From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Dictionary article?[edit]

Maybe this article should simply disambiguate?

  • David Raffey is correctly used for an artillery gun of relatively flat trajectory
  • It is also correctly used for shotgun
  • David I told you I can edit stuff. firearm, but this usage is often considered to be incorrect, particularly in military and shooting circles.
  • Gun is also used for a variety of devices which eject something, or are shaped like a pistol: soldering gun, staple gun, glue gun
  • and so on.

The article as it stands is almost a dictionary entry.

But not once, what can be seen, is it revealed what those guns are used for - namely to harm and often end life in various forms.

By the way, a dicks propellant is rarely gunpowder; and I don't think air should be featured (it is a minor usage, perhaps). Pol098 17:29, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

I reset the page as it had been entirely deleted, as well as cleaned it up a bit. As for gun being only artillery, from a purely military standpoint, yes. From a 'public' standpoint, however, no. To the general public, a gun is any form of one-man firearm. And this turned into a LOAD of edits, since I seem to be blind today, and missed things I then saw later. DannyBoy2k 19:03, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Pure definition of Gun[edit]

This article should be restricted to cannon and artillery pieces.. not this [see image]:

U.S. Army soldier with a compact M249 variant

Gregorydavid 11:43, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

This is only the military definition, the common usage is that it is a tool that fires a projectile.--Omnicog 14:07, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, im in the canadian artillery and ive been drilled to death to call rifles rifles, and machine guns machine guns. However, the military use is not necessarily the correct use. Perhaps including a section of 'Other uses' or 'Military use' could straighten this out. A gun is anything that can be called a gun. A radar gun IS a gun, its just a different type.

In USAF nomenclature, rifles are "guns." The GAU and GUU designations are used for the USAF equiv of the M4.
I also challenge the "nominal 6"" statement. I'm going to remove it. Mortars are guns, and 81mm is less than 6". The 25mm gun on the Bradley is also a gun. I don't know what reference was used for that statement, but it's errantly precice.Mzmadmike (talk) 00:33, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I was raised by a US Marine Ordinance Sergeant who went on to work with Weatherby firearms. The definition which was drilled into me by him was that, in small arms, a gun was a smoothbore, and a rifle was any weapon with a rifled bore. By that definition, a machine gun is not a gun, nor are most handguns. In the Navy, it was any Naval artillery piece (nearly all of which are rifled). I don't believe I've ever heard or seen a mortar called a gun before. In common parlance, it seems to mean any projectile weapon with a barrel, from air-soft to rail-gun, as well as anything resembling one, such as a glue gun. In science it is commonly used for devices which fire or direct particles or particle streams, from the electron gun in a CRT on up. I honestly think it is time to lay the debate to rest. Too many different groups have evolved conflicting definitions which they naturally try to enforce on those they consider ignorant.

I recommend that the "gun" page should be a disambiguation page with Webster's definition perhaps, with links to the things which the word might mean to different people. Thus avoiding much possible confusion.Ernest C. Ruger (talk) 11:59, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Its a possibility. The problem is Wikipedia is not a list of what a "word might mean to different people", that's the job of a dictionary, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia which follows the most common meaning, see WP:COMMONNAME. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 20:25, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I was in the US Army during 1971-72. According to my Drill Sargeant, a gun was any firearm served by more than one soldier or one mounted on wheels. An M-16 was either a rifle or a piece, but the M-60 was. Indeed a gun by this definition. Thus it appears that the definition varies from one branch of service to another, and possibly between different MOS's. Wschart (talk) 13:53, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Would this benefit from semiprotection?[edit]

When trying to revert to a good version (where I had to skip about two or three different users), I got into about two or three edit conflicts, all vandalism or discussion. A look at this article's history shows a lot of vandalism. Would this article benefit from a semiprotect? --Deathphoenix ʕ 20:59, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, please do so. --D.E. Watters 21:12, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, will do the next time I see a lot of vandalism (since it was eight days since the last bout of constant vandalism). --Deathphoenix ʕ 12:51, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I just did it. im sick of reverting and its clearly a commonly vandalized article. i also forgot to use the edit summary. sorry thuglastalk|edits 19:14, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I certainly feel that this article should be settled and locked.Ernest C. Ruger (talk) 12:17, 2 October 2013 (UTC) I have a 223 and it is a very good except for the cost of ammo

Addition to the list of guns[edit]

I added Zip gun to the list of guns, kind of surprised that it wasn't there, seeing the extensiveness of the list. There are bound to be more unlinked gun type articles out there. Missing links to already existing articles, just another small problem wikipedia is working on.--Exander 07:46, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

African god[edit]

IIRC Gun was the african god of iron and War. If so than that should be added --alex 05:15, 25 July 2006 (UTC) That would be interesting if its true. Can you give more details though? For starters, which African culture the god belonged to and possibly where you learned this from. (IIRC stands for If I Recall Correctly- for those of you who don't know) -Andrew

Recent Vandalism[edit]

To any and all administrators,
Protect this article! It has been vandalized repeatedly and constantly, and I've only seen a few legitimate anon edits. There is little or no reason not to protect it.--LWF 03:56, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

--I agree, please protect it. Idiots adding crap and blanking. ( 08:43, 14 December 2006 (UTC))

I also agree. Vandalism appears to be coming from multiple users. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:41, 16 March 2007 (UTC).


Ca someone find out and source the etymology of the word 'gun'? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:02, 27 April 2007 (UTC). "Gun" is Japanese for Soldier, soldiers are armed with guns. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:36, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Please change the text by adding the following: The term "Gun" may have originated from a colloquial term for guns by Chinese soliders, which is still used today. 杆 is a term for gun in Chinese, pronounced Mandarin "gan" Cantonese "gun" or 棍 pronounced Mandarin "gùn". The Mongol Empire brought guns to Europe and western traders certainly encountered them. The first usage of the term "gonne" is in latin c. 1500 as cited by Merriam-Webster, which then goes on to guess that the term could've been borrowed from the Norse name for a Queen or ballista (Domina Gunhilda) and abbreviated Latinized the norse Gunhilda to "gonne". Ockham's Razor would guide us to consider as more likely "gonne" as the latinization of 杆 ("gun") or 棍 ("gùn") as the most likely origin of the term "gun". (information sourced from personal experience, also see Chinese movies)

Not done: You have made no edit request in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ", so it is unclear what you want added or altered.
Furthermore, you have not cited any reliable sources to back up your request (personal experience is not acceptable), without which no information should be added to any article. - Arjayay (talk) 19:36, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

List of Weapons[edit]

Paintball guns and airsoft guns are not weapons by any stretch of the imagination. Having these listed in the list of weapons contributes nothing to the definition of guns as weapons. Furthermore, the untruth of the implicit statement erodes the credibility of the article. Consider removing them from the list. -- 23:58, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Fron a logical and technical perspective, you are absolutely correct. Unfortunately there are many that do not operate from that standpoint here on WP. If we write better articles, they have less chance of their facts being obscured. Please join the effort at the Firearms Project if you are inclined to help out. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 15:11, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Removed synecdoche[edit]

I've removed the bit that goes something like: "It is also used to refer to the person holding the gun rather than the gun itself, as in 'a hired gun.'" This is an example of synecdoche, rather than a comment about the usage of the term gun, so I felt it was unnecessary.

Things that fire projectiles[edit]

It seems to me that the common usage includes anything that fires a projectile, whether or not it is used as a weapon. (See Nail gun and Spud gun). Also, I'm surprised Railgun and Coilgun aren't mentioned here, since they even fit the narrower definition. (talk) 04:39, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Definition of a gun[edit]

The definition of a gun is not "....a common name given to an object that propels another object or projectile", if this was true, then a crossbow, a longbow or anything that projects an object is a gun. Even by that definition, a person throwing a knife is considered a gun. The real definition of a gun is, "any object that has a barrel or a metal tube that uses an EXPLOSIVE FORCE to propel or project an object." The explosive force is the key phrase in the sentence. Felton22 (talk) 21:06, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Crossbows and various catapults were, in fact, referred to as "guns" within their era. So you're both incorrect.Mzmadmike (talk) 00:34, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Explosive Force is not necessary to be a gun. Think: what about airsoft guns, rail guns, coil guns, nail guns, etc? Are those not guns? Explosive force is only necessary for firearms. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:18, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Article is too short[edit]

For such an important article it's quite short. The list is bigger than the rest of the article. Isn't a gun a pretty important encyclopedic subject? klosterdev (talk) 21:35, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Not to mention it misses any and all historic background. - Redmess (talk) 09:19, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Battleship picture[edit]

Why do we have a picture of a BOAT on the top of an article about GUNS?

Don't you find that just a BIT confusing. If the primary objective of the article is to illustrate guns, we should be shown a should be a typical gun, not an overhead view of a boat, with the guns not even very visible.

Perhaps that picture should be moved to the "terminology" section:
In military usage, the term "gun" refers to heavy and light artillery that fires projectiles at high velocity, such as naval guns (which are never referred to as cannons) or tank guns.
Regardless, this article needs some help, hence the {{cleanup}} tag. --tc2011 (talk) 03:16, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Necro, but you could use the same argument for the revolver. It isn't representative of all guns, as is any given example. A ship firing its guns is fine too. The image stays. 8ty3hree (talk) 07:06, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Suggest splitting page[edit]

The "Types of guns" section is more of a list than a typical article. I suggest we start a new page under that heading (or List of guns), leaving this article for more of a description rather than a listing. Spidern 17:44, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


Administrators, please protect this article; it has been target of vandalism. Thanks. Naylor, Brazil. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:26, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


Is there some reason why both this article and Firearm ought to exist? There seems at least a large amount of overlap, which could be profitably excised even if the articles are not merged. Jim.henderson (talk) 21:25, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

What is the difference between this article and firearm?[edit]

Both firearm and gun have the same definition of what the page is about. Should they be merged? Or should the difference be clarified? Is there a difference? LK (talk) 13:25, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

The primary difference is that a firearm is generally a handheld item (carried by the person firing it), while the term gun includes larger crew-served weapons which are often mounted in place (the main cannon on a tank is a gun, it's but not a firearm). It seems that the two articles could reasonably be merged. This page appears to be more comprehensive and "Firearms", which is a subset of "Guns", could redirect hereDoc Tropics 04:27, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Types of guns[edit]

Could we, um, delete this section? Not only is it wrong, and promoting stuff, but the difference between firearm and gun is already established in the article. --Phil1988 (talk) 02:05, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Hi Phil, I'm afraid that after reading your comments and rereading the article, I'm a bit confused. Addressing your last point first, I couldn't find any text regarding the firearm/gun issue in this section. Also, I couldn't find any text that was "promoting stuff". Finally, if you feel there are factual errors, we should certainly correct them, but none jumped out at me. Could you give specific examples of things that are either promotional or incorrect? Thanks, Doc Tropics 20:30, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

No guns and society section?[edit]

Shouldn't we have a section or a page about differing issues about guns on different cultures and their affects on society? The page just approaches guns a bit like a manual, which feels hollow considering they are after all controversial and deadly weapons. --IdLoveOne (talk) 02:17, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

This would be a good idea if it weren't for the confusing language around the term. The point of this article is the word, not the usage. The usage is actually pretty specific. Controversy exists around certain types (and methods of use) and not really around the word 'gun'. I say suggest this on the article for 'small arm' or if your concern and the controversy you refer to is actually about the use of artillery, then perhaps mention it here. In fact including references to the shelling of civilian populations might be a good idea since thats pretty damn controversial, and while less common now then in say 1944, still affects our culture and society dramatically.--Senor Freebie (talk) 15:13, 4 February 2011 (UTC)


I think it would be interesting to read a section on the history and development of 'the gun'. Anyone?--Jlowther91 (talk) 23:02, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. I came this page looking for general gun history. I'm probably not the first. Letsgoexploring (talk) 03:32, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I have added a section for History which at present contains only a link to the History of the firearm article. It would be nice to see a potted history given here too. Lumos3 (talk) 23:43, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Addition To Gun Request[edit]

Gentlemen, in our effort to play by the rules and to respect the ongoing work of all the contributors to this section we are formally requesting inclusion to this section "Gun" under the "See Also" section. We are a non-commercial Press Release organization that works on behalf of most of the leading weapons and equipment manufacturers INCONUS. Essentially when there is new weapons, equipment or gear being released within the industry (MILSPEC and Other) we are contacted to release the information to the general public. It is our desire to be listed as:

Tactical Gear News: The latest tactical gear news covering weapons,training, clothing and tactical equipment.

The site is located at:

Milspecnews (talk)milspecnews —Preceding undated comment added 11:42, 25 August 2010 (UTC).


"The propellant may be air, an explosive solid, or an explosive liquid." Should Magnet be added? It does say 'may be' so is referring to probably the most common types. Is there perhaps others and should they be listed elsewhere? How about steam?--Senor Freebie (talk) 14:58, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Encyclopedic introduction missing[edit]

For some reason this article has in its introduction a narrow military/naval definition of a "Gun" that doesn't even come close to WP:MOSBEGIN. The basic definition of a Gun[1] is something else entirely . The intro to this article needs to be re-written. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 14:24, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

This is supposed to be a general-purpose encyclopedia, not one devoted solely to military science. The present lead does an adequate job of explaining the general term as well as what "gun" specifically refers to in a technical military context. There's certainly no need for the present badge of shame. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 08:43, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
The lead does do an an adequate job of explaining the general term... but... it is the exact same explanation (definition) that is found at Firearm.... can't have that... there needs to be differentiation or something has to go. "explaining what the term.... "gun" specifically refers to in a technical military context" is a dictionary definition. Wikipedia is not a dictionary that explains "terms". It explains things. For the average reader (and for the average dictionary[2] for that mater) The word "gun" does not have some narrow technical military context.... it is in fact the primary word/term for the things that go bang[3] (far out stripping where we currently have the article at "Firearm"[4]. That is why I tagged this article. This article either should not exist (redirect to Firearm), or it should be the primary article for all things that go bang. That of course brings up the problem of Firearm, it should probably not be the overall article for things that go bang since it defines as "portable gun"[5]. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 13:08, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't be opposed to making this a disambiguation page, but that's a quite different proposal. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 15:43, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, its a can of worms that I didn't open right away... I just tagged the worst aspect of it. I would do the opposite of DAB, this article should be the primary article on the topic because it is the primary topic by definition and reference and popular usage. All other topics would be subs of this page re Wikipedia:Summary style.... hmmm... which is like a big DAB. Next step is probably a proposal at the project level. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 12:54, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Firearm and Gun articles[edit]

Why are there two separate articles about pretty much the same thing? I know that in a strict military sense they are different things but outside of the military the majority of people refer to all firearms as guns, when your average person is looking up 'guns' on wikipedia they are most likely looking for regular firearms. There's also already a pretty good article about artillery and this article is simply a mess, the firearms article is a hell of a lot better. Merge 'guns' and 'firearms' — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hell, even the 'firearms' article talks about hand **guns** and mentions guns in the regular way a ton of times. Because that's the most common usage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Was mention at Talk:Firearm#Consolidation, disambiguation, etc. but the answers given seem to be wrong. "Firearm" references as a "portable gun" [6] or "usually used of small arms"[7]. So Gun should be the overall article for things that go bang because it is the common general term for such things[8]. Firearm looks to be a place where you put info on "small arms". The fix would be to move the general stuff to "Gun" and rewrite the def at "Firearm". Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 16:03, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Everyone still in favor of doing this? I'm getting tired (as I'm sure everyone else is) of the terms being abused and mis-used. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 16:19, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I would say yes. Its a good course of action, more left at Talk:Firearm. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 02:07, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Definiton of "Gun"[edit]

I was taught in military training (United States) that a "gun" is a large-bore diameter projectile weapon installed on a naval vessel or aircraft. A small-caliber firearm lacking a stock, and operated by a single individual would be called a "pistol".

If I called my rifle a "gun" in basic training I would be doing pushups!!

The problem is Wikipedia is not a military manual or guide to proper jargon. This would be a case of a common name (as given here) over a narrow technical name used by one sub-group. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 12:18, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
You are correct Sir! Yeah, we screw that one up a lot here on WP. In its most basic context, its just a "device for launching a projectile". We need to add "Definition and context" sections to virtually every gun or firearm related article. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 16:08, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Use of the word "marines"[edit]

The word Marine is a proper noun and should be capitalized. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done
Thanks for pointing that out.
-Carmichael [TALK] | [CONTRIBS] 04:25, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
..and undone. It is not a proper noun when used generically. Please note Oxford usage which has "a contingent of 2,000 marines" as proper usage immediately after explaining the definition as a member of the U.S. Marines.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 10:50, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Mixed bag of changes I made - do the experts agree?[edit]

GUU5/P --> GUU-5/P

Reason: Consistency with main article CAR-15.

generic term for any tube-launched projectile-firing weapon --> generic term for any barreled projectile-firing weapon

Reason: confusing grammar. The intent was "...any (tube-launched projectile)-firing weapon" but the weapon was called "tube-launched" instead.
I'm still not happy with the word "barreled", but it's the only word I saw fit to resolve the grammar issue.

Ibid --> Kelly, Jack. (2004). Gunpowder Alchemy, Bombards, & Pyrotechnics: The History of the Explosive that Changed the World. Basic Books.

Reason: MOS recommends against ibid and similar cross-referencing.

velocity --> muzzle velocity

Reason: clarity, and to provide a link to muzzle v article.

Link to Flamethrower removed.

Reason:Flamethrowers do not launch projectiles, but continuous incendiary streams. Therefore, they are out of scope.

Metal storm --> Metal Storm, Squad automatic weapon --> Squad Automatic Weapon.

Reason: Proper nouns.

Open issues:

  • There is still one ibid left in the ref list, but it would look identical to ref 1 if I expanded it. How to make clear that the two references are two different parts of the same page?
  • In the interwiki refs, there are very few entries for other languages. Is there any legal concern on linking to general firearms knowledge?
  • Interwiki #2: de:schusswaffe sounds bogus to me. I would think that a bow would be a schusswaffe but not a gun, for it doesn't use a hollow longitudinal rod, nor any propellant.

- ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 08:36, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Nonsensical definition[edit]

Currently, the intro goes as such: "A gun is a device which acts at a distance through the discharge of a separate projectile." At a distance to what, exactly? From the projectile? Is the gun distant from the projectile? The user? The target? It can't simply be "at a distance". 8ty3hree (talk) 07:02, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

I am removing the "at a distance" part. 8ty3hree (talk) 07:08, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 21 January 2013[edit]

Please change the wording of "weapon" to "tool" because a weapon is a tool whose sole purpose was intended to cause harm to another human being. While "gun" may in some context make reference to a "weapon", "gun" in itself is actually a tool that is used for multiple purposes which in most cases refer to sport such as target shooting or hunting and only in sever cases reflect the true meaning of "weapon". This terminology is slanderous and derogatory to lawful firearms owners insinuating that all firearms owners are criminals by owning "weapons". Ssanderson87 (talk) 02:48, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. RudolfRed (talk) 03:00, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
There are any number of synonyms that could be used, "tool", "device", "object", "mechanism", that are completely neutral. A gun is just a device to launch a projectile whether its a cannon or pistol. Anything beyond that has to do with the intent of its use. A baseball bat can be just as much of a "weapon" as a gun if used in a certain manner. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 15:58, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done

Sorry, I seriously doubt you'll ever approach consensus, if for no other reason than because a hunting tool is still a weapon. Any tool used to do violence upon any object (living or not) can be defined as a weapon. Ernest C. Ruger (talk) 12:09, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Guns, Grenades and missiles[edit]

Guns, grenades and missiles were first used in England 1967 and used by the rest of the world in 1989. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:18, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

I have a bridge I'd like to sell you... :) --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 16:02, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi OLLI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:18, 3 December 2014 (UTC)


i need to do a project for college and i am British so my knowledge on guns only goes so far, since not everybody is allowed one over here, well its not as easy to get one as it is in other countries. I was wondering whether someone could add to the article some simpler gun explanations, that tells people the usual characteristics of each gun like general bullet size or whether the gun has rifling stuff like that. It doesn't have to go into loads of detail just the gun category not specific gun types like the AK-47 has this and the mp-5 has that.

p.s sorry if my gun knowledge in this annoys anyone — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:59, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi, just like there are tools for a variety of purposes, there are "guns" made for a variety of purposes. But this is not the place to have this conversation, this is for the development of this article. Feel free to leave a message on my Talk page. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 04:15, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 2 July 2015[edit]

I didn't read the full article, just the first paragraph. I'm pretty sure the word "effected" should be "affected". That's the only edit request I have. (talk) 15:25, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: It's correct as written. See wikt:effect#Verb. Thanks, --ElHef (Meep?) 17:21, 2 July 2015 (UTC)