72% of Americans have shot a gun in their lifetime. Knowing the different types of guns is critical to operating firearms correctly. Owning a gun is a big responsibility. You need to cultivate an arsenal of knowledge to stay safe.

If you plan on buying a gun anytime soon, you need to know the different gun options available at your local shop. Every type of gun is different and we’ve done you a favor and grouped them by classifications.

Read on to learn all you need to know about the different types of firearms. You will learn what each type of firearm’s specialty is and how you can use it. The more you learn about firearms, the better off you will be


Rifles are one of the most common types of gun in the world. They have a long barrel and are shot from the shoulder. Here are some classifications of rifles, a real survivalist gun.

Hunting Rifles

Many rifles have scopes making them the perfect gun for distance shooting. A hunting rifle is an example of this.

Sniper Rifles

A rifle with an elongated barrel, more advanced scope, and a long-distance range is known as a sniper rifle. These are most often used in a military setting but can be great for long-distance target shooting.

Assault Rifles

Rifles can be semi-automatic, fully-automatic, or single shot. Rifles with semi or fully-auto capabilities are assault rifles. These are also known as machine guns. 


Handguns are smaller than rifles and are shot from the hand. Like a rifle, you can use one or both hands to shoot a handgun. Unlike a rifle, you hold a handgun away from your body when shooting it. Here are some types.


Revolvers are famous for their rotating cartridge and high-caliber ammunition. They were the gun that won the west, but there are still many modern types.


Pistols are by definition a type of handgun that can be shot with one hand. They are lighter than revolvers and tend to be lower caliber. Most pistols are single-shot.

Machine Pistols

Machine pistols are also known as submachine guns. They are semi or fully-automatic. Submachine guns are military-grade weaponry. In many states, civilians cannot possess them. 


Like rifles, shotguns have a longer barrel with a stock that you fire from the shoulder. Unlike rifles, shotguns are only good for short-range to mid-range shooting. Beyond that, they get inaccurate due to the type of ammo they use.

Shotguns fire shells, which explode and release buckshot. Buckshot acts as shrapnel in whatever it hits, providing a huge rate of spread, but low range. You need to follow these rules when shooting a gun to be safe.

Know All the Types of Guns

These are the most common types of guns accessible to civilians. There are other military-grade guns but this guide doesn’t get into them. The information you just read is a good intro to the world of firearms.

Use the information in this article to decide what type of firearm is best for your shooting preferences. Stay safe on the range and happy shooting! For other great content like this, make sure to spend a little time on our page.