New Shooter Glossary and Guidelines

June 15, 2014

SAFETY

Cease Fire:  All shooters are ordered to stop shooting and place firearm down in a safe manner.

Range Safety Officer (RSO):  The person certified and responsible for overseeing safety at the range and among shooters.

180 Degree Rule:  The shooter is responsible for safety for the 180 degree line cutting shooter in half, separating up range from down range. The RSO is typically responsible for safety behind the 180 degree line.

Trigger Lock:  A locking device placed on trigger guard to help prevent gun from firing accidentally during storage.

Safety Lock:  A device on the firearm that helps ensure the gun is not fired accidentally. Some common safeties include a toggle switch from "fire" to "safe" and a safety on the back of the handle which is deactivated when holding the firearm and squeezing the handle. 

Gun Safe:  Should be used for gun storage to provide a safe environment. Many styles and sizes are available.

Lead Exposure:  Since most ammo contains lead, handwashing is important after handling firearms and before eating or drinking. Pregnant women should limit exposure to lead.


BASIC TERMINOLOGY

Concealed Handgun License (CHL):  A CHL holder is allowed to carry a concealed firearm where allowed by law. Firearm must be concealed, meaning it must not be visible, even by clothing imprint/outline.

Concealed Carry Weapon Permit (CCW):  Similar to CHL but applies to other weapons as well, such as knives. (Not applicable in Texas.)

Eject:  Removing a cartridge (fired or unfired) by mechanical means.

Grain:  The ratio used to measure powder-to-bullet. Affects the power of the shot.

Discharge:  The firing of ammo from the firearm.

Rapid Fire:  The act of discharging a weapon faster than once per second between shots.

Dry Fire:  Practicing without live ammo. (Always inspect and clear weapon first!)

Down Range:  The direction designated for shooting; toward the target. 

Eye Dominance:  Determining the eye used to shoot. Note, eye dominance does not always match hand dominance (a right-handed shooter may be left-eye dominant).

Stance:  Shooter's standing form used to achieve best shooting foundation. Typically, knees are bent, butt is out, arms are straight and chest high, and shoulders are forward.

Steel Targets:  Targets made of steel that make a distinctive sound when hit. Some steel targets fall forward or backward when hit and some are rigged to activate other movable targets for extra shooting challenge.

Jacket:  The metal shell encasing the bullet and powder.

Recoil:  The backwards push of the firearm as a result of shooting, measured in thrust.

Sighting in:  The act of adjusting the vertical and/or horizontal sights to compensate for distance and weather to ensure accurate aim.

Range Day:  Field trip for fun day at the range with your closest shooting buddies.


CLOTHING RECOMMENDATIONS

Eye Protection:  Always wear shooting-approved glasses or sunglasses to protect shells and/or gun power from injecting into eyes.

Ear Protection:  Always use insertable ear plugs (such as foam or molded plugs) or earmuffs, or a combination of both to protect from permanent hearing damage. (Note, the higher the dB/decibel level, the greater the protection).

Clothing:  Wear a high-collared shirt to protect skin/body from hot, recently spent brass shells from falling into clothing, causing skin burns.

Shoes:  Wear closed-toe shoes to ensure proper footing to avoid accidental tripping, and to protect toes/feet from hot shells.

Hat:  Wear a hat to prevent shells from your firearm or other shooter's firearm from landing on your head, which can cause burns, and also to prevent hot shells from falling down between glasses and face.

Sunscreen:  It is very easy to get sunburned at the range and not realize it; protect the skin!


COMMANDS HEARD AT MATCHES, CLASSES, AND THE RANGE

"STOP!" Completely stop, freeze. There is an unsafe issue or problem caused by the shooter, another standby, or some other interference.

"Mind your muzzle" The barrel of the gun is pointed in an unsafe direction.

"Finger" Finger is on the trigger when not aiming at target, making conditions unsafe. (Finger should only be on the trigger when ready to fire.) 

"Safe Table/Area" Area designated specifically to prepare gun and equipment. Ammo should not be present at Safe Table to ensure safety. 

"Gun Up/Down" Go to designated Safe Table/Area to prepare holster, magazine pouches, etc. Firearm should be placed into holster after ensuring it is cleared of all ammo.

"Shooter ready?" Asked to the shooter to ensure he/she is ready to begin. The shooter typically responds with a nod.

"Load and Make Ready" Insert magazine/ammo into gun and chamber round, then reholster.

"Unload and show clear" While pointing firearm down range in a safe manner, remove magazine, eject any remaining ammo still in firearm, and hold slide open so the RSO can see that the chamber is clear.

"Cover" Move behind barrier (i.e. wall, barrel) to avoid (simulated) danger area. Shoot from behind barrier protecting self as much as possible, only exposing body as much as necessary to shoot around barrier. Cover can also be used to change magazines, clear jams, etc. 

Tactical Priority:  Shooting targets from visibly near-to-far. If targets are hidden, "slice the pie" meaning engage target as they become visible from behind cover.

Tactical Sequence:  Engage one shot in each target then go back through to engage them a second time (or as many times as specified). This method is typically used when the targets are of approximate equal distance from the shooter.

Failure to Neutralize (FTN):  Penalty issued for shooter failing to achieve at least a "0" or "1" point, or failure to hit vital area.

Vickers Count:  In competition, shooter is allowed to fire as many times as he/she chooses without a point penalty, however, time accumulates with more shots fired. 

Limited Vickers Count:  In competition, shooter is only allowed to use a pre-designated number of shots per target. 


FIREARM MECHANICS

Bore:  The inside of the barrel.

Caliber:  The diameter of the bullet and largest diameter of the bore. Common pistol calibers include .22, .380, 9mm, .40, .45, and .50. The 9mm is quite popular due to its effectiveness, affordability, and variety. Common rifle calibers include .22, .223/.5.56, .308/7.62. The 5.56 is a popular choice, and many 5.56 rifles can also load .223 ammo which is more affordable.

Breech:  The area of the firearm where the cartridge/bullet is inserted. 

Muzzle:  The open end of the barrel of the gun where the bullet is expelled when fired.

Chamber:  The part of the firearm where the cartridge is fired.

Trigger Guard:  The area surrounding/protecting the trigger.

Hammer:  The part of the firearm that drives the firing pin. It may be visible or concealed.

Firing Pin:  The striker in the firing mechanism that makes direct contact with the bullet, causing the bullet to react and fire.

Slide:  On semi-automatic firearms, the portion of the gun along the barrel that moves when fired. 

Magazine (vs. Clip):  For semi-automatic and automatic firearms, the device the ammo is loaded into, then is loaded into the firearm. (A clip is a piece of metal holding ammo together prior to loading into the magazine.)

 

 

--Vic & Julie Fredlund


EQUIPMENT

Rifled Bore:  A series of spiraled grooves or angles within the barrel which creates a spin to stabilize the projectile (bullet). Typically referred to as a spin ratio such as 1:7, 1:8, or 1:9.

Suppressor:  Also referred to as a "silencer". A round, tube-like, metallic device attached to the end of a weapon to decrease to sound created when fired.

Scope:  A device attached to the firearm to assist in aim (telescopic sights) typically using crosshairs or dots, and is sometimes illuminated.

Scope, Fire Dot/Red Dot:  A scope which uses a colored dot (typically red) to line up directly on the target.

Scope, Reticulated/MilDot:  A scope which uses a specific crosshair pattern to line up with target.

Laser:  Generally mounted to the firearm to allow for pinpoint accuracy at a glance. When sighted properly, the bullet should hit where the laser points.

Flashlight:   Used to illuminate target in dark environments; tactical lights can be handheld or mounted to firearm.

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