Rifle

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A rifle is a gun typically with a grooved or "rifled" barrel. Rifled barrels are the norm, with the exception of shotguns and historical weapons and their reproductions, like muskets, muzzleloaders/blackpowder, blunderbusses, etc which are considered smoothbore. Most shotguns also do not have a rifled barrels, though shotguns that are specialized for firing slugs (which are just giant self-stabilizing bullets) do. The riflings, a series of cuts and lands strategely placed to cause an existing bullet to spin, resulting in a more stable flight and hence more accuracy. A rifle typically has a longer barrel than a handgun (see single-shot pistol). Legally there are rules (usually local laws) for how short a barrel can be before a rifle turns into a handgun. There are exceptions such as firearms made by Thompson Contender that can be easily converted from pistol to rifle and back with a simple barrel change. There are a variety of receiver actions used for rifles. These include bolt actions (e.g. Sako, Remmington, Mauser, Winchester, etc.) low wall and high wall single action (Browning No.1) and various semi-auto. The most common civilian use (not military or criminal) is hunting, followed by police work, and various kinds of competition (e.g. benchrest, bullseye, etc). Rifles can be used routinely to a range of 500 yards, and up to 1500 yrds with specialized equipment (e.g. scope, or a specific caliber)

see also assault rifle, sniper