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What Are the Main Types of Guns?


Did you know that the earliest form of a gun dates back to 850 C.E. in ancient China? Through the Silk Road trade routes, this invention spread through Central Asia and Europe and was reinvented over time.

Today, the gun has evolved into various forms for different purposes. If you’re just starting out with firearms, it’s important to first arm yourself with basic gun knowledge before going shopping.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide about the different types of guns you’ll find on the market. Read on to understand the benefits of a gun and choose the best one for you.


A rifle is a gun designed to be fired from the shoulder using two hands. This gun fires only one projectile with every single pull of the trigger. Most rifles have a long barrel and receiver with a grooved/rifled bore through which the projectile exits.

The barrel has rifling which puts a spiral spin on the bullet fired, increasing the distance, stability, and accuracy of your shot. Within the rifle category, you’ll find:

  • Lever action rifles
  • Bolt action rifles
  • Break action rifles
  • Semi-automatic rifles
  • Pump action rifles

Rifles are ideal for firing at stationary targets and modern versions can shoot up to a mile away. They’re used for law enforcement, large game hunting, and shooting sports. To improve your shooting accuracy and experience, invest in 40mm scope rings.


Like rifles, shotguns have long barrels and are also designed to be shot from the shoulders. However, this firearm typically has a smooth bore to reduce bullet friction.

Shotgun shooting is ideal for moving targets at shorter distances of up to 100 yards. They’re popularly used for target shooting and game hunting.

The main types of shotguns include:

Double Barrel Shotgun

This is a traditional shotgun with two barrels and two choke options. Its design makes it quick and easy to disassemble all parts of a gun for cleaning and transporting. It’s highly reliable and suitable for beginner hunters.

Single Barrel Shotgun

This gun has the same working principle as the double barrel gun, but with one barrel. They’re generally inexpensive and perfect for practicing your first shots.

Semi-Automatic Shotgun

This shotgun has a larger magazine capacity for multiple shots with reduced recoil. It’s excellent for everything – from shot training to gun protection.

Pump Action Shotgun

This works similar to a semi, but the action is cycled manually by moving a sliding handguard on the gun's forestock. They’re safer and less expensive than semis.


A handgun is a short-barreled firearm designed to be used by one hand. The barrel features rifling to help stabilize the bullets and thick walls to withstand high pressures.

Many handguns are effective for firing at stationary and close targets up to 50 yards away. The most common types of handguns are semi-automatic pistols and revolvers. They’re used for self-defense, target shooting, and law enforcement.

Get Started with Right Types of Guns and Accessories

Knowing how to choose from the different types of guns can be difficult. But buying a gun doesn’t have to be confusing.

With the guide above, you’ll be starting your gun ownership journey with a quality firearm to practice shooting and protect yourself. Ensure you always shop for a reputable and verified online firearm vendor.

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