What Does the Term "Long Gun" Mean?

Left side of Winchester Model 62A pump slide action 22 rimfire rifle.
This is a fine old long gun - a Winchester Model 62A pump slide action 22 rimfire rifle. Photo © Russ Chastain

In shooting, as with other subjects, sometimes the terminology is so straightforward that no definitions are really necessary.

Such is the case with the term "long gun."  A long gun is. . . a gun that is long. 

Most rifles and shotguns--and pretty much any firearm that is designed to be used by one individual and fired from the shoulder, using a stock held against the shoulder, can be accurately called a long gun.

This is one of the two broad categories of firearms intended to be used by one person,  generally known as "small arms. " Along with long guns, the other category is handguns.