Basic Gun Types

Colt Revolver Pistol Hand Gun Weapon Revol

This report is supposed to be a 5-minute explanation of gun types currently available to citizens of america. I hope to give a fundamental understanding for all those new or merely interested in the definitions of gun types.

For this report, I’m not going to be including exotic, army, illegal, home made, or simulate weapons. This boils down to essentially 3 categories: Handguns, Rifles, and Shotguns. First, however, there are a couple of terms that are relevant to all three types. I will cover those first.

Double activity refers to being able to cock and fire the weapon with one trigger pull.

All the weapons below are available in double or single action.

We now have single shot, which can be typically bolt action, lever action, or fracture violation, being fed ammo manually, by tube, or clip. Revolvers and semi weapon automatically load another round to be fired from another trigger pull. The words magazine and clip imply the same thing.


The expression handgun refers to handheld weapons which don’t use shoulder stocks. There are only shot, revolvers and semi automatic, and are fed ammo manually, by cylinder, or clip. All kinds can be found in a wide array of calibers. Handguns are usually created for targets under 100 yards off.


Rifles are made to fire farther than handguns. More than 100 yards, a skilled shooter with the ideal equipment could fire accurately 1000 yards or longer. Rifles can be bolt, lever, or semi-automatic, and fed bullets , by clip or tube. Rifles also have a wide assortment of calibers available.


Shotguns fall below the rifle category in proportion, but fire a shell full of shot rather than a bullet. Shells range in gauge and electricity and may contain a single slug or hundreds of birdshot. Shotguns can be found in fracture violation, bolt, pump and semi-automatic, fed shells , by clip or tube. Shotguns are made to shoot a pattern of shot on a short distance.

Meaning a fully automatic weapon that fires more than 1 round per trigger pull. These aren’t accessible to the public without licensing.

This is merely a name many people unfamiliar with firearms associate with fully automatic weapons. While the army version generally is, civilian versions aren’t. “Assault Rifle” only refers to a weapon which looks military. It has nothing to do with the capability or function.

I hope this was enlightening. I will discuss, in more detail, each of these kinds of weapons, their individual performance and uses, calibers, accessories and ammunition in future posts.

Be Safe

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