Learning about firearms is like learning a new language, and sometimes you need a cheat sheet. Our friend Natalie Foster is the expert behind The Girl’s Guide to Guns Gun Glossary.

The website Girl’s Guide to Guns is dedicated to women who dig fire power. Whether you’re a champion shooter, or have never picked up a gun in your life, they have something for you. They offer a wide variety of firearm info that pertains specifically to women.  Natalie created Girl’s Guide to Guns to show other ladies just how fun, challenging and addictive shooting can be. Her goal with the website is to concoct ways to empower women in traditionally male dominated fields through fun, feminine, and educational means.

Here are some our favorite terms from the Gun Glossary:

  • Caliber: refers to size measurement (in inches) of a round of ammunition used in rifles and handguns. Popular calibers include .22, .380, .38, .357, .44,  and .45, among others.  The terms “gauge” and “millimeter” are other methods of measuring the size of a round of ammunition. You must always use the proper caliber, millimeter or gauge of ammunition that the gun requires. If you use an improper caliber, millimeter or gauge, the result could be very serious injury. This is a very important safety note.  If you have any questions about the ammunition for your gun, ask an expert before you load the firearm.
  • Concealed Carry: Carrying your gun out of plain view of the public. Only you should be aware that you have a firearm hidden on your body when you are carrying concealed.
  • Magazine: the part of the semi auto or fully auto firearm that you fill with ammunition. The shooter inserts the magazine into the mag well and it seats so that it feeds the ammo into the chamber in order for the ammo to be fired.  Note: *do not* call this a clip. That would be a huge mistake. If you do, experienced shooters will know that you have no idea what you are talking about. And that you have never read the Girl’s Guide gun glossary.
  • Rack: refers to the action of putting a round in the chamber of the firearm, thereby making it ready to be fired. Specifically, pulling the slide of a pistol back in order to insert a round from the magazine. If a malfunction occurs in a semi auto pistol, racking the slide often clears the malfunction and makes the gun ready to fire again.
  • Tap: typically used in the phrase “tap and rack”, tap refers to the action of forcefully securing the magazine in a semi auto or fully auto firearm to be sure that it seats properly in the mag well.

The Girl’s Guide to Guns Gun Glossary has dozens of terms and new definitions are added frequently. You can even submit new terms for them to consider adding. This is a great resource if you hear a word at the range and aren’t sure what it means. The definitions are in plain English so anyone can easily understand and learn more.

Girl's Guide to Guns