Feeding Ramp - Upward sloping, slightly concave metal ramp immediately below and in front of the chamber mouth, to guide the cartridge in its travel from magazine to chamber.
Feet Per Second - Unit of measure for velocity. Also see muzzle energy and velocity. Abbreviated ft/s not FPS.
Fg, FFg, FFFg, FFFFg - Common terminology for granulation sizes of black powder, from Fg (coarsest) to FFFFg (finest). Also 1F, 2F, 3F and 4F.
Field Grade - Usually the standard grade of gun with little or no embellishment.
Firearm - An assembly of a barrel and action from which a projectile is propelled by products of combustion.
Fireform - The enlarging/reshaping of a cartridge case to fit a given chamber by firing it in that chamber. Normally neck sizing is performed on the cases when preparing for reloading, as full-length sizing will nullify the effects of fireforming.
Firelapping - Lapping is a process that, done properly, will make the bore of a barrel dimensionally stable, that is to say not vary in physical size, within a certain tolerance level. It will also change the surface finish of the bore. If done right, removing imperfections in a barrel will increase accuracy, the bullet will be more stabile. Also, copper and lead fouling build up in the imperfections, so a smooth bore will require less cleaning. The lapping technique can also be varied such that the bore diameter tapers down from chamber to muzzle, which some contend promotes accuracy.
Firing Line - A line parallel to the targets from where firearms are discharged.
Fish-tailing - The result of the bullet base collapsing in the target, causing the bullet to bend and deviate from course.
Fixed Sights - Non-adjustable sights.
Flanged - British term for a rimmed cartridge case.
Flash Hole - In metallic cartridges, the hole/s in the floor of the primer pocket through which the flame from the primer passes to ignite the powder charge.
Flyer - A shot considerably outside a normal group on a target, not representative of the rifle’s or load’s potential accuracy.
Flat Nose ( Bullet ) - Abbreviation FN
Follow-through - The continued mental and physical application of marksmanship fundamentals after each round has been fired.
Foot Pounds - (ft/lbs) Unit of measure for energy, being the amount of energy required to raise one pound in weight one foot above the ground against the normal pull of gravity. Used for bullet kinetic energy. See muzzle energy.
Form Factor - A multiplier (also called the coefficient of reduction) which relates the shape of a bullet to the shape of the standard projectile used to prepare a particular ballistic table.
Fouling - Deposits of powder residue and bullet jacket material or lead in the bore, chamber or works of a firearm after discharge. The powder and jacket fouling require different cleaning solvents for complete removal. Excessive fouling influences accuracy, and can also increase pressure levels. See Leading.
Frame - The metal part of the gun that contains the action.
Free-floating Barrel - A barrel that is completely free of contact with the stock. This is critical to accuracy because of barrel harmonics. As the bullet is travelling down the barrel, the barrel is vibrating like a tuning fork. Any contact with the barrel will dampen or modify these vibrations with (usually) a negative impact on shot-group size or point of impact.
Freebore - (aka ‘barrel throat’) The distance a bullet must travel between chamber and bore before its bearing surfaces contact the lands of the rifling, the purpose being to delay resistance, hence prolong pressure built-up. It cannot be too much, however, as that can cause instability in the bullet. This distance will vary from rifle to rifle, as well as according to the preference of the handloader, as some prefer the bullet to touch the lands, while others prefer it to be further away. Care must be taken not to make this distance too great, as this will adversely affect accuracy. It is not advisable to have the bullet touch the lands, either, as that can increase pressure levels significantly.
Full Metal Jacket - ( Bullet ) jacket bullet with ‘solid nose’ i.e., no lead showing at the tip. Also called solids. Abbreviation FMJ.
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