Monday, May 14, 2007

Firearm Basics

I got an email today asking for a primer on firearms for those who read here elsewhere, but who are largely ignorant of the lore and language.

As always... Ax and you shall recieve.

It should be noted first that there are a several different types of firearms... there are classes... sub-classes... and sub-classes of sub-classes. If you think the orders and phylums of biology are extensive... you ain't seen nothin'.

But before we get into that... we should talk about how modern firearms work... and when it comes to ignition... they are all very similar. Basicly... you pull a trigger... which releases tension on a spring... which causes a hammer to strike a firing pin... that pin strikes the pimer... which is the small cap on the bottom of a round of ammunition... that primer explodes... setting off the powder inside the shell... and that explosion shoots the bullet down the barrell and out of the gun. That is an extremely simplified version.

So... chances are what you think of as a bullet.. isn't a bullet at all. Its a round of ammunition, that we call a cartridge. Each cartridge is made up of a shell, a primer, powder, and a bullet.

Weapon Types:

Rifle: This is a long-gun. It is usually fired from the shoulder. Generally speaking a rifle is a weapon that is to long to be fired with 1 hand.

Shotgun: Just like a rifle, except its designed to fire several pellets at once, instead of just 1 bullet. There are of course exceptions to this.

Pistol: This is a firearm that you shoot can shoot with one hand.

Actions: The action is mechanism that loads and reloads the weapon.

Action Types:

Fully Automatic (full auto, auto): This is actually the natural state of repeating weapons. You have to add steps and mechanics to make them semi-auto. These are the weapons that fire continuously when the trigger is held down.

Semi-Automatic: When you pull the trigger on a semi-auto weapon, it fires, exjects the spent cartrige, loads another round, but doesn't fire again until you release the trigger and pull it again.

Lever-action: These rifles fire when you pull the trigger, then you work a lever to make them eject the shell and reload. Think cowboy gun.

Pump: Similar to a lever-action... except you use a pump instead of a lever. Common in shotguns.

Bolt-action: This is a rifle action.... you work the bolt to load the weapon.

Revolver: cowboy pistol. You know what I mean.

Glossary of Terms (boys, if I leave something out jump in here):

9mm: When you hear someone say 9mm... or just 9 they are talking about a semi-automatic handgun chambered in 9mm. Its called 9mm because the diameter of the bullet is 9mm. Its a notoriously ineffective round. Its small bullet fired at a high speed. It tends to do very little damage and has practicly no stopping power.

.40: This is the bare-minimum cartridge when it comes to personal protection. The bullet is .40 inches in diameter and its propelled by more powder than the 9mm. Its a bigger bullet moving slower but has a great deal more stopping power.

.45: This is the classic self-defense round. Generally its refering to the .45ACP cartridge which was used in the 1911... which was standard military issue in world war II.

1911: The Pennacle of all engineering. Sam Browning designed it in... fittingly.. 1911. Its still manufactured and sold today in pretty much the same form. Think about that. Imaging a car designed 100 years ago... that was so well conceivcd that a century later, there was nothing better on the market. Dozens of companies still manufacture the 1911.

Single-Action: This means pulling the trigger only does one thing. It fires the weapon. You have to cock these weapons by pulling the hammer back yourself. These triggers are very light and easy to pull.

Double-Action- Pulling the trigger on these weapons does both. It cockes the hammer back, and fires the weapon all at once. These triggers tend to be very heavy and hard to pull.

SA-DA: These weapons can be fired double-action... or you can cock them yourself and leave the safety on... in a state refered to as cocked-and-locked.

Cocked and Locked: Bullet in the Chamber. Hammer is Cocked. Saftey is on. 1911's are carried in this state.

DAO: These semi-auto pistols are technically double action.. but their triggers can be very short and light, almost like a single-action. Glocks are a good example.

Glock: Manufacturer of plastic firearms... mostly plastic... and mostly 9mm... They are the favoured semi-automatic pistol of women and men that don't actually shoot. All Glocks are DAO. Men that carry Glocks are pussies.

Springfield Armory: The manufacturer of the finest 1911s in the world. The men who own Springfield 1911s have huge penises and testicles like bowling balls. Studies have shown that owning a Springfield Armory 1911 drasticly improves your sex life, ability to shoot, and even makes you taller. Women don't own Springfield Armory 1911s... as the resulting increase in testosterone causes all manner of unwanted side-effects.

Kimber: This is an French manufacturer of 1911 that markets exclusively to homosexuals. You can regularly find Kimber adds in The Advocate. Kimber owners are known to wear man-thongs... spritz their hair... and they even use loofas in the shower. Studies have linked Kimber 1911's with male hair loss and erectile dysfunction.

Para Ordanance: see Kimber.

Damn... That's enough for now... Take up some slack boys.

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