There are several reasons why you may want to buy a gun, but how do guns work? Here are the main things you need to understand.

How Do Guns Work? An Informative Guide

In 2020, US gun makers manufactured about 11.3 million firearms. It is an amount that almost tripled the 3.9 million guns made in 2000.

You may already know the basics of how guns work. That is, they fire a bullet when you pull the trigger.

For many, that’s all they need to know. For others, it’s never enough. Either way, there’s much more about weapons of any kind to learn if you want to become a self-sufficient prepper.

If you’re someone who wants to know how do guns work? Keep reading for a comprehensive guide.

How Do Guns Work

A gun is a weapon that uses an explosive charge to project a bullet or other projectile at high speed. The first guns came from China and appeared in Europe by the 13th century.

Guns are fascinating machinery, and humans have been using them for centuries. While the basic design of a gun has remained consistent, gun technology and the materials used to make guns have changed over time. Today, many different types of guns are available on the market, each with unique features.

To understand how guns work, one must first understand the basic principles of how they function. Guns use a small explosion to create a large amount of force that is then used to propel a bullet at a high velocity. This process begins with the trigger, which, when pulled, sets off a chain of events that leads to the gun’s firing.

First, the trigger releases a striker or firing pin, which then hits the primer. The primer is a small explosive charge that then ignites the gun powder. The gun powder is the main explosive charge in the gun and is located behind the bullet in the cartridge.

When the gun powder ignites, it creates many hot gases that expand. These hot gases push on the bullet, propelling it down the gun’s barrel and out towards the target.

What is a Cartridge

Cartridges are the ammunition used in firearms composed of the brass case, the primer, the propellant, and the bullet. The brass case is the container that holds all the other parts together.

The primer is a small charge of an impact-sensitive chemical used to ignite the propellant. The propellant is a fast-burning powder that generates a large volume of gas to push the bullet down the barrel. The bullet is the projectile fired from the firearm.

Calibers and Bullet Types

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a gun is its type of ammunition. The two most common types of ammunition are bullets and shells.

Bullets are typically made of lead, copper, or steel; you fire them from a handgun or rifle. Shells are usually made of brass or steel and fired from a shotgun.

Guns use a variety of calibers and bullet types to function. The most common caliber used in handguns is the 9mm. It is a small, lightweight caliber that is easy to control, and it is also popular because it is inexpensive.

The most common type of bullet used in handguns is the full metal jacket (FMJ). This type of bullet can penetrate targets and cause maximum damage. It is not intended to expand or fragment, so it can sometimes pass through targets without causing much damage.

The size of the bullet also varies depending on the type of gun. The most common sizes are .22, .38, 9mm, and .45. The size of the bullet will also affect the gun’s recoil or the amount of force exerted on the shooter when firing the weapon.

Guns are powerful tools and can be dangerous if not used right. It is essential to be familiar with the specific gun type and always follow safety precautions.

Different Types of Guns

Today, many different types of guns are available on the market, each with unique capabilities. Here is a brief guide to some of the most popular types of firearms and how they work.


Pistols are the most common type of gun, and they come in many different sizes and calibers. The size and caliber of a gun will determine how much damage it can do and how far the bullet will travel.

Most pistols use a semi-automatic design, meaning they have a magazine that holds several rounds of ammunition. You insert the bullet into the gun’s chamber and fire with each trigger pull.

Glocks are a certain type of pistol with modern gun technology. Aside from the basic model you can buy, there are also other Glock upgrades that can improve its performance. Make sure to deal with an authorized dealer when buying gun parts to ensure its quality.

Pistols are small and easy to conceal, which makes them popular for self-defense. However, you can also hide them and use them for criminal purposes. Gun owners must be responsible and keep their guns safe and secure to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.


A revolver is a repeating handgun with a revolving cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. The revolver allows the user to fire multiple rounds without reloading after each shot, unlike other firearms such as bolt-action or lever-action rifles. The cylinder of a revolver holds six rounds of ammunition, but some models may contain more.

Most revolvers have a cylinder mounted on a swing-out arm. The user can swing the cylinder to the side, revealing the chambers inside. The user must open the cylinder and insert the rounds into each compartment to load a revolver.

Once you close the cylinder, the revolver is ready to fire when you pull the trigger. This action will rotate the cylinder, aligning the chamber with the barrel. After the release of the trigger, the hammer will strike the round’s primer, causing it to discharge and fire the bullet.

Lever-Action Rifles

Most people think of a lever-action rifle as an “Old West” gun, and while it’s true that they were popular during that time, they’re still in use today. Lever-action rifles are well-suited for hunting, plinking, and even some competitive shooting disciplines. 

Lever-action rifles have a reputation for being rugged and reliable due to their simple design. These rifles have a short barrel, and they’re fed ammunition from a tubular magazine located underneath the barrel. The most popular lever-action rifles have chambers for rifle cartridges, but some are for pistol cartridges.

To operate a lever-action rifle, the shooter moves the lever down, which ejects the spent cartridge and a new one. You can fire lever-action rifles quickly, often used in cowboy action shooting competitions.

Semi-Automatic Rifles

Semi-automatic rifles are a type of long gun designed to fire a single bullet with each pull of the trigger. You can load these firearms from a magazine, a device that holds ammunition and provides it into the gun’s chamber. A magazine can be detachable, meaning you can remove it from the weapon and replace it with another, or it can be permanently attached to the gun.

Most semi-automatic rifles fire various cartridges, including the popular .223 and 5.56 calibers. These guns have a storied history dating back to the early conflicts and wards of the twentieth century. Today, semi-automatic rifles are for hunting and target shooting.

Automatic Rifles

Automatic rifles have been around for over a century, and their design has changed very little. They are an evolution of the old lever-action rifles that were popular in the 1800s. The most significant difference is that instead of a lever, they have a gas-operated system that uses the heat and pressure of the exploding cartridge to cycle the action.

Automatic rifles are, as the name implies, designed to fire more than one shot per trigger pull. To do this, they have a high rate of fire, usually around 600-900 rounds per minute. It is much higher than most semi-automatic rifles, which only fire about 60 rounds per minute.

However, the higher rate of fire of automatic rifles comes at a cost. They are much more difficult to control, and even experienced shooters will often find themselves spraying bullets all over the place if they are not careful. In addition, they tend to be much more expensive than semi-automatic rifles.


A typical shotgun consists of stock, grip, action, magazine, and barrel. The stock is the frame that holds all of the other components together. The grip is the part of the stock that you hold.

The action is the moving parts of the gun that load, fire, and eject the shells. The magazine is where the shells are stored. The barrel is the part of the gun that the bullets travel through when they are fired.

Shotguns are a type of firearm designed to fire a punishing blast of lead shot at close range. They are most used for hunting game birds, though you can also use them for self-defense or target shooting.

Shotguns have a smooth bore barrel, which means that the inside of the barrel is not rifled. It makes them less accurate than rifles at long range, but the spread of shots is devastating at close range.

Be Knowledgeable Before Buying a Gun

Guns are complex devices that require a great deal of responsibility to operate safely. If you want to know how do guns work, this guide can give you the basic information you need. If you are considering purchasing a gun or already own one, it is essential to do your research and understand all aspects of gun safety.

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