What is the Difference between a Shotgun and a Rifle?

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The reason you have probably confused a shotgun to a rifle is there resembling structures and somehow the same functionalities. Both the shotgun and the rifle share the two-handed structure and can be both used to fire at least a single projectile with the shotgun doing more than a single projectile emission.

With the rising cases of customers confusing the two guns, it is only prudent that I shed some light on their differences so that you may not get caught in the mix of these confusions. While a majority of seasoned gun users may have an easy time telling these two types of guns apart, it might not be an easy task for the starters. Therefore, let us look at what these two types of weapons are and what they have that makes them different below.

The Shotgun

What is a Shotgun?

A shotgun is simply a long firearm that you place on your shoulder when shooting for easy and comfortable shots, usually with a wooden stock. It is also commonly known as a smooth-bore gun used to fire small shots at a short-range.  Shotgun ammunition in the US is commonly known as shotshells, shotgun shells, or simply shells. 

When fired, the ammunition spreads in a diverging pattern after they leave the muzzle, which means a shotgun makes multiple shots at a go. Commonly a shotgun is used in hunting small moving targets such as birds, hares, squirrels, and the likes. 

The earliest forms of shotgun firearms to be loaded with shots were the ‘Fowling Pieces’ that was first released in Europe’s 16th century. When the 17th century came knocking, the manufacturers started making shotguns with barrels as long as 1.8m or 6 feet long to benefit maximum accuracy.