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Basic Gun Terminology; Magazine, Caliber, Gauge, Striker or Hammer Fired Pistol & More

If you are new to the shooting industry, there may be several terms that float around this space that you don’t fully understand. There is a lot that goes into the sport of shooting. It can be helpful if you understand what instructors and fellow shooters around you are talking about when they use terms that you don’t know the meaning of. Shooting Range Industries is here to explain some of the most commonly used firearm terms so that you can feel comfortable as you get more involved in the sport of shooting.


The magazine is where the ammunition goes and then feeds into the firearm. Not all magazines look the same either. Some of them are boxes, tubes and drums. Magazines can either be a permanent fixture on guns while others are removable depending on the firearm. They also come with different ammunition capacities as well. Some states have a limit to how much ammunition your magazine can hold.

Striker Fired Pistol

The striker isn’t something that you can see as it is found on the inner workings of the firearm. To understand what it means to have the striker fired, you need to understand how the firearm works. As the trigger is pulled a firing pin is released by tension placed on a spring. It then strikes the primer and ignites the round in the chamber.


Caliber is the term used to measure the bullet size your firearm uses. True caliber is measured in inches like a .45 caliber weapon translates to .45 inches or .50 caliber is ½ inch in diameter. Some firearms are measured using millimeters though. The most common firearm in millimeters is a 9MM. It is important to note that each firearm is designed to use a very specific size of ammunition. Whatever ammunition the manufacturer recommends is the ammunition you should use….always.

Shotgun Gauges

This is the measurement used to specify the ammunition used in shotguns. Just like other guns, shotguns are made specifically for certain shell sizes. The most common shotgun is the 12 gauge shotgun.

Hammer Fired Pistols

This is similar to the striker. Some firearms have a hammer that, when the trigger is pulled, falls onto the firing pin which makes contact with the primer and ignites the round in the chamber. Hammers are usually found on revolvers.


This type of firearm is a handgun that has a cylinder which rotates and holds the ammunition. IT rotates every time it is fired and then the next round is in place and ready to shoot. The most common type of revolver holds 6 rounds of ammunition.

Custom Shooting Ranges for Safe Weapons Handling, Firearm Practice, Training & More

If you are new to the sport of shooting, it is important that you have the right training and experience using a firearm before you attempt to use it on your own. At Shooting Range Industries, we design and fabricate custom shooting ranges to help perfect your shooting skills. Call us today!

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