Gun Word of the Day: Dry Fire

Gun Word Of The Day

Gun Word Of The Day

Dry Fire [drahy] [fahyuhr]


1. The act of going through the complete sequence of events to fire a gun, but without use of ammunition. Dry fire is a practice technique where the gun is cocked, aimed at a safe practice target and backstop, and trigger pulled. The guns striker or hammer falls on an empty chamber, thereby completing the act of firing a gun, but without discharge of a projectile and associated noise, recoil and flash. Dry fire practice requires strict attention to the safety rules of shooting and ammunition should never be in the same area where dry fire practice occurs.

2. Dry firing only sounds dirty, unless you’re accustomed to visiting, umm, dance clubs where rhythmic movement in a skillful and defined pattern of steps is not valued or required. In these cases, dry-firing could be considered distasteful.

You can find detailed instructions on how to safely dry fire practice here, and you can find even more tips in our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition.

Gun Word of the Day: Field Strip

Field Strip [feeld] [strip]

– noun-verb-ish

Gun Word Of The Day

Gun Word Of The Day

1. To clear out or empty; to deprive of clothing; make bare or naked. Derived from middle english terminology meaning to rob or plunder.

2. A rhythmic dance ritual, popularized at Woodstock in August, 1969.

3. Field stripping simply refers to taking your gun partially apart in order to clean it.

Manufacturers design guns so that some of the major assemblies come apart fairly easily in order to make the gun easy to clean and lubricate.

After all, it’s important that a gun be easy to disassemble and reassemble. If it’s hard to put back together after a simple cleaning, then there’s a chance it won’t work right. And manufacturers certainly don’t want to hear about someone’s gun not working right when they really, really needed it. So a simple field stripping procedure is in everyone’s best interest. Certainly yours!

Gun Word of the Day: Mirandarbation

gun_word_of_the_dayMirandarbation [mi-ran-dar-bey-shuhn] – noun

1. The process of one reading himself legal rights upon self-imposed arrest and detainment.

2. In the event that high ranking law enforcement officers find themselves in the sensitive situation of having to impose justice on themselves, say for example, in cases of Contempt of Congress, Mirandarbation describes the act of reading Miranda rights to one’s self while simultaneously flex cuffing one’s self to a nearby chair or copy machine.

Gun Word of the Day: Rack

Gun Word Of The Day

Gun Word Of The Day

Rack [rak]


1. To cycle the slide of a semi-automatic gun. Usually refers to the procedure of operating a handgun where complete cycling of the slide ejects an empty cartridge case (if present) from the chamber, while moving a new cartridge from the magazine into the chamber. This action basically clears the chamber of an existing empty, or full, cartridge and prepares the gun for firing a new cartridge. Repeated ‘racking’ of the slide will eventually empty the gun of all cartridges. Racking the slide is also used to clear jams or malfunctions. On the range, or in a competition, a command to rack the slide may be used in a couple of different circumstances. When a semi-automatic gun is first loaded, the slide must be racked to load a cartridge into the chamber so the gun is prepared to fire. Second, a range officer may issue a rack the slide command when shooting is finished to verify that a gun is empty.

2. Ummm. This should describe it…

Gun Word of the Day: Caliber

Gun Word Of The Day

Caliber [kal-uh-ber]

1. The interior diameter of the bore of a gun barrel, usually measured in inches or millimeters.
A gun barrel with an interior diameter of .357 inches in diameter is technically .357 caliber. Caliber measures the diameter of the bullet and has nothing to do with length or weight of the actual bullet, although calibers have taken on broader meaning in casual conversation. If someone refers to a caliber of 9mm, then they are really talking about a 9mm Luger cartridge and all the assumptions that go with that.

2. A sinister plot by gun people to make things extra-confusing for new shooters.
For example, .38 caliber really means .357 inches in diameter and .380 caliber really means .355 inches in diameter. 9 millimeter also means .355 inches in diameter. To keep things plenty confusing, .40 caliber really does mean .40 inches in diameter. Same with .45 caliber - that means .45 inches. However, .44 caliber really means .430 inches. Of course, .32 ACP (caliber) really means .312 inches. .30 caliber rifle bullets are particularly easy. Some are .308 inches and others are .311 inches. Got it? See, isn’t this gun stuff easy?

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