With the development of time and depending upon the seed of better firearm, it went under several modifications to overcome the flaws of previous variant of the firearm. This led to the availability of numerous range of firearms, each having unique feature and specific quality, These variability among firearms leads to categorization which is done on the basis of different parameter which is as follows:-


Loading Characteristics

Firearm is nothing without in ammunition. Since the earliest of times till date many types of firearms came into the trade with different ways of loading of ammunition into it. Since the ages development of firearm has gone under evidential transformation which leads to the transformation of ammunition and eventually to the process of in loading. On the basis of loading of ammunition firearm have been characterized as

Muzzle Loader

In muzzleloader firearms, loading of ammunition was done directly through the open tip mouth of the firearm into the barrel directly. In earlier days ammunition were not at all in compact form, it was available in powdered or raw material form which was loaded with spatula like object through the muzzle. These  firearms faced many contradictions in later times dur to first of its kind, it lacked many sophistications and were criticized for the problems like matching of percussion cap wad material, casting from the mould with the suspect firearm. Firearms that loads ammunition through its muzzle, did not had any cartridge cases.

Breech Loader

The area which is around the firing pin hole is face of breech and in breech lading firearm. ammunition was loaded through the breech region which is at the rear region of firearm. In breech loader firearms, ammunition was transformed and packed into cylindrical capsule like structure and is loaded directly into the end of the barrel where chamber for firing is present.

The recognition and success of breech Loader firearms gained very high acceptance due to the failure in loading of ammunition through muzzle. From the historical battles, accounts of firearms used were collected and through estimation leaded that more than the one third of the soldiers were using non-functioning firearm from both the ends of rivalries and facts like these increased the craze for breech loading firearm rather than the muzzle loader. Single shot breech loader were the most popular type of its category that people used at that time.

Bore Characteristics

Barrel is a very critical part of any firearm through the ammunition/projectile comes out. This coming out of projectile ammunition is not just a simple process as it sounds. The diameter of the barrel is typically known as ‘bore. Firearms comes with two types of bores. One comes with indentation known as grooves and land while the other one is deprived of any such design. In rifled bore, the one that bears land and groove, the diameter of rifled bore is measured from land to land. On the basis of feature of the barrel, firearm is divided into two:

Smooth Bore

In smooth bore firearm, the barrel possesses no indentation, patterns of furrows. The surface is smooth in texture deprived of any unique patterns or grooves. Bores of such firearms have unmistakably even surface from inside. Muskets and Shotguns are the best examples of Smooth Bore firearms. These are basically firearms of short-range because of the major drawback of these bores were that it reduces the efficiency of hitting the target and increases the hindrance for the bullet in flight causing it to travel less than the expectation. These firearms are mostly used for hunting and game activities.

Riffled Bore

In riffled firearm, the barrel bears furrows like pattern forming lands and grooves. The concept of rifling was a revolution in itself. Rifling not only enhance the accuracy of hitting the target but also maximize the stability of bullet daring its flight maintaining the high velocity. Besides various other advantages it aids bullet to reduce air resistance thus increasing its efficiency.

Action Mechanism

The mechanism of action in firearm is complex process that takes place within second. These mechanisms altogether process within blink and cause to fire. In simpler language, when trigger is pulled the hammer is released and strikes over the ammunition at its cap causing the rim to crash leading the primer to ignite and eventually generating chemical energy that pushes the cartridge forward. From the cartridge the projectile or bullet is released by changing chemical energy to kinetic energy.

The whole process generates lot of force, gas (smokes, pressure. This is a general mechanism. The various version of firearm modifies this basic mechanism to enhance the working of firearm. On the basis of action mechanism farms have been parted into two category:


In manual firearm, the loading of ammunition is done manually either each bullet is loaded after every single shot or sets of four six bullets is loaded after the set is finished every time by hand like in revolver. Landmark for the manual mechanisms was developed essentially from the action of bolt which was type of breech mechanism.


Further as the time went hi-tech, the action mechanism underwent sophistication and manual introduction of bullets into firearm was replaced by automatism. In automatic firearm the bullets gets loaded automatically. This automatic category is also of two more types which is :—

  • Semi-automatic – These are the firearms where repetition of extraction, ejection and reloading of cartridge takes place automatically after every shot when the trigger is pulled. The only reason that it’s not fully automatic is that to shot every ballet trigger is needed to be pulled every time. Fresh cartridge will do gets load all by itself and will be prepared for the successive fire and the preceding cartridge case will be ejected out repeatedly until the magazine or stock of bullets is drained out completely.
  • Automatic –  Machine Guns are well-thought-out as automatic artillery which is contingent on the comestibles of the “National Firearms Act. In automatic firearms, the trigger doesn’t need to be pulled every time to fire, unlike in seme-automate firearms. Bullets will keep on loading into the chamber after the case is ejected out once the trigger is pulled, there is no need of pulling trigger for every shot. The rest of the process of extraction, ejection and loading of cartridge will keep on repeating by design.


This categorization is done on the basis of how much the machinery of firearm is capable of destruction with or without assistance of any other mechanical factor. All these machine guns have inbuilt sound suppressing technique which suppress the effects and factors that actually cause the sound on fire which are noise from mechanical action, pressure generated, supersonic crack and sound generated on and during bullet’s flight. On the basis of the machinery, firearms are  divided into three forms which are as below:

Light Machine Gun (IMG)

In LMG, firearms can be operated by single individual without any assistance of supplementary machinery or help from other individual. These often possess binoculars and sometimes even with incorporation of IR technique which aid to hit the target even at night time or in dark places. They are comparatively light in weight. The whole body is made up of plastic which often comes with “butt version to match uniformity among commandos. Their design comes with reliable and long lasting maintenance. Armament possesses vigorously sufficient temperament to endure course practice.

Medium Machine Gun (MMG)

In MMC, the features resembles most of its characteristics as LMG for except that it is bit contemporary same for the firearms that loads bullets in the form of magazines which is kind of belt that runs through the loading chamber and the extractor ejects out the bullet that has been shot. Firearms with the category of MMG are accomplished with constant and extraordinary frequency of firing.

These guns comes with mixed formation of the barrel from heavy and light metal where bore and chamber of the gun are made of chromium” in which firing is accomplished from an open breech. There is a system that gun holds for prolonging the life of the barrel by changing the spare barrel with the gun barrel when gets overheated. Cartridges after the fire is shot is ejected from downwards.

Heavy Machine Gun (HMG)

Though sounding the most modern artillery, HMG is almost known since lase 1800s. Since then it has undergone numerous transformations In HMG, the firearms are known to be heavy by weight and also by features which works much more than just simply aiming the target. It may have supplementary objects like binoculars for better aiming. They are also recognized specifically for bigger calibres. Almost twenty countries in the world manufactures HMG. The latest versions of HMG are transportable by man, yet they are classically equestrian on Lorries and even on land as an anti-anti-aircraft weapon. They devise an operative range of firing up to two thousand meters.


Various types of firearms are handled differently. Some are designed to operate with external assistance, while some needs no external aid to operate. On the basis of handling of firearm they are categorized into:

Hand Gun

Handguns are the most basic form of firearms that involves air guns, pistols. Although the proper dimension for defining handgun is variable in different countries. In general language we can say that hand guns are the firearms that can be easily operated by holding it in hand either by single or both hands. Superiorly those firearms which uses basic forms ammunition like pellets are considered as handgun. These firearms are highly involved in criminal activities as their ownership is popular among citizens as compared to any other firearm. These handguns can be country-made or even the standard one possessing short range of hitting the target


Shoulder Gun

Shoulder guns are operated by resting its stock portion on the shoulder and supporting the barrel from one hand while operating it with the other hand which means pulling the trigger like Bazooka. Shoulder guns are designed with rifled barrel.

Mounted Gun

When it comes to mounted gun firearms covers the class which cannot be operated by handling it with hands or shoulder. These category of firearms are kept on or mounted on tripod stand on the ground before fire.


  • Using firearms is no child’s task whether it is done deliberately or otherwise. So first of all if anyone owns any kind of firearm it must be licensed and should be kept out of reach from children. There are certain safety points that must never be neglected whether it is being used  in sponsor for service task. These points are as follows:
  • Must never forget to keep the firearm the muzzle should never be facing towards anything which is not envisioned to be fired. Even when it is not in use, it should be kept in respective case with its muzzle towards the innermost section of the case.
  •  One must always keep in mind that no firearm should be kept loaded until it’s not in use. Always load the gun only when you need to use it and after its use unload the firearm if any ammunition is left before keeping it in case.
  • Professional Shooters must always estimate the damage caused by his firing. So while targeting the arm, shooter must not avoid the casuality it may cause to the target’s surrounding. It is suggested to every personnel to be as certain as needle’s point before shooting.
  • Do not use firearm that has not been used since long time and even if it has to be used clean it off in every possible way specially the barrel because impediment in the barrel may cause choke and in worst case the bursting of barrel sometime if the firearm is not up to a certain standard.

These safety points and manual of safety of firearm must never be neglected because every lite counts. On the basis of using the firearm, it has been divided into


Individual who are employed in services like defense, security, armed guards, law enforcements have the right to keep and use the firearms lawfully. Depending upon the requirement of the service the type of firearm may vary. There are exceptional acts and legislation set for owning and firearm by the militants. They are made aware of their rights as well as with the conclusion for the illegitimate use of the government property. There are different types of laws regarding the authorization of firearm in a service in different nation. These laws outlines the protocol of the use, safety, restriction, rights, punishments and authorization of the firearm.


While the other use of firearms are in sports. Sports which is a healthy recreational activity sometimes involves use of firearms and shooting sports has gained high popularity and especially in India since a long a time. Shooting sports involves technical skills along with the government authorization.

There are over all fifteen shooting sports being played at “Olympic Games” which is well thought-out by “International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF)”, Popularity and efficiency of shotguns is considerably high than riffle and handgun. These sports may involve Popinjay, Clay pigeon shooting. Skeet Shooting, and Trap Shooting. These sports may use shoguns, rifles se even pistols and revolvers.

for more knowledge of forensic science, subscribbe to our blog

You May Also Like


The most discussed tool mark is the serial number that in stamped…