A gun is a machine used to shoot bullets. Guns are also called "firearms". They can be of many different sizes: small enough to hold in one hand, or large enough to fire shells to sink a warship. Guns that are small enough to be carried and used by one person all have the same basic parts: a trigger, a barrel, and a handle. The trigger is pulled by a finger to fire the bullet. The barrel guides the bullet. The handle is held by the human who will fire the gun.
In military terms, the word "firearm" is usually used for the type of weapons that soldiers carry (pistols and rifles), while the word "gun" is used for larger guns that fire at higher speed. The weapons on warships and tanks are called "guns" or "turrets" (if placed on a rotating base), not "firearms".
Guns are very effective weapons. Guns guide bullets at a very high speed which is much more deadly than a traditional arrow. Bullets are contained within "rounds", also known as "cartridges". A cartridge consists of a "bullet", a "casing", "Propellant" and a "primer". "Cartridges" have different ways of being loaded into different kinds of weapons. Cartridges can be loaded directly into a firearm or into a "clip", a "magazine" or other bullet container which is loaded into the firearm. Some firearms have their rounds loaded into the "stock (or butt)" of the weapon. A "clip" is loaded with rounds and the "clip" is loaded into a weapon. The "magazine" is a container for the rounds which has a spring that moves the bullets into place for firing. Firearms known as "revolvers" have a cylinder with holes that the bullets are loaded into. Modern guns are usually loaded with a "magazine" and are called "automatic loading".
Use of firearms.
Firearms are designed to kill. Most firearms are designed to kill people. Some kinds of firearms, such as hunting rifles, are designed to kill other animals. A deer hunter usually shoots a deer with a rifle. Some people also use firearms for shooting sports, usually known as "target shooting". "Target Shooting" is an Olympic sport.
Guns are the main weapons used by armies. In modern armies every soldier has a firearm as part of his or her equipment which they are taught to use and keep in good working order. Guns have been used by armies since about 900 AD when the Chinese began using cannons. Cannons were used in European armies and on battleships by 1500. Long barreled guns called muskets, that could be carried and used by one person, were used in China by the 1300s. Guns were not an important weapon in European armies until the 1600s.
Because guns are weapons that are made to kill, many countries only allow soldiers, policemen, (and in some countries, noblemen) to have them. In many countries a person must have a special permit (or license) if they want to own a gun. Depending on the gun, people need to be a certain age and may need to meet other criteria to get such a permit. In United States and other countries, people can buy guns and use them for self-defense, sport such as hunting, target shooting and target practice. In some countries, such as Australia, people on farms are allowed to keep guns but it is difficult for a city person to own a gun without a good reason.

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