Basic Gun Types – Brief Definitions of Civilian Ordinance Types

Basic Gun Types – Brief Definitions of Civilian Ordinance Types


This article is meant to be a 5-minute explanation of legal gun types currently available to citizens of the United States. I hope t . o provide a basic understanding for those new or just interested in the definitions of basic gun types.

For this article, I am not going to b 38 super ammo for sale  e including exotic, military, illegal, homemade, or prototype weapons. This boils down to basically 3 categories: Handguns, Rifles, and Shotguns. First, however, there are a few terms that apply to all three types. I’ll cover those first.

Single action refers to a pull of the trigger firing one round after the weapon is cocked, either manually, or by gas blowback of a previously fired round.

Double action refers to being able to cock and fire the weapon with a single trigger pull.

All of the weapons below are available in single or double action. Semi-automatics are also available in double/single action. Meaning the first trigger pull is double action and all subsequent pulls are single action.

We have single shot, which are typically bolt action, lever action, or break breach, being fed ammo manually, by tube, or clip. Revolvers and semi-automatic weapon automatically load the next round to be fired by the next trigger pull. Ammo is held in the cylinder or fed by tube or clip. The words clip and magazine mean the same thing.


The term handgun refers to handheld weapons that don’t use shoulder stocks. These range in size from derringers, to subcompacts, compacts, full size, and specialty weapons. There are single shot, revolvers and semi-automatic, and are fed ammo manually, by cylinder, or clip. All types are available in a wide range of calibers. Handguns are usually designed for targets under 100 yards away.

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