The rifle is one of the reliable forms of weaponry throughout the years since its development in the 1700’s. Prior to its debut, the only available weapons capable of firing projectiles were muskets and cannons, or a contrast of the two weapons.

What Is Rifle? 

The word rifle originates from a distinct attribute that distinguishes the weapon apart from cannons and muskets. The unique part of a rifle is ‘rifling’ or a succession of spiraling channels in the interior of the barrel. The grooves are responsible for causing the projectile to revolve as it moves within the barrel, instead of exploding like a cannon or musket shot.

The spinning motion provides a stable trajectory for the bullet. Generally, rifling enhances the accuracy of the weapon. As a result, you can aim the gun and sure about the direction of the bullet. The innovation remarkably made improvements in hunting but also providing riflemen an upper hand in disputes.

Here are some common rifle terminologies and their definitions to better understand what takes place upon firing a rifle.

  • Cartridge. The cartridge of a rifle has several parts: the case, a projectile, a primer, and a chamber that houses the powder. The mechanism that the trigger controls when you fire a rifle strikes the primer and enables the bullet to move down through the gun’s barrel.
  • Magazine. You can store the cartridges inside or externally, either in a spring tube mechanism or magazine that extends throughout the barrel.
  • Action. The action is the way in which the cartridge loads, fires, and discharges from the tube or magazine. Different models of rifles have distinct differences when it comes to this mechanism.

Today, you can fabricate a weapon of your choice, including a rifle, due to the availability of custom parts in the market and online. For example, if you plan to build a custom AR-15 rifle that’s a semi-automatic type, there are various types of AR15 80 lower receivers that you should check out.

What Are The Different Types Of Rifles? 

Various types of rifles have distinct features when it comes to the motion and action mechanism. Here are the different types of rifles and how they work.

  1. Lever-Action

During the early days of the rifle, it usually has a lever action. When you use the handle on the far side of the trigger, it pulls a cartridge out of a tube throughout the length of the barrel. It eventually loads into the chamber, ready for a shot.

These earlier rifles are less accurate and quite heavy but boast a high-level cartridge capacity which is useful in various scenarios. The Winchester rifles from the 1800s have the level action mechanism.

  1. Bolt-Action

A bolt-action rifle uses a miniature handle in metal jutting out of the flank of the weapon, usually at the rear section of the chamber. Once you execute upward, forward, and backward motions, you can discharge the empty cartridge, fill up a fresh round from the magazine, and close the chamber to fire. The bolt-action mechanism is the most popular due to its durability, simplicity, and precision.

  1. Semi-Automatic

It’s the latest model and popular among sharpshooters and sport shooters. When using this type of rifle, you only need to shift the action into the fire mode once. Then, if you’re ready to shoot, the action spontaneously releases the old round and replenishes a fresh one. It’s possible by pulling and eventually releasing the trigger.

In most instances, you can fire a semi-automatic rifle rapidly than the other types, enabling it to release more rounds in a minute. But it often results in the malfunction of the mechanism in which its automatic structure can be hard to manually repair.

  1. Break-Action

A single shot rifle or shotgun utilizes the break-action apparatus. The barrel is hinged and opens similar to a door so you can load and unload the cartridges.

  1. Pump-Action

In some rifle designs, they have a pump-action mechanism. The action uses a slide contraption throughout the barrel to release an empty cartridge and refill a new one at the same time. The advantage of this structure is that you operate it using your supporting hand, ensuring better firing rates and accuracy.

A rifle with a pump-action frequently utilizes tube magazines that take time to refill since you have to insert the cartridges individually. However, these tubes can hold more rounds which is an advantage.



With the variety of rifles available in the market, you might find it challenging to choose the right one for your needs. The action that a weapon has sets them apart from one another. Each of these types of rifles has its specializations, advantages, and disadvantages. When choosing one, make sure that the rifle matches your specific needs and one you can utilize both accurately and comfortably.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.