What Are the Parts of a Gun?


Quick Answer

Most guns consist of four parts: a muzzle, a breech, a hammer and a trigger. Although diversity among different types of guns is astounding, all firearms must contain these parts in order to function.

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Full Answer

The muzzle is the front, opening end of a gun. It is where bullets and other projectiles exit the firearm. The breech is the back part of the gun. The hammer is the part of the gun that contacts the bullet primer and ignites the gun powder, causing the bullet to propel out of the muzzle. The trigger of a gun is used to manually initiate the firing of a gun.

When firearms were first being developed, bullets had to be loaded through the muzzle of the gun. However, as technology advanced, "breech loading" guns were developed in which bullets could be loaded through the back. Depending on the gun, the hammer can be located either hidden inside the gun or visible on the outside of the gun. Handguns and some rifles typically have external hammers, while rifles and some pistols commonly have internal hammers. Before the trigger of a gun is pulled, the hammer must be pulled back into position or "cocked." When the trigger is pulled, the hammer is released and ignites the gun powder. In some guns, the hammer does not need to be cocked before the trigger can be pulled.

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