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Basic Gun Terminology Part 1; From ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) to Buckshot & Bullet

When people decide they want to be more involved in firearms, like any industry or topic of conversation, there are terms that can be unfamiliar or confusing. In an effort tot help people new to firearms better understand the terms commonly used, we at Shooting Range Industries have put together, in alphabetical order, a glossary of gun terms you may not know. This is the first part of the glossary.

Firearm Terms

ACP: Automatic Colt Pistol abbreviation often used in correlation to the caliber; i.e. .45 ACP, .380 ACP, and .25 ACP.
AK-47: An automatic assault rifle developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union. Though first used in active service back in 1948, they are a popular today.
Ammunition (ammo): Components packaged together including primer, gunpowder, and a projectile encased in a casing. The amount of ammunition that can be loaded into a gun is measured in rounds. Ammunition is available in countless sizes that must correspond with the firearm for safe and efficient use.
AR-15: Often mistaken for an assault rifle it’s the abbreviation for ArmaLite Rifle-15. They are considered “modern sporting rifles”. This lightweight semi-automatic rifle is offered in a wide range of models.
Assault rifle: Commonly used by a military or police forces, assault rifle a technical term for a selective-fire rifle. From a detachable magazine, it fires detachable magazine. It is also capable of firing either semi-automatic or fully automatic modes.
Assault weapon: Depending on who is using it dictates the meaning, as this is a political term and not a technical term. For example, Connecticut definition of assault weapons as “selective-fire firearms capable of fully automatic, semi-automatic, or burst fire at the options of the user.” Where Virginia defines assault weapon as “any weapon with a magazine capacity greater than 20 rounds.” With its own complex list of guidelines for defining assault weapons, the Federal Assault Weapon Ban, which was passed in 1994, is now expired.
Automatic: More frequently known as a machine gun, a gun that continuously fires bullets as long as the trigger is pressed or held down and there is still ammunition in the magazine is considered an automatic.
Ballistics: Ballistics is the science and study of cartridge discharge, and the behavior, launch, flight, and effects of projectiles. From this science, the experts can determine where a bullet was fired, where it went, and what it did.
Beretta: Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta, an Italian firearm manufacturing company, is the oldest active manufacturer of firearm components in the world. shotguns, rifles, submachine guns, machine pistols, semi-automatic pistols, revolvers, and more are made by this firearm manufacturing company.
Blank: Black powder but no bullet is loaded in a round of ammunition. Blanks are usually used in military exercises, in film, TV, theatre, and for starting races.
Bolt action: One round at a time is fired from a specific type of rifle. The user must manually pull back a metal, once the round is fired, using the bolt (a cylindrical mechanism), to unload the empty shell and load another round into the chamber.
Buckshot: Typically used for hunting large game and self-defense, the buckshot is ammunition used for shotguns. It contains medium or large-sized pellets (.24” in diameter or greater) that fire out of a shotgun shell all at one time.
Bullet: Within cartridge or round of ammunition is a projectile, otherwise known as a bullet. The bullet is propelled down the gun’s barrel and toward its target when the primer is struck, and the gunpowder is ignited.

This completes the first part of our glossary of firearms terms. Click here to view part two!