Education|Beginners Guide To Firearms

Hello, and welcome to the Beginner’s Guide To Firearms. In the last couple of months due to the global pandemic we have had an influx of new firearm owners here in America. Which is great news to hear. Everyone who joins the community is a benefit to health of the industry and it’s growth. So, welcome to the community.

Being a first time buyer of a firearm means you will have a lot of questions. That is normal. You are dealing with something foreign to you that you have little to no knowledge on. We all started as newbie with firearms at one point and time in our lives. So, having questions is natural and par for the course.

This guide is here to help you navigate through those initial growing pains that you might have as a new shooter. Dispel the myths and misinformation around firearms. To allow you have a healthy and positive view of firearms and everything in between.

The first topic we are going to cover is, “What is a firearm?” That is where we will lay our foundation and go from there.

Everything in this Guide will be done in a grounded manner. I’m not going to throw big topics at you that are clearly over your head. Nah, we are going to do this Barney style. Building you a solid foundation and growing from there.

What Is A Firearm?

First, let’s classify what a firearm is. Simply put a firearm is a rifle, pistol, shotgun, or any other portable small arms weapon from which a projectile is fired by gunpowder. The first firearms where rudimentary in design. You had a barrel, explosive(gunpowder), and projectile, that was about it. The first firearm where inaccurate and not reliable. Firearms have come a long way from their Stone Age ancestors.

Bullets Are Official Known As Cartridges

What most people call bullets are officially known as cartridges. A cartridge contains everything needed to make the bullet fire from that firearm. In a cartridge you have primer, gunpowder, bullet, and the outer casing holding all these components together.

So, what happens within this cartridge is how the bullet travels from cartridge to out of the barrel. When the primer is struck by the firing pin the primer ignites the gunpowder within the casing. Causing a small explosion burning off the gunpowder within. That burning gunpowder creates pressure that moves the projectile out of the barrel towards its target.

For visual representation we have diagrams of a pistol, rifle, and shotgun cartridges. Giving you a tools to reference in the future.

Understanding How A Firearm Works

The Cycle Of Operations

There are many types of pistols, rifles, and shotguns, everyone of them has a cycle of operation with minor exceptions. The cycle of operations involves the firearm shooting a round, ejecting the round, and chambering another round into the barrel of the firearm. That’s the cycle of operations broken down in its simplest of terms.

The actual cycle of operations consists of eight steps that are inherent to every firearm. Along with a few minor expectations.

The Eight Elements Of The Cycle Of Operations

  1. Feeding: The cartridge is being fed into the firearm from the magazine of the weapon.
  2. Chambering: The cartridge is then fed into the barrel of the firearm.
  3. Locking: From there the round is locked into place inside the barrel. The locking of the round will occur on the bolt face of a rifle or breech face of a pistol. Through locking, the mechanical alignment of the major parts within the firearm will ensure gas expansion is captured and focused on propelling the bullet through the bore and ensuring the operation of a semi-auto firearm. Once locked, the weapon is ready to fire.
  4. Firing: The user of the firearm squeezes the trigger which sends the firing pin to hit the primer of the cartridge. Causing the ignition of the powder. This results in gas expansion within the chambered cartridge which propels the projectile into and through the barrel.
  5. Unlocking: In semi-automatic weapons, the gas expansion causes a backward movement of the bolt (rifle) or slide (pistol) unseating the cartridge case from the chamber.
  6. Extraction: Continued backward movement of the bolt (rifle) or slide (pistol) in semi-automatic weapons causes the extractor to “pull” the cartridge case out of the chamber.
  7. Ejection: Prior to the termination of backward movement of the bolt (rifle) or slide (pistol), the cartridge case being pulled by the extractor comes in contact with the ejector which “pushes” the spent cartridge case through the ejection port and out of the firearm.
  8. Cocking: Returning the firing mechanism to the cocked position, ready to fire another round.

That is the cycle of operations of a firearm. Most firearms will follow this cycle with slight variations, like a pump action shotgun. This is how your gun fires a round and loads the next one within your magazine.

That about wraps it up ladies and gentlemen on what is a firearm. Today, we discussed what is a firearm. What is a firearm cartridge and the cycle of operations of a firearm. In the next section we will discuss weapon safety and weapon conditions.

If you have any questions or want further details on something specific, please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks For Reading

If you enjoyed this post, hit that like button, share it a friend, and subscribe. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or comments. Please feel free to drop a comment. Be Humble. Train until only savagery remains and stay deadly ladies and gents.

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