The goal of this website is to provide some education and information about guns. Let’s start by asking, what is a gun? The dictionary definition of “gun” is pretty simple and straightforward: “a weapon consisting of a tube, with mechanical attachments, from which projectiles are shot by the force of an explosive.” Really? That’s it? A tube with projectiles coming out of it? Sounds like a cannon, doesn’t it?
Well, in the very basic sense of it, yes, guns are as simple as being a cannon. In fact, there are many indications that the earliest guns were just a hollow bamboo pole with an opening on one end and a solid opposite end. A person would pour powder down, ram down some rocks, light a fuse and hope for the best. And that’s pretty much where it all really started.
Technically speaking, of course, the “tube” referred to in the definition is what is called the “barrel” of the gun. It’s standard equipment on every functioning firearm that exists. Without a barrel, it’s not a gun.
The second tidbit in that definition is the “projectile”. This is what is commonly called a “bullet”. There are some other terms you might hear on CSI or other crime shows such as “slug” or “cap” or even a “round”. But, in all cases, the thing that comes out of the gun is known as a projectile which you can read more about in the “Ammo” section of this website.
While the “tube” and “projectile” seem pretty straightforward, it’s the part about “mechanical attachments” that get’s really confusing. That, I believe, is by design. You see it’s those “mechanical attachments” that determine how guns operate, what categories of firearms they fit into, what kind of projectiles they can fire and even whether or not certain guns are even legal to own in certain places. So, the “mechanical attachments” are what we’ll get to next in Guns 101.