You know what is great about gun lovers? Their 100% all-in attitude paired with an unabashed passion for all things gun related. Whether it be the history behind an AK-47 or the standard magazine capacity of a Glock 17, they know it, they love it and they want to know more. There really is no grey when it comes to guns and the people who have made them a part of their lives. And you know what? That is fantastic! Because in case you haven’t noticed, here at Machine Gun America we are pretty crazy about guns too. That is why we are sharing a couple of frequently misused gun terms with you. Some of you may come away saying “duh” but others of you may learn a thing or two. Either way, know the correct terms of guns not only makes you look bad-ass but keeps you safe too! We compiled a list from one of our favorite sources, Guns and Ammo, for your reading pleasure. Let us know what you think if you have heard these terms used wrong, or maybe even used one wrong yourself. (Don’t feel bad it happens)
Clip vs. Magazine
You know that boxy rectangular thingy that holds cartridges and slides into the bottom of your semi-auto pistol? It’s not a clip — no matter how often the term is misused. It’s a magazine.
Assault Rifles vs. Assault Weapons vs. Semi-Automatic Rifles
The term “assault rifle” is perhaps the most commonly misused gun term, and certainly it’s one of the most damaging to the public’s perception of firearms. Most often, the media, anti-gun groups and all-too-many gun owners incorrectly use it to describe an AR-15 rifle.
To add further clarity, “AR” also does not stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle” — as is occasionally implied — but rather ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950’s.
Accuracy vs. Precision
These seemingly synonymous terms are often used interchangeably, but they describe two distinct aspects of shots on target. Accuracy is a measurement of the shooter’s ability to consistently hit a given target; precision is essentially the tightness of his groups.
Pistol vs. Handgun
Some use the term “handgun” to describe any hand-held firearm, but only use “pistol” in reference to semi-automatic handguns — not revolvers. However, one authoritative source, The NRA Firearms Sourcebook, defines a pistol as “a generic term for a hand-held firearm. Often used more specifically to refer to a single-shot, revolver or semi-automatic handgun.”
Look Out for Pt. 2 of this blog series to read about 5 more misused gun terms.