Planning to pick up your first firearm? Before deciding what type of gun to get, you first need to familiarize yourself with the basic parts of a gun. This information is crucial for shooters of all levels.
A Beginner's Complete Guide to the Different Parts of a Gun
Basic Parts of a Gun
No matter what the make or model is, all firearms have the same three major components, these include the:
The gun barrel is the bored-out metal tube wherein the action discharges the projectile—either a bullet or glug—through the pressure of burnt gunpowder. At the end of the barrel is the muzzle, this is where the projectile will exit.
One of the main factors to consider when manufacturers are designing the barrel is the accuracy. The firepower produced from burning gunpowder is so powerful, and if the barrel isn't properly bored and angled, the projectile won't go in the direction you want it to.
- Front and Rear Sight: These are primarily used to gauge accuracy. The goal would e to position your target directly in the middle of the Y-shaped dovetail. Front sights are mounted near the muzzle, while rear sights are positioned nearer to the shooter's.
- Muzzle: The muzzle is the hole at the end of a bored-out barrel. This hole is where bullets exit.
- Bore: Inside the barrel is a hollow tube wherein the projectile travels. This space is the bore.
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The action is arguably the most important component of every firearm. It consists of moving parts that load, fire, and eject cartridges and shells, so without the action, you wouldn't even be able to fire bullets from your gun.
Single-shot weapons consist of the pump, bolt, and lever action, while repeaters have an extra semi-automatic component. Modern muzzleloaders, on the other hand, make use of a lock mechanism rather than action components.
- Hammer: Revolvers have a small, metal hook that strikes the cartridge or firing pin with every shot. This is the hammer.
- Cylinder: A separate chamber in revolvers used to store cartridges. The cylinder is visible from the outside and you'll see it turn with every shot of your revolver.
- Fore-End: The fore-end or forestock is the component under the barrel of your shotgun. It slides about halfway the entire barrel and you pull it back to reload the shotgun with a shell.
The stock, otherwise known as buttstock, butt, or shoulder stock, is the rear end of the rifle. It's often made of a plastic, metal, or wooden frame.
This part has three major functions. First, it provides structural support to the gun's barrel, firing, and action components by keeping them secure and in place.
Second, it provides shooting stability. The shooter can press the rifle's stock against their shoulder to manage the recoil or kick after every shot.
Lastly, it improves accuracy. Trust us, when you're aiming a 10-pound rifle at a target that's over 300 yards away, having a sturdy stock that allows you to rest the majority of the gun's weight on your body makes things a lot easier.
- Magazine: The magazine is a spring-operate vessel used to hold cartridges. They're either fixed or detachable and can be found solely on repeaters with a semiautomatic action mechanism.
- Trigger: You pull or squeeze the trigger to activate the firerarm's action mechanism and initiate a shot.
Check out this video by the NRApubs where they show newbies the basic parts of a gun:
Overall, the three basic parts of a gun are the action, barrel, and stock. However, different guns have varying parts depending on their make, size, and function. Simpler, smaller weapons like a revolver will generally have lesser components than high-caliber options like a rifle.
You don't need to master every single weapon on the market. Although, it would greatly benefit you as a shooter to know the inner mechanism and general function of the weapon you wield. This information will also prevent common rookie mistakes and mishaps.
Do you have any more questions on what the basic parts of a gun are? Reach out for help and clarifications in the comments section below!
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