|Letter - P
06 March 2003
Two shots fired
quickly. 2. Two clay targets or skeet thrown by the launcher at the
PAN: The part of a Flintlock
Rifle that holds the priming charge of black powder.
PARABELLUM: From the Latin meaning
"For War". In gunnery terms, Parabellum is a semiautomatic pistol
and cartridge introduced in 1900. The Parabellum was designed by
George Luger, and based on the earlier Borchardt pistol. The
official German military nomenclature was "Pistole '08" or "P 08."
At first, the pistol was chambered for the 7.65mm Parabellum round.
Soon, it was modified to use the 9mm Parabellum cartridge, which is what
most people refer to today when talking about a "9 mm." Nine
(9) millimeter Parabellum ammo is the common "standard" for 9 mm
ammunition. It measures 9x19, and is also called 9mm NATO and
PARALLAX: (Superposed) Occurs in
telescopic sights when the primary image of the objective lens does not
coincide with the Reticule. In practice, parallax is detected in the scope
when, as the viewing eye is moved laterally, the image and the reticules
appear to move in relation to each other.
PASSIVE SAFETY DEVICE: A passive
safety device is one which automatically engages when the firearm is not
in use, without any input from the user, and then automatically disengages
to allow the gun to be discharged. Examples include
magazine disconnectors, transfer bars, firing pin blocks, grip safeties
and personalized guns.
PATTERN: The distribution of a
charge of shot fired from a shotgun.
Generally measured as a percentage of pellets striking inside a 30 inch
circle when the shotgun is fired from 40 yards away. See
choke for details and types.
PATCH: A piece of greased cloth
used to wrap a round ball used as the bullet in a Muzzle Loading rifle. 2.
A piece of lubricated paper wrapped around the bullet in cartridges used
in some black powder cartridge rifles. In either case, the patch
fills in space between the bullet and the bore, serves as a gas seal,
prevents leading, and engages the rifling.
PARKERIZING: A matted
rust-resistant oxide finish, usually matte or dull gray, or black in
color, found on military guns and service pistols.
PC - POLITICALLY CORRECTED:
Politically Corrected Gun Glossary - Click Here
A type of rear sight used on rifles and shotguns that features a
thick-rimmed aperture with a small opening mounted on the firearm's
receiver. It is used with a flat topped blade front sight and provides a
high degree of accuracy. However, it is difficult to use in dim lighting
conditions, especially if an extremely small opening "target" type
aperture is used.
PELLET: 1. A single piece of
birdshot or buckshot. 2. The bullet fired from an air gun or pellet gun.
PELLET GUN: A rifle or pistol using
compressed air or CO2 to propel a skirted pellet as opposed to a spherical
BB. Not a firearm.
PELLETS: Small spherical projectiles loaded
in shot shells and more often called "shot." Also the skirted projectiles
used in pellet guns.
PEPPERBOX: An early form of
revolving repeating pistol in which a number of barrels were bored in a
circle in a single piece of metal resembling the cylinder of a modern
revolver. Functioning was the same as a revolver, the entire
cylinder being revolved to bring successive barrels under the hammer for
firing. Though occurring as far back as the 16th century, the pepperbox
did not become practical until the advent of the percussion cap in the
early 1800's. Pepperboxes were made in a wide variety of sizes and styles,
and reached their popularity peak during the percussion period. Few
were made after the advent of practical metallic cartridges.
Both single- and double action pepperboxes were made. Single
barreled revolvers after the 1 840s were more accurate and easier to
handle and soon displaced the rather clumsy and muzzle heavy pepperbox.
PERCUSSION CAP: A small cylindrically shaped
metal tube that is open on one end and closed on the other. The
percussion cap is partially filled with a chemical, fulminate of mercury a
chemical compound which explodes when it is struck. The open end of
the cap is fitted over the "nipple" on the lock of a percussion cap
firearm. The Percussion Cap ignition system was developed in 1805 by
the Reverend John Forsyth of Aberdeen Shire. This firing mechanism was a
great step in advancement from its predecessors because it does not use an
exposed flash pan to begin the ignition process. Instead, the
percussion lock ignition system has a simple tube which leads straight
into the chamber of a gun barrel. The development of the percussion
cap greatly reduced lock time and resulted in greater accuracy and in
enhanced dependability as the cap system is less likely to fouled or be
effected by moisture and weather.
PERCUSSION LOCK: A firearm lock
mechanism using a fulminate of mercury cap as a means of igniting the
charge. For additional information on the "Percussion Lock" see the
detail box below.
Typical Percussion Lock
The key to the Percussion Lock system is the explosive cap
which is placed on top of the tube. The cap contains fulminate
of mercury, a chemical compound which explodes when it is
This is the same chemical used in paper
or plastic caps in a child's cap gun. As illustrated above,
when the cap is struck by the hammer, the flames from the
exploding fulminate of mercury go down the tube, into the gun
barrel, and ignite the powder inside the barrel to propel the
This firing mechanism provided a
major advance in reliability, since the cap was almost
certain to explode when struck. This mechanism is almost immune to
in a rainfall one must still be cautious to avoid getting water in
the gun barrel or into the
ignition system while loading the weapon. The percussion cap was the
key to making
reliable rotating-block guns (revolvers) which would fire reliably,
and in the early 1800s
several manufacturers began producing these multiple-shot side arms
quantities. The percussion cap firing mechanism gave an individual
soldier a weapon of
precision and reliability which was used to devastating effect in
the U.S. Civil War.
For information on the history &
development of firearm locks -
PERSONALIZED HANDGUN: a.k.a. Smart Gun - Personalized
handguns, are a relatively new type of handgun that prevents anyone, other
than an authorized user, from firing the gun. These personalized
handguns are modifications of standard revolvers or pistols in which a
magnetic or electronic lock has been built into the grip of the gun. When
the owner is not holding the handgun, the passive built-in locking device
automatically secures the trigger, preventing the handgun from being
fired. The owner of the personalized weapon wears an identifying
magnetic ring or radio transmitter bracelet. When placed next to the
grip of the handgun in the proper orientation, the ring or bracelet
unlocks the trigger. The grip is customized to perfectly fit the
owner's hand, allowing for easy alignment of the ring or bracelet.
From the Greek for a "Square of Spears". An ancient defensive
formation, where the soldiers would be massed in a large square formation
with 12 to 18 foot spears protruding on all sides toward the enemy.
In modern gunnery terms, Phalanx is the name for Close-In-Weapons-System
or CIWS employed on American military surface ships. The
Phalanx CIWS typically includes a fire direction radar and an automated
high speed, high rate of fire, multi- barreled Gatling style gun.
Phalanx Gunnery on U.S. Surface Ship
|Close In Weapons System -
The Phalanx is part of the Close In Weapons
System or CIWS (Pronounced `See-Whiz ) is used as a close in, last
line of defense anti-missiles defensive system that fires a hail of
projectiles at incoming anti-ship missiles (ASM). Most American
Navy surface combatants use the Phalanx System with an automated 20mm
multi-barreled cannon, similar to the Vulcan Cannon.
PINTLE: A pin or a bolt on which another part pivots. In Gunnery "The
pin on which a gun carriage revolves". And a hook or a bolt on the rear of
a towing vehicle (Prime Mover) for attaching a mobile field gun or
PINTLE MOUNT: A heavy metallic pin or cone used for mounting
a heavy machine gun or crew severed weapon on to a tri-pod, bi-pod, fixed
mounting system or vehicle mount.
PISTOL: Synonymous with
"handgun." A gun that is generally held in one hand. It may be of
the single-shot, multi-barrel, repeating or semi-automatic variety and in
current use includes revolvers. Traditionally the term was reserved for a
semiautomatic handgun not a revolver.
The working mechanism of the handgun. This determines the process by
which the handgun is cocked, fired, and reloaded. Common types are Single
Action, Double Action and Double Action Only. See the definitions on
specific types of handgun actions for more details.
Basic Anatomy of the
- Hammer Uncocked
- Hammer Cocked
- Firing Pin
Semi-automatic pistols are
handguns which store extra cartridges (1) in a magazine (2) usually
located in the grip (3) of the gun. When the trigger (4) is
pulled, the hammer (5-uncocked position) falls from its cocked
position (6-phantom), strikes the firing pin (7), which impacts the
cartridge in the chamber (8), and discharges the bullet out through
the barrel (9). The energy from the discharge causes the slide
mechanism (10) to operate, opening the breech and expelling the
fired cartridge case. This allows anew cartridge to automatically
enter the chamber from the magazine as the slide closes. These
components are all attached to the frame (11).
Pistols can be designed with many
intrinsic safety features including:
A. Loaded Chamber Indicator
B. Manual Thumb Safety
C. Grip Safety
D. Magazine Safety
E. Drop Safety (firing pin block)
F. Built-in Lock
Semi-Automatic Pistol Mechanisms
The common but improperly used term
to describe semi-automatic pistols. See ACTION, SEMI-AUTOMATIC for a
description of how these pistols operate.
ACTION: A pistol
mechanism in which a single pull of the trigger cocks and releases the
ACTION: A pistol
mechanism that requires the manual cocking of the hammer before the
trigger releases the firing mechanism.
PISTOL GRIP: The handle of a
handgun or protrusion on the butt stock or fore-end of a shoulder-operated
gun that resembles the grip or handle of a handgun. A "semi-pistol grip"
is one less pronounced than normal; a "vertical pistol grip" is more
pronounced than normal.
PLINKING: Informal shooting at
any of a variety of inanimate targets. Plinking is the most commonly
practiced shooting sport in this country.
Note: Plinking typically refers to casual
shooting at pine cones, tin cans, or other such objects for fun and
Plunging Fire is achieved by employing the Heavy Machine Gun (HMG)
in an indirect fire mode, similar to artillery. Because of the long
range potential of most HMG's the barrel can be elevated so that the
projectiles are highly arched above the line of sight and then plunge
downward, impacting on the top of targeted bunkers and fighting positions
as well as to the lightly armored roof tops of vehicles, shelters and
buildings. Light Machine Guns (LMG) and Medium Machine Guns (MMG)
can not provide Plunging Fire, except when firing from high ground to low
ground and when firing into abruptly rising terrain.
POINT BLANK DIAMETER:
The diameter of the "must hit" zone of the target.
Politically Corrected Gun Glossary - Click Here.
POLYMER: Polymers are
simply plastics that have many (poly) elements linked together in the
molecular chain and are developed in the test tube. The school
answer is: Polymer: a chemical compound or mixture of compounds formed by
polymerization and consisting essentially of repeating structural units.
Also: polymer a chemical compound with high molecular weight consisting of
a number of structural units linked together by covalent bonds. The simple
molecules that may become structural units are themselves called monomers.
A structural unit is a group having two or more bonding sites. In a linear
polymer, the monomers are connected in a chain arrangement and thus need
only have two bonding sites. When the monomers have three bonding sites, a
nonlinear, or branched, polymer results. Naturally occurring polymers
include CELLULOSE, PROTEINS, natural RUBBER, and SILK; those synthesized
in the laboratory have led to such commercially important products as
PLASTICS, synthetic fibers, and synthetic rubber.
POLYMER FRAME: A modern handgun frame or receiver made of
polymer or plastic. The polymers used in modern handgun frames and
receivers typically consist of high strength synthetic fibers that are
mixed with hard but forgiving plastics. The combination of the materials
is a little different for each manufacturer and the exact recipe is a
trade secret. The key is to get a material that is of low weight and high
strength, without becoming brittle. Also reduced machining time and
therefore a reduced manufacturing cost. Polymer frames actually give
a little under recoil and this helps to dissipate and absorb some of the
perceived recoil. Many of the polymer framed handguns also have some
steel components in them. The newer FN models actually have a serviceable
or replaceable steel guide rails that can be changed after several 10's of
POPE RIB: A rib
integral with the barrel. Designed by Harry M. Pope, famed
barrel maker and shooter, the rib made it possible to mount a target scope
low over the barrel.
PORT: The word port as it
relates to Firearms has many uses and definitions. In most cases the term
port refers to an opening or vent manufacturered into the firearm.
Additional uses are below.
Barrel Port: The openings or
vents cut or machined into the muzzle end of a barrel to allow gas to
escape and to reduce perceived recoil. Also called Barrel Porting and
Cylinder Port: Openings in the
cylinder face or frame of a revolver for the passage of loaded
ammunition and removal of expended cartridges.
Ejection Port: Opening where
expended cartridges and shells are removed from the action or magazine.
Firing Port: A hole in an
armored vehicle or a fortified structure for observation or for firing
Loading Port: An opening in a
firearm for the insertion of ammunition into the magazine, chamber,
breech or cylinder.
Magna Port: A commercial
porting process where ports are burned into the muzzle of a firearm.
The Porting is designed to reduce felt recoil and muzzle
lift on all types of firearms. More information about Magna-Port
and Magna-Break is at URL:
Muzzle Port: The openings or
vents cut or machined into the muzzle end of a barrel to allow gas to
escape and to reduce perceived recoil.
PORT ARTHUR INCIDENT:
PORTED & POLISHED:
Force exerted on the trigger that is uninterrupted and constantly
increasing when applied by the pad of the trigger finger in an effort to
fire a shot. This pressure is initiated by the presence of a satisfactory
minimum arc of movement in conjunction with perfect sight alignment, not
perfect sight picture. A perfect sight picture is the absence of movement
combined with perfect sight alignment.
POSITION: of a pistol shooter is the relationship of the
shooter's body to the target. Proper or natural positioning of the
shooter's body points the shooting arm directly at the target center
POWDER: The propellant
used in most firearms. It produces a large volume of gas when ignited.
There are two basic types--smokeless and black powder. Note:
Modern ammunition uses a variety of granular propellant that is very
sophisticated in nature. You cannot readily interchange terms like powder,
gunpowder, or black powder. Unless you take up reloading or black powder
firearms you will never have to worry about interacting with powder. Be
sure to read manuals and get qualified instruction before doing ANYTHING
with any form of powder, just as you would with any other highly flammable
The earliest type of propellant, allegedly
made by the Chinese or Hindus. First used for firearms in the 13th
century, it is a mechanical mixture of potassium or sodium nitrate,
charcoal, and sulfur. It makes a large cloud of smoke when fired.
POWDER FUNNEL: A
helpful accessory that facilitates transfer of powder.
POWDER MEASURE: An adjustable volumetric measure that
lets out uniform charges of powder.
POWDER SCALE: A device used to weigh charges of powder.
SMOKELESS: A modern propellant
containing mainly nitrocellulose or both nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin.
Relatively little smoke is created when fired.
Formula for determining points scored and category of competition in IPSC
Action Shooting competition. Major Power Factor is scored higher
than minor power factor on all B - C and D zone hits on the target.
To determine the IPSC power factor use: Weight x Velocity ÷ 1000.
POWER FACTOR FORMULA
(grains) x Velocity (measured in feet per second) and Divided by
Major Power Factor
165 or Above - Minor Power Factor 125 - 164
You do the Math
Factor = Weight x Velocity ÷ 1000 = Power Factor
Typical .45 ACP
230 x 820 = 188600 ÷ 1000 = 188 Power Factor
230 grain .45
ACP @ 820 fps = 188 Power Factor - Scored as Major
125 x 1250 = 156250 ÷ 1000 = 156 Power Factor
125 grain 9mm
bullet at 1250 fps would make a 156 Power Factor - Scored
Major Power factor was changed to 165 on 1 May 2000
Note: For IDPA
Power Factor use the same formula but do not divide by 1000
POWER FLOOR: A minimum allowable power factor.
IDPA has a power floor of 125,000 calculated as bullet weight (grains) x
velocity (feet per second). This is equivalent to the minor power
floor of 125 in IPSC. IDPA does not divide by 1000 for
PPK: Walther's Pistol Police
AR-15 SERIAL NUMBERS
Written by Patrick Sweeney
Northwest Gunsmithing, Redford, MI
PRE-BAN AND POST-BAN . . .
Or, how to work on
and buy AR rifles without getting yourself in trouble.
What with the Crime Bill (now the
Crime Law) behind us, gunsmiths and retailers who deal in used
firearms will be seeing AR's and their clones in a variety of
configurations. The problem is, not all of these rifles will be
legal under the very specific requirements of the current law.
According to the law, a rifle is an "assault weapon" if it has a
detachable magazine, and two or more of the following:
1) A folding or telescoping
2) A pistol grip that protrudes
conspicuously beneath the action.
3) A bayonet mount.
4) A flash suppressor or
threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor.
5) A grenade launcher.
This means that you can have a
detachable magazine and one other of the features. Also, according
to the law, you can't assemble such a rifle from parts on hand and a
spare lower receiver, which I'll explain in greater detail, later.
But, you can still own, sell, trade and repair the existing ones.
Can you still make them as rifles
used in competition? Sure. For High Power competition, rifles
without flash-hiders and bayonet lugs have been approved. For
U.S.P.S.A. three gun competition, you can attach a compensator
provided it isn't a flash-hider. For most compensators this isn't a
problem, because they actually enhance the flash. But, some
compensators (the Muzzle-Miser comes to mind) have flash-hiders
incorporated into their design. You can't attach such a design to a
Post-ban rifle, even if you don't use threads. A slip-on flash
suppressor pinned in place would not be allowed.
Can you use a threaded barrel and
silver-solder or weld the compensator to it? Theoretically, yes.
But, I wouldn't. Underneath that compensator are threads, and the
law specifically says no threads. A few minutes with a torch and off
spins the compensator. Welded? That would be better, but I
personally wouldn't. Epoxy? Get out of here. A few minutes with a
propane torch and you're in a heap o' trouble.
Press it on, solder it, cross-pin
it, use set screws, but, just to be safe, don't thread it on. Then
again, a compensator isn't allowed for NRA High Power Competition,
but that's a match rule, not the law.
The same rules apply when
silver-soldering on a cap to cover the threads, with some idea of
uncovering them if some future event takes place and the law is
changed. The thing to do, if you really want to do a Pre-ban upper
to a Post-ban lower and the barrel is threaded, cut the threads off
and re-crown the barrel. This is completely legal so long as the
barrel was never installed onto the rifle when it had threads.
One case I heard of third-hand, is
of a shooter who had his barrel threaded for a non-standard thread
(not fit - 28 tpi) to screw on his compensator on the theory that
since a flash-hider couldn't be installed on the barrel, he was
okay. I'm glad I don't know him personally, as I wouldn't look
forward to telling him his setup is unlawful. The law says "no
threads" not "you can't use the standard thread pattern".
One approach, used by JP-Enter-
prises on rifles they assemble, is to use a thumbhole-style stock to
remove the "conspicuous pistol grip" and then install a threaded
barrel. Hmmmmm. As enticing as it seems, stocks are too easily
changed for me to be enthusiastic about this approach. If I had an
okay in writing from the BATF for a particular stock design I might
try it. I bet JP Enterprises does!
Obviously, if you have a mixed
inventory NEVER mix uppers between Pre-and Post-ban
rifles. Installing Post-ban uppers on Pre-ban lowers is allowed, but
why would you? But, how can you tell just which kind of rifle you
have? Suppose a customer comes in your shop with an AR-15 clone in
need of repair or modification. How can you tell if it's a Pre- or
Post-ban rifle. In some cases this would be easy, but if you're not
familiar with the particular manufacturer it may not be so easy
because AR-15's and clones fall into three broad groups. Pre-ban,
middle group, and Post-ban.
When the law was signed, the
various manufacturers were caught with shop floors full of rifles in
some stage of assembly and the BATF made a slight change in how the
law would be interpreted. Previously, a rifle was a serial numbered
receiver. After the Crime Bill became law, they defined a rifle as
an assembled rifle, or a parts kit together as a package. That
means, if you were making AR's and had 5,000 finished receivers in
inventory, but had only enough parts to assemble 1,000 receivers
into complete rifles, you now had 1,000 Pre-ban rifles and 4,000
Post-ban receivers in your shop, even though the receivers were
manufactured before the bill had been signed into law. To make
things even worse for identification purposes, the serial numbers
may not have been in strict numerical order.
Also, add in this additional
complication: if you as a retail customer or dealer had a lower
receiver on hand that was manufactured before the law was signed,
but you didn't have all the parts on hand to assemble it into a
complete rifle, you could not now assemble it into a legal, Pre-ban
rifle. If you had all the parts on hand before the bill was signed
into law, you could still assemble it into a legal, Pre-ban
If someone comes into your shop
with a box full of parts, and wants you to assemble it into a rifle,
you had better see the invoices for the parts so you can verify that
they were all purchased before September 13, 1994. Without invoices
to prove when the parts were purchased, it would not be legal to
assemble it into a Pre-ban rifle. However, if he has invoices to
prove all parts were in his possession prior to the signing of the
Crime Bill, then it's okay to build it. Can you fit a new upper to a
Post-ban rifle? Sure. If it is a parts kit with a threaded barrel
you'll have to cut off the threads and grind or file off the bayonet
Can you still buy a barrel that's
threaded? Yes. Just don't put it on a Post-ban lower. You can put a
threaded barrel onto a Pre-ban rifle that needs a replacement
barrel. Pre-ban guns were grand fathered in as part of the law.
If you are offered a bare lower
that shows no signs of ever having been assembled, be cautious. You
never know when it may be a test. Also, closely inspect every
magazine of an over-10 round capacity that shows up in your shop.
We've already had one wholesaler send us a pistol with a pair of
"law enforcement only" marked magazines. Needless to say, we didn't
even wait for the UPS truck to show up to get those back on their
way to the factory. Hidden in that box of bargains someone is
selling you from his dead Uncle's collection may be potential
My thanks to Reid Coffield, head of
Brownells Technical Support Group, for his sage advice,
encouragement and the opportunity to add to the collective knowledge
of the Gunsmithing community. I sincerely hope this keeps all
gunsmiths out there out of trouble!
I've assembled a short list of many
of the manufacturers of AR-15 rifles and clones. Also included is
the person that you can speak with if you need information on a
specific serial number. If you are in doubt as to just when the
rifle you're dealing with was manufactured you might want to make a
phone call and find out. Just to be on the safe side.
P.O. Box 299
Geneseo, IL 61254
Post-ban cutoff right around 30,000.
Because of the jumbled numbers, call Krista and she can tell you
what status the rifle had when they last saw it.
- Colt's Manufacturing
P.O. Box 1868
Hartford, CT 06144
All "Match Target" rifles are
Post-ban. Colt actually has serial number cutoffs, these are the
last Pre-ban numbers in each series: CC001616, NL004800, TA10100,
CHOI 9500, SL027284, BD000134, GCOI 8500, SP380200, LH011326,
Defense Procurement Manufacturers
13983 Industry Ave.
Becker, MN 55308
Jumbled serial numbers, call to get
the history of suspect receivers.
- Olympic Arms
620 Old Pacific Hwy.
Olympia, WA 98513
Post-ban production is year-prefixed,
but they too, had receivers in the "float". Non-prefixed serial
numbers are not a guarantee of actual Pre-ban status. Newer Post Ban
Oly Lowers are labeled PCR for "Politically Correct Rifle".
Quality Parts Co.
999 Roosevelt Trail
Wingham, ME 04062
Serials above 1063000 are positively
Post-ban, otherwise call to be sure.
- Essential Arms Co.
P.O. Box 121
Krotz Springs, LA 70750
All receivers were manufactured
before the Crime Bill was signed. Almost everyone shipped before the
signing. E. A. never assembled or sold complete rifles, so all
receivers were shipped as receivers only. You're on your own. Closed
up, and quit manufacture as of March 31, 1996.
- Pac-West Arms
2729 Glenmore Ct. SE
Definite serial cutoff. Last Pre-ban
lower is #35,222. All PWA Post-ban receivers are given a year
PRESSURE: Force per unit area,
measured in interior ballistics terms of pounds per square inch. The force
exerted by a burning charge of powder in the chamber of a firearm.
Expressed normally in pounds per square inch.
PRIMER: A small metal cap
containing the detonating mixture which is used to ignite the propellant
charge. The ignition component of a cartridge, generally made up of a
metallic fulminate or (currently) lead styphnate. The primer
is the tiny nub in the center of most ammunition (or along the rim of
.22-caliber ammunition). When struck it will cause a small spark inside
the cartridge, igniting the powder and firing the bullet.
PRIMER POCKET: The cavity in the base of a cartridge
which receives and supports the primer.
PRISM: A solid figure of optical
glass whose bases or ends have the same size and shape and are parallel to
one another, and each of whose sides is a parallelogram. A transparent
body of this form, often of glass and usually with triangular ends, used
for separating white light passed through it into a spectrum or for
reflecting beams of light.
PRISM SIGHT: An optical
instrument or "Scope" that uses a prism for optical clarity and
differential range finding. Also used for spectrographic analysis.
Differential Range Finding is made possible by a looking or sighting
through different widths of the prism and comparing the distance from two
SYSTEM: Prismatic Sighting System are used
in range finding equipment and inclinometers. The typical
Prismatic Sighting System has a clear, open to light, parallax-free
prismatic magnification system on top of an aluminum or metal housing,
making it extremely easy to obtain accurate range and distance readings
even in dark conditions. The Silva Combi Compass uses a prismatic sighting
system that is extraordinarily accurate
PROJECTILE: A ball,
shot or bullet fired from a firearm. The projectile is typically a
metallic object, like a bullet or a contact or proximity fused artillery
shell or mortar shell, that is "Propelled" down range by the ignition of
the gun powder or "propellant".
PROOF MARK: A stamped
or engraved symbol. Proof marks are usually applied to all
parts actually tested, but normally appear on the barrel (and possibly
frame), usually indicating the country of origin and circa of proof
(especially on European firearms). In the U.S., there is no federalized or
government proof house, only the manufacturer's in-house proof mark
indicating that a firearm has passed its internal quality control
standards per government specifications.
PROOF MARK: On
European guns, is quite specific, indicating proof house and all proofs
performed, sometimes also date of proof. Proof marks are
applied to all parts actually tested, usually on the barrel, and that in
the white that is, not blued, and without sights. In the U.S., there is no
federalized or government proof house, only the manufacturer's in-house
proof mark indicating that a firearm has passed their internal quality
control standards per government specifications.
PROPELLANT: In a firearm the
chemical composition that is ignited by the primer to generate rapidly
expanding gasses. In most firearms, the propellant is typically a form of
"Gun Powder" or in primitive arms a variant of "Black Powder". In air guns
or pellet guns, the propellant is typically compressed air or CO2.
PUMP GUN: Common name
for a slide action repeating firearm. As in a "Pump Shotgun".
PUMP SHOTGUN - PUMP ACTION
SHOTGUN: A slide action shotgun. The type of "Action" typical of
a shotgun, where the action is cocked, cycled and unlocked with the
cartridges or shells being loaded and ejected by way of sliding or
"pumping" the Fore-End Grip from its forward (locked) position to its rear
most (unlocked) position. See illustration below.
ANATOMY OF A
PUMP OR SLIDE ACTION SHOTGUN
Cartridges or shells are
typically loaded through the magazine loading port on the bottom of
the receiver and stored in the magazine or magazine tube located
under the barrel. When the trigger is pulled or the slide
release button is depressed, the action is cycled by sliding or
pumping the for-end grip to the rear, all the way back
until it stops. This action slides the bolt to the rear, opens
the ejection port and ejects the spent cartridge or shell. As
the for-end grip is slid or pumped forward, the bolt moves forward,
the ejection port closes and a shell is lifted up from the magazine
and inserted into the chamber of the barrel and the trigger is
reset. The action must be manually cycled by pumping or
sliding the for-end grip from front to rear and back to front after
each subsequent round is fired.
PUNT GUN: A very large flint or percussion lock rifle used during the
early 1800's to the mid 1900's to shoot game birds and water foul.
The Worlds Largest Sporting Arms
Punt Gun in Gunning Punt
|Punt Guns are very
large flint or percussion lock firearms, used during the early
1800's to the mid 1950's to shoot large parties of game birds,
typically water foul.
Punt Guns were
usually single barreled and were made in form and function very
similar to any number of muzzle loading percussion lock guns, but
on a greatly larger scale.
Punt Guns were typically 8 to 14 feet long,
weighing upwards of 150 to 200 pounds, with a barrel length of 9
to 12 feet and with a bore diameter of up to 5 inches.
Because of their size they were normally
mounted or lashed to a small "Gunning Punt" or canoe,
similar to a shallow draft kayak, after they were loaded.
Some were yoke mounted near the water front or spiked to a ground
mount and simply laid on or near the ground at the waters edge.
|The loading process was very
complicated and it often took the "punter" more than an hour to
load a single shot. One shot could hold between 6 ounces and
1 1/2 pounds of shot. Punt Guns would be loaded with black
powder and shot and then attached to a stand setting on or near
the water or lashed on to the small punting boat.
Gunning Punt - Punting Boat with small Punt Gun
The punter, hunter or commercial gamer would
then use small paddles to quietly row the "Punt" into an area with
several game birds. The birds were "pot shot" while they sat
upon the water. The punt boat would absorb the massive
recoil, typically moving the boat backwards several feet.
When fired the Punt Gun was capable of falling 20 to 40 game birds
or water foul with one shot. There are reports of a Punt Gun
falling over 100 birds with one shot.
In the late 1800's Punting was fashionable
with rich armature hunters and a demand for breech loading punt
guns produced fine examples of breech-loading punters, several of
which are still in use by British Gaming Clubs and displayed in
museums today. The most famous punt guns being made by
Holland & Holland and Sir Thomas Bland, both of London.
Bland still occasionally make a six-ounce screw breech gun as well
as a double four bore, designed so that both barrels can be fired
at ounce with the pull of a lanyard. The four bore shoots a
total charge of six (6) ounces.
Many hunters, naturalists and sportsmen
believe that Punt Gunning is simply "murder" and is not sporting
or humane. Punt guns were banned in 1910 and finally
disappeared in the 1930s. Punt Gunning is still illegal in the
United States and was restricted in Great Britain by the Wild
Birds Act of 1954, to a Punt Gun with a barrel diameter smaller
than 1 3/4 inches. Even today, Punting and Punt Guns are
listed as prohibited in American Hunting Regulations such as the
example taken from the North Carolina Game Bird Regulations that
follow. " No person shall take migratory game birds with
trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than
10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fishhook,
poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance."
PUNTER: One who hunts with or other wise uses a "Punt Gun".
Today in Great Britain the term refers to a sportsman, a gambler or more
commonly a "bookie".
PYRODEX: A trade name for a
black powder substitute, the only such safe substitute known at this time.