A shotgun is one of the most common types of long rifles, and generally has two different styles to it. The double barrel style allows you to place in two different cartridges that enable you to fire either one cartridge at a time or both if you so choose. The two barrels to the shotgun are located next to each other, and firing both shots at the same time allows you to have maximum bang for your buck.
The pump action is the other common style of shotgun. In this particular style, shells are loaded into chamber, and new rounds are loaded through a pump action. This form of shotgun can hold anywhere from two to six cartridges depending upon the make and model.
Why is it Called Shotgun?
This is one of those kinds of questions it seems obvious. The problem is that most of us have become so accustomed to referring to it as a shotgun that we have never really thought about why it is named so.
How it got its name is that the small projectiles that are fired from the rifle are referred to as shot. It is the projectiles being fired from this gun that are just combined to create the term – shotgun.
As an interesting note, we often refer to someone sitting in the passenger seat in the front of the car as “riding shotgun.” This term dates back to the stagecoach days when the person writing next to the driver carried a shotgun to protect against thieves or robbers.