The Many Different Types of Guns

There are many types of guns. Most are split into two general categories, handguns and long guns. As a general rule, handguns use a smaller caliber ammunition than their larger counterparts and have a shorter barrel. Long guns fire larger caliber rounds from longer barrels and are meant to be fired from the shoulder.

Both of these two general categories can be broken down into subcategories:

Handguns

Handguns come in many shapes and sizes, with various options for what caliber ammunition they use. These firearms are good choices for home defense and range practice. The most basic types of handguns are revolvers and semi-automatics.

Revolvers

Revolvers are generally run by a cylinder. They are great for new firearm owners because they are more simple to operate and maintain than semi-automatic handguns. However, they hold fewer bullets and reloading can take longer.

How revolvers fire can be broken down into two categories: single-action and double-action. Single-action revolvers only fire when the shooter manually cocks the hammer. As the hammer moves back, it turns the cylinder that contains the ammunition, putting it into line to fire. You will need to repeat this every time you want to fire the weapon.

You can fire a double-action revolver either by cocking the hammer or by just pulling the trigger. Not cocking the hammer results in a longer trigger pull. If you want a shorter trigger pull, you can still cock the hammer manually. However, this may increase the firing time.

Semi-Automatic Pistols

Semi-automatic pistols are magazine fed. When you fire this type of handgun the gas released propels the slide back and forth, which ejects the old round and automatically puts a new round in. In order to fire the first round of a semi-automatic, you will have to load the weapon and pull the slide back to rack a round into the chamber. After this, the weapon will fire a single shot with every trigger pull for as long as it has ammunition. This handgun is quick loading and carries more bullets than a revolver. Some experts believe that the revolver has better functionality as the semi-automatic can jam when being fired, though this is rare.

Long Guns

Like handguns, long guns come in a large variety of sizes and calibers. How they function can vary greatly. A few of the more common long guns and rifles include lever-action and bolt-action rifles,  semi-automatic rifles, and shotguns.

Lever-Action and Bolt-Action Rifles

Lever-action and bolt-action rifles are often talked about together, but they are different in how they function. The essential differences are the way the bolt is operated and locks into position and the location of the bolt versus the location of the lever.

The bolt on a bolt-action firearm is commonly on the right-hand side of the handle. To operate the handle, the bolt is unlocked and pulled back, opening the breech. This action ejects any spent cartridge and cocks the firing pin. If available, a new cartridge is loaded into the chamber and the bolt is locked in place for firing.

The lever on a lever-action firearm is located near the trigger guard area and often includes the trigger guard itself. When the shooter works the lever, it loads fresh ammunition into the chamber of the barrel. Lever-action and bolt-action rifles have advantages and disadvantages and there is some debate over which is better. However, both types of rifles have remained popular for sporting use.

Semi-Automatic Rifles

Semi-automatic rifles are self-loading rifles. While they can vary greatly in form and functionality, they all have one thing in common. These types of guns uses gas or recoil energy to eject the spent shell and a new round is chambered from the magazine. This allows another bullet to fire when the shooter pulls the trigger again. Most also have rifled barrels, which means that there are grooves lengthwise across the inside of the barrel. When the bullet fires through the barrel, these grooves cause the bullet to spin, allowing it to travel at a greater velocity and enhancing accuracy.

These types of firearms are popular for use in sport shooting, hunting, and for self-defense.

Shotguns

Shotguns differ from rifles as they are uniquely able to fire shells containing pellets, shots, or slugs of different sizes and types. Unlike rifles, shotgun barrels are typically not rifled or grooved inside. There are two types of shotguns which differ in how they function. These are the pump-action shotgun and the semi-automatic shotgun.

Both of these use shotgun ammo, but the pump-action shotgun requires the user to move the slide backwards and forwards manually to load each shell. Semi-automatic shotguns use the force created by the previous shot to automatically eject the empty shell case and chamber the next round.

Do You Have Questions About Types of Guns?

If you have questions about different types of firearms or want to make sure we have what you are looking for, call our experts at The Hub. We are happy to help.

Visit The Hub today and browse the different types of guns and ammo that we offer.
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