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11/2/2022 4:30:06 PM
Posted: 1/27/2010 10:15:59 AM EST
I've posted parts of this before (notably the assault rifle vs. assault weapon) but I thought you might be interested in the entire section. This is taken exactly from the AP Stylebook 2009.

Weapons Gun is an acceptable term for any firearm. Note the following definitions and forms in dealings with weapons and ammunition:

anti-aircraft A cannon or other weapon designed for defense against air attack. The form: a 105 mm anti-aircraft gun.

artillery A carriage-mounted cannon.

assault rifle A rifle that is capable of being fire in fully automatic and semi-automatic modes, at the user’s option. Designed for, and used by, military forces. Also used by some law enforcement agencies. The form: an M16 assault rifle.

assault weapon A semi-automatic firearm similar in appearance to a fully automatic firearm or military weapon. Not synonymous with assault rifle, which can be used in fully automatic mode. Wherever possible, be specific about the type of weapon: semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic shotgun or semi-automatic pistol.

automatic A firearm that reloads automatically after each shot. Note there are differences between fully automatic and semi-automatic firearms. Be specific in usage. The form: a .22-caliber automatic.

buckshot See shot.

bullet The projectile fired by a rifle, pistol or machine gun. Together with metal casing, primer and propellant, it forms a cartridge.

caliber A measurement of the diameter of the inside of a gun barrel except for most shotguns. Measurement is in either millimeters or decimal fractions of an inch. The word caliberis not used when giving the metric measurement. The forms: a 9 mm pistol, a .22-caliber rifle.

cannon A weapon, usually supported on some type of carriage, that fires explosive projectiles. The form: a 105 mm cannon.

carbine A short, lightweight rifle, usually having a barrel length of less than 20 inches. The form: an M3 carbine.

cartridge See bullet.

clip A device used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine of a repeating firearm.

Colt Named for Samuel Colt, it designates a make of weapon or ammunition developed for Colt handguns. The forms: a Colt .45-caliber revolver, .45 Colt ammunition.

fully automatic A firearm that fires continuously as long as the trigger is depressed. Examples include machine guns and submachine guns.

gauge The measure of the size of a shotgun. Gauge is expressed in terms of the number per pound of round lead balls with a diameter equal to the size of the barrel. The bigger the number, the smaller the shotgun.
The forms: a 12-gauge shotgun, a .410-gauge shotgun. The .410 actually is a caliber, but commonly is called a gauge.


howitzer A cannon shorter than a gun of the same caliber employed to fire projectiles at relatively high angles at a target such as opposing forces behind a ridge. The form: a 105 mm howitzer.

M1, M16 These and similar combinations of a letter and figure(s) designate rifles used by the military. The forms: an M1 rifles, an M16 rifle.

machine gun A fully automatic gun that fires as long as the trigger is depressed. The form: a .50-caliber Browning machine gun.

magazine The ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a firearm. It may be fixed to the firearm or detachable.

Magnum A trademark for a type of high-powered cartridge with a larger case and a larger powder charge than other cartridges of approximately the same caliber. The form: a .357 Magnum, a .44 Magnum.

mortar Device used to launch a mortar shell; it is the shell, not the mortar, that is fired.

musket A heavy, large-caliber shoulder firearm fired by means of a matchlock, a wheel lock, a flintlock or a percussion lock. Its ammunition is a musket ball.

pistol A handgun that can be a single shot or a semi-automatic. Its size is measured in calibers. The form: a .45-caliber pistol.

revolver A handgun. Its cartridges are held in chambers in a cylinder that revolves. The form: a .45-caliber revolver.

rifle A firearm designed or made to be fired from the shoulder and having a rifled bore. It uses bullets or cartridges for ammunition. Its size is a measured in calibers. The form: a .22-caliber rifle.

Saturday night special A compact, relatively inexpensive handgun.

semi-automatic A firearm that fires only once for each pull of the trigger. It reloads after each shot. The form: a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic weapon, a semi-automatic pistol.

shell The word applies to military or naval ammunition and to shotgun ammunition.

shot Small lead or steel pellets fired by shotguns. A shotgun shell usually contains 1 to 2 ounces of shot. Do not use shot interchangeably with buckshot, which refers only to the largest shot sizes.

shotgun A firearm typically used to fire small spherical pellets called shot. Shotguns usually have a smooth bore barrel, but some contain a rifled barrel, which is used to fire a single projectile. Size is measured according to gauge, except for the .410, which is measured according to caliber. The form: a 12-gauge shotgun.

submachine gun A lightweight fully automatic gun firing handgun ammunition.

The true problem is that a lot of media members apparently just ignore the accepted AP standards.
Link Posted: 1/27/2010 10:18:17 AM EST

Link Posted: 1/27/2010 10:21:41 AM EST
It appears that the AP has weighed in on the 9mm vs. .45 debate.
Link Posted: 1/27/2010 10:45:46 AM EST
can i point this out next time the local paper mis publishes an even?
Link Posted: 1/27/2010 10:47:37 AM EST
can i point this out next time the local paper mis publishes an even?

Yes, but please check your spelling and grammar before you send the e-mail.
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