Gunnery Network
Gunnery Network

Gun Glossary - Letter B
Index of Firearm & Gun Terminology

  1-10 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z  

Letter - B Page Updated: 06 March 2003

B:  Abbreviation for Blue or Blued to describe the finish of the firearm.   See blued.

BA:  Abbreviation for Bolt Action.

BAC:  Abbreviation for Bindon Aiming Concept.  Also; the common use acronym for Browning Arms Company.  See Browning below.

BACK BORE: Modification done on a shotgun to decrease shot pattern spread. Typically used on "Tactical" shotguns or "Scatter Guns" so the shot stays together in a tight group retaining more mass for longer range  increasing the "Knock Down" power of the load.

BACK STOP:  Material that stops projectiles that have passed through a target; it may be of natural material, such as a hillside, or man made for the purpose of stopping bullets from leaving the designated range area.

BACK STRAP: That part of the revolver or pistol frame that is exposed at the rear of the grip.

BACKSTRAP: Alternate spelling for BACK STRAP as above.

BAFFLE:  A sound barrier used to contain or to reduce, redirect or suppress sound waves created by firearms.  Baffles are placed either overhead, alongside or at ground level.  In a tactical situation trees and or man made structures can be used to baffle sound from sniper rifles.

BALL: Originally a spherical projectile, now generally a fully jacketed bullet of cylindrical profile with round or pointed nose. Most commonly used in military terminology.

BALL AND DUMMY: is a training exercise wherein the shooter makes an effort to employ all the control factors for firing a good shot. The ammunition inserted into the pistol by the coach is a random selection of live or dummy ammunition. This training aids the shooter in overcoming reaction to the recoil and loud noise of firing, preventing uncontrolled reflexes from disturbing the hold, and perfecting sight alignment.

BALL POWDER: This is a trade name for a double-base smokeless powder developed by Olin Industries. The grains have a spherical, or flattened spherical, shape.

BALLISTICS: The science which studies the behavior of projectiles in motion.  Also, the science of projectiles, such as bullets, bombs, rockets and missiles in flight.  The science of ballistics include several sub-categories such as; Interior, Exterior, Terminal, Forensic or Criminal and also specialized Wound Ballistics.  For a detailed explanation of the many disciplines of ballistics please see the detail box below.

For detailed information on External Ballistics: Click Here - or go to: The Gun Glossary Letter E.


Interior Ballistics deals with the propulsion and motion of a projectile within a gun or firing device [in the chamber and in the barrel].  

External / Exterior Ballistics is concerned with the motion of the projectile while in flight, and includes the study of the trajectory, or curved flight path, of the projectile. 

  Click Here - For detailed information on External Ballistics

Terminal Ballistics is concerned with the phenomena occurring at the termination of the projectile's flight; such termination may result from impact on a solid target or explosion of the projectile. 

  Click Here - For detailed information on Terminal Ballistics

Forensic, Criminology & Police Ballistics: The term ballistics is generally applied to the police and forensic identification of the firearm from which a bullet or shell was fired.  Forensic Ballistics and bullet matching to firearms is made possible because of microscopic imperfections in a guns barrel that make unique characteristic scratches and grooves on bullets fired through it.  New technology also include a small imprint or microscopic stamp to be place or etched into the case head of a spent or fire cartridge.

Wound Ballistics is the medical and technical study of wounds created by ballistic projectiles, typically bullets and shot as fired from firearms. Wound Ballistics includes the evaluation of literature in the field of forensic & wound ballistics, as well as encouraging and promoting new work in wound ballistics.  The leading agency for scientific study of Wound Ballistics is the International Wound Ballistics Association or IWBA on the Internet at URL:

Please see the detail box below for additional information on the science of ballistics.

Basics of Ballistics

Ballistic Coefficient: (BC) A measure of the aerodynamic efficiency of the bullet.  In reloading the bullet shape class  2.  Ratio of the sectional density of a bullet to its coefficient of form.  The ballistic co-efficient (bc) represents the projectile's ability to overcome air resistance in flight. The ballistic co-efficient of a bullet determines its ability to resist drag, maintain velocity and energy as it flies, and to maintain a flat trajectory.  The  higher the co-efficient the "sleeker" or more aerodynamic the bullet,  making it less susceptible to wind deflection, and velocity degradation or energy loss.  The ballistic co-efficient of a bullet must be known in order to calculate accurate trajectories.

Interior Ballistics: The theory of the motion of the projectile in the firearm.  Interior measurements are concerned with events inside the gun from primer ignition through the projectile's departure from the muzzle.  Common interior ballistic measurements include chamber pressure, powder burn rates, interior muzzle velocity and expansion ratios.

Click Here - For detailed information on Interior Ballistics - 

External / Exterior Ballistics: The theory of the motion of the projectile from the gun to the target.  External / Exterior ballistics measurements deal with the motion of the projectile after it leaves the gun.  Common exterior ballistics measurements include velocity, drag, wind deflection, energy degradation, effective range, trajectory, bullet drop and remaining energy.

Click Here - For detailed information on External Ballistics - 

Terminal Ballistics: That branch of ballistics which deals with the effects of projectiles at or on the  target.   Terminal ballistic measurements include impact energy, penetration depth, weight retention, wound channel and bullet expansion.

Click Here - For detailed information on Terminal Ballistics - 

Near-Zero and Far-Zero

A common misconception is that a bullet will rise for a while after firing from a horizontal barrel.  In fact, a bullet fired from a horizontal barrel will fall towards the earth at the same rate as a bullet dropped from the hand at the instant of firing.  The origin of the misconception is that in order to have the bullet cross the line of sight downrange, the barrel and sights must be misaligned such that the barrel is angled upwards relative to the sights.  As a result, the bullet is actually "lobbed" towards the target and therefore crosses the line of sight at two points, the near-zero point and the far-zero point. This is illustrated by the following figure: Please note: The angles in the diagram have been exaggerated for clarity.

Sight Line
The angles in this graphic have been exaggerated for clarity.

It can be seen that the bullet is rising as it crosses the near-zero and falling as it crosses the far-zero. Unless you sight your rifle in at very short range, it is likely that the x-ring of your target is at the far-zero of the trajectory.   Also illustrated are the differences between the line of departure (which extends from the barrel), the line of sight (which extends from the scope or other sighting apparatus), and the trajectory.

Point Blank Diameter and Range

The difference between the line of sight and the path that the bullet takes is constantly changing as the bullet moves downrange.  However, you may not care about the exact trajectory as long as the bullet strikes close to the point of aim.  The point-blank diameter defines what's close and what's not.  Different ballistics software packages use different definitions of "point blank".  My software defines the point blank diameter as the farthest total distance the bullet can deviate from the point of aim as it flies towards the target.  This is illustrated in the figure above as the vertical line dropped from the high point of the trajectory. The range at which the difference between the high point and the apparent drop equal the point blank diameter is the point blank range.

Sight Height and Factory Ballistic Data

Because everyone may have a different far-zero setting and their sights may be mounted at various heights above the barrel, the most consistent way to tabulate the trajectory of a projectile is to measure the amount of drop from the line of departure at various ranges (true drop).  In practice, the true drop is of little use to the shooter since he or she is concerned with the drop from the line of sight. As a result, ballistics tables generally assume a certain far-zero setting and sight height and then tabulate the apparent drop from the line of sight.  You can determine the assumed far-zero setting because the bullet drop will be zero at that range.

Aerodynamic Drag and the Ballistic Coefficient

The aerodynamic drag that a bullet experiences depends heavily on its velocity.  If the drag is graphed against velocity, the curve will have a similar shape for all similarly shaped bullets, though it's easy to imagine that a larger bullet will experience more drag than one of the same shape but smaller size. Since the shape of the drag curves are similar, the two curves can be related by multiplying or dividing by a single number. The ballistic coefficient is that number, and it relates the drag of bullets that have similar shapes to one another. Unfortunately, most of the ballistic coefficients you find published today are in error.  This is because the original bullet used as a reference was of a very different shape than those commonly used today. To deal with this, some companies publish several different ballistic coefficients for a given bullet, depending on the velocity range.  Of course, this completely defeats the purpose of the ballistic coefficient.

Other online sources: Remington's Online Ballistics Table

International Wound Ballistics Association - IWBA:

BAR - B.A.R.:  Acronym and common use "nick name" for the Browning Automatic Rifle.  See BAR detail box and graphics below.

BARRICADE:  A structure on the range that is used as part of a course of fire.  Barricades are usually wooden in construction and are used for cover.

BASE: The lower part of a firearm also know as the receiver.

BATF - Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Also know as the ATF:  ATF is a division of the Treasury Department that has the authority to regulate many aspects of the firearm market.  BATF is responsible for licensing firearms dealers, controlling the importation of firearms, and tracking firearm production.  BATF also works with law enforcement agencies to track firearms used in crimes.  For more information see:  ATF Responsibilities & History.

BATF Field Division Guide

BATTERY:  The term battery refers to the position of readiness of a firearm for firing where all the components are in the proper position.  A semi-automatic is said to be "out of battery" when the slide is retracted enough to prevent the firing pin from striking the primer (thus preventing the gun from firing).  Failure to return to battery is a fairly common mode of failure for semi-automatics.  Causes for semi-automatics failing to return to battery during normal operation include under lubrication and weak springs.  This problem is usually easily fixed by a competent Gunsmith or Armourer.

BATTERY CUP: A type of primer used in shot shells which makes use of an outside cup to support it in the case.

BARREL: The barrel of a gun is a tube of varying length through which the bullet or shot is discharged. Discharging the bullet through the barrel determines the bullet's initial direction and trajectory. The seal created between the bullet and the surface of the barrel keeps the gas produced by the burning gunpowder trapped behind the bullet once it leaves the cartridge case. As a result, the bullet continues to accelerate until it exits the  gun at the muzzle. Thus, to a certain degree, the longer the barrel, the higher the velocity achieved by the bullet.  Additionally, modern gun barrels are rifled, which causes the bullet to spin, giving it more stability in flight.

BARREL BAND: A metal band, either fixed or adjustable, around the for end of a gun that holds the barrel to the stock.

BARREL BREAK: Another term for a muzzle.  An attachment to or integral part of the barrel intended to trap and divert expanding gasses and reduce perceived recoil.  Also referred to as an EVACUATOR. Muzzle Breaks have many commercial names like the Weatherby's  Accu-Break and the BOSS System by Browning.

BARREL BREAK IN:  A procedure to properly clean and cure a new barrel on a rifle to improve accuracy and to prevent premature barrel erosion and wear. Proper break in procedures close the pores of the barrel metal which have been opened and exposed through the cutting and lapping process. There are as many opinions and procedures as there are hairs on the back of a hound dog.  The procedure below is from a high quality barrel manufacturer and should apply to most firearms.  Check your owners manual for specific details.


Information Courtesy of: Badger Barrels, Inc.

The proper procedure for breaking in new barrels
by Ernie Stahlman of Badger Barrels, Inc.

We've received a number of requests regarding what we believe to be the best way to break in a new barrel, so it seemed appropriate to address that here. We recommend the following for the first 10 shots using jacketed bullets with nitro (Smokeless) powder loads. After firing each bullet, use a good copper cleaner to remove the copper fouling from the barrel. After shot 6 or 7, you'll note, you will not be able to see any copper residue on the rifling, but continue the process of cleaning after each shot until all 10 have been fired. For the next 10 shots, clean after every 2 shots until all 10 have been fired.

This method is nothing more than insurance that the burnishing process has been completed. In fact, what you have accomplished is closing the pores of the barrel metal which had been opened and exposed through the cutting and lapping procedures. By the way, the same process applies to firing lead bullets and black powder with one exception, shoot two bullets before cleaning and follow that procedure until 30 rounds have been fired. Using harder lead bullets will help speed up the process if you have them. Following this procedure, your barrel should shoot cleaner and develop less fouling for the remainder of its useful shooting life.

Badger Barrels, Inc.
Badger barrels are used world wide in competition & sharp shooting rifles.
Some of the recent results of Badger Barrels include:

· World Black Powder Championship · 
· ASSRA Long Range Championship · Quigley Match · 
· Dominion of Canada Rifle Assoc. Long Range Championship · 
· NRA Long Range Black Powder Championship · 

Badger Barrels, Inc. On the Web at URL:

EROSION / BARREL WEAR:  The gradual wearing away of the rifling lands immediately ahead of the chamber throat, resulting in accuracy loss.  Metal surface is burned away by the intensely concentrated powder flame at this point.

BARREL INSERT:  A safety device to prevent unauthorized use of a pistol.  A wide variety of handgun safety devices are manufactured which insert into the barrel or chamber of the gun and provide a physical barrier against loading the handgun.   A barrel insert can be a metal rod, a plastic plug, or a plastic cable which inserts through the barrel and blocks the chamber. Another style of barrel insert is a plastic pin that inserts into the barrel attached to a strong rubber band which hooks around the back of the hammer, securing it in place.


Typical Barrel Insert

These designs are relatively easy to use and come in both locking and non-locking styles. Barrel and chamber inserts prevent unintended discharge, as long as they are properly installed, since they physically prohibit a cartridge from being placed in the chamber.

The effectiveness of these devices relies on the owner to actively use the insert.  Like trigger locks, locking barrel or chamber inserts limit the unauthorized use of the handgun by children and adolescents as well as unauthorized adults.

BARREL LINER:  A thin steel tube usually permanently inserted into the barrel to either change the caliber, restore the gun, or to make the gun more functional when the barrel is formed from softer material.

BARREL TIME:  The interval between the time the bullet starts to leave its seat until it reaches the muzzle.  This is significant because is it linked to recoil time, which affects the point of impact. 

BARREL RIB: Additional material along the top of the barrel that allows for quicker alignment of the muzzle with the target and adds weight to improve the balance of the firearm.

BARREL THROAT:  The breech end of a barrel is chambered and somewhat funneled for passage of bullet from cartridge case mouth into barrel.

BARRELED ACTION:  A combination of barrel and receiver or frame and breech bolt, together with the other parts of the mechanism by which a firearm is loaded, fired and unloaded.

BATTERY:  The condition of a firearms breechblock in firing position.  Used as "in battery" or "out of battery" malfunction or condition.

BATTERED CARTRIDGE:  An unserviceable or damaged cartridge.  The cartridge is deformed in such a way that it will not chamber in the rifle.

BAYONET: An edged weapon mounted on the muzzle end of a firearm as a backup weapon.  The first bayonets were essentially daggers which were stuck in the muzzle of a musket, so that it could be used as a pike in close combat.  This was superseded by the socket bayonet, which (naturally) features a socket that goes around the  weapons barrel, so that the musket could be fired even while the bayonet was mounted.  Socket bayonets were used widely in the 18th and 19th centuries.  They have been replaced by knife bayonets, which are basically knives that can be mounted onto rifles or shotguns.  Bayonets have been made to fit muskets, rifles, shotguns, and even handguns.  Most bayonets are easily detached from the weapon, but some are semi-permanently mounted on the gun.  Examples of these include the Soviet SKS carbine and M1944 Omission-Nagant.

BAYONET LUG: A fitting on a firearm to which a bayonet is attached.  Under the so called Assault Weapons Ban, a Bayonet Lug can no longer be manufactured or mounted onto a civilian or sporting firearm.

BB:  A spherical pellet of: a. plated steel of .175-inch diameter for use in air guns; b. lead or steel of .180-inch diameter for use in shotguns.

BB CAP:  Bulleted Breech Cap; a small low-power 22-caliber cartridge for short range shooting.  Its ancestry goes back to the 1840's.

BB GUN:  Common name for any of the many air guns that shoot a .175-inch spherical steel or plated steel pellet.

BDC:  Abbreviation for Bullet Drop Compensator.

BEAD:  a. A round sight normally used at the muzzle end of a shotgun.  b. The front sight on some older rifles, in which the sight is viewed as a round ball or bead on a narrow post.  Common usage includes the term "To draw a Bead on someone" or to "Bead the Target"  a carry over from olden days when most sights were bead sights.

BEAD SIGHT:  The small cylindrical top portion on some forms of front sights.  Typical on shotguns.

BEARING SURFACE: That portion of the bullet surface which bears on, or touches, the bore.

BEAT: The sniper's operational area where established control measures (boundaries, limits) define his territory.

BEAVERTAIL FOREND:  A wider than normal forend.  See Forend.

BEDDING:  The point of attachment of the receiver and the stock.  Also refers to the fit or fitting of the metal parts of the barrel and receiver with the stock.  The barrel lays in and is attached to the bedding.

BEDDING BLOCK:  Point of attachment of the receiver and the stock.  As above.

BELL: To open or flair the mouth of a case slightly in order to seat a bullet more easily. Also used in reference to a rifle barrel which is worn at the muzzle (as in "a belled muzzle").


BELTED CARTRIDGE:  Center fire cartridge with a band or belt which is formed into the head of some magnum type cartridge cases.  The belt is intended to strengthen the case, preventing case rupture or blow out and also provide and additional headspace for the cartridge.  Many modern "Belted Magnums" are based on the venerable .375 Holland & Holland cartridge (.375 H&H).

.300 Weatherby Magnum a Belted Cartridge

BENCH REST RIFLE:  A rifle designed for optimum accuracy while being shot from the shoulder and supported by a specifically designed table called a rest or bench rest.  Shooting event utilizing rifles and ammunition designed to deliver extreme accuracy at long ranges.

Bench Rest Rifle
Typical Bench Rest Rifle

BENCH REST SHOOTING:  A shooting sport in which the competitors seek to place ten or more consecutive shots into the smallest possible group on a paper target at various ranges.  All firing is done from an artificially supported shooting position using a bench rest rifle.  It is a severe test of the mechanical precision of both the small arm, the ammunition and the shooter.

BERDAN: also Berdan Primed: A common European priming system which makes use of an anvil formed in the case itself.  Cases that are Berdan Primed typically can NOT be easily reloaded, unlike American style Boxer Primed cartridges.

BERDAN PRIMER:  Invented by Colonel Hiram Berdan of the US Army in the 19th c., this is the most common type of center fire primer manufactured outside the USA.

BERM:  An embankment used for restricting bullets to a given area or as a dividing wall between ranges.  Also backstop, baffle.

BIATHLON: A shooting sport that combines both skiing and rifle shooting.  The biathlon is the only shooting sport in the Winter Olympics. There is also a summer biathlon which involves running and shooting but it is not yet an Olympic event.   Please note many other shooting sports are in the Summer Olympics.

BIG BORE:  In America, any firearm using a center fire cartridge with a bullet .30" in diameter or larger.  Other countries have similar definitions and technical specifications for the term, with the intended specification designed to ensure humane kills in hunting of game with rifles of specified "Big Bore" calibers.  The "big bore" specification also comes into play during range safety planning as big bore rifles typically have lethality at long range and require adequate safety precautions.

BIG FIVE:  The term "Big Five" of "Classic Big Five" refers to the 5 classic big and dangerous game cartridge calibers. Though many of them were developed decades ago, they are still widely used and very effective when shooting dangerous game animals. 

The "Big Five" Classic Calibers

1. .375 Holland & Holland (also .375 Weatherby Magnum & Nitro Express Magnum)
2. .416 Rigby
3. .458 Winchester Magnum
4. .470 Nitro Express Magnum
5. .500 Nitro Express Magnum

BIG FIVE:  The term "Big Five" of "African Big Five" refers to the 5 classic big and dangerous game animals of the African continent.  In years past, no hunter was considered worth his salt if he had not completed the "Big-Five".

The "Big Five" Animals of the African Game Hunters

1. Elephant
2. Rhino
3. Lion
4. Cape or Water Buffalo
5. Leopard

  Advanced automatic zooming, two eye aiming method used in modern ACOG's or Advanced Combat Optical Gun sight.   The highly advanced Bindon Aiming Concept, available on all ACOG scopes, is an optical breakthrough that combines traditional long-stand-off marksmanship capability with the ultimate in close-combat transitional aiming.  Using the two-eye aiming method, when the rifle is being moved, the perceived image is unmagnified, permitting extremely rapid target acquisition.  As soon as the rifle movement is stopped and the shooter is close to the proper aim on target, the targeted image "zooms" into magnification, permitting greater accuracy with higher hit ratios.  See ACOG.

Bindon Aiming Concept
The Nature of Binocular Sighting

Human vision is based upon a binocular (two eyes) presentation of visual evidence to the brain. The word binocular literally means using both eyes at the same time.  We most often associate this word with binocular instruments such as field glasses or a binocular microscope.  These instruments specifically strive to present the object to be viewed the same way to both eyes.

Vision research material was examined for its assistance to understand the optically aided firearm aiming process.  Three major types of optical enhancement were compared.   There are strong customer preferences in reticule designs, some simple reticules enhance the speed of target acquisition, others allow for greater precision in a given time limit.

The simple substitution of a bright red dot for the usual cross-hairs makes it very easy to keep both eyes open.  Just as in the Single point or Armson O.E.G. sighting, the brain merges the two images.   During dynamic movement, the scene through the telescope blurs because the image moves more rapidly due to magnification.  The one eye sees the bright dot against the blurred target scene, so the brain picks the scene from the unaided eye. The shooter swings the firearm towards the target while perceiving the dot indicating where the weapon is pointed.  As soon as the firearm  begins to become steady in the target area, the brain switches to the magnified view.

A two-legged support attached to the fore-end of a rifle, used mainly for long range and  accurate shooting. Often written as BIPOD.

BIPOD:  A two-legged support attached to the fore-end of a rifle, used mainly for long range and  accurate shooting. Also written as BI POD.

BIRD SHOT:  Individual projectiles of less than .24" in diameter, designed to be discharged in quantity from a shotgun. The size of the shot is given as a number or letter--with the larger number the smaller the shot size. The size designation was originally based upon the size of a mesh through which the shot would pass. The finest size generally used is #9 which is approximately .08" in diameter and the largest common size is #2 which is approximately .15" in diameter. However, bird shot is available in a range of sizes from .05" (#12) to .21" (TT).   A quick rule of thumb states that shot diameter in hundredths of an inch is given by subtracting the shot number from 17.

BLACK POWDER: The earliest type of firearms propellant that has generally been replaced by smokeless powder except for use in muzzleloaders and older breech loading guns that demand its lower pressure levels.  A propellant powder once used in ammunition and as the bursting charge in artillery projectiles. Generically called "gunpowder." Black powder is no longer in general use except in replicas of antique firearms. It is classed by the Department of Transportation as an explosive. See Smokeless Powder.

BLACKOUT: Condition where the exit pupil of a scope is smaller than the pupil of the shooter, which results in the target image forming on only part of the eye, with a surrounding black ring. This makes it more difficult to focus on the target. 

BLANK: A cartridge that does not contain a bullet. T hey are often used as starter pistols or in theatrical productions. You should be very aware that a "blank" can produce considerable energy and propel expanding gases and particles out of the barrel with considerable force. Never, ever assume that a gun, even a specifically  designed "blank gun", can be handled with less care and caution than any other firearm. Always treat each and every firearm as though it were loaded and fully functional.  Noted celebrities such as Brandon Lee and John Eric Huxton were badly injured or killed when people disregarded proper safety procedures in handling guns loaded with blanks.

BLANK AMMUNITION: A type of ammunition that contains powder but no solid projectile that is used to simulate gun fire or launch a grenade or other large projectile from a suitably equipped firearm.   While a blank cartridge contains no projectile the blast and resulting debris can be extremely dangerous or lethal at close range.

BLANK CARTRIDGE: A round loaded with black powder or a special smokeless powder but lacking a projectile. Used mainly in starting races, theatrical productions, troop exercises and in training dogs.

BLASER:  Maker of fine arms and Europe's leading manufacturer of hunting and sporting rifles.  Blaser (pronounced BLÄ º ZER - as in Blah` Zur) of Isny, Germany only started making fine arms in 1963, but have quickly moved to the fore front in quality, workmanship and innovative technology.  The R93 bolt action rifle is commonly heralded by the hunting press as the "bolt action rifle of the century" and it remains unrivaled in both quality and performance in modern rifle technology.  For more information see the info block below.

Fine Arms of the World

Blaser Jagdwaffen GmbH
( Blaser Hunting Arms Inc. )

Blaser began as a gunsmith shop in 1963 and, step by step, developed into Europe's leading manufacturer of hunting and sporting rifles. The owner and CEO, Gerhard Blenk, and his team of designers, CAD/CAM experts and gunsmiths, are acknowledged as innovative leaders of their industry. With increasing success over the past ten years they have introduced exciting new ideas using Blaser's own patented technology.  Foremost in the Blaser line is their patented "Straight-Pull" Bolt. 

Blaser's "Straight-Pull" Bolt

 The Blaser R93 is revolutionary.  Featuring a straight pull bolt, radial breech lockup for faster operation, as well as in-line cartridge feeding, a free-floating barrel and an amazing crisp sear-free trigger mechanism.  

R93 is faster, lighter, quicker handling, and more accurate than conventional bolt action rifles.  It is also a thing of beauty.

Competitors have paid the ultimate compliment to Blaser by trying to imitate Blaser ideas and designs, but none of them has equaled the perfection of a Blaser product. The R93 bolt action rifle, heralded by the hunting press as the "bolt action rifle of the century", remains an unrivaled example of rifle technology.   [ Editors Note:  I am the proud and very happy owner of an R93 Blaser and it is absolutely exceptional in every detail. The fit and finish is unmatched and the action is simple and smooth.  I am very happy with my R93 and have plans to purchase an Attaché` model this year as well as the LRS2. ]

Blaser R93 Attaché`

Winner of the "Rifle Of The Year" award in Germany and France (DWJ - Deutsches Waffen Journal or German Weapons Journal), the R93 rifle and other Blaser products have been winning all major awards in all fields since 1993.

The Blaser factory in Isny, that's in southern Germany near the border to Austria and SwizerlandBucking the declining European trend in sales of hunting rifles, Blaser has instead enjoyed remarkable growth. In 1995 it outgrew its plant in Isny, and began manufacturing parts of the R 93 series and the 300m marksman rifle in a new factory in Liechtenstein.

Blaser pays strict attention to the classic elements of a rifle by using beautiful hand crafted walnut stocks, with fine engravings and superb finishes. Blaser gunsmiths and engravers are renowned for their artistry.

Blaser Scope Mounts

The elegant and impressive Blaser Saddle Mount, is a low-profile, one-piece mount.  It is locked into special milled housings directly on the barrel. Following initial zeroing-in, the scope and its mount can be removed and replaced as often as necessary. To do this, you simply release the two retaining levers and then retighten them once the unit is in position.

The Blaser saddle mount is suitable for scopes with or without rail, with 1'', 26mm or 30mm main tube. Due to the adjustable design, one scope can be used on several different barrels. Similarly, several different scopes can be used with one barrel. 

In the USA Blaser Rifles are imported and distributed by SIG Arms Inc. of Exeter, New Hampshire.  There are also qualified Blaser dealers and importers in almost every European country as well as in New Zealand, South Africa, Russia and Japan .  For more information use the links and contact information provided below.

Blaser Germany

Blaser Jagdwaffen GmbH
Ziegelstadel 1
D-88316 Isny im Allgäu

Fax us: +49 - 75 62 - 702 343

E-mail us: [email protected]

Web URL:

SIG-Blaser USA

SIG Arms Inc.
Corporate Park
Exeter, NH 03833

Tel 1-603-772-2302

Fax 1-603-772-4795

BLOCK & TACKLE:  A combination of ropes, pulley and clevises used to hoist, drag and emplace heavy field guns. The "Block & Tackle" were common in pre mechanized times when gun crews had to pull and drag there artillery pieces up steep terrain and hoist them into various types of positions.

BLOOP TUBE:  A metal tube, with over-caliber inside dimensions, added to the front of a barrel to extend the sight radius.  Normally used in target shooting with short-barreled weapons.

BLOWN PRIMER:  Malfunction condition where the primer has fallen completely out of its pocket when the cartridge is extracted after firing.

BLOWBACK:  A type of semiautomatic or fully automatic gun design in which there is no mechanical locking of the bolt.  Instead, the breech is held closed only by the weight and inertia of the bolt, with some slight assistance from the recoil spring, until the bullet leaves the muzzle.  Classic examples of the blowback semiautomatic pistol designs are found in the Browning series of pocket-sized pistols in .25, .32 and .380 calibers as well as the famous Walther PP and PPK series of handguns.  Nearly all successful submachine guns, including the popular Uzi and Ingram or MAC 10's as well as the HK MP5  family, use the blowback action.  2.  A gun malfunction in which the powder gases escape rearward and into the action.

BLUE:  The chemical oxidation to color ferrous metal parts various shades of blue or black.

BLUING: The blue or black finish of the metal parts of a gun. The process is actually one of controlled rusting and brushing and is usually created with an acid bath.  Bluing minimizes light reflection, gives a "finish" to the bare metal, and protects some what against rust.

BMG:  Acronym for Browning Machine Gun.

A bullet design having a tapered base or truncated conical base design, which raises the ballistic coefficient factor by reducing the aerodynamic drag, providing greater stability at subsonic velocities.  Drag partly comes from the effects of cavitations (turbulence) and the progressive reduction of the diameter toward the rear of the bullet allows the air to fill in the void.  Originally designed for extreme range machine guns barrages, boat tail bullets offer some ballistic advantage on the target range at 800-1000m, as most match-type bullets have boat tails to help flatten trajectory.  They have little practical use at shorter ( LE/hunting ) distances, as few modern cartridges drop below the speed of sound at these shorter distances.  Typically abbreviated HPBT for Hollow Point Boat Tail. 

bt.jpg (2955 bytes)
Boat Tail

Most modern high quality Target and Match Ammo is of the Boat Tail type.

BODY ARMOR:  Term for protective clothing, equipment and bullet resistant vests used by Law Enforcement and Military personnel to protect them from the effects of bullets and fragmentation from firearms and explosives.  Modern body armor is made from Ceramic Plate, special hardened alloys and Kevlar, a synthetic woven fiber.  Also refereed to as Bullet Proof Vests.  See Bullet Resistant.

BOFORS:  Swedish arms and industrial company.  Bofors AB is now a part of the SAAB  Group. Bofors Defence - developer of defence systems Bofors Defence is a Swedish defence systems company wholly owned by United Defense. This makes it strong on both the Swedish and the international markets as well as providing a transatlantic technology link for the future advanced systems. Apart from the company's end-to-end competence Bofors Defence's ambition is to be the global leader in intelligent ammunition and in many other areas of technologies. Bofors Defence has a wide range of products that include mission-assigned systems for precision response as well as protection systems, ammunition and launchers. Web URL:

BOFORS GUN:  Generic term for the Swedish-designed Bofors 40mm Automatic Canon.  In fact all guns made by Bofors ABB are technically Bofors Guns but the term is typically used to refer to the AA Gun found on ships and in Anti Aircraft Artillery Batteries of many countries. Bofors 40mm gun is a fully automatic cannon intended primarily for use against aircraft. Firing 40mm ammunition,  it was first fitted to ships before and during the Second World War, quickly becoming standard for most western naval ships. Many navy ships of the world are still fitted with updated Bofors guns.

Bofors Gun
Bofors 40mm Auto Cannons test firing at sea.

BOLT: The breech closure of a breech-loading firearm.  The bolt on a modern rifle typically contains the firing pin or striker that male contact with the primer when the trigger is pulled and an extractor that ejects the spent cartridge.  The bolt also pushes the cartridges into the chamber.  Keep in mind that many rifles are Bolt Action the most common being Semi Automatic Action but most non bolt action rifles also have a bolt.

BOLT ACTION:  A firearm in which the breech closure is in line with the bore at all times; manually reciprocated to load, unload and cock; and is locked in place by breech bolt lugs engaging abutments usually in the receiver. There are two principle types of bolt actions, the turn bolt and the straight pull type. With the more common "Turn Bolt" action, the shooter grasps a handle and rotates it up to unlock the bolt lugs from the receiver and then pulls the bolt to the rear to extract the cartridge or to prepare and load a new cartridge. Moving the bolt to the rear and subsequently pushing it back to the forward and down locked position also cocks the firearm. "Straight Pull" bolts do the same as above but one has to simply pull the bolt to the rear to unlock, extract and then straight forward to cock, load and lock the action.  In both types of bolt action guns, the action of the firearm is opened and closed by physically grasping the bolt handle and cycling it by hand. 


Bolt Action Rifle
Typical Bolt Action Rifle Configuration

Cartridges are typically loaded through the loading port on the top of the receiver by pulling the bolt handle up to unlock it and sliding it to the rear.   Cartridges are then pressed from top down into the magazine and are stored in the magazine located under the bolt.  Some rifles are loaded from the bottom with the bolt closed.  [With a rifle equipped with a detachable magazine, the magazine is typically removed from the rifle and loaded with ammunition].

Ammunition can be depressed to allow the bolt to slide forward with out loading the chamber, but care must be taken to ensure a round is not inadvertently loaded.   To load the chamber, the bolt handle is rotated up to unlock it and then slide or pulled to the rear.  As the bolt is pushed forward, the bolt head catches a cartridge being pushed up by the magazine spring and is pushed by the bolt head into the chamber of the barrel.  The bolt handle is then pushed down into the locked position.  The rifle is now loaded and ready to be fired. 

When the trigger is pulled the main spring releases the firing pin or striker in the bolt which hits the primer causing ignition in the cartridge exploding the powder and expelling the bullet down and out of the barrel.  As the bullet goes down the barrel it makes contact with the groves or rifling twists cut into the barrel and a spin or twist is imparted on the projectile.  This spin stabilizes the bullet and adds to both effective range and accuracy.  The riffling or twisting groves in the barrel give the rifle its name.

To reload, the bolt handle is rotated up and pulled to the rear.   This action extracts the spent casing from the chamber, slides the bolt to the rear and ejects the fired cartridge.  As the bolt is pushed forward the firing pin is reset, the trigger is cocked and the next round is pushed into the chamber and the bolt handle is push down and locked in place.  The bolt action must be manually cycled by releasing and sliding the bolt from front to rear and back to front after each subsequent round is fired.

BOLT CARRIER ASSEMBLY:  An integral component of the action that houses the bolt and firing pin in many semi automatic rifles like the M16 and AR-15 variants.

M16 / AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group
Bolt Carrier

1. Firing Pin Retaining Pin
2. Firing Pin
3. Bolt Cam Pin
4. Bolt Assembly
5. Bolt Carrier Assembly

BORE: 1. The inside of a barrel.  2.  The interior of a firearm's barrel excluding the chamber.  3. The diameter of the barrel as measured across the lands of a rifled barrel.

BORE DIAMETER: In rifled firearms is the original dimension of the barrel before the rifling grooves are cut or swayed.  Bore diameter is expressed in caliber and in millimeters.

BORE SIGHT:  Technique for aligning sights or optical scopes with the axis of the bore.  Done by looking through or shining a light or laser down the bore of a firearm and manually aligning the sights or the scopes cross hairs to the same place the bore is pointing to.

BORE SIGHTING:  A method of aligning a barrel on a target by aiming through the bore. May be part of the sight alignment procedure. When sighting in a scope tools like a collimator can be used.

BOTTLENECK CASE:  Cartridge case with a neck diameter smaller than its body diameter, hence creating a shoulder.

BOTTLENECK CARTRIDGE:  An ammunition cartridge that uses a bottlenecked case as in the .357 SIG, the .400 Cor-Bon and 30 Luger.

.357 SIG
The .357 SIG a modern Bottleneck Cartridge

BOXLOCK ACTION:  A type of firearm action typified by the Parker shotgun in the U.S. and by Westley Richards in England.  Generally considered not to be as strong as the side lock.  Developed by Anson & Deeley, the box lock is hammerless. it has two disadvantages: Hammer pin must be placed directly below knee of action, which is its weakest spot, and the action walls must be thinned out to receive locks. These are inserted from below into large slots in action body, which is then closed with a plate.  Greener cross bolt, when made correctly, overcomes many of the box lock weaknesses.

BOX MAGAZINE:   A form of ammunition supply in which the cartridges are contained in a metal box, either detachable from the firearm or permanently attached forming an integral component, and are pushed towards the mouth of the magazine by a spring so as to enter the feedway of the firearm.

BOXER: also Boxer Primed - Boxer Primer:  Type of ammunition ignition or priming device invented by the British Colonel Boxer in the 19th century, this is the most common type of center fire primer used in the USA.  Boxer Primers have a 3-legged internal anvil, permitting the use of a single, central flash hole in the case head.  Such cases can be conveniently de-primed by means of the decapping pin in standard reloading dies.  This type of primer is used in most American made rifle and pistol ammunition.  Boxer Primed cartridges are easy to reload.

BRAS: An acronym for Breath, Release [half of it] Aim, Squeeze [the trigger]. Technique taught to basic trainees in boot camp and reiterated on each visit to the rifle range for weapons qualification and marksmanship training.

BRASS:  Breath Relax Aim Slack Squeeze

BRASS: A synonym for expended metallic cartridge cases.  Original cases were made of brass and although there are several other metals and alloys used in modern cases the term is still used to describe spent or empty cases with out regard to there make up.

BREAK IN:  A barrel wear in process for the initial use of a new rifle barrel, by alternately firing and cleaning, a progressively larger number of shots, until a certain number has been reached.  This process must be completed before load development for the rifle is started, and/or before the rifle is sighted in for a specific load.  One such process is as follows: - Clean before firing - Clean after every shot (w/o the bore brush) for the first 10-20 rounds - Clean after every 5 shots for the next 20-40 shots. - Clean after every 10 shots for another 20-40 shots. - Shoot 20 shots without cleaning before sighting in for good. 

BREATH CONTROL: is the ability to temporarily suspend breathing while firing a shot without being conscious of the need to take another breath. This awareness disturbs the shooter's concentration on maintaining perfect sight alignment.

BREECH: The rear end of the bore of a firearm where the cartridge is inserted into the chamber. Breech 2. That portion of a gun which contains the action, the trigger or firing mechanism, the magazine, and the chamber portion of the barrel(s).

BREECH, HANDGUN: The breech is the area of the handgun that contains the mechanical action, the chamber and the attachment of the barrel to the frame.

BREN GUN "Brno-Enfield":  The Bren Gun is a WWII and Korean War vintage Light Machine Gun (LMG). The Bren was originally a Czech design and its name resulted from the combination of "Brno" and "Enfield", the location of the small-arms factories in Czechoslovakia and Great Britain respectively that contributed to its development.  The "Bren Gun" is gas-operated and air-cooled.  The Bren was first produced in 1937 and became one of the most widely used weapons of its type. It was produced in .303 caliber for British use and was manufactured as a 7.92-millimetre weapon for Chinese Nationalist troops.  See details below.

The BREN Gun
Bren Gun
Australian Bren Gunner with his Number 2 or "AG" Assistant Gunner

Acclaimed as one of the best light machine guns of World War II, the Bren appeared in four models that varied principally in barrel length and total weight. The Mark 4 model had an overall length of 42.9 inches (109 cm), with a 22.25-inch (56.5-centimetre) barrel. It had a cyclic rate of fire of 520 rounds per minute, weighed 19 pounds (9 kg), and had an effective range of about 2,000 feet (600 m). 

Easy to load, clean, and operate, it had variable-length bipods and a curved magazine. Its barrel could be changed quickly; because machine gun barrels lose accuracy when overheated, they must be changed often in sustained-fire situations. The Bren light machine-gun was the main portable firepower of British and Common Wealth Infantry forces in WW II.  It was also used shipboard by naval forces of the Common Wealth and many Allied countries.  It was also used by the same forces during the war in Korea, and was a common weapon system in African brush wars and revolutions all over the world for several years.  The Bren is no longer in first-line service in the British Army, but it is still used by the armies of many countries.

BREN Gun Technical Specifications

Operation Air cooled, gas operated, magazine fed
Selective fire, Automatic or single shot.
Caliber .303 (7.696 mm)
Muzzle Velocity 2440 fps
Capacity 30 round box (Typically loaded to 28 rounds)
MK I could also use a 100 round drum
Weight 22.12 lbs (10.15 kg) unloaded 
19.14 lbs for Mk IV
Overall Length 45.5 in. (42.9 in for Mk IV)
Rate of Fire 500-520 rounds per minute
Effective Range 550 meters (600 yards)
Ammunition 1. Ball Mk 6; 215 gr. bullet, 33 gr. charge (1970 fps)
2. Ball Mk 7; 174 gr. bullet, 36.5 gr. charge (2400 fps) 

The Bren is a highly accurate and reliable weapon, the Bren can be fired by a single soldier but required a second man or AG to carry its tools, spare parts and extra ammunition. The Bren fired the same .303-inch caliber ammunition as the soldiers' Lee Enfields; this was loaded in 30-round magazines.  The magazines, however, were usually only filled with 28 rounds to prevent the weapon jamming.  The Bren is easily identified by its distinctive Top Loaded Magazine.

The Bren's practical rate of fire was 120 rounds per minute, fired in bursts of three-five rounds. It was mostly fired from the ground, mounted on the bipod that formed part of the weapon, but it could also be fired from the hip. On the bipod, the Bren had an effective range of just under 550 meters, but mounted on a tripod it could deliver fire out to almost one and a half kilometers.

One great testament to the quality and reliability of the BREN Gun is that the British Army and several others still use the gun to this day in the Light Machine Gun and Squad Machine Gun role.

Famous German arms maker, inventor and outdoors man, Wilhelm Brenneke was the inventor of the modern shotgun slug.  He designed and tested the arrow shaped slug in the late 1800's and produced the modern shotgun slug in Germany in 1898.  Since then, countless manufacturers have copied the Brenneke design.  See Brenneke info below.

Wilhelm Brenneke
Great Arms Makers of the World

Wilhelm Brenneke famous German arms maker, inventor and outdoors man and founder of the Brenneke Ammunition Company of Germany.  Brenneke was also the inventor of the modern shotgun slug.  

Brenneke loved the great outdoors, nature and hunting but was also concerned about the humane and ethical aspects of game hunting.  The ammunition of his day left much to be desired and he could not bear to see a magnificent game animal wounded.  Thus, he set out to develop a shotgun projectile that would ensure quick, clean and humane kills. 

Applying his skills as a respected gun maker and his experience in the outdoors, he exhaustively tested each of his designs until he arrived at a projectile that delivered a previously unobtainable combination of power and accuracy. 

 In 1898 Brenneke finalized the design of the modern shotgun slug.  So popular was his creation that slugs became known simply as "Brennekes." 

Brenneke Original Shotgun Slug

After enduring two world wars and countless challenges from imitators, the company Wilhelm Brenneke founded is still owned and operated by his descendants near Hanover, Germany.  Today, it produces over 10 million shotgun slugs every year. 

By the end of the 19th century, the shotgun slug invented by the genius Wilhelm Brenneke had six sloping guide ribs and the characteristic felt wad.  The reason why the Brenneke was able to succeed compared to other designs is that it is based upon the »arrow« principle. The center of gravity is in front of the slug, as it is with an arrow or shuttlecock. This weight-forward design stabilizes the slug during its flight, making it ideal for short-range hunting purposes. 

Hunting Precision 
with Technical Control

It was Brenneke who developed and  pioneered the design of efficient rifle bullets for hunting purposes.  He discovered how technical refinements can be used to significantly influence the internal ballistics, the performance of rifle bullet while in the barrel, the external ballistics while the projectile is in flight and the terminal ballistics at the target while controlling its effect.

Developments by Brenneke include the wad cutter, the dual-core principle, varying the thickness of the jacket, and the torpedo tail.  Even today, many bullet designs are based in one way or another on these trend setting inventions, even if they are sold under other
names than Brenneke.  With respect to their reaction in the barrel, their trajectory stabilization, and the adapted energy transfer in the target, Original BRENNEKE rifle bullets had a head start in experience, one from which the hunter benefits with each shot.

Targeted Selection

There's no overlooking one fact: in practice, a rifle bullet is gauged by its attainable accuracy and is selected accordingly.  Consistently exceptional accuracy is the ultimate reason why the Original BRENNEKE TIG® and TUG® have been produced exclusively by Dynamit Nobel for more than a quarter of a century, and why it is loaded into 21 different RWS rifle cartridges.

Always on a huntsman like course

The ballistic performance offered by Original BRENNEKE® rifle bullets is a result of the interaction between numerous characteristics of great importance to the hunter. Optimal
intra-ballistic characteristics and a stable trajectory are responsible for high target accuracy even in the presence of minor obstacles. The wad cutter provides a sharp cut by the rifle bullet as well as blood at the entrance wound for subsequent tracking of the game. The controlled expansion of the soft lead nose insures an outstanding transfer of the energy of the bullet into the body of the target animal.

The Original BRENNEKE TIG® and TUG® rifle bullets provide for excellent penetration and tissue destruction in the body and will generally penetrate completely. This insures excellent performance even with poor bullet placement, unexpectedly tough game, or the necessity for a long range shot. This exceptional performance permits universal application for almost all types of game worldwide, even under extreme conditions.


BRENNEKE is synonymous with shotgun slugs of all kinds - worldwide.  Brenneke is actually the word for shotgun slug in many languages.

The Brenneke® slug has been modified over the years, but it remains faithful to that original design produced in 1898.  It has been proven around the world under every conceivable situation. And while the Brenneke Company is constantly improving an already outstanding product, to this day no one has created a more effective projectile for the shotgun.

When you take to the field, you can be confident that you are backed by over 100 years devoted to building the finest shotgun slug on earth.  

BRENNEKE SLUG: As a dedicated and widely experienced big game hunter, and a highly accomplished ballistics expert, Her Brenneke knew he would never take slug to market that wouldn't meet his own demanding standards. His standards meant taking some of the most dangerous game the world has to offer: bear, boar, lion, tiger, leopard, even Cape Buffalo - all using only his own remarkable shotgun slugs.

Brenneke Slugs & Bullets

All things considered, not much about the Original Brenneke slugs has changed in almost a century.  Unless, of course, you consider such thinks as engineering, aerodynamics, ballistics, you-bet-your-hunt-on-it dependability and accuracy.

Cartridge Brands

Original BRENNEKE shotgun slugs are loaded by all reputable European shot shell manufacturers.  

The cases or shells sport two great names, including: 


  • Fiocchi BRENNEKE

  • Hubertus BRENNEKE

  • Legia BRENNEKE

  • Prevot BRENNEKE

  • Rottweil BRENNEKE

  • Royal BRENNEKE

  • Sellier & Bellot BRENNEKE

  • Super Halcón BRENNEKE

  • Tunet BRENNEKE


  • Vouzelaud BRENNEKE

  • Winchester BRENNEKE Munitions

Brenneke Torpedo-Ideal-Bullet (TIG).  The soft lead nose of the bullet fits like a cone into the hard core at the rear.  This construction induces a mushroom-shaped expansion of the TIG, with high energy transfer in the body of the game, an effect enhanced by the nickel-plated mild steel jacket construction.  This bullet is ideal for all light to medium-weight game. 

Brenneke TIG Torpedo-Ideal-Bullet

The Brenneke TIG is available in the following versions and weights:

7 mm bore - diameter / caliber .284
10.5 grams - 162 grains
11.5 grams - 177 grains

.30 bore - diameter / caliber .308
 9.7 grams - 150 grains

8 mm S bore - diameter / caliber .323
12.8 grams - 198 grains 


BRENNEKE TUG: Torpedo-Universal-Bullet (TUG) The harder lead core at the rear projects as a point into the front core.  This design controls and reduces the mushroom-shaped expansion, giving the bullet greater penetration. The TUG is therefore ideal for heavier, tougher game. 

Brenneke TUG Torpedo-Universal-Bullet

The Brenneke TUG is available in the following versions and weights: 

.30 bore -diameter / caliber .308
11,7 grams - 181 gains

9,3 mm bore - diameter / caliber .366
19,0 grams - 293 grains

.375 bore - diameter / caliber .375
19,5 grams - 301 grains)


A commission giving an officer higher rank than that for which he receives pay; an honorary promotion of an officer.

Note: In the United States Army, rank by brevet is conferred, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for ``gallant actions or meritorious services.'' A brevet rank gives no right of command in the particular corps to which the officer brevetted belongs, and can be exercised only by special assignment of the President, or on court martial, and detachments composed of different corps, with pay of the brevet rank when on such duty.

BROWNING ARMS COMPANY:  Famous American arms maker located in Morgan, Utah.  Established in 1880 by John Moses Browning, the Browning Arms Company is still in business today.  Browning's corporate headquarters is nestled in the Rocky Mountains of northern Utah in a small town called Mountain Green, population 1,700, located about 40 miles northeast of Salt Lake City.  You can contact Browning's Customer Service directly by calling 1-800-333-3288 or you e-mail them directly at: [email protected].  For further information, please feel free to contact Browning at:

One Browning Place
Morgan, UT 84050
Telephone (801) 876-2711

On the Web at URL:

BROWNING AUTOMATIC RIFLE (B.A.R.) (BAR) :  The Browning Automatic Rifle or B.A.R., is exactly as its designation states "A Browning Automatic Rifle" and though this term normally is in reference to the Military Model M1918, a commercially available variant of the original name-sake is still in production today, as a semi-automatic sporting rifle manufactured by the Browning Arms Company. The original "Browning Automatic Rifle" or "B.A.R" is the American military model 1918 or M1918. This BAR was issued to American and allied forces in World War One, World War Two & Korea as a select fire automatic battlefield rifle and Light Machine Gun (LMG).

B.A.R. M1918 was produced in the United States starting in 1918 and widely used in other countries as a light machine gun (LMG).  The BAR is a gas-operated, shoulder fired, select fire rifle invented by John Moses Browning (1855-1926), the famed American gun designer of unmatched impact. The M1918 BAR has been chambered for various types of ammunition, but was most frequently chambered in .30-06 Springfield.  The M1918 is about 47 inches (120 cm) long, it has a 20-round magazine and weighs 19.4 pounds (8.8 kg).  The M1918 BAR can fire up to 650 rounds per minute but can also fire single shots or bursts of two or three to increase accuracy. It can be fired from the shoulder or mounted on a bipod.  The BAR was used by U.S. infantry forces in World Wars I and II and the Korean War.  It remained in U.S. Army service until 1957. Even after being removed from the official inventory, it was used by Special Operations Forces in Viet Nam.

M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle - BAR

The initial M1918A1 version of the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was first used in combat by American soldiers during World War I, and many saw service in World War II. The BAR received high praise for its reliability under adverse conditions.

In 1940, the model M1918A2 was adopted. Unlike earlier models, it could only be fired in two automatic modes--slow (300 to 450 rpm) or fast (500 to 650 rpm)--but not in semi-automatic mode. Both versions were widely used in the second world war. The USMC preferred the semi-automatic mode in some tactical situations, and modified most of the M1918A2 guns to include that capability. A buffer spring in the butt greatly reduced recoil, to the advantage both of firing accuracy and shooter endurance.

The M1918A2 also mounted its folding bipod (2.38 pounds) on a special flash hider near the end of the barrel. Since the bipod could easily be detached in this model, it very frequently was. But not often in defensive positions, where it was very effective. The flash hider, which was the point of attachment for the bipod, was not usually removed. Hiding the flash from enemy troops when firing on them isn't the purpose of the hider, all automatic weapons are easily visible when fired at night. It blocks the muzzle flash from the vision of the shooter, maintaining night vision.

The Army infantry squad of nine men was tactically organized around a single BAR. The Marine squad of thirteen men was organized around three fire-teams, each organized around a BAR. The much greater fire power of a Marine platoon with its nine BAR over the Army platoon with its four BAR was a great combat advantage.

The BAR was a popular weapon in WWII and Korea, because it was very reliable and offered an excellent combination of rapid fire and penetrating power. The BAR's only serious drawbacks were its lack of a quick-change barrel (to reduce the chance of overheating), and its weight (BAR, with bipod and a loaded bandoleer, came to about 40 pounds).

In Korea, the much greater range and penetrating power of the BAR and the .30 caliber air cooled machine gun, firing rifle ammunition, usually more than offset the light weight and rapid fire capability of the variety of submachine guns the North Koreans and Chinese used, including their burp guns modeled on Soviet weapons such as the Shpagin PPSh41 , which fired pistol ammunition.

Note Magazine Guide Rib

Browning Automatic Rifle
M1918A1/A2 BAR

Full Auto or Safety

Operation Air cooled, gas operated, magazine fed, shoulder fired
M1918A1 select fire (automatic and semi-automatic)
M1918A2 automatic - with rate of fire selector
Caliber .30 (7.62 mm)
Muzzle velocity 853.4 mps (2800 fps)
Capacity 20-round detachable box magazine
(1) Bandoleer (BAR belt): 12 magazines
(2) Magazine changeable in 2-4 seconds
(but averaged 6-8 seconds in combat)
Weight 8.33 kg (18.5 lbs)
Overall length 119.4 cm (47 in.)
Rate of fire 550 rounds per minute
Effective range 550m (600 yds)
Ammunition (1) Ball M2; 150 gr. bullet, 50 gr. charge
(2) Tracer M25, M1: for designating targets and signaling
(3) Armor piercing M2 (black tip); 165gr/53gr
(4) Armor piercing incendiary: for lightly armored flammable targets

Browning Automatic Rifle  -  M1918A2 BAR  -  Nomenclature
Reference Field Manual: FM 23-15, Item No. 2315, 5/51

The BAR's only serious drawback was its 20-round magazine capacity and lack of a quick-change barrel to reduce the chance of overheating.  When properly employed in a fire team the BAR Gunners would work in a team of two to four guns. The BAR team would alternate fires and provide cover for the other gun while the partnered gun was reloading or maneuvering.


Modern Sport Version of the Browning Automatic Rifle

BROWNING, JOHN MOSES: Famous American arms maker and inventor.  Born; January 23 1855, and died, November 26, 1926.  See below for information and details.

Great American Gun Makers
John Moses Browning
John Moses Browning

John Moses Browning was born on 23 January 1855 in Ogden, Utah.  He was one of the 22 children of Jonathan Browning, who, being a good Mormon, had three wives. Gun making ran in the family of the young John Moses, as his father was a gunsmith who had already been responsible for a number innovations in the field. As a young boy, he spent his time in his father's workshop, and knew the name of every part of a gun before he could read.

The 19th Century American boyhood of John Moses Browning abounds with anecdotes, all of which share a point in common: they all point, with a few years advance, towards him becoming an internationally renowned inventor of genius.

At the age of 23, John Moses lodged his first patent, for the "J.M. Browning Single Shot Rifle". This invention consisted of a simplification of the percussion mechanism, making it more durable and reliable.

Shortly before his death, his father handed over his business to the young Browning who, in
association with his brother Matt, despite having less than one thousand dollars in the bank and no experience of machine-tool operation, transformed the humble store into a small gun making workshop employing seven people. But from the start, the remoteness of their location, thus a lack of a ready supply of customers, and the lack of capital meant that the business struggled to survive until, that is, luck intervened to make the inventor known...

A representative of the Winchester company having chanced upon a gun made by the Browning brothers in another state and, considering its design to be of interest, bought it from its owner and sent it to his superiors in the company's head office. So impressed were they that the managing director of Winchester himself set out straight away on a six day journey to what, at that time, was still the wild West, to meet the Browning brothers. Despite his astonishment at finding two young men in their twenties in a rustic workshop, he was perceptive enough to not be fooled by appearances and conclude commercial deals with them which would last for several decades.

Over the years, Browning granted licenses to several manufacturers for dozens of inventions and firearms developed by him. It's no exaggeration to say that he invented everything in the field of firearms. What is more, it should be noted that the vast majority of his technological innovations have not been able to be bettered or replaced since the beginning of this century, a clear demonstration of the level of perfection achieved. 

In 1897, it was another manager with flair, this time from the Fabrique Nationale (National Weapons Factory) at Herstal in Belgium, who noticed a 7.65 Browning pistol incorporating a novel locking mechanism. The FN obtained the manufacturing license, and thus began an uninterrupted period of collaboration between the inventor from the Great Salt Lake and the factory on the banks of the river Meuse.


Browning A5
The Browning A5 or Auto-5

Browning reached the peak of his art with the Auto-5 semi-automatic shotgun, which was a considerable commercial success and prompted his first visit to the Herstal works.

GP 35 Grand Puissance or "Hi Power"

But his world-wide acclaim is without doubt due to the 9mm Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol, of which over 10 million have been made and which, since 1907, has been adopted by the majority of the world's police forces and armies. Browning has indeed become the generic name for this type of gun. 

Early sample of the Browning designed 1911 pistol

None of Browning's success is due to chance: like all of the American pioneers he turned luck to his advantage only through an enormous amount of hard work. His strength of character and the steadfastness of his principles were out of the ordinary. Thus it was that, towards the end of his life, when offered an honorary title by a university, he refused it for the simple reason that "he had made it a rule never to accept anything that he had not gained as a result of his own work".

He died of a heart attack as he worked in his office at Herstal, during the course of his 61st visit to Belgium in 1926. His body was repatriated to the United States, where he was buried with full military honors. His son Val continued his collaboration with the Belgian factory without interruption. A collaboration that continues to this very day.

Information courtesy of 
Browning Arms Company

One Browning Place
Morgan, UT 84050

Telephone (801) 876-2711

For more information see the Browning Historical Time Line

Individual projectiles of shot .24" in diameter or greater, designed to be discharged in quantity from a shotgun. 

BUCKHORN SIGHT:  An open, metallic rear sight with sides that curl upward and inward.

BUILT-IN LOCK: An intrinsic safety device.   Some types of handguns are manufactured with locks mounted in the grip of the gun which locks the action.  Some handguns are manufactured with these types of locks, or they can be added by the owner.  Found in both keyed and combination styles, built-in locks prevent the handgun from being fired by  someone other than the person who has access to the combination or key.  There are a variety of mechanisms depending on the type of lock.  One device locks the manual thumb safety in the engaged position, while another type internally secures the hammer.  Most handguns currently available in the consumer market do not come equipped  with built-in locks, but most newly designed handgun do.  After-market kits can be purchased allowing both pistol and revolver owners to retrofit their weapons.

BURN RATE: also: BURNING RATE: A term which is used to describe the rapidity with which a given powder will burn.  The term itself is a relative one based on a comparison with other powders.


Comparative Powder Burning Rates

The chart below lists powders currently and commonly available in the US. They are listed in order from the fastest burning to the slowest burning. Note that the former Hercules powders are now produced by Alliant Powder, and the former Dupont powders are now produced by IMR Powder.


The actual burning rate and position on this chart can be drastically altered by many factors including case size, bullet weight, expansion ratio, operating pressures, etc.   Industry tests have shown that a powder's location on this list can shift by 5 - 6 positions or more  depending on conditions.  This data was typical under the conditions it was developed under but may not be true under your circumstances.

Do not attempt to make powder changes or determine a load based upon this data.

Data as of 2001-08-17, courtesy Western Powders. 

Visit Western Powder's web site at:


Comparative Powder Burn Rates -- Fastest To Slowest





 Hi-Skor 800-X



 IMR 4895



 Nitro 100.






Brig 4065



 N 310



 Solo 1500



 N 135









 IMR 4064



 Solo 1000






 XMR 4064



 No. 6









 Red Diamond



 Blue Dot



 IMR 4320






 N 105



 N 202 (203)



 Red Dot






 N 140









 N 540




 Vitha Vuori














 Big Game



 AA Plus






 Reloder 15



 Am Select






 H 380






 N 110






 Royal D






 Brig 4351






 Li1 Gun*



 H 414






 H 110



 N 150









 N 550









 XMR 4350






 N 120



 H 4350



 Hi-Skor 700-X






 IMR 4350






 IMR 4227



 N 204






 XMR 5774



 Reloder 19



 Green Dot



 N 130



 N 160



 N 330

 Vitha Vuori





 N 560









 H 205









  N 205



 No. 5






 H 450






 IMR 4198



 IMR 4831






 H 4198









 Brig 4197



 H 4831



 Trap 100



 XMR 2015



 XMR 3100






 Brig 3032









 Reloader 7









 IMR 3031












 N 165






 Brig 322



 Reloader 22






 H 322












 IMR 7828









 N 170









 H 1000



 Power Pistol



 BL-C (2)



 Big Boy









 Reloader 25












 SR 4756



 H 335



 H 870



 Solo 1250



 XMR 2495



 H 570



 3N 37


















 True Blue



 Reloader 12





Temperature Effects on Powder

Effect Of Temperature On Various Powders
  (0F) (70F) (125F) Changes
Powder Pressure
Accurate 2520 50.5 2781 49.9 2805 52.6 2844 +600 -24 +2700 +39
IMR 4064 51.3 2651 51.1 2686 49.7 2697 +200 -35 -1400 +11
Reloader 15 48.7 2665 50.3 2715 47.3 2705 -2100 -50 -3000 -10
Win 748 47.3 2655 50.2 2724 51.1 2769 -2900 -69 +900 +45
Varget 51.2 2778 51.1 2771 51.5 2779 +100 +7 -440 +8
Vit N140 47.5 2629 49.6 2665 51.0 2679 -2100 -36 +1400 +14
Vit N555 48.8 2778 50.1 2808 51.5 2834 -1300 -30 +1400 +26

Table Notes:

All temperatures are indicated in Fahrenheit

Data based upon the 308 Win. cartridge using all the same lot numbers Winchester cases, Winchester Large Rifle Primers and Sierra 168 gr. BTHP Match bullets. Note that many ball powders can exhibit unexpected extreme changes in pressure below 35 degrees F and above 105 degrees F, rising pressures 10,000 psi or more at elevated temperatures. Be careful at the temperature extremes!

Data courtesy of Varget.

BULL:  The central blackened portion of a target that appears as a dot to the shooter taking aim. The center ring is a "10" or "bull's-eye".

BULL BARREL: A heavier, thicker than normal barrel with little or no taper.  Typically used on target and sporting rifles.  The heavy contour adds stability and decrease barrel droop.

BULLET: That portion of the cartridge which becomes a projectile when in flight. 2: The projectile expelled from a gun.  It is not synonymous with cartridge or ammunition but the term bullet or bullets is commonly used incorrectly to describe ammunition or cartridges.  Bullets can be made of many materials, shapes, weights and constructions such as solid lead, lead with a jacket of harder metal, round-nosed, flat-nosed, hollow-pointed, etc.  Bullets come in many designs, and each design will dictate how it behaves both in flight and after it strikes a solid object.   In simple terms, you can divide bullets into four broad categories; Wad cutter, Round-Nose, Hollow Point and Pre-Fragmented.  Common usage of the term bullet include; using the word bullet or bullets to describe ammunition, as in "I have to buy some bullets".  See bullets by category below.


Round-Nose bullets have smooth curved front surfaces, generally like a football.  A round-nose bullet is designed to penetrate farther through solid objects.  Round nose bullets are the most common and are also know as ball or hard ball ammo.  Round nose bullets are typically used for plinking or target shooting.  Abbreviated RN.

hp.jpg (6021 bytes)
.357 SIG Hollow Point

bullet-mushroom.jpg (2142 bytes)
Mushroom Effect

Hollow Point bullets are generally more blunt than round-nose bullets, and have a hole or "hollow" scooped out of the tip.  A hollow point bullet is designed to expand or "mushroom" rapidly on impact with a solid object.  This means it will penetrate less and create a larger wound channel.   Most modern hollow point bullets are designed to retain there weight which aids in penetration.  

Hollow Point bullets are used for CCW, Law Enforcement and Personal Defense.  Abbreviated HP.

Frangible Ammunition

Pre-Fragmented (sometimes called "frangible") bullets are a relatively new invention.  They are made of many smaller pellets compressed into a single full-sized bullet, some are constructed like a shotgun shell, other simple break up into small pieces upon impact.  

Pre-Fragmented bullets are designed to disintegrate on impact with a solid object.  They were designed to prevent a bullet from passing through a wall and injuring somebody on the other side.   They have the least penetration ability and are only used for training or for specific tactical considerations.

Lead Wad Cutters

Wad Cutter bullets are flat-nosed and generally made completely of lead.  Wad cutter bullets are  designed for target shooting.   The flat nose is designed to cut nice and neat holes in paper targets that make scoring easier. Abbreviated WC.

Commercial Handgun Bullet Types and Applications

BHP - Bonded Hollow Point. Same as the JHP, but the metal jacket has been chemically bonded to the lead core to ensure that the jacket cannot separate from it on impact. This is desirable for when a bullet may need to penetrate glass or thin metal and still remain intact.  Used for CCW and Self Defense.

FMJ - Full Metal Jacket.  A bullet completely enclosed (except for the base) in a hard metal jacket (usually an alloy of copper, sometimes mild-steel). This is the only type of bullet permitted in warfare.  Used by military and for plinking and target shooting.

JFP - Jacketed Flat Point. Same as the FMJ, however instead of the tip of the bullet being rounded, it ends in a flat plate.  Used for target shooting.

JHP - Jacketed Hollow Point. A bullet constructed of a soft lead core enclosed in a hard metal jacket. The top of the bullet has an opening in the jacket, exposing a hollow lead core. On the force of impact, the bullet is forced to open up and expand, resulting in less penetration but greater damage due to the larger diameter of the now expanded bullet.  Used for CCW and Self Defense.

JTC - Jacketed Truncated Cone. Very similar to the JFP, but the sides of the bullet are straight and end in a flat plate, as opposed to the JFP where the sides are more rounded. The JTC bullet has the profile of a cone with a flat plate at the tip instead of a point.  Used for target practice and reloading.

LTC - Lead Truncated Cone. Same as JTC, however the bullet is constructed completely of lead and has no metal jacket.   Used for target practice, and reloading for cheap bastards who don't care about the environment or getting lead poisoning.

LHP - Lead Hollow Point. Same as the JHP, but the bullet is constructed completely of lead and has no jacket.  Used in same large game applications.

PHP - Plated Hollow Point. Same as the JHP, however, instead of the lead core being enclosed by a metal jacket, it is instead coated with a thin layer of chemically deposited metal.  Used for CCW and Self Defense.

SJHP - Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point. Same as the JHP, except the jacket does not completely cover the lead core. Usually a small section (about 2mm or 1/8") at the top of the bullet is left exposed. This is an older design, but is still common in the .38 special, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum calibers.  Used for CCW and Self Defense.

SWC - Semi Wad Cutter. Very similar to the LTC, however the base of the bullet has a slight ridge or shoulder. Thus the diameter of the base of the cone is slightly smaller than the base of the bullet itself. This causes the bullet to cut neat round holes in paper targets, instead of ripping the paper.  Used for target shooting onto paper.

TMJ - Total Metal Jacket. Same as the FMJ, however, unlike the FMJ where the metal jacket encloses the whole bullet except the base, the TMJ bullet's base is also enclosed by the jacket.  Used for target shooting and at indoor ranges.

JPF - Jacketed Pre-Fragmented. The bullet consists of a metal jacket as in the JHP, but instead of the core being solid lead, it consists of a number of separate projectiles, such as lead shot (the most common), metal disks, or polymer, (or any combination) compressed into the jacket. The tip of the bullet usually has a polymer "cap" with a round-nose profile to ensure reliable feeding. JPF bullets are usually much lighter than normal bullets, and travel at extreme velocities.   Used for specific CQB Training and in indoor ranges.  Can be used in special circumstances for tactical application.

Common Bullet Abbreviations

BEB Brass Enclosed Base
BT Boat Tail
CLSP Core-Lokt Soft Point
EP Expanding Point
FMJ Full Metal Jacket
HP Hollow Point
HPBT Hollow Point Boat Tail
HPSP Hollow Soft Point
JHP Jacketed Hollow Point
JSP Jacketed Soft Point
LRN Lead Round Nose
PEP Positive Expanding Point
PG Partitioned Gold
PP Power-Point
PSP Pointed Soft Point
RNFP Round Nose Flat Point
SBST Ballistic Silvertip
SP Soft Point
STHP Silvertip Hollow Point
SXT Supreme Expansion Technology
SWC Semi-Wadcutter
TCM Truncated Cone Match
WC Wad-Cutter


New Disintegrator™ lead-free frangible pistol ammunition by Remington Arms Company, Inc. is a technological breakthrough in bullet construction that offers totally lead-free, no-ricochet performance, with point of impact, accuracy, and felt recoil equivalent to standard lead core pistol ammunition.

Disintegrator Lead-Free Frangible bullets are protected with a hard copper plate, enhancing feed and function in all auto loading pistols, and minimizes bore fouling.  Felt recoil and point of impact duplicate conventional ammunition. It is available in standard profile 9mm, .40 Auto, and .45 ACP specifications.  The metal powder core construction allows for complete frangibility against hard surfaces. 

Disintegrator™ frangible bullets are ideal for heavily used ranges to reduce operating expense from wear and damage to bullet traps and backstops. All that's left after impact are metal particles and harmless pieces of thin copper plating.

bullet made of
metal particles
shaped into
standard profile
9mm, .40 S&W,
and .45 Auto
disintegrator-bullet.jpg (5365 bytes) Disintegrator™ core is completely
protected with hard copper plate.
Manufacturing process produces
highly concentric core for
excellent accuracy. Felt recoil
and point of impact duplicate
conventional ammunition.

Disintegrator™ frangible lead-free bullets feature a high strength compaction formed core, completely sealed in a jacket of electroplated copper. The metal powder core  construction creates a bullet that easily withstands the forces and pressure of firing, while providing instant and complete frangibility against hard surfaces.  The copper plating on provides a smooth, ductile jacket that enhances feed and function in all auto loading pistols, minimizes bore fouling, and virtually eliminates barrel erosion. Only .005" thick, it is enough for good rifling "bite," but too thin to ricochet.

Disintegrator is a Registered Trade Mark of Remington Arms Company Inc.

Remington Commercial Rifle Bullets
By Type and Application

swift-a-frame-bullet.jpg (21963 bytes)

The Swift A-Frame bullet has a progressively thickening jacket to control  expansion or mushrooming in a uniform and predictable manner to 2x the   caliber.  The protected rear core provides momentum for very deep penetration on tough game. This bullet is ideally used for larger game.

vmax-bullet.jpg (23491 bytes)

The Hornady V-Max bullet has a hollow core keeping the center of gravity at the rear for greater stability. The polymer tip creates a high ballistic co-efficient for velocity retention, flat trajectory, and absolute tack driving accuracy. The boat tail base reduces drag for greater down range energy. This bullet is used for small game.

nosler-ballistic-tip-bullet.jpg (32819 bytes)

The Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet provides a high ballistic co-efficient, resists deformation in the magazine, and initiates expansion on impact. The tapered jacket and lead alloy core allow controlled, immediate expansion. This is an extremely accurate long range load for use on medium game.

boattail-bullet.jpg (28505 bytes)

The Boat Tail bullet provides extremely uniform concentricity for better in-flight stability, as well as a superior combination of weight retention and accuracy. Normally, accuracy would be sacrificed to gain weight retention. The secant ogive nose profile creates a high ballistic co-efficient for maximum retained energy, long range velocity, and a flatter trajectory. This bullet design is also used on medium sized game.

corelokt.jpg (16352 bytes)

The Core-Lokt Soft Point bullet locks the progressively heavier jacket mid-section to the lead core, preventing separation, yet allowing expansion to nearly twice the original diameter for maximum energy transfer. A bullet of this design is ideally used for big game, especially when hunting in heavy brush.

corlokpnt.jpg (17200 bytes)

The Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point bullet has the expansion characteristics of our Core-Lokt soft point, but provides a flatter trajectory, and higher down-range velocity and energy. The sleeker nose profile also gives this big game load a higher ballistic co-efficient.

brzept.jpg (11973 bytes)

The Bronze Point Expanding bullet is a good choice for long range medium game. The bronze insert has a high ballistic co-efficient producing flat trajectory and maintaining high velocity and energy at extreme ranges. The tip is driven backward on impact to create rapid expansion that is controlled by the pre-grooved jacket. The tip also protects the bullet nose from being deformed in the magazine.

pwrlhp.jpg (10542 bytes)

The Power-Lokt Hollow Point bullet produces benchrest type accuracy for varmints or small game at extreme ranges. The copper jacket is electrolytically bonded to the lead core producing near perfect concentricity and gyroscopic balance resulting in sub minute-of-angle accuracy.

Remington Model 700 Classic
Information Courtesy of Remington Arms Company, Inc.

Remington Arms Company, Inc.
870 Remington Drive
P.O. Box 700
Madison, NC 27025


E-mail: [email protected]

Tel:  1-800-243-9700
Fax: 1-336-548-7801


BULLET, ARMOR PIERCING:  A projectile or projectile core that may be used in a handgun intended to pierce steel armor that is constructed entirely, or has a core constructed, from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, depleted uranium, or a fully jacketed projectile larger than 22 caliber intended for use in a handgun whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile. The term does not include shotgun shot or projectiles intended for sporting purposes.

Legal Note: The Gun Control Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. Sec. 922 (a) (7)) prohibits the manufacture or sale of armor piercing ammunition, except for use by law enforcement and the military.

BULLET, DUM-DUM:  A British military bullet developed in India. s Dum-Dum Arsenal in 1897-98. It was a jacketed .303 caliber rifle bullet with the jacket nose left open to expose the lead core in hopes of greater effectiveness. Further development of the bullet was not pursued because the Hague Convention of 1899 outlawed such bullets for warfare.

BULLET DROP:  Term used to describe the measure of a bullet’s fall after it crosses the line of sight for the second time, i.e., beyond the zero or sighted-in range, due to the effect of gravity. 

BULLET DROP COMPENSATOR:  Any device that is integral to the rifle telescope that is designed to compensate for the bullet's trajectory.  Abbreviated BDC.

BULLET ENGRAVING: The grooves cut into a bullet by barrel rifling. Note: When a bullet travels down the barrel, the grooves (or rifling) leave an imprint on the bullet. The matching of the marks on a bullet to the rifling of a particular firearm is an important tool for law enforcement in determining whether a bullet was fired from a particular firearm.

BULLET, FULL METAL JACKET:  A projectile in which the bullet jacket (a metallic cover over the core of the bullet) encloses most of the core with the exception of the base. They are used mostly for target shooting and military use.

BULLET, HOLLOW POINT:  A bullet with a cavity in the nose, exposing the lead core, to facilitate expansion upon impact. Hollow point cartridges are used for hunting, self-defense, police use, and other situations to avoid over-penetration.

BULLET, WAD CUTTER:  A generally cylindrical bullet design having a sharp shouldered nose intended to cut paper targets cleanly to facilitate easy and accurate scoring.

BULLETPROOF:  An item that can not be penetrated by a bullet.  In common usage, a piece of equipment that is very tuff or hard to break as in a Bullet Proof Action.

BULLETPROOF VEST: Term used to describe protective clothing that is in fact only bullet resistant.

BULLETPROOF VEST PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM:  Federally funded program to assist Law Enforcement Officers and Jurisdictions in purchasing bulletproof vests and equipment. 

BULLET RESISTANT:  Proper term for protective clothing and vest used by Law Enforcement and Military personnel to protect them from the effects of bullets and fragmentation from firearms and explosives.  For additional information on Bullet Resistant equipment ratings see the detail box below.

Bullet Resistance Ratings -  Body Armor Resistance Levels

Bullet Resistant Vest

Level IIA Defeats - 9mm, 124gr. FMJ at 1090 fps. 357 mag. 158gr. JSP at 1250 fps.
Level II Defeats - 9mm, 124gr. FMJ at 1175fps. 357 mag. 158gr. JSP at 1395fps.
Level IIIA Defeats - 9mm, 124gr. FMJ at 1400 fps. 44 mag 240gr. SWC at 1400 fps.
Level III Defeats - (High Powered Rifle) 7.62mm, 150gr. FMJ at 2750 fps.
Level IV Defeats - (Armor Piercing Rifle) 30/06 166gr. AP at 2850 fps.


Class I, IIA, II , IIIA+ are for protection from HAND GUNS.

Class IIIA, III, IV are for protection from LONG RIFLES.

Class Caliber Type Weight Velocity Meters
Per Second
Velocity Feet
Per Second
22 LRHV LEAD 40 GRAIN 320 M/SEC 1050 FPS
II A 357 MAGNUM JSP 158 GRAIN 384 M/SEC 1250 FPS
9MM FMJ 124 GRAIN 332 M/SEC 1090 FPS
II 357 MAGNUM JSP 158 GRAIN 425 M/SEC 1395 FPS
9MM FMJ 124 GRAIN 358 M/SEC 1175 FPS
9MM FMJ 124 GRAIN 426 M/SEC 1400 FPS
III 7.62MM FMJ 150 GRAIN 838 M/SEC 2750 FPS
IV 30-06 AP 166 GRAIN 868 M/SEC 2850 FPS
AP Armor Piercing  
FMJ Full Metal Jacket  
JSP Jacketed Soft Point  
LRHV Long Rifle High Velocity  
RNL Round Nose Lead  
MM Millimeter  
M/SEC Meter Per Second  
FPS Feet Per Second  

nij-level.jpg (33409 bytes)

Ballistic Resistance Level Ratings from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 0101.03

The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center has a web site with a variety of relevant information about vests and other public safety equipment at If you would rather call, their toll-free number is 1-800-248-2742.

BULL PUP a.k.a. BULLPUP:  A rifle in which the breech mechanism is set back in the stock so that the rear of the receiver is against the shooters shoulder.  It permits the use of a full length barrel in a firearm which is, overall, shorter than a conventionally stocked firearm of the same barrel length.  Bull Pup is also written "BullPup".

BULL PUP ACTION:  A rifle action, as above where the breech mechanism is recessed back into the stock so that the rear of the receiver is near the butt stock.  This system allows a full length or carbine length barrel in a rifle that has a much shorter over all length.  In a modern assault rifle this "Shorty" design is very effective and quite "handy".  Common Bullpup or Bull Pup assault rifles are the Steyr AUG Model STG77 and the M17S Bushmaster below.

Bushmaster M17S "Bull Pup"

The butt is the rear portion of the frame onto which the grip or stock is attached.  Also used to refer to the end of the stock.

BUTT PLATE:  A protective plate attached to the butt or buttstock of a rifle. The "butt plate" was added to wooden stocks to protect them from chipping or splitting when the rifle was grounded or dropped. Original Butt Plates were made of metal with brass and steel being commonly used and ornate gun having gold and silver with inlays and fancy engraving.  The function of the modern butt plate remains the same as in days of old, though they are now used to protect both wood and synthetic stocks. The butt plate is also used to attach recoil pads.  Butt Plate is also written BUTTPLATE and are sometimes referred to as the BUT PAD.

BUTTPLATE:  Same as above. A protective plate attached to the butt or buttstock of a rifle. The "butt plate" was added to wooden stocks to protect them from chipping or splitting when the rifle was grounded or dropped. The function remains though now used to protect both wood and synthetic stocks. The butt plate is also used to attach recoil pads.  Buttplate is also written BUTT PLATE.

BUTT STOCK a.k.a. BUTTSTOCK:  The rear portion of the stock.  The end of the stock. Also written as "buttstock".

BUTT STROKE: To strike someone or something with the butt of a rifle or handgun.

BUTTONED UP:  Term used to state that the hatches and compartments of an armored vehicle are closed and in the combat ready position.


Translate This Page

International Gun Terms


  A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z