How Do Firearms Work?
How firearms work is a question asked by nearly everyone interested in firearms and arms. Firearms are grouped into three main categories: single shot, semi-automatic, and fully automatic. The majority of modern firearms are single shot, which means that the shooter must hit a target by firing the weapon from just the butt of the gun (the “front” of it). This kind of firearm is called a “pistol.”
A shotgun, rifle, or handgun consists of a metallic piece (the “stock”), a handle, and a bullet or pellets (the “bullet or balls”). A mechanism on the other hand, is a mechanical device that is designed to achieve specific results. For example, a shotgun works by loading a shotgun or rifle with a shotgun shell and firing it at a given distance. The mechanical device, the shotgun trigger, then fires the gun when the primer strikes the shell. In order to fire a weapon rapidly, the shotgun trigger must be pulled before the projectile is even in the barrel.
Rifles, generally speaking, are longer than handguns, because a rifle is designed to fire a shot (or multiple shots) at a single target at a very high velocity. This higher velocity, however, has a negative side. Because a rifle shoots over a long distance (over 100 yards or so), it uses more energy than a handgun does. Guns also use a mechanism that causes the firing pin to lock up after each shot, preventing the primer from firing again until the next “trigger” (which is another mechanical device). How firearms work is complicated, but this is basically how they operate.
Hand guns, which are more popularly known as “shot guns,” consist of a pistol or rifle with a short barrel and a handle. Assault weapons include all firearms that are considered “firearms” by the federal government excepting antique rifles. All states have some restrictions on assault weapons; for example, they may not be purchased by minors or people suffering from certain mental illnesses. If you wish to own one of these weapons, you must be eighteen years of age or older.
The next topic we will discuss about how firearms work is how ammunition works. Unlike firearms, ammunition does not have a shell. Instead, it consists of steel BBs that are fired from the gun, and these are propelled down the barrel of the gun. Just like with a bullet, the angle of the BB can affect its flight path and travel speed; although the angle of the trajectory of the BB will depend mostly on the type of bullet and the velocity of the gun’s firing pin. In fact, only certain types of ammunition are capable of dealing with certain pressures and velocities.
Although we have discussed some basics about how an assault weapon functions and how a handgun functions, we still need to cover how the three common types of ammunition function. The three most common types of ammunition used in a pistol or rifle are: soft points, hard points, and energy cartridges. A soft point penetrates interior targets and soft-point ammunition has an enhanced penetrating power against soft-skinned armor, or soft-tissue or flesh. Hard points are able to pierce most bulletproof vests, although the soft-point ammunition is capable of penetrating most reinforced metal objects. Energy cartridges are able to shoot high energy pellets, which is similar to high-powered pellets used in paintball games.