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Common Web Terms, Initialisms, and Acronyms
ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union
AF - alternative force; military: Air Force
AFAIK - as far as I know
Anti - an individual who opposes the RKBA for private citizens
ASA - Australian Shooting Association
BG - bad guy; big grin (as in or a smiley)
BOHICA - bend over here it comes again
BOR - Bill Of Rights
BTT - back to top
BTW - by the way
CCRKBA - Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
CAS - cowboy action shooting
CHL - concealed handgun license
CLDF - Civil Liberties Defense Foundation
COA - Citizens Of America
COD - cash on delivery
CONDITION RED - Under attack.
CONDITION ORANGE - Heightened awareness; alert to potential threats.
CONDITION YELLOW - Normal awareness of one’s environment.
CONDITION WHITE - Unawareness of one’s environment.
CPHV - Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (an enemy of the RKBA)
CQB - close quarters battle
CQC - close quarters combat
CRPA - certified royal pain in the a__
DAISNAID - do as I say, not as I do
DFTT - don't feed the troll
DVC - Diligentia Vis Celeritas - Latin for Accuracy, Power, Speed
ETA - edited to add
FFL - federal firearms license
Flame - insults... mud slinging. Not permitted on TFL.
FOP - Fraternal Order of Police
FOUP - Firearm Owners Unification Project
FUBAR - fouled up beyond all recognition
FWIW - for what it's worth
FYI - for your info
GG - good guy
GI - government issue
GOA - Gun Owners of America
HCI - Handgun Control Incorporated (an enemy of the RKBA)
IDPA - International Defensive Pistol Association
IINM - if I’m not mistaken
IIRC - if I remember correctly
ILA - Institute for Legislative Action (Div. of the NRA)
IMO - in my opinion
IMHO - in my humble opinion
IMNSHO - in my not so humble opinion
IPSC - International Practical Shooting Confederation
IRL - in real life
IYDMMA - if you don’t mind me asking
JMO - just my opinion
JPFO - Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
KISS - keep it simple stupid
KYPD - keep your powder dry
LEO - law enforcement officer
LEAA - Law Enforcement Alliance of America
LEA - law enforcement agency
LFI - Lethal Force Institute
LMAO - laughing my a__ off
LOL - laughing out loud
Member - registered TFL member with less than 15 posts
MMM - Million Mom March
Molon Labe - Click Here
NIB - New in Box
NOYB - none of your business
NRA - National Rifle Association
NSSF - National Shooting Sports Foundation
OF - old fart
OFIT - old fart in training
OMG - oh my gosh
OTOH - on the other hand
POS - piece of s___
PTL&PTA - praise the lord and pass the ammunition
REMF - rear echelon mother f_____; derogatory name for a non-combatant in a combat zone or a military occupational specialty that would keep one from combat duty were hostilities to be engaged
RKBA - right to keep and bear arms
ROTF - rolling on the floor
ROTFL - rolling on the floor laughing
ROTFLMAO - rolling on the floor laughing my a__ off
RPA – royal pain in the a__
SAF - Second Amendment Foundation
SAS - Second Amendment Sisters; Special Air Service (British military special operations unit)
SASS - Single Action Shooting Society
SATF - Second Amendment Task Force
Senior Member - registered TFL member with 15 posts or more
SHOTShow - Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Travel Show
SHTF - s___ hits the fan
Sic Semper Tyrannis - thus to tyrants forever
SNAFU - situation normal, all fouled up
SOP - standard operating procedure
SSAA - Sporting Shooters Association of Australia
SWAT - special weapons and tactics
TANSTAAFL = there ain't no such thing as a free lunch
TEOTWAWKI - the end of the world as we know it
TFL - The Firing Line (Simply the Finest Firearms Information Site on the Web)
THR - The Highroad (firearms and RKBA site)
TIA - thanks in advance
TLA - three letter acronym
Troll - someone posting with the purpose of inflaming or starting an emotional
response... basically done by jerks with nothing better to do with their spare time.
TRT - Tyranny Response Team
TTHR - take the high road
TTW - taunting the wookie
URL - uniform resource locator
USPSA - United States Practical Shooting Association
WTF - what the f___
WTF2 - what the f___ was that for?
WTFO - what the f___, over
WTSHTF - when the s___ hits the fan
WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get
YMMV - your mileage may vary


Firearms Related Terms, Initialisms, and Acronyms
AA - Anti-aircraft, also Accurate Arms - a modern gun powder manufacturer
ACP - automatic Colt pistol
AE - Action Express, angle eject, or American Eagle
AI - Ackley Improved
AMP - Auto Mag Pistol
Anneal - To soften metal by heating. Used to extend the useful reloading life of brass cartridge case necks by softening them and permitting more reloading operations to be performed before the work hardening effect of the cold, forced reshaping of the resizing operation causes metal fatigue in the neck area and makes the brass case unusable for further reloading. Brass and copper are annealed by fast cooling, usually by quenching, from a heated condition. Steel is annealed by a slow cooling. Quenching of steel from high heat has the opposite effect from the same treatment of brass and copper.
AP - armor piercing
API - armor piercing, incendiary
APT - armor piercing, tracer
AR - Armalite Rifle, commonly mistaken to stand for Assault Rifle
BAR - Browning Automatic Rifle
Bearing Surface - that portion of a bullet that contacts the bore of the barrel as it travels from chamber to muzzle. Sufficient bearing surface is required for good accuracy.
BBWC - Bevel Base Wadcutter (bullet design)
BC - ballistic coefficient: indexed measure of a bullets ability to overcome resistance in flight relative to the performance of a standard projectile used to compute ballistics tables. (mathematically: ratio of bullet's SD to its coefficient of form, or the ratio of bullet's weight to the product of the square of its diameter and its form factor (coefficient of form)).
BCG - bolt carrier gGroup
Bedding - material and/or methods used to fit rifle action to a stock.
BHN - Brinnell hardness number
BUIS - backup iron sights
BMG - Browning machine gun
Bore - the inside of a firearm's barrel.
Bore sight - to align the sights of a firearm by sighting through the barrel bore
BP - black powder
BPCR - black powder cartridge rifle
Brisance (brissance) - the "shattering" effect of explosives; the burn rate, in terms of acceleration, i.e., how quickly is the maximum burn rate of an explosive mass reached?
BT - boattail (bullet design)
Bullet - the projectile which is expelled from a firearm's barrel at firing
Burn rate - the relative speed at which gun powders burn (explode) This is determined by the size and shape of granules, amount and nature of any coatings and, in some cases, specific physical design of the granules, such as perforations, tubes, rods, ball (beads) or disk shapes (flattened beads).
Cal. - Caliber (inches or millimeters); projectile (bullet) diameter or diameter of some specifically defined point in the bore of a barrel; the nominal or approximate diameter of a bore expressed similarly. NOT the same as a cartridge chambering! Caliber is diameter only. .223 Remington is not a caliber. It is a chambering. The number .223 alone, however is understood to mean the .223 Remington, but literally is a caliber. There are several chamberings that use the .223 caliber of bullet or bore. .30-'06 is a chambering. It uses a .308 caliber bullet.
Cartridge - completed assembly, comprised of a case (the central component), primer (for ignition), powder (primary energy source) and bullet (projectile). The cartridge is placed into the chamber and confined by a breech device for firing.
CBTO - Cartridge base to ogive
CCW - concealed carry weapon
Chamber - the portion of a firearm which contains the cartridge at firing.
Chambering - i.e., "This rifle is available in the following chamberings: …"; Specific machined dimensions to the interior rearmost portion of a barrel which results in a chamber that will accept and safely fire one cartridge design only, i.e., .30-'06 Springfield, .270 Winchester, .223 Remington, .38-55 Winchester-Ballard, .45-'70 Government, etc. Although acceptable chamber dimensions are defined and accepted throughout the firearms industry by the ANSI-approved SAAMI, there are many "wildcat" and "improved" variations of standard SAAMI chamberings in use.
Charge - quantity of powder; usually in grains. One avoirdupois pound equals 7,000 grains.
Choke - in a shotgun, the taper in the last few inches of the barrel. This is usually a tightening of the bore to a slightly smaller diameter from the actual gauge measurement of the barrel. Some typical choke names, from least to most taper, are: cylinder (no taper), improved cylinder (or simply: "improved"), modified cylinder ("modified") and full choke ("full"). This is not a complete list, but typical.
CIP - the European standards organization similar to the U.S. SAAMI organization. The groups translated name is Permanent International Commission
CLASS III - Refers to the Class III FFL required to deal in NFA items (full-auto, suppressors, etc.)
Clip – A strip of metal that is used to hold cartridges together to facilitate the loading into (usually) an internal rifle magazine.
COL or COAL - Cartridge overall length - (same as OAL)
CONDITION 1 - Pistol: Full magazine, cartridge in chamber, hammer cocked, safety on. AKA "cocked and locked."
CONDITION 2 - Pistol: Full magazine, cartridge in chamber, hammer down, safety off.
CONDITION 3 - Pistol: Full magazine, chamber empty.
CONDITION 4 - Pistol: Full magazine separate from gun, chamber empty.
Components (reloading) - individual components that make up the "recipe" for a hand loaded cartridge. The four components are: primer, case, bullet and powder.
CRUISER READY - Shotgun: Full magazine, chamber empty, hammer down, safety off.
CUP - copper units of pressure; a method of measuring chamber pressure
Cylinder Gap - the distance between the front of the cylinder and the rear of the barrel in a revolver.
DA - double action, as opposed to single action (SA), DA cocks the hammer and positions a cartridge for firing with a single pull, through full travel, of the trigger
DAO - double action only
DEWC - double ended wadcutter (bullet design)
EAA - European American Arms, a manufacturer of firearms
FA - fully automatic
FCD - Factory crimp die
FL - full length die
FMJ - full metal jacket (bullet design)
FN - There are several arms factories in different countries which use the initials "FN", standing roughly for National Factory. The best known FN is the Belgian arms manufacturer, Fabrique Nationale d'Armes d'Guerre or National Factory of War Arms, in Leige and Herstal, Belgium.FN was the developer of the Fusil Automatique Leger or Light Automatic Rifle, commonly called the FAL or FN-FAL. FALs are or have been the standard service rifle of a number of countries, including most of the British commonwealth, and were manufactured in several countries. Several semi-auto only versions are available on the U.S. market.Also: flat nose (bullet design)
FOPA - Firearm Owners' Protection Act , 1986 Federal law addressing abuses of previous regulatory laws.
FP - flat point (bullet design)
FPS - feet per second
FTF - failure to feed/failure to fire
G&A - Guns & Ammo (print magazine)
GA - gauge (also: ga.)
GAP - Glock Automatic Pistol
GCA - Gun Control Act (1968)
GC - gas check; a copper-zinc alloy cup used as gilding to protect the base of lead bullets from hot gas obduration during internal ballistics.
H&R - Harrington & Richardson, a manufacturer of firearms
HBWC - hollow base wad cutter (bullet design)
Headspace - measurement between two points in a chamber which are the confining boundaries of cartridge movement during chambering and firing. Insufficient headspace hinders complete chambering of the cartridge. Excessive headspace permits case stretching and can permit case separation, which will permit high pressure gas leakage during the firing/pressure cycle. Very dangerous to equipment and shooter. Headspace is defined and measured differently for each case design. Rimless, rimmed and belted bottleneck cases each have a method unique to the design and a measurement specific to the chambering. Straight walled cases, rimless and rimmed, also have unique methods and cartridge-specific measurements.
HD - Home Defense
Hodgdon - modern gun powder manufacturer
HP - hollow point (bullet design)
IMR - modern gun powder manufacturer: Improved Military Rifle; formerly DuPont
JHC - jacketed hollow cavity (bullet design)
JFP - jacketed flat point (bullet design)
JHP - jacketed hollow point (bullet design)
JMB - John Moses Browning. The designer of some of the best guns ever made.
KYPD - keep your powder dry
LOS - line of sight
LPP - large pistol primer
LRN - lead round nose (bullet design)
LRP - large rifle primer
LSWC - lead semi-wad cutter (bullet design)
LWC - lead wad cutter (bullet design)
Mag. - magazine; magnum; also: mag.
Magazine- ammunition holders that are equipped with a spring to move the ammo, these are not clips.
MAP - Maximum Average Pressure - a term used by SAAMI to indicate "the recommended maximum pressure level for loading commercial sporting ammunition."
MM - Millimeters; also mm
MV - muzzle velocity, usually in fps. Velocity of the bullet at or very near the muzzle of the barrel
MOA - minute of angle
NAA - North American Arms, a manufacturer of firearms
NEF - New England Firearms, a manufacturer of firearms
NFA - National Firearms Act (1934)
O/U - over/under (shotgun)
OAL - overall length - usually refers to the length of a complete cartridge (same as COAL or COL)
Ogive - the curved portion of a bullet ahead of the cylindrical portion or shank. The radius of the ogive is usually expressed in multiples or fractions of the caliber. (pronounced oh-jive)
PBR - point blank range
PDW – Personal Defense Weapon
PFL - partial full length die
POA - point of aim.
POI - point of impact.
PPC - Cartridge designed in 1974 by Dr. Louis Palmisano and Ferris Pindell. Based on the 220 Russian case with a head diameter of .441 - .445. Considered to be the most efficient cartridge design available, the .22 cal PPC and 6mm PPC virtually dominate benchrest accuracy competition in the world today.
PSI - pounds per square inch; also: psi. This is the normally accepted measure of pressure exerted on the inside wall of the chamber of a modern rifle or handgun during the firing cycle. By convention and tradition, a shotgun pressure rating is in CUP. PSI is slowly replacing the use of CUP as a standard reference of pressure in all firearms testing and pressure proofing.
RN - round nose (bullet design)
S&W - Smith & Wesson
SA - single action, as opposed to double action (DA), SA releases the trigger for primer contact and firing AFTER cocking of the hammer and positioning of the cartridge for firing by means other than pulling the trigger.
SAA - Single Action Army; a famous design of revolver by Colt used in early America and credited with finalizing the popularity of mass produced, brass cartridge handguns. This is the cowboy revolver of Hollywood Western Motion Pictures.
SAAMI - Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute; an accredited standards developer for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
SAF - Second Amendment Foundation
SAO - single action only
SB - small base die
SD - sectional density; ratio of bullet's weight, in pounds, to its cross-sectional area, in inches; also Self Defense
SJHP - semi-jacketed hollow point
SKS - Samozaryadnaya Karabina Simonova, or Self-loading carbine Simonov. Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov was one of the old Soviet Union's foremost arms designers. The rifle was adopted by the USSR in 1945, and was made both there and in China.
SLR - self loading rifle
SMG - sub machine gun
SP - soft point (a bullet design)
SPP - small pistol primer
SRP - small rifle primer
SWC - semi wadcutter (a bullet design)
TC - truncated cone (a bullet design)
Throat - leade, freebore. That portion of the barrel bore immediately forward of the chamber. In some rifle chamber designs, the throat may be long and may transition into a relatively slow taper to full depth of lands and grooves (rifling). In other rifle designs the throat is relatively short and the transition to full depth rifling is abrupt, although all barrels have some taper from throat to full depth rifling. The immediate effect of the two extremes in design is to determine the maximum distance a bullet may protrude out the front of the case. This determines the final overall length of the loaded cartridge, for a given bullet shape.
TMJ - total metal jacket (a bullet design)
WBY - Weatherby WC - wad cutter (a bullet design)
WWB - Winchester white box, a popular form of delivery of common handgun and rifle caliber ammunition
USRAC - U.S. Repeating Arms Company; firearms, ammo and reloading component manufacturer


Common U.S. Government Initialisms, and Acronyms
AG - Attorney General
BATFE - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (often shortened to BATF or ATF)
CIA - Central Intelligence Agency
CMP - Civilian Marksmanship Program (formerly DCM)
COTUS - Constitution of the United States, and sometimes Congress of the United States
DCM - Dept of Civilian Marksmanship (now defunct as an organization; see CMP)
DOD - Department Of Defense
DOJ - Department Of Justice
EO - Executive Order
FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation
HUD - Housing and Urban Development
IRS - Internal Revenue Service
JAG - Judge Advocate General
JBT - jack booted thug
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NFA - National Firearms Act (1934)
NSA - National Security Agency
OSS - Office of Strategic Services (predecessor to the CIA)
POTUS - President of the United States
SCOTUS - Supreme Court of the United States
VA - Veterans Administration
WPA - War Powers Act


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