Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Gun and Rifle

accuracy-international-872190_640Gun vs Rifle

The invention and development of firearms started in Ancient China with the discovery of gunpowder. Firearms are weapons that cast bullets, missiles, or shells that contain a burning propellant such as gunpowder at a high velocity.
In the years since the invention of firearms, they have become the main weapons used by man in warfare which results in the formation of modern armies. They are more powerful and are easier to use and handle and require less effort from their user.

Although the term “firearm” is used synonymously with the term “gun,” only those high-muzzle velocity firearms which need a crew to handle such as field guns, tank guns, and artillery guns like cannons and howitzers are referred to as guns. Guns are artillery weapons that may be portable or mounted.

Guns are breech-loaded weapons which have shells that are inserted into a chamber that are fired directly at a high velocity. They are used for long-range firing, and their ballistic arcs are low and flat. There are several types of guns: machine guns, hunting guns, and guns for training and entertainment, among others.

Small and handheld firearms are not called guns by specialists since they are intended for use by a single individual. Such firearms are called by names such as pistols which are handguns with a chamber that is integrated into the barrel, carbines which are long arms that are shorter than a rifle, and rifles.

Rifles are also breech-loaded weapons that are devised to be fired from the shoulder. The barrels of rifles have grooves that are cut into their walls. They were initially designed as single-shot firearms but have now evolved into the modern assault rifles that can fire several rounds.

The use of rifles started in the mid 15th century. They were designed after muskets but use elongated bullets instead of ball-shaped bullets. They were slow and difficult to load, though, and the smoke from the black powder used in bullets can obstruct the user’s sight. So they were mainly used in hunting and by sharpshooters.


1.A gun is a firearm or weapon that has a metal tube where bullets are fired at a high velocity into a flat ballistic arc while a rifle is a weapon or firearm that has a long barrel that is rifled or grooved giving bullets spinning motion for greater accuracy at a long range.
2.A gun is designed to be used by a crew or a group of people while a rifle is designed for individual use.
3.A gun is usually mounted, but it can also be portable to be fired at a distance from the body while a rifle is fired from the shoulder of the user.
4.Guns are used in tank, artillery, and field combat while rifles are used by sharpshooters and in hunting.
5.Examples of guns are mortars, cannons, machine guns, tank guns, howitzers, and Gatling guns while examples of rifles are air rifles, automatic rifles like the AK-47 and M16, etc.

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.


  1. Just noting that per your definition of “gun” (firing directly) mortars and howitzers aren’t actually guns. They are artillery pieces which fire indirectly. Their projectiles fly in a high ballistic arc allowing them to engage targets outside their line of sight (over hills).

  2. Mortars fire in a very high parabolic arc at relitively short range. Howitzers fire at a lower but still indirect arc giving them very long range. Neither of these artillery pieces fire directly. An artillery piece which does is by definition a cannon.

    • In rifle barrel can not be changed if barrel becomes unserviceble rifle becomes unserviceble and rifle is subjected to conidemnation where as in gun barrel can be changed if barrel becomes unserviceble gun doesn’t become unserviceble and gun can be used

  3. I need the difference between a gun and a rifle,also the difference between grooves and riflings .

  4. Guns are designed to engage an area target while rifle is used to engage pin point target.Both are low trajectory firearms with groves.

  5. In the military we used the terms the same way you do. The exception being for machine guns and shotguns. Usually – if not always – with the prefix. I feel “gun” was used more casually before World War I, possibly any firearm. I am researching this now which is what led me to you.

    Thank you for your post

  6. Gun is chamber loaded weapon and rifle is magazine loaded.. This the most difference between them.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about :
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder