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.
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.
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!