Shotguns are a versatile type of firearm that can be used for many purposes including self-defense, hunting, and target shooting.  The shotgun’s claim to fame is its ability to shoot multiple projectiles, rather than a single bullet, increasing the probability of a hit.  Also, unlike rifles and handguns, shotguns generally do not have a rifled barrel (meaning that the projectiles fired by shotguns are not spun as they leave the barrel).

The cartridge that a shotgun fires is called a shell.  The shell contains the projectile(s), a wad, and a shot cup that helps cushion and hold the projectile(s) as they travel down the barrel, gunpowder, and primer (which ignites the gunpowder).

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