Basic Parts and Components of a Firearm

basic parts and componenets

When it comes to firearms, there are a few basic parts and components that make up the firearm. The barrel is one of the most important parts of the gun, as it is responsible for firing the bullet. The next component of firearm parts is the receiver, which holds all of the other parts in place and contains the bolt carrier group and trigger assembly. The stock is also an important part of the firearm, as it helps to stabilize and support the rifle when shooting.

In this article, we cover the basic components and parts of a firearm that any shooter must know about before they venture into buying firearm parts or rifle accessories.

Read ahead, to learn about the basic components and parts of a firearm.

Basic parts and components of a firearm :

Basic parts and components of a firearm

The Barrel

The Barrel

The barrel is one of the most important parts of a firearm, as it is responsible for firing the bullet. The barrel is the metal tube through which the bullet travels. It is important that the barrel is of high quality to ensure accuracy. Many barrels are now made from stainless steel or Chromoly steel, which resist wear and tear better than traditional carbon steel.

Additionally, threaded barrels can be screwed onto suppressors to reduce noise pollution. It is typically made from steel, brass, or aluminum and is often chrome-lined to help resist wear and corrosion. The barrel can be of different lengths depending on the firearm type but are usually around 16-18 inches in length. 

The different parts and components of the barrel are –

The bore: This is the inside diameter of the barrel, measured in inches.

The twist rate: This is how fast the rifling (grooves) on the barrel turns, expressed in terms of the number of rotations per inch. A faster twist rate will stabilize a longer, heavier bullet better than a slower twist rate.

The choke: This is a constriction at the muzzle of the barrel that alters the spread of shot pellets as they leave it. Chokes are designated by choke systems such as “Cylinder”, “Improved Cylinder” or “Modified”. The spread of the shot is controlled through a tighter or more open constriction in the barrel, made to optimize your firearm for combat situations like hunting multiple targets at varying ranges.

Caliber: This is the diameter of rifling (grooves) inside a firearm’s barrel measured in millimeters or inches. 

Barrel length: This measures how long parts of your gun can be found on average gun barrels that vary depending on their type from around 16-18 inches to over 100 inches when measuring parts such as rifle stocks.

The Receiver

The receiver is the part of a firearm that holds all of the other parts in place and contains the bolt carrier group and trigger assembly. This is the part that houses the firearm parts and components such as firing mechanisms, grips, sights etc. The design varies from one manufacturer to another but typically follows some common principles for parts location.

A trigger group assembly consists of a trigger mechanism housed inside its own subassembly which can be removed together with all other parts attached to it by removing a single pin that runs through them all. The bolt carrier group is housed within the receiver along with the trigger assembly. 

The different components of a firearm’s receiver are :

The action: This is the mechanism that performs the basic firing and loading functions of the gun.

The bolt: This is a sliding metal bar that moves forward when the trigger is pulled, chambering a round and pushing it into place. It then locks in place to hold the round securely before firing.

The extractor: This is a small metal tab on the bolt that grabs onto the rim of the cartridge as it chambers, pulling it out of the barrel after firing and ejecting it from the firearm.

The ejector: A spring-loaded plunger located on the receiver that strikes the base of cartridges as they are ejected from the gun, forcibly pushing them out.

The trigger: This is the part that you pull to fire the gun. It is connected to the firing pin, which in turn strikes the primer on the cartridge and fires it. 

The firing pin: This is a small metal rod that projects into the primer of a cartridge when struck by the trigger, causing it to detonate and fire. 

The magazine: This is the part of the gun that holds the rounds and feeds them into the chamber. It can be detachable or fixed, depending on the firearm type.

The bolt catch/release: This is a lever located on the left side of the receiver that allows you to hold the bolt open after firing or release it so it can move forward and chamber a round.

The safety: This is a lever or switch that, when engaged, prevents the gun from firing. It can be located on various parts of the firearm depending on the type.

The Stock 

The stock is also an important part of the gun, as it helps to stabilize and support the rifle when shooting. It is typically made from wood, plastic, or metal and can have a variety of adjustments to fit the shooter’s body. There are also aftermarket stocks that can be bought separately that offer more features and adjustability. Performance of the stock depends on the material used in it.

The different components of a stock are – 

The buttstock: This is the rear part of the stock, often curved to fit against the shoulder for stability.

The cheekpiece: This raised section on the side of the stock helps to position your head correctly when looking down the sights.

The pistol grip: A grip used for controlling the gun, usually located near the trigger. It allows you to hold onto the firearm with greater ease and precision.

The buttplate: This is the end of the stock that rests against your shoulder when you are shooting.

The foregrip: This is the front part of the stock, often shaped to be held with one hand. If it has a bipod attached to it then you can use your other hand for other tasks such as reloading or switching off safety mechanisms.

The barrel band/handguard: Part that connects the receiver and buttstock parts together over the barrel. It may also include parts like sling swivels but not always depending on it’s design function.

Wrapping up

The parts listed above are some common rifle parts found in most modern firearms today; however there are many more parts unique to each firearm type which will vary depending on their application (hunting, self defense etc.) These parts should help you understand what makes up an average firearm, how the rifle trigger works and how they all blend together to create a shooting experience.

Having proper knowledge of the firearms and rifle parts you want to purchase helps in the prevention of purchasing parts that may not be compatible and in the end, will save you time and money. As you can see, parts of a firearm are not just parts; they make up every part of your rifle and collectively make up for your entire shooting efficacy and performance.

About the author

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer is a digital marketing expert. Her hobbies are writing, singing and making videos on TikTok.