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Rifle facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Modern Hunting Rifle
Modern hunting rifle

The rifle is a gun with a stock to brace against the shoulder and a barrel with twisting grooves. The grooves are called rifling and make bullets spin as they fly through the air. Rifles are made to shoot many different sizes of bullets using different amounts of gunpowder. Rifles are usually made to be able to hit targets at long ranges. Modern rifles are made for many different purposes. Some are made for hunting animals. Some are made for soldiers to use in war. Others are made for police to have in case they need them. Some rifles are made for target shooting.


Jarmann crossection
diagram of a bolt action (about to load a bullet)

Rifles can work in different ways. Some rifles have what is called a bolt action. A small handle is used to move a part of the rifle called a "bolt". By moving the bolt backward, then forward, allows the shooter put a bullet in the chamber ready for firing. It also ejects any spent shells still in the chamber from any previously fired rounds. The rifle in the picture above is a bolt action. Some rifles are semi-automatics, where a bullet is loaded (automatically) and fired each time the trigger is pulled. Some are fully automatic, which work like semi-automatics but allow the shooter to fire more than one bullet at a time by holding down the trigger. The automatic rifle stops firing when the trigger is released or it runs out of ammunition.

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