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Science | Military | Firearms

Firearms are one of the oldest and most evolved weapon systems. From flintlocks to automatic weapons and flamethrowers, learn how firearms have been used to wage wars and save lives.

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How Shotguns Work

To do its job, a projectile must both make contact with the target and hit the target in a critical spot. If a rifle is like using a felt-tip pen, a shotgun is like using a can of spray paint.


The Ultimate Shotguns Quiz

 The Ultimate Shotguns Quiz

These famous firearms have been used for centuries all over the world. See how much you know about shotguns with this HowStuffWorks quiz. See more »

The History of Shotguns Quiz

 The History of Shotguns Quiz

From pump-action to semiautomatics, 'scatterguns' have been useful tools and weapons for centuries. Prove your shotgun knowledge at HowStuffWorks. See more »

The Firearm Safety Quiz

 The Firearm Safety Quiz

Do you know how to handle a firearm safely? Test your firearm safety smarts by taking this quiz at HowStuffWorks. See more »

10 Innovations That Led to the Modern Bullet

 10 Innovations That Led to the Modern Bullet

Can you name 10 innovations that led to the modern bullets we use today? HowStuffWorks can walk you through 10 innovations that led to modern ammo. See more »

Locked and Loaded: Take a Shot at Our Firearms Quiz

 Locked and Loaded: Take a Shot at Our Firearms Quiz

It's time to see if you're a firearms fanatic or a fizzling dud. Test your GQ (gun quotient) with this HowStuffWorks quiz. See more »

Does owning a gun change your behavior?

 Does owning a gun change your behavior?

Does owning a gun change your behavior? Learn how owning a gun may change your behavior on HowStuffWorks. See more »

10 Hallmarks of Assault Weapons — and What They Do

 10 Hallmarks of Assault Weapons — and What They Do

These 10 features can earn an ordinary firearm the 'assault weapon' label in the U.S. Learn more about what makes an assault weapon at HowStuffWorks. See more »

What's the difference between a semi-automatic weapon and a machine gun?

 What's the difference between a semi-automatic weapon and a machine gun?

What's the difference between a semi-automatic weapon and a machine gun? Find out how semi-automatic weapons and machine guns compare in this article. See more »

Gun Pictures

 Gun Pictures

These gun pictures show you some of the different types of guns. Check out these gun pictures. See more »

Top 5 Most Popular Guns - and Why

 Top 5 Most Popular Guns - and Why

The top 5 most popular guns are explained in this article. Learn about the top 5 most popular guns. See more »