Barrel shroud

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An MG-42 medium machinegun with a shrouded barrel.
A Winchester Model 12 combat shotgun with a barrel shroud and attached bayonet.

A barrel shroud is a covering attached to the barrel of a firearm that partially or completely encircles the barrel, which prevents operators from injuring themselves on a hot barrel.[1] Slides, extensions of the stock that do not fully encircle the barrel, and the receiver (or frame) of a firearm itself are generally not described as barrel shrouds, though they in fact do act as such. Barrel shrouds are commonly featured on air-cooled machine guns, where sustained rapid or automatic fire leave the barrel extremely hot and dangerous to the operator. However, shrouds can also be utilized on semi-automatic firearms, as even a small number of shots can heat up a barrel enough to injure an operator in certain circumstances.

Barrel shrouds are also used on pump-action shotguns. The military trench shotgun features a ventilated metal handguard with a bayonet attachment lug.[2] Ventilated handguards or heat shields (usually without bayonet lugs) are also used on police riot shotguns and shotguns marketed for civilian self-defense. The heat shield also serves as an attachment base for accessories such as sights or sling swivels.

Legislation[edit]

The barrel shroud has been the target of legislative restrictions in the United States, along with other features of certain firearms.[3]

The now-expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban included a barrel shroud in its list of features for which a semi-automatic pistol could be banned (two features in the list were required). Proposals to restore the assault weapons ban, including this provision, have been made, but have been unsuccessful.[3] Proponents of such restrictions cite the ability of a barrel shroud to protect a shooter's non-trigger hand from the hot barrel during rapid fire,[4] while the National Rifle Association has deemed barrel shrouds a "cosmetic feature".[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LearnAboutGuns.com". 
  2. ^ Bruce N. Canfield, A Collector's Guide to United States Combat Shotguns, Andrew Mowbray, 1992, ISBN 0-917218-53-1.
  3. ^ a b Carter, Gregg Lee (1 January 2002). Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law. ABC-CLIO. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-57607-268-4. 
  4. ^ http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/florida-politics-blog/fl-florida-school-shooting-broward-assault-weapons-20180316-story.html
  5. ^ "Finally, the End of a Sad Era--Clinton Gun Ban Stricken from Books!". Fairfax, Virginia: National Rifle Association, Institute for Legislative Action. September 13, 2004. Law-abiding citizens, however, will once again be free to purchase semi-automatic firearms, regardless of their cosmetic features, for target shooting, shooting competitions, hunting, collecting, and most importantly, self-defense.