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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Battering Ram

Battering Ram, a device for knocking down the walls of cities or other fortified places.

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  • How Shotguns Work

    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. See more »

  • Locked and Loaded: Take a Shot at Our Firearms Quiz

    Locked and Loaded: Take a Shot at Our Firearms Quiz

    Cannons, howitzers and other artillery pieces produce more bang for the buck, but they're not so easy to carry in a holster. That's why armies need firearms. Now it's time to see if you're a firearms fanatic or a fizzling dud. See more »

  • Top 5 Most Popular Guns - and Why

    Top 5 Most Popular Guns - and Why

    Whether they're antique rifles or modern handguns and shotguns, firearms are popular in the United States. So which pieces are people packing? See more »

  • What would happen if you fired a gun on a train moving as fast as a bullet?

    What would happen if you fired a gun on a train moving as fast as a bullet?

    If you could build a train that could travel as fast as a bullet, what would happen if you fired a gun from the back of the train ... or from the front of the train? 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?

    The term "semi-automatic weapon" is used in the U.S. media often. But what does it really mean? Is it just another term for a machine gun? See more »

  • What's the world's smallest gun?

    What's the world's smallest gun?

    Sure, G.I. Joe's accoutrements are tiny, but this itty bitty gun actually fires rounds. What is it, and why is it illegal to import into the United States? See more »

  • Ammunition

    Ammunition

    Ammunition, projectiles fired from guns, including their fuzes, primers, and propellant charges. See more »

  • Antiaircraft Weapons

    Antiaircraft Weapons

    Antiaircraft Weapons, weapons designed to destroy aircraft in flight. They can be surface-to-air weapons, fired from ground positions or naval vessels; or air-to-air weapons, fired from aircraft. See more »

  • Artillery

    Artillery

    Artillery, weapons, including cannon and missile launchers, that fire projectiles larger than approximately one-half inch (13 mm) in diameter. See more »

  • Bomb

    Bomb

    Bomb, in modern military language, a kind of ammunition usually designed to be dropped from an airplane. See more »

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