Gun

SIG Pro semi-automatic pistol
Battleship USS Iowa fires a full broadside from its nine sixteen-inch naval guns
A 'flying-cloud thunderclap-eruptor,' a proto-gun firing thunderclap bombs, from the Huolongjing.
The first firearm (a "proto-gun"), the fire lance, from the Huolongjing.
Hand cannon from the Chinese Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368)
Western European handgun, 1380
A breech loading matchlock with a plug bayonet from the Binglu, 1606.
Depiction of a musketeer (1608)
The Henry rifle and Winchester rifle
Gatling gun
Rifling of a 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 tank gun.
The Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun is widely used by law enforcement tactical teams and military forces.

Ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube to launch projectiles.

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SIG Pro semi-automatic pistol

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The Tsar Cannon with its massive bore and the stacked barrel-looking exterior

Gun barrel

The Tsar Cannon with its massive bore and the stacked barrel-looking exterior
A female worker boring out the barrel of a Lee-Enfield rifle during WWI
The barrel of a 240 mm howitzer in use in 1944
A German Army G22 with fluted barrel
A cartridge being chambered into a Springfield M1903.
Illustration of the various sections of a typical rifle chamber. The back end is to the left, and the front is to the right. — body (purple), shoulder (pink) and neck (green).
Closeup of barrel throat area. The chamber is to the left, and the muzzle is to the right. The freebore (cyan) and leade (dark grey) transition into rifled bore (pale grey), and the comparison between freebore diameter vs. rifling groove and land diameter.
The inside of a Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore tank gun (seen from the muzzle) of a Leopard 2A4
Muzzle of a SIG 550 rifle, equipped with a birdcage-type flash suppressor
Various types of shotgun chokes
Muzzle blast modulated by an A2-style flash suppressor
Production steps in the cold-hammer forging process to produce the barrels for a double-barrelled shotgun

A gun barrel is a crucial part of gun-type ranged weapons such as small firearms, artillery pieces and air guns.

A US Navy sailor fires a Mk 18 Mod 1 carbine at a target.

Firearm

A US Navy sailor fires a Mk 18 Mod 1 carbine at a target.
A Colt Single Action Army revolver, with hammer cocked back
A Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol
Springfield Armory M1903 rifle
A US Marine firing a Mossberg 500 shotgun
MG 42 general-purpose machine gun with retracted bipod
The Accuracy International Arctic Warfare series of sniper rifles is a standard issue in the armies of several countries, including those of Britain, Ireland, and Germany (shown).
Czechoslovak 7.65 mm submachine gun Škorpion vz. 61 designed in 1959.
Suomi M31 submachine with a 70-round drum magazine attached, 20- and 50-round box magazines.
The AK-47 is one of the most widely produced and used assault rifles in the world.
FN P90 PDW
Belgian FN SCAR-H
Hand cannon from the Chinese Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368)
The istinggar, a result of Indo-Portuguese gun-making traditions
A) The matchlock gun with button for trigger, which came to Lisbon from Bohemia, used by the Portuguese until the conquest of Goa in 1510. B) The Indo-Portuguese matchlock gun resulted from the combination of Portuguese and Goan gunmaking. C) The Japanese matchlock gun appeared as a copy of the first firearm introduced in the Japanese islands.
A musketeer (1608)
Hand cannon being fired from a stand, "Belli Fortis", manuscript, by Konrad Kyeser, 1400
Percussion cap and early bolt action form
Various Japanese (samurai) Edo period matchlocks (tanegashima)
A wheellock pistol mechanism from the 17th century
Flintlock mechanism
(From left to right): A .577 Snider cartridge (1867), a .577/450 Martini-Henry cartridge (1871), a later drawn brass .577/450 Martini-Henry cartridge, and a .303 British Mk VII SAA Ball cartridge.
The French FAMAS, example of a bullpup rifle
The M4 carbine, a modern-day service rifle capable of being fired automatically. It is in service by the U.S. military and has a wide ability for customization.
Gun-related homicide and suicide rates in high-income OECD countries, 2010, ordered by total death rates (homicide plus suicide plus other gun-related deaths).

A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual.

Soldiers of the Royal Artillery firing 105mm light howitzers during an exercise

Artillery

Class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms.

Class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms.

Soldiers of the Royal Artillery firing 105mm light howitzers during an exercise
French soldiers in the Franco-Prussian War 1870–71
British 64 Pounder Rifled Muzzle-Loaded (RML) Gun on a Moncrieff disappearing mount, at Scaur Hill Fort, Bermuda. This is a part of a fixed battery, meant to protect against over-land attack and to serve as coastal artillery.
7-person gun crew firing a US M777 Light Towed Howitzer, War in Afghanistan, 2009
A bronze "thousand ball thunder cannon" from the Huolongjing.
A depiction of an early vase-shaped cannon (shown here as the "Long-range Awe-inspiring Cannon"(威遠砲)) complete with a crude sight and an ignition port dated from around 1350 AD. The illustration is from the 14th century Ming Dynasty book Huolongjing.
French gunner in the 15th century, a 1904 illustration
First Battle of Panipat
Bullocks dragging siege-guns up hill during Akbar's Siege of Ranthambore
The Austrian Pumhart von Steyr, the earliest extant large-calibre gun
Three of the large Korean artillery, Chongtong in the Jinju National Museum. These cannons were made in the mid 16th century. The closest is a "Cheonja chongtong"(천자총통, 天字銃筒), the second is a "Jija chongtong"(지자총통, 地字銃筒), and the third is a "Hyeonja chongtong"(현자총통, 玄字銃筒).
Artillery with gabion fortification
The Tsar Cannon (caliber 890 mm), cast in 1586 in Moscow. It is the largest bombard in the world.
A 19th-century cannon, set in the wall of Acre to commemorate the city's resistance to the 1799 siege by Napoleon's troops.
Prussian artillery at the Battle of Langensalza (1866)
Armstrong gun deployed by Japan during the Boshin war (1868–69)
8-inch Armstrong gun during American Civil War, Fort Fisher, 1865
The French Canon de 75 modèle 1897, the first modern artillery piece
German 15cm field howitzers during World War I
M982 Excalibur guided artillery shell
M1156 Precision Guidance Kit can be added to unguided projectiles
Artillery can be used to fire nuclear warheads, as seen in this 1953 nuclear test.
152 mm howitzer D-20 during the Iran–Iraq War
Battleship ammunition: 16" artillery shells aboard a United States
Cyclone of the 320th French Artillery, in Hoogstade, Belgium, September 5, 1917
The Finnish Defence Forces using 130 mm Gun M-46 during a direct fire mission in a live fire exercise in 2010.
German Army PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery
Horse-drawn artillery
Man-pulled artillery
Australian gunners, wearing gas masks, operate a 9.2 in howitzer during World War I
Firing of an 18-pound gun, Louis-Philippe Crepin (1772–1851)
A British 60-pounder (5 in) gun at full recoil, in action during the Battle of Gallipoli, 1915. Photo by Ernest Brooks.
Two French Army Giat GCT 155mm (155 mm AUF1) Self-propelled Guns, 40th Regiment d' Artillerie, with IFOR markings are parked at Hekon base, near Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in support of Operation Joint Endeavor
A 155 mm artillery shell fired by a United States 11th Marine Regiment M-198 howitzer
USMC M-198 firing outside of Fallujah, Iraq in 2004
Modern artillery ammunition. Caliber 155 mm as used by the PzH 2000
Illustration of different trajectories used in MRSI: For any muzzle velocity there is a steeper (> 45°, solid line) and a lower (<45°, dashed line) trajectory. On these different trajectories, the shells have different flight times.
An artillery piece in the monument commemorating the 1864 Battle of Tupelo (American Civil War)

The three main types of artillery "gun" are guns, howitzers, and mortars.

Bronze cannon with inscription dated the 3rd year of the Zhiyuan era (1332) of the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368); it was discovered at the Yunju Temple of Fangshan District, Beijing in 1935.

Cannon

Large-caliber gun classified as a type of artillery, and usually launches a projectile using explosive chemical propellant.

Large-caliber gun classified as a type of artillery, and usually launches a projectile using explosive chemical propellant.

Bronze cannon with inscription dated the 3rd year of the Zhiyuan era (1332) of the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368); it was discovered at the Yunju Temple of Fangshan District, Beijing in 1935.
A bronze "thousand ball thunder cannon" from the Huolongjing.
Earliest picture of a European cannon, "De Nobilitatibus Sapientii Et Prudentiis Regum", Walter de Milemete, 1326
Western European handgun, 1380
The first Western image of a battle with cannon: the Siege of Orléans in 1429
Cannon from the 15th century at Šibenik city walls
The Dardanelles Gun, a 1464 Ottoman bombard
Malik E Maidan, a 16th-century cannon, was effectively used by the Deccan sultanates, and was the largest cannon operated during the Battle of Talikota.
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A cannon found from the Brantas river. Made of bronze, with a triangular embossed touch hole. The wooden parts were recently made for display.
Various 16th-century artillery pieces, including culverin, falconet and mortar
36-pounder long gun at the ready
Illustration by William Simpson shows action in a British artillery battery during the Crimean War with cannon firing and being loaded and men bringing in supplies.
A 3-inch Parrott rifle from the Battle of Chancellorsville
Armstrong gun deployed by Japan during the Boshin war (1868–69).
The 1870s de Bange 90 mm cannon on the yard of Eastern Finland military office in Mikkeli, South Savonia, Finland
Comparison of 1888 and 1913 German cannon
Royal Artillery howitzers at the Battle of the Somme
USS Iowa (BB-61) firing her 16 in guns
A large bore Maxim on USS Vixen (PY-4) c. 1898
Side elevation of a typical 18th-century cannon
The parts of a cannon described in John Roberts' The Compleat Cannoniere, London, 1652
Firing of a 6-pound cannon
The Tsar Cannon, the largest howitzer ever made, cast by Andrey Chokhov<ref>{{cite book|title=Guinness Rekordbok|year=1996|isbn=978-91-37-10723-3|page=204|language=sv|author=översättning och bearbetning: Folke Günther ... |publisher=Forum|location=Stockholm}}</ref>
Remains of a post-medieval cannon battery, mounted on a medieval town wall, although without carriages.
Contemporary illustration on how a cannon could be used with the aid of quadrants for improved precision.
The use of gabions with cannon was an important part in the attack and defence of fortifications.
Fort Bourtange, a bastion fort, was built with angles and sloped walls specifically to defend against cannon.
Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter with 37mm C.O.W. gun mounted to fire upwards
Supermarine Spitfire with 20 mm cannon protruding from the leading edge of the wing
GSh-23 autocannon mounted on the underside of a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
The GAU-8/A Avenger rotary cannon, mounted in a Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II

The word has been used to refer to a gun since 1326 in Italy, and 1418 in England.

Conventional rifling of a 90 mm M75 cannon (production year 1891, Austria-Hungary)

Rifling

Conventional rifling of a 90 mm M75 cannon (production year 1891, Austria-Hungary)
Rifling of a 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 tank gun.
Traditional rifling of a 9 mm handgun barrel.
Conventional rifling (left) and polygonal rifling (right). Both types of rifling use a spiraling pattern.
The spiraling pattern (here with polygonal rifling) is shown.
Rifling in a French 19th century cannon.
57-N-231 standard 7.62×39mm military bullets with steel core - the one on the left is unfired, the one on the right is fired, with the rifling grooves visible. Notice the copper wash scraped off and the steel jacket is exposed on the groove marks.
Three recovered 7.62×51mm NATO bullets (next to an unfired cartridge), showing rifling marks imparting anti-clockwise spin
Russian 122 mm shrapnel shell (which has been fired) showing rifling marks on the copper alloy driving band around its base, indicating clockwise spin
Cannonball equipped with winglets for rifled cannons circa 1860
Ogival shell of the La Hitte system, 1858, designed to engage with clockwise rifling
A Parrott rifle, used by both Confederate and Union forces in the American Civil War.

In firearms, rifling is machining helical grooves into the internal (bore) surface of a gun's barrel for the purpose of exerting torque and thus imparting a spin to a projectile around its longitudinal axis during shooting to stabilize the projectile longitudinally by conservation of angular momentum, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy over smoothbore designs.

Re-enactors volley firing with black powder

Gunpowder

Earliest known chemical explosive.

Earliest known chemical explosive.

Re-enactors volley firing with black powder
Gunpowder for muzzleloading firearms in granulation size
Flash pan starter dispenser
Earliest known written formula for gunpowder, from the Wujing Zongyao of 1044 AD.
Stoneware bombs, known in Japanese as Tetsuhau (iron bomb), or in Chinese as Zhentianlei (thunder crash bomb), excavated from the Takashima shipwreck, October 2011, dated to the Mongol invasions of Japan (1274–1281 AD).
A 'flying-cloud thunderclap-eruptor' firing thunderclap bombs from the Huolongjing
Earliest depiction of a European cannon, "De Nobilitatibus Sapientii Et Prudentiis Regum", Walter de Milemete, 1326.
De la pirotechnia, 1540
In the year 1780 the British began to annex the territories of the Sultanate of Mysore, during the Second Anglo-Mysore War. The British battalion was defeated during the Battle of Guntur, by the forces of Hyder Ali, who effectively utilized Mysorean rockets and rocket artillery against the closely massed British forces.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, hunting deer using a matchlock
A double barrelled cetbang on a carriage, with swivel yoke, ca. 1522. The mouth of the cannon is in the shape of Javanese Nāga.
Gunner of Nguyễn dynasty, Vietnam
Burst barrel of a muzzle loader pistol replica, which was loaded with nitrocellulose powder instead of black powder and could not withstand the higher pressures of the modern propellant
Hexagonal gunpowder for large artillery
Edge-runner mill in a restored mill, at The Hagley Museum
The old Powder or Pouther magazine dating from 1642, built by order of Charles I. Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland
Gunpowder storing barrels at the Martello tower in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
1840 drawing of a gunpowder magazine near Tehran, Persia. Gunpowder was extensively used in the Naderian Wars.

In the following centuries various gunpowder weapons such as bombs, fire lances, and the gun appeared in China.

A projectile being fired from an artillery piece

Projectile

Object that is propelled by the application of an external force and then moves freely under the influence of gravity and air resistance.

Object that is propelled by the application of an external force and then moves freely under the influence of gravity and air resistance.

A projectile being fired from an artillery piece
Projectile and cartridge case for the huge World War II Schwerer Gustav artillery piece. Most projectile weapons use the compression or expansion of gases as their motive force.
Ball speeds of 105 mph have been recorded in baseball.

Blowguns and pneumatic rifles use compressed gases, while most other guns and cannons utilize expanding gases liberated by sudden chemical reactions by propellants like smokeless powder.

A collection of spring-piston air rifles

Air gun

A collection of spring-piston air rifles
Break-barrel air rifles
Kunitomo air gun developed by the Japanese inventor Kunitomo Ikkansai,
Kunitomo air gun trigger mechanism
Variety of different types & models of spring piston & gas ram air guns
An example of a Benelli Kite pre-charged pneumatic air pistol, as used in 10 metre air pistol ISSF shooting events
Airforce Condor, one of the most powerful PCP air rifles on the market
CO2 pistol and disposable Powerlet cylinders
A Pure Energy N2 tank with a remote line attached
Walther CP 88 CO2 pistol with adapted silencer
Crossman 2240 CO2 one shot pistol, (.22 pellet caliber)
Wadcutter or Flathead pellets
A .177 (4.5mm) caliber "Wadcutter" pellet next to a stick of chewing gum
Steel BBs coated with copper and nickel
Darts for an air gun

An air gun or airgun is a gun that fires projectiles pneumatically with compressed air or other gases that are mechanically pressurized without involving any chemical reactions, in contrast to a firearm, which pressurizes gases chemically via oxidation of combustible propellants that generates propulsive energy by breaking molecular bonds.

Rifle cartridges: from left: 50 BMG • 300 Win Mag • 308 Winchester, 7.62 × 39 mm • 5.56 × 45 mm NATO • 22 LR

Caliber

Rifle cartridges: from left: 50 BMG • 300 Win Mag • 308 Winchester, 7.62 × 39 mm • 5.56 × 45 mm NATO • 22 LR
A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal HST) with two 22 LR cartridges for comparison
Side view of a Sellier & Bellot 45-cal ACP cartridge with a metric ruler for scale

In guns, particularly firearms, caliber (or calibre; sometimes abbreviated as "cal") is the specified nominal internal diameter of the gun barrel bore – regardless of how or where the bore is measured and whether the finished bore matches that specification.

A projectile being fired from an artillery piece

Muzzle velocity

A projectile being fired from an artillery piece

Muzzle velocity is the speed of a projectile (bullet, pellet, slug, ball/shots or shell) with respect to the muzzle at the moment it leaves the end of a gun's barrel (i.e. the muzzle).