Types of Guns: Firearm types that you should know

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Pistol / Handgun – The handgun is a firearm designed to be held in the palm of one hand and intended to be fired as such (though two hands are generally used for accuracy with the weapon held away from the body at arm’s length). The handgun takes on various forms including the early single-shot forms, the later revolver-type forms and the modern semi-automatic pistol. Handguns given full-automatic fire are generally classified as “machine pistols” for their firepower as related to a machine gun. EXAMPLES: .44 Magnum; Flintlock Pistol; Walther P99; Colt M1911.

Musket – Muskets appeared around the 16th Century and managed an existence into the 19th Century. These firearms utilized a long, smooth bore barrel for range, were operated from the shoulder utilizing a two-hand hold and fired a spherical metal ball. Muskets were muzzle-loading instruments (that is, loaded from the barrel) which made them time-consuming to reload, forcing lines of infantry (musketeers) to be used in formation. The introduction of rifling brought about the classification of “rifled musket” detailed next.

Rifle – Rifle is a general term used to represent a modern-day “long gun” featuring “rifling” inside the barrel that promotes accuracy at range and is able to be fired from the shoulder using both hands to complete the three-point hold. Rifles include the sub-groups of Battle Rifle and Assault Rifle.

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