Thursday, March 12, 2015

Gun Terms: Don't Be An Idiot

I was watching a news report about the latest ammunition issue with M85 ammo. At the risk of this turning into a rant let me speak of reporters, or anyone else, speaking or reporting on gun issues. If you want to be taken seriously, do your homework and speak intelligently.
I don’t know anything about giving a hair permanent. I’m sure a beautician can set me straight. The point is, if I am going to whine and complain about the smell of a permanent (which by the way is NOT permanent…) then I should have an idea about the proper terms. I do not know what I’m talking about, so I don’t think I should put in my 2 cents. I guess I could, we still have free speech in this country. But I shouldn’t be expected to be taken seriously by the beautician world if I don’t know the difference between a rod and a curler. (Which I don’t really..)
The gun world has some specific terms that someone trying to talk intelligently about, should learn.
Bullets and Cartridges
Ammunition or cartridges is what you shoot. Case, bullet, propellant, and primer. Often “bullet” is used when it’s intended as cartridge. Don’t make that mistake if you want to be taken seriously. Those that do know will completely discount your opinion if you don’t speak, or write, like you know what you’re talking about. I know, it’s a real picky thing. I think it’s important though. Everyone can make a mistake but don’t scoff when the opposition corrects you. Get it right if you want to give an argument.
Magazines and Clips
Guns and the way they are fed are another issue. A magazine feeds a weapon, a clip feeds a magazine. I don’t really get all uptight if the wrong term is used, unless you are trying to speak or write with authority. Please don’t bother without at least giving an effort to correct verbiage.
Assault Rifle and Semi-automatic Rifle
Know that “assault rifle” is a vague and unofficial term. The term was used by the military occasionally in the 40’s and 50’s but then really was not used until the media decided all AK and AR variants were dubbed assault weapons. I shot an assault rifle in the military, it was a CAR-15. Often they are referred to as automatic in the civilian world. Civilian versions of these guns will always be in semi-automatic. To own a fully automatic weapon you must purchase a $200 tax stamp for each weapon. The NFA (National Firearms Act) closed that registry in 1986 so if you wanted to buy an automatic weapon, you would have to obtain a Class III Federal Firearm License (FFL). Because of this, automatic weapons are very high in price and can be bought only from a Class III dealer. Just remember, automatic and machine gun are terms that are the same. By the way, machine guns are legal in most states.
Other terms are:
Accuracy and Precision
Accuracy is a measurement of a person’s ability to hit where they are aiming consistently. Precision is how small those groups of shots are.
Suppressor and Silencer
Many experts believe that silencer has no correct usage. Suppressors moderate escaping gases, greatly reducing but not eliminating noise. Suppressors are legal to own if you go through the process. I don’t think that a silencer actually exists but the ATF uses the word.
Extractor and Ejector
This is not as common as some of those above but it pops up every now and then. Just remember and extractor extracts a spent case from the barrel. The next step is to get rid of (eject) the empty case. That would be the job of the ejector.
Cartridge and Case
The cartridge is a fully put together round. The case is a component of the cartridge. The case holds everything together. The bullet, the primer, and the propellant is in the case. Sometimes the case is called the shell. In shotgun shooting the cartridge is a shotshell, sometimes referred to as a shell, the whole cartridge. Shotshells consist of the case or hull, the primer, the propellant, the wad, and the shot or slug. This seems a little confusing because shotshells are often referred to as shotgun shells.
There are other gun terms that should be straight to not sound like an idiot.
The words “high caliber” doesn’t mean anything.
The NRA (National Rifle Association) is not the gun industry lobby. That would be the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
Ammunition in a burning building is no danger to firefighters. Without a chamber and barrel, a cartridge won’t go off and shoot anywhere.
Guns are not required to be registered in most jurisdictions. So if a gun is unregistered, that makes about as much sense as an unregistered tire iron. But the ATF does have a firearm tracing system that supposedly complies with 18 U.S.C. 926(a). Almost all the guns in this database were recovered by law enforcement not from gun sales.
I have never known an ATF agent. I know FBI agents, Customs agents, Border Patrol agents, and even a Secret Service agent. From everything I have read about the ATF, I’ve never been impressed with the agency. I hope I am wrong.
To have an intelligent conversation about guns I believe you should understand some terms. Those that don’t bother to learn are doomed to reap the whirlwind. It’s too easy to label these lazy people as idiots and move on. If you want to put across an anti-gun point, you’d better know what you’re talking about, or you’ll look like an idiot.
I hope we can all keep our terms straight so we as gun owners or gun “experts” won’t also sound like idiots.
Semper Paratus
Check 6