Many people throughout time have had a fascination with guns, and especially machine guns. In every action book you read or, any action movie you watch, you can always count on someone being shot at or being blown up. Guns come in many shape and sizes and can hold one bullet, up to hundreds, and some of the bigger military hardware can shoot thousands. There have been huge developments in the manufacturing of guns and the automatic rifle (machine gun) is definitely no exception.
Many firearms can shoot a single shot only, and after firing the gun it must be re-cocked and reloaded manually, the single barreled shotgun is a good example. A repeating firearm (or repeater) is a gun that can be loaded with multiple shells, and when manually re-cocked, it moves another bullet into the chamber, making it ready to fire again, with the advantage being you don’t have to reload every time. A semi-automatic firearm is one that not only reloads, but also re-cocks on its own and fires a bullet as fast as you can pull the trigger, whereas a fully automatic (machine gun) firearm does the same thing, but keeps on firing bullets for as long as you hold the trigger, releasing a stream of projectiles that can do some serious damage! Nowadays the new automatic weapons have a selector switch allowing you to choose between semi-automatic and fully automatic.
In the 19th century one of the first “rapid firing” firearms was called the Gatlin gun and it changed the face of war forever. It had a large magazine (the ammunition holder) of bullets, and the operator used a crank that when turned it would activate the firing mechanism, so basically the faster they turned the crank, the quicker the bullets fired. Eventually through modifications the firing mechanisms were perfected and made much smaller allowing a trigger to release the hammer which in turn fires the bullet.
The Browning Rifle was a popular automatic weapon and used extensively by the U.S military during the early period of the 20th century. It was reliable, easy to maintain and the weight was manageable. It was also around this time that the submachine gun was introduced. It is also a rapid firing machine gun but with some major differences. One of the main differences is that it uses the same size bullet that a handgun uses, and because of this, the recoil (or shock) is far less than many other automatic weapons.
Now unfortunately, because they fire this type of this ammunition the long-range use is limited, but for close combat, even on fully automatic (with practice), it can be fairly controllable. They are extremely lightweight and some models are just a bit bigger than a handgun, making them easier to conceal than many other fully automatic firearms. Because they are simple and inexpensive to build many military personal are armed with this type of weapon.
This is just a small amount of information about guns and automatic firearms. Safety is always the primary concern when handling any type of weapon, and the more you learn about what you are doing the safer you will be.
Now weapons like this come into two common categories one being the weapon of crime and the other being the weapon of war. To find out some interesting facts about World War 2, check this out.