Tag Archive: Shotguns

Feb 14 2011

Pique the Geek 20110213: Firearms 102. Shotguns

I was astonished at the response for the first installment for this series, and so decided that instead of just a couple of survey pieces, reader interest justifies a bit longer treatment, getting more into the weeds. Thus, I have come up with a bit more structured series.

Unlike rifled firearms like pistols and rifles, shotguns are smoothbore weapons. That is, they have no rifling to impart spin to stabilize the projectile, in the case of shotguns usually multiple projectiles. Shotguns are a relatively recent development in their current form, but the concept of firing more than one projectile at a time goes back a very long time.

Modern shotguns are designed to fire a relatively large diameter cartridge as opposed to rifles and pistols. In addition, a different system is used to state the diameter of the cartridge in most cases.

Feb 07 2011

Pique the Geek 20110206: Firearms 101

For good, for ill, or for neither, firearms are an integral part of American life.  Everyone knows in a general sense what guns are, but not so many know much more than that.  The conventional wisdom is that those of us on the left are less familiar with firearms than those on the right (a premise with which I do not agree), but the fact is that it important to have a basic understanding of how firearms work.

At the most basic, a firearm is a device used to deliver a projectile, usually at a high rate of speed, towards some sort of target using chemical propellants that are NOT carried onboard the projectile.  Firearms have evolved over the centuries from quite crude affairs to the highly sophisticated devices that are available currently.