In this article, we'll continue to explore the most commonly used types of guns.
A shotgun is a long-barreled firearm that is shot from the shoulder, similar to a rifle. However, rifles have a rifled bore whereas the bore of shotguns is smooth and has thinner walls. The fluidity of the bore causes less friction between the bullet and the bore. A shotgun is more advanced than a rifle and handgun because it allows multiple projectiles to be shot in one go. These projectiles are termed shots, hence the name shotgun.
The shots spread out when they leave the weapon. Shotguns are short-range weapons because the power gets divided between multiple shots and each shot loses energy as it travels the distance. Break-action and lever-action shotguns are the most common types of shotguns available. Let us look at them in detail.
- Break Action Shotguns
These guns are ideal for beginners because they allow one shell at a time to pass through the barrel, hence giving more control to the shooter. In break action shotguns, one, two, or three barrels are placed adjacent to each other. The gun is broken open to load the shells in by hand.
- Lever-Action Shotguns
These shotguns are equipped with a lever on the bottom of the gun which is used to place the next shell in the action. These guns are similar to lever-action rifles.
According to ATF, a machine gun is an auto-firing, long-barreled gun that shoots bullets in rapid succession when the trigger is pressed. The ammunition for most machine guns is loaded on belts and the gun can fire up to 1,000 rounds per minute. Machine guns continue firing bullets for as long as the trigger is pressed or until they run out of ammunition. Due to their automatic loading and extensive firing capability, machine guns revolutionized the character of modern warfare. They were developed in the late 19th century.
Machine guns have lengthy, grooved bores. When the bullet enters the barrel, the grooves cause it to spin a couple of times before it is fired from the barrel in a straight direction. A firing pin is present at one end of the barrel. The firing pin hits the round’s primer when the trigger is pulled. This action leads to the firing of the bullet.
Assault rifles are usually classified as machine guns because they too have the ability to fire automatically. However, they differ from machine guns in the sense that they have the following firing modes:
- Semi-automatic mode
- Three-shot burst mode
- Automatic mode
For example, the military versions of the AK-47 have both automatic and semi-automatic settings. The firing mechanism of AK-47 is expanded over multiple steps which are listed below:
- When the trigger on the gun is pulled, the hammer is released which hits the firing pin.
- The firing pin then strikes the primer of the cartridge which kindles the propellants that are present in the chamber.
- This action causes some gases to be released. As the bullet travels down the barrel, the gasses expand and push the gas piston backward.
- As a result, the bolt carrier is pushed back. It ejects the casing and resets the hammer.
- The bolt is then moved in a forward direction and it lifts up a bullet from the magazine and places the bullet into the chamber from where it is ready to be fired.