Inhabitants of Europe including countries out of the European Union (EU) owned about 93.2 million firearms in 2017 with most of the firearm concentrated in Russia (17.6m), Germany (15.8m), and France (12.7m), while the rate of firearms owned per 100 people was highest in Montenegro (39.1), Serbia (39.1) and Cyprus (34). That is according to statistics from euronews.
But why are the numbers this high? That’s simple, with the surge in crime rate in most parts of the world and Europe in particular, protection is now a major priority for most people. And if you ask most people who own guns and ammunition why guns are important to them, they will tell you it gives them a sense of safety. In addition, different people own firearms for sporting, hunting and other recreational artivity.
What is an ammunition?
If you are not so clear about what ammunition is, here is a definition for you:
Ammunition refers to the complete round/cartridge or its components, including bullets or projectiles, cartridge cases, primers/caps and propellants that are to be fired from a gun. In other words, the assembled set of components that makes up whatever is to be fired from a gun.
Types of Guns in Europe
A revolver is a short or hand-held firearm with a revolving cylinder typically of five to nine chambers, has at least one barrel, and containing multiple chambers (each holding a single cartridge) for firing. As the cylinder rotates into position, the trigger can be pulled, thus releasing the hammer firing the cartridge. Expended cartridge cases remain in the cylinder until manually unloaded.
A revolver works by having several firing chambers arranged in a circle in a cylindrical block that are brought into position with the firing mechanism and barrel one at a time. A single-action revolver requires the hammer to be pulled back by hand before each shot, thus, revolving the cylinder.
A Double-Action Revolver on the other hand requires a good grip. To correctly pull a double-action trigger, you must first hold the gun as steady as possible.
A pistol is a short or hand-held firearm made for semi-automatic operation. The chamber is connected to the barrel and cartridges are generally loaded into a magazine, which is placed into the grip.
Action for this gun type is single shot, repeating, semi-automatic and automatic.
A shotgun is smoothbore shoulder firearm with one or two unrifled barrels (side-by-side or over configuration), capable of firing shot at short ranges. The calibre of a shotgun is known as the gauge and is usually larger in diameter than other small arms.
The action is usually a single-shot and may also be repeating, or semi-automatic
A rifle is a shoulder-fired long-barreled firearm designed for accurate shooting, with a barrel that has a helical pattern of grooves (rifling) cut into the bore wall.
While some rifles have a detachable magazine others simply have integral magazines. A sub category of a rifle is an assault rifle like the AK-47 or M16 that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire
For rifles, action is a Single-shot, repeating, semi-automatic or fully automatic.
A machine gun is an auto-firing, rifled long-barrel auto loading firearm made for sustained direct fire with fully powered cartridges.
Action is automatic.
Types of ammunition
9mm (9×19 Parabellum)
The 9mm is one of the most common type of ammunition used in most European countries. It’s used as the primary pistol ammunition for most militaries.
The most common variety will be the standard Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) and with the 9mm bullet, recoil is very manageable and magazine capacity is generally increased from similarly sized larger caliber pistols.
The 40 S&W is a rimless pistol cartridge designed jointly by major American firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Winchester. The .40 S&W was developed from the ground up as a law enforcement cartridge created to duplicate performance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) reduced-velocity 10mm Auto cartridge which could be retrofitted into medium-frame (9mm size) semi-automatic handguns.
In Europe, 40SW is used practically solely by IPSC competitor shooting Standard Major and Modified Major. It is not used in the military.
10 mm Auto ammo
10mm Auto Ammo is super versatile and one of the few handgun rounds that can be used for hunting small or medium-sized game. A perfect example of a modern firearm that uses the 10mm Auto round is the clock 20.
The .357 Magnum, is a revolver cartridge with a .357-inch (9.07 mm) bullet diameter, designed by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. It’s slightly more expensive than .38 spc and certainly more manageable than .44 S&W and has built a reputation of being a strong, dependable round capable of doing lethal damage to its targets.
The .38 Special was the standard service cartridge used in countries especially Germany from the 1920s and particularly during WW1, all the way until the present.
The ammunition may not have too much recoil but the amazing thing about it is it still keeps all the best parts of using a revolver: especially accuracy.
Other ammunition modifiers are Full Metal Jacket – FMJ, Soft Point – SP, Hollow Point – HP, Center Pin – CP, Jacketed Hollow Point – JHP, and Semi-Wadcutter – SWC.
How to buy guns and ammunitions in Europe
The European Union (EU) has not been exempted from massacres similar to those that have affected the United States in recent years. EU Member States, like France, Germany, Norway, Belgium and Finland, have also experienced gun violence and mass shootings. That is why the acquisition and possession of firearms is subject to a license and other qualifications that must be met by individuals, such as:
- Having a “good cause,”
- Being eighteen years of age older except in relation to the acquisition, other than through purchase, and possession of firearms for hunting and target shooting, provided that in that case persons of less than 18 years of age have parental permission, or are under parental guidance or the guidance of an adult with a valid firearms or hunting license, or are within a licensed or otherwise approved training center;
- Not being a danger to themselves or to the general society.
Even with the above mentioned conditions fulfilled, you will need to apply for a gun license before purchasing a firearm. Applicants for a gun license must pass an examination or have undergone some training to acquire a gun.
In addition to a firearm permit, you will also need a European Firearm Pass (EFP) to carry firearms from one part of the EU to another. It allows citizens of the European Union (EU) to travel with one or more firearm(s) mentioned on the license from one member state to another.
Annex I of Directive 91/477/EEC classifies and defines firearms into four categories depending on the level of dangerousness. Different EU Members may opt for stricter division to suit their countries. The categories are as follows:
Category A –Prohibited
Explosive military missiles and launchers
Firearms disguised as other objects
Ammunition with penetrating, explosive, or incendiary projectiles
Pistol and revolver ammunition with expanding projectiles and the projectiles for such ammunition
Category B – Firearms Subject to Authorization
Semiautomatic or repeating short firearms
Single-shot short firearms with center-fire percussion
Single-shot firearms with center-fire percussion that are less than 28 cm in length
Semiautomatic long firearms whose magazines and chambers can together hold more than three rounds
Repeating and semiautomatic long firearms not longer than 60 cm in length
Semiautomatic firearms for civilian use that resemble weapons with automatic mechanisms
Category C – Firearms Subject to Declaration
Repeating long firearms other than those listed in category B, final item
Long firearms with single-shot rifled barrels
Semiautomatic long firearms other than those in Category B whose magazine and chamber can hold more than three rounds
Single-shot short firearms with rim fire percussion and with an overall length of not less than 28 cm.
Category D – Other Firearms
Single-shot long firearms with smooth-bore barrels.
In order to purchase ammunition, the buyer must fulfill the same legal rules that apply when buying guns.
However, the possession of some ammunition is generally prohibited in some countries. In Switzerland for example, it is generally prohibited to purchase the following types of ammunition:
- Armor-piercing bullets.
- Ammunition with projectile containing an explosive or incendiary device.
- Ammunition with one or more projectiles releasing substances which damage the health of people in the long run, particularly those mentioned in annex 2 of the WV/OArm.
- Ammunition, missiles and missile launchers for military explosive.
- Ammunition with projectiles for transmitting electric shocks.
- Ammunition for handguns which may cause deformations.
Once you have obtained your firearm and ammunition permit, you will be eligible to obtain, own and use firearms and ammunitions. However, note that you can only purchase and use the firearms and ammunitions mentioned in your permit or EFP.
Where to buy guns and ammunitions in Europe
If you want to purchase an ammunition or firearm, then, you can trust us for that as we will provide you with a total set of firearm and ammunition related services to help you successfully exercise your right to possess and use firearms and ammunitions.
If you need to get a firearm transfer service, wants to sell or buy a new or already used firearm, or perhaps just have recreational or sporting requirements, we are here to help you obtain you firearms as well as the required ammunitions. We strive to make the entire process less cumbersome and we do this in the most reliable, fast, friendly and well channeled manner.