Long and short are two terms often used in various descriptors of firearms technology. Two of the most critical items that use long and short are gas pistons and actions. I recently stumbled someone asking what’s the difference between a short-stroke gas piston and a long-stroke gas piston, as well as long and short actions in rifles. Since long and short are both in the name, I figured we could jump in headfirst and answer the questions: read on to learn more about the long stroke piston and short stroke piston (and maybe a little about direct impingement).
The named concept of the battle rifle existed after most battle rifles had fallen out of service. As far as I know, the term is seemingly one made up by firearms enthusiasts to describe rifles that fall outside of the realm of an assault rifle, or sniper rifle. In the firearms industry, we like to make shit up, but occasionally something sticks. Battle rifle was something that stuck.
When most people say battle rifles, they are talking about semi-automatic rifles that fire a full-powered cartridge like the 308, 7.62x54R, and even the newer 6.5 Creedmoor would qualify. These rifles can be select-fire, but its not a requirement. As you’d expect, this includes guns like the AR-10, the FN FAL, the G3, the M14/M1A, and the most modern model on the market, the SCAR-H. These rifles define the contemporary battle rifle, even if most are not that modern.
Striker-fired guns are the bee’s knees. Rarely do you see a new gun come out in any design besides striker-fired. Hammer fired handguns aren’t dead, but they may be gone as far as armed professionals go. The United States military got rid of the hammer-fired Beretta for the P320. Most police forces have transitioned to these guns in various flavors, and most popular carry guns are striker-fired models. What exactly is a striker-fired handgun? How do they work? Well, let’s find out.
What’s A Striker-Fired gun?
All strikers are firing pins, but not all firing pins are strikers. Striker fired guns can best be described as spring-loaded firing pins. The racking the slide or pulling the trigger, or a combination of both cock the striker and the striker is held in the ready to fire position with potential spring energy behind it. Once the trigger is pulled, the spring energy propels the striker forward.
A company has made it when people start using their brand name as a stand-in for any item in the same realm. For example, tissues being called Kleenex, Jacuzzis and hot tubs, and lest we forget Ping Pong and table tennis. Sometimes it happens even when it’s not an accurate term. This is what has happened with the terms MOLLE and PALS. MOLLE became the nearly synonymous name with modern webbing used on plate carriers, belts, backpacks, and more.