrik Mauser AG“.
1898 Introduction of the Infantry Rifle Model 98.
1922 Renaming of the company into "Mauser-Werke AG“.
1935 Start of production of automatic weapons and cannons.
1945 Total Dismantling of Mauser-Werke.
1956 Resumption of gun development activities.
1970 Development of 27 mm aircraft gun together with its ammunition family for Tornado and Alpha-Jet aircraft. Maintenance of ordnance equipment.
1971 Tooling-up for production of military equipment. Development of 20 mm to 35 mm automatic cannons.
1975 Renaming of the company into „Mauser-Werke Oberndorf GmbH“.
1977 Development of automatic cannons 25 mm and 30 mm.
1979 Joint capital of the company transferred from Industrie-Werke Karlsruhe-Augsburg AG (IWKA) to Diehl GmbH & Co, Nuremberg.
1987 Series production of automatic cannon MK 30.
1992 Development contract for Close-In Weapon System for the German Navy.
1995 Joint capital of company transferred to Rheinmetall AG. Renaming of the company into "Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH“.
1996 Contract award MK 30 mm as main armament for the Spanish IFV Pizarro.
1997 Contract award ammunition FAPDS 35 mm.
1998 Development contract for Light Naval Gun System MLG 27 for the German Navy.
1999 Contract award MK 30 mm as main armament for the Austrian IFV Ulan.
1999 Contract award for series production of linkless ammunition feeding system for the Euro Fighter aircraft.
2000 Small Arms portion of Mauser sold to the newly realigned SIGArms Incorporated of Exeter New Hampshire.
2001 Return to production of the Classic Mauser Magnum sporting rifle.  Produced by Mauser and sold by SIGArms Inc.

Mauser Model 71 - M1871

The German Mauser Rifle

Manufactured in Danzig in 1875, this was the most important of numerous single shot bolt actions introduced in 1870-71. Germany officially adopted it as the Gewehr in 1871. This is the design of Peter Paul Mauser, a German design genius from Oberndorf and while based on the Dreyse action, was truly basic and one of the first successful metallic cartridge, bolt action rifles.

Almost every good original feature of the metallic cartridge, turning bolt action design, was the work of Peter Paul Mauser. He systematically developed his basic design.

GENERALLY:   The I.G. (Infanterie-Gewehr) Mod. 71 German Mauser was the first of what would become literally millions of rifles manufactured to the design of the brothers Paul and Wilhelm Mauser and the first regulation brass cartridge rifle of the German Imperial Army.   Almost every good original feature of the metallic cartridge, turning bolt action design, was the work of design genius Peter Paul Mauser who systematically developed his basic design over an extended period of time and, while based on the Dreyse action, was innovative and one of the first successful metallic cartridge, bolt action rifles.   During 1870-71 trials with many different rifles took place, with the M1869 Bavarian Werder being Mauser’s chief competitor. 

The Mauser was provisionally adopted at the end of 1871 pending the development of an appropriate safety.  The now universally recognized "wing" type safety lever on the back of the bolt was developed to fill this requirement and the Mod.71 Mauser was adopted by Germany in early 1872.  The Mod.71 Mauser is a rather plain and conventional looking bolt action single shot chambered in typical 11 millimeter.   The design is a split bridge, single shot, bolt action developed from the experimental Mauser-Norris of 1868 at the royal Wurttemberg Armory in Oberndorf, and very similar in functioning to the French Chasspot, forerunner of the Mle.1874 French Gras.  The action included only a bolt guide rib as its single locking lug, locking forward of the receiving bridge.

Rifles were manufactured in Spandau, in Oberndorf by Mauser, in Erfurt by O.W. Steyr (OEWG),  in Danzig and even initially by National Arms and Ammunition Company in Birmingham, England.  Additional rifles were also manufactured in Amberg (Bavaria) after conversions of the Bavarian Werders to the M1871 standard were completed (those rifles becoming the M1869 n.M. Bavarian Werder) .

The barrels were finished browned, trigger guard finished either iron in the white or in bronze, receiver and bolt in natural white, the butt plate in bronze and remaining hardware fire blued.
The Mod.71, the subsequent I.G. Mod. 71/84 and all their variations use a two-piece bolt.

PHOTO: The rifle shown is an I.G.Mod.71. (M1871) German Mauser.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:   The left receiver flat is marked I.G. Mod. 71. (Infanterie-Gewehr) in highly Gothic script.  There is a Monarch's Cipher which could be F.W. (Fredrik Wilhelm of Prussia), L. for King Ludwig of Bavarian,  or W. (for the  Wurttemberg Kingdom).   The most common varieties seem to be those manufactured in and marked "Spandau" and "Amberg"

MISC. NOTES:   Interestingly, the Mod.71 is the first rifle firing metallic center fire cartridges produced on an assembly line basis.  Quantities of the Mod.71 were also sold to China, Japan and Uruguay.  A variation of the Mod.71 was also sold to Serbia and Transvaal.  

The famous Mauser wing safety lever at the back of the bolt.  This classic feature differentiates the Mauser design and line of rifles from about all else.

    Muzzle end of the Mod. 71 Mauser showing nose cap and rod.

    The highly Gothic script reads:  I.G. (Infanterie-Gewehr) Mod. 71.

This particular rifle bears the Monarch's Cipher of King Ludwig of Bavaria and the top flat is marked "Amberg."  Just ahead of the receiver, stamped sideways into the receiver flat to the right of the "Crown over L" is the figure "10.95"

This is the rifle's caliber in millimeters.  Note that nominally the same, the later Model 71/84 Mauser is slightly different.  Ammo is interchangeable, but accuracy suffers shooting later ammo in the Model 71.

Infanterie-Gewehr (Infantry Rifle) I. G. Mod. 71. German Mauser:

    Unit markings designated on the butt stock.

Excellent quality rear sight for its day.
Note extended range slide in photo below.

Extended range slide in partially up position.

Open bolt.  Extractor, no ejector, Year of manufacture.  Screw at the top of the bolt is the bolt retaining screw & washer, removed to remove the bolt.

A Mauser, single shot, turn bolt rifle. It was made by Steyr in Austria in 1875. It is approximately 5 inches shorter than the same model made in Danzig in the same year. These rifles were used in China in the Boxer Rebellion and also by German African Colonial Troops during World War 1.

MEAN POINT OF IMPACT:  The mathematical center of a group of shots (usually 3 to 5) fired at the same point of aim.  Abbreviated MPI.

MENTAL DISCIPLINE: in marksmanship is the shooter's ability to maintain his concentration on sight alignment while the other fundamentals of minimum arc of movement and trigger control are being employed at their optimum.

MERCURIC PRIMER: A primer in which the priming mixture contains mercury.

METAL CASE (MC): A type of bullet which, except for a small opening at the base, is completely encased in a jacket.

MICROMETER: A very presses measuring device that is typically hand held.  Used in hand and ammunition reloading to measure bullets and cases.

MICROMETER SIGHT:  A finely adjustable target sight.

MID RANGE TRAJECTORY: Refers to the distance the bullet rises above the line of sight. Mid-range trajectory is calculated halfway between the muzzle and the target.

MIKE: Phonetic pronunciation of the letter M.  Used to call or mark a miss on a target in competition.

MINUTE OF ANGLE:  The arc subtended by an angle of one minute (1/60th of a degree) at any range, usually 100 yards.  A minute of angle or (MOA) at 100 yards is 1.0471680" - so close to an inch that for all practical purposes it is considered an inch.  So 1 MOA = 1 inch at 100 yards.  This measurement is used on scopes and optics.  In practical use one would adjust the scope or optics so the bullet strike or point of impact and the aiming point or point of aim coincide at a desired distance.  For an adjustment to zero at 100 yards,  follow this example:  If the point of impact was 3 inches to the left of and 4 inches below the point of aim, one would move the adjusting knobs on the scope or optics 3 MOA (3 inches) to the right and 4 MOA (4 inches) up.  Some scope adjusting knobs are in 1/4 MOA or 1/4 inch at 100 yard increments, so you can not always say 4 clicks as 4 clicks on a 1/4 MOA scope is only 1 MOA.  Abbreviated MOA.

MINIMUM ARC OF MOVEMENT: is the smallest degree of movement that the shooter can attain in the body shooting arm and weapon during the time of firing a shot.

MISFIRE: The failure of a cartridge to fire after the primer is struck.   The condition of a cartridge not firing when an attempt to fire it is made. It can be caused by either a defective cartridge or a defective firearm. The term has some times been misused to indicate a Negligent Discharge of a firearm.

MISSISSIPPI  RIFLE: Slang term for the U.S. Rifle Model M1841, a .54 caliber Muzzle loading Rifle. The name comes from their use by a group of U.S. Volunteers from Mississippi who were commanded by Jefferson Davis in the Mexican War.   Some were later rebored to .58 caliber - The rifles not the volunteers :)

MITRAILLEUSE:  The French Mitrailleuse was a multi-barreled weapon that used a loading plate which contained a cartridge for each of its 25 barrels. The barrels and the loading plate remained fixed, and a mechanism (operated by a crank) struck individual firing pins simultaneously or in succession. The Mitrailleuse issued to the French army fired 11mm Chassepot rifle ammunition.  Weighing more than 2,000 pounds, it was mounted on a wheeled carriage and was usually employed in volley fire, with all barrels discharging at once.  French forces in the Franco-German War endeavored to use it in a manner similar to artillery, but it was no match for breech-loading cannon firing explosive shells.

MOA:  Abbreviation for Minute of Angle.

MODEL NUMBER: Alpha-numeric nomenclature designation given to military equipment. In the case of many of the small arms issues to U.S. forces, the model number may be the year the armament or equipment was adopted for service or fielded. For example, the Pistol, Caliber .45 ACP M1911 was fielded in 1911 and the Browning Automatic Rifle M1918 was fielded in 1918. In modern times the model number is an alpha numeric designation that is not related to the date the item was fielded and is more likely a series number. Model numbers are also repeated and used for more than one item. There may be an M1 Antenna, an M1 Field Desk and an M1 Tank, so one must read the complete nomenclature for an accurate description.

MODULAR WEAPONS SYSTEM:  Generic term and military noun nomenclature for a series of quick attachment systems used to accommodate the use of various devices and accessories on a firearm.  The Modular Weapons System or MWS adds flexibility and adaptability to a proven rifle design.  The MWS has recently been adopted by the U.S. Army and type classified.  The precision machined aircraft aluminum Picatinny type (Military Specification 1913) rail exceeds military requirements for bore alignment retention and allows the rifle barrel to cool much faster than with conventional hand guards.  The RIS / MWS was originally designed for the military M16 and AR-15 family of rifles and carbines.  Recently, new RIS / MWS were developed for several other rifles, carbines and sub-machineguns.  The MWS is commercially available as the Rail Interface System or RIS by KAC Knights Armament System.  A Top Rail only system is made by A.R.M.S. 

Modular Weapons System - MWS

The ability to customize each individual soldiers rifle for his specific mission and to integrate new targeting electronics, make this system a high priority for the U.S. Military. MWS allows the quick attachment of numerous accessories such as: reflex sights, lasers, sling swivels, bipod, flashlights, and vertical pistol grip.  The MWS was adopted and has been in service for over three years with the U.S. Army Special Forces in the SOPMOD M4 Carbine (Special Operations Peculiar Modification) program.  MWS allows one to customize their rifle, carbine or sub-machine gun to meet specific needs.  

The MWS is commercially available from KAC ( Knights Armament Company ) and is know as the Rail Interface System™ or RIS™.   A top rail only MWS is commercially available from A.R.M.S. (Atlantic Research & Marketing Systems) and is know as the Swan Sleeve™.

See: SOPMOD M4 for details on attached accessories.  See also: Rail Interface System (RIS)

MONTE CARLO STOCK: A stock with an elevated comb used primarily for scoped rifles.

MORTAR:  In warfare, a short-range weapon that fires a shell on a high trajectory. The name once applied to a heavy ARTILLERY piece but lately has designated a much lighter, muzzle-loaded, smooth-bore INFANTRY weapon consisting principally of a tube and a supporting bipod that fires a fairly heavy projectile in a high arc.  The mortar is the deadliest weapon on the modern battlefield.

MOVEMENT TO CONTACT A type of military maneuver; typically an offensive operation designed to gain initial ground contact with the enemy or to regain lost contact.

MUJAHEDIN: Islamic militant group initially established to fight in Afghanistan against Soviet occupation. The Mujahedin Rebels were originally formed and based in Pakistan. They recruited from several Islamic counties and were supported and trained by the American CIA and U.S. Army Special Forces to counter deployed forces of the USSR. They were eventually equipped with American made Stinger Anti-Aircraft missiles, which they employed with great effect against low flying Soviet helicopters and aircraft. Offshoots of this militant Islamic group are now categorized at terrorists and currently operate in the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.  See: Harakat ul-Mujahedin (HUM) in the detail box below.

Armed & Dangerous
Harakat ul-Mujahedin (HUM)
Harakat ul-Ansar

Formerly known as the Harakat ul-Ansar, the HUM is an Islamic militant group based in Pakistan that operates primarily in Kashmir. Originally established to fight in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation, the HUM has become an international network of fighters for Islamic causes all over the world. Its headquarters is at Raiwind in Punjab, where it holds its annual conferences. 

The HUM is a member of Osama bin Ladin's "Islamic World Front for the struggle against the Jews and the Crusaders" (Al-Jabhah al-Islamiyyah al-`Alamiyyah li-Qital al-Yahud wal-Salibiyyin). The Front was declared in an announcement on February 1998 at a press conference in Pakistan. Fazlur Rehman Khalil, one of the HUM's leaders signed bin Ladin's fatwa in February 1998 calling for attacks on US and Western interests. The organization operates terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan and suffered casualties in the US missile strikes on Bin Ladin-associated training camps in Khost in August 1998. Fazlur Rehman Khalil subsequently warned that HUM would take revenge on the United States.

In 1997 the US Government placed the HUM on its list of foreign terrorist groups. This prompted Pakistani security agencies, which covertly back Muslim insurgents in Kashmir, to distance themselves from the organizations. But Pakistan has not cracked down on the group's militant activities in Kashmir fearing a backlash from Islamic fundamentalist groups. Indian security forces in Kashmir confront at least a dozen major insurgent groups of varying size and ideological orientation. The more prominent groups include the secular pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the radical Islamic and pro-Pakistani groups Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Hizbollah, Harkat-ul-Mujahedin, and Ikhwanul Muslimeen.

According to the leader of the organization, Maulana Saadatullah Khan, the group's main objective is to continue the armed struggle against non-believers and "anti-Islamic forces." The organization seeks Kashmir's accession to Pakistan.


The Harakat ul-Mujahedin was initially established in central Punjab in Pakistan in the early 1980s by Islamic religious elements. A few months after its formation, the HUM began sending volunteers to Afghanistan in order to assist the Afghan Mujahidin groups. Volunteers were recruited from Pakistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK). The HUM was estimated to have recruited about 5,000 volunteers and sent them into Afghanistan. The recruitment was funded by money from supporters in Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia (including Osama bin Ladin).

As the war in Afghanistan dragged on, the HUM recruited volunteers from the Muslim communities in other countries. About 6,000 volunteers were recruited from Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Jammu & Kashmir of India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and the Philippines.

The initial batch of HUM volunteers was trained in the use of arms and ammunition and explosives in training camps in the Paktia province of Afghanistan run by Jalaluddin Haqqani, the leader of the Hezb Islami (Khalis) Afghan Mujahidin group. Haqqani has since joined the Taliban.

Subsequently, the HUM set up its own training camps in Afghan territory just across Miran Shah in the NWFP.  Some of the best fighters of the Afghan war came from the HUM training camps.

After the Afghan Mujahideen captured power in Kabul in April 1992, the HUM converted itself into an international network of fighters for defending the rights of the Muslims all over the world.  The name of the organisation was changed as Harakat ul-Ansar in 1993 and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, another organisation of Afghan vintage, merged with it. From 1992, the HUM spread its activities to Jammu & Kashmir of India, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Myanmar and the Philippines.

The training camps of the Harakat ul-Mujahedin bore the brunt of the American cruise missile attacks on 20 August following the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Fazlur Rahman Khalil claimed that nine HUM members died in the US attack on its camps in the Khost area. On August 23,1998 Azizur Rahman Danish, the head of the Sindh branch of the HUM, warned, “The US air strikes have drawn a clear dividing line between the Muslim Ummah and non-believers and this is the beginning of a crusade. The USA will be paid back in the same coin.”


The HUM is a Sunni organisation, ideologically close to the Deoband school of thought and to Wahabism.  It's ideology is similar to that of the Markaz Dawa Al Irshad and the Taliban. It holds to a very strict interpretation of Islamic law and denounces pluralist, parliamentary democracy and equal rights for women as the corrupting influence of the West on Islamic societies.

Initially, the HUM's objective was stated to be the organization of humanitarian relief for the Afghan refugees in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan. However, since the end of the Afghan war it has set itself up as a supporter of Islamic Jihad against the secular Muslim governments and against the West.


While Fazlur Rahman Khalil is often named as the head of the HUM, the US State Department’s Counter-Terrorism Division identifies the leader of the group as Maulana Sadaatullah Khan. It is believed that while Rahman Khalil heads the HUM for the whole of Pakistan, Sadaatullah Khan heads its POK unit.

Based in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, the group's members conduct insurgent and terrorist activities primarily in Kashmir. The HUM trains its militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The HUA has several thousand armed supporters located in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and in the southern Kashmir and the Doda regions of India composed of mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris, and Afghans.

Membership is open to all who support  the HUA’s objectives and are willing to take the group’s 40-day training course.  It has a core militant group of about 300, mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris, but includes Afghans and Arab veterans  of the Afghan war.

The HUA has several thousand armed supporters located in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and in the southern Kashmir and the Doda regions of India. Senior Pakistani intelligence officials estimated that Harkat commands at least 500 well-trained militants. HUA is composed of mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris, but including Afghans and Arab veterans of the Afghan war. The HUA uses light and heavy machineguns, assault rifles, mortars, explosives, and rockets.

The HUM draws its volunteers from the Tabligi Jamaat (TJ), which ostensibly carries on missionary and charitable work among Muslims, not only in Pakistan, but also in other countries.

The HUM's funding comes from donations from sympathizers in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf and Islamic states and from Pakistanis and Kashmiris. The source and amount of HUM's military funding are unknown. The organization may receive an unknown amount of monetary support from Pakistan. It is a member of the United Jihad Council [Muttahida Jihad Council - MJC] set up in 1994 by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency. Among the other member organizations: Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Jihad, Al-Barq, Ikhwan-ul-Mussalmin, Tariq-ul-Mujahideen.

Terrorist Activity 

HUM has carried out a number of operations against Indian troops and civilian targets in Kashmir. It has been linked to the Kashmiri militant group Al-Faran that kidnapped five Western tourists in Kashmir in July 1995; one was killed in August 1995, and the other four reportedly were killed in December of the same year.

In June 1994 the HUM kidnapped two British citizens in India. The HUM captured Lt.Col. Bhupinder Singh in January and demanded that Indian forces turn over an HUM commander in return for Singh’s release.  When the Indian authorities refused, the militants killed Singh.  In mid-May 1994, HUM militants conducted two attacks in Doda district in which they stopped buses, forced the passengers off , then singled out individuals for execution—the last victim was a 14-year-old Muslim boy.

Harakat ul-Mujahedin members have participated in insurgent and terrorist operations in Kashmir, Burma, Tajikistan and Bosnia.  The HUA’s Burma branch, located in the Arakans, trains local Muslims in weapons handling and guerilla warfare.  In Tajikistan, HUA members have served with and trained Tajik resistance elements.  The first group of HUA militants entered Bosnia in 1992.  The source and amount of  HUM’s military funding are unknown, but are believed to come from sympathetic Arab countries and wealthy Pakistanis and Kashmiris.

The HUM has been linked to the Kashmir militant group Al Faran that which kidnapped four Western hostages in July 1995. One of the hostages was killed in August 1995, and the other four reportedly were killed in December of the same year.

MULTI-BARRELED: A gun with more than one barrel, the most common being the double-barreled shotgun.

MUNITION: War materiel, especially weapons and ammunition. Often used in the plural. mu·ni·tioned, mu·ni·tion·ing, mu·ni·tions To supply with munitions. 2. Whatever materials are used in war for defense or for annoying an enemy; ammunition; also, stores and provisions; military stores of all kinds.

MUSHROOMED BULLET: Description of a bullet whose forward diameter has expanded after penetration, having the shape of a mushroom.

MUSKET: A smoothbore military Muzzle Loading shoulder arm.   Muskets were the worldwide standard in military infantry weapons before the adoption of the rifled barrel or "rifle" as standard.  The advantage muskets possess over rifles is that being smoothbores and using undersize bullets, they could be loaded much more quickly than a Muzzle Loading rifle.  The downside to this is that muskets were very inaccurate compared to rifles.  Shooting at an individual target, they possess an effective range of about 50 yards. For this reason, massed volley fire was used, with the idea that if you throw enough lead at the enemy some of the bullets will strike home.  In modern terms this principle is called Firepower.

MUZZLE: The open end of the barrel from which the projectile exits. The front end of a barrel.

MUZZLE BRAKE: An attachment to or integral part of the barrel intended to trap and divert expanding gasses and reduce perceived recoil.  Muzzle Breaks have many commercial names like the Weatherby's  Accu-Break and the BOSS System by Browning.  Some cannons and Field Artillery pieces as well as modern Tanks refer to this evacuator as a BARREL BREAK.

MUZZLE ENERGY:  Energy of a projectile at the muzzle end of a firearm measured in foot pounds.  A projectile's capacity for doing work at a given range, expressed in foot-pounds, measured at the muzzle or end of the barrel.  To calculate Kinetic Energy use the formula below.

Energy = (wt * V^2) / 450130.33

Where: wt = weight in grains  &  V = velocity in fps (feet per second)

MUZZLE FLASH:  The illumination (flash) resulting from the expanding gases from the burning propellant particles emerging from the barrel behind the projectile and uniting with oxygen in the air.

MUZZLE LOADER also MUZZLELOADER: The earliest type of gun, now also popular as modern made replicas, in which black powder and projectiles) are separately loaded in through the muzzle. The term is often applied to cap-and-ball revolvers where the loading is done not actually through the muzzle but through the open ends of the cylinders chambers.  All early cannons and ship board artillery were also muzzle loaders.

MUZZLE VELOCITY: The speed of a projectile exiting the muzzle of a firearm typically measured in feet per second (fps) or meters per second (m/s). U.S. industry standard muzzle velocity is measured 15 inches from the muzzle.  Abbreviated MV or (mv).

MV:  Abbreviation for Muzzle Velocity.

MWS: Acronym for Modular Weapon System.  See above.

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