Stamp expert & buyer with over 40 years of experience.
Common Gun Terms
An important part of owning a gun is maintaining it and being knowledgeable about how it works. The following are seven basic terms to be familiar with if you own a gun or are planning on purchasing one.
Gunsmith – A person who repairs or modifies firearms. Gunsmiths also inspect firearms to make sure they are safe. They are highly skilled craftsmen, who must be licensed to practice their trade. Gunsmiths may work for a gun manufacturer, gun club, or own their own shop.
Gun Dealer – An individual licensed to buy and sell firearms. Gun dealers must comply with all federal, state, and local laws at their stores, including enforcing any mandatory waiting periods or completing background checks at their shops.
Gun Club – Also known as a shooting range, a gun club is a place where gun owners can discuss their firearms, purchase shooting accessories, and practice shooting them in a safe environment.
Paintball Guns – Guns that use a gas, like carbon dioxide, to shoot balls of paint. Paintball guns are used in the sport of paintball. Paintball guns are usually sold in sporting goods stores, specialty shops or on the internet.
Rifle – A gun that is fired from the shoulder with a long barrel designed for range and accuracy. Rifles are commonly used by hunters.
Pistol – A gun that is held in the hand and fired. The term pistol may as be used to refer to revolvers.
Shotgun – A gun that is usually fired from the shoulder and is often loaded with a shell that contains small projectiles, called shot.
The first guns were muskets and showed up in the middle of the 17th century. Since then, the technology has changed and developed over time.
A modern firearm is a sophisticated piece of equipment. Both rifles and pistols are designed and engineered to a high degree of precision. One of the key developments was standardization. Ammo is now made in a number of sizes, but each of those sizes is specific and set. Firearms are often referred to by their caliber, which refers to the size of the bullets or cartridges they fire.
Guns are used for a number of purposes ranging from the military to personal protection to hunting. Hunting rifles are amongst the more common guns sold. Sub machine guns are used by military and law enforcement officials. Most guns, these days, are mass produced and sold through dealers and gun stores. Legal requirements for gun ownership vary from state to state and sometimes county to county. Dealers are commonly held responsible for ensuring that customers fulfill those requirements.
However, there are still some custom guns made. The modern gunsmith likely works out of a shop or store. They make new guns or repair old ones. A gunsmith uses various tools and replacement parts, such as safety mechanisms or a new stock. Most gun parts are made of metal. Gunsmiths, even ones that do not have a shop and work only on their own weapons, are licensed. They are often required to keep guns in a safe when not working on them. Gunsmiths may also work with gun clubs and at firing ranges, offering basic repairs and advice on maintenance and cleaning.
Some gunsmiths may work with non-lethal weaponry, such as paintball guns. Paintball is very popular in some areas, with numerous clubs of enthusiasts.