How a Shotgun Works

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How does a shotgun work?

How a Shotgun Works

Shotguns are unique, especially when compared to pistols, revolver guns and hunting rifles. The most obvious difference is in the type of ammunition used; shotgun shells are filled with shot or pellets. Hunting rifles and pistols fire bullets with a single point of impact, where shotgun fire sends the pellets, which disperse for multiple points of impact.

Unlike hunting rifles where bullets can be supplied by a clip, some shotguns are loaded one or two shells at a time. There are models which can hold more shells in a magazine. These are often called pump-action or slide-action shotguns. They feature a tube clip which feeds fresh shells into the chamber as the shotgun is pumped. Firing a shotgun creates the same reaction as any other type of firearm. The trigger pull activates the firing pin, which creates a spark. The spark ignites the gunpowder causing a controlled miniature explosion which forces the shotgun pellets out of the gun at high velocity. As the shot leaves the barrel, it expands and forms a pattern which can be observed when firing at cardboard or wood targets.

   

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