Firearm Flowchart – What Is It?

Every wonder what ‘kind’ or ‘type’ of firearm/weapon something is? You would be surprised to know that certain items are special considerations and other things aren’t even firearms at all! The ATF formally identifies these ‘types’ of firearms:

Title I
  • Rifle
  • Shotgun
  • Revolver
  • Pistol
  • Receiver
Title II / NFA / ‘Class 3’
  • Machine Gun
  • Silencer
  • Short Barreled Rifle
  • Short Barreled Shotgun
  • Any Other Weapon

99% of all firearms can be placed into those categories. The ATF does have very specific legal definitions of those types, however that is beyond the scope of this article as well as being quite dry and boring.

Two main examples of special types of firearms are shotguns with only a pistol grip such as a Mossberg Cruiser or a rifle with a pistol grip only (and no stock) like a 1919a4 belt fed. These firearms are both logged as ‘Pistol Grip Firearm’ since they don’t meet the legal definition of a ‘Shotgun’ or a ‘Rifle’.

What’s the ‘easiest’ way to figure out what something is? Try this handy firearm flowchart!