Firearms 101: Basics, Different Types of Firearms, and Safety

Firearms are amazing. They can help you protect your family, have the time of your life, and even put food on the table. A lot of firearm owners collect and love tinkering with guns, but keep in mind that these items are not toys. They are weapons designed to kill. So, safety should be your top priority. If you have just started exploring the world of firearms, then this guide is for you. It has everything you need to know about firearms Firearms 101 – basics, types, safety guidelines, and more.

Firearms 101

Firearms Basics

Every firearm is built differently. Some feature parts that other firearms don’t have. As a beginner, it is important to learn about these gun parts. 

Following are some of the basic ones:

  • Barrel: A long metal tube that guides the bullet out of the firearm.
  • Grip: The grip is the part of a firearm where you wrap your hands around to comfortably shoot it.
  • Magazine: The magazine contains the ammo. It is either fixed or detachable.
  • Safety Mechanism: The safety mechanism of the firearm is a button or lever that can be turned on and off. When turned on, it prevents the firing pin from hitting the primer so that there is no accidental firing.
  • Trigger: The trigger is a mechanical switch that, when pulled, causes the gunpowder to burn explosively. This explosion launches the bullet.
  • Trigger Guard: The trigger guard surrounds the trigger of the gun. It is there to prevent accidental firing.
  • Stock/Buttstock: The stock/buttstock is found in long firearms. Its purpose is to provide a structural support to the firearm during firing.
Firearms 101

Types of Firearms

Firearms vary in size and design. While there are many different types of firearms, they generally fall into two primary categories: handguns and long guns.


Handguns are compact and they are designed to be used withone hand. They are mainly used for firing at targets at a close distance, e.g. less than 10 yards. 

Pistols and revolvers are two primary types of handguns.

  • Pistols are the most common type of handgun. They are either single shot or semi-automatic.
  • Revolvers feature a multi-chambered revolving cylinder block where the bullets are loaded into. They are available in single-action as well as double-action configurations.

Long Guns

Long guns are relatively longer as compared to handguns. Rifles and shotguns are two typical types of long guns.• Rifles feature long barrels. They are designed to be used with both hands and they can generally shoot targets over 500 yards away. Inside their barrels, rifles feature spiral cuts. These cuts are known as rifling, hence the name of the firearm.• Shotguns also feature long barrels and they are designed to be used with both hands. However, they have relatively shorter range. They can shoot targets over 75 yards away. The range may vary depending on the shell used. Shotguns shoot pellets rather than bullets in most applications. The pallets scatter when fired, that’s why they are also known as pepper guns or scatterguns.

Firearms 101

Firearms Safety

As a firearm owner, you have a responsibility to yourself as well as everyone around you to handle your firearm with the utmost safety. Not only does handling your weapon safely keep you safe, but it also keeps the freedom of everyone safe. In some states, a license or permit is required to buy a firearm, especially a handgun. The process generally requires some firearm safety training.

If you are new to firearms, you may have heard expert shooters and firearm owners refer to the four or five golden rules of gun safety. Exactly how many golden rules there are and how they are phrased varies from one source to another.

Let’s look at the most common rules in Firearms 101 :
  • Always treat your firearm as loaded, even if you are sure that it’s not.
  • Always point your firearm in a safe direction.
  • Before you pull the trigger, always check your target and what’s behind it.
  • Unless you are ready to shoot, keep your finger off the trigger.
  • Never point your firearm at anything you don’t plan to shoot.
  • Keep your firearm unloaded when it’s not in use. 
Firearms 101

Firearms 101 :Take steps to make sure that it is secured from unauthorized use.

Each firearm will have its own unique safe handling recommendations and safety features. Read the manual and get as familiar with your weapon as possible. The more practice and training you have, the safer you will be able to handle your firearm. So, follow the rules above, practice as much as you can, and surround yourself with experienced, responsible shooters, and, most importantly, stay safe. Till Next Time!-The Black Sheep

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