Shotgun

Series of individual 1/1,000,000-second exposures showing shotgun firing shot and wadding separation
Vincent Hancock in the men's skeet finals at the 2008 Summer Olympics
A Gurkha Contingent trooper in Singapore armed with a folding stock pump shotgun
An American marine fires a Benelli M4 shotgun during training in Arta, Djibouti, 23 December 2006
Confederate cavalryman
A United States Marine carrying a Winchester M97 shotgun during World War II
A view of the break-action of a typical double-barrelled shotgun, shown with the action open
A Winchester M1897, one of the first successful pump-action shotgun designs
A modern reproduction of the Winchester M1887 lever-action shotgun
Closeup of MTs255
A Browning A-5 semi-automatic shotgun
A United States Army soldier armed with a Mossberg 500 shotgun
Bond Arms Cowboy Defender .45 Colt/.410 Shotshell Derringer
U.S. Marines fire their shotguns
Loading 12-gauge shells
Two rounds of Fiocchi 12-gauge rubber buckshot
A homemade lupara
A RCMP officer in 2010 armed with a shotgun outfitted to fire beanbag rounds
Barack Obama skeet shooting with a Browning Citori 525 on the range at Camp David

Long-barreled firearm designed to shoot a straight-walled cartridge known as a shotshell, which usually discharges numerous small pellet-like spherical sub-projectiles called shot, or sometimes a single solid projectile called a slug.

- Shotgun
Series of individual 1/1,000,000-second exposures showing shotgun firing shot and wadding separation

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Lead shot

Shot (pellet)

Collective term for small spheres or pellets, often made of lead.

Collective term for small spheres or pellets, often made of lead.

Lead shot
Shot tower at Clifton Hill, Melbourne, Australia
Selection of post-medieval lead shot
X-ray of lead shot accumulated in the gizzard of a dead swan

These were the original projectiles for shotguns and are still fired primarily from shotguns and less commonly from riot guns and grenade launchers, although shot shells are available in many pistol calibers in a configuration called "birdshot", "rat-shot", or "snake shot".

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

Firearm

Any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual.

Any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual.

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).

Most modern firearms (with the notable exception of smoothbore shotguns) have rifled barrels to impart spin to the projectile for improved flight stability.

Clay pigeon shooting at a professional level – 2000 Summer Olympics

Clay pigeon shooting

Shooting sport involving shooting a firearm at special flying targets known as clay pigeons, or clay targets.

Shooting sport involving shooting a firearm at special flying targets known as clay pigeons, or clay targets.

Clay pigeon shooting at a professional level – 2000 Summer Olympics
Clay pigeon shooting at a country fair, England
Double Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit taking part in a skeet shooting event
Clay pigeons in an automatic thrower
A laser clay shooting gun at a laser clay shooting range.
Laser Clay Launcher/Trap

All three sports use a shotgun, and in the sporting disciplines are sub-classified by the type of game the clay target represents (pigeon, rabbit, etc.).

A view of the break-action of a typical double-barrelled shotgun, with the action open and the extractor visible. The opening lever and the safety catch can also be clearly seen.

Break action

Type of firearm action in which the barrel or barrels are hinged much like a door and rotate perpendicularly to the bore axis to expose the breech and allow loading and unloading of cartridges.

Type of firearm action in which the barrel or barrels are hinged much like a door and rotate perpendicularly to the bore axis to expose the breech and allow loading and unloading of cartridges.

A view of the break-action of a typical double-barrelled shotgun, with the action open and the extractor visible. The opening lever and the safety catch can also be clearly seen.
Close-up of an IOF 32 break-action revolver
Smith & Wesson Model 1 Third Issue open

To get multiple shots requires either multiple barrels or a revolver cylinder; while this is fairly simple for shotguns, with double-barreled shotguns being quite common and even four-barreled designs like the FAMARS Rombo are available, double rifles require very precise alignment of the barrels in order to achieve consistent accuracy.

Rank of Icelandic National Police officers in full riot gear during the 2008 Icelandic lorry driver protests.

Riot control

Riot control measures are used by law enforcement, military, paramilitary or security forces to control, disperse, and arrest people who are involved in a riot, unlawful demonstration or unlawful protest.

Riot control measures are used by law enforcement, military, paramilitary or security forces to control, disperse, and arrest people who are involved in a riot, unlawful demonstration or unlawful protest.

Rank of Icelandic National Police officers in full riot gear during the 2008 Icelandic lorry driver protests.
Indonesian Mobile Brigade Corps riot control personnel and equipment
GRM horse platoon and rioteers Paris - Place de la Concorde - 1934
The centre of the International Settlement of Shanghai, 1928.
Colombian Police armored riot control vehicle with water cannon ISBI
Polish riot police squad in the 1930s, with opaque riot shields and no helmet visors, as polycarbonate had not been invented yet
A German SEK operator in riot gear holding a Tac700 Pepperball Launcher
Gendarmes mobiles carrying gas masks and a grenade launcher for deploying tear gas canisters
Mounted riot police as crowd control during protests in Edinburgh
German police deploy an armoured riot control vehicle at a demonstration in Hamburg.
A New York City Police Department officer stands ready with a sonic weapon, the LRAD 500X
French gendarmes mobiles using tear gas
This gendarme is shooting tear gas canisters using an Alsetex "Cougar" launcher
U.S. Army troops are shown attempting to keep Vietnam War protesters from rioting in Washington, D.C., 1967.
Syrian riot control in Damascus in 2012
Polish riot control police in Warsaw at the March of Independence in 2011
Defensive line of "Berkut" unitmen in riot gear by the Cabinet of Ministers building in Kyiv during 2013 Euromaidan protests.
Riot control group of Rio de Janeiro Police in confrontation with protesters in the historical center of the city.
Italian Celerini in the 1950s.
Pellet shotguns have been used by Indian security forces for crowd control in Jammu and Kashmir against stone pelting mobs.
Intervention vehicle for social events that interfered with demonstrators in Gezi Park (Istanbul) in 2013

The base choice is between lethal (e.g. 12 gauge shotgun) and less-than-lethal weaponry (e.g. tear gas, pepper spray, plastic bullets, tasers, batons, and other incapacitants).

A view of the break-action of a typical double-barreled shotgun, with the action open and the extractor visible. The opening lever and the safety catch can also be clearly seen.

Action (firearms)

Action is the functional mechanism of a breech-loading firearm that handles the ammunition cartridges, or the method by which that mechanism works.

Action is the functional mechanism of a breech-loading firearm that handles the ammunition cartridges, or the method by which that mechanism works.

A view of the break-action of a typical double-barreled shotgun, with the action open and the extractor visible. The opening lever and the safety catch can also be clearly seen.
Diagram of various firearm actions
Ruger No. 1 single-shot falling-block rifle with action open
Smith and Wesson M&P revolver
Barreled action for bolt-action rifle
U.S. M1895 Lee Navy straight-pull rifle
A Winchester M1897, one of the first successful pump-action shotgun designs
Remington Nylon 66 .22 Rimfire semi-automatic rifle
A schematic of the lever-delayed blowback mechanism used in the FAMAS assault rifle

Pump actions are predominantly found in shotguns.

A sawn-off break-open shotgun of the type commonly known as a lupara

Sawed-off shotgun

A sawn-off break-open shotgun of the type commonly known as a lupara
This short-barrelled shotgun was manufactured with a reduced-length barrel, rather than being modified after its manufacture.
Fabarm FP6 Entry – features a 14-inch barrel and is classified as a short-barrelled shotgun in the U.S.

A sawed-off shotgun (also called a sawn-off shotgun, short-barreled shotgun, shorty or a boom stick) is a type of shotgun with a shorter gun barrel—typically under 18 in—and often a shortened or absent stock.

Illustration of the effect that different types of chokes have on the spread ("pattern") of shotgun projectiles

Choke (firearms)

Tapered constriction of a gun barrel at the muzzle end.

Tapered constriction of a gun barrel at the muzzle end.

Illustration of the effect that different types of chokes have on the spread ("pattern") of shotgun projectiles
Greatly exaggerated illustration of different choke constrictions, German names: 
A: Cylinder (no choke) 
B: Improved cylinder 
C: Glocken 
D: Skeet 
E: Full (normal) 
F: Spitzbogen 
G: Jug 
H: Paradox
Left: Permanent choke. Center: Replaceable choke inserted into the muzzle. Right: Threaded barrel without choke insert. (For illustration only; a threaded barrel must never be fired without a properly inserted choke tube.)

Chokes are most commonly seen on shotguns, but are also used on some rifles, pistols, or even airguns.

.22 Long Rifle – subsonic hollow point (left), standard velocity (center), hyper-velocity hollow point (right)

.22 Long Rifle

Long-established variety of .22 caliber rimfire ammunition originating from the United States.

Long-established variety of .22 caliber rimfire ammunition originating from the United States.

.22 Long Rifle – subsonic hollow point (left), standard velocity (center), hyper-velocity hollow point (right)
Two .22 LR rounds compared to a .45 ACP cartridge
The subsonic Aguila Super Colibri
.22 caliber Aguila Sniper Sub-Sonic (right) with .22 long rifle for comparison
High-velocity, copper-plated .22 LR rounds
.22 snake shot with shot capsule
Federal .22 LR Bird Shot with full length crimped case
A .22 Short, .22 LR, .22 Winchester Magnum, and a .22 Hornet
.22 long rifle cartridge dimensions in inches
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It is used in a wide range of rifles, pistols, revolvers, smoothbore shotguns, and submachine guns.

Two rounds of .357 Magnum, a centerfire cartridge; notice the circular primer in the center

Centerfire ammunition

Firearm metallic cartridge whose primer is located at the center of the base of its casing .

Firearm metallic cartridge whose primer is located at the center of the base of its casing .

Two rounds of .357 Magnum, a centerfire cartridge; notice the circular primer in the center
Comparison of centerfire and rimfire ignition
The primer of this unfired cartridge has been sealed with red lacquer to prevent oil or moisture from reaching the powder charge and priming explosive.
Berdan (left) and Boxer (right) primed rifle cartridges.
Large (top row) and small (bottom row) pistol cartridge Boxer primers. (L–R fired, unfired, and inside view.) The tri-lobe object inside the primer is the anvil.
The same cartridge (.45 ACP shown here) can have different primer sizes depending on manufacturer.
A fired pistol case as indicated by the dimple from a firing pin and a shotgun (right) primer against an inch and mm scale.

The majority of today's handguns, rifles, and shotguns use centerfire ammunition, with the exception of a few .17 caliber, .20 caliber, and .22 caliber handgun and rifle cartridges, small-bore shotgun shells (intended for pest control), and a handful of antique (and mostly obsolete) cartridges.