The Firing Line's Abbreviation Primer

Also known as the Canonical List Of TFL Acronyms (CLOTFLA)

General Definitions

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 <BG> 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 ones environment.

CONDITION WHITE - Unawareness of ones 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

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 Im 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 dont 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)

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

Ammunition, Technical, Gun-Related

Accurate Arms - modern gun powder manufacturer

ACP - automatic Colt pistol

AE - action express

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 - 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)).

Bedding - material and/or methods used to fit rifle action to a stock.

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.

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.

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.

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, most common with shotguns

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

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)

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.)

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

LRN - lead round nose (bullet design)

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.

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

Ogive - a measure of the curvature forward portion of the bullet. The radius of the ogive is usually expressed in multiples or fractions of the caliber.

PBR - point blank range

PDW Personal Defense Weapon

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

SD - sectional density; ratio of bullet's weight, in pounds, to its cross-sectional area, in inches.

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)

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)

WC - wad cutter (a bullet design)

USRAC - U.S. Repeating Arms Company; firearms, ammo and reloading component manufacturer


AG - Attorney General

BATF - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (also ATF)

CIA - Central Intelligence Agency

CMP - Civilian Marksmanship Program (formerly DCM)

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)

VA - Veterans Administration

WPA - War Powers Act