SA: Abbreviation for Single Action. See Single Action below.
SA-7 (SA-7 GRAIL): Soviet designed, now Russian made, man portable shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile system with Soviet model designation "Strela 2M" - Strela is Russian for "arrow". Designated "SA-7A" by the United States, and SA7 "Grail" by NATO. Entered production in 1967 with the improved Strela-2M fielded in 1970. The low -altitude missile was designed to provide tactical ground forces and shipboard personnel a man portable, easy to use anti-aircraft missile. Typically employed against low flying aircraft in the ground attack or air support role due to it's limited range. Further employed to deter enemy pilots from flying "under the radar." The SA7 has a relatively unsophisticated tracking device and is most effective when fired from directly behind a jet, or "head-on" at an approaching helicopter, as the missiles ability to lock on is thermal and determined by acquiring a heat source from the targeted aircraft. Later models include IFF - Identification Friend or Foe systems that can be fitted to the operator's helmet.
SAAMI: Acronym for Sporting Arms Ammunition Manufacturers Institute - http://www.SAAMI.org SAAMI Sets Product Standards for Firearms and Ammunition. For example the ratings for P and +P ammo are SAAMI specifications.
SABOT: A lightweight carrier in which a projectile of a smaller caliber is centered so as to permit firing the projectile within a larger-caliber weapon. The carrier fills the bore of the weapon from which the projectile is fired; it is normally discarded a short distance from the muzzle.
Gunnery Speak: Sabot is pronounced "Say Boe". Pronunciation Key (s-b, sb) A lightweight carrier or shoe that surrounds or encases a heavier projectile of reduced caliber and diameter. This system allows a firearm to shoot ammunition for which it is not chambered. By using a small diameter and lighter weight projectile in a large bore and more importantly in a cartridge with a case capacity much larger than that of a small diameter or sub-caliber projectile, one can produce very high velocity projectiles that are inherently accurate. As in standard physics and in standard hand loading of ammunition, if the same amount of propellant is used for a light weight projectile, the lighter projectile will have a higher velocity.
Sabots like Rabbits - Oh my!
SABOT, SUPER: Brenneke Super Sabot or Super Sabot. See Super Sabot below.
SAFE BOLT SYSTEM: The Safe Bolt System or SBS was developed by Steyr Mannlicher, the world famous Austrian firearms manufacturer. SBS incorporates an ambidextrous roller tang safety with three positions. As an added measure of safety, when the safety is in the Safe position the bolt handle may be moved to the Double Lock/Safe position. The firing pin is now locked. For further safety, the SBS rifles feature a receiver safety bushing, front locking lugs, bolt grooves, and a drop lock magazine.
SAFETY DEVICE: A device which prevents unintentional functioning.
SAFETY SLUG: See also Glaser Safety Slug - Frangible ammunition designed to prevent over penetration and for enhanced safety in training and close quarters shooting environments. GLASER SAFETY SLUG, Inc. developed the first frangible bullet in 1974 to provide reduced ricochet and over-penetration danger with improved stopping power over conventional bullets.
SAKO LTD: Sako Limited is a Finish based firearms, ammunition and sporting goods manufacturer. Pronounced `Sock oh. Sako Ltd. manufacturers fine rifles, military equipment, optics, mounts and ammunition. Sako is also the parent company of Tikka. In my personal experience Sako rifles are the finest quality rifle made in there price range and maybe the most rifle you can get for your money. For more information see the detail block below.
SALVO: 1. In naval gunfire support, a method of fire in which a number of weapons are fired at the same target simultaneously. 2. In close air support or air interdiction operations, a method of delivery in which the release mechanisms are operated to release or fire all ordnance of a specific type simultaneously.
SASR: U.S. military acronym for "Special Applications Scoped Rifle". The SASR is the SOPMOD version of the Barrett caliber .50, M82A1, semi-automatic rifle. See Special Applications Scoped Rifle below.
SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL: A catchy phrase having no legal or technical meaning. The term is typically used to refer to cheap, small caliber pistols and revolvers. In the current political climate, which is largely anti-gun, some politicians have moved to restrict the sale and manufacturing of the so called "Saturday Night Specials". In real life there are several inexpensive small pistols and revolvers that can be used effectively for home and self defense. I strongly advocate using a good quality firearm for home and self defense, but for those with limited resources, these small inexpensive firearms may be the only option.
SAUER, J.P. SAUER & SOHN: When in 1751 the company J. P. Sauer & Son was founded, no-one could foresee that in time that name would become a world-wide synonym for high quality hunting and sporting rifles. Path breaking developments in the field of hunting weapons and a substantial amount of patents document the creativity and commercial success of SAUER's company policy within the last 250 years.
Today, the complete manufacturing of the products is based on up-to-date processing and technology. SAUER's marketing policy is always focused on the different demands in our market segments. The selected SAUER products shown in the pictures, verify some steps of design and development in our history. At any time it was always a special privilege to be the owner of a SAUER small arm.
SAW: Acronym for Squad Automatic Weapon. See SAW(S) below.
SAWS: Acronym for Squad Automatic Weapon System.
SBS: Abbreviation for Safe Bolt System developed by Steyr Mannlicher.
SCABBARD: A leather or synthetic sheath into which a rifle is placed for carrying on horseback.
SCATTERGUN: Synonym for shotgun. Scattergun Technologies is a company that modifies shotguns for tactical and police use.
SCHEDULED FIRE: A type of prearranged fire executed at a predetermined time.
SCHEDULE OF TARGETS: The predetermined order in which targets in a course of fire will be engaged. 2. In artillery and naval gunfire support, individual targets, groups or series of targets to be fired on, in a definite sequence according to a definite program.
SCHNABEL FOREND: The curved or carved flared end of the forend that resembles the beak of a bird (Schnabel in German). This type of forend is common on Austrian and German guns; was popular in the U.S., but the popularity of the Schnabel forend/forearm comes and goes with the seasons. A Schnabel forend is often seen on custom stocks and rifles. Erroneously also called Shnoble or Schnobel.
SCOPE: A telescopic sight affixed to a firearm, which allows the user to aim more precisely over longer distances. The lines crossing inside the scope are called "reticules" and come in different styles. Some reticules allow the user to estimate range by acting as a form of "optical ruler". In order to function properly, a scope must be calibrated, or "zeroed" once it is mounted.
SCOUT RIFLE: A concept popularized by eminent gun writer Col. Jeff Cooper. A scout rifle, generally, is a bolt action carbine firing a medium power round suitable for taking large game (e.g., .308), fitted with a long eye-relief telescopic sight mounted on the barrel, and a back up set of iron sights.
SCUD MISSILE: Soviet designed, now Russian made ballistic missile of the FROG (Free Rocket Over Ground) variety. The Soviet Union started design of the Scud following World War II, using blueprints for the German V2 Rocket. The SS-1B (Scud A) entered service in 1955 and the SS-1C (Scud B) entered service in 1962. Nuclear, chemical and high explosive warheads were designed for the Scud B. There are reports that the Soviets designed two further Scud variants, known as the SS-1D (Scud C) and the SS-1E (Scud D). The Iraqis developed their own Scud version, the Al Hussein, which was fired into Israel and Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. It is believed that North Korea and a few other countries now make and export SCUD Missile variants.
SEARCHING FIRE: Fire distributed in depth by successive changes in the elevation of a gun.
SEATING DEPTH: The
depth to which a bullet is seated below the case mouth.
SECTIONAL DENSITY: A bullet's weight, in pounds, divided by the square of its' diameter in inches.
SECOND AMENDMENT: The second article in the United States Bill of Rights which states, "A well regulated militia being necessary for a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Note that the Bill of Rights is a statement of the rights of the all citizens accorded them by their creator and that freedoms implied by the ten articles are not privileges granted by the state nor can they be denied the citizens by the state.
SECTOR OF FIRE: A defined area which is required to be covered by the fire of individual or crew served weapons or the weapons of a unit.
A military combat mission exemplified by operations designed to obtain
information about the enemy and provide reaction time, maneuver space, and
protection to the main body. Security operations are characterized
by aggressive reconnaissance to reduce terrain and enemy unknowns, gaining
and maintaining contact with the enemy to ensure continuous information,
and providing early and accurate reporting of information to the protected
SELECT FIRE: A firearm that can be switched from semi-automatic to automatic fire mode by the manipulation of a selector lever or switch. Select fire guns are categorized by the U.S. government as machine guns, in accordance with the National Firearms Act or NFA. Many modern military "select fire" weapons incorporate three-shot-burst mode in lieu of full automatic mode or a burst mode and automatic mode. Typical "selector" positions are Safe - Semi - Burst - Auto.
SEMI-AUTOMATIC: A firearm designed to fire a single cartridge, eject the empty case and reload the chamber each time the trigger is pulled. Semi-Automatic Pistols and Rifles are often refereed to as Automatics or Auto's but this is technically incorrect. SEMI-AUTOMATIC 2: A type of firearm which, by pulling the trigger, utilizes the energy of recoil or the powder gases, together with a heavy counter-balanced bolt and strong bolt spring, to eject the fired case, load a fresh cartridge from the magazine into chamber, and close the breech ready to fire another round. The trigger must be pulled for each shot.
SEMI-FIXED AMMUNITION: Ammunition in which the cartridge case is not permanently attached to the projectile. This type of ammunition is typical of large field guns and allows the rounds to be modified to best suit the specific target type.
SEMI WAD CUTTER: A type of bullet shaped like a cylinder with a truncated cone on one end. The base of the cone is slightly smaller in diameter than the diameter of the bullet, so a shoulder is formed where they join. Semi wad cutters are used in target shooting, hunting, and defensive applications, especially in jurisdictions where hollow points are prohibited by law. Also known as a "Keith-style" bullet, after gun writer Elmer Keith, who espoused their use for hunting. Abbreviated SWC.
SEPARATE LOADING AMMUNITION: Ammunition in which the projectile and charge are loaded into a gun separately. most black powder, muzzle loading firearms use separate loading ammunition as do large field guns and some types of artillery.
SERVICE AMMUNITION: Ammunition intended for combat, rather than for training purposes.
SHELL: To hit or attack a target with artillery fire. 2. The explosive projectile fired from a cannon. Slang used to describe "Ammunition Cartridge" as in "Shotgun or Rifle Shell."
SHELL HOLDER: This is
attached to the top of the ram and holds the heads of cartridge cases as
they are moved up and down, into and out of the die.
SHORT ACTION: A rifle action designed for shorter cartridges.
SHOCK: The transference of the kinetic energy of a bullet to animal tissue or other mediums. Normally shock, not the wound, cause the person or animal to fall.
SHOULDER: The projection of a bottle necked cartridge case from the neck to the case body; or, the point at which the head of a projectile joins the cylindrical rear portion.
SHOULDER FIRED: A firearm that is designed to be fired from the shoulder. Although most "Long Guns" [ Rifles, Sub Machine Guns & Shotguns ] are shoulder fired, some pistols have detachable "Shoulder Stocks" or stock like attachment that facilitate long distance target acquisition and or stability for tactical operations.
SHOTGUN: A long gun that is typically shoulder fired and with a smooth bore, though some shotgun barrels are rifled. Shotguns are primarily intended for firing multiple small, round projectiles, (shot, birdshot, pellets), larger shot (buck shot), single round balls (pumpkin balls) and cylindrical slugs. Some shotgun barrels have rifling to give better accuracy with slugs and discarding sabot rounds and with some advanced designs groove like inserts for greater pattern spread to birdshot. Shotgun 2: A type of long gun (appearing like a heavy-barreled rifle) that is designed to fire shotgun shells. The most common type of shotgun shell does not contain a single projectile or bullet, but rather a collection of smaller pellets similar to BB's that leave the barrel in a cluster and begin to fan out or spread as they get farther from the muzzle of the gun. This "Spread Shot Pattern"
Shotgun 101: Shotguns and ammunition can be selected to tailor the size of the pellets, the number of pellets, and the degree to which they fan out. Because a shotgun can cover a wide area in a single shot, it has considerable appeal in hunting, law enforcement and home defense roles. Shotguns may have one or two barrels, with double-barrel variants appearing in "side by side" or "over and under" orientations.
Shotguns are commonly available as single-shot, semiautomatic, or pump. When a pump shotgun, which is really a SLIDE ACTION is fired, the user must pull back the forearm or hand guard and pump or slide the handle (which generally doubles as the gripping surface under the barrel) to eject the empty shell case, and push the pump / slide action handle back to the forward position to load a fresh shell into the chamber and to reset the trigger or striker to the cocked position. A complete cycle of the slide / pump returns the shotgun to the firing position. Shotguns are also capable of firing SABOT (pronounced SAY BOE ) and riffled and smooth bore "Slug" ammunition. They can also be used to fire various flares, noise makers, CS or so-called Tear Gas as well as flame throwing and other novelty rounds.
For specific information on the Shotgun
see the detail box below.
Action - the moving parts that allow you to load, fire and unload your shotgun. (See Breech, Chamber, Trigger)
Barrel Selector - determines which barrel of a double barrel gun will fire first.
Blacking / Bluing - the blue coloration applied to protect gun barrels.
Bore - in simple terms the interior diameter of a gun barrel, which will vary according to the gun's design and intended use. The size of the bore is indicated by the term gauge. Also someone who goes on interminably about shooting to the exclusion of all other subjects.
Breech - portion of the barrel into which a cartridge is loaded.
Broken Gun - in a hinge type gun, where the barrels are dropped open and clear of the action, exposing the chambers to view.
Butt - the rear of the shoulder end of the gun's stock.
Comb - the side of the stock that fits against your cheek.
Chamber - part of the barrel that contains the cartridge at the instant of firing.
Choke - the degree of narrowing or constriction of the bore at the muzzle end of the barrel, intended to increase the effective range of the gun. (See Full, Modified, and Improved Cylinder)
Ejector - the mechanism on shotguns by which spent shot cases are automatically ejected from the gun when it is opened after firing.
Forearm - the part of the stock that lies under the barrel.
Full Choke - the tightest constriction or narrowing of the bore, producing the greatest effective range.
Grip - the narrow portion of the stock held with the trigger hand.
Gauge - the term used to describe the interior diameter of the bore. The smaller the gauge number, the larger the bore size. Modern shotguns are available in 10, 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauge. An exception is the .410 bore shotgun, which is actually a 67 gauge.
Improved Cylinder - least constricted or narrowed choke causing shot pattern to widen relatively quickly.
Modified Choke - moderate constriction or narrowing of the bore.
Muzzle - the end of the barrel from which the shot exits.
Over-and-Under - a two-barreled shotgun with one barrel placed over the other.
Pump - a
type of action that loads and ejects shells by "pumping" the forearm of
the stock back and forth.
Recoil - the force with which the gun moves backwards into the shoulder when fired.
Safety - a mechanical device incorporated into a firearm design to help prevent an accidental discharge.
Semi-Automatic - a type of action which uses the energy from the shell that being fired to eject the spent case, cock the action and then reload a fresh cartridge without any additional action on the part of the shooter, also called self-loading. Semi-automatics are noted for minimal recoil.
Shot - round projectiles, usually of lead or steel. Depending on shot size and load, a shell can contain from 45 to 1,170 individual pieces of shot.
Shot Pattern - the concentration of shot measured in a circle at a given range, usually 30 to 40 yards.
Side-By-Side - a shotgun with two barrels sitting side by side. In Great Britain, the standard game shooting weapon.
Stock - the "handle" of the shotgun, the part held to the shoulder, comprising the butt, comb, grip, and forearm.
Shot shell or Shell - the ammunition fired by shotguns, consisting of five components: the case, primer, powder charge, wad, and shot. A shot shell is to shotguns are a cartridge is to handguns and rifles.
Trigger - the portion of the lock mechanism which when pulled by the shooters finger mechanism releases the sear and/or firing pin to discharge the firearm.
It's Largely Common Sense
Because that's what safe shotgun handling and shooting largely consists of. Good old common sense, applied over and over and over again until it becomes pure instinct. And if you're an old pro to who safety rules are second nature, why not review them anyway? Like chicken soup, if it doesn't help, it couldn't hurt. And the few minutes you spend could keep you from getting careless or falling into bad habits.
In simpler terms, safe handling of your shotgun is whatever prevents you from firing accidentally, or prevents injury or damage if such a discharge does occur:
Eye & Ear Protection
Many shot gunners have wondered how much displacement of the pattern is caused by the motion of the barrel as the shot is fired. Everyone has noticed, when throwing an object from a moving car, that its path has both an outward component from the force of the throw and a forward component from the motion of the car.
This same effect applies to shot patterns. If, for example, a shooter fired on a target crossing 30 yards distant with a load producing a muzzle velocity of 1300 f.p.s., and swung the barrel at 10 m.p.h., the initial direction of the shot charge would be altered by about 26 minutes of angle, or about 8" at 30 yards.
It readily can be seen that this effect adds only a little to the forward allowance necessary to hit the target. In shot gunning, there is no substitute for lead.
The near-universal use of plastic shot shells has rendered obsolete the old terms high and low base, but plastic shells are made in a wide variety of head designs, and even without brass heads.
During the paper-shell era, solid paper wads (in the shell base) were made in high, medium and low configurations, depending on the powder being used. A high base wad was called for when small powder volumes were used.
The brass height was inversely related to base height. If the top of the brass was at the same level as the top of the base wad, tubes would often separate at the head when the cartridge was fired. So low-base shells -- those with a large, heavy powder charge -- used high brass so the brass would be above the top of the base wad.
Conversely, in a field or target load where a high base wad was used with a light powder charge, low brass was used so the top of the brass would be below the highest point of the base wad.
Today the brass portion of the shell (more often brass-colored steel) has a primarily decorative role. All-plastic shells like Cavim, Eclipse and Activ have demonstrated that some compression-formed plastics are quite strong enough for shot shell use with no metal reinforcement (it should be noted that all-paper shells were tried, too). Tall brass is still used on high-powered shells (especially those from Italy), but its purpose is marketing appeal.
Shooters often want a rule of thumb to estimate shot spread at a given range. So many variables are involved -- choke, velocity, shot hardness, etc., that a firm rule is almost impossible to devise.
A good rough rule, however, is this one. When fired from a full-choke gun, the pattern will spread roughly 1" per yard. When fired from an improved-cylinder gun, it will spread roughly 1 ¾" per yard. Other degrees of choke will spread proportionally.
It should be noted that this applies to any gauge, since extreme spread is little affected by gauge. The larger gauges simply have the ability to fill in the pattern with more shot.
Many shot gunners buy 2¾" or 3" magnum ammunition under the impression that striking energy of each pellet is somehow greater. This is not the case. The advantage of magnum shells is the greater shot charge weight, and thus pattern density, they provide.
Magnum shells are generally no greater in velocity than high-velocity shells, so each pellet is driven at a similar speed. The magnum's advantage is that more pellets are thrown.
It is this increased pattern density that allows magnum ammunition to provide better performance at long range.
The figure shows how the pattern diameter corresponds roughly to the range. It should be remembered, however, that it is the area that the shot charge must cover that is important. Areas of circles are to each other as the squares of the diameters. Even a small increase in diameter results in a large increase in area, and a correspondingly severe thinning of the pattern.
For equal pattern density, the range of the 1½ oz. Load is to the range of the 1¼ oz. Load as the square root of 1.5 is to the square root of 1.25 or about 1.10. Thus the range increase for the heavier load is about 10%.
Of course, when magnum and standard
ammunition are compared at the same range, the magnum provides "insurance"
pattern coverage, though at a cost in expense, muzzle blast and recoil.
It has been thought by some hunters that small shot penetrates better because its small cross-section will encounter less resistance.
This idea is quite incorrect. The fallacy in it is obvious when it is carried to its logical conclusion; that a round cannonball would penetrate a much shorter distance than a small shot pellet.
The belief would be correctly founded if penetration by shot pellets took place as the result of an outside force applied to the pellets during penetration, pushing them through the target. This situation does not exist.
The only force carrying a projectile through its target arises from its own velocity and weight. Assuming like velocities, then the only factors making for different penetrations by non-deforming round shot will be weight and area. The weights of spheres of the same material will be to each other as the cubes of their diameters. However, the areas they present will be only as the squares of their diameters.
With the available force varying as the diameter cubed, and the resistance varying only as the diameter squared, it is obvious that the penetration will, be as D3 divided by D2, which equals D itself. That is, penetration goes up strictly in accordance with the diameter of the shot.
This amply confirmed fact applies to penetration both in solid substances and in air, and is the reason why large shot retain their velocity in flight better than small shot.
Trajectory of rifle and pistol bullets is extensively studied and is the subject of countless tables for finding drop at various ranges. Each pellet in a charge of shot drops as it flies toward its target due to the force of gravity, just as a single rifle bullet drops in its flight.
The amount of drop, however, is too small to require consideration in most real-world applications. For example, the drop of a shot charge at 50 yards, about the maximum range for most shot gunning, is about 5". Leads on flying targets at that range are a matter of yards, so the 5" drop fades into insignificance.
During market-hunting days, when professional wildfowlers used 8ga, 4ga, and even larger punt guns to flock-shoot waterfowl at long ranges; drop was a more important consideration. But since most shooters have enough trouble just calculating lead, they will do better to disregard drop.
The system of expressing shotgun bore sizes by gauge rather than by decimal or metric measurements is, like many things, relating to smoothbores, a result of long tradition. Numbered gauges represent the number of round lead balls fitting the bore required to make a pound. Letter gauges were used for some of the very large bore sizes.
There was originally no distinction in this connection between shotguns and ball guns, since all were smooth-bored and could be fired with either shot or ball. The gauge system was continued for rifles in gauges up to No. 1 (1.669") until recent decades, and is still correct for smoothbores intended to shoot a single bullet. Its eventual abandonment for rifles was due to the great elongation of many rifle bullets, which caused bore size to be no longer a useful indication of the weight of bullet thrown.
The use of this system was due in part to the inability of the early gun makers and other craftsmen to perform accurate measurements. Not until the introduction of precise tool making and gauging techniques by Sir Joseph Whitworth, beginning about 1840, was it possible to measure gun bores, for example, with anything like the accuracy which we now consider commonplace. By contrast, it was always practicable to classify bores by approximate weight of the ball they took. This did not then signify a precise specification of bore diameter. The present standard bore diameters, though specified on the old rule, became possible only with the ability to make accurate measurements.
Note that the gauge system goes down only to No. 50, which was until comparatively recent times considered a small bore. Below that the actual bore diameter is used. So far as required, these gauge sizes are also used in the United States.
A more fundamental consideration in favor of the gauge system, however, was the fact that it rated the gun on the charge it shot. This was and is more important to the user than the mere size of the hole through the barrel. Even today, when extreme efforts are made to get disproportionately large charges into shot shells rather than go to a slightly larger gauge, the gauge system retains a great deal of usefulness in this way.
The gauge system has won out not only in the English-speaking countries but all over the world. This remarkable success is probably the best measure of its merit.
Shot shells once were made, both here and abroad, in an incredible profusion of varieties, with thousands of combinations of shell length, powder, wads and shot sizes available.
Today, the world has generally agreed on the U.S. 2 3/4", 3" and 3 1/2" dimensions for shot shells, but there are exceptions, especially in European target and light field loads.
These are found in lengths as short as 2" in Britain and on the Continent, but importers rarely bring in anything shorter than 65 mm (2 9/16"). Other common sizes are 67 mm (2 5/8") and 67.5 mm (2 21/32"). The standard 2 ¾" shell measures 70 mm, while the 3" Mag is designated 76 mm (dimensions approximate fired length).
Shotgun pattering can be as simple as firing against a painted steel plate or as complicated as using the 100-field German Halensee target. NRA has for many years used an eight-field target that provides a good deal of information without making pattering an unbearable task.
To pattern by the NRA method, set up a piece of Kraft paper at least 48" square on a framework that allows the shot to pass through freely. A sturdy barbed-wire fence will do in a pinch. Draw an aiming point large enough to be seen from the standard pattering distance of 40 yards (25 yards for .410s or skeet guns). A spray can of flat black paint makes an aiming point in one quick squirt. Mark the top of the target.
Step off the proper distance and fire, preferably from offhand and without taking deliberate aim.
For "Dope Bag" evaluations, the NRA Technical Staff fires 10 patterns from each barrel or choke tube under evaluation. This provides a very high margin of confidence when results are totaled and averaged. Most shot gunners will want to avoid the labor of shooting and counting so may patterns, but at least three or four should be fired to minimize the influence of flinching or other factors.
To evaluate the pattern, draw a 30" circle that encloses the greatest possible number of pellets. It may be necessary to draw the circle slightly off the pattern sheet. Next, draw a 21.21" circle concentric with the larger one. Then quarter the two circles with a straightedge. This divides the circle into eight equal areas.
Count each area and mark the total. Then add the totals for the inside four sections and the outer four. The total number of hits in the 30" circle is totaled next. Select five shot shells from the lot being tested and count the number of pellets in each. Then average the five totals. Divide the average by the number of hits in the 30" circle for the barrel's pattern percentage. The operation can be repeated for the 21.21" circle and the 30" ring formed by the four outer sections.
The gun's impact point is located by measuring the distance from the intersection of the quartering lines from the center of the aiming point. A properly regulated shotgun will place its pattern evenly around the aiming point (trap guns are generally designed to shoot high). Consistent pattering away from the aiming point, especially left or right, should be corrected by bending the barrel or by installation of an eccentric choke tube.
Pattern testing is one of the most tedious
tasks in the firearms world. But it is the only method that allows
accurate conclusions to be drawn about shotgun performance.
Certain states and localities prohibit rifles and require the use of shotgun slugs or buckshot for big game hunting, usually because they are considered safer for use in congested areas. Both slugs and buckshot have a very limited range in comparison with rifles.
Were it not for such laws, it is doubtful that many hunters would select slugs or especially buckshot for big game hunting. Range and accuracy are decisively inferior even to low-powered rifle cartridges, and some big-bore pistol rounds provide better energy.
Shotgun slugs should not be used at ranges greater than about 75 yards. Maximum effective range is limited as much by the slug's rapid decay of energy and velocity as by its poor accuracy. A typical shotgun slug loses 40% of its striking energy in traveling the first 50 yards. It loses 55% of that muzzle energy in traveling 75 yards, 60% in 100 yards. The substantial muzzle energy (2365 ft.-lbs. for a typical 12-ga. 1-oz. Slug at 1560 f.p.s.) drops to 1345 ft.-lbs. at 50 yards, and less than 1000 ft.-lbs. at 100 yards.
Accuracy of shotgun slugs is adequate for deer hunting at ranges up to about 50 yards from almost any shotgun, but the performance to be expected can be determined only by shooting a particular gun. Barrels vary considerably, and the type and brand of ammunition can have a considerable influence in the gun's grouping potential.
The dispersion of shotgun slugs is not inherently linear with the range. The typical dispersion of slugs at 100 yards is about 2.3 times what the same barrel and ammunition will do at 50 yards.
Shotgun slugs are made of very soft lead so they will expand to fit the bore on firing. Measurements based on spark shadowgraphs of slugs in flight indicate the axial length of a typical slug is reduced by about 30% during the few milliseconds from the strike of the firing pin until the soft lead projectile is ejected from the muzzle.
Buckshot is even more a short-range proposition than the slug. It is unreliable at ranges greater than about 25 yards, especially in the densely-wooded areas where it is most often required.
Though buckshot loads have been considerably improved in recent years by the use of harder shot, plastic wads and buffers, the improvements have been more in reliable lethality than in added range.
It has been a generally-accepted rule of thumb that 600 ft.-lbs. is the minimum energy required for reliable taking of whitetail deer. At 20 yards, this would require hits by three (of eight from a 2 ¾" shell) pellets of No. 000 Buck, or 12 (of 27) pellets of No. 4 Buck. No. 4 and No. 1 Buck are primarily used for very short-range hunting and some law-enforcement uses; the traditional 00 or 000 Buck loadings are best for deer. While No. 4 Buck has a per-pellet striking energy about equal to the .32 ACP pistol round, the energy of 000 Buck more closely resembles the usual 158-gr. .38 Special. round.
As is the case with slugs, hunters should carefully pattern several types and brands of buckshot ammunition to find the proper load for a particular gun. A load that will place all its pellets in a 19" circle at 25 yards is acceptable for most deer hunting.
Above all, keep shots within 25 yards - anything else constitutes unethical hunting.
In this country, choke designations are simply spelled out or abbreviated in some understandable way. In Europe, chokes are designated by codes. These are generally placed on the barrels or monoblock of double guns and on some visible part of choke tubes. While there are some variations among manufacturers, the general rule is: The more marks, the more open the choke. Marks are most often asterisks or stars on the gun itself, while choke tubes may be marked with a simple file cut.
The most common system is:
It should be borne in mind that many European guns have been made for fiber-wadded shells, and both bores and chokes are tight by American standards. Pattern-testing is essential to determine true pattern performance, especially when using U.S. ammunition in European guns
Shotgun bore sizes and choke constrictions have changed over the years and still vary widely among manufacturers and especially among nations. European guns often have rather tight bores, while some target shotguns have large bores and very gradual forcing cones to promote tight patterning. The increasing use of steel shot likely will have an effect on choke dimensions, since steel shot requires much less constriction for tight patterns.
Information provided by BLACK'S WING & CLAY & The NRA FIREARMS FACT BOOK
SHOT SHELL: The cartridge for a shotgun. It is also called a "shell," and its body may be of metal or plastic or of plastic or paper with a metal head. Small shot shells are also made for rifles and handguns and are often used for vermin control as in "Snake Shot".
SHOOT: To discharge or fire a firearm or gun at a target.
SHOOTER: A person who shoots or uses firearms for sport, personal defense or recreation.
SHOOTER READY: Interrogative range command used in some forms of shooting competition. The command is given by the range officer prior to a course of fire. When this command is given a shooter who is not ready should respond "No". Some range officers will wait for an affirmative response before proceeding to the "Stand by" command, but most will continue unless the shooter indicates that they are not ready. For more details see Range Commands.
SHOOTIST: An expert shooter, as in a Shooting Artist. 2. A professional gunman.
SIDE-BY-SIDE: (JUXTAPOSED) A two-barrel shotgun where the barrels are arranged side-by-side. The over and under two-barrel shotgun configuration is called Superposed.
SIDELOCK: A type of
action, usually long gun, where the moving parts are located on side of
the lock plates, which in turn are inlet in the stock. Usually found
only on better quality shotguns and rifles.
SIGHT ALIGNMENT: is the relationship of the front sight to the notch of the rear sight as seen by the shooter's eye. The top of the front sight must be level with the top of the rear sight and the light space must be equal on each side for the front sight.
SIGHT RADIUS: The distance between the front and rear sights. In general, a longer sight radius aids accuracy. However, during rapid fire it may be more difficult to reacquire the front sight when the sight radius is longer.
SIGHT(S): Aiming device attached to the top of the barrel, receiver or slide. They are used to align the barrel with the target. Sights may be iron, telescopic, reflex, imaging, holographic scope or laser.
SIGHT HEIGHT: The height of the sights above the barrel.
SINGLE ACTION: When applied to revolvers, a gun which must be manually cocked before firing each shot. Examples of single action revolvers include the Colt "Peacemaker," and the Ruger BlackHawk. In reference to semiautomatic pistols, "single action" means that the gun must be cocked before firing the first shot. The gun is then cocks itself for each subsequent shot. The Colt 1911 and Browning Hi Power are single action pistols. Abbreviated SA.
SINGLE SHOT: A gun mechanism lacking a magazine where separately carried ammunition must be manually placed in the gun's chamber for each firing.
SINGLE TRIGGER: A one trigger system on a double-barrel gun. It fires both barrels singly by successive pulls.
SKEET: A frangible aerial target also know as a Clay Pidgin or Clay Target as used in Skeet Shooting.
SKEET GUN: A shotgun with an open choke specifically designed for clay target skeet shooting or close range hunting.
SKEET SHOOTING: A shotgun shooting sport in which the competitors attempt to break frangible aerial targets directed toward them or crossing in front of them from different angles and elevations. It is also an Olympic shooting sport.
SKELPS: Ribbons of iron used in the forming of twist barrels.
SLOW FIRE: is a type
of pistol match or a stage of the National Match Course of fire where a
period of one minute is allowed for each of a maximum of 10 or 20 shots.
SLIDE ACTION: A gun mechanism activated by manual operation of a horizontally sliding handle almost always located under the barrel. "Pump-Action" and "trombone" are synonyms for "slide-action."
SLING: An adjustable-length shoulder-strap that can be affixed to a rifle or shotgun. A sling can make a rifle easier to carry, and can also be used to help steady your aim in certain firing positions. Slings are typically made of fabric or of leather strap.
SLING SWIVELS: Metal loops affixed to the gun on which a carrying strap is attached.
SLUG: An individual cylindrical projectile, usually of the same bore diameter as the shotgun, designed to be discharged from a shotgun. The term is often incorrectly used to mean a Bullet.
SLUGGING: Usage Slugging your barrel. A technique to determine the dimensional characteristics and exact bore diameter of a barrel.
SILHOUETTE SHOOTING: A handgun or rifle shooting sport in which the competitors attempt to knock over metallic targets at various ranges.
SILENCER: A device for attachment to a gun's muzzle for suppressing (not silencing) the rapport. The term Silencer is widely used but technically the correct term is "Suppresser" or "Sound Suppresser". The BATF categorizes them as Suppressers under federal law as well, however since most people call them "silencers" the detailed description of them under that common usage name.
For detailed information on
Suppressors / Silencers see the detail block below.
THE SILENCER - SOUND SUPPRESSOR - SOUND MODERATOR
SLEW RATE: The measure of speed that a gun or gun turret can move in a particular direction in a particular rate of time. Slew Rate is typically measured in degrees per second, but can be measured in metric or with other distance and time values. If the standard slew rate measurement is degrees moved per second i.e. 17 degrees per second, the slew rate would be indicated as 17º/s. In Naval and armored gunnery the "slew rate" is normally given for Turret Traverse (clockwise and anti clockwise rotations of the gun), Gun Elevation and Gun Depression (up and down movement of the gun). Slew Rates are typically given with and without tracking and stabilization. Tracking and stabilization systems can effect slew performance and typically slow the rate of movement.
SMALL ARMS: Firearms designed primarily to be carried and fired by one person, as distinguished from heavy arms, crew serve weapons, mortars and ARTILLERY, from which such weapons developed in the late 1300s. At first, small arms were nothing more than small, hand-held muzzle loading cannons (Hand Cannon). They were fired by placing a small flame at the touchhole. In the matchlock, the first modern handgun, a trigger moved the flame to the touchhole; in its successors, the wheel lock and flintlock, a spark producing mechanism ignited the gun powder charge.
Among early weapons of this kind were the musket, fired from the shoulder, and the pistol, held and fired with one hand. The rifle, invented in the 15th cent., is a firearm with a rifled bore (that is, with spiral grooves that impart a spinning motion to the bullet, giving it greater accuracy). Rifles first came into widespread use in the American colonies. Two major innovations of the early 19th cent. were the percussion cap, a small capsule filled with fulminate of mercury that exploded when struck and fired the gun instantly; and the gas-expanding bullet, which, after being dropped down the barrel of a rifle, would expand when fired to fit the barrel's rifling.
Both sides in the U.S. CIVIL WAR used a rifled musket. Thereafter, all guns became rifled with the exception of the shotgun, a smooth-bored, short-range gun firing a single slug or several small shot. Practical breech-loading, or rear-loading, firearms came into general use about 1870; by the 1880s magazine loading, smokeless powder, and bolt action had been introduced. Although a crude revolving pistol existed in the late 16th cent., the modern revolver was introduced c.1835 by Samuel COLT. Colt's revolving cylinder permitted his gun to be fired six times without reloading.
The revolver and the magazine-loading rifle were the standard small arms of the later 19th cent., but around 1900 a host of new automatic weapons were developed. The heavy Gatling gun, used in the U.S. Civil War, was the forerunner of the modern, rapid-firing machine gun, which achieved its full potential during the trench warfare of World War I and remains an important military firearm.
The 1920s saw the development of submachine guns, notably the Thompson submachine gun (or Tommy gun), an easily portable automatic weapon that fired 450-600 cartridges per minute. During World War II the bolt-action rifle was supplanted by the semiautomatic Garand rifle-a lightweight, self-loading, clip-fed shoulder weapon; it was used by U.S. forces through the KOREAN WAR. The American M-16 rifle, still widely used, can fire accurately up to 500 yd (460 m) when hand-held and up to 800 yd (730 m) when mounted. Other effective weapons include the Russian AK-47 Kalashnikov automatic rifle and the Israeli Uzi submachine gun.
SMART GUN: So called Smart Guns are a relatively new type of handgun that prevents anyone, other than an authorized user, from firing the gun. Unlike personalized handguns which are retrofitted modifications of standard revolvers or pistols, new Smart Guns have technology built in from the factory. The passive built-in locking device automatically secures the trigger, preventing the handgun from being fired. The owner of the Smart Gun may key in a code or PIN number on the built in key pad instead of wearing an identifying magnetic ring or radio transmitter bracelet.
SMG: Acronym for Sub-Machinegun. Also written Sub-Machine Gun & Sub Machine Gun.
SMOKELESS POWDER: The propellant powder used in modern ammunition. It is not an explosive, but rather a flammable solid that burns extremely rapidly releasing a large volume of gas. Commonly called "gunpowder." It is classified as a "Flammable Solid" by the Department of Transportation. Note that small arms ammunition, unless it has explosive filled projectiles, does not explode in a fire but rather burns vigorously. See Black Powder.
SMOOTHBORE: A gun barrel which is not rifled. The original gun and muskets were smoothbore. Most shotguns are smoothbore. So is the 120mm cannon on the M1A1 Abrams tank.
SNUB-NOSED: Descriptive of (usually) a revolver with an unusually short barrel.
SOFT POINT: A type of metal jacketed bullet in which the soft lead core is exposed at the tip, so that upon impact with the target the bullet deforms or flattens out to retain energy and cause a larger wound canal. They tend to expand more slowly than a Hollow Point bullet and are used where deeper penetration and expansion are needed. Most bullets designed for hunting large game are soft points. Abbreviated "JSP" or "SP."
SOPMOD: Acronym for Special Operations Peculiar Modification. Term used to describe the SOF M4 Carbine with its ancillary equipment and accessories.
improves M4 carbine
FORT BRAGG, N.C., (Army News Service,
Sept. 14, 1998) -- It's a lethal weapon made even deadlier. The U.S.
Special Operations Command improved the M4 Carbine, the primary weapon for
most Special Forces soldiers and Rangers, by adding accessories and
modifying its design.
Reflex Sight: Designed for close range engagements. Only one sight, as opposed to the normal two sights, needs to be aligned with the target. The shooter can keep both eyes open while using this accessory, allowing more rapid engagements;
Visible Laser: Places a red aiming dot on the target, much like what is seen on television. This is best used in buildings and close fighting;
Infrared Pointer / Illuminator: Used at night and can only be seen with night vision goggles;
Visible Light: This is a high intensity rail mounted flashlight and is best used in buildings. The light works well with the visible laser by illuminating then pinpointing a target. The visible light is used mainly to discern friend and enemy in close fighting;
Backup Iron Sight: This is like a typical M16A2 sight and is used by itself when other sights aren't needed;
Forward Hand Grip: Helps stabilize the weapon and helps keep the hand away from the hand guards and barrel, which become hot during use;
Sound Suppressor: Significantly reduces noise and flash, making it more difficult to discern the direction of fire.
Rail Interface System (RIS):
Attachment point used to accommodate the SOPMOD accessories above.
The RIS is comprised of a series of rigid grooved rails, that replace the
normal or stock hand guards. The RIS grooved rails are of the
Picatinny type or Mil Spec 1913. All SOPMOD accessories, except for
the sound suppressor, are designed to fit the RIS. These rails are
created with tremendous rigidity to improve zeroing capabilities.
The RIS was designed and manufactured by KAC (Knights Armament Company).
SGT. Mumma is with the U.S. Special Operations Command's public affairs office.
SPECIAL APPLICATIONS SCOPED RIFLE (SASR): The Special Applications Scoped Rifle or SASR is the SOPMOD variant of the Barrett .50 caliber, M82A1, semi-automatic rifle. Employed primarily as an "anti-material" rifle, the SASR is a semi-automatic weapon that weighs 32.5 lbs and can fire .50 caliber rounds to an effective range of 1800 meters. SASR has a 10 round detachable magazine and with special ammunition like the SLAP "Sabot Light Armor Penetrating" and the Norwegian Raufoss ammunition it can disable armor and command and control assets from great range.
SPECIAL FORCES (SF): U.S. Army forces organized, trained, and equipped specifically to conduct special operations. Special forces have five primary missions: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, direct action, special reconnaissance, and counter terrorism. Counter terrorism or CT is a special mission for specifically organized, trained, and equipped special forces units designated in theater contingency plans. Also called SF and know as "Green Berets". Click Here for Detailed information.
SPECIAL OCCUPATIONAL TAX (TAXPAYER): Tax paid to exempt manufactures, importers and NFA Arms dealers from paying a separate tax on each item they manufacturer, import or transfer to other SOT holders. Special (Occupational) Taxes are required to be paid for several regulated industries. In the case of firearms, the SOT is required for the classes of manufacturers, NFA Dealers and importers as listed below.
Special Occupational Taxes are for a 1-year period beginning July 1. A separate FFL (Federal Firearms License is also required for the SOT's listed above as
SPECIAL OPERATIONS (SO): Operations conducted by specially organized, trained, and equipped military and paramilitary forces to achieve military, political, economic, or informational objectives by unconventional military means in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive areas. These operations are conducted across the full range of military operations, independently or in coordination with operations of conventional, non-special operations forces. Political-military considerations frequently shape special operations, requiring clandestine, covert, or low visibility techniques and oversight at the national level. Special operations differ from conventional operations in degree of physical and political risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from friendly support, and dependence on detailed operational intelligence and indigenous assets. They may support conventional operations, or they may be undertaken independently when the use of conventional forces is either inappropriate or infeasible. Also called SO.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES (SOF): Those active and reserve component forces of the military services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Also called SOF. U.S. SOF consist of elements and personnel form the Army, Navy and Air Force who are managed by a joint command in Tampa Florida, the U.S. Special Operations Command or USSOCOM. For more information on SOF see the details block below.
S.P.E.C.T.R.E.: Abbreviation for "Special Executor for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion" from the James Bond 007 movies.
SPEED OF SOUND: The speed at which sound travels in a given medium under specified conditions. The speed of sound at sea level in the International Standard Atmosphere is 1108 feet per second, 658 knots and 1215 kilometers per hour. See also subsonic and supersonic.
SPENCER CARBINE: One of America Great Guns. The Spencer Carbine a variant of the Spencer Repeating Rifle was the most widely used and most sought after breach loader of the Civil War. It's spring-fed tubular magazine held 7 round which could be fired as fast as the user could work the lever and thumb back the hammer. Objections were made over the time it took to reload the magazine, but this problem was solved by the use of a quick loading cartridge box holding ten tubes. The Spencer Carbine played a pivotal role during the battle of Gettysburg, allowing General John Buford's Cavalry to hold Heth's advance. The Spencer Rifle was one of the very few successful repeating rifles used in the Civil War, it is truly one of America's Great Guns. For more information see the Spencer Carbine articles below.
Reporting to the Union army's
chief of ordnance, Gen. James H. Wilson wrote: "There is no doubt that the
Spencer carbine is the best firearm yet put into the hands of the soldier,
both for economy of ammunition and maximum effect, physical and moral."
Indeed the .52 caliber Spencer carbine had a terribly demoralizing effect
on the Confederate soldiers and became the most famous of all Civil War
Spencer History From the Springfield Armory Museum
Manufactured by Spencer Repeating Rifle
Co., Boston, Ma. -The Standard "Civil War" Spencer carbine was a
7-shot repeater with iron sight mountings. Sling ring on the left
side of frame. The 22 inch barrel had 6-groove rifling.
It is not definitely known how many Spencer's were produced during the war. Some estimates run to 200,000 or better, but this seems on the basis of delivery figures to be much too high. The ordnance purchase list shows that by the end of the war the company had delivered just under 60,000 rifles and carbines. In addition, some state contracts were filled. By looking at the government delivery figures for the war, it is logical to assume that while the government contracts were in force that the government took most of the plant's production. These figures suggest that the plant's capacity for 1863 could not average over 2,000 arms per month; for 1864 it would not have averaged more than about 3,500 per month; and for the first three months of 1865, not more than 4,000 to 4,500 per month. From these figures, it must be concluded that Spencer's wartime production could not have exceeded 100,000. This figure, although falling far short of some estimates, is still spectacular, and it gave the Union, particularly its cavalry, a decided advantage in the last eighteen months of the war."
- Carl L. Davis
Written by A. M. Beck
There is a lot of confusion with regard
to Spencer cartridges. This is due in no small part to their peculiar
designations. Much has been printed about Spencer calibers and cartridges,
a large portion of it is not correct. At the time of their
introduction, it hadn't occurred to anyone to name cartridges by the
caliber of the barrel for which they were intended. Therefore the first
metallic ammunition was designated simply by its body diameter. Thus
the cartridge that fits the Model 1863 rifle and carbine was called the
"Number 56 Cartridge", since the weapon for which it is intended had a
chamber of about .56". The actual barrel caliber is .52". When a 50
caliber round was first investigated, it became obvious that the chamber
diameter designation was not going to work. The new round would also be
.56" in body diameter. At that point, another designation was introduced.
This method uses the diameter at the head and mouth of the cartridge. Thus
the No. 56 became the 56-56 and the new 50 cal. round became the 56-52.
SPIN STABILIZATION: Directional stability of a projectile obtained by the action of gyroscopic forces that result from spinning of the body about its axis of symmetry.
SPIKING: Procedure used to make a cannon or field gun inoperative. Spiking is used to either damage an enemy's gun or to damage your own cannon to keep them from being used by the enemy. Spiking a cannon is similar in concept to scuttling a war ship.
SPORTING CLAYS: Often called "golf with a shotgun," it is a sport in which shooters, using shotguns, fire at clay targets from different stations on a course laid out over varying terrain.
SPRINGFIELD, INC: Springfield Armory is America's first arsenal. Founded by General George Washington, who designated Springfield Armory as the country's first arsenal in 1794. Springfield has been "America's Armory" ever since and continues to this day making some of the finest firearms, optics and accessories available. For more information on Springfield see the articles below.
SPOTTER: Member of a sniper team specifically trained to identify and observe targets and to assist the shooter by estimating range, crosswinds and to call "click" adjustments to the shooter during target engagement. Also know as an observer or sniper / observer. 2. An observer stationed for the purpose of observing and reporting results of naval gunfire to the firing agency and who also may be employed in designating targets.
SPUR TRIGGER: A trigger mounting system that housed the trigger in an extension of the frame in some old guns. The trigger projected only slightly from the front of the extension or spur, and no trigger guard was used on these guns.
SPORTING CLAYS: A shotgun shooting sport that combines elements of skeet and trap, and that is designed to simulate field conditions.
SPORTING FIREARM: Any firearm that can be used for sport — in other words any firearm. The term is incorrectly used by the media and anti-gunners to designate any non semiautomatic small arm other than a pistol made entirely of metal and fitted with a wood stock, which holds five cartridges or less in its Magazine.
SPRAY AND PRAY: A term often used to refer to the very poor and dangerous practice of rapidly firing many shots at a target as possible in the hope that one or more may hit the target. One Sprays bullets and Prays one hits the target. It is often referred to as "Glocking" in deference to the 17 round capacity of some Glock pistols.
SQUADDING TICKET: is a card issued to each shooter in a pistol match that indicates the caliber of weapon, the relay of firing, and the target number for each of a succession of matches scheduled to be fired during the tournament.
SQUIB: A round that is under loaded. When a squib is fired there is insufficient force to push the bullet clear of the barrel. The gun must be field stripped so that the bullet can be removed (usually with a cleaning rod). Firing another shot before clearing a squib is not safe and may cause injury to the shooter or to on lookers as well as damage to the firearm. Most squibs occur because of careless hand loading of rounds. They are extremely rare in factory ammunition.
SQUIB 2: A small pyrotechnic device that may be used to fire the igniter in a rocket or for some similar purpose. Not to be confused with a detonator that explodes.
SQUIB LOAD: A round that is intentionally under loaded. Typical uses would be for a Hollywood production or a cinematic effect. Squib Loads are not blanks and can cause injury or death if not handled safely.
SR-47: Modified M-4A1 carbine that can fire ammunition designed for a common type of Soviet rifle. Designed to increase interoperability for former Warsaw pact (Soviet) ammunition since magazines for the AK-47 Kalashnikov, fielded in 1949 and used by 50 armies, are sometimes left behind by fleeing terrorists. To enable its new SR-47 to fire these "battlefield pickups," Knight's Armament of Vero Beach, Fla., modified the M-4A1 by extending the upper and lower receivers, bolt carrier and firing pin. They also modified the magazine release to handle the Avtomat Kalashnikov or AK's distinctive curved magazine. The designers are looking into a similar modification that would allow the M-4A1 to fire ammunition from the newer AK-74 assault rifle.
SSG: German abbreviation for "Scharfschutzen Gewehr" or Scharf Schutzen Gewehr which translates to Sharp Shooters Rifle. More literally used to indicate a "Sniper Rifle". The Steyr SSG is one of the worlds great guns. See Steyr SSG below.
SSG-P: Abbreviation for Scharf Schutzen Gewehr Polizi or Sharp Shooters Rifle Police from the German. More literally a Police Sniper Rifle. Variant of the famous Steyr SSG "Tactical Rifle". For Special Operations and security work a silenced version, the SSG-SD and a short version SSG-K (short) are available by special order. See Steyr SSG below.
STABALLOY: Designates metal alloys made from high-density depleted uranium with other metals for use in kinetic energy penetrator for armor-piercing munitions. Several different metals such as titanium or molybdenum can be used for the purpose. The various staballoy metals have low radioactivity that is not considered to be a significant health hazard.
STAND BY: One of the commands given by the range officer prior to a string of fire. "Stand by" follows "Shooter ready" in the command sequence and is the last command given before the signal to start firing. For more details see Range Commands.
STANCE: The posture assumed by a shooter or marksman while firing a shot. Proper stance is important in competition and in tactical or defensive uses of firearms as the shooter is more stable and has the ability to move and engage targets properly from a steady and efficient shooting position. Some common stances include the Weaver Stance and the Isosceles Stance in hand gunning and the Supported and Unsupported Stance in rifle marksmanship.
STAND FAST: A range command to stop what you are doing immediately and stand by for further instructions. In artillery, the order at which all action on the position ceases immediately.
STEVENS, J. ARMS COMPANY: J. Stevens Arms Company was founded in 1864 in Chicopee Falls Mass. as J. Stevens and Company. In 1866 the name was changed to J. Stevens Arms and Tool Company. In 1916, the plant became New England Westinghouse, and tooled up for both Browning machine guns and Moisin-Nagant Rifles. In 1920, the plant was sold to the Savage Arms Corporation and manufactured guns were marked "J. Stevens Arms Co.". This designation was dropped in 1940, and only the name Stevens was used until 1990, when Savage Arms discontinued the manufacture of all firearms, rifles and shotguns, bearing the Stevens trademark. All guns currently manufactured by Savage Arms bear the Savage trademark only.
STEYR MANNLICHER: Famous Austrian firearms maker, located in Steyr Austria. For the past 135 years Steyr Mannlicher Group (SMG) has known how to combine highest precision, ergonomic design and aesthetic form into fire-arms of utmost quality. Steyr Mannlicher not only continues the age-old tradition of the town of Steyr to gather know-how in the art of arms manufacturing, it is also a state of the art production company with innovative manufacturing methods. Steyr Mannlicher Group or SMG is part of the world wide company of Steyr-Daimler-Puch.
STEYR SSG: World class "Tactical Rifle" manufactured by Steyr Mannlicher Tactical Systems. Also know as the Steyr SSG69. Since its first development in 1969, the Steyr SSG family has emerged as the premier sniper / counter sniper rifle in the world. Used by more than fifty countries worldwide, the SSG family has proven to be the benchmark in performance and reliability. The SSG69 now called the SSG P1 was the world's first synthetic stocked center fire production rifle. The Steyr SSG69 is also know simply as the "Green Gun". SSG is the German abbreviation for Scharf Schutzen Gewehr or Sharp Shooters Rifle. More literally a Sniper Rifle.
STOPPING POWER: A popular but non-specific non-scientific term used to describe the defensive effectiveness of a particular type of ammunition. Usually stopping power is quantified as a number expressing the percentage of times a first hit stops a threat (not necessarily kills). Most published writings on this including the popular pulp fiction by Marshal and Sannow have been completely discredited by medical professionals, scientists and ballistics engineers. There are many factors in determining a rounds effectiveness, primarily penetration depth, weight retention and bullet expansion have the greatest influence stopping power. Penetration and expansion are determined by muzzle velocity, bullet design, and shot placement. Because of this stopping power or the terminal effect varies greatly, even within a single caliber. The end result and terminal effect of any particular bullet varies greatly based on the target hit, to include the targets clothing, body position relative to the shooter, their mindset and whether drugs are involved. Anecdotal evidence exists on both extremes of bullet performance, but generally COM "Center of Mass" hits with defensive type hollow point ammunition is the most effective combination for stopping an aggressor.
STOVE PIPE: Term used to describe a firearms feeding malfunction. Occasionally, semi-automatics firearms fail to fully eject a spend cartridge. When this happens, the empty shell can be trapped as the slide closes. Usually the shell will protrude from the slide open end up, giving the appearance of a stove pipe, hence the use of the term. A good firearms instructor can provide training on how to quickly clear a stove pipe. The correct procedure allows shooter to return the gun to operational status very quickly.
STRATO FORTRESS: An all-weather, intercontinental, strategic heavy bomber powered by eight turbojet engines, designated the B-52. The B-52 "Strato Fortress" is capable of delivering nuclear and non nuclear bombs, air-to-surface missiles, and decoys. Its range is extended by in-flight refueling. Also know as the "BUFF" for "Big Ugly Flying Figure" it out. :)
STRATO TANKER: A multipurpose aerial tanker-transport powered by four turbojet engines. It is equipped for high-speed, high-altitude refueling of bombers and fighters. Designated as KC-135.
STRELA 2M SAM: Soviet designed, now Russian made, man portable shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile system. Strela is Russian for "arrow". System designated "SA-7A" by the United States and SA7 "Grail" by NATO. Strela SAM entered production in 1967 with the improved Strela-2M fielded in 1970. The low -altitude missile was designed to provide tactical ground forces and shipboard personnel a man portable, easy to use anti-aircraft missile. Typically employed against low flying aircraft in the ground attack or air support role due to it's limited range. Further employed to deter enemy pilots from flying "under the radar" and to force them to altitudes where advanced anti-aircraft systems were employed. The SA7 has a relatively unsophisticated tracking device and is most effective when fired from directly behind a jet, or "head-on" at an approaching helicopter, as the missiles ability to lock on is thermal and determined by acquiring a heat source from the targeted aircraft. Later models include IFF - Identification Friend or Foe systems that can be fitted to the operator's helmet.
STRONG HAND: In
shooting, the primary usage or dominant hand. For a right-handed
person, the strong hand is the right hand. For a left-handed person, the
left hand. In some forms of competition and in good tactical training,
the shooter is required to use both "Strong Hand" and "Weak Hand" for
STRONG SIDE: Then side of the shooters body of the dominant or primary hand. For a right-handed person, the right side. For a left-handed person, the left side. Sport shooting competitions may require a shooter to wear a strong side holster.
STRYKER: A family of eight-wheel drive combat vehicles, transportable in a C-130 aircraft, being built for the US Army by GM GDLS, a joint venture set up by General Motors Defense of Canada and General Dynamics Land Systems Division of USA. Stryker is based on the GM LAV III 8 x 8 light-armoured vehicle, in service since early 2001. The LAV III is itself a version of the Piranha III built by Mowag of Switzerland, now owned by General Motors Defense. GM Defense and GDLS are sharing the fabrication and final assembly of the vehicles among plants at Anniston, Alabama; Lima, Ohio; and London, Ontario.
GM Defense and GDLS were awarded the contract for the US Army's Interim Armoured Vehicle (IAV) in November 2000. The vehicles are to form the basis of six Brigade Combat Teams. The contract requirement covers the supply of 2,131 vehicles. Deliveries of Stryker infantry carriers began from General Motors London, Ontario, plant in March and General Dynamics Anniston, Alabama, facility in April 2002.
Stryker Brigade Combat Team: (SBCT) combines the capacity for rapid deployment with survivability and tactical mobility. The Stryker vehicle enables the team to manoeuvre in close and urban terrain, provide protection in open terrain and transport infantry quickly to critical battlefield positions.
SUB MACHINEGUN: An automatic firearm commonly firing sub-caliber or pistol ammunition intended for close-range combat. Also written "Sub Machine Gun" & Sub-Machinegun. Abbreviated SMG.
SUB MACHINE GUN: Alternate spelling of the SMG or Sub Machinegun. Abbreviated SMG.
SUB SONIC: Pertaining to speeds less than the speed of sound. Speed less than 1118 feet per second at sea level, or in metric 340 meters per second. Typical caliber .45 ACP bullets travel at subsonic speeds. See also speed of sound.
SUBSONIC: Below the speed of sound. Sound travels at 1108 feet per second (340 meters per second) at sea level, an object such as a bullet) moving at a greater speed generates a sound-wave (the sonic crack). Thus a firearm that is silenced or suppressed may specify sub-sonic ammunition to decrease the sound and so the noise of the bullets sonic crack will not be heard.
SUBMUNITION: Any munitions that, to perform its task, separates from a parent munition. A sabot round uses a submunition in a discarding shoe or carrier. Some submunition is referred to as a "Sub Caliber Device". Common among these are barrel inserts that allow a rifle or pistol chambered in a large caliber, to fire a smaller .22 caliber rim fire cartridge. This is common in indoor training ranges used by the U.S. Army's Reserve and National Guard forces, and by military forces over seas who use small indoor range facilities that are not engineered for high velocity cartridges. It also reduces the cost of ammunition used in training and qualification. In the case of a pistol, it is used as a training device, and as a second small caliber and for plinking. It also allows the use of a full sized hand gun for Olympic Style shooting where the caliber .22 is mandated by regulation.
SUICIDE SPECIAL: A mass-produced variety of inexpensive rimfire single action revolvers, usually with a spur trigger. So named because many suicides were committed with this type of inexpensive handgun. They were also poorly made and therefore dangerous for the shooter. These guns carried many fancy names; those in good condition have become true collector's items.
SUPER SABOT: Modern high performance, advanced technology "Super Sabot" round developed by Brenneke, inventors of the shotgun slug and who have literally reinvented sabot technology from the ground up. See Sabot above.
SUPERSONIC: Pertaining to speed in excess of the speed of sound. Speed greater than 1108 feet per second at sea level, or in metric 340 meters per second. See also speed of sound.
SUPERPOSED: (Shotgun) Refers to a two-barrel shotgun in the over & under barrel configuration.
SUPERPOSED: (Parallax) Occurs in telescopic sights when the primary image of the objective lens does not coincide with the reticules. In practice, superposed (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.
SUPPORTING ARMS: Air, sea, and land weapons of all types employed to support ground units.
SUPPRESSER: A device for attachment to a gun's muzzle for suppressing (not silencing) the report. Often refereed to as a silencer. Also know as a "Can".
SUPPRESSIVE FIRE: Fires on or about a weapons system or shooter to degrade its performance below the level needed to fulfill its mission objectives, during the conduct of the fire mission. In civilian terms, laying down enough fire to keep the opposing shooter from returning effective fire. See also fire.
SUSTAINED RATE OF FIRE: Actual or practical rate of fire that a firearm can continue to deliver for an indefinite length of time without seriously overheating.
SWAGE: To pressure-form by forcing through or into a die.