Breaking Down the Differences Between Guns

Lynchburg, VA - With all this talk about revisiting gun control, and things like the assault weapons ban, we wanted to take a closer look at just what we're talking about.

Guns come in all shapes, sizes, makes, and models. We set out to clarify all those terms being thrown around lately.

Automatic, and semi-automatic, assault weapons, what is legal and what may not be for long if stricter gun control measures get through.

Ryan Thomas, a self-proclaimed gun expert, has been shooting since he was a little boy.

"Now, I brought this to demonstrate" he said as he held up a gun.

Thomas walked us through a variety of guns; the first, a semi-automatic, A-R 15. In its current state, it would not have been legal under the former assault weapons ban.

It weighs eight pounds, costs more than $1,000, and its 10 or 30 bullet magazines reload effortlessly.

Inside the firing range, gun differences continue. By definition a semi-automatic weapon, can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. A Kahr C-M 9 pistol is also semi-automatic.

Civilian use of fully-automatic weapons, like a machine gun, is extremely rare. They cost thousands and are almost exclusively manufactured now, for use by the military.

Thomas showed us the differences between his semi-automatic assault weapon and his hand gun.

"A rifle basically fires a small size bullet, but much faster than a handgun does" he said.

Also, it can shoot more rounds, far faster.

Assault weapons like the A-R 15 and large capacity clips like a 30-bullet magazine, are getting a lot of attention now among those who say our country needs stricter gun laws.

We are not advocating either side in this debate, but wanted to give you, as clear an understanding as possible of these weapons.