The term “rifle” refers specifically to this grooving.
Rifled weapons were designed to kill men. They are so-called because of grooving on the inside of the barrel which improves the gyroscopic steadiness of the bullet by spiraling or spinning the bullet along the length of the barrel, the emerging bullet spinning as well as being ejected forwards. Rifling off the inside of the barrel produces parallel spiraling grooves along the inside of the barrel, separated by raised areas known as lands. There are usually between 4 to 7 parallel grooves, with either a left or right-handed twist. As the bullet passes along the barrel these will mark the surface of the bullet and these marks may assist in identifying the weapon from which the bullet was fired.
Single-shot, lever-action, bolt-action, pump-action, autoloading or semiautomatic rifles, and automatic rifles are the various types of rifles.
Rifled weapons are divided into short-barreled handguns or long-barrelled guns.
Short barrelled guns include revolvers, pistols, and sub-machine guns.
Because of the shape of their barrels, revolvers, pistols, and rifles are referred to as ‘rifled’ weapons. The inside has a series of parallel grooves cut in a spiral pattern along the length of the barrel which is separated by ‘lands’, which imparts spin on the bullet along its long axis.
To fire a rifled weapon requires a degree of force. If the hammer is cocked it requires 1 to 21bs. to pull the trigger. However, if the weapon is uncocked it requires 5 to 61bs. to pull the trigger.
The rifled weapons fire bullets. Revolvers and pistols tend to be low-velocity weapons, the revolver firing a bullet at 600′ per second, the pistol at 1000′ per second. This is insufficient to knock a body off its feet. In contrast, the higher velocity weapons are the rifles, ranging from 2000′ per second and having the potential to inflict more injuries.
Bullets have a specific shape with a pointed nose making them more aerodynamically sound. Round-nosed bullets will cause more damage to a body. They are generally made from soft lead, although they may have a small amount of antimony for hardness. Because of this, they are often jacketed, the lead enveloped in a jacket of brass, aluminum, bronze, or steel. Depending on the type of damage intended, the bullets can be non-jacketed, jacketed, or partially jacketed, for example; hollow nose bullets have a jacket, but the weapon acts as a non-jacketed bullet when it strikes its target, as it distorts and slows, and causes more damage.