Different Types of Guns How They Work Part 1

Different Types of Guns How They Work Part 1

As a gun enthusiast, you may have a wide collection of guns. But are you aware of the different types of guns and how they are distinguished from each other? In this article, let us explore the most common types of guns, take a look at how they're built, and how they differ in their functioning. Each type of gun has different features which make them suitable for variable firing purposes. Following are the most common types of guns:


The first practical revolver was invented by Samuel Colt in 1831. Revolvers were the first firearms that could fire multiple shots in one round. Even the most ancient models could hold up to seven rounds in a spinning cylinder. Revolvers have a multi-chamber cylinder. Each chamber holds cartridges separately and they rotate with every cock of the gun. This mechanism allows the bullet to align with the barrel of the gun. 

You can shoot with a revolver using one hand only. The two most common types of revolvers are:

  • Single-Action Revolvers
    In this type of revolver, the hammer is manually pulled back every time before pulling the trigger. The trigger is responsible for firing the gun only.
  • Double-Action Revolvers
    In this type of revolver, the trigger performs double actions i.e. it cocks the hammer and shoots the bullet, all in a single motion. With the first click, the trigger is pulled back and the hammer is cocked while with the second click, the trigger is released and the shot is fired.


A handgun is a short-barreled weapon that can be operated with a single hand only. Due to its lightweight and compact size, it is easy to carry and can be concealed with minimal effort. Handguns are reliable weapons with high accuracy and a strong punch. Handguns have short barrels with thick walls which enable the firearm to shoot with high pressure. The bore of a handgun has rifling which means that the bore is carved with spiral grooves on the inside. Due to rifling, the bullet leaves the weapon with a projectile spin motion. Rifling makes the shot more accurate. 

Basis on their size, handguns are categorized into the following types:

  • Full-sized
  • Compact
  • Sub-compact
  • Micro-compact (Pocket Pistols)


A rifle is a long-barreled weapon that requires the use of both hands for accurate shooting. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives defines a rifle as a weapon that uses the energy of a fixed metallic cartridge when discharging a bullet. For every pull of the trigger, the bullet is shot through a rifled bore, making each shot accurate. Rifles are powerful weapons that require the use of both hands for control and maneuver. The rifle is fired from the shoulder. 

Rifles are the most commonly used military weapons. Rifles are categorized as follows:

  • Bolt Action Rifle
    In this type of rifle, the shot is fired by pushing forward the bolt physically and then pressing the trigger. After the shot is fired, the bolt is pulled back and the empty cartridge is ejected. 
  • Lever Action Rifle
    Lever action rifles are commonly featured in old Hollywood movies. They were invented in the 19th century. When the rifle’s lever is pulled, a new bullet is loaded. After the bullet has been shot, the lever is pulled again to eject the empty cartridge and load a new one.

For more information on different guns, their accessories, cleaning and maintenance tips, visit Numrich Gun Parts.