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gun terms, where do they come from?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by breakingcontact, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. JohnBT

    JohnBT Senior Member

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    "What confuses people about the differences"

    We're not confused, we don't care. If clip was good enough for my father who served in the Pacific in WWII, it's good enough.


    I do have an objection to 'understudy pistol'. An understudy in the theater world must be completely prepared to step in if the star can't go on, and also must be capable of doing the real job, not just the practicing and rehearsing.

    "A person who learns another's role in order to be able to act as a replacement at short notice."
     
  2. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    One meaning of "purchase" has always been "surety of grip or footing".

    An "understudy" is a term from theater. Per wikipedia, "an understudy is a performer who learns the lines and blocking/choreography of a regular actor or actress in a play."

    These are just allusions to terms from the broader language and culture, not necessarily gun related.
     
  3. Warp

    Warp Senior Member

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    Understudy is every bit as accurate (when describing a .22lr version of a centerfire) as clip is (when describing a magazine). Actually...understudy is even better/more accurate. In the case of clip vs magazine, using the wrong one is actually using the wrong one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    If this statement is true, it shouldn't bother you when people correct you ;)
     
  5. chicharrones
    • Contributing Member

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I've read the term "purchase" in gun magazines for at least 20 years. I'm sure it was used in gun magazines before that. The weird thing is, I never have seen "purchase" used in that way in any other type of writing. To me, the use of that word still sounds like it is meant to be above my class in society.

    All the other gun specific terms that I can think of actually make sense to me, so far. :cool:
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    The most common interchangeable word is foothold or traction and is usually used in conjunction with the adjective increased or the verb to establish. It's meaning is more about maintaining...it is more permanent, while the other words are usually transitory

    I've seen it used in reference to rock climbing and free climbing...as well as marketing and starting a small business
     
  7. Warp

    Warp Senior Member

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    It shows up in cars/vehicle/racing discussions and writings sometimes as well, and I am sure I've read about purchase referring to the souls of shoes/boots
     
  8. chicharrones
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    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I've never been a climber, so I missed out on that. Shoes with cleats I've worn in sports, and I never thought of them purchasing the turf before. :D
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    You're using/understanding the word incorrectly.

    They wouldn't purchase, they would give you purchase on the turf...it is more of a gerund, than a verb

    Correct usage would be something like, "These cleats give me better purchase on this slippery turf and allow me to change direction more efficiently"
     
  10. twofifty

    twofifty Senior Member

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    So then, understudy pistol = BUG ?

    ;-)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  11. Warp

    Warp Senior Member

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    No, I don't think so.

    Sidekick perhaps. I'd say co-star, but that seems to be giving the BUG a little too much credit.
     
  12. chicharrones
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    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Even though I misused the word, I understand the word when someone else uses it. I was making the observation that in my years playing sports, reading a few issues of Sports Illustrated, or watching sports on TV, the term "purchased" hasn't been used like that (to the best of my knowledge).

    The word may be used by climbing magazines and some car magazines, yet I've never seen the word used in main stream motorcycle* magazines or hot hod* magazines.

    *I will admit that I haven't read those magazines on a regular basis in about ten years, so things may have changed.
     
  13. chicharrones
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    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    While on the topic, the other word usage that I mostly see related to firearms is "on my person" or "on your person". I know what it means, but I swear I keep looking for a sidekick near the person making that statement.

    "I'm Fred and I keep my pistol on my person at all times when out in public. I'd like you to meet my person. His name is Jake and he has been my person for 5 years now. Jake carries my pistol very efficiently and is very quick to hand it to me in time of need."

    :D
     
  14. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Senior Member

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    Forgive me if this is here but I've missed it. Using search brings up 495 threads.

    Does anyone know the origin of term "racking the slide"?
     
  15. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Senior Member

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    "Purchase" is also pretty common in engineering. "A device such as a tackle or lever, used to obtain mechanical advantage." Of course, if you don't know what mechanical advantage is, then it won't make any sense anyway.

    Ha! Yes. On my what? Who? Where is this person you speak of?

    Interesting question. I have no idea, but in my engineering thought process, racking or wracking is a type of action of a frame basically shifting or falling over due to horizontal force, as in, a roof shifting parallel to the ground, so I envision this shear mechanism as the same thing as a slide moving back and forth atop a pistol's frame. Isn't it funny how your brain makes weird associations like that?
     
  16. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    It's most common usage is as a legal term that comes from English Common Law. It is meant to differentiate possession between the general and the personal

    It is a term stolen from larger weapons and applied tangentially. I remember first hearing it in reference to WW I machineguns (racking a round into a Maxim) and it refers to:

    2. (Engineering / Mechanical Engineering) a toothed bar designed to engage a pinion to form a mechanism that will interconvert rotary and rectilinear motions

    That is, in layman's terms, a lever (cocking handle) is pulled back and it's rearward motion is transferred to the bolt which would rotate to unlock.

    Racking an action means to pull the handle back, clear the chamber and feed the next round...this is similar and related to both Cocking an action or Chambering a round of ammunition, but it isn't the same.

    Racking the Slide
    takes that lateral movement and applies it to a semi-automatic pistol, even though very few still use a rotating bolt...the two that come immediately to mind are the AutoMag and the Beretta Cougar
     
  17. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Senior Member

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    So it's related to the rack in a rack and pinion steering system. Gotcha.
     
  18. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Member

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    I'll admit to having used the term "purchase" in teaching proper grip. Best ever use of the term was in Raising Arizona:

    "The doctor explained that her insides were a rocky place, where my seed could find no purchase."
     

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