A gun is defined as an object that propels another object called a projectile. The projectile is fired through the gun’s barrel which is a hollow tube. A simple gun consists of many parts including the gun barrel, the firing pin, the breech block, and the trigger. However, the four parts of a gun mentioned above is all that is needed to design a working firearm. On a normal basis the term gun is used to refer to a firearm. However, there are many tools that have the same characteristics as a gun and are named accordingly. For example, the glue gun, staple gun, and paint gun all propel a projectile consistent with the definition of a gun.
In order to fully comprehend how a gun works, the various components of a firearm must be analyzed and researched. A firearm is a very complex piece of technology and can be developed in many different ways to achieve different results. In order to fully comprehend how a gun works, ammunition must be analyzed. Ammunition is the material that is propelled from the firearm or gun, referred to earlier as a projectile. There are four main parts to ammunition: 1) Soft metal or lead referred to as the bullet; 2) Smokeless gun powder which creates a gas that forces the bullet through the barrel;
3) Primer, which is a small amount of smokeless explosive which lights the gunpowder on fire; and 4) A brass or steel casing which holds the bullet, the gunpowder, and the primer together. Traditionally, guns were muzzle loaded long guns which were shot from the shoulder. In modern times, the majority of guns are rifled which means that a series of grooves and spirals have been formed into the barrel of the firearm itself. Rifling the firearm can be achieved in various ways. The grooves in the barrel can be cut one at a time using a machine called cut rifling.
The grooves can be cut all at the same time by using a machine called broached rifling. By using a process called button rifling, the grooves can be pressed all at once using a tool called a “button. ” A process called hammer forging can also be used by shaping the grooves with a clamp called a mandrel which contains a reverse image of the grooves. There is also a new method which was developed in Turkey by MADCOR which uses a method called flow forming instead of hammer forging the rifle over the mandrel. A barrel is an essential part of a gun.
A pistol will have a barrel that is only a few inches long whereas a rifle and a shotgun will have barrels that are sixteen inches or more in length. Gun barrels are made out of nickel and steel due to the fact that it must withstand that vast amount of pressure the ammunition projects through the barrel. If the barrel is weak the ammunition could cause the barrel to explode. Most gun barrels consist of a diameter of . 5 inches or less (if rifled). If the barrel is larger than . 5 inches, the gun is considered a destructive device under the National Firearms Act and is illegal.
A firearm or gun also must possess a firing pin. The primer, or primary explosive, is protected behind a thin metal wall. The primer is sensitive and when the firing pin strikes the thin metal wall that protects it hard and fast, the primer will cause a flame and ignite the gunpowder. The gunpowder will create a gas that will force the bullet through the barrel and towards the desired target. The rear of the firearm is called the breech block. The breech block protects the gas from pushing the ammunition out of the rear of the firearm.
The goal of the firearm is to push the ammunition through the barrel and out of the firearm. The breech block prevents the ammunition from escaping through the rear of the firearm. Most modern firearms use a rotating breech block which will close the breech or rear of the weapon at the moment of firing. There are some variations of non-rotating breech blocks including the blowback which closes the breech using a powerful spring, the tipping breech block which is manually operated by a lever, the falling block, the rolling block, and the trapdoor most commonly used in a Springfield.
Like the barrel the breech block must also be made out of a heavy duty metal like nickel or steel in order to withstand the pressure and explosion. One of the most important parts of a gun is the trigger. The trigger is a lever or button that is actuated by the index finger in order to fire the gun. The trigger acts as a device to strike the firing pin which will in turn strike the thin wall protecting the primer, ignite the gun powder, and fire the ammunition through the barrel. Triggers can consist of hammers and strikers, which are both types of striking mechanisms.
Hammers are masses of metal that are spring tensioned and pivot on a pin when released in order to strike the firing pin. Strikers are spring loaded firing pins and travel on an axis that is in line with the ammunition, which eliminates the need for a separate hammer. The above components are all that is necessary for a gun to be functional. However, each gun or firearm should also include a safety or safety catch which is a mechanism used to prevent accidental firing of the gun. There are two types of safeties: 1) Internal Safeties which do not give the user much control over whether or not the safety is engaged and 2) External Safeties which allow the user to turn the safety on and off. Guns that were manufactured after 1990 are required to include integral locking mechanisms.
These locking mechanisms can only be deactivated by a unique key before the gun can be fired. These locks serve as child safety locks while the gun is being stored and are not meant to act as safety locks while carrying the firearm. There are many different types of safety locks that can be manufactured on a firearm. The most common type of safety lock is a manual safety which is a switch that when set to safety prevents the trigger from being pulled.
There are many ways to design a trigger lock or trigger safety. The two most common methods are to use a block preventing the trigger from being pulled back or a device that disconnects the trigger from the weapon. Combining all these parts together gives us a broad picture of how a gun works. The ammunition is placed inside the gun. A thin metal wall holds the ammunition in place. When the safety lock is pushed to the off position the trigger can be fired. The shooter will then aim the gun at the target and pull the trigger.
The trigger will either strike a hammer which will strike the firing pin or act as the firing pin itself that will strike the thin metal wall holding the ammunition in place hard and fast. Once the firing pin strikes the primer, a flame is created and the gunpowder is ignited giving of a smokeless gas. This gas propels the ammunition through the barrel of the gun and towards the target. The breech block prevents the ammunition from propelling out the rear of the gun. If the shooter aimed the gun properly, the ammunition will hit the target and the casing will hit the floor.
The concept of a gun dates back to the beginning of time. Based on the definition that a gun is an object that propels a projectile, a simple sling shot from biblical times can be referred to as a gun. Throughout the ages, guns have become more complex and efficient. However, the basic framework for creating a gun is the same. A gun could not exist without these four main components: the gun barrel, the firing pin, the breech block, and the trigger. In order for a gun to have a purpose, ammunition must also be developed.
Each gun developed should also include a safety lock of some sort to protect the gun carrier as well as innocent bystanders and anyone else who may accidentally fire the weapon. In the United States, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives every citizen the right to own a gun (unless previously charged with a felony). Every American citizen who possesses this right should also know how a gun works in order to protect themselves and others around them.
WORKS CITED Fort Liberty (2007, November). How to Make a Gun. Retrieved November 28, 2007 from http://www.fortliberty.org/military-library/how-to-make-a-gun.shtml