What Is A Long Gun?

Are you curious to know what is a long gun? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a long gun in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a long gun?

In the world of firearms, the term “long gun” refers to a category of firearms characterized by their extended barrel length and stock. Long guns are popular among hunters, sport shooters, and firearm enthusiasts for their versatility, accuracy, and power. In this blog post, we will explore what constitutes a long gun, its various types, uses, and the factors that make it a favored choice for different applications.

What Is A Long Gun?

A long gun is a firearm with an extended barrel length and a shoulder stock that provides stability and support while aiming and firing. Unlike handguns, which are designed for one-handed use, long guns are meant to be fired from the shoulder. They typically feature rifled barrels, meaning they have spiral grooves inside the barrel that impart spin to the projectile, enhancing accuracy and range.

Types Of Long Guns

  1. Rifles: Rifles are the most common type of long gun. They have a single barrel and are designed for precision shooting over long distances. Rifles can be further classified based on their action mechanism, such as bolt-action, semi-automatic, or lever-action rifles. They are widely used for hunting, target shooting, and competitive shooting sports.
  2. Shotguns: Shotguns are another popular category of long guns. They are designed to fire a cluster of small pellets (shot) or a single large projectile (slug). Shotguns have a smooth bore barrel or a barrel with shallow grooves (rifled shotgun barrels). Shotguns are versatile firearms, suitable for hunting various game, sport shooting disciplines like clay pigeon shooting, and home defense.
  3. Muskets: Although less common in modern times, muskets are a historically significant type of long gun. Muskets are muzzle-loaded firearms that were prevalent during the 18th and 19th centuries. They played a crucial role in warfare before the advent of more advanced repeating rifles and firearms.

Uses And Applications

  1. Hunting: Long guns, particularly rifles and shotguns, are widely used for hunting purposes. Rifles offer accuracy and range, making them suitable for hunting game at long distances, while shotguns excel in hunting birds, small game, and larger game at closer ranges.
  2. Sport Shooting: Long guns play a prominent role in various sport shooting disciplines. Competitive shooting events, such as precision rifle competitions, three-gun matches, and shotgun sports like trap, skeet, and sporting clays, often involve the use of long guns.
  3. Home Defense: Shotguns, in particular, are popular choices for home defense due to their versatility and close-quarters effectiveness. The wide spread of shot or the stopping power of a slug can provide a significant deterrent in self-defense situations.

Factors To Consider

  1. Barrel Length: Long guns are defined by their extended barrel length, which contributes to accuracy, muzzle velocity, and overall balance of the firearm. Longer barrels typically offer greater accuracy and range, but they can be less maneuverable in certain scenarios.
  2. Caliber and Ammunition: The caliber or gauge of a long gun determines the size and power of the ammunition it fires. Different calibers and ammunition types are suitable for different purposes, such as small game hunting, big game hunting, or target shooting.
  3. Action Mechanism: The action mechanism of a long gun affects its rate of fire, reliability, and ease of use. Bolt-action rifles offer exceptional accuracy but require manual cycling of the bolt after each shot, while semi-automatic rifles and shotguns provide faster follow-up shots.


Long guns encompass a diverse range of firearms designed for accuracy, power, and versatility. From rifles and shotguns to historical muskets, these firearms find application in hunting, sport shooting, and self-defense. The extended barrel length, stock, and various action mechanisms contribute to their effectiveness and user experience. Whether for precision shooting, hunting expeditions, or competitive sports, long guns continue to be cherished by firearm enthusiasts worldwide for their inherent capabilities and rich history in the world of firearms.

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What Is The Difference Between A Rifle And A Long Gun?

Rifle: A firearm having rifling in the bore and designed to be fired from the shoulder. Also called a long gun. Rifling: The spiral grooves cut or swaged inside a gun barrel that gives the bullet a spinning motion. The metal between the grooves is called a “land”.

What Is Considered To Be A Long Gun?

A long gun is typically any firearm that isn’t a pistol, which you can fire one-handed. Long guns include rifles, carbines, shotguns, and submachine guns. Note that while many of these firearms may have very short barrels, it’s their two-handed nature that earns them their long gun status.

What Is An Example Of A Long Gun?

Examples of various classes of small arms generally considered long arms include, but are not limited to shotguns, personal defense weapons, submachine guns, carbines, assault rifles, designated marksman rifles, sniper rifles, anti-material rifles, light machine guns, medium machine guns, and heavy machine guns.

Is An Ar 15 Pistol Considered A Long Gun?

In the United States, if you have a AR 15 with a barrel shorter than 16 inches and wears a stock, it’s a short-barreled rifle. These require an ATF tax stamp to legally own. An AR pistol lacks a stock and, therefore, can be classified as a handgun.


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