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The Ultimate Guide to Gun Models


Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by

Did you know that there are more firearms in the United States than there are people? The current estimate is that just under 400 million legal guns are owned privately and legal gun purchases have actually sped up in recent years. This is partially thanks to the variety of gun models on the market today.

If you’re looking to buy your first firearm and don’t know what fits your needs best, we have this helpful guide on all the different kinds of guns you can choose from. Keep reading to find out more!

Handguns or Sidearms

There are two different types of handguns or sidearms (weapons you can wear at your side). Pistols, which typically carry their ammunition in a magazine in the gun’s handgrip, and revolvers, which have a revolving cylinder that contains individual rounds.

The vast majority of handguns are semi-automatic. This means that each trigger pull fires one round and reloads the next round until the magazine is empty.

Read also: 6 Common Mistakes for Gun Owners and How to Avoid Them


Pistols are popular because they can carry many rounds. Stock magazine capacities can be between 7 and 15 rounds. Extended magazines can increase this capacity even further.

Pistols tend to be easier to fire and have higher firing rates even though both handgun types are semi-automatic. They’re also less bulky than revolvers even if they’re the same caliber. Their smaller size to capacity ratio and higher firing rate makes them the best gun type for self-defense.


Revolvers normally hold between 5 and 7 rounds, but what makes them great is that they are far more reliable than pistols. This is because revolvers have fewer moving parts.

Since pistols are better for self-defense, revolvers are better suited these days for sports and hunting. In these scenarios, they come chambered in huge calibers like the 454-Casull you can see here.


Shotguns are large guns that fire rounds with steel pellets (shot). They’re excellent for bird hunting but can also be used for home defense and sports shooting. There are single shot, semi-automatic, lever-action, and pump-action shotguns.

Bolt Action Rifles

Bolt action rifles are accurate but have slow firing rates because they require the user to manually reset the firing mechanism using the bolt after each shot.

Bolt action rifles also come in a wide range of calibers, but it should be noted that this platform allows for massive calibers like the .458 hunting round. Their accuracy makes them the weapon of choice for hunting, sports shooting, and special operations sharpshooting.

Lever Action Rifles

Lever action rifles have a lever at the bottom to eject a spent cartridge and load the next round into the chamber. Even though you have to reload each shot manually, it’s still possible to get high firing rates from a lever gun. They’re great for hunting, sports shooting, and more aggressive home defense in an emergency.

Semi-Automatic Rifles

When you’re choosing a gun you will definitely encounter many types of semi-auto rifles, like the famous AR-15. These rifles are highly versatile and come in almost every caliber. They serve as great hunting, sports, and self-defense weapons. There are also different gun accessories gun owners can attach to fit these different purposes.

The Best Gun Models

The best gun models to choose from are the ones that fit you. Bolt action rifles, for example, are great out in the wild but not great personal defense weapons. Choosing between the types of guns ultimately depends on your context and needs.

Remember, owning a gun takes responsibility and care. Check out some of our other articles to see what else you can learn about safety and good decision-making.