Operating Systems 301: What Is Underlug?

Note: In this article, I call this mechanical feature “underlug”. However, this is an error. Several friends of mine and I have been discussing the mechanics of firearms operation for close to a decade now, and we misremembered the term “underslide” from a book by Brassey’s as “underlug”. More details on the error are available in the comments. Regardless, “underslide” is the proper term for this principle, not “underlug”.

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Silencer Blast Baffle Pictorial

In a silencer, the blast baffle (the first baffle the bullet passes through after leaving the barrel) takes the brunt of the heat and pressure released by the deflagration of gunpowder. I use the term ‘deflagration’ because to be technically accurate, the reaction that takes place inside a cartridge (and barrel for that matter) occurs at subsonic speeds and is better suited to move an object like a projectile. Even so, the high temperatures and pressures can unleash havoc on even the strongest of materials. And the effect is greatly magnified in short barreled rifles where the powder is still burning after it leaves the muzzle.

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