A firefight is functionally identical to a gunfight, in that it is two or more individuals, carrying firearms, engaging each other in ranged combat.

The term is very versatile, and can be used to refer to battles both small, as in two men duelling each other, to large, as in a full company of infantrymen engaging another full company.

It is important to note, however, that a firefight is a discreet event: a firefight has a start point and an end point. Many firefights can be contained within a full military engagement as individual units move in and out of contact with one another. A firefight also has duration: at least two participants must fire at each other over an extended period. A single shot does not count as a firefight: two shots is pushing it, but anything more can count.

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