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John Stallion

Russian/Armenian organized crime roleplay guide + grammar and guns

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John Stallion

Credits to everyone named in the book.


1. Grammer and Speling


A Jerry_Sforza recipe.

From the desk of Delroy Carlton Witherspoon Ribeiro Wilcox VII, Esq.

One of the most important aspects of a faction is its professionalism and excellence in a variety of subject areas. This includes, but is not limited to, the domination of a digital drug market, the control of a major economic and cultural influence on a populated metropolitan district, the assurance of quality roleplay and character representation on an ultra-realistic level, and the creation of an objective positive opinion of the faction based on a standard of excellence of aesthetic and practical elements of our organization. Ergo, it is of relative importance that we represent ourselves to be intelligent, logical, and pragmatic. One of the multitude of ways we achieve this is through a weighted interest in the perfection of grammatical and spelling practices amongst inducted, associated, indoctrinated, patriated, and other affiliated persons. I thank you in advance for your cooperation and wish the very best to all readers. Hopefully we can gain some clarity and insight into the magical word of linguistics.

I now yield the floor to my associate and close friend, Uruquan Agdgdgwngo Uruquan.

La voie, la verite, la vie. Vive l'organisation du Wilcox!

Delroy Carlton Witherspoon Ribeiro Wilcox VII, Esq.


Thank you Mr. Wilcox for such an inspiring opening message. Welcome, everyone! I am here today to deliver a special message as contracted by the administration of our glorious leader! If I could please have a moment of your time, I would like to teach you as much as I can about the proper usage of grammar and spelling and some common errors in those categories. Note that this is not so much as a disciplinary action and instruction of correction but an assistance of the correction of mistakes no fault of your own. I would expect all of my colleagues to correct my mistakes in a similar setting. So please, take no offense and heed the lessons offered, for they may just save your life.

Chapter 1. Ebonics
As a faction primarily consisting of Negro characters and other less intelligent minorities, it is important to represent a realistic knowledge of Negro semantics and diction. However, this does not give excuse to misspell or misappropriate. All words should be spelled properly regardless of the interpretation of pronunciation. Portraying the typical speech qualities of a Negro does not give you an excuse to butcher the English language.

Example #1
Incorrect: A'yo, whaddup dawg? Sup widdhat shit, mofockah?
Correct: 'Ey, yo*, what up dog? 'S up wit' that shit, mofucka?
*"Ayo" is an acceptable substitute

Example #2
Incorrect: Aight niggah, kool sheet dough, knawhatimsayin?
Correct: 'Ight* nigga, cool shit though, know what I'm sayin'?
*"A'ight" is an acceptable substitute

Chapter 2. Apostrophes
Apostrophes are used to represent ownership or the loss of a letter. A special rule, however, designates "its" should not have an apostrophe when the "s" indicates possession.

Example #1
Incorrect: Johns going in the house with Franks dog.
Correct: John's going in the house with Frank's dog.

Example #2
Incorrect: Its much more simple than that. The dog eats it's poop.
Correct: It's much more simple than that. The dog eats its poop.

Apostrophes are commonly misused in slang. Remember that apostrophes should be used to denote the loss of a letter, not a change. In the next example, you will see that using an apostrophe after "somethin'" is appropriate because the letter "g" is being omitted. However, in "gonna" and "finna," "fixing to" and "going to" are shortened by replacing "-ing to" with "na." The letters are not being omitted; they are being replaced.

Example #3
Incorrect: Shit gonna' get real rowdy. I finna' start somethin.
Correct: Shit gonna get real rowdy. I finna start somethin'.

Apostrophes are almost never used when dealing with numbers or individual letters.* Apostrophes should never be placed before an "s" unless it is being substituted for an "i" or indicating possession.
*The rules regarding apostrophes in these situations are constantly being altered. While some may consider it acceptable to use apostrophes in this example, it is generally recommended that you do not for consistency's sake.

Example #4
Incorrect: During the 1970's, I made 10's of thousands of dollars. The 70's were awesome. G's up!
Correct: During the 1970s, I made 10s of thousands of dollars. The '70s were awesome. Gs up!

Chapter 3. Habbo (Ellipses, Hyphens, and Dashes)
Because of our backgrounds, we may have picked up some nasty grammatical habits from other sub par influences. Even if you didn't belong to the phenomenon known as "Habbo Hotel," it is possible that you began typing in ways based on or reminiscent of ex-Hotelers, specifically in the categories of ellipsis, hyphen, and dash usage.

Example #1
Incorrect: You're crazy, man..
Correct: You're crazy, man...

Example #2
Incorrect: Watch out for the-..
Correct: Watch out for the--

Remember! There is a difference between a hyphen (-) and a dash (—, which can be represented by a double hyphens (--) or created using the alt code ALT + 0151) that must be known. A hyphen is used to join words. A dash is used to indicate range, relationships, attributive compounds, a substitute for parentheses, or an interruption of speech. However, a dash can be represented using a hyphen or spaced hyphen ( - ) when the author is unable to easily create the character symbol necessary.

Example #3
Incorrect: I had a brother sister relationship-it wasn't sexual at all-with my ex girlfriend from about 1970-1971.
Correct: (DASHES AVAILABLE) I had a brother-sister relationship—it wasn't sexual at all—with my ex-girlfriend from about 1970-1971.
Correct: (DASHES NOT AVAILABLE) I had a brother-sister relationship - it wasn't sexual at all -* with my ex-girlfriend from about 1970-1971.
*Could also be represented as: "relationship--it wasn't sexual at all--with"

Chapter 4. Numbers
There are a lot of ways to use and represent numbers in writing. While there aren't a lot of specific rules regarding this section, there is a general consensus about what is aesthetically pleasing that should be followed.

Example #1
Incorrect: That's like 21011 dollars!
Correct: That's like $21,011!
Correct: That's like 21,011 dollars!
Correct: That's like twenty-one thousand eleven dollars!

Example #2
Incorrect: My phone number is five five five one two three four.
Incorrect: My phone number is 5551234.
Correct: My phone number is 555-1234.

However, in regards to the last example, if a person is not listing the numbers individually, spelling out the numbers is perfectly acceptable. For example, if you were going to say 555-1234, you could "say" it one of two ways.

Example #3
Correct: Triple five, twelve, thirty-four.
Correct: 555-1234. (Would be said: "five five five, one two three four")

When talking about quantities of objects, you should always spell out numbers with one digit. For numbers with two digits, you can spell them or use numerals.

Example: #4
Incorrect: I only counted 4 oranges.
Correct: I only counted four oranges.

The only rule regarding this is consistency. Whether or spell numbers or use numerals, you should use only one method when dealing with objects in the same category.

Example #5
Incorrect: I only counted four oranges. That makes 32 total.
Correct: I only counted four oranges. That makes thirty-two total.

:arrow: Hey kids! A quick reminder to everyone about an incredibly common spelling error! 40 is "forty," not "fourty!" Drop that "u" and you will be richer! In knowledge!

Chapter 5. Repeating Statements
When repeating the words of another person use quotation marks and commas appropriately.

Example #1
Incorrect: He said I'm going to kill you!
Correct: He said, "I'm going to kill you!"

When paraphrasing the words of another, do not use quotation marks and substitute pronouns correctly. For example, if the statement I was repeating was the same as above, it should be paraphrased as follows.

Example #2
Statement: I'm going to kill you!
Incorrect: He said "he's going to kill you!"
Correct: He said he's going to kill you!

The previous assemblage was humbly endorsed and authorized by the Delroy Wilcox & Associates Drug Organization Syndicate Gang Family & Associates administration and its Commander-in-Chief, Delroy Wilcox

Quality assurance guaranteed by the DELROY WILCOX SEAL OF APPROVAL

2. How to edit screenshots the right and easy way


Really really easy way in order to edit screens on photoshop, vid created by a good friend of mine:


3. Digital Marketing and Online Scams & Schemes


It is no secret that Russia and Eurasia is considered to be the #1 haven for hackers throughout the world. But you might be thinking to yourself? How do they do it? It sounds very complicated and in some regards, it is. However, let me give you some examples of what I learned in college and some sourced references from online. Both legitimate and criminal because the ingenious thing about Digital Marketing is that is almost hard to differentiate the two at certain levels. But we will get to that soon. In this guide I will teach you some principles of how digital marketing works and give you a brief suggestion on how to implement it on LSRP forums and indeed in game if you'd like. 

Disclaimer: Not all of these are applicable in game and or indeed on the internet as a whole in itself. I do not take responsibility for your actions upon reading this guide. 


Google Analytics:
When a website owner and the domain they are with is officially setup, it is almost impractical to not use Google Analytics to ensure that their business and products are being noticed, being returned to and being marketed accordingly. There are many factors to take into account but the big three are; 

  • Where is the web traffic for my site coming from? Including what country?
  • Is my site generating revenue from this traffic? Is it cost efficient?
  • Are they visiting me once or are they repeat users?  If yes, how to I proceed?

    Google has a tool for all of this and it is imperative for a small or even big company to use their methods into practice.

    Q: Applicable in the game or on the forums?
    A: Yes.If you create an IC website on the forums in the Internet section in the In Character subforum and you see repeated forum users come back to avail of whatever your services is. They you know it is working. Just be careful to let people exploit your services. An example of this would be;
  • sportsbetting
  • sales and services of used cars and other goods
  • advertising for business such as Queen's Pawn or Frontline Tattoo Parlor.
  • Online Advertising
    It is no big surprise on the internet that you are one big click away from an advertisement on the internet. Be it for adult entertainment sites, gambling or just regular advertisements. Companies pay out enormous amounts of money to get their product or services advertised appropriately online, but that is not always the case. Advertisers are historically not the most reputable sources to sell their product or services with honest intent. Anyone can make an advertisement, host it for a company or even themselves and reap in the CPM (clicks per minute) revenue which starts from as low as; 0.14 cents to almost $6,000 in some cases. Depending on how much traffic you can get.

    Q: Applicable in game or on the forums?
    A: Yes Players have been doing it for years on the server and on the forums with creating real or fake advertisements. Be creative. Just don't spam, because we'll get to that topic next.

    Illegitimate Digital Marketing and Scams 

    Spam emails and telemarketing phonecalls.
    Spam accounts for an enormous chunk of content on email servers and databases and it is usually sent from internet trolls or criminals. Spam is deliberately annoying and often used to mislead elderly and naive people to visit sites, pay for services or to try and obtain information.

    Telemarketing has its routes since the invention of modern day communication and still continues to this day. How does it work? A call center or even automated machine will obtain a persons phone number and offer them sales and services such as;
  • Better internet packages
  • Timeshares for holiday homes in Colorado or other ski-resorts
  • Products that specifically target a demographic like married couples, the elderly or someone desperate for money

    Q: Applicable in game or on the forums?
    A: Plausible but be cautious. For one, do not spam anybody by PM as you will more than likely get punished for it. Create topics that are clearly intended as spam in an in-character manner. Give a disclaimer about it and if it gets removed for whatever reason? Tough shit. 

    Telemarketing on the other hand is relatively easier to do in game. If you manage to obtain someones phone number through whatever IC methods and save it. You can have at least three or four different people call them offering services and selling things. Be advised though, I suggest using payphones as cellphones can not only be traced by the police but can also have admins attention too if what you are saying on the phone goes over the line. So, don't be stupid with it. If you are accepting payment from services make sure that you do it via;

    /transfer at the bank. That way, it avoids a paper trail. The same goes for the next topic.

    Phone sex and personal ads
    Seeing how the internet is becoming more and more of a popular way to meet with people these days, criminals have been exploiting this since the beginning of online dating and sexual services both on the internet and on the deep-web. To the elderly and naive who don't know any better, the term; "catfish" has taken on a whole new meaning and it is not that hard to fall for it whatsoever. You probably know some funny albeit sad stories about this happening to someone you may know in real life.

    Phone sex hotlines originated during the sexual revolution of the 60's and 70's and still continues to this day. Premium numbers could charge you up to $50-80 dollars for a 5-10 minute phone call and have it charged to either your telephone bill or bank account. I doubt I need to tell you all how it works, but basically a woman or man will either be or pose as someone looking to flirt, meet you or to simply get you off via their voice. It is basic solicitation but it in terms of legality it is a total grey area. However, there is nothing to really stop you from implementing it in game and I'll give you an example on how to do that.

    Q:Applicable on the forums and in game?
    A: Plausible. The payphone system does not distinguish gender. Only a player who actually asks will ever realize who it is they are talking too and vice versa. So if you contact someone by payphone and then ask them to either
  • pay you or a friend for phone sex via /pay
  • /transfer an amount you BOTH agree on.
    All of this requires both co-operation from both parties, so this is why it is only plausible. 

    With personal ads you can make pages of women and men to advertise for a demographic. Take Tinder as a prime example. Anyone can make a fake Tinder or even Grindr page to lure people into giving up money or sex.

Conclusion and Further Reading:
At the end of the day it is simple to work around Digital Marketing and Online and just scams in general on the server and on the forums. Just be advised once again to be cautious with your approach. No one wants to get in trouble. So be smart about it. This list will be updated every so often. If you want to read up on some further information, check out the spoiler below;

4. [GUIDE] Portraying an Armenian


As an introduction, I would like to digress that Armenians are not really rooted in America. In Hollywood, they mostly consist of 1st generation and 2nd generation Armenians. When deciding your characters background, you should focus on which city in Armenia he's from (ex. Yerevan) and which part of Yerevan specifically (ex. Kilikia.) On the streets, you would most likely be asked which part of Yerevan you're from. In Hollywood, neighbourhoods usually consist of people that come from specific areas of Armenia. If you're from conflicting cities, that may cause a conflict, whether it be verbal or physical. Armenians that come from Armenia are usually the ones who are indoctrinated into the criminal lifestyle. Armenians from Persia or Syria generally dislike Armenians that come from Armenia and tend to stick to different neighbourhoods. Armenians are able to travel back and forth from the USA and Armenia as it is generally easy to obtain a dual citizenship.

    In the Armenian community, people feed off of respect and there is a lot of traditional behaviour that must be upheld. If somebody is not respected, they are considered a "Kayal", which means "idiot" in English. A Kayal is somebody that has no back up and is generally disliked by most people. There are several taboo things that an Armenian can't be caught doing or else he will be mocked. An example would be oral sex with a female or kissing a female that performed oral sex on you. 

Most Armenians conglomerate or hang out around cigarette shops and they are usually heavy smokers. Close friends and family members will greet each other with a traditional hug and a kiss on the cheek. Armenian women are taught from a very young age that they should not engage in sexual activity before marriage. If somebody slept with a woman who is not married, her brother would most likely kill him.

The Tema
A "tema" is a word used to describe a meeting between two individuals or parties to solve general disputes in the Armenian community. A tema would be used in times of conflict, for example: I am talking to another Armenians sister and he's not fond of my behaviour. He will then organize a tema with me and we will both gather our friends and meet up at a park. We would most likely come to an agreement that I would not speak to his sister anymore. If the conflict proceeds further and there might be a killing spree, the "big homies" or older brothers of the two will most likely reach an agreement and squash the beef, but I would still be able to "pachacnel" him (See below).

The Words of Death
Mora kunem or "I fucked your mother"
Bozi txa or "Son of a bitch"
Lavit kunem or "Fuck your family"

If you use these words to somebody that lives by "Chisht kyanq" or "the right life" (which is most people in the Armenian community) you will be shot down, stabbed or beaten to death. Somebody that doesn't live by "Chisht kyanq" lets people disrespect his family and is essentially a coward. Often times, both parties gather their friends and end up in a vicious killing spree. These words are not to be taken lightly. They are fighting words and there is no going back from uttering them.

Breaking Pachacnel or being Pachacnav means you are essentially "tainted" or "broken." Being Pachacnav basically ruins your reputation in the community. How does somebody break Pachacnel? I'll tell you. Say you speak to somebody's sister and her brother doesn't like this behaviour. He'll have a tema with you and explain that he does not want you to speak with his sister anymore. If you agree with him, but then continue to talk to his sister and break your word, he can Pachacnel you. It basically means you have broken your right to life.


The Criminal Lifestyle
Due to a lack of jobs in Armenia, most Armenians resort to criminal behaviour and it is heavily ingrained into their culture. Many Armenians grow up with their fathers, uncles and even older brothers having been to prison. (Note: Most Armenians aren't involved with Armenian Power or a Vor V Zakone, but still engage in criminal activity.) The most common practices of criminal behaviour consist of siphoning gas, selling straw-bought firearms, leasing cars, selling food stamps, credit card fraud, Medicare fraud, tampering with cigarette tax markers, and robbery.

Vor v Zakones
There's really no such thing as an "Armenian Mafia." Armenians that are involved with the mafia are connected to the Soviet Mafia, which are called "Thieves in Law." In order for somebody to be a Vor, he must be vouched by three other Vors. These three other Vors are responsible for this Vor throughout his entire life and if he messes up and his stripes are taken away, so are the stripes of the three other Vors. This is called a "Pachacnel", that they broke. Vors are mostly respected by the Armenian community because they are a third party that solves disputes. Each Vor usually has a "brigade" that consists of around 15 men that are loyal to the Vor. Within Los Angeles, there are several Armenian Vors. Some of these Vors are Harut, Gechi, Pzo, etc. The Vors usually do not work with Armenian Power 13 and the Vor "Pzo" is engaged in a conflict with an Armenian Power member named "Muk" because he insulted his dead father. "Muk" killed Pzo's second-in-command, which lead Pzo to flee to Armenia. 

Armenian Power 13
The Armenian Power gang does not really have heavy influence on the Armenian community. They are more of a band of hoodlums that dress like cholos, are heavily tattooed, drive nice cars, speak Armenian as well as slanged English and engage in criminal behaviour as described above. If they spot a shop owner that is known as a Kayal—a person with no back up—they will usually extort him in order to gain tax money. Unlike other Sureno gangs, Armenian Power is not very territorial and is involved in white collar crime. However, they still jump in younger members into the gang. There has even been cases where some older, more established Armenians (aged 40-50) who are well known for their crimes actually "walk in" to the Armenian Power gang and claim the rank of "OG." Their connection to the Mexican Mafia is through Mher Darbinyan, aka "Hollywood Mike." He is suspected to even be a member of the Mexican Mafia itself. Another member who was the godfather of a Mexican Mafia members child, is Paramaz Bilezikchyan, aka "Parik", although he turned snitch and gave up his fellow Armenian Power members to the FBI. Following an indictment in 2011, there has been a rift within the Armenian Power gang. A well-respected member of the Armenian community and influential AP-13 gang member were targeted for taxing by the Mexican Mafia. The AP member refused to pay and was forced to enter protective custody after the Mexican Mafia placed him on the "green light" list. Because he was so well respected, half of the gang decided to split away. They are known only as Westside Armenian Power and refuse to pay taxes to the Mexican Mafia. The other half of the gang that is still considered Sureno is known as AP-13. In prison, AP-13 clique up with the Sureno program and some members are even active on the Mexican Mafia's mesas.

5. [GUIDE] Female Roles in Organized Crime Structures


Full pdf of the book is available upon request, but it is mostly about LCN. Passages that could be of interest are below. 



Several older judicial rulings reveal that the possibility that women might perform (generally nonviolent) auxiliary or supporting roles in criminal associations was considered as early as the nineteenth century. Consider those women who acted as a supplier or provider, postman, or messenger for early associations. The fact that these supportive types of behavior frequently did not cross the line of punishability can also be explained through the cultural stereotype of criminals as male; this stereotype influenced even judges for a long period of time and has tended to penally “immunize” the behavior of mafia women, who are considered “passive subjects” completely dominated by their mafiosi menfolk.

On the other hand, although the phenomenon is statistically infrequent, women may at times even assume leadership roles in crisis situations, as when the male boss is in prison, a fugitive, or otherwise unable to fulfill his role. Of course, another necessary condition for this to happen bears mention. Women in these cases are characterized by powerful, self-confident, enterprising personalities, as well as a heightened awareness of the culture of violence. In these cases, however, it is not always clear how much is due to the crisis situation because of the absence of suitable men and how much instead is due to the higher criminal potential of the women in question.

In terms of extra-associative behavioral typologies, in other words behavior related to crimes not associative in themselves (such as drug dealing, fraud, money laundering, and management of illegal economic activities), the growing involvement of women in active roles tends to be observed more internationally. In terms of functional organizational reasoning within the logic itself of criminal activity, this phenomenon can be explained through circumstances in which women, precisely because they are women, are less suspected than men of carrying out illegal activities; because of this, they can more easily elude police investigations and magistrates’ inquests.

At first glance, it might seem that the growing phenomenon of women entering roles beyond those of traditional assistance and support (e.g., female “providers” or “messengers”), roles that call for more developed and sophisticated activities (e.g., female “money collectors,” managers of businesses or shops, money launderers, etc.), might be explained in terms of cultural evolution and the personal emancipation of women with recognized roles of active collaboration or co-leadership and substantial parity with men.

Women in Organized Crime in Russia


The unprecedented crime wave in Russia in recent few years has struck all of society. As an effect of conditions in Russia today, female crime, including that by adolescents, has increased in levels of both activity and cruelty. Female criminal behavior has negatively influenced society and the family, undermining moral principles and adding to an atmosphere of depravity, corruption, and permissiveness.

Asocial behavior by women has a negative and destructive influence on the next generation. The number of adolescent women implicated in criminal activities is on the increase; frequently, they are dependent on alcohol and drugs and participate in prostitution, and are even involved in crimes against important public figures. Preventive activities against crimes committed by women are ineffective, and special preventive measures already in place are rarely put to use.

The contributions of women to various types of crime can be summarized as follows: for 1990 and 1996, respectively, women represented 9.9% and 13.4% of cases of willful homicides (including attempts); 7.2% and 13.1% of bodily harm; 45% and 9% of hooliganism; 4% and 6% of robberies; 6% and 8% of lootings; 9% and 13% of thefts; 38% and 47% of misappropriation of state property; 25% and 34% of taking and receiving bribes; 7% and 12% of crimes involving traffic of narcotics and illicit medications.

Women perform different roles in organized crime based on whether they are simple participants or leaders. Various groups of women involved in criminal activities can be distinguished. We refer here to three groups.



The image of the mother traditionally plays an important symbolic role in Russia for members of criminal organizations (gangs from the 1920s, “thieves-in-law” from the mid-1930s till today, and new bandits or “athletes” at the end of the 1980s). During their criminal career, members of the criminal community maintain the image of the mother as a symbol of a normal, tranquil life. It is not surprising that the slogan, “Remember the Mother of Your Birth” is one of the most widespread tattoos among professional criminals and members of criminal organizations. This image of the criminal’s mother is present in many criminal folk songs; for example, “a wife can always find another man but a mother never another son.” In addition, there is no lack of cases in which the mother of a son involved in criminal groups has collaborated in carrying out her son’s activities, even helping him to escape justice. Sometimes the mother is considered a sort of consultant, both as regards his private life as well as in the selection of suitable female subjects to bring into the son’s sphere of influence.

Wives and Mistresses


According to the rules of the association of “thieves-in-law,” for example, the bosses of criminal groups till the end of the 1980s could not have an official wife (i.e., registered in the state records office) because such a record could be interpreted as a form of cooperation with the state. But this did not mean the “thieves-in-law” could not have a long-term relationship with a “wife” even outside official records. The rules governing “thieves-in-law” subsequently changed, and at present a “thief-in-law” representing a criminal organization can be officially married and recognized as such by state authorities.

Wives and mistresses are frequently their husbands’ assistants in criminal activities. Like mothers, they are capable of keeping the justice system far from their husbands and friends. The role of mistress and unofficial wife in hiding fugitives has been very effective because the police, and later the militia, have had difficulties in reaching the places in which they live.

Frequently, wives act as “confidants” (even giving news and information on victims for a price) and, in the role of mothers, participate in selling property stolen by members of the family group. In criminal organizations such as gangs, wives frequently accompany their husbands in criminal enterprises, performing the role of cook and nurse for all the members of the criminal organization.

As in the Italian mafia, members of the modern criminal world in Russia consider themselves as belonging to a highly honored and respected family, even taking vacations together. The family fills a very important role and is respected by all organized crime groups or communities.

Other Female Companions


The customary lifestyle for members of criminal groups (especially “soldiers” and “underbosses”) includes diversions characterized by large amounts of alcohol and multiple sexual relationships. There are women who voluntarily participate in these activities, and their number has been increasing, with prostitution in the hands of organized criminal groups.

Members of criminal groups attempt to maintain the same lifestyle even in prison. By corrupting prison guards, they can drink and eat well, and even enjoy female companionship. One famous affair and media sensation occurred in the city of St. Petersburg and later became the subject of a documentary film. This was the jailhouse love story between Serguei Maduyev (a.k.a. “Tchervonets” or “Gold Coin”), who was responsible for many crimes and was sentenced to death, and an investigator from the public prosecutor’s office, a woman named Natalia Vorontsova who worked on one of the last crimes committed by Maduyev. She organized his unsuccessful attempt to escape from prison and gave him her pistol. Subsequently, she was sentenced to house arrest.

Women as Members and Organizers of Criminal Organizations


Women rarely have equal status inside criminal organizations, and their participation is extremely limited. Criminal organizations specialized in drug trafficking frequently make use of women, and they participate in activities such as the transport, trafficking, and sale of drugs. In 2001, a woman was arrested for transporting narcotics from Ukraine to Russia. In modern criminal organizations women frequently have the position of assistant, accountant, financial expert, and so on.

On rare occasions women have been in charge of criminal organizations. During the 1920s, a notorious woman companion of the famous gangster Lyonka Panteleev organized and managed a criminal group; her nickname was “Sonka Zolotaya Ruchka” (“Sonka The Golden Hand”). For a time she was considered the queen of Russian crime. Arrested several times, she frequently managed to escape, at times together with a prison guard.

Women like Sonka “The Golden Hand” have become more and more rare. There are only isolated cases of women who have created criminal groups on their own. As a general rule, women have filled second-level roles. The activities of criminal organizations are very diversified, from simple theft to large- scale fraud and complex crimes. In addition, one of the most lucrative activities in the crime industry, prostitution, is also organized by the mafia.

Currently, women are utilized in a broad range of criminal activities. The mafia uses women in counterespionage and reconnaissance activities, placing them in governmental bodies, business structures, rival criminal groups, and so on. In some cases, female mercenaries are “loaned out” to someone involved in criminal activities, as lovers or even wives. More frequently they serve as bait for victims. Not all women fall into these categories. Some can also be found among mafia “soldiers.” For certain tasks, bosses of criminal organizations require special personnel. No typical sample exists in this area. In some cases, women manage the control of the chosen personnel.

Criminal organizations have subdivisions that work with women, which can be divided into three tasks: the selection and observation of personnel; management, and direct recruitment; and management of the organization, control, and punishment for betrayal, fraud, or other transgressions.

A significant number of women participate in the fraudulent activities of criminal groups, and the role of these women has been increasing. According to Konstantinov (2001), “There are certain criminal activities that only women can perform”; fraud requires certain qualities that are highly present in women such as acting ability, vitality, imagination, knowledge of human psychology, and so on."

The majority of female swindlers run confidence games. The best example is V. Solovieva and her crew, who organized the sale of automobiles at low cost. Top officials, bureaucrats, government authorities, and even ministers were involved in this scam. The total damage of this financial pyramid was in the millions of dollars. Women have also taken control of another type of fraud, counterfeiting currency. The psychological reason for this is that women are more credible. Women also work in the area of real estate, in which examples of large criminal groups are found under their management, many of these are made up of dozens of people. Frequently, women play the role of bait or a shill. Female criminals also participate in the sale of adulterated products such as alcohol, honey, butter, and so on.

6. [GUIDE] Firearms Basics


Firearms Basics


For those who role-play around firearms and are interested in putting more detail into their role-play: I've created a small guide for you to read. I'm not very experienced with firearms myself (I've never touched one in my life), but I like to do the necessary research before role-play a subject and thought I'd share the knowledge with you guys.

The main goal of this guide is for you to learn the basics of firearms, ammunition, terminology, cleaning, and maintenance. I hope this guide will help you in your future role-play. Enjoy.

Table of contents

Firearms basics
    [*] Types
    [*] Terminology
    [*] Ammunition
    [*] Determining a firearm's condition
    [*] Cleaning and maintenance


Firearms Basics



Beretta 92FS


A handgun is a firearm designed to be handheld in either one or both hands. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from long guns such as rifles and shotguns (which usually can be braced against the shoulder). Handguns are small, lightweight (well, most of them), and provide good firepower. They are suitable—not only for defensive situations—but for offensive ones as well. Of course, for each situation, careful choice of the proper handgun and ammunition must be made. Handguns are divided into a few classes: semi-automatics (or pistols), revolvers, and non-automatics (single or multibarreled, single-shot, or magazine fed).

Semi-automatic (pistol)
Semi-automatic handguns use part of the energy produced by burning cartridge powder to remove the used cartridge from the chamber, cock the hammer, and load a new cartridge into the chamber. This way the pistol will be ready for the next shot. Cartridges are usually fed from a box magazine which is located in the pistol's handle. Box magazines may contain up to 15 cartridges (or more) in single or double columns, depending on the pistol model. They are easy and very quick to reload.

Revolvers got their name from the rotating (or revolving) cylinder, which contains cartridges. Usually the cylinder holds from 5 to 7 loads, although some .22 caliber revolvers may contain up to 8-10 cartridges. Loads in the cylinder may be reloaded in 2 ways (depending on revolver design): one by one, as, for example, the Colt PeaceKeeper does (and almost all old-timers), or all simultaneously—when the cylinder is switched to the side or when the is frame "broke open." Both revolvers and semi-autos have two main "action styles": Single Action and Double Action.

Single Action
Single Action means that the Revolver must be manually cocked (and, thus, the cylinder is rotated to the next cartridge) for each shot. This mode was the only one available in all old-time revolvers (such as the Peacekeeper), and is still available in most double-action revolvers. This mode improves accuracy but slows the fire rate.

For semi-automatic handguns, Single Action means that the pistol must be manually cocked for the first shot (this is usually done by pulling the slide, which then cocks the hammer and feeds a cartridge into the chamber). For the second—and all consecutive shots—cocking is done automatically when recoil force pulls back the slide.

Double Action
Double Action for the Revolver means that the hammer for each (including the first) shot is cocked by trigger pull (this action also rotates the cylinder to the next position). This mode speeds up the firing rate and simplifies shooting actions, but greatly increases trigger pull.

For the semi-automatic handguns, the hammer is usually cocked by trigger pull for the first shot only. The second and the rest are done in single-action mode. However, the first load must be fed in the chamber by the slide pull. Most semi-autos and revolvers employ Double-action-only mode, which cocks the trigger for each shot, thus excluding single-action.




[aligntable=right,514,0,0,0,0,0]Submachine guns

The submachine gun is an automatic or selective-fired shoulder weapon that fires pistol-caliber ammunition. The concept of submachine gun dates back to World War I; the trench warfare of this war required effective and compact weapons for short-range fighting in trenches; additionally, a lightweight and maneuverable fully automatic weapon was desirable to complement light machine guns in both defensive and offensive scenarios, to cover last 200 meters of assault on enemy positions.

The first weapon which can be considered to some extent as the world's first submachine gun was the Italian Villar-Perosa. This was a twin-barreled automatic weapon that fired 9mm Glisenti pistol ammunition from top-mounted box magazines. It was compact, but its primary tactical role was of short-range machine gun; therefore it was usually fired from some sort of mount, and fitted with machine-gun type spade grips instead of more conventional rifle-type stock.



Benelli Supernova


Main advantages of shotguns are their versatility and short-range firepower. Shotguns can fire multiple projectiles of various sizes, creating a lethal pattern, which will increase chances of hitting target, or single large projectile, powerful enough to drop down a large brown bear, or incapacitate a human being protected in all but the heaviest body armour. Shotguns also can fire special purpose ammunition, such as door buster slugs, and even a high explosive and incendiary rounds, as well as the less lethal ammunition, useful for riot control and other police operations. Most, if not all modern combat shotguns are magazine fed repeaters, with the under barrel tubular magazines being the most common type. Those magazines offer a sleek, slim profile of the gun, but are slow to reload. Some recently developed combat shotguns featured a detachable, box-type magazines, which can be replaced very quickly. Few combat shotguns were developed with rotary, revolver-like magazines or drum-type magazines of relatively large capacity (10-12, and up to 28 rounds), but those magazines are extremely bulky, heavy, expensive and sometimes slow to reload.

The disadvantages of the combat shotguns are the limited effective range of fire (about 50-70 meters with standard buckshot, up to 100-150 meters with specially designed sub-caliber or fleschette loadings). Shotguns also are sometimes relatively large (especially when compared to modern submachine guns), and can have a heavy recoil with the most powerful loadings. The size and weight of the shotgun ammunition effectively limits both the magazine capacity and the amount of ammunition a soldier can carry in the mission.

Pump action shotguns
Pump action means, that for each shot shooter cycles the handguard back and forward (in some guns, such as Russian RMB-93 or S. African Neostead - forward then back). This movement removes the used shell, cocks the action and chambers the new shell. This design is little slower than semi-auto, but offers greater flexibility in shotshells selection, allowing mixing of the different types of loads and usage of low-power or unreliable loads. This feature especially useful for police and home defense usage, since the pump-action shotguns can fire low-powered less-lethal ammunition (with tear gas or rubber buckshot).

Semi-automatic shotguns
Semi-automatic shotguns can use several different actions - inertia recoil (Benelli), gas (Russian AK-47-derived Saiga-12 and Italian Franchi SPAS-15), barrel recoil (Browning designed Auto-5 and Remington 11). Semi-autos usually have less recoil (especially gas-operated ones), and higher rate of fire, but somewhat more sensitive to the loads selection. The greater firepower, offered by semi-automatic shotguns, is especially useful for military applications, where short-range encounters are usually very rapid, and the amount of firepower used in a short period of time is essential to win the scenario and save one's life.

To use advantages of both pump and semi-auto designs, some manufacturers designed select-action shotguns, where user may select the action style with just turn of the lever or so. Such shotguns are Franchi SPAS15, or Benelli M3S90, for example. The disadvantages of those selective systems are somewhat increased weight and greater unit price.



Remington 700

[aligntable=right,514,0,0,0,0,0]Military rifles

Bolt action rifles
Bolt action rifle is a weapon, which requires a manual operation to reload a weapon prior to each shot. Term "bolt action" comes from the "bolt" - a part of the weapon that is used to feed cartridges into the chamber and to lock the barrel upon the fire. This part also is more generally known as "breech block", but the term "bolt" is usually referred to the longitudinally movable breech block. So, to fire each shot from bolt action rifle, one must manually unlock the bolt, open it to extract and eject spent case, close the bolt, feeding a fresh round into the chamber simultaneously, and then lock the bolt. When trigger is pulled, rifle goes off and another set of manipulations described above is required prior to the next shot can be fired. Bolt action rifles could be further divided in numerous sub-categories, such as single-shot or magazine-fed rifles, rotating bolt or straight pull bolt action rifles etc, but this will not be discussed here, at least for now.

Semi-automatic (self-loading) rifles
Semi-automatic rifles differ from the manual repeaters in fact that semi-automatics used some amount of the energy, generated by the each shot fired, to commence the reloading cycle (extract and eject the spent case, feed a live round and lock the action, cock the hammer or striker). Due to this, semi-automatic rifles are often referred as a self-loading rifles, too. So, as long as a cartridge supply to the action remains uninterrupted (magazine is not empty), gun will fire each time the trigger is pressed, without any other manual operations. However, when gun is loaded for the first shot, it usually requires at first manual loading cycle to be commenced. The key difference between automatic and assault rifles and semi-automatic rifles is that the semi-automatic rifle will fire exactly one shot per each trigger pull, while automatic (assault) rifle will continue to fire continuously as long as the trigger is pulled and cartridge supply to action is not interrupted.




[aligntable=right,514,0,0,0,0,0]Assault rifles

An assault rifle is a selective-fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles were first used during World War II. Though Western nations were slow to accept the assault rifle concept after World War II, by the end of the 20th century they had become the standard weapon in most of the world's armies, replacing battle rifles and sub-machine guns. Examples include the StG 44, AK-47 and the M16 rifle.

The term assault rifle is generally attributed to Adolf Hitler, who for propaganda purposes used the German word "Sturmgewehr" (which translates to "storm rifle" or "assault rifle"), as the new name for the MP43, subsequently known as the Sturmgewehr 44 or StG 44. Although, other sources dispute that Hitler had much to do with coining the new name besides signing the production order. The StG 44 is generally considered the first selective fire military rifle to popularize the assault rifle concept. Today, the term assault rifle is used to define firearms sharing the same basic characteristics as the StG 44.


The U.S. Army defines assault rifles as "short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges." In a strict definition, a firearm must have at least the following characteristics to be considered an assault rifle:

[*] It must be capable of selective fire.
[*] It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle.
[*] Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine.
[*] It must have an effective range of at least 300 meters (330 yards).
[*] Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles, despite frequently being called such.




[aligntable=left,180,0,0,0,0,0]Basic firearms components[/aligntable]
[aligntable=right,500,0,0,0,0,0]Semi-automatic handgun








Assault rifle


The action is really the guts of the gun. It includes all the moving parts that load, fire, and eject the firearm's shells or cartridges.

The stock (or handle) of the gun in composed of two pieces: the butt and the fore-end.

A gun's barrel is the long metal tube, bored out to provide an exit path for the discharging projectile. Once the projectile is fired, it’s forced down the barrel and out of the muzzle by expanding gas forces. In a rifle or a handgun, the bullet travels through the barrel. In shotguns the shot or the slug is shot through the barrel.

The bore in the inside of the bun's barrel through which a projectile travels when fired.

The breech is the area of the firearm that contains the rear end of the barrel. This is where the cartridge is inserted.

The cylinder is the part of a revolver that holds cartridges in separate chambers. The cylinder of a revolver rotates as the gun is cocked, bringing each chamber into alignment with the barrel.

The grip is the portion of a handgun that is being used to properly hold the firearm.

The hammer on a revolver is the part that strikes the firing pin or the cartridge primer directly, detonating the primer which discharges the gun.

A magazine is a spring-operated container, that can be fixed or detachable, which holds cartridges for a repeating firearm. This should not be confused with a 'clip'.

The muzzle of a gun is the front end of the barrel where the projectile exits the firearm.

The trigger is the lever that is being pulled or squeezed to initiate the firing process.

Trigger guard
The trigger guard is the portion of a firearm that wraps around the trigger to provide both protection and safety.


[aligntable=left,180,0,0,0,0,0]Glossary of firearms terms[/aligntable]


accurize, accurizing: The process of altering a stock firearm to improve its accuracy.

action: The physical mechanism that manipulates cartridges and/or seals the breech. The term refers to the method in which cartridges are loaded, locked, and extracted from the mechanism. Actions are generally categorized by the type of mechanism used. A firearm action is technically not present on muzzleloaders as all loading is done by hand. The mechanism that fires a muzzle-loader is called the lock.

ammunition or ammo: Gunpowder and artillery. Since the design of the cartridge, the meaning has been transferred to the assembly of a projectile and its propellant in a single package.

back bore, backbored barrel: A shotgun barrel whose internal diameter is greater than nominal for the gauge, but less than the SAAMI maximum. Done in an attempt to reduce felt recoil, improve patterning, or change the balance of the shotgun.

bandolier or bandoleer: A pocketed belt for holding ammunition and cartridges. It was usually slung over the chest. Bandoliers are now rare because most military arms use magazines which are not well-suited to being stored in such a manner. They are, however, still commonly used with shotguns, as individual 12 gauge shells can easily be stored in traditionally designed bandoliers.

barrel: A tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity.

ballistic coefficient or BC: a measure of projectiles ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the deceleration—a high number indicates a low deceleration. BC is a function of mass, diameter, and drag coefficient. In bullets it refers to the amount that drop over distance and wind drift will affect the bullet.

bayonet lug: An attachment point for a bayonet.

belt: ammunition belt is a device used to retain and feed cartridges into a firearm.

belted magnum or belt: Any caliber cartridge, generally rifles, using a shell casing with a pronounced "belt" around its base that continues 2-4mm past the extractor groove. This design originated with the British gunmaker Holland & Holland for the purpose of headspace certain of their more powerful cartridges. Especially the non-shouldered (non-"bottlenecked") magnum rifle cartridges could be pushed too far into the chamber and thus cause catastrophic failure of the gun when fired with excessive headspace; the addition of the belt to the casing prevented this over-insertion.

bipod: A support device that is similar to a tripod or monopod, but with two legs. On firearms, bipods are commonly used on rifles to provide a forward rest and reduce motion. The bipod permits the operator to rest the weapon on the ground, a low wall, or other object, reducing operator fatigue and permitting increased accuracy.

black powder also called gunpowder: a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. Modern firearms do not use the traditional black powder described here, but instead use smokeless powder.

black-powder substitute: A firearm propellant that is designed to reproduce the burning rate and propellant properties of black powder (making it safe for use in black-powder firearms), while providing advantages in one or more areas such as reduced smoke, reduced corrosion, reduced cost, or decreased sensitivity to unintentional ignition.

blank: A type of cartridge for a firearm that contains gunpowder but no bullet or shot. When fired, the blank makes a flash and an explosive sound (report). Blanks are often used for simulation (such as in historical reenactments, theatre and movie special effects), training, and for signaling (see starting pistol). Blank cartridges differ from dummy cartridges, which are used for training or function testing firearms; these contain no primer or gunpowder, and are inert.

blowback: A system of operation for self-loading firearms that obtains power from the motion of the cartridge case as it is pushed to the rear by expanding gases created by the ignition of the powder charge.

bluing or blueing: A passivation process in which steel is partially protected against rust, and is named after the blue-black appearance of the resulting protective finish. True gun bluing is an electrochemical conversion coating resulting from an oxidizing chemical reaction with iron on the surface selectively forming magnetite (Fe3O4), the black oxide of iron, which occupies the same volume as metallic iron. Bluing is most commonly used by gun manufacturers, gunsmiths and gun owners to improve the cosmetic appearance of, and provide a measure of corrosion resistance to, their firearms.

bolt action: A type of firearm action in which the weapon's bolt is operated manually by the opening and closing of the breech (barrel) with a small handle. As the handle is operated, the bolt is unlocked, the breech is opened, the spent shell casing is withdrawn and ejected, the firing pin is cocked, and finally a new round/shell (if available) is placed into the breech and the bolt closed.

bolt thrust or breech pressure: The amount of rearward force exerted by the propellant gases on the bolt or breech of a firearm action or breech when a projectile is fired. The applied force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity.

bore snake: A tool used to clean the barrel of a gun.

boresight: Crude adjustments made to an optical firearm sight, or iron sights, to align the firearm barrel and sights. This method is usually used to pre-align the sights, which makes zeroing (zero drop at XX distance) much faster.

brass: The empty cartridge case.

break-action: A firearm whose barrels are hinged, and rotate perpendicular to the bore axis to expose the breech and allow loading and unloading of ammunition.
breech pressure or Bolt thrust: The amount of rearward force exerted by the propellant gases on the bolt or breech of a firearm action or breech when a projectile is fired. The applied force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity.

bullpup: a firearm configurations in which both the action and magazine are located behind the trigger.

burst mode: a firing mode enabling the shooter to fire a predetermined number of rounds with a single pull of the trigger.

button rifling: Rifling that is formed by pulling a die made with reverse image of the rifling (the 'button') down the pre-drilled bore of a firearm barrel. See also cut rifling and hammer forging.

caliber/calibre: in small arms, the internal diameter of a firearm's barrel or a cartridge's bullet, usually expressed in millimeters or hundredths of an inch; in measuring rifled barrels this may be measured across the lands (such as .303 British) or grooves (such as .308 Winchester) or; a specific cartridge for which a firearm is chambered, such as .44 magnum. In artillery, the length of the barrel expressed in terms of the internal diameter.

carbine: a shortened version of a service rifle, often chambered in a less potent cartridge or; a shortened version of the infantryman's musket or rifle suited for use by cavalry.

cartridge: the assembly consisting of a bullet, gunpowder, shell casing, and primer. When counting, it is referred to as a "round".

caseless ammunition: a type of small arms ammunition that eliminates the cartridge case that typically holds the primer, propellant, and projectile together as a unit.

casket magazine: a quad stack box magazine.

centerfire: a cartridge in which the primer is located in the center of the cartridge case head. Unlike rimfire cartridges, the primer is a separate and replaceable component. The centerfire cartridge has replaced the rimfire in all but the smallest cartridge sizes. Except for low-powered .22 and .17 caliber cartridges, and a handful of antiques, all modern pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition are centerfire.

chain gun: type of machine gun or autocannon that uses an external source of power to cycle the weapon.

chamber: the portion of the barrel or firing cylinder in which the cartridge is inserted prior to being fired. Rifles and pistols generally have a single chamber in their barrels, while revolvers have multiple chambers in their cylinders and no chamber in their barrel.

chambering: inserting a round into the chamber, either manually or through the action of the weapon.

charger: a speedloader that holds several cartridges together in a single unit for easier loading of a firearm's magazine. A stripper clip is used only for loading the magazine and is not necessary for the firearm to function.

charging handle: device on a firearm which, when operated, results in the hammer or striker being cocked or moved to the ready position.

choke: a tapered constriction of a shotgun barrel's bore at the muzzle end. Chokes are almost always used with modern hunting and target shotguns, to improve performance

clip: a device that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine of a repeating firearm. This speeds up the process of loading and reloading the firearm as several rounds can be loaded at once, rather than one round being loaded at a time.

COL (cartridge overall length): This is the maximum overall length the cartridge can be – and – expected to function properly in magazines and the mag well of a bolt-action rifle.

collateral damage: damage that is unintended or incidental to the intended outcome. The term originated in the United States military, but it has since expanded into broader use.

collimator sight: a type of optical "blind" sight that allows the user looking into it to see an illuminated aiming point aligned with the device the sight is attached to regardless of eye position (parallax free). The user can not see through the sight so it is used with both eyes open while one looks into the sight, with one eye open and moving the head to alternately see the sight and then at the target, or using one eye to partially see the sight and target at the same time.

combination gun: a shoulder-held firearm that has two barrels; one rifle barrel and one shotgun barrel. Most combination guns are of an over-under design (abbreviated as O/U), in which the two barrels are stacked vertically on top of each other, but some combination guns are of a side-by-side design (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other.

cordite: a family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom from 1889 to replace gunpowder as a military propellant. Like gunpowder, cordite is classified as a low explosive because of its slow burning rates and consequently low brisance. The hot gases produced by burning gunpowder or cordite generate sufficient pressure to propel a bullet or shell to its target, but not enough to destroy the barrel of the firearm, or gun.

CQB: close-quarters combat or close quarters battle is a type of fighting in which small units engage the enemy with personal weapons at very short range, potentially to the point of hand-to-hand combat or fighting with hand weapons such as swords or knives.

cylindro-conoidal bullet: a hollow base bullet, shaped so that, when fired, the bullet will expand and seal the bore. It was invented by Captain John Norton of the British 34th Regiment in 1832, after he examined the blow pipe arrows used by the natives in India and found that their base was formed of elastic locus pith, which by its expansion against the inner surface of the blow pipe prevented the escape of air past it.

damascus barrel or damascus twist: An obsolete method of manufacturing a firearm barrel made by twisting strips of metal around a mandrel and forge welding it into shape. See also Damascus steel.
direct impingement: A type of gas operation for a firearm that directs gas from a fired cartridge directly to the bolt carrier or slide assembly to cycle the action.

doglock: The lock that preceded the 'true' flintlock in both rifles and pistols in the 17th century. Commonly used throughout Europe in the 1600s, it gained popular favor in the British and Dutch military. A doglock carbine was the principal weapon of the harquebusier, the most numerous type of cavalry in the armies of Thirty Years War and the English Civil War era.

double-barreled shotgun: A shotgun with two barrels, usually of the same gauge or bore. The two types of double-barreled shotguns are over/under (abbreviated as O/U), in which the two barrels are stacked on top of each other, and side-by-side (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other. See photo at right for example of side-by-side double-barreled shotgun. For double-barreled guns that use one shotgun barrel and one rifle barrel, see combination gun.

double rifle: A rifle that has two barrels, usually of the same caliber. The two types of double rifles are over/under (abbreviated as O/U), in which the two barrels are stacked on top of each other, and side-by-side (abbreviated as SxS), in which the two barrels sit beside each other. The photo at right is of a side-by-side shotgun, but a side-by-side rifle is very similar. For double-barreled guns that use one shotgun barrel and one rifle barrel, see combination gun.

drilling: a firearm with three barrels (from the German word drei for three). Typically it has two barrels side by side on the top, with a third rifle barrel underneath. This provides a very versatile firearm capable of taking winged animals as well as big game. It also is useful in jurisdictions where a person is only allowed to own a single firearm.

drum magazine: a type of firearms magazine that is cylindrical in shape, similar to a drum.

dry fire: the practice of "firing" a firearm without ammunition. That is, to pull the trigger and allow the hammer or striker to drop on an empty chamber.

dum-dum: A bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet.

dummy: A round of ammunition that is completely inert, i.e., contains no primer, propellant, or explosive charge. It is used to check weapon function, and for crew training. Unlike a blank it contains no charge at all.

dust cover: a seal for the ejection port (which allows spent brass to exit the upper receiver after firing) from allowing contaminants such as sand, dirt, or other debris from entering the mechanism.

electronic firing: The use of an electric current to fire a cartridge, instead of a percussion cap. In an electronic-fired firearm an electric current is used instead to ignite the propellant, which fires the cartridge as soon as the trigger is pulled.

eye relief: For optics such as binoculars or a rifle scope, eye relief is the distance from the eyepiece to the viewers eye which matches the eyepiece exit pupil to the eye's entrance pupil. Short eye relief requires the observer to press his or her eye close to the eyepiece in order to see an unvignetted image. For a shooter, eye relief is an important safety consideration. An optic with too short an eye relief can cause a skin cut at the contact point between the optic and the eyebrow of the shooter due to recoil.

expanding bullet: An expanding bullet is a bullet designed to expand on impact, increasing in diameter to limit penetration and/or produce a larger diameter wound. The two typical designs are the hollow point bullet and the soft point bullet.

extractor: A part in a firearm that serves to remove brass cases of fired ammunition after the ammunition has been fired. When the gun's action cycles, the extractor lifts or removes the spent brass casing from the firing chamber.

falling block action: (also known as a sliding-block action) is a single-shot firearm action in which a solid metal breechblock slides vertically in grooves cut into the breech of the rifle and actuated by a lever. When in the top position, it is locked and resists the force of recoil while sealing the chamber. In the lower position, it leaves the chamber open to be loaded by a cartridge from the rear.

ferritic nitrocarburizing: A case hardening processes that diffuse nitrogen and carbon into ferrous metals at sub-critical temperatures to improve scuffing resistance, fatigue properties and corrosion resistance of metal surfaces. Also called nitriding.

fire forming: the process of reshaping a metallic cartridge case to fit a new chamber by firing it within that chamber.

forcing cone: The tapered section at the rear of the barrel of a revolver that eases the entry of the bullet into the bore.

fouling shot: A fouling shot is a shot fired through a clean bore, intended to leave some residue of firing and prepare the bore for more consistent performance in subsequent shots. The first shot through a clean bore will behave differently from subsequent shots through a bore with traces of powder residue, resulting in a different point of impact. Also, the Fouling Shot Journal, a publication of the Cast Bullet Association.

forward assist: A button, found commonly on M16 and AR-15-styled rifles, usually located near the bolt closure, that when hit, will push the bolt carrier forward, ensuring that the bolt is locked.

fouling: The accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces. The fouling material can consist of either powder, lubrication residue, or bullet material such as lead or copper.

frangible: A bullet that is designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact to minimize their penetration for reasons of range safety, to limit environmental impact, or to limit the danger behind the intended target. Examples are the Glaser Safety Slug and the breaching round.

frizzen: an "L" shaped piece of steel hinged at the rear used in flintlock firearms. The flint scraping the steel causes a shower of sparks to be thrown into the flash pan.

gas check: is a device used in some types of firearms ammunition when non-jacketed bullets are used in high pressure cartridges, to prevent the buildup of lead in the barrel and aid in accuracy.

gas-operated reloading: a system of operation used to provide energy to operate autoloading firearms.

gauge: The gauge of a firearm is a unit of measurement used to express the diameter of the barrel.

general purpose machine gun: a machine gun intended to fill the role of either a light machine gun or medium machine gun, while at the same time being man-portable.

grain: is a unit of measurement of mass that is based upon the mass of a single seed of a typical cereal. Used in firearms to denote the amount of powder in a cartridge or the weight of a bullet. Traditionally it was based on the weight of a grain of wheat or barley, but since 1958, the grain (gr) measure has been redefined using the International System of Units as precisely 64.79891 mg. There are 7,000 grains per avoirdupois pound in the Imperial and U.S. customary units.

grip safety: A safety mechanism, usually a lever on the rear of a pistol grip, that automatically unlocks the trigger mechanism of a firearm as pressure is applied by the shooter's hand.

gunpowder, also called black powder: is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas made up of carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, and a solid residue of potassium sulfide. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. The term gunpowder also refers broadly to any propellant powder. Modern firearms do not use the traditional gunpowder (black powder) described here, but instead use smokeless powder.

hammer bite: The action of an external hammer pinching or poking the web of the operator's shooting hand between the thumb and fore-finger when the gun is fired. Some handguns prone to this are the M1911 pistol and the Browning Hi-Power.

hang fire: An unexpected delay between the triggering of a firearm and the ignition of the propellant. This failure was common in firearm actions that relied on open primer pans, due to the poor or inconsistent quality of the powder. Modern weapons are susceptible, particularly if the ammunition has been stored in an environment outside of the design specifications.

half-cock: The position of the hammer where the hammer is partially but not completely cocked. Many firearms, particularly older firearms, had a notch cut into the hammer allowing half-cock, as this position would neither allow the gun to fire nor permit the hammer-mounted firing pin to rest on a live percussion cap or cartridge. The purpose of the half-cock position has variously been used both for loading a firearm, and as a safety-mechanism.

hammer: The function of the hammer is to strike the firing pin in a firearm, which in turn detonates the impact-sensitive cartridge primer. The hammer of a firearm was given its name for both resemblance and functional similarity to the common tool.

headspace: The distance measured from the part of the chamber that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to the face of the bolt. Used as a verb, headspace refers to the interference created between this part of the chamber and the feature of the cartridge that achieves the correct positioning.

headstamp: A headstamp is the markings on the bottom of a cartridge case designed for a firearm. It usually tells who manufactured the case. If it is a civilian case it often also tells the caliber, if it is military, the year of manufacture is often added.

heavy machine gun: a larger class of machine gun.

high brass: A shotgun shell for more powerful loads with the brass extended up further along the sides of the shell, while light loads will use "low brass" shells. The brass does not actually provide a significant amount of strength, but the difference in appearance provides shooters with a way to quickly differentiate between high and low powered ammunition.

holographic weapon sight: a non-magnifying gun sight that allows the user to look through a glass optical window and see a cross hair reticle image superimposed at a distance on the field of view. The hologram of the reticle is built into the window and is illuminated by a laser diode.

improved cartridge: A wildcat cartridge that is created by straightening out the sides of an existing case and making a sharper shoulder to maximize powder space. Frequently the neck length and shoulder position are altered as well. The caliber is NOT changed in the process.

IMR powder or Improved Military Rifle: A series of tubular nitrocellulose smokeless powders evolved from World War I through World War II for loading military and commercial ammunition and sold to private citizens for reloading rifle ammunition for hunting and target shooting.

improvised firearm: a firearm manufactured by someone who is not a regular maker of firearms.

internal ballistics: A subfield of ballistics, that is the study of a projectile's behavior from the time its propellant's igniter is initiated until it exits the gun barrel. The study of internal ballistics is important to designers and users of firearms of all types, from small-bore Olympic rifles and pistols, to high-tech artillery.

iron sights: are a system of aligned markers used to assist in the aiming of a device such as a firearm, crossbow, or telescope, and exclude the use of optics as in a scope. Iron sights are typically composed of two component sights, formed by metal blades: a rear sight mounted perpendicular to the line of sight and consisting of some form of notch (open sight) or aperture (closed sight); and a front sight that is a post, bead, or ring.

jacket: A metal, usually copper, wrapped around a lead core to form a bullet.

jeweling: a cosmetic process to enhance the looks of firearm parts, such as the bolt. The look is created with an abrasive brush and compound that roughs the surface of the metal in a circular pattern.

keyhole or keyholing: Refers to the shape of the hole left in a paper target by a bullet fired down a gun barrel which has a diameter larger than the bullet or which fails to properly stabilize the bullet. A bullet fired in this manner tends to wobble or tumble as it moves through the air and leaves a "keyhole" shaped hole in a paper target instead of a round one.

Khyber Pass copy: a firearm manufactured by cottage gunsmiths in the Khyber Pass region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

kick: The backward momentum of a gun when it is discharged. In technical terms, the recoil caused by the gun exactly balances the forward momentum of the projectile, according to Newton's third law. (often called kickback or simply recoil)

length of pull: The distance between the trigger and the butt end of the stock of a rifle or shotgun.

lever-action: is a type of firearm action which uses a lever located around the trigger guard area, (often including the trigger guard itself) to load fresh cartridges into the chamber of the barrel when the lever is worked.

light machine gun: machine gun designed to be employed by an individual soldier.

live fire exercise or LFX: Any exercise in which a realistic scenario for the use of specific equipment is simulated. In the popular lexicon this is applied primarily to tests of weapons or weapon systems that are associated with the various branches of a nation's armed forces, although the term can be applied to the civilian arena as well.

lug: any piece that projects from a firearm for the purpose of attaching something to it. For example barrel lugs are used to attach a break-action shotgun barrel to the action itself. If the firearm is a revolver, the term may also refer to a protrusion under the barrel that adds weight, thereby stabilizing the gun during aiming, mitigating recoil, and reducing muzzle flip. A full lug extends all the way to the muzzle, while a half lug extends only partially down the barrel. On a swing-out-cylinder revolver, the lug is slotted to accommodate the ejector rod.

machine gun: a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm.

machine pistol: a handgun-style fully automatic or burst-mode firearm.

magazine: A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines may be integral to the firearm (fixed) or removable (detachable). The magazine functions by moving the cartridges stored in the magazine into a position where they may be loaded into the chamber by the action of the firearm.

match grade: Firearm parts and ammunition that are suitable for a competitive match. This refers to parts that are designed and manufactured such that they have a relatively tight-tolerances and high level of accuracy.

muzzle: The part of a firearm at the end of the barrel from which the projectile will exit.

muzzle brakes and recoil compensators: devices that are fitted to the muzzle of a firearm to redirect propellant gases with the effect of countering both recoil of the gun and unwanted rising of the barrel during rapid fire.

muzzle energy: is the kinetic energy of a bullet as it is expelled from the muzzle of a firearm. It is often used as a rough indication of the destructive potential of a given firearm or load. The heavier the bullet and the faster it moves, the higher its muzzle energy and the more damage it will do.

muzzle velocity: is the speed at which a projectile leaves the muzzle of the gun. Muzzle velocities range from approximately 800 ft/s (240 m/s) for some pistols and older cartridges to more than 4,000 ft/s (1,200 m/s) in modern cartridges such as the .220 Swift and .204 Ruger. In conventional guns, muzzle velocity is determined by the quality (burn speed, expansion) and quantity of the propellant, the mass of the projectile, and the length of the barrel.

necking down or necking up: refers to shrinking or expanding the neck of an existing cartridge to make it use a bullet of a different caliber. A typical process used in the creation of wildcat cartridges.

NRA or National Rifle Association of America: is an American organization which lists as its goals the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection of hunting and self-defense in the United States. The NRA is also the sanctioning body for most marksmanship competition in the U.S.A., from the local to the Olympic level (particularly bullseye style events).

out-of-battery: The status of a weapon before the action has returned to the normal firing position. The term originates from artillery, referring to a gun that fires before it has been pulled back into its firing position in a gun battery. In firearms where there is an automatic loading mechanism, a condition in which a live round is at least partially in the firing chamber and capable of being fired, but is not properly secured by the usual mechanism of that particular weapon can occur.

over-bore: Small caliber bullets being used in very large cases. It is the relationship between the volume of powder that can fit in a case and the diameter of the inside of the barrel or bore.

obturate: An ordnance word; to close (a hole or cavity) so as to prevent a flow of gas through it, especially the escape of explosive gas from a gun tube during firing. The process of obturation is where a recess in the base of a bullet allows for expanding gases to press against the base and inside skirt of the bullet creating a gas tight seal to the bore. See also swage.

offset mount: Is where it may not be practical to mount a telescopic sight directly above the receiver and barrel of a firearm. This was noted with many military and service arms where new ammunition needs to be fed from above along a similar path, in reverse, to the spent cartridge cases being ejected clear. Not often seen or used today, although complete or partial sets of offset mounts attract keen interest from restorers and collectors.

parkerizing: A method of protecting a steel surface from corrosion and increasing its resistance to wear through the application of an electrochemical phosphate conversion coating. Also called phosphating and phosphatizing.

percussion cap: a small cylinder of copper or brass that was the crucial invention that enabled muzzle-loading firearms to fire reliably in any weather. The cap has one closed end. Inside the closed end is a small amount of a shock-sensitive explosive material such as fulminate of mercury. The percussion cap is placed over a hollow metal "nipple" at the rear end of the gun barrel. Pulling the trigger releases a hammer which strikes the percussion cap and ignites the explosive primer. The flame travels through the hollow nipple to ignite the main powder charge.

Picatinny rail: a bracket used on some firearms in order to provide a standardized mounting platform.

pinfire: an obsolete type of brass cartridge in which the priming compound is ignited by striking a small pin which protrudes radially from just above the base of the cartridge.

plinking: Informal target shooting done at non-traditional targets such as tin cans, glass bottles, and balloons filled with water.

POA: point of aim.

POI: point of impact.

powerhead or bang stick: a specialized firearm used underwater that is fired when in direct contact with the target.

pump-action: A rifle or shotgun in which the handgrip can be pumped back and forth in order to eject a spent round of ammunition and to chamber a fresh one. It is much faster than a bolt-action and somewhat faster than a lever-action, as it does not require the trigger hand to be removed from the trigger whilst reloading. When used in rifles, this action is also commonly called a slide action.

quad-barrelled: A gun, typically artillery, with four barrels, such as the ZPU.

ramrod: a device used with early firearms to push the projectile up against the propellant (mainly gunpowder).

rate of fire: the frequency at which a firearm can fire its projectiles.

receiver: the part of a firearm that houses the operating parts.

recoil: The backward momentum of a gun when it is discharged. In technical terms, the recoil caused by the gun exactly balances the forward momentum of the projectile, according to Newton's third law. (often called kickback or simply kick)

recoil operation: Recoil operation is an operating mechanism used in locked-breech, autoloading firearms. As the name implies, these actions use the force of recoil to provide energy to cycle the action.

red dot sight: a type of reflector (reflex) sight for firearms that gives the uses a red light-emitting diode as a reticle to create an aimpoint.

reflector (reflex) sight: A generally non-magnifying optical device that has an optically collimated reticle, allowing the user to look through a partially reflecting glass element and see a parallax free cross hair or other projected aiming point superimposed on the field of view. Invented in 1900 but not generally used on firearms until reliably illuminated versions were invented in the late 1970s (usually referred to by the abbreviation "reflex sight").

revolver: a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing.

ricochet: is a rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile.

rifle bedding: a process of filling gaps between the action and the stock of a rifle with an epoxy based material.

rifling: Helical grooves in the barrel of a gun or firearm, which imparts a spin to a projectile around its long axis. This spin serves to gyroscopically stabilize the projectile, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy.

rimfire: A type of firearm cartridge that used a firing pin which strikes the base's rim, instead of striking the primer cap at the center of the base of the cartridge to ignite it (as in a centerfire cartridge). The rim of the rimfire cartridge is essentially an extended and widened percussion cap which contains the priming compound, while the cartridge case itself contains the propellant powder and the projectile (bullet).

rolling block: A form of firearm action where the sealing of the breech is done with a circular shaped breechblock able to rotate on a pin. The breechblock is locked into place by the hammer, thus preventing the cartridge from moving backwards at the moment of firing. By cocking the hammer, the breechblock can be rotated freely to reload the weapon.

round: a single cartridge.

sabot: a device used in a firearm to fire a projectile, such as a bullet, that is smaller than the bore diameter.

safety: A mechanism used to help prevent the accidental discharge of a firearm, helping to ensure safer handling. Safeties can generally be divided into subtypes such as internal safeties (which typically do not receive input from the user) and external safeties (which typically allow the user to give input, for example, toggling a lever from "on" to "off" or something similar). Sometimes these are called "passive" and "active" safeties (or "automatic" and "manual"), respectively.

sawed-off shotgun/short-barreled shotgun (SBS): a type of shotgun with a shorter gun barrel and often a shorter or deleted stock.

selective fire: A firearm that fires semi–automatically and at least one automatic mode by means of a selector depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in this mode. The most common limits are two or three rounds per pull of the trigger.

semi-wadcutter or SWC: A type of all-purpose bullet commonly used in revolvers which combines features of the wadcutter target bullet and traditional round nosed revolver bullets, and is used in both revolver and pistol cartridges for hunting, target shooting, and plinking. The basic SWC design consists of a roughly conical nose, truncated with a flat point, sitting on a cylinder. The flat nose punches a clean hole in the target, rather than tearing it like a round nose bullet would, and the sharp shoulder enlarges the hole neatly, allowing easy and accurate scoring of the target. The SWC design offers better external ballistics than the wadcutter, as its conical nose produces less drag than the flat cylinder.

shooting range: a specialized facility designed for firearms practice.

shooting sticks: are portable weapon mounts.

short-barreled rifle (SBR): a legal designation in the United States, referring to a shoulder-fired, rifled firearm with a barrel length of less than 16" (40.6 cm) or overall length of less than 26" (66.0 cm).

single-action: Usually referring to a pistol or revolver, single-action is when the hammer is pulled back manually by the shooter (cocking it), after which the trigger is operated to fire the shot. See also double-action.

single-shot: A firearm that holds only a single round of ammunition, and must be reloaded after each shot.

slamfire: a premature, unintended discharge of a firearm that occurs as a round is being loaded into the chamber.

sleeving: A method of using new tubes to replace a worn-out gun barrel.

slide bite or Snake bite: A phenomenon which is often grouped with hammer bite. In this case the web of the shooting hand is cut or abraded by the rearward motion of the semi-automatic pistol's slide, not by the gun's hammer. This most often occurs with small pistols like the Walther PPK and Walther TPH that have an abbreviated grip tang. This problem is exacerbated by the sharp machining found on many firearms.

sling: is a type of strap or harness designed to allow an operator carry a firearm (usually a long gun such as a rifle, carbine, shotgun, or submachine gun) on his/her person and/or aid in greater hit probability with that firearm.

snubnosed revolver: a revolver with a short barrel length.

speedloader: A device used for loading a firearm or firearm magazine with loose ammunition very quickly. Generally, speedloaders are used for loading all chambers of a revolver simultaneously, although speedloaders of different designs are also used for the loading of fixed tubular magazines of shotguns and rifles, or the loading of box or drum magazines. Revolver speedloaders are used for revolvers having either swing-out cylinders or top-break cylinders.

spitzer bullet: an aerodynamic bullet design.

sporterising, sporterisation, or sporterization: The practice of modifying military-type firearms either to make them suitable for civilian sporting use or to make them legal under the law.

squib load, also known as squib round, pop and no kick, or just squib: A firearms malfunction in which a fired projectile does not have enough force behind it to exit the barrel, and thus becomes stuck. Squib loads make the firearm unsafe to shoot, unless the projectile can be removed.

stock: The part of a rifle or other firearm, to which the barrel and firing mechanism are attached, that is held against one's shoulder when firing the gun. The stock provides a means for the shooter to firmly support the device and easily aim it.

stopping power: The ability of a firearm or other weapon to cause a penetrating ballistic injury to a target, human or animal, sufficient to incapacitate the target where it stands.

stripper clip: A speedloader that holds several cartridges together in a single unit for easier loading of a firearm's magazine. A stripper clip is used only for loading the magazine and is not necessary for the firearm to function.

silencer, suppressor, sound suppressor, sound moderator, or "hush puppy": A device attached to or part of the barrel of a firearm to reduce the amount of noise and flash generated by firing the weapon.

swage: To reduce an item in size by forcing through a die. In internal ballistics, swaging refers to the process where bullets are swaged into the rifling of the barrel by the force of the expanding powder gases.

swaged bullet: A bullet that is formed by forcing the bullet into a die to assume its final form.

swaged choke: A constriction or choke in a shotgun barrel formed by a swaging process that compresses the outside of the barrel.

swaged rifling: Rifling in a firearm barrel formed by a swaging process, such as button rifling.

Taylor KO Factor: mathematical approach for evaluating the stopping power of hunting cartridges.
telescoping stock or collapsing stock: A stock on a firearm that telescopes or folds in on itself in order to become more compact. Telescoping stocks are useful for storing a rifle or weapon in a space that it would not normally fit in.

terminal ballistics: A sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior of a projectile when it hits its target.

Throat Erosion(firearms): The wearing of the portion of the barrel where the gas pressure and heat is highest as the projectile leaves the chamber. The greater the chamber pressure the more rapid throat erosion occurs which is compounded by rapid firing which heats and weakens the steel.

trigger: A mechanism that actuates the firing sequence of a firearm. Triggers almost universally consist of levers or buttons actuated by the index finger.

trunnion: a cylindrical protrusion used as a mounting and/or pivoting point. On firearms, the barrel is sometimes mounted in a trunnion, which in turn is mounted to the receiver.

upset forging: A process that increases the diameter of a workpiece by compressing its length.

underlug: 1. The locking lugs on a break-action firearm that extend from the bottom of the barrels under the chamber(s) and connect into the receiver bottom. 2. The metal shroud underneath the barrel of a revolver that surrounds and protects the extractor rod. The two types of underlugs include half-lug, meaning the shroud does not run the entire length of the barrel but instead is only as long as the extractor rod, and full-lug, meaning the shroud runs the full length of the barrel.

underwater firearm: a firearm specially designed for use underwater.

varmint rifle: A small-caliber firearm or high-powered air gun primarily used for varmint hunting — killing non-native or non-game animals such as rats, house sparrows, starling, crows, ground squirrels, gophers, jackrabbits, marmots, groundhogs, porcupine, opossum, coyote, skunks, weasels, or feral cats, dogs, goats, pigs and other animals considered to be nuisance vermin destructive to native or domestic plants and animals.

wadcutter: A special-purpose bullet specially designed for shooting paper targets, usually at close range and at subsonic velocities typically under 800 ft/s (240 m/s). They are often used in handgun and airgun competitions. A wadcutter has a flat or nearly flat front that cuts a very clean hole through the paper target, making it easier to score and ideally reducing errors in scoring the target to the favor of the shooter.

WCF: An acronym for a family of cartridges designed by Winchester Repeating Arms Company, called Winchester Center Fire, as in the .30-30 WCF or .32 WCF.

wheellock: an obsolete mechanism for firing a firearm.

wildcat cartridge or wildcat: A custom cartridge for which ammunition and firearms are not mass-produced. These cartridges are often created in order to optimize a certain performance characteristic (such as the power, size or efficiency) of an existing commercial cartridge. See improved cartridge.

windage: The side-to-side adjustment of a sight, used to change the horizontal component of the aiming point. See also Kentucky windage.

x-ring: a circle in the middle of a shooting target bullseye used to determine winners in event of a tie.

yaw: The heading of a bullet, used in external ballistics that refers to how the Magnus effect causes bullets to move out of a straight line based on their spin.

zero-in or zeroing: The act of setting up a telescopic or other sighting system so that the point of impact of a bullet matches the sights at a specified distance.



[aligntable=right,514,0,0,0,0,0]The caliber of any firearm is the measurement of the bore of its barrel. It could be measured directly as the diameter of the bore, or some intermediate system could be used as in the case of shotguns, where the caliber or gauge equals the number of lead ball bullets of that diameter which could be molded from one pound of lead. In the case of rifled firearms, the caliber is the measured diameter between lands or grooves of the rifling (see the picture). However, for many reasons actual (measured) caliber may differ from the caliber designation. Most often this misnomer is based on historical or marketing issues. Another source of complications is that there are two measuring systems used worldwide – the metric system and the imperial or inch system. Metric calibers are measured in millimeters, i.e. “7.65 mm” or “9 mm”; Inch calibers are measured in hundredths or thousandths of an inch, with the omission of the leading zero, i.e. “.30” or “.300” (0.30 inch or 7.62mm) or “.45” (0.45 inch or 11.43mm). The direct relationship between metric and inch calibers is represented as 1 inch = 25.4 millimeter, or 1 millimeter = 0.039 inch. In some cases, the nominal inch caliber is the same as the bore diameter (between the lands), as in the case of many .30 caliber weapons that have bore diameters of 0.30 inch or 7.62mm. In other cases, the nominal caliber may match the bullet diameter (slightly wider than the bore) e.g. the .40 S&W. However, in a few cases, the nominal inch calibers have no direct relationship with actual bore or bullet diameter, as with .38 caliber rounds which have bullet diameters ranging from 0.357 to 0.401 inches; these cartridges retain their misleading designations from the age of black powder revolvers. Metric caliber designations tend to be more accurate, but may still vary between whether bore (e.g. 7.62mm) or bullet (e.g. 9mm) diameters are used.


Even if two firearms have exactly the same actual caliber, they may use cartridges of very different size and power, i.e. Soviet TT pistol and US M1 Garand rifle both have bores of 7.62mm diameter, but their cartridges are very different in size and power. Therefore, in most cases it is insufficient to know just the caliber of a firearm to procure suitable ammunition, and some additional information needs to be provided. The simplest way is to give any cartridge its own name, i.e. 9mm Steyr and 9mm Luger, or .357 Magnum and .357 SIG. In either case, the calibers (bullet diameters) are the same, but the cartridge shapes, dimensions and power are different, and they are NOT interchangeable. However, there are far too many cartridges to give them all names, so the most convenient (and most common) way with metric designations is to use the case length in conjunction with the caliber. The typical designation that follows this pattern is 9x19, where “9” means the caliber and “19” is the cartridge case length, both measured in millimeters. If several cartridges of different properties have same caliber and case length, some additional information must be provided, usually in the form of a name or suffix, which distinguishes the shape of case head. The sample of the “name” use is 9x23 Largo / Bergmann and 9x23 Steyr cartridges, which were independent developments but are virtually indistinguishable in size and power. Another example is 9x23 Winchester, which, while having the same external dimensions as previous two 9x23 cartridges, has thicker case walls and thus can withstand heavier pressures; this cartridge can be easily loaded into firearm designed for either of former cartridges, but to do so would be extremely dangerous! Yet another example is a fourth cartridge with the same caliber and case length, the 9x23SR, more generally known as .38 Super Automatic or simply .38 Super. This cartridge has semi-rimmed case, that is, it has both the extraction groove and a diminutive rim, as it was designed in around 1898 to be used both in semi-automatic pistols and revolvers. Another example of similar designations but different actual dimensions are 9x18 PM and 9x18 Police cartridges. While these are identical in designations, actual calibers are different, as the 9mm PM bullet has an actual diameter of 9.2mm, and the 9mm Ultra has an actual bullet diameter of 9.02mm. Therefore, mismatching one such cartridge for another may be very dangerous for both gun and shooter. The source of this mismatch is that most western calibers are measured between the grooves of the rifling, and therefore are same as actual bullet diameter; in Russia and USSR, some calibers were measured between the lands of the rifling, therefore actual bullet diameter is bigger than measured caliber.
Considering all said above, great care must be exerted when selecting proper ammunition for any firearm.


[aligntable=left,200,0,0,0,0,0]Bullet types[/aligntable]
[aligntable=right,514,0,0,0,0,0]Many and various bullet types have been developed for fighting, training and other applications; only the most common are mentioned below.

Lead bullets are the oldest type and today used mostly in revolver and small-bore rimfire ammunition. These are formed from lead, or more often, an alloy of lead and antimony. Such bullets are inexpensive but usually can’t withstand higher velocities, and produce significant lead fouling in a rifled bore during prolonged use. Lead bullets are most often used for target shooting and practice, and (sometimes) for hunting.

Jacketed bullets are the most common and are the only available for military weapons due to international treaties. Such bullets are designed using a lead core that is enclosed by a gilding-metal jacket. These bullets are known for good penetration, but stopping power is often less significant than that of expanding bullets. Jacketed bullets are sometimes referred as “ball” bullets on historical grounds.

Hollow-point bullets are currently the most popular choice for police and self-defense ammunition. Such bullets are designed with the hollow cavity in the nose (therefore the common name “hollow-point”). This cavity causes the bullet to expand once it hits the soft tissue of human or animal body; thus results in reduced penetration but a wider wound channel and faster target incapacitation.

Armor-piercing pistol ammunition is nowadays mainly intended for use against adversaries with body armor. The simplest AP bullets for handgun ammunition are usually made from solid brass or bronze; sometimes these bullets are made with pointed tips to further improve penetration. Since such bullets, because of their hardness, may cause excessive wear to the barrel, they may be covered with some a softer materiel, such as Teflon. In some cases, AP bullets are made with the traditional soft brass or other gilding-metal jacket and with a composite core, made of a hardened steel penetrator together with some other filler. One example of such ammunition is the Belgian FN 5.7mm SS190 bullet, which has core made partly of steel (front) and partly of aluminum (rear). Another example is the Russian 9mm 7N21 bullet, which has a hardened steel core that passes throughout entire bullet and is exposed at the tip; the space between the jacket and core is filled with polyethylene.


Determining a firearm's condition

[aligntable=left,200,0,0,0,0,0]Overall state[/aligntable]

Look at the overall condition of the firearm. Notice the condition of the bluing, stock finish, checkering, butt plate or recoil pad, pistol grip cap, forearm tip, and so on. Check the crown at the muzzle end of the barrel. There should not be any obvious dings that might affect the accuracy of the firearm. Look for rust pitting on external metal surfaces. The firearm doesn't have to be perfect in every area, but it should show care rather than neglect. A firearm could be rough on the outside, yet perfect on the inside, but the chances are that an owner who didn't care for the external parts of a gun also didn't care for the parts you can't see. Look carefully down the external length of the barrel to see that it looks straight and there are no subtle bulges. Don't buy the firearm if you suspect that the barrel has been bulged, no matter how slightly, or is not straight.


[aligntable=left,200,0,0,0,0,0]State of the bore[/aligntable]

If a firearm is used, the bore can get worn down. Of course, it can be maintained and the grooves restored or have the entire barrel replaced, but as the bore gets worn down it can lose its spin, lose velocity and suffer at a loss of accuracy. The first thing any gun owner will do before buying a firearm is inspecting the bore. If its gritty, scratched and damaged they generally won't buy it.



This is equally as important as the first two requirements. There are some very good quality guns that have a very rough trigger from the factory. However, a good gunsmith can usually fix this with no problem. Having a smooth trigger is very important. Most of the time when a shooter pulls a shot, it is due to a poor trigger press or trigger control. A smooth trigger on a good pistol will make it easier to have better trigger control, thus, better accuracy.


Cleaning and maintenance

[aligntable=right,514,0,0,0,0,0]1. Get a cleaning kit


Whether you purchase a pre-assembled cleaning kit from a sporting goods store or you assemble the necessary components individually, you'll need a few basic things to have in your arsenal of cleaning supplies. A basic set includes:

[*] Cleaning solvent
[*] Lubricant, or gun oil
[*] A bore brush
[*] A patch holder and patches
[*] Cleaning rod
[*] A nylon cleaning brush
[*] Flashlight
[*] Cotton swabs
[*] Microfiber cloths for polishing


2. Unload the firearm


Always take the time to properly unload your gun and double-check to make sure that it's unloaded every time you pick it up to clean it. Remember that your gun may still have a round ready to fire after you remove the magazine, so check and remove this round.
After opening the chamber, look through the barrel from back to front. Confirm that no round remains inside, either in the chamber or stuck in the barrel. No gun can be considered unloaded until you have looked through the barrel.

3. Disassemble the firearm


Semi-automatic pistols and rifles will generally be stripped into their major components: barrel, slide, guide rod, frame and magazine. Revolvers, shotguns, and most other sorts of guns will not need to be stripped to clean them.
Field stripping is not necessary to clean the gun thoroughly. Don't take apart your gun more than you have to unless it requires repair. Likewise, some guns can't be stripped at all and it won't be necessary to do anything but open the chamber to clean it.

4. Clean out the barrel with cleaning rod and patches


Soak the bore, or inside of the barrel, using a cleaning rod, patch holder and the right size cotton patches for your gun. Work from the back of the bore if you can. If not, use a muzzle guard. The muzzle guard keeps the cleaning rod from banging against the muzzle, which can cause your gun to malfunction.
To thoroughly clean the barrel out, push a solvent-soaked patch through the bore until it exits the other end. Remove the patch, don't pull it back through. Pulling it back through will just redeposit all the gunk you clean off.

5. Alternate the bore brush and patches to thoroughly scrub the barrel


Remove the patch holder and attach the bore brush. Run the bore brush back and forth along the full length of the bore 3 or 4 times to loosen any debris. Next, reattach the patch holder and run solvent-soaked cotton patches through the bore. Remove them when they exit the front. Repeat this process until a patch comes out clean.
Run one more dry patch through to dry it out and inspect it closely for any build-up you may have missed.

6. Lubricate the barrel
Attach the cotton mop to the cleaning rod. Apply a few drops of gun conditioner or lubricant to the cotton mop and run it through the bore to leave a light coating of gun oil on the inside.

7. Clean and lubricate the action with solvent
Apply solvent to the gun brush and brush all parts of the action. Wipe them dry with a clean cloth.
Next, lubricate the moving parts of the action lightly. A light coating helps prevent rust. A heavy coating gets gummy and attracts debris, so only use a small amount.

8. Wipe down the rest of your gun with a luster cloth


This is a flannel cloth that comes pre-treated with a silicon lubricant. It will remove any remaining debris, including acid from fingerprints, and add shine.
If you don't have a particular cloth designated for cleaning guns, old t-shirts and pairs of socks work really well for the purpose. Use something you've got lying around and won't need to reuse.


[aligntable=right,514,0,0,0,0,0]1. Clean your gun after every use
A good-quality firearm is a significant investment, whether you're using it for sport, hunting, or home defense. Make sure you give it the attention it deserves whenever you get back from a round of firing it.
The whole cleaning process, start to finish, only takes 20 or 30 minutes. It's worth it to do it regularly. You might even consider getting out old guns from the back of the closet and doing them all at once while you've got the materials out. Can't hurt.

2. Consider investing in a barrel snake and/or ultrasonic cleaners


Like everything else, gun cleaning technology is cutting edge. For rifles and shotguns, barrel snakes are long multi-purpose cleaners that make the job much quicker and easier, some featuring lights on the end that allow you to see the interior of the barrel much more easily. It cuts down on time and makes the job more efficient.

3. Store your guns unloaded in a cool and dry environment
To ensure the longest life for your gun, don't store them anywhere they'll be significantly affected by the elements. Keep them indoors, in temperature-controlled environments. Consider investing in trigger locks to keep your gun safe and tamper proof.
Soft or hard cases are available for guns, anywhere as cheap as $15 or $20. If you have a higher budget, there are also lockable gun cabinets and safes made for the purpose of storing guns in a controlled and locked environment.


7. [GUIDE] Prose is Architecture


Subject: Prose is Architecture


The following is a collection of different authors’ writing devices, their uses and their opinions on them. Some opinions might be conflicting, so take what you will from them and employ them in your role-play. Bona fide authors use this shit so you’re not above it. Give it a skim at the very least and keep in mind that these are mostly arguments for and against the certain devices described. It’s your choice where you stand.

Vivid Description

Vivid description is writing which makes you feel as if you are standing there, right there where the author has just described something. Vivid description appeals to the senses — eyes, nose, ears, skin, etc. You use vivid description when you describe something, whatever it may be.

If you want to use vivid description, then you want to play with all the senses. Don’t just say the wind is fast. Compare it with something that the readers are familiar with. As an example, compare these two sentences:


The wind was very fast.



The wind was as fast as a train.

Which example is better? For most, it’s no. 2. Rather than leaving the details to the reader’s imagination, why not list them out in your writing? It is incredibly annoying to imagine something based on what has been written only to discover that our image is wrong. (Read this post to see why novels and films differ when writing character description for it). In contrast, if we had the proper details, wouldn’t we imagine better? Wouldn’t we have a clearer image of what the author is saying? Yes, we would. That’s when vivid description comes in.

Description is necessary but boring, and so you have vivid description. Concrete details. Everything the reader would want to know, and nothing more. You explain it, they understand it, and your writing is okay. But what if you want your writing to be more than just ‘okay’? Then you have to write for the senses. Hit your writing with some scent for the nose and make the reader feel as if he’s there with you sniffing. Play with noise. Play with feelings and sensations. Make the writing wash over the reader, as if it’s not there at all, as if he/she is seeing the event or whatever you are describing.

When the reader has that feeling, then you know that your piece was a success. Then you know your work has paid off. Then you know you’re ready to see results, and all from applying a very simple writing tip: just use vivid description.

When you are using vivid description, it’s better to use the active voice, and for a good reason. The thing is, when you use the passive voice, as for example: “The door was opened by the man” rather than “The man opened the door” your writing loses a bit of its punch. It loses the “vivid” part of vivid description, and along with filler words, can completely weaken your writing. My advice: stay clear of it!

When you use active voice on the other hand, your writing becomes concise and more readable. You reach closer to the goal of having the reader feel that he’s there with you when you describe something. Concrete details means the complete opposite of becoming a fancy writer: more punch, more strength, more vigour. Better results.

Brilliant writing is an art form. Only few writers pen down something which may be called brilliant, and they make it look easy. For the rest of us… but the art is learnable. As usual, the main thing you should do is: (drumroll) practise! When your writing is brilliant, your description automatically becomes brilliant. You don’t need to worry because of it; you need to worry because of your writing. Improve how you write and you’ll improve your description.

As with narrative and dialogue, try not to use too much description. It bores us. It bores the heck out of us, and even if you’ve got vivid description, it won’t help if you keep at it. Mix it up — I guarantee you will see positive results! Try it today. Experiment with various techniques. You may want to use some quotes, lists, charts or anything else to break up the description. All are recommended, so you can use any of them which you like.

Sensory Detail Word Bank

This is essentially just a list of words that aid in the description of senses, see the previous paragraph for help on using them. Do not under any circumstances use these words without understanding what they mean or how to employ them in your writing or role-play. The purpose of this topic is for you to learn and understanding new writing devices and being able to use them confidently in your role-play. If you don't understand any of these words or how to use them, ask me or Google them.

Loud words

Crash, thud, bump, thump, boom, thunder, bang, smash, explode, roar, scream, screech, shout, yell, whistle, whine, squawk, bark, bawl, bray, bluster, rage, blare, rumble, grate, slam, clap, stomp, stamp, noise, discord, jangle, rasp, clash, caterwaul, clamor, tumult, riot, racket, brawl, bedlam, pandemonium, hubbub, blatant, deafening, raucous, earsplitting, piercing, rowdy, blast, yowl, shatter.

Soft words

Sigh, murmur, whisper, whir, rustle, twitter, patter, hum, mutter, snap, hiss, crackle, bleat, peep, buzz, zing, gurgle, swish, rush, chime, tinkle, clink, hush, still, speechless, mute, faint, inaudible, melody, resonance, harmony, musical.

Speech words

Stutter, stammer, giggle, guffaw, laugh, sing, yell, scream, screech, snort, bellow, growl, chatter, murmur, whisper, whimper, talk, speak, drawl, hiss.

Sight words

Glittery, opalescent, overcast, blazing, crooked, dazzling, attractive, fluorescent, translucent, shimmery, radiant, billowing, enormous, ruddy, light, puckered, luminous, filmy tiny, graceful, pallid, opaque, somber, glinting, lanky, huge, delicate, flamboyant, lurid, drab, gaudy.

Touch words

Cool, cold, icy, lukewarm, tepid, warm, hot, steamy, sticky, damp, wet, slippery, spongy, mushy, oily, waxy, fleshy, rubbery, tough, crisp, elastic, leathery, silky, satiny, velvety, smooth, soft, woolly furry, feathery, fuzzy, hairy, prickly, gritty, sandy, rough, sharp, thick, pulpy, dry, dull, thin, fragile, tender.

Taste words

Oily, buttery, salty, bitter, bittersweet, sweet, hearty, mellow, sugary, crisp, ripe, bland, tasteless, sour, vinegary, fruity, tangy, unripe, raw, alkaline, medicinal, fishy, spicy, peppery, gingery, hot burnt, overripe, spoiled, rotten.

Smell words

Sweet, scented, fragrant, aromatic, perfumed, flowery, heady, flesh, balmy, earthy, piney, minty, odorous, pungent, tempting, spicy, savory, sharp, gamy, fishy, briny, acidic, acrid, burnt, gaseous, reeking, putrid, rotten, spoiled, sour, rancid, sickly, stagnant, moldy, musty, mildewed, damp, sank, stench, stale.

The Art of Description

Avoid Huge Lumps of Description

In the past, authors could get away with including long, detailed descriptions in their stories. There’s an infamous anecdote about a penny dreadful called Varney the Vampire. The author couldn’t decide what happened in the next installment, so he interrupted the story to send all his characters off to the park or the zoo. The story picked up again in the next installment. This problem wasn’t limited to the penny dreadfuls. Many famous novels of this period came to a complete stop while the author described something (such as a cityscape, a history, or even an entire profession) for a chapter or two.

Unless they’re seeking out writers known for lyrical descriptive passages, today’s readers wouldn't put up with that sort of thing. They don’t want to sit and read several pages about a park outing that had nothing to do with the story, or about the workings of the fireplace in a Medieval castle. They have better things to do with their time — and they want to read a story, not a travelogue.

Of course there are authors who, even in today’s marketplace, can get away with pages and pages of description. Even genre writers. Those writers get away with it only because they’re really really good. Either their writing is lyrical, or it’s witty, or it’s somehow so enthralling that people don’t care that the book has ground to a halt. However, not all readers will put up with this, even if the writing is the terrific. Also, it’s worth noting that there are many published writers who rhapsodize on everything from history to their characters’ politics for long passages without being lyrical about it. In these case, the reality is that even the fans know to skim those passages.

Make Description an Active Part of your Story

To make your stories more interesting, you must find ways to blend the description into the story. Descriptions that just sit there are generally known as “narrative lumps.” Like lumps on proverbial logs, they sit there and do little to your story. Send those lumps to the gym and make them work out. They can set the scene, move the plot, set the mood, foreshadow events, give us a sense of character, whatever they have to do to get the ball (or log) rolling.

The great thing about using descriptions in combination with action is that you can cut the description down into palatable pieces. In a fantasy short story, I once wrote the following sentence: “Zara grabbed her mug and gulped it down, shivering when a few drops of the ale trickled under her leather top.” I made my words work for me. I didn’t have to say “The ale was cold. She wore a leather top.” Instead, I used action to fit that description into the story in tiny bits.

How did I come up with that line? It came from imagining Zara and what she might experience when she drank that ale. Try it with your own stories. Try to think of your story as scenes unfolding in a movie or play. What do your characters interact with? Let's say you’re writing a story set in a modern-day office building. Instead of stopping the story to describe the lush lobby with trees and waterfalls, come up with a reason for this description to be in the story. Yes, even “Because this office should have a fancy lobby” is a legitimate reason for the description to be in the story, as long as it doesn’t drag the story to a stop. Now, come up with an excuse — whoops, I mean a reason — for the characters to be interacting with that setting. Are your hero and heroine walking through the lobby while having an argument? Or are they sitting at the fountain when they realize they may be in love? What they are doing will influence what they interact with, and how they filter those details.

Want to describe the heroine’s living room or bedroom? Then describe it as a part of a scene full of tension, such as an argument, or during the love scene. Blend the description with action. The same goes for describing the characters. Something as simple as “He picked up the invitation with his slender fingers” is more exciting than “She noticed that he had slender fingers.”

Don’t forget to trust in the intelligence of your audience [although this is LSRP this paragraph still applies]. You don’t have to spell everything out for them. You can make them figure out what something, or someone, looks like by dropping hints. Early in Walter Miller, Jr.’s classic post-apocalyptic novel A Canticle for Leibowitz, a monk realizes for the first time that the pope’s cassock is getting threadbare, and that the carpet in the pope’s audience room is worn. Miller uses description to clue the reader in on this world and to mark changes in the way the character is viewing the world around him.

Describe What Your Characters Would Notice

Unless you’re writing in omniscient viewpoint, chances are that you are filtering the setting (and background) through the eyes of your characters. This will be the case whether you are writing first person or third person limited stories. In the Miller example above, the monk noticed that the pope's cassock was worn because it was something out of place.

Let’s go back to the office building with the fancy lobby. If your heroine has been in that office building dozens of times, she will only give it a passing glance. Unless something has changed or something usual is going on. Then she will notice it. For example, she might not take much notice of the lovely fountain in the center of the lobby, but she would notice if the fountain wasn’t working or if the building manager had changed the color of the water because of a holiday, or if the hero was standing in the fountain and fishing for quarters.

Characters in a Medieval setting won’t think it’s odd that there are tapestries on the walls or rushes on the floor. They will notice the unusual — rushes that haven't been changed for a while, or for that matter, rushes that have been changed often and smell sweet. Similarly, characters in fantasy and futuristic stories won’t look at the setting in the same way we would. A star pilot is unlikely to walk into a star port and think of its history, notice the number of star ships, etc., unless there is a good reason. A fantasy warrior isn’t going to look at a group of wizards and remember the history of magic. Instead, he would look at them and try to size up their strengths as potential enemies or allies.

You should probably avoid stopping the flow of your story to tell your readers all about how nice the hero’s castle is or how important the rain forest is. I’ve seen stories that do so, and even if the setting is pretty, the result to the story isn’t pretty. Some authors can get away with this. If you’re one of them, then go for it, but at the same time, always keep your readers in mind. Do they want to read a ramble about the rain forest? Or do they want to know what happens next?

Words, Words, Words

Use strong, active, concrete writing words when writing description. The stronger the writing, the better the description. Use concrete details — such as the detail about the cold ale trickling down Zara’s chest. Nouns and verbs are your friends. Adjectives and adverbs can be your friends, or your enemies, depending on how you use them.

What should you avoid? One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you should avoid adjectivitis and similar “writing sins.” Yes, I know “adjectivitis” isn't a real word — but it should be in the dictionary, because so many writers suffer from it. Adjectivitis refers to using too many adjectives. Some writers are notorious for piling on adjectives. Not to mention adverbs, weak qualifiers such as “somewhat,” and so forth. Using them in any part of the story weakens your writing. Using them in your descriptions risks putting the readers to sleep.

I won’t do like some other writing guidelines say and tell you “Never use adverbs.” Sometimes you will need adverbs. Sometimes people speak softly or walk slowly, or quickly. Sometimes saying “He walked slowly down the hall...” is right for the story and saying “He plodded down the hall...” is dead wrong.

Oh, and don’t go to the thesaurus too often. Yes, I know, sometimes you need another word for [this is covered in the word bank above] “walked.” Still, just because it’s in the thesaurus under the entry for “walked,” that doesn’t mean it’s the right word for your story. Besides, sometimes it becomes obvious that certain writers are too in love with their thesauruses. Their characters don’t just shout ’ they exclaim and yell and caterwaul. Use these words in moderation. Sometimes simple is the best way to go.

Fit the Description to the Type of Story

If you’re writing an action-oriented romance, too much description will get in the way of the pace. James Bond isn’t going to stop in the middle of skiing away from gun-toting spies to ponder the beauty of the Alps. He’s going to get away from them.

On the other hand, description will be a more important part of many slower-paced stories. If the book is about a hero coming to his hometown to lick his wounds after a divorce, we want to know what the area looks like and why it’s so important to him. Also, a spooky paranormal tale might use description to build up the sense of unease — for example, you might linger on descriptions of dark hallways in the old mansion and hint that there are ghosts there.

Avoid Excessive Name-dropping

First, you should know that it’s all right to use brand names in stories. There are a few basic rules: 1) get the trademark correct and 2) don’t use the trademark in a generic or incorrect sense.

However, while using trademarks is all right, using too many brand names is over-the-top and annoying. Unless you’re writing chick lit about a brand-obsessed heroine, then don’t waste valuable narrative telling the reader about your heroine’s designer clothing, designer perfumes, expensive car, and designer pets. Some books include so many brand names that readers begin to wonder if the writer is getting kickbacks for product placement.

Don’t avoid brand names altogether, however. Using brand names can be a good way to provide the reader with a quick concrete description. Does your hero drive a Jaguar? Or does he drive a VW bus? Right away, those are two very different heroes. (Even more different is the hero who owns both a shiny Jag and an old VW bus.)

Writing Effective Description is not a Sin

Much of the writing advice today says to keep your writing lean, spare, and focused on the action. Readers don’t have time or patience for description, they say. Descriptions bog down the story, they say. Readers don’t care about the scenery, they only care about what happens to the character, they say. I beg to differ.

My favorite novels are full of beautiful, living descriptions, that make the scenery an active part of the story. These descriptions make me want to be right there with the character, helping her out of the jungle, or airplane, or wherever she is. If there is no description, I feel disconnected from the characters.

I do quite a bit of beta reading for other writers, and I often read stories set in another time or distant place. But I never make a deep connection to the story, partly because they’re so afraid to write description. I never get a sense of where the story is taking place.

Setting can be as complex as a character

Think of your childhood home. Good or bad, it has emotions attached to it. What things do you remember about it? If you were to describe it, you’d probably mention the things that had the most emotional impact on you.

  • I remember our tiny kitchen, no bigger than a ship’s galley, my family all crowding around the Formica table, sitting on plastic chairs with metal legs that squeaked with our laughter, elbowing each other as we passed heaping bowls of spaghetti around the table. My sister would take advantage of the chaos to pinch me on my bony legs. Crushed between the yellow brick wall and the heavy table, wedged between her and my other sister, I had nowhere to run to escape her fingers of pain.

What if, instead of the previous paragraph, I simply wrote,

  • My sister would pinch me as we sat at the crowded table in our tiny kitchen, and I had no where to go to get away.

Unfortunately, we’ve had the “don’t write description” dictum drilled into us so relentlessly, that many writers have developed writing so plain and spare that it’s become as dry as yesterday’s leftovers. How do we find a happy medium of just the right amount of description; enough to enhance the story, but not so much that it slows the story down? Here are my personal dos and don’ts.

Don’t write description that:

  • Is flowery prose that just describes, but doesn’t advance the plot
  • Uses mixed metaphors and too simple similes
  • Is full of cliché
  • Is description just for the sake of description

Do write description that:

  • Is embedded in the story
  • Activates the reader’s imagination and senses
  • Is specific and concrete

I had a writing teacher once tell me I should think of my description as a character. Describe the things that are important to the plot and leave out the rest. Keep the description that reflects the tone and feeling of the story. This takes practice. I don’t claim to be an expert at this by any means. I’m still practicing. Every time I turn on my computer to write, I’m still practicing.

Fictional Truth and Significant Detail in Short Fiction

What is fictional truth? Fiction is not truth. It is an illusion. It is a lie that makes us realize truth. We often read a fiction story and learn something about the human condition. Life is often stranger than fiction. Events in real life occur at random. Events in fiction are casual. In short, events must be related in fiction.

For fiction to work, the writer must create a dream inside the mind of the reader, which enables the reader to suspend disbelief and believe that the fictional story is plausible. Writer John Gardner wrote extensively on this concept in “The Art of Fiction.”

How does the writer create a dream inside the mind of the reader? How does the writer make the reader believe the story? The writer shows, doesn’t tell the reader what happened. To do this, the writer narrates the story using significant details. For instance, when describing the setting, the writer shows the reader by using significant details. When writing about action, the writer shows the reader with significant details. When describing the main character, the writer shows the reader with significant details. In short the writer creates a dream inside the mind of the reader, convinces the reader that the story is plausible—perhaps even true—by showing, not telling.

By showing the reader what happens, the writer stirs the imagination, sparks the feelings, makes the story compelling in the mind of the reader.

For instance, in The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, the author is able to lead the reader to believe that a man wakes up, finds himself turned into a cockroach. He does this by using vivid details to tell the story.

How does the writer use significant details?

The writer uses concrete and specific language, not abstract and general language.

Using vivid and realistic details makes your story come alive and provides proof to the reader that the story is plausible.

You don’t need to write every detail, just important details. Then allow the language to suggest other details.

The surest way to arouse and hold the attention of the reader is by telling the story using concrete, specific, definite details.

A detail is concrete if it appeals to one of the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, heard.

A detail is specific if it conveys an idea or a judgement.

All memorable stories include vivid details. All great writers are skilled at incorporating vivid details to tell the story.

The writer also needs to use realistic descriptions of real or imaginary places, people, events, dialogue. Otherwise, the reader will not believe the story.

In summary, fiction is a lie. It is an illusion. Therefore the writer must convince the reader to suspend disbelief and believe the story is plausible by creating a dream in the mind of the reader.  The writer creates the dream by showing, not telling the reader what happens. One way to show and not tell is to use significant details that appeal to the senses. In other words, the writer selects sensory details. These details should be concrete, specific, and definite.

On Some Fallacies of Some Amateur Fiction

As far as I know, J.D. Salinger, the great masterful author of my all-time favorite The Catcher In The Rye, didn’t teach any writing courses. I’m not sure that he gave much advice on how to write either. But he does give us some of his views on writing in Catcher.

That’s some­thing else that gives me a royal pain. I mean if you’re good at writing compo­si­tions and somebody starts talking about commas. Strad­later was always doing that. He wanted you to think that the only reason he was lousy at writing compo­si­tions was because he stuck all the commas in the wrong place.

Later, Strad­later asks Holden to “make it descriptive as hell.” And that’s what we’re sort of taught in so many writing courses and in high school English: to make things descriptive as hell.

I see this sort of writing all of the time. Whether it’s the latest fiction in The New Yorker or a modern novel like Ames’ The Extra Man or Burgess’ Dogfight: A Love Story and I can’t help but balk whenever I read passages of detail. Sure, as a writer, it’s your job to paint a picture in your reader’s mind. Sure, it’s important to be vivid. But to be descriptive as hell, as Strad­later puts it, is absolutely useless more often than not. You see, when I read about orange carpet that winds around the room, creating a maze-like path that led from kitchen to bathroom, I can’t help but feel insulted. I wonder to myself, Why on earth am I reading this? I have read a few pieces of fiction in The New Yorker that start out with a very detailed description of the setting. And then I can’t stand to read the rest of the passage. Unnec­essary details turn me off of the story. As a writer, you must always ask yourself, Why am I showing this to the reader? What does it mean? Many times, we writers must create the scene in our heads, so that it becomes vivid and a real living breathing space, so that we can create the char­acters who inhabit it. And many times, we end up writing the nitty gritty details of it, down to the last little rusted nail in the corner by the rotting baseboard.

But the truth is that more often than not, the description isn’t necessary. These details are mere vestiges of the writer’s creative process, things that should be erased; after all, what bearing does the color of a rug have on whether my protagonist lives or dies? Simply describing the rug’s color doesn’t mean anything to the story or to the reader. Instead, one must elevate the meaning of things. If one is to describe a room, the room’s char­ac­ter­istics had better have a bearing on some­thing other than the senses. For example, a green rug that’s worn down could be elevated to rotting moss that ate away at the baseboards of the house, slowly eroding at its foun­da­tions and giving its owner a permanent wrinkle of the nose and a crease in his eyebrows.

I believe that truly good fiction is lean and polished. I can’t stand it when writers weigh down their stories with details that are inconsequential. While scene setting is important to a certain extent, I believe that florid details are outdated. Novels used to be the prime choice of entertainment, so it made sense that stories should be rife with details: the audience needed to construct the entertainment in their mind. But ever since the full color motion picture came out, people look to films to satiate their need for visual details. It is no longer necessary to bog down the reader’s mind with inanities like the color and texture of a rug that has no bearing on the story or its characters.

The truth is that, even in my own novel-in-progress, I see these vestigial scene-building details. I intend to go back and remove all unnecessary detail, and to question if these details are of any particular importance. For example, I described in great detail the workplace of my protagonist. But after reviewing the passage, I ask myself if there’s any particular reason the tables are blue rather than gray. I believe that such questions hone a writer’s eye for detail and to imbue things with meaning where there is meaning to be found.

Specific Details Spell Success

Which passage would you rather read?

  • 1. The birds crowded around the feeder.


  • 2. The goldfinches squabbled on the plastic rung, causing the feeder it to swing and spin drunkenly as they battered against one another, until a screeching scrub jay swooped in, forcing the argumentative couple to flee for refuge in a nearby oak tree.

Most people would choose the second passage. Why? It’s a more enjoyable read because it has so many details readers can see a picture of the action. Notice the specific details:

  • Squabbling goldfinches
  • Screeching scrub jay
  • Feeder spinning drunkenly
  • An oak tree

This is a scene that takes place in my backyard every morning and every afternoon. When I talk about it, I simply say the birds fight. But when writing, we need to give the reader much more. The reader chooses to spend time with you as the author, and in return, the reader expects you to paint a vivid picture with your words. I’ve called it making words dance,  or descriptive writing with the five senses.

The success is in the details. That’s what draws the reader to you and keeps him reading. This is true in both fiction and creative nonfiction. We can’t use all five senses in every scene, but it’s helpful to remember all five senses as we write each scene. For example, let’s look at a situation and analyze all five senses.

Sight, you might notice the mustard stain on his tie from lunch, or the long hairs in his nose. Sound, you might hear the ping of the elevator doors as they open outside his office, or the laughter of your co-workers outside the door. Smell, perhaps you break into a cold sweat and smell your own perspiration. Or is it that of your boss? Taste , bile rises in your throat and the acid burns the back of your tongue. Or your mouth goes dry and you taste the sands of the Sahara between your lips. Feel, the ground wobbles beneath your feet. Your spine feels like rubber and your whole body shakes. You feel the (Hidden) of the torn pleather as you sit down in a cold chair across from his desk.

Put your character in the scene and imagine what he or she might see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. Use as much detail as fits the scene.

Use concrete, specific terms in the details

Here’s an example I love from Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition, page 21. This book is my writing bible.

  • “Daisy and I in time found asylum in a small menagerie down by the railroad tracks. It belonged to a gentle ne’er do well, who did nothing all day long but drink bathtub gin in rickeys and play solitaire and smile to himself and talk to his animals. He had a little, stunted red vixen and a deodorized skunk, a parrot from Tahiti that spoke Parisian French…” from “The Zoo” a short story by Jean Stafford.

Notice the definite, specific details. There’s no mistake or misinterpretation because the details paint the picture. The parrot doesn’t just speak French, it speaks Parisian French. The skunk is deodorized. The alcoholic is gentle. This is a story that begs to be read.

Two key points to remember are:

  • Put your character in the scene and have her experience as many of the five senses as you can
  • Use specific, descriptive words and verbs to send the message you intend

The Key to Descriptive Writing: Specificity

Descriptive writing, or the art of painting a picture in your reader's mind, is one of the most powerful techniques to master, whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction. The key to making it work – and to making your prose more powerful – is specificity.

Let's take an example. Here's a sentence, one that has started many a mediocre joke:

“A guy walks into a bar and orders a drink.”

Now, this may paint a picture in a reader's mind, but it's pretty generic. It could be any guy, in any city. A sentence this vague tells you right away this is going to be a make-believe story, not something that really happened. It would be a weak start to a nonfiction account or a novel.

Usually when people read nonfiction story, they want to know they are getting as close as possible to a firsthand account of events that really occurred. They want to feel as though they are hearing the story from someone who was there, and a genuine eyewitness can give specific details of what happened.

Although people know fiction is, well, fictional, good fiction should nonetheless have the have the ring of authenticity to it. Again, the way you convey that authenticity is by descriptive writing that includes specific details someone who was actually present would know.

So what could we do with our vague first sentence? One approach might be to continue our descriptive writing, adding more information as we go:

“A guy walks into a bar and orders a drink. He was old and tired, and he wanted to escape his loneliness for one night by getting very drunk.”

Now this is slightly better, but not much. It tells us a little bit about the character and his intent, but as descriptive writing goes it is still pretty generic. Also, it breaks the an important principle of good writing: show, don't tell. This second sentence tells us what the character wants, whereas it's usually better to show the reader a specific detail and let the reader infer the character's desire.

So let's try a different tactic. Let's go back to the first sentence and replace some of the more generic words with more specific ones:

“A grizzled prospector stumbled into the dark saloon and demanded a bottle of whiskey.”

Now this is better. It is no longer a generic bar in a generic setting. We can infer it is a bar in the old West. The character is not just any “guy,” but a type of character typically found in Westerns. The verbs “stumbled” and “demanded” convey more about his personality and the condition of his body, as does the adjective “grizzled.” The type of drink he orders and the quantity reveals something about his state of mind and his tastes. What's more, it does so by showing, rather than telling.

In fact, we may not need the second sentence now, because we can infer the prospector's reason for ordering the whiskey. People usually don't “stumble” into a place if they are expecting to meet someone. And only someone who is lonely and/or miserable would order an entire bottle of whiskey for himself.

If this was a writing exercise we were doing, we might continue the process of adding specific details to see what type of story emerged. (In fact, feel free to do this descriptive writing exercise with any simple sentence you come across.) Here's what I might get by specifying a few more details:

“The sun had fallen low in the sky when Dan Perkins, grizzled and grey haired, stumbled into the smoky parlour of the Fortune Trail Saloon. His face was tanned, his clothes were worn and soiled, and he smelled like the back end of a pack-mule. Leaning against the blackened oak counter to steady himself, Dan wiped a spill of fresh blood from his eyebrow, slammed a fist-sized bag of gold dust onto the counter and demanded a bottle of The Last Rites – a foul, chestnut-coloured mixture of Irish whiskey, Indian medicinal herbs, and homemade moonshine, popular among the dying and those who no longer cared to live.”

I'm starting to get a bit fanciful now (the beverage is purely imaginative), but I'm sure you see my point. Specificity can change a bland, generic piece of descriptive writing into something far more interesting to read. It draws the reader into the world of the story and makes that world and its inhabitants far more tangible and believable.

In your descriptive writing, try provide the reader with specific answers to basic questions like “Who? What? When? Where? Why? And How?”. You should also incorporate as many of the senses as possible. If you are writing from the point of view of a character, what specifically would that character see, hear, smell, taste and feel? If your narrator is omniscient, include details that convey to the reader what it would have been like to be present in the story.

Each specific detail tells the reader much more about the characters and the world they inhabit than a general term can. Does your protagonist carry a handgun or a Philadelphia Derringer? Does he like cheese or Camembert? Does he live in a house or a brownstone? Does he sport a watch or a Rolex?

Using specific nouns and verbs is also a very efficient way of conveying your story. Sometimes replacing a single word with one that's more specific can tell the reader as much about a character than an entire paragraph of lame prose.

As you might guess, there's probably no limit to the number of specific details you could build into a passage of descriptive writing. So you must be selective. Too many details can slow the action, and if they aren't of vital importance to the story, they can become boring. On the other hand, a few telling details inserted in the middle of the action can paint a rich picture for the reader without slowing things down.

The next time one of your chapters seems a little bland, try replacing some general words with specific details. You may be amazed how much power they contain.


8. Russian Naming Conventions



9. Resources

Resources relevant to the faction and its membership will be posted in this thread. Bare in mind that this information may not be directly relative to what we, as a faction, are attempting to portray


EOC/Russian OC/Assorted




























"American Mafia Gets a Makeover"


Primarily discusses Armenian Power but delves into some facets of traditional EOC





"The Export Other Countries Would Rather Do Without: the Russian Mafia"


10. Inspiration


Article about the Russian Mob in Brighton Beach, NY. Explains how POS skims work, how the Russian thugs rely on the immigrant community to help them with POS scams and briefly describes the relationship between the Russian mob and La Cosa Nostra in New York.


Interesting article about Russian mafiya stalwarts in New York. Describes how EOC groups can be transnational as criminals often have operations in multiple countries at the same time.


Edited by John Stallion
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John Stallion

Note; you will need a few hours to read everything but it is very useful. Just follow quotes, it's like a book.

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Really informative and thorough guide, +1 from me, was worth it reading it

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On 2/18/2018 at 11:58 AM, John Stallion said:

That's like twenty-one thousand eleven dollars!


Sounds off to me, are you sure it isn't "and eleven dollars"?


Might be an American thing.

Edited by Turtleneck

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Good one.

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A'yo where da' gunz at yo-..? ?

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Effective guide for those who don't have English as their first language.

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John Stallion
1 hour ago, sick said:

A'yo where da' gunz at yo-..? ?

Just follow quotes and you will find them, it's written like a book.

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