Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Guns

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If you have newfound non-activist interest in guns, then you are right where you need to be. This guide to guns is easy and it will take a look at all the things you need to take into consideration as you venture into the gun collecting.

Most people have at one time thought that they would never have to own a gun. You probably did as well. But things change.

For instance, firearms sales have gone down since Trump got into office, but not among anti-gun liberals. Among this group of people who previously considered owning this popular and hotly debated weapon, the sales are on the rise.

The politics of gun ownership are not the subject of the day, however. We will focus on how to own firearms if you are a beginner, and everything you need to know now that you have decided to dip your toe in this world.   

Some Basic Handling Rules to Observe  

The first rule to owning a firearm is to treat it with care as if it is loaded, even when it’s not.

Secondly, and you have probably heard this before – never point your firearm at anything you don’t intend to shoot. Additionally, you should not have your finger on the trigger, or inside the trigger guard for that matter, unless you are ready to shoot.

Finally, before you shoot, be certain about your target and what’s behind it.

Storing Guns

Your guns should be stored in safe and secure places, locked away so that kids and other people who should have no business getting to them cannot access them.

Even if a child does not cause an incident after gaining easy access to a loaded gun, you could face serious repercussions for your carelessness. Such mistakes could cut short your dreams of being a gun collector.   

Best Ammo Storage Containers

More importantly, the negligence might cause in major injuries that might even result in fatalities, and that would mean spending some, if not the rest of your life, behind bars. So, store your guns (and ammo) properly, especially for the sake of small children.

Gun Safety  

Guns are pretty harmless on their own. After all, a firearm is just metal and plastic, and it cannot fire without being triggered to fire. That explains why more than 99% of gun accidents are caused by mistakes people make in handling or using them.  

Modern guns are especially safe and they will not generally go off even if they are dropped or bumped. But one simple safety rule can save you from making some of these mistakes.   For instance, you should never point your gun at anything you have no intention of shooting.

Through this simple rule, even if mistakes occur, there will not be any serious consequences to deal with afterwards.   

Gun Terminology

Now that you are getting into the firearms industry, you need to learn some basic terms used in such circles.

We’ll start with the most basic.

First of all, “bullet” is actually a misnomer, the way most people use it. A bullet is the part that flies off the gun to hit the target. What people call a bullet is actually supposed to be called a “round” or a “cartridge”. A bullet is simply part of the cartridge.   

In addition to the bullet, the cartridge also contains a brass, steel or plastic casing, which contains the primer, the bullet, and the gunpowder. When you fire, the gunpowder burns explosively, pushing the bullet away from the casing at screaming speeds towards the target ahead of it.   

The primer is simply a little spark plug that ignites the gunpowder contained in the casing.   

Guns vs Shotguns

Yes, shotguns are different from regular guns. Instead of a single bullet, these kinds of firearms have many projectiles within them. These projectiles cover a broader area once they leave the barrel, which is why shotguns are used in hunting birds because it is much easier to hit them with a single bullet.   

When it comes to shotguns, the ammunition is called a “shell” or a “shotshell”, although in design these are similar to “rounds” in guns in that they consist of a casing, primer, gun powder, and the projectiles which are put into the gun through the barrel.   

Gun Parts

Guns can have dozens of parts. But for now, you do not need to memorize the name of each of these parts.

Some basics will get you going:

  • Safety – a lever that will keep the gun from firing.
  • Magazine – a container attached to some guns to hold the ammunition.
  • Barrel – the long tube from which bullets emerge once fired from the gun.
  • Trigger – a mechanical switch that causes the gunpowder to burn explosively and send out a gun (unless in the case of an empty casing).
  • Grip – the part that you put your hands on when holding the gun.
  • Stock/buttstock – Found on rifles, this part rests on your shoulder during use.   

How do Guns Work?

Essentially, a gun’s purpose is to accelerate a projectile to very high speeds so that it can cause some damage to the target.   

When the trigger is pulled, a piece of metal strikes the round onto the primer, which then causes a spark inside the round. This burns the gunpowder in it and it explodes so that the bullet attached at the end of the round is forced forwards away from the casing.   

Types of Guns

Guns vary in sizes and that is basically how they are classified. For instance, pistols and handguns are small in size, and they can be held in one hand and used to shoot at targets of up to 10 meters away.   

Shotguns have long barrels and need to he held in two hands and they can shoot targets that are up to 75 meters away.   

What Pistols Does Secret Service Use?

Rifles are larger and they have long barrels as well. They are held against the shoulder with both hands and can shoot at targets that are up to over 500 meters away.   

Also, as a gun collector, if an enormous full size gun does not appeal to you, or if it could be a problem for you to acquire, you can always get replica guns and have them in your collection for your personal enjoyment.   

Also note that each type of gun has its unique type of ammunition.   

Single Action vs Semi-Automatic vs Fully Automatic

In a single action gun, you manually load the gun with the round, cock it and pull the trigger. You have to repeat this process for every round you use with the gun. This is how older guns worked, which is why there was so much space between the shots.  

With a semi-automatic gun, however, part of this process is taken up by the gun itself. All you have to do is keep pulling the trigger whenever you need to fire an additional round because will reload and cock itself automatically. A professional firing really fast can dispense up to 100 rounds a minute using a semi, but that takes practice.   

With fully automatic guns, you only need to pull the trigger and the gun will keep firing rounds until you let go or run out of ammunition. Some of these guns can fire between 300 and 900 rounds a minute, although there are military alternatives that can fire 4,000 rounds a minute. Given their firing power, ownership of these guns is highly restricted among civilians.   

What is an Assault Rifle?  

This is a gun that is intended for military use and typically have the ability to switch from semi-automatic firing to fully-automatic firing. There are two popular versions of this gun, the AR-15 and the AK-47.   

What is Caliber?

Caliber refers to the size of the round used in a gun. For instance, a 9mm round has a diameter of 9 millimeters, and the same case applies to a 10mm round. Round size differences have an impact on how the far the bullet goes, how loud the firing action is, and how much force the bullet will have.

Pistols have more than 200 different kinds of calibers, while rifles have over 300 types of calibers. Shotguns have only 8 calibers, the most popular being the 12 gauge and the 20 gauge calibers, but the 12 gauge is actually bigger. The .22 is common in both pistols and rifles, although it is often underpowered when used with a rifle.   

How Do You Buy a Gun?

Different states have different laws as to how you can buy and use guns. There also laws restricting the types of guns you can buy, and the type of person allowed to buy them. For instance, felons are often not allowed to buy any guns.   

There is a lot more to guns than most people imagine. Guns are very exciting, and if you are a collector, you will not be easily bored.

For instance, guns vary according to size. But some of the most important things you need to know about these firearms is that they should be handled with care to avoid any accidents or criminal liabilities. As a gun collector, you should also know as much about guns as you possibly can.

This includes mastering the terminology and learning how they differ with regard to the kinds of ammunition they use. With these basics, owning a gun collection should be one of the most exciting things you have ever done.


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