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Muzzle velocity of the projectile (bullet) is determined by the quality (burn speed, expansion) and quantity of the propellant, ranging from 330 m/sec for some pistols to 1800 m/sec for anti-tank guns
Calibre Range from 0.22 to 7.62x51mm
Statistics Deaths—US, 2006: 30,900; 55% were suicides, 43% homicides; 2% accidents
firearmPublic health A weapon–eg, pistol, rifle, shotgun, that uses an explosive charge to propel a projectile–eg bullet or shot Statistics 330,000 deaths 1980-1989–US; of 35,000 gun-related deaths–US, 1989, 52% were suicides, 42% homicides; from 1960 to 1980, there was a 100% ↑ in homicide rate, and 150% ↑ in homicide by firearm; from 1933 to 1982, rate of suicides by firearms ↑ 139%. See Ballistics, Black Talon bullet, Drive-by shooting, Shotgun.
A small, portable gun (e.g., a pistol or a rifle) or handheld weapon that uses explosive materials to propel an object toward a person, place, or target at high speed. More firearm-related injuries and deaths occur in the U.S. than in any other industrialized nation. Most of these are among young males, esp. those between 15 and 24 years old.