In gun culture, there is a lot of firearms terminology that can be intimidating for those attempting to communicate without being familiar with the jargon associated with the firearms industry. The Arms Guide’s Gun Glossary posts will focus on a few of these terms at a time, defining them for those of us (like myself) who weren’t born super-tactical-gun-guru-badasses.

Round (noun) – a unit of ammunition consisting of a projectile (bullet, slug, or shot pellets, for example) seated into a casing or shell – which is ejected during the operation of firing. In the example of one round of 9×19 FMJ ammo, the projectile is a lead bullet with a copper jacket which may be seated into a brass casing. The end of the casing houses the primer, which, when struck, ignites the powder within the casing, causing an expansion of gas that propels the bullet forward and out of the barrel.

Bullet (noun) – the projectile launched through the gun barrel during fire, can be many different configurations, e.g., full metal jacket, lead nosed, or hollow point.

Magazine (noun) – an enclosed container for a quantity of ammunition that usually utilizes a compressed spring to feed the contained ammunition into the firearm’s chamber (may be internal or external, fixed or detachable).

Clip (noun) – a frame that holds several rounds of ammunition to facilitate loading into a magazine.

Extract (verb) – the action of an empty casing or cartridge exiting the firing chamber.

RIP Ammo!

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Action (verb) – the movement of a handgun’s slide during fire e.g., I actioned the slide to eject the dud round.

(noun) – the mechanism a gun uses to fire e.g., lever action, bolt action, or semi-automatic. This is also applicable to the method a firearm uses to shoot, e.g., single action, double action, or DA/SA.

Hope this helps. If the word (or acronym) for which you’re looking isn’t in this post, let me know in the comment section, and keep your eye out for more common firearms terminology in future editions of The Arms Guide’s Gun Glossary.

by Destinee

Destinee is also a vlogger. She publishes videos on weapons, gear, and fitness on her YouTube channel every Tuesday and Thursday.