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Related to firing: firing line, firing pin


firing, process of treating clay or other plastic ceramic materials with heat to produce a hard, durable but brittle material such as pottery. Primitive potters baked their clay in an open fire, but for firing at higher temperatures and for the use of glaze, a kiln is needed. In general, pottery is fired once to harden it into biscuit ware, then a glaze is applied and fused with the clay by a second firing. China painting, enamel work, and stained glass also require firing. Temperatures of firing vary from about 1,100℉ (590℃) for fixing paint on glass to about 2,800℉ (1,540℃) for producing hard porcelain. Certain ceramic materials, such as those used for rocket nose cones, are fired at still higher temperatures.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the baking of building materials and binders, for example, refractory clay, lime, and cement mixtures. Other materials that are fired include magnesite and chamotte, firebrick, china, porcelain, and enamel and glaze on plates.




the use of a firearm to carry out an assigned mission; it includes combat, sports, practice, and simulated firing. Firing consists of preparation operations, ranging, and fire for effect. Preparation operations include occupation of the firing positions, target reconnaissance, and the preparation of the gun, ammunition, and initial firing data. Ranging determines the required sight settings (seeSIGHTS AND SIGHTING MECHANISMS). Fire for effect is the neutralization or destruction of a target. A distinction is made between small-arms firing, artillery firing (including firing from field, antiaircraft, and naval artillery), and firing from tanks, airplanes, and helicopters. Each type of weapon has its own particular firing characteristics. Ballistics and the theory of firing form the theoretical foundation of firing. The methods and rules of firing and recommendations for conducting fire are given in corresponding firing manuals, instructions, regulations, and tables.

Small arms. Small arms include machine guns, submachine guns, rifles, carbines, and side arms. Small-arms fire is usually conducted on live targets from various firing positions and from any location that affords a view of the target or the sector of terrain where the enemy may appear. Firing at the halt can be conducted from standing, kneeling, and prone positions, depending on the terrain conditions and enemy fire. Firing on the move can be executed with or without short halts. Machine guns mounted on armored personnel carriers, infantry combat vehicles, or tanks may fire at the halt and on the move with or without short halts.

Successful firing in combat requires continuous observation of the enemy’s disposition and actions, and the necessary firing data must be prepared in advance, that is, the distances to the reference points are determined, and the external conditions influencing the range and direction of the bullet’s flight are taken into account. The results of firing are observed, and necessary corrections are made. The nature of the target determines whether short bursts, long bursts or single shots are fired, as well as the concentration, distribution, and shifting of fire from one target to another and the lateral dispersion and depth of fire. When a target is moving at an angle to the direction of fire, the target may be tracked or anticipated. In tracking, the firer, having set the required aiming lead, opens fire when he establishes the correct aim and shifts the weapon in the direction of the target’s movement according to the target’s speed. When anticipating the target, the firer aims at a point selected ahead of the target, and fires a long burst as the target approaches this point at a distance equal to the lead distance required.

Machine-gun and submachine-gun fire on aircraft is conducted by subunits using the barrage method, in which fire is concentrated in the direction of the approaching aircraft, and the tracking method, which is used against low-speed helicopters and transport aircraft.

Field artillery. Field artillery fires from concealed and open positions. Types of fire are distinguished according to the trajectory of the projectile. Shallow, or flat, trajectories feature a quadrant level of departure of less than 20°; steep trajectories may be classified as high (angle of departure 20°-45°) or mortar (angle of departure greater than 45°). The action of the projectile on the target distinguishes three types of fire: percussion fire, in which damage is caused when the projectile strikes an obstacle, such as the ground or the target; time fire, in which the projectile explodes at a predetermined point of the trajectory, depending on the fuze and sight settings; and ricochet fire, in which the target is destroyed by the projectile explosion after the projectile has ricocheted (appropriate sight settings are required).

Depending on the completeness of the topographic-geodetic surveying, the meteorological, ballistic, and technical preparation, and the method of determining the target coordinates, the firing settings may be determined from complete or shortened preparation, as well as from datum points or by using ranging guns. When complete preparation is possible or datum marks or ranging guns are used, the firing settings are sufficiently accurate to permit firing for effect without further ranging. When shortened preparations are necessary, target ranging is usually required.

Firing settings determined by ranging achieve the greatest effect on the target. Ranging may be conducted by noting measured deviations from settings or by observing shell bursts. In the latter method, the firer at the observation post measures the explosion’s angular deviation from the target bearing and determines the range deviations, that is, whether the shot falls short or long. By changing the elevation and deflection settings, the firer attempts to bracket the target, that is, establish two settings that produce shots that fall short and long. The range difference of each successive bracket is divided in half until a narow bracket (approximately 100 m) is obtained or a setting is established that produces both short and long shots.

When ranging is conducted on the basis of measured deviations from firing settings, the range and angular deviations of the explosions from the target or datum point are determined, and the corresponding corrections are incorporated in the sight settings. In order to increase the possibility of hitting unseen targets, three elevation and one or two deflection settings are used. Direct laying is used for destroying permanent structures and field defensive works, knocking out moving and stationary armored targets, and hitting ground and naval surface targets. Direct laying is particularly effective at grazing-fire distances and when using antitank guided missiles, which can be launched from a motor vehicle or directly from a ground position.

Antiaircraft artillery. Antiaircraft fire is directed against airborne targets, which usually exhibit high speeds, a wide range of altitudes (from several tens of meters to 20 or more kilometers), relatively small sizes, and high maneuverability.

In antiaircraft firing (see Figure 1), the guns are aimed at the lead point Al which is shifted by the amount of the lead vector S relative to the initial point A0, for which the present_target coordinates ∊0, β0, and H0 and the target velocity vector V̄ have been plotted. The lead time τl in this instance is composed of the flight time of the projectile τf and the prediction interval τpred; the prediction interval is the time spent in determining the coordinates of the lead point ∊l, βl, and Hl in determining by instrument the settings of the gun and the fuze for the lead point, and in transposing the settings to the gun using the gun mechanisms. Fire is conducted during the prediction interval when the target is at the present position Apres.

Figure 1. Diagram of fire from an antiaircraft gun complex. K is the firing location of the complex.

In modern automatic antiaircraft gun complexes, fire is automated and is conducted by means of fire control equipment. The present target coordinates are continuously revised by automatic target-tracking radars and are transmitted to special calculators. The calculators process the initial firing data (the lead values of the azimuth and elevation angle and the fuze setting) and transmit the data in the form of commands to the gun power drives, which aim the gun at the lead point; the calculators also determine the moment for opening fire. In semiautomatic antiaircraft gun complexes, target tracking and determination of range are carried out by radar; the azimuth, angular height, and target speed are calculated by the firer using sighting equipment.

In antiaircraft missile complexes, the prediction interval is the time from the moment when the target is spotted until the moment of opening fire. The launch control equipment produces and executes the commands for aiming the launcher (with the missile in position) and ensures launch at the required moment. Launch control is carried out by a calculator, which receives data on the parameters of the target’s motion. In automatic antiaircraft missile complexes, the aiming equipment includes the target-and missile-tracking radar, the command-transmitting radar, and the calculator. It continuously determines the relative positions of the airborne target and missile and produces and executes the missile guidance commands. In semiautomatic complexes, the target-tracking functions are carried out by one man or by a crew, using optical instruments.

Antiaircraft fire is usually conducted by means of radar data. When radar data is unavailable, aimed fire or barrage fire is used, in which a fixed curtain of fire is established in the path of the target.

Tanks. Firing from tank cannons is usually conducted by direct laying. The principal method is firing on the move during an attack or counterattack; fire is also conducted from brief halts and from a fixed position. When necessary, fire may also be conducted from concealed positions. The peculiarities of tank firing are the result of the vertical and horizontal oscillations of the tank chassis as the tank moves. In order to reduce the undesirable effects of such oscillations, modern tanks are equipped with weapon stabilizers that ensure effective firing at tank speeds up to 20–25 km/hr. Effective tank firing is also ensured by range finders, calculators, automatic loaders, and daylight and night observation and aiming instruments.

Naval artillery. Naval artillery can conduct fire against naval, ground, and airborne targets, and the guns can be aimed automatically or manually in vertical and horizontal planes. Together with the ship, the guns are subject to rolling relative to the plane of the horizon. In order to eliminate the undesirable effects of rolling, certain guns are mounted on a stabilized platform that maintains a fixed position.

Firing commences after complete (instrument) preparation of the initial data, whereby the fire control system aims the gun at the moving target. This system includes optical or radar equipment for observing the target and hits, determining the target bearing and range, and measuring the distance to bursts on the surface of the ocean. The calculators determine and transmit to the guns the azimuth and elevation data, taking into account the speed of the firing vessel and the target, the ship’s roll angles, the wind correction, and the ballistic firing conditions. On the basis of these data, they calculate the point of impact of the projectile on the target.

On small ships it is possible to use shortened preparation (by tables) of the initial firing data. During firing, each gun may be aimed separately, or all the guns may be aimed simultaneously by central aiming mechanisms. Ranging is carried out on the basis of measured deviations and ranges; on small ships not equipped with fire control equipment, ranging is carried out by observing bursts. Radar is used in making firing corrections, which makes it possible to determine projectile deviations in range and bearing and to introduce the corresponding firing corrections.

Aircraft artillery. Firing from airplanes or helicopters is marked by the high speeds of the gun platform (that is, of the aircraft that is firing) and of the airborne targets, the continuous change in the position of the firer and the target, the absence of the influence of wind in firing at airborne targets, and the significantly greater influence of wind in firing on ground targets (in comparison with ground firing). As a result, special sights, including automatic sights, are used as well as various aiming methods.

Practice firing. Practice firing is used to train gunners in firing procedures and rules, including loading, aiming and laying the gun, and the actual firing of rounds. Blanks may be used, as well as various training devices, such as simulators and aiming rests.

Simulated fire. Simulated fire is used to convey the impression of live firing from various types of weapons using blank rounds. It is used both in tactical exercises and under combat conditions to mislead the enemy regarding the disposition and actions of friendly troops and weapons.


Pravila strel’by iz strelkovogo oruzhiia i granatometov. Moscow, 1972.
Nastavleniia po strelkovomu delu. Moscow, 1973.
Shramov, N. N. Strel’ba iz tanka. Moscow, 1973.
Nichik, G. P. Strel’ba v vozdukhe. Moscow, 1953.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The gas ionization that initiates current flow in a gas-discharge tube.
Excitation of a magnetron or transmit-receive tube by a pulse.
The transition from the unsaturated to the saturated state of a saturable reactor.
The act or process of adding fuel and air to a furnace.
Igniting an explosive mixture.
Treating a ceramic product with heat.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The controlled heat treatment of ceramic ware in a kiln or furnace during the process of manufacture to develop desired properties.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. the process of baking ceramics, etc., in a kiln or furnace
2. US a scorching of plants, as a result of disease, drought, or heat
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Back to the nuts and bolts of firing pins and firing pin stops.
On a very serious subject, I investigated a rather odd accidental discharge that was apparently caused by a loose firing pin stop and firing pin, and may well have been a combination of the two.
Savvy executives say the first step to getting better at firing is hiring the right people in the first place.