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Glossary Of Terms For Air Guns – Rifles & Pistols

9 ring—First ring around the 10 on the target; a shot that touches or breaks this ring scores 9 points.
10 ring (also called the 10 or center)—Dot in the center of the target; a shot that touches or takes out all or part of the 10 ring scores 10 points.
40-shot standing—Course of fire used for women’s international air rifle events.
60-shot standing—Course of fire used for men’s international air rifle events.

Action—The air cylinder, regulator, and operating system that closes over a pellet so that the air rifle can shoot.
AEG- Automatic Electric Guns, Airsoft Electric Guns or “AEG
Air cylinder—Small compressed-air tube that screws into the regulator.
Air rifle—Rifle that uses compressed air or CO2 gas to propel a pellet.
Anticipate the shot—Timing to take the shot as the hold is moving into the 10 ring instead of moving out of it.
Aperture—Circle of metal, glass, or plastic that is inserted into the front sight and that has a small black open ring in the center that is used to center the rifle on the bull. The black ring in the center comes in different sizes. Shooters use a size based on how big their hold is. A larger hold means using a larger aperture.

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Backer target—Empty target placed a couple of inches (centimeters) behind a record target to show the direction that a pellet came from if it was cross-fired from another shooter. Backer targets are required at some matches but not all. Target holders are designed to hold the backer behind the record target.
Barrel—Steel tube with rifling on the rifle that the pellet is shot through.
Bipod—Small two-pronged armature attached under the front of the stock when the rifle is not in use to keep it upright when it is resting on the ground.
Blinder—Small piece of plastic or paper that shooters use to cover the nonaiming eye.
Breech—Area at the back of the barrel where the pellet is inserted before it is shot.
Bull—One black circle on the target.
Butt plate—Mechanism on the back end of the stock that helps the rifle fit into the shoulder
Cant or canting—Placing the rifle in position at an angle so that the sights come more into the shooter’s line of sight. Unless canting is consistent on each shot, the shooter will have shots that are off call even though they looked perfect.
Cheek piece—Mechanism on the top of the back of the stock that helps the rifle fit the shooter’s face and head.
Chicken finger—A trigger finger that jumps off or forward of the trigger just as the rifle shoots the shot.
Clear barrel indicator (CBI)—Monofilament cord or cord from a line trimmer that is inserted through the barrel so that it can be seen coming out the muzzle and breech of the rifle. This safety device shows that the rifle barrel is clear and can’t be loaded.
Cocking lever—Small lever on the side of the rifle used to open and close the action when the shooter is loading a pellet.
Cross-fire—Shot that came from a shooter on a different point.
Crown—Inside ring of the barrel at the muzzle end.
Cutoff score—Minimum score needed to qualify for a particular match such as the Junior Olympics.
Down range—Area of the range where the targets hang.
Electronic target—Electronic system that calculates where a pellet hits on a grid based’ on the sound waves that it makes when going through a paper target.
Eye relief—Distance from aiming eye to rear sight; should be 1 to 4 inches (2.5 to 10 centimeters).

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Final—The top eight shooters shoot 10 additional timed shots at the end of the regular course of fire to determine the winner.
firing line—Line immediately in front of the shooter that indicates where the proper distance to the targets begins (32 feet 9 3/4 inches, or 10 meters, from the firing line to targets for air rifle); the safety line that no one crosses unless the range officer has announced retrieval of targets.
Firing point, or point—Area for each shooter to shoot from; each point has a number to indicate the shooter’s place to shoot.
First stage—First part of the trigger pull that takes up the slack; stops at the second stage.
Front sight—Sight on the front of the rifle that the shooter centers inside the rear sight and on the bull.
Go for record—Term used when the shooter starts shooting at record bulls for score. After a shooter goes for record, he or she can’t go back to the sighting bulls until the next target change.
Jerking—Hard pull on the trigger that causes the whole rifle to move during the shot.
Keeper—Loop around the top part of the sling to keep the opening around the arm secure and strong.

Line is hot—Term that indicates that live firing is about to begin.
Line is safe—Term that indicates that all rifles are grounded and unloaded and that going down range is safe when the line officer announces it.
Line or range officer—Person in charge of the range and the shooters during a match.
Match—Shooting competition that includes a set number of shots and positions for that particular shooting event.
Match director—Person who organizes the match, puts together the match program and publishes it, takes the entry forms and fees, and designates the squadding for the relays.
Miss (also called a zero or snowbird)—Shot that misses the black circle and is in the white of the target.
Muzzle—Front of the barrel where the pellet comes out.
Natural point of aim (NPA)—Where the shooter naturally points on the target when relaxed in position.
Offhand stand—Small shooting stand on which to rest the rifle between shots while shooting and to hold pellets while in standing and kneeling positions.
Overhold—Aiming and shooting past the time (about eight seconds) that the shot can be successful.

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Paper target—Paper with a certain number of bulls on it to shoot at.xx
PCP- pre-charged pneumatic air gun
Pellet trap—Container or backstop to stop and catch pellets after they are shot through a target.
Pistol grip—Rounded grip behind the trigger that the hand with the trigger holds during shooting.
Precision air rifle—Highly accurate air rifle used in international and three-position shooting
Range commands—Specific commands called by the line officer to ensure that everyone is safe and flowing the rules of the match. Common commands include “Load & Commence fire” “Start” “Cease fire” “Stop” and “Ground your rifles”
Rear iris—Small opening in the rear sight that opens and and closes to let more or less light into the eye for aiming.
Rear sight—Sight mounted on the back of the rifle that the shooter looks through to begin the aiming process. The sight can be adjusted to move the strike of the pellet on the target.
Relay—One group of shooters who shoot at the same time on the firing line for a match. Relay 1 refers to the first relay of shooters for the day. The relays progress until everyone has fired. Scores from all relays are then combined to determine the overall match results.
Rifling—Grooves and lands (raised areas ) inside of the barrel in a twisting pattern to cause the pellet to spin on its way to the way to the target to improve accuracy.
Riser block—Small block that slides onto the sight rail in front and back and is tightened so that sights can be be placed on top of it. The block raises the height of the sight to the shooter’s eye.
Rule books—Set of rules that a shooting program follows and that a match conforms to.
Safety —Switch on the side of the rifle that locks the trigger.
Second stage—Second part of the trigger pull: When the shooter pulls stage the rifle fires.
Shot plan—Specific plan that a shooter uses to shoot one successful shot.
Sight alignment—Correctly centering the front sight in the rear sight.
Sighters—Term for shots that are aimed at the sighting bulls,
Sighting bull—Bulls (usually two) in the middle of the target that have a circle around them or a black triangle in the corner, indicating that they are to be used for sighting shots. A shooter uses these bulls to sight in the rifle before going for record.
Small-bore rifle—A .22 caliber firearm.
Sporter air rifle—Type of beginning model for competitive air rifle shooting,
Squadding—Names on each relay for the match.
Stock—Largest part of the rifle, it includes the fore end, cheek piece, pistol grip, and butt plate, and supports the barrel and action,

Target holder—Frame of wood or metal used to take the target down range if the range has manually movable targets or used down range to attach and hold targets for shooting.
Three-position air rifle—Air rifle matches that include shooting prone, standing, and kneeling.
Timer—Clock or timepiece used to time a match.
Training plan—Seasonal plans that include range training, match shooting, physical training, mental training, and breaks.
Trigger—Mechanism with an armature that, when pulled, releases compressed air to propel a pellet down range.
Trigger guard—Metal guard around the trigger area to protect the trigger from being accidentally bumped.

This Glossary of Terms and Definitions is a work in progress and will be updated regularly to include AirSoft and Pellet guns including rifles and Pistols.

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