Glossary of firearms terms

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A rifle or shotgun design allowing disassembly of the barrel from the buttstock and receiver without the use of tools. A takedown model may be carried more easily when disassembled and then reassembled in the field by the shooter.

Of a shoulder arm, the metal strip attached to the barrel or receiver and extending toward the butt, by means of which the barrel is secured to the stock.

Telescopic sight see Sight, optical

A small German wheel lock pistol of the 16th century.

1 Of a firearms chamber, the forward section tapering to coincide with the diameter of the bore.
2 O a revolver, the bore’s enlargement at the breech end, designed to centre the bullet in the barrel as it jumps from the cylinder when the weapon is discharged.

Thumb safety see Safety

Thumb trigger see Trigger

Formerly in rifles, a steel pin in the breech against which the ball, hammered by the ramrod, was made to expand to fit the grooves of the bore.

Toe of the butt
The lower corner of a shoulder arms butt when the weapon is hels horizontally in firing position.

An Indian matchlock gun, on which the barrel and stock are fastened together by coils of rawhide or wire.

A box containing lighted tinder, by means of which the slow match was lit for use in a matchlock.

In primitive firearms, a hole atop the rear of the barrel, through which the powder within the barrel was lighted by means of a torch applied externally.

The pan of a flintlock.

Tracer bullet see Bullet, tracer

The path a bullet takes in flight. A flat trajectory refers to a path the curve of which was modified by the high velocity of the projectile. The more rapidly the projectile moves, the less the trajectory will curve, although an absolutely flat trajectory can not be achieved.

Any of a variety of devices which, by acting on a sear, causes the firing mechanism to discharge the weapon. Generally the trigger takes the form of an exterior lug on the firearm.

Trigger, double action
The double action trigger of a revolver both cocks the hammer and fires the cartridge in one movement.

Trigger, double set
Constructed as a set of spurs, is arranged so that pressure on one spur engages the sear in a manner that permits the second trigger to discharge the weapon with very light pressure. The arrangement is common on sniper weapons and on match target shooter weapons.

Trigger, folding
Quite common on pocket pistols in the 18th and 19th centuries is hinged to fold forward in a recess beneath the frame, bringing the hammer to full cock causes the trigger to spring forward ready for use.

Trigger, set
A set trigger is designed to operate with very light pressure. Set triggers are normally adjustable and are sometimes called hair triggers.

Trigger, sheath
Denotes a trigger recessed to project from the frame just forward of the grip. It requires no trigger guard.

Trigger, thumb
Takes the form of a button on or near the tang. When depressed, usually by the thumb, the button will fire the weapon.

Trigger bar
In certain firearms, a connecting bar designed to transmit pressure from the trigger to the sear.

Trigger guard
A loop frame partially protecting the trigger from damage or from unintentional pressure that would accidentally discharge the weapon.

Trigger plate
The metal portion of a firearm through which the trigger projects.

A device which, by being attached to the rifles muzzle, will permit the weapon to fire grenades. Also called a rifle grenade discharger.

Trundle shot
A type of bar shot consisting of a rod approximately 18 inches in length with sharp points and a lead ball at each end. The missile gyrates during flight.

Tube sight see Sight

Turn bolt action see Action, turn bolt

Twist see pitch