Multiple parts of firearms! Each and Evert Part of Firearm explained | Muzzle end to buttstock

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FORENSIC SCIENCEFORENSIC BALLISTICS

Shubham Kumar

1/29/20246 min read

Using firearm without knowing its parts is just like hunting lion without prior preparations. Moreover, no one is recommended to directly jump on the firearms without gaining valuable insights about the parts of firearms.

In this article, we are going to explore the parts of firearms, which you can call as the prior preparations before using a firearm.

To understand the parts of firearm, first you need to understand what a firearm is.

Firearm refers to the mechanical device specialized to project or throw a projectile with a high-speed velocity. The firearm managed to throw a projectile with a high-speed velocity because of the force exerted by the rapidly expanding gases. Furthermore, the chemical reaction with causes the expansion of gases, occurs with the device only.

A firearm is used for wide range of purposes, spanning from self-defense to military purposes. The most common and professional use of firearm is self-defense, hunting, sports shooting, and military applications. Though firearm is devised for the nation's security and personal safety, however, it's now being used to cause crime.

There are different types of firearms available, each type has its own and unique specialization. For example, Handguns are known for their quickness in sheath and Sealth. Similarly, shotguns are the prime choice for hunting.

Though there are wide range of firearms, and their classifications, however, there are some basic parts with together forms the definition of firearm. Without these parts, a mechanical device can't be called as a firearm. Therefore, understanding the parts of firearms are very crucial to detect whether a device is a firearm or not.

Parts of Firearm

The parts of a firearm include the stock, barrel, action, breech end, muzzle end, trigger sight, trigger, trigger guard, and safety mechanism. Each component contributes to stability, firing mechanics, aiming, safety, and control. Understanding these parts is crucial for firearm operation and safety.

Stock | Provide Grip to Firearm

The stock is an essential component of a firearm, providing stability and support. It is typically made of materials such as wood, plastic, or synthetic composites. The stock allows for the attachment of other components, such as the barrel and action. When firing, the shooter holds the stock against their shoulder for better control and accuracy.

Barrel and Action

The barrel is the elongated tube-like structure of the firearm through which the projectile travels when fired. It is usually made of metal, such as steel, for durability and heat resistance. The action, also known as the receiver, houses the firing mechanism, including the firing pin, hammer, or striker. It coordinates the cycling of ammunition and the loading, firing, and ejection of cartridges. The action and barrel are securely connected to the stock, forming the main structure of the firearm.

Breech End

The breech end is the rear part of the barrel where the cartridge or projectile is loaded into the firearm. It is designed to seal the chamber and prevent gas escape during firing. The breech end often features an extractor, which is responsible for removing the spent casing from the chamber after firing. The extractor ensures smooth and reliable ejection of the fired cartridge.

Muzzle End

The muzzle end is the front part of the barrel where the projectile exits the firearm. It is the point where the bullet or other projectile leaves the bore and begins its trajectory towards the target. The muzzle may have features such as muzzle brakes or flash suppressors to control recoil or reduce muzzle flash.

Trigger Sight | Provide Accuracy to Firearm

The trigger sight, also known as the front sight or aiming sight, is a component near the trigger that assists the shooter in aligning the firearm accurately. It helps the shooter aim at the target and achieve better precision. The trigger sight can be in the form of a blade, dot, or other configurations, providing a visual reference for aiming.

Trigger

The trigger is a critical component of the firearm's firing mechanism. It is a curved lever that, when pulled or activated by the shooter's finger, initiates the firing sequence. The trigger releases the hammer or striker, which strikes the firing pin, resulting in the ignition of the cartridge's primer and the discharge of the projectile.

Trigger Guard | Prevents accidental fires from Firearm

The trigger guard is a protective component that surrounds the trigger. It serves two primary purposes: to prevent accidental or unintended trigger manipulation and to provide added safety by shielding the trigger from accidental contact. The trigger guard helps ensure that the firearm can only be fired intentionally when the shooter's finger is deliberately placed inside the guard.

Safety

The safety mechanism is a crucial feature in firearms designed to prevent accidental firing. It is often in the form of a safety knob, lever, or switch located near the trigger or action. When engaged or activated, the safety mechanism locks the action, preventing the trigger from being pulled and the firearm from discharging. This feature adds an extra layer of protection and helps prevent unintentional discharge, particularly when the firearm is not in use or during handling or transportation.

Barrel | Directs the target hitting ability of firearm

The barrel is a crucial component of a firearm. It is a long-elongated tube that is attached to the stock, forming the main structure of the weapon. The barrel extends from the breech end to the muzzle end. The breech end is where the barrel starts, closest to the action or receiver of the firearm, while the muzzle end is the terminating point where the projectile exits. The barrel provides a pathway within which the projectile is placed and prepared for firing.

Within the barrel, certain features contribute to the stability and accuracy of the projectile. One of these features is rifling. Rifling refers to the helical patterns cut into the inner surface of the barrel. These patterns are formed by the lands and grooves. Lands are the raised areas between the grooves, and grooves are the spiral indentations. The purpose of rifling is to induce spin in the projectile as it travels down the barrel. This spinning motion helps stabilize the bullet during its flight, resulting in improved accuracy.

Bore

The bore is the hollow center of the barrel that runs throughout its entire length. It is a long metal tube that is cut during the manufacturing process. The size of the bore is determined by the distance between one land to another. The measurement of the bore affects various aspects of the firearm, such as the type of ammunition it can accommodate and the ballistics characteristics of the projectile.

Rifling and Grooves

Rifling plays a significant role in the barrel's design. The spiral grooves cut into the barrel's inner surface provide the projectile with rotational motion, known as spin. This spin helps stabilize the bullet's flight by countering external forces that may cause it to deviate from its intended path. The number and depth of the grooves, as well as the twist rate or pitch of the rifling, can vary depending on the firearm's intended purpose.

Caliber

Caliber is a measurement used to determine the diameter of the bore, specifically the distance between the lands. It is commonly expressed in inches or millimeters. The caliber of a firearm has implications for ammunition compatibility and performance. Different calibers are suited for various purposes, such as target shooting, hunting, or self-defense. Manufacturers may classify cartridge diameters based on the bore, groove, or bullet diameter, providing standardized specifications for ammunition selection.

Bullet Diameter

The diameter of the bullet is closely associated with the firearm's caliber. It is an essential consideration for ensuring proper fit and compatibility between the bullet and the barrel. The bullet diameter, along with the bore diameter, influences the overall performance of the firearm. A precise match between the bullet and the barrel diameter helps optimize accuracy and reliability.

Reference

  • "Forensic DNA Typing" by John M. Butler

  • "The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation" by Ngaire E. Genge

  • "Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction" by Jim Fraser

  • "Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation" by Ross M. Gardner