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Overview

This page is devoted to terms used by the British military.

Terms

Below is a table of terms and their meanings. Note that the periods (.) in the Short section of the table, are regularly omitted from documents.

Full Short Meaning
Armoured Fighting Vehicle AFV
Armour piercing AP As a general term, applied to projectiles designed to defeat armour plate by means of their mass and striking velocity.
Armour piercing, capped, ballistic cap APCBC A type of AP projectile, with a penetrative cap (C), and a ballistic cap (BC).
Armour piercing, discarding sabot APDS A type of AP projectile consisting essentially of a penetrative core supported in the bore of the gun by a sabot which is discarded when the shot leaves the muzzle (DS - Discarding Sabot)
Beeswax BWX A constituent of certain explosive mixtures.
Chief Inspector of Armaments CIA
Composition exploding CE An explosive commonly used in exploders and detonators.
Commencement of rifling C of R The point in the bore of a gun, forward of the chamber.
Feet per second fs Imperial measurement for velocity.
High Explosive HE
High velocity HV
Inch in Imperial measurement for distance, small scale.
Left-hand LH As viewed when facing forward along the centre-line of the tank.
Mark Mk.
Millimetres mm Metric measurement for distance, small scale.
Medium velocity MV
Non-hygroscopic NH A type of nitrocellulose (propellant), that does not absorb moisture.
Number No.
NQ/M A type of nitrocellulose.
Ordnance QF OQF
Quick Firing QF Applies to guns in which obturation (gas sealing) is provided in the ammunition.
Rangefinder RF An instrument to measure range.
Research Department Explosive RDX A form of high explosive.
Right-hand RH As viewed when facing forward along the centre-line of the tank.
Semi-automatic SA When applied to the mechanism of a gun which automatically opens the breech and ejects the empty cartridge case after firing.
Shell In the nomenclature of ammunition, indicates that the projectile performs an action upon impact or delay, other than mass and striking velocity.
Shot In the nomenclature of ammunition, indicates that the projectile uses mass and striking velocity to deal damage.
Tank Tk In the nomenclature of a gun, indicates that the piece is specifically designed for a tank mounting.
Tracer /T When included in the nomenclature of ammunition, indicates that a tracer is fitted to the projectile, eg, HE/T.
Trinitrotoluene TNT A form of high explosive.
Wrench, breech mechanism WBM
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