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Encyclopedia > Gun barrel
A US 240 mm howitzer in use in 1944
A US 240 mm howitzer in use in 1944

The barrel of a gun or other firearm is the tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion is released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at great speed. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1388x1104, 411 KB) Description: Front view of 240mm howitzer of Battery `B, 697th Field Artillery Battalion, just before firing into German held territory. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1388x1104, 411 KB) Description: Front view of 240mm howitzer of Battery `B, 697th Field Artillery Battalion, just before firing into German held territory. ... A gun is a common name given to a device that fires high-velocity projectiles. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Hot metal work from a blacksmith In chemistry, a metal (Greek: Metallon) is an element that readily forms positive ions (cations) and has metallic bonds. ... A projectile is any object sent through space by the application of a force. ...


The first guns were made in a time where metallurgy was not quite what it is today, so the pipe needed to be braced periodically along its length, producing an appearance somewhat reminiscent of a barrel. Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and of materials engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. ...


Another explanation, tied to etymology, states that many very first firearms barrels were in fact realized, during the 12th and 13th centuries, using small storage barrels with their usual metal rings reinforced by leather, hence the barrel name. In fact a set of old French words, some of them staying in modern French, were used as root words for various English terms related to firearms (and storage barrels). The old French gonne (pronounced by a French speaker it sounds approximately as gun does when pronounced by an English speaker) was a small barrel used on merchant and military ships. Likewise a baril was, as early as about 1320 (used in Du Chevalier au barisel), and remains now, a big barrel. Moreover the big Tun English barrel is, as stated in Ton, the French old and contemporary tonne barrel. Traditional wooden barrels in Cutchogue Modern aluminium beer barrels - also called casks - outside the Castle Rock microbrewery in Nottingham, England A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container, traditionally made of wood staves and bound with iron hoops. ... Hand gonnes from the Historisches Museum, Bern Hand gonne being fired from a stand, Belli Fortis, manuscript, by Konrad Kyeser, 1400 The gonne, hand gonne or hand cannon, as it was called, was the first handheld, portable firearm. ... The Malay language has a complex system of titles and honorifics, which is still extensively used in Malaysia and Brunei. ... The word ton or tonne is derived from the Old English tunne, and ultimately from the Old French tonne, and referred originally to a large cask with a capacity of 252 wine gallons, which holds approximately 2100 pounds of water. ...


Construction

Modern day gun barrels are sophisticated in their construction and makeup. A gun barrel must be able to hold in the expanding gas produced by the propellant to ensure that optimum muzzle velocity is attained by the bullet or shell as it is being pushed out by the expanding gas(es). Early firearms were mostly muzzle loading (loaded from the mouth rather than the breech), which tends to be a slow and complicated procedure, resulting in a low rate of fire. Breech loading provided a higher rate of fire, but early breech loading guns lacked an effective way of sealing the escaping gases that leaked from the back end of the barrel; resulting in a lower muzzle velocity. During the 19th century, effective mechanical locks were invented that allowed loading from the breech while effectively sealing the breech from escaping propellant gases. A propellant is a material that is used to move an object by applying a motive force. ... A guns muzzle velocity is the speed at which the projectile leaves the muzzle of the gun. ... .357 Magnum cartridges, containing bullets A bullet is a solid projectile propelled by a firearm and is normally made from metal (usually lead). ... A firearm is a kinetic energy weapon that fires either a single or multiple projectiles propelled at high velocity by the gases produced by action of the rapid confined burning of a propellant. ... A muzzleloader is any firearm into which the bullet is loaded from the muzzle of the gun. ... A breech-loading weapon, usually a gun or cannon, is one where the bullet or shell is inserted, loaded, into the gun at the rear of the barrel, the breech; the opposite of muzzle-loading. ...

 ██ Smoothbore ██ Rifled ██ Polygonal
██ Smoothbore ██ Rifled ██ Polygonal

Gun barrels are mostly of metal construction. The early Chinese, the inventors of gunpowder, used bamboo, a naturally tubular wood, as the first barrels in gunpowder projectile weapons. Early European guns were made of wrought iron, usually several bands of the metal arranged around circular wrought iron rings and then welded into a hollow cylinder. The Chinese were the first to master cheap cast-iron cannon barrels. Bronze and brass were favoured by gunsmiths, due to them being easy to cast and their ability to stand corrosion created from the firing of their gunpowder charges. Modern gun barrels are of nickel and steel alloys, which are made to withstand the tension created by the rapidly expanding gases of the cartridge as well as resist corrosion. As metallurgy advances, barrels can be made smaller and lighter without undermining their strength in holding the explosive gases as the firearm fires. Early cannons were hugely thick for the calibre that they fired. Early manufacturing defects (such as air bubbles trapped in the metal) were key factors in many gun explosions, when the expanding gases became too much for the weak barrel, causing it to rupture and explode in deadly fragments. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1893x429, 23 KB) Cross sectional drawing of gun barrels. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1893x429, 23 KB) Cross sectional drawing of gun barrels. ... Smoothbore refers to a firearm which does not have a rifled barrel. ... Rifling of a Canon de 75 modèle 1897 A 35 caliber Remington, with a microgrove rifled barrel with a right hand twist. ... Conventional eight groove rifling on the left, and octagonal polygonal rifling on the right. ... Smokeless powder Gunpowder, whether black powder or smokeless powder, is a substance that burns very rapidly, releasing gases that act as a propellant in firearms. ... This article is about the plant. ... A wrought iron railing in Troy, New York. ... Cast iron usually refers to grey cast iron, but can mean any of a group of iron-based alloys containing more than 2% carbon (alloys with less carbon are carbon steel by definition). ... Assorted ancient Bronze castings found as part of a cache, probably intended for recycling. ... Brass is the term used for alloys of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses each with unique properties[1]. Note that in comparison bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin. ... A gunsmith is a person who designs, builds, repairs or modifies firearms to blueprint and customer specifications, using hand tools and machine tools such as grinders and lathes. ...


Smallbore

Generally the term "smallbore" refers to rifles or pistols whose barrel bore diameter is at the small end of the scale (.170" to .399"). Rifles, revolvers and semi-auto pistols in caliber .22 rimfire are popular all over the world for small game hunting and casual target shooting.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Gun barrel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (702 words)
The barrel of a gun or other firearm is the tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion is released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at great speed.
A gun barrel must be able to hold in the expanding gas produced be the propellant to ensure that optimum muzzle velocity is attained by the bullet or shell as it is being pushed out by the expanding gas(es).
Tamper gun barrels compress-shape their munition as it goes down the barrel, creating a smaller cross-section on the bullet, which reduces air friction as it flys through the air while maintaining its muzzle velocity.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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