A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual. The term is legally defined further in different countries (see Legal definitions).
The first firearms originated in 10th-century China, when bamboo tubes containing gunpowder and pellet projectiles were mounted on spears to make the portable fire lance, operable by a single person, which was later used to good effect in the Siege of De'an in 1132. In the 13th century, fire lance barrels were replaced with metal tubes and transformed into the metal-barreled hand cannon. The technology gradually spread throughout Eurasia during the 14th century. Older firearms typically used black powder as a propellant, but modern firearms use smokeless powder or other propellants. Most modern firearms (with the notable exception of smoothbore shotguns) have rifled barrels to impart spin to the projectile for improved flight stability.
Modern firearms can be described by their caliber (i.e. bore diameter). For pistols and rifles this is given in millimeters or inches (e.g. 7.62mm or .308 in.), or in the case of shotguns by their gauge (e.g. 12 ga. and 20 ga.). They are also described by the type of action employed (e.g. muzzleloader, breechloader, lever, bolt, pump, revolver, semi-automatic, fully automatic, etc.), together with the usual means of deportment (i.e. hand-held or mechanical mounting). Further classification may make reference to the type of barrel used (i.e. rifled) and to the barrel length (e.g. 24 inches), to the firing mechanism (e.g. matchlock, wheellock, flintlock, or percussion lock), to the design's primary intended use (e.g. hunting rifle), or to the commonly accepted name for a particular variation (e.g. Gatling gun).
Shooters aim firearms at their targets with hand-eye coordination, using either iron sights or optical sights. The accurate range of pistols generally does not exceed 100 metres (110 yd; 330 ft), while most rifles are accurate to 500 metres (550 yd; 1,600 ft) using iron sights, or to longer ranges whilst using optical sights. (Firearm rounds may be dangerous or lethal well beyond their accurate range; the minimum distance for safety is much greater than the specified range for accuracy). Purpose-built sniper rifles and anti-materiel rifles are accurate to ranges of more than 2,000 metres (2,200 yd).

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  1. ageingstudent

    What is your favorite firearm to load for?

    I hate to admit it but this little Model 36 is my baby. It's super simple to load for but when you pick it up and pull the trigger it's just amazing. I really like the 3-in barrel and it's got all the good things that make it an old Smith & Wesson a work of art. It's an absolute pleasure to load...
  2. Yarome

    National  DEA "rule" change - delta 8 as controlled substance and firearm enhancement?

    I'm not entirely sure what "delta 8" is, but I gathered it's related to THC but different than cannabis(?) The USCCA was just putting out info that it's now been reclassified as a schedule 1 drug and may have impact for firearm owners at both state and federal levels. Possibly triggering...
  3. Hawaiian

    Concealed means concealed. Or your firearm might be taken from you.

  4. rdb241

    2023 WA State Firearm Bill proposals

    :s0003: OK, WA gun owners. This is not good. Get up off your bums and start contacting your Representitives and Senators and voice your opinion. Besides the AWB, the biggest threat to Washington gun laws is HB1178. They are trying to do away with the Washignton Premtion law so local county and...
  5. ATCclears

    Washington  If your firearm gets stolen

    This guy may ramble a bit but he is producing good content. Jump to the 4:40min mark.
  6. solv3nt

    Off -Duty Portland Security Guard Sentencing gives five years after using legally concealed firearm

    By Zane Sparling | The Oregonian/OregonLive An Oregon man whose birthday party ended in bloodshed was sentenced Friday to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in a 2019 killing. Willie K. Mitchell was marking his 23rd birthday at downtown Portland's Shake...
  7. kirchevavenir

    New to Firearm community

    Hello my name is Avenir, No one in my family owned guns before me. My parents had a very anti-gun view even though we were conservative republicans. It probably had something to do with them growing up in a country part of the Soviet union. So I grew up knowing guns are bad. When I was 17 I...
  8. B

    shipping a firearm

    Has anyone used UPS to ship a pistol out of Washington state ? My reading of the new UPS rules and regulations seem to imply that you need to be licensed (not a private party) to use their shipping service. Secondly, has anyone used the "Ship My Gun" service , which offers prepaid labels and...
  9. Yarome

    General firearm discussion - Ignored thread

    Does anyone else see this from the main page or is it just me? I verified I don't have any ignored threads and, obviously ,it's still accessible. A glitch?
  10. 41mag

    Other State  map of Illinois counties enforcing their most recent firearm ban

    Unable to verify authenticity/accuracy of this which was posted on another site recently:
  11. K

    History of Firearm Background Checks Federal and Oregon

    Here is two links to Oregon and Federal firearm background history. https://fee.org/articles/the-history-of-gun-background-checks/#:~:text=In%20March%20of%201981%2C%20the%20assassination%20attempt%20of,for%20the%20purchase%20of%20firearms%20from%20a%20retailer...
  12. Mark W.

    What do you think the average firearm is worth?

    So on occasion I use the idea that to remove firearms from the economy of the USA would be devastating or someone suggests the government buy up the firearms or some other stupid idea. Along these lines I have been using 450 million firearms x their average market value. And its been put forth...
  13. A

    Oregon firearm sale/transfer question

    Hello all, Does it take just as long to sell a firearm to a private party as it does to buy a new firearm for yourself (I've read that it is taking 30+ days for some)? Just wondering because I'm trying to get rid of my only gun (Sig P365) and would like to do it relatively quickly. If it's...
  14. bentoncity

    National  H.R.8361 - Preventing Suicide Through Voluntary Firearm Purchase Delay Act

    Anyone seen this? H.R.8361 I'd appreciate it if someone can interpret it for me. I've read it three times & I'm still confused. Dan
  15. Dust2Dollars

    New 2023 4733 Federal Firearm Form.... Some intersting changes... and I mean WOW!

    New 2023 "4473" not 4733 Federal Firearm Form.... Some intersting changes... and I mean WOW! Had to convert them to a jpg, hope you can read them. Some of the questions, fines and statements are well...interesting.
  16. 2beaucoup

    Washington  Selling a Firearm Online

    A gentleman in KY want to buy my Sig. Never done this before. How does this usually go? Who generally pays the shipping? I know I have to ship thru a local FFl. How much do they usually charge? Thanks
  17. S

    Firearm gun socks/dehumidifiers in gun safe

    Do they need to be in 1, or both if they are being stored in a gun safe? I have a cheap stack on gun safe and there are a few holes pre made on the sides so I don't even know if it's useful, though I have guns in gun socks and lots of the packets that kill air inside the safe. Do I need just a...
  18. arakboss

    National  Rules & Regs Around Manufacturing vs Reconfiguring vs Privately Made Firearms.

    I bought a handgun recently and the FFL (seller) delivered it in person to my FFL. I inquired about separating the slide from frame and only transferring the frame. He said that the firearm had to leave his book in the same classification as it was entered into his book. I have read that FFLs...
  19. rayrunspdx

    Possible to send firearm to another FFL - post BGC submission?

    Hey ya’ll I am waiting on a BGC for a stripped AR-10 lower that has been in the cue for going on three weeks now. The FFL currently in possession of the item are not releasing under the three-day rule. I was wondering if it would be possible to pay said FFL to ship the item to a different shop...
  20. arakboss

    Canceling Firearm Purchase After Background Check Initiated, Refund Time Frame.

    If you want to cancel the purchase of a firearm, after the background check has been initiated but not cleared, how long before you are likely to see a refund come through? What fees are you likely to incur by canceling purchase?
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