shotgun


shotgun

Smoothbore shoulder firearm designed to fire a number of pellets, or shot, that cover a large target area after they leave the muzzle. It is used mainly against small game such as birds. The earliest examples were the fowling pieces that appeared in 16th-century Europe. Repeating shotguns, in which several cartridges could be loaded at once, became available in the 1880s. The range of a modern shotgun is about 50 yards (45 m).

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on shotgun, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up shotgun? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More