Many people out there simply do not know the parts of a gun. So in typical Outdoor Methods form we are here to change that in our tips,tricks and how-tos section. Even for the veterans out there, it is always good to take some time to get back to the basics and review the parts of a gun. Without further ado let us review the gun anatomy.
The Basic Parts of a Gun You Need to Know
To make this easier to understand we have added infographics below that label different parts of a gun for you. We are are not addressing calibers because is a very detailed topic. Check out our calibers guide to learn more. You may even want to learn about which caliber the FBI has chosen to use. It may just shock you!
Once you understand the parts of a gun, we recommend you learn the different shooting stances that will make you a lean mean gun toting machine!
- Action: Where the firing mechanism strikes the round to cause a combustion reaction that results in the projectile exiting the gun or what we like to call where the magic happens. The trigger is included in this portion of the weapon.
- Stock or Handle: The stock or handle is where a person both grips the firearm and the absorbs kickback from the firearm when it is shot.
- For rifles and shotguns, the stock will connect to you where your shoulder and arm attach.
- For pistols and revolvers, the handle held by your hands. Note: Pistols’ and revolvers’ handle are also known as a grip. Not to be be confused with how you grip a gun.
- Barrel: The barrel is a long cylinder tub that has been bored out that the bullet, shot, or slug travels down before exiting the gun. This tub is made of high strength material to withstand the expanding gas pressure that occurs when the weapon is fired. Usually, a barrel of a rifle or pistol will have rifling inside it that causes the bullet to spin once it leaves the barrel. Barrels are a big factor in determining what position you will carry your firearm in especially when you plan to carry in one of the IWB positions.
Parts of a Gun (Infographics)
Parts of a Rifle
Parts of a Pistol (Handgun)
Parts of a Revolver (Handgun)
Parts of a Shotgun
Click here for essential handgun parts from Brownells.com, the World’s Largest Supplier of Firearm Accessories!
Gun Anatomy (definitions):
Now for the fun part let us break Grey’s Anatomy down. I mean gun anatomy…sorry about that. Let’s break down the terminology of parts of gun for you.
- Bore– Is portion inside the barrel where the bullet, shot, or slug travels
- Breech– Is where a round enters into the chamber and is inserted into the rear of the barrel. This is known as the breech.
- The frame (pistols only)– Consider the frame as the skeletal structure of the gun. Just like the skeletal structure of our bodies, every part of pistols is attached to the frame somehow or is housed inside the frame.
- Clips or Magazines– Holds rounds for pistols, rifles, and sometimes shotguns that will be fired. Once a shot is fired and ejected, the spring inside the clip will push into the gun. Guns with this mechanism is called repeating firearms.
- Cylinder (revolver)– A cylinder is comparable to a clip in that it houses rounds that will be fired. A revolver is cocked, and the cylinder will rotate to align a cartridge with the rest of the gun.
- Hammer (mostly revolvers)– When the gun is fired, the hammer strikes the primer on the cartridge. This causes a chemical reaction that will result in the projectile leaving the weapon. Note: Some older style rifles, pistols, and shotguns have hammers.
- Firing pin– Many modern pistols, rifles, and shotguns use a firing pin instead of a hammer. Once the trigger of a gun is pulled, the firing pin will strike the primer of the cartridge.
- Muzzle– The Muzzle is where the bullet, slug, or shot exits the firearm.
- Trigger– The lever that when squeezed will fire the gun
- Trigger Guard– Wraps around the area of the trigger preventing accidental discharge of the firearm.
- Safety– A safety limits accidental firing of firearms when it is cocked. Note: Always consider a gun loaded and the safety off when handling and never point the gun at something unless you intend on shooting it.
You are now a master of guns, and 007 or Rambow have nothing on you! I still might not go toe-to-toe with them just yet. Give it a few more weeks and learn how to a pistol the right way at least… However, this information should give you a basic breakdown of the different parts of a gun. Naturally, most weapons have many more parts that, if we tried to cover, would be a whole book, but this is will give you a good foundation of knowledge to start with. Let us know what you think below!