Skip to main content

A-Z Shooting: Shooting Terms for Each Letter in the Alphabet

The Firearm Blog

Here are 26 shooting terms for each letter in the alphabet. Learn your A-B-Cs!

Shooting lingo can be pretty extensive and simple. Here is a list of shooting terms A-Z. Some are basic, while others might be a nice refresher.

A is for Ammunition

The “fuel” used by all types of guns.

B is for Ballistics

The study of what happens to a fired projectile. The study of ballistics keeps the shooting industry evolving and improving.

C is for Choke

The restriction at the muzzle of a shotgun used to control the dispersion of the shot.

D is for Double Action

Revolvers commonly fit this description. If the trigger performs two actions it’s a double action.



E is for Ejector

The mechanism that throws out the empty cartridge or shell after firing.

F is for Full Metal Jacket

“FMJs” are a type of bullets designed not to expand. They are the standard military ammo under terms of the Geneva Convention.

G is Gauge

The term used to describe the diameter of a barrel.

H for Hammer

The part of action that drives the firing pin to strike the primer in a cartridge gun.

I is for Iron Sights

A system of aligned markers used to assist in aiming.

J is for Jacket

A metal jacket that is wrapped around a lead core to form a bullet.

K is for Kick

The backward momentum of gun when it is discharged. It’s also commonly referred to as recoil.

L is for Lock and Load

A common phrase meaning to close the breach and chamber a cartridge prior to beginning to shoot.

M is for Machine Gun

A fully automatic firearm.

machin gun


N is for NRA

The National Rifle Association is an American Organization that lobbies against governmental restrictions on the private ownership of guns.

O is for Ocular Lens

The lens at the rear of an optical device and nearest to the shooter’s eye.

P is for Pump-action

A rifle or shotgun in which a new round is brought from the magazine into the breech by a slide action. Click-click. Boom.

Q is for Quick Draw

A game or competition for the person to draw a handgun from a holster and sometimes fire and hit a target the fastest.

R is for Ricochet

A rebound, bounce or skip off a surface; in this case a bullet.

S is for Safety

The mechanical device to reduce the accidental discharge of any gun. Remember, safety first.

T is for Trigger

Small device that releases a spring.

U is for USA

America has the most guns for any country. There are 90 guns per 100 residents.

most guns


V is for Vulcan M-11-9

Also known at the Mac 10, this is a machine pistol used in the Vietnam War.

W is for Windage

The side-to-side adjustment of a sight to consider the wind.

X is for X-ring

A circle in the middle of a shooting target bullseye used to decide a winner in the event of a tie.

Y is for Yaw

The motion of a bullet in flight spinning erratically around its own axis.

Z is for Zeroing

The act of sighting in a scope.

Now you know your shooting ABCs. Go out and enjoy the range. Happy Shooting!


you might also like

A-Z Shooting: Shooting Terms for Each Letter in the Alphabet