Glossary of firearms terms

Return to index, Previous page, Next page

Effective range see Range

Ejector
On breech loading small arms, a device that removes the empty cartridge case after firing. Various methods have been devised to perform this function. On hinge frame guns the ejector is a spring attached to the extractor that causes a violent rearward snap of the extractor when the barrel is positioned to permit the cartridge to be thrown clear of the weapon. More often the ejector is a small protuberance within the receiver against which the case, having been extracted, strikes and is thrown clear. On hand ejector weapons, manual pressure on the extractor moves the cartridge case rearward to clear the chamber. In certain rifles, like the Garand, the ejector occurs in the bolt face as a spring loaded pin constantly exerting pressure on the case head. Opening the action allows instant ejection. In certain automatic pistols and foreign weapons the cartridge is ejected by the striker pin acting near the close of the rearward stroke of the firing cycle.

Emboss
On metal, to change relative levels of the surface for the purpose of decoration. The surface may be raised into bosses or lowered into indentations. Generally the major elevations are accomplished by hammering inside to force the outside surface upward, though finer detail is always applied from the outside.

Engrave
To form decorative patterns by incisions into the surface of the material being decorated.

Erosion
Gradual enlargement of a firearmís bore through the action of hot powder gasses. The process is quite distinct from abrasion and corrosion.

Error of the rifle
Any error inherent in a specific rifle resulting from faulty manufacture or assembly.

Esclopette
Any of a variety of shoulder arms with a hinged stock capable of folding upon itself. In the early 17th century, the carbine like weapon was carried in a shoulder holster. The early versions were wheel lock. They were carried as late as the 19th century by poachers who could conceal it easily beneath their cloaks.

Explosive Bullet
Any of a variety of bullets containing a small powder charge that explodes on impact.

Exterior ballistics see Ballistics

Extractor
A device for withdrawing a cartridge case from the chamber. In some case the extractor takes the form of a claw attached to the breechblock in a way that allows it to grasp the case head and engage the caseís extractor groove when the breech is closed. Opening the breech causes the claw to withdraw the case from the chamber. In other instances the extractor takes the form of a movable portion of the barrels rear face. Closing the breech brings the cartridge rim into contact with this rear face, opening the breech allows the spring or cam operated extractor to drive the cartridge from the chamber. In some revolvers the extractor is a portion of the cylinders rear face, when the revolver is closed the cartridge case rims are brought into contact with the extractors.

Extreme range see Range