• "Charlie grasped his rifle in both hands."
    "Charlie grasped his rifle in both hands."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n rifling the cutting of spiral grooves on the inside of the barrel of a firearm
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Krag-Jorgenson magazine rifle Krag-Jorgenson magazine rifle
Mauser rifle with clip Mauser rifle with clip
Rifle-calibre Maxim Gun Rifle-calibre Maxim Gun
Man with rifles Man with rifles

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: During World War II, condoms were used to cover rifle barrels from being damaged by salt water as the soldiers swam to shore
    • n Rifling The act or process of making the grooves in a rifled cannon or gun barrel.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In some chuch in South Carolina, every man must bring a rifle to church on Sunday to ward off Indian attacks.
    • n rifling The act of plundering or pillaging.
    • n rifling plural The waste from sorting bristles.
    • n rifling The operation of cutting spiral grooves in the bore of a gun.
    • n rifling A system or method of spiral grooving in the bore of a rifle. Whatever may be the form of cross-section in the grooves, the modern practice is to make them, for small-arms, extremely shallow; and, though the rectangular form with sharp angles is still retained, the angles are commonly rounded, this being an easier form to keep clean. Henry's system of rifling, used in most military rifles, has seven grooves; and the grooves make one turn in 22 inches. The grooves are broad, rectangular, and very shallow, with rounded angles, the lands being much narrower than the grooves. This is the system used in the Martini-Henry rifle. The system most in vogue in America for match-rifles is that of a uniform spiral, one turn in 18 inches, with very shallow grooves. With shallow grooves, hardened bullets are required; and the method of shallow grooving, with hardened bullets, is now taking the place of deep grooves and soft bullets, which were characteristic of Whitworth's and Henry's system of rifling. In express-rifles the rifling is very shallow with a slow spiral (one turn in 4 feet to one turn in 6 feet); and six is considered the best number of grooves. The so-called “Metford system” of rifling, used in England for fine match-rifles, employs five extremely shallow grooves, each including about 32° of the circumference of the bore, the twist of the spiral increasing toward the muzzle, generally finishing with one turn in 17 inches; but it is part of this system to vary the spiral in different guns according to the character of the powder to be used. In large-bore rifles with shallow circular-arc-bottomed grooves, the grooves are often ten in number, with one turn in 7 feet. A system, still of doubtful expediency, has been introduced, called the non-fouling system. In this method the barrel is rifled in its front half only. Some very fine shooting has been done by guns thus rifled. The Whitworth system of rifling is that of a hexagonal bore with spiral faces. It is still retained for ordnance. The projectiles for such rifles are also hexagonal with twisted sides. The Haddan system of rifling for ordnance consists of three spiral grooves of deep elliptical cross-section, into which fit three wings on the front of the shot or shell. Other shapes of grooves are also used for ordnance.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The US Army has a 50 caliber sniper rifle that can shoot through the engine block of a car.
    • Rifling the act of cutting spiral grooves in the bore of a gun
    • ***


  • Booker T. Washington
    “We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Scand.; Dan. rifle, to groove, freq. of rive, to tear.


In literature:

I released my rifle and fired.
"Dick Onslow" by W.H.G. Kingston
The animal had been shot by a rifle bullet; it was a rifle I had heard fired.
"In the Rocky Mountains" by W. H. G. Kingston
However, feeling very tired, I sat down, placing my rifle by my side.
"The Two Supercargoes" by W.H.G. Kingston
He also advised me to practise with my rifle.
"My First Voyage to Southern Seas" by W.H.G. Kingston
He went down with a crash, and his rifle flew from his hands.
"Army Boys on the Firing Line" by Homer Randall
Immediately all eyes were on the rifle, and its merits were discussed with animation.
"The Dog Crusoe and his Master" by R.M. Ballantyne
Take a rifle with you, Leo.
"The Giant of the North" by R.M. Ballantyne
I sprang up and attempted to seize my rifle.
"The Gorilla Hunters" by R.M. Ballantyne
The rifle wavered as Griffiths kept his balance in the uncertain puffs of the first of the wind.
"A Son Of The Sun" by Jack London
Edward is with the Rifles?
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston

In poetry:

And the fiend will fetch me now in fire
My witchcrafts to atone,
And I who have rifled the dead man's grave
Shall never have rest in my own.
"A Ballad, Shewing How An Old Woman Rode Double, And Who Rode Before Her" by Robert Southey
You parade thru the soft summer
We watch your eager rifle decay
Your wilderness
Your teeming emptiness
Pale forest on verge of light
"The New Creatures" by James Douglas Morrison
All fondly curious with love
(Half guessing what he would lay bare)
He rifled her heart's treasure trove,
And found -- a stranger's image there.
"The Lovers" by C J Dennis
To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each op'ning sweet, of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.
"A Song from Shakespeare's Cymbeline Sung" by William Taylor Collins
Hell hunts the Babe; a few days old,
That came to rifle Satan's fold;
All hands pursu'd him, ev'n to death,
That came to save from sin and wrath.
"The Believer's Soliloquy; Especially in Times of Desertion, Temptation, Affliction, &c." by Ralph Erskine
Young forms—with their pulses stifled,
Young heads—with eldered brain,
Young hearts—of their spirit rifled,
Young lives—sacrificed in vain:
"The Factory Town" by Ernest Jones

In news:

This is a photo of an AR-15 assault rifle .
Man Wore Armor, Fired Assault Rifle in Standoff.
Protest slated over police assault rifle plan.
Jon Mitchell Citizen Telegram Contributor Rifle, CO Colorado.
The salon was robbed by men armed with automatic rifles.
Men armed with automatic rifles rob west Detroit beauty salon .
Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News Col. Charles Olmstead surrendered Fort Pulaski once the wall on the Southeast corner was breached due to a 30-hour bombardment by the Union using rifled cannon.
Downtown Rifle redevelopment team charts changes.
Nelson Harvey Citizen Telegram Contributor Rifle, CO Colorado.
Mulligans Battery fires its 10-pound Parrott rifle at the ceremony.
Rep Darrell Issa, R-Calif, speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in more.
Last weekend, KWCH aired an infomercial paid for by the National Rifle Association.
Looking at GOP rifle raffle kerfuffle .
PolitiFact Oregon looks into that Oregon Republican Party rifle raffle.
The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) recently announced its endorsement of Congressman Tom Reed for the US House of Representatives in New York's 23rd Congressional District.

In science:

There have been many published articles in hunting magazines about the results of testing rifle and muzzleloader bullets in deer.
A method for testing handgun bullets in deer
The Triton Quik-Shok load can work as well as many rifle loads for broadside placement, because it transfers energy much more completely than many rifle loads.
A method for testing handgun bullets in deer
Figure 2: Two .308 caliber rifle bullets (150 grain on left, 110 grain on right) shown with a cotton cleaning patch used to assure snug fit between the .308” outer bullet diameter and the .357” inner diameter of the orange plastic sabot.
A method for testing bullets at reduced velocity