Encyclopedia Article


A rifle is a firearm with an extended barrel that is generally raised up to the shoulder for firing. The interior surface of the long barrel is carved with spiral grooves down its length. The length of the barrel, in combination with its interior grooves, improves the accuracy of the shot fired by increasing the stability of the projectile as it spins out of the barrel. The rifle, as opposed to another long-barreled firearm, the shotgun, fires a single projectile at a time.

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"Women's Royal Australian Naval Service at rifle practice, circa 1940" by is licensed under CC BY.

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