FACTORY AMMUNITION: Also Factory Round. Ammunition that has been produced by a major manufacturer using new brass cartridges or other new cartridge and shell casing materials. Most firearms warranties are void if "Factory Ammunition" is not used. See Reloading for a more detailed discussion of factory and reloaded ammunition along with a discussion of why and when the distinction is important.
FAILURE TO FEED: A malfunction condition where although the magazine contains cartridges, no cartridge is fed into the chamber as the slide, bolt or action moves forward into the locked in battery position. This malfunction is often caused by an improperly seated or fitted magazine, under lubrication of the firearm or improper alignment of the slide or action.
FAILURE TO NEUTRALIZE: Term used in shooting competition to describe targets that were not properly engaged or knocked down in accordance with the course of fire. Abbreviated FTN.
FALLING BLOCK: A single-shot action where the breech block moves up and down at right angles to the bore and drops or "falls" straight down when the lever is actuated.
FEBA: Abbreviation for Forward Edge of the Battle Area. See below.
FEED RAMP: The part at the lower rear of the barrel that slopes upward into the chamber to facilitate feeding the cartridge. Note: The feed ramp can be polished to facilitate better feeding and function of all types of ammunition. Some older types of semi-automatic pistols, like the Walther PPK need to have the feed ramp polished in order to properly feed hollow point cartridges.
FEEDWAY: The part of the firearm in which the cartridge is placed, either by hand or by the magazine system, so as to be loaded into the chamber.
FEET PER SECOND: Standard measurement for the velocity of a bullet as it leaves the barrel. Abbreviated FPS or (fps).
FERGUSON, PATRICK: Patrick Ferguson (1744 - 1780) Born in Pitfour, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1744. Ferguson invented the breech-loading rifle that bore his name. The Ferguson rifle was capable of firing seven shots per minute. With the help of this weapon, the Americans were defeated at the Battle of Brandywine (1777). He was killed at the Battle of King's Mountain in South Carolina, USA.
FERGUSON RIFLE: The first
mass produced rapid-fire breech-loading rifle. The Ferguson used a
patented screw-breech design. This rifle was officially adopted by
the British Government on July 4th, 1776, but it was only fielded in a
special rifle unit headed by Patrick Ferguson himself. Ferguson's
screw breech was a radical departure from the status quo. To understand
how extreme it was, you must recognize tactics of eighteenth-century
[musket] warfare as a function of European society and culture. It
was a great step forward technologically speaking capable of firing 8
rounds per minute at a time when 3 or 4 rounds per minute was hard to
accomplish. It's screw breech was also resistant to rain and damp
weather as the breech was locked tight and the pan was internal. For
more information on the Ferguson Rifle see the detail block below.
Ferguson Rifle circa 1776
The Ferguson Rifle could have changed the outcome of the American Revolution. If not, it surely would have changed the outcome of the War of 1812. It only failed to do so because it's inventor and advocate Major Patrick Ferguson was killed at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780 by Tennessee's Over Mountain men. The British in there infinite wisdom disbanded Ferguson's 70th Infantry Riflemen after his death and stacked the Ferguson Rifles in a store room.
For more information on the Ferguson Rifle - click here
On the web at URL: http://www.nmlra.org
FIELD ARTILLERY OBSERVER: A person who watches the effects of artillery fire, adjusts the center of impact of that fire onto a target, and reports the results to the firing agency. See also naval gunfire spotting team; spotter.
FIELD OF FIRE: The area which a weapon or a group of weapons may cover effectively with fire from a given position.
FIELD STRIP: Disassembling a firearm to the point where it can undergo routine cleaning and lubrication.
FIGHTING LOAD: Consists of items of individual clothing, equipment, weapons, and ammunition that are carried by, and are essential to, the effectiveness of the combat soldier and the accomplishment of the immediate mission of the unit when the soldier is on foot. See also existence load and basic load.
FINAL PROTECTIVE FIRE (FPF): An immediately available prearranged barrier of fire designed to impede enemy movement across defensive lines or areas. In standard infantry tactics, a support element would stand by with registered targets and await the command for the FPF should the attacking or defending maneuver force need to withdraw behind the defensive lines. In light and airborne units this fire is normally produced by 60mm mortars organic to the maneuver unit, but supporting fires can also be registered and called for.
FIRE: 1. The command given to discharge a firearm, gun or weapon. 2. To detonate the main explosive charge by means of a firing system.
FIRES, TYPES OF: In gunnery there are several types of fires, see the detail block below for more information.
FIRE MISSION: 1. Specific assignment given to a fire unit as part of a definite plan. 2. Order used to alert the gun battery and to indicate that the message following is a call for fire.
FIREARM: A rifle, shotgun or
handgun using gunpowder as a propellant. By federal definition,
under the 1968 Gun Control Act, antiques and air guns are excepted.
Under the National Firearms Act, the word designates machine guns, etc.
and any instrument that projects a missile
by gas pressure generated by the combustion of a propellant. Thus,
by definition air guns are not firearms. The term firearm generally
refers to any of a type of hand held guns. The term firearm and
small arms are synonymous. The term weapon and firearm are not
synonymous, as most inanimate objects can be used as a weapon; to inflict
harm or physical injury. The military and police seem to beat the WEAPON
term to death but no sporting arms should be referred to as a weapon as it
only servers to inflame anti-gun sentiment and it is incorrect usage of
FIRE FORM: To reform or change the shape of a cartridge case by firing it in a chamber of different dimensions. This technique is used to create "Wild Cat" and custom cases. It should only be used by experienced reloaders as it can render the case weak and cause ruptures that my be dangerous to the shooter or damage the firearm.
FIRE FORMING: Reforming or changing the shape of a cartridge case by firing it in a chamber of different dimensions to get a desired shape. Fire forming is not the same as annealing.
FIREPOWER: 1. The amount of fire which may be delivered by a position, unit, or weapon system. 2. Ability to deliver fire. 3. The aggregate or combined effect of missiles or projectiles that can be placed on a target.
FIREPOWER, SUPERIOR: Superior firepower is the capacity to deliver effective and overwhelming volume of fire on a target or set of targets and to render the target(s) ineffective, as delivered by a military unit.
FIRES: The effects of lethal or non-lethal military weapons.
FIRING PIN: Part of a gun which strikes the primer, firing the gun. Motion may be imparted to the firing pin by hitting it with a hammer, or it may itself be spring-loaded and released as in a striker fired system. The firing pin lies behind the cartridge. It serves to transfer the energy generated by the hammer or striker to the primer. The impact of the firing pin on the cartridge ignites the primer and causes the powder to rapidly burn, thus discharging the bullet.
FIRING PIN SAFETY: An internal physical safety that prevents the firing pin from moving forward to strike the primer. Usually, the firing pin safety is designed to disengage only when the trigger is pulled. This is also know as a Firing Pin Intercept.
FIT AND FINISH: Terms used to describe over-all firearm workmanship.
FIXED AMMUNITION: 1. A complete cartridge of several obsolete types and of today's rim fire and center-fire versions. 2. Ammunition in which the cartridge case is permanently attached to the projectile. See also ammunition.
FLACK: English variant of the word FLAK.
FLAK: Anti Aircraft Artillery and the bursting "Proximity Shells" fired from said artillery. Originally from the German, an Acronym for: FLieger Aabwehr Kanone. An aircraft-defense gun.
FLAK JACKET: An anti-fragmentation jacket or protective garment. Most FLACK jackets are NOT bulletproof. The standard G.I. (Government Issue) Military Issue "Flak Jacket" is actually a vest that is worn over the battle dress uniform. They are designed to stop or reduce the damage caused by fragmenting shells (artillery and mortar fire) and the debris that they project into the target area. This term is often interchanged with "Ballistic Body Armor" or "Bullet Resistant Vests" that are enhanced and designed to stop or reduce the lethality of small arms fire.
FLASH BLINDNESS: Impairment of vision resulting from an intense flash of light. It includes temporary or permanent loss of visual functions and may be associated with retinal burns. See also dazzle.
FLASH HOLE: 1. A hole leading from the primer pocket to the inside of the case. 2: The hole running through the wall of the barrel on a flintlock arm, providing a conduit from the pan to the main charge. Fire passes through the flash hole from the pan to the main charge, firing the gun. 3. The hole between the primer pocket in a metallic cartridge and the portion of the cartridge holding the powder charge.
FLASH HIDER - FLASH SUPPRESSOR: A device attached to the muzzle of a firearm designed to eliminate or reduce the incandescent flash of the firearm's discharge. Although they can reduce the visibility of the firearm's location when fired they are primarily designed to prevent the shooter's vision from being blinded by the flash at night. Many flash hiders also act as a Muzzle Brake. Under current federal law, muzzle breaks are legal and flash hiders are illegal to manufacturer or place on firearms manufactured after the 1994 Crime Bill.
FLINTLOCK: A firing mechanism or
lock used primarily on muzzleloaders, using the shower of sparks created
when a piece of flint strikes a steel frizzen to ignite a priming charge,
which in turn ignites the main powder charge. For more information on the
FLINTLOCK see the detail block below.
FLIR: Abbreviation for Forward Looking Infrared (Forward Looking IR). FLIR is an airborne, electro-optical thermal imaging device that detects far-infrared energy, converts the energy into an electronic signal, and provides a visible image for day or night viewing.
FLOATING BARREL: A barrel bedded to avoid contact with any point on the stock. Also known as Free Floating. Floated barrels increase accuracy buy avoiding stress or physical contact with the barrel buy the shooter or the stock.
FLOOR PLATE: Usually, a removable or hinged plate at the bottom of the receiver covering the magazine well.
FMJ: Abbreviation for Full Metal Jacket.
FOOT POUND: A unit of kinetic energy equal to the effort required to raise one pound weight, to a height of one foot, against the normal pull of gravity. 2. A unit of work; the energy required to lift one pound one foot.
FOOT POUNDS ENERGY: Standard of measure for the energy of the bullet measured in foot-pounds as it leaves the barrel. Abbreviated FPE or (fpe).
FOLLOW THROUGH: is the effort on the part of the shooter to continue the employment of the fundamentals throughout the deliver of the shot exactly as they were planned and set-up.
FOLLOWER: The platform against which the last cartridge or cartridges in a magazine rest, and the means by which the magazine spring forces an entire column of cartridges successively into position for feeding. In a tubular magazine, the follower is simply a round plunger riding over the end of the magazine spring; in a Mauser-type or box magazine, it is a more carefully shaped platform sometimes provided with ribs or grooves to assist in aligning the cartridges with the feed lips for feeding into the chamber. On some models like the SIG Sauer handgun the follower is known as the magazine feeder.
FORCING CONE: Forward part of the chamber in a shotgun where the chamber diameter is reduced to bore diameter. The forcing cone aids the passage of shot into the barrel.
FOREND: The forward portion of a rifle or shotgun stock.
FORM FACTOR: A multiplier (also called the coefficient of reduction) which relates the shape of a bullet to the shape of the standard projectile used to prepare a particular ballistic table.
FORSYTH, REVEREND ALEXANDER: Reverend Alexander Forsyth (1769 - 1848) Noted Scotsman and inventor of the percussion cap. In 1805 Forsyth built a new lock mechanism using a fulminate of mercury cap as a means of igniting the charge. Fond of game shooting, he realized the major problem with the flint-lock gun was its unreliability in damp conditions and that the noise of the flint striking the pan and the delayed lock time gave the game birds a chance to fly away before the gun was discharged. The percussion cap ignited an enclosed charge when struck by a hammer. This percussion cap greatly decreased lock time and increased reliability, especially in damp or wet weather. This cap was later developed into the modern center fire self contained cartridge.
FOULING SHOTS: Shots fired for the purpose of clearing the bore of cleaning solution and to "settle the barrel" preparatory to sighting and record shots.
FORWARD EDGE OF THE BATTLE AREA (FEBA): The foremost limits of a series of areas in which ground combat units are deployed, excluding the areas in which the covering or screening forces are operating, designated to coordinate fire support, the positioning of forces, or the maneuver of units. Formerly and commonly called "The Front" or "Front Lines". Also called FEBA.
FORWARD OBSERVER: An observer operating with front line troops and trained to adjust ground or naval gunfire and pass back battlefield information. In the absence of a forward air controller, the observer may control close air support strikes. Also called FO. See also forward air controller; spotter.
FPE: Abbreviation for Foot Pounds Energy.
FPF: Abbreviation for Final Protective Fire.
FPJ: Abbreviation for Full Profile Jacket.
FPS: Abbreviation for Feet Per Second. Also abbreviated (fps and f/s).
FRANGIBLE: Readily or easily broken. In Gunnery, Frangible Ammunition "breaks up" when it hits a solid target. Typical Frangible Ammunition is the so-called Safety Slug or Glazier round which in my experience are completely ineffective for defensive use and should only be used in "Shooting Houses" and range settings that are not designed to absorb jacketed or solid projectiles.
FREEBORE: 1. An unrifled portion of the bore in front of the chamber. 2. The distance in the barrel, if any, which the bullet travels before it contacts the rifling. Some barrels are purposely "relieved" to allow the bullet considerable free movement before it strikes rifling. The freebore must be know to properly headspace a rifle barrel to a receiver.
FREE FLOAT: Technique of bedding or holding a Floating Barrel on the receiver so it does not make contact with the stock, thus avoiding stress and increasing accuracy of the firearm.
FREE RIFLE: A rifle designed for international-type target shooting. Free as in Free Form or Free Style. The only restriction on design is weight maximum 8 kilograms (17.6 lbs.).
FREE ROCKET: A rocket not subject to guidance or control in flight.
FRIZZEN: The part of a flintlock which is struck by a piece of flint, producing a shower of sparks. At one time it was called a hammer, before that a cock.
FRAME: The frame (also known as the receiver) is the basic structure or housing to which the other components are attached.
FREE FLOATING BARREL: A barrel bedded to avoid contact with any point on the stock. Also known as Floating Barrel. Free Floated Barrels increase accuracy buy avoiding stress or physical contact with the barrel buy the shooter or the stock.
FREE PISTOL, THE: The Free Pistol is a special design of competitive firearm for achieving the ultimate in accuracy from a handgun. Free Pistols are chambered in caliber .22 Long Rifle. The majority of free pistols have a longer barrel than the normal pistol and an extended sight radius. The trigger weight is extremely light and is adjustable from 1/2 oz to 1 1/2 ozs. There is a form fitting grip for the hand.
FROG: Abbreviation for Free Rocket Over Ground. The infamous Scud missile is a FROG. 2. In firearms, a loop attached to a belt to hold a weapon or tool 3. On military uniforms, an ornamental braiding for fastening the front of a garment that consists of a button and a loop through which it passes.
FRONT STRAP: That part of the revolver or pistol grip frame that faces forward and often joins with the trigger guard. In target guns, notably the .45 ACP, the front strap is often stippled or checkered to give shooter's hand a slip-resistant surface.
F/S (f/s): Abbreviation for Feet Per Second. Also abbreviated fps.
FTN: Abbreviation for Failure to Neutralize.
FULL CHARGE: 1. The larger of the two propelling charges available for naval guns. 2. A hand loaded cartridge that uses the maximum powder charge.
FULL COCK: The position of the hammer when the firearm is ready to fire.
FULL METAL JACKET: A bullet design that is completely encased in a hard metal jacket, which is not intended to expand upon impact. They are utilized in military small arms ammunition where bullet expansion is proscribed by the Geneva Convention, in target shooting for economy and in some hunting ammunition where extremely deep penetration is required. Abbreviated FMJ.
FUNDAMENTALS OF PISTOL MARKSMANSHIP: Those essential factors that the shooter must know and learn to control in order to fire an accurate shot with a pistol.
FUNNEL OF DEATH: A "Y" shaped crossroad consisting of the many small courtyards, between the close set buildings surrounding the Bulahri Arms Market in downtown Mogadishu, Somalia. Army Rangers and Special Forces soldiers were forced to run through the "funnel of death" in an intense cross fire, darting from one building to the other, in order to check downed or wounded soldiers and to treat the casualties and to collect and disseminate medical supplies and ammunition. Several very brave Ranger & SOF medics made the tip in to the intense fire fight to give aid and comfort to their fallen comrades. Because of the layout and the close proximity of the many building and small shops in this intense urban battlefield, Somali Militia and armed civilians were able to lay down very heavy and effective fires into the "Funnel of Death". The break out came several hours later and on foot. With a few wheeled vehicles that were heavily loaded with dead and wounded, being accompanied by dismounted Rangers and SFOD-D Operators, trailing along beside and then behind the extraction vehicles. This final frantic dismounted (on foot) extraction is what was later to be called "The Mogadishu Mile".