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Parts & Function of a Handgun, Rifle & Shotgun; How Action, Stock, Barrel & More Work to Shoot

As far as firearms are concerned, most people have a basic understanding. You likely have a firm grasp about guns, whether you are a hunter, competition shooter, recreational shooter, or rely on firearms for your chosen career among other reasons. Those just beginning has a lot to learn, however, may have some confusion. Today, we at Shooting Range Industries would like to list the basic parts of shotguns, rifles, and handguns, no matter if you are new to firearms, or looking to refresh your knowledge. We want to stress the importance of gun safety, storage, and all the other laws in your specific state, though we are eager to share the very basic parts of a pistol, rifle, and shotgun. You can be directed to the specific gun laws if you check the state online. Ignorance will not get you out of trouble so make sure to learn and understand them because when it comes to the law.


The frame, barrel, action, and the clip or cylinder consist of modern handguns have 4 basic parts.
Frame. The metal housing consists of the frame, which includes everything that is attached to or inside the frame in addition to the grip or handle of the gun.
Clips or Cylinders. These components are not interchangeable. Instead of a repeating handgun, your gun will have a cylinder that holds the ammunition should your gun be a revolver. With repeating handguns, clips or magazines that fit firmly into the grip are used. The magazine release, slide stop, muzzle, rear and front sights, trigger, and trigger guard are included in the handgun’s other parts.
Action. The components that fire the cartridge including the trigger is what the action comprises of.
Barrel. The barrel, which protrudes from the frame, is the metal tube where the bullet travels as it leaves the handgun.


The basic parts of a rifle consist of action, stock, and barrel.
Stock. The stock is the part used to aim the firearm and the part of the rifle you hold. Also included on a rifle, the front and rear sights, the receiver, trigger, trigger guard, magazine, and safety.
Action. The mechanism that loads the ammo, fires, and unloads spent cartridges is the action. The lever-action, bolt-action, pump-action, break action, and semi-automatic action are additional common rifle actions.
Barrel. Like the handgun, the barrel protrudes outward and is the long, metal tube where, allows the bullet to travel.


The standard parts of shotgun are broken down to the stock, barrel, and action.
Action. The action that loads, fires, and discards the spent shotgun shells. Though other types include bolt-action, break action, and semi-automatic action, pump-action shotguns are the most common, however.
Stock. The part that rests against your shoulder and the part of the shotgun you hold is the stock. The muzzle, magazine cap, receiver, breech bolt, trigger guard, ejection port, and safety mechanism are the other parts of the shotgun.
Barrel. The tube allows them travel is the barrel, which is the part that extends from the gun so the pellets can leave the gun.

Custom Modular Shooting Ranges Made in the USA

Just be sure to always proper safety and handling whenever you handle, clean, shoot, and transport firearms as we hope this gave you a little insight on the basic components of the firearms commonly used on the shooting range. Shooting Range Industries designs and fabricates custom portable shooting ranges for firearm practice and training. Call us to learn more today!

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