About Guns

Parts Of A Semi-Automatic Gun

What Are The Parts Of a Gun?

Part of gun ownership is understanding your new partner in your self-protection! It is important to know the different parts of your semi-automatic handgun, what they each do and how they are working together.

  • Muzzle: The Front of the gun where the bullet is expelled
  • Front Sight: The front portion of the pair of sights that is located on the top of the muzzle. It is used in partnership with the rear sight to line up on your target
  • Barrel: The barrel is the “tube” that guides the bullet to the front of the muzzle when the pistol is fired.
  • Ejection Port: The port where the spent casing is ejected after the gun is fired
  • Slide: The shield covering the barrel that is pulled back to manually cycle a round.
  • Rear Sight: The second part of the sights that is mounted on the top rear of the handgun. For an accurate shot, the front sight must be centered in the rear sight.
  • Slide lock: This lever is used to lock the slide open. This can vary in shape, size, and mechanism depending on the gun make/model.
  • Grip: Where you hold the gun in your hand
  • Magazine Release: Used to release the magazine in order to reload or unload your handgun. It is usually a button but can vary in shape, size, and mechanism depending on the gun make/model
  • Backstrap: the back side of the grip. Some guns have a safety built in this area- it must be depressed in order to fire.
  • Magazine: The removable “container” that is used to hold the rounds of ammunition that is inserted into the base of the grip.
  • Front Strap: The front side of the grip
  • Trigger: The trigger is what activates the firing of a gun when pressed.
  • Trigger Guard: The guard around the trigger to help avoid an accidental trigger press.

To effectively learn how to properly handle and shoot your gun, it is important to know these parts of your pistol. A few of our articles are linked to the different areas so you can begin learning the technique on each part.

Learning proper gun handling takes time. Don’t rush, you want to make sure you fully understand each topic before moving on. Starting with the proper technique is critical when learning how to use a gun and will insure you are a safe and effective shooter.

You got this!


Do you want to learn about the parts of a revolver? Click here

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2 thoughts on “Parts Of A Semi-Automatic Gun

  1. Carole Wyatt says:

    Well done. Do you have training in southern Oklahoma? I feel strongly that women should be capable and knowledgeable to protect themselves. I would appreciate any advice you might offer.
    Thank you,

    1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

      Hi Carole, you can do a search here to help find an instructor https://thewellarmedwoman.com/instructors/ You can also look here to see if there is a women’s shooting chapter near you https://armedwomen.org/find-a-local-chapter/#!directory/map

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