• Women with Weapons

Let's talk "Gun Lingo"

Updated: May 3

I don't know about you, but asking a sales associate to pull out guns for me to consider was intimidating. I didn't know what to do with the gun once they handed it to me. I tried racking the slide, locking it back, using the mag release, making sure my hand fit all while feeling unsure about how and where to point it. I was clueless.





I realized that by knowing the parts of the gun and how to manipulate it, I instantly felt more confident and the sales associates treated me with more respect. It seems I had more knowledge than they had expected when I stepped up to the counter. Knowledge is power, so take the time to learn the "gun lingo".



Front Sight - The front sight may be simple metal or made of high-tech polymer, fiber optic, or some glow-in-the-dark material.

Rear Sights - the rear sight is simply a shallow "V" in the rearsight blade. Sight alignment comes by settling the round front sight into therearsight valley.

Take Down Lever/Gas Pedal - The take down lever allows you to disassemble the gun for cleaning. A Gas Pedal assists by allowing you to counteract the rise of the muzzle upon recoil.

Optic / Red Dot - Is a tube or window, mounted to the top of your pistol slide or revolver frame, that projects a red dot in the middle of the viewing area.

Slide - The upper part of the handgun that cycles back during operation.

Picatinny Rail - Is a standard rail system that provides a mounting platform for firearm accessories.

Trigger - The lever pressed by the finger to discharge a firearm.

Trigger Guard - A thin loop surrounding the trigger of a weapon to keep it from accidentally discharging.

Grip - The handle where your primary hand holds the gun.

Backstrap - The rear part of the grip. Some handguns offer removable sized backstraps that can be switched out to accomidate different hand sizes.

Magazine Well (Magwell) - The magazine well locks the magazine in position for feeding cartridges into the chamber of the firearm, and requires a device known as a magazine release to allow the magazine to be separated from the firearm.


Ejection Port - The mechanism on a firearm that ejects a casing from the firearm.

Barrel - The rigid high-strength metal, through which a contained rapid expansion of high-pressure gas is used to propel a projectile out of the front end at a high velocity.



Front Sight - Thefrontsight may be simple metal or made of high-tech polymer, fiber optic, or some glow-in-the-dark material.

Rear Sights - the rearsightis simply a shallow "V" in the rearsight blade. Sight alignment comes by settling the round front sight into therearsight valley.




Muzzel - The end of the barrel where the the bullet comes out.

Guide Rod - It keeps the pistol's recoil spring from kinking up too badly under recoil and extend the spring's life.

Magazine - is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines can be removable (detachable) or integral to the firearm.

Magazine Well (Magwell) - The magazine well locks the magazine in position for feeding cartridges into the chamber of the firearm, and requires a device known as a magazine release to allow the magazine to be separated from the firearm.



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