Firearm Terms You Need to have to Know


With all the speak of guns in the news, I uncover myself giggling at the use of incorrect firearm verbiage. Sadly, I often even hear these very same incorrect words in the course of conversations in gun shops and at ranges. To steer clear of confusion, I’ve compiled a list of firearm terms I typically hear utilized improperly. 

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Situation 1: You are on the variety, maybe even at a match, and you overhear one particular fellow say to his girlfriend, “Hand me that 20 round clip more than there.” OMG … it is like nails on a chalkboard. 

Clips for your hair.

This is a clip for your hair. At a match, it keeps your hair out of your eyes.

revolver moon clips
Moon clips

A moon clip is a flat, ring-shaped piece of metal created to hold a number of cartridges collectively for simultaneous insertion and extraction from a revolver. 

stripper clip
Stripper clip

A stripper clip is a device that holds a number of cartridges collectively in a single unit for much easier and more quickly loading of a firearm’s magazine.

Firearm Terms Magazine
Magazine for an AR

Magazines are commonly detachable and refillable. They hold cartridges below spring stress in preparation for feeding into the firearm’s chamber.

Situation two: Have you ever watched a film exactly where an individual is shooting an AR or pistol that is fully silent? Ugh … the only way to make a gun close to film quiet is by shooting a certain kind of ammunition that is slower than 1050 feet-per-second. Positive, firearms can be just about silenced, with the proper kind of ammunition and a top quality suppressor. On the other hand, that is not what’s commonly noticed in motion pictures.

Firearm Terms Suppressor

A suppressor attaches to the finish of a gun’s barrel and reduces the sound of its discharge, producing it significantly less intense.

Situation three: You turn on the regional news to see a photo of an AR-15 and hear the anchor discussing the banning of assault rifles. For goodness’ sake, AR does not stand for assault rifle! 

Firearm Terms AR-15 Springfield
Springfield Saint AR-15

AR-15 stands for ArmaLite Rifle-15. Also named a “modern sporting rifle,” it is a semi-automatic rifle that comes in a wide assortment of models. 

Automatic rifle
Automatic rifle selector switch

An assault rifle is a speedy-fire, magazine-fed rifle created for military use. The shooter selects among semi-automatic, completely automatic or 3-shot-burst modes.

Firearm Terms muzzle brake Springfield
Muzzle Brake

Two other typically confused terms are muzzle brake and flash suppressor or flash hider. Though each attach to the finish of a muzzle, they every have quite diverse purposes. A muzzle brake redirects some of the pressurized gas that propels the bullet to counter recoil and undesirable muzzle rise. A flash suppressor lets hot air escape the barrel producing for a smaller sized flash of light as the bullet exits, enhancing visibility for the shooter.

ammunition parts

Lots of folks use the words round, cartridge, ammo, ammunition, bullet and shell interchangeably. This does not bother me as a lot as the above errors, but I really feel it is nevertheless crucial to consist of these terms. 

pistol rifle round
Pistol and rifle round

A round or cartridge is a full unit of ammunition. It includes a casing, primer, propellent and a projectile. 

Ammunition (ammo) is measured in rounds, which is what’s loaded into a gun. Ammo is obtainable in hundreds of sizes, and it need to match the firearm you are utilizing. 

A bunch of bullets

The projectile in a cartridge or round of ammunition is a bullet. 

two shotgun shells and a rifle shell (casing)

The term shell is a synonym for casing, which is the unit that holds the gunpowder, projectile and primer for handguns, rifles and shotguns. Some folks also use it as a term for shotgun ammunition. 

Really feel no cost to share this list firearm terms with these just studying the lingo, or perhaps forward it to “that friend” who regularly makes use of the word clip incorrectly.

  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is the managing and social media editor at The WON. Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Education Group, LLC, a firearms coaching enterprise she constructed with her husband Chris in 2011. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and carrying out contract operate for important producers.
    View all posts by Michelle Cerino



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