Ultimate Guide to Different Gun Types

Ultimate Guide to Different Gun Types

If you’re starting to get interested in guns as a hobby, there is a lot to learn. A good place to start to get your bearings is to learn about the different types of guns that are available on the market. Once you understand the types of guns that are out there, you can move up to constructing your own guns and even shooting them in a competitive setting.

Pistols And Handguns

Most people are familiar with pistols and handguns. These are firearms that you can shot with one hand. Pistols are best utilized in a close-quarters environment. Most people will practice shooting pistols from 3 to 25 yards. Trying to shoot anything further than 25 yards takes a precision shooter and the right caliber of pistol.


Shotguns are widely known for their longer barrel setup. This type of gun requires two hands to effectively shoot and will handle targets up to 75 meters away. Shotguns are a very popular gun for shooting waterfowl, other flying creatures, small game, and even feral hogs. Shotguns are widely recognized for their pump action on the stock that is needed before every shot.


Rifles are what most people utilize in long-distance hunting. This type of weapon is good for targets ranging from 100 yards up to 800 yards. Rifles require the use of two hands to shoot and can take on a lot of different shapes depending on the preference of the shooter.

Understanding Gun Firing Cycles

When you go to purchase any weapon, you’ll have three different options for the type of firing cycle that the gun uses. A cycle is simply referred to as the process of loading a shell through removing the spent casing after it has been fired. There are three main types of firing cycles. These include single action, semi-automatic, and fully automatic.

Single Action / Shot

We’ve all undoubtedly seen those old western movies where the star takes a shot with their weapon and then spends a few seconds having to reload it before ever taking another shot. These rifles are known as single shots or single action rifles. With this weapon, you have to manually load every casing into the gun, pull the trigger, and then unload it.


Moving up to the semi-automatic, these guns cycle themselves after each trigger pull. Essentially, one will load their gun with shells. They will pull the trigger, and a shell will be shot. The force of the gas and energy from the shot will kick the spent casing out of the barrel and load another shell. This is like a loop that is triggered every time the gun’s trigger is pulled.

Fully Automatic

The last cycle that we’ll take a look at is fully automatic. This performs somewhat similar to that of the semi-automatic in the sense that the force of the gunfire kicks that spent casing out and reloads the next shell. However, unlike the semi-automatic rifle, fully automatic weapons continue to fire when you hold down the trigger. You don’t have to keep pulling the trigger for repeated fire. You simply pull and hold the trigger down, and the fully automatic weapon will continue to fire.

A Touch On Assault Rifles

We can’t have a discussion about different types of guns without bringing up the term assault rifle. This term is widely used in many different gun debates, so you should have a good understanding of what it defines. Assault weapon is a term that is given to a gun that is widely used for military fighting instead of precision target shooting or typical hunting practices.

A Look At 80% Lowers
Another common term that you’ll hear about in the gun market is 80% lowers. This is a term given to materials that are made which can be used to construct a weapon. Essentially, they’re gun build kits that are missing a couple of key features to make them considered weapons from a legal standpoint. 80% lowers don’t have holes or dimples for the trigger, hammer pins, or selector of the gun. Gun enthusiasts can buy 80% lowers and drill their own holes to construct their own weapon.

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