Guide to the MIG Gun

Table of Contents


The MIG welding gun is one of the specialized pieces of equipment needed for this type of welding. The gun is one of the reasons that MIG is so popular. It brings together the consumable electrode wire, electrical current and the shielding gas.

In this prototypical MIG welding gun the current flows from the power source through the gun cable, gun, contact tip to the wire and across the arc.  On the other side of the arc, current flows through the base metal to the work cable and back to the power source.  The shielding gas flows through the gun and out the nozzle.

The MIG gun has a trigger that enables the welder to easily stop and start. Once the trigger is pressed, the shielding gas starts to flow, an arc is created and the electrode wire starts to move from the gun.

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The Basics

Hobart 250 Welder and Gun

This highly rated welder from Hobart Ironman 250 delivers 30-250 amps of power. It has excellent arc quality, voltage control, duty cycle and value. Shown: Hobart 500536 Ironman 230 250 Amp MIG Welder With Wheel Kit & Cylinder Rack

The MIG welding gun includes the connection to machine, a protective sheath and a gun.

The liner is a hollow steel or plastic tube which protects the wire (electrode) from kinking. This metal to metal contact can cause flaking. The liner should be blown out with DRY compressed air each time a wire roll is changed.

Contact tips are sized for the wire diameter used. NEVER use a wrong sized electrode tip or arcing will occur in the tip.

The end of the contact tip is where electricity is delivered to the wire. It is essential that these fittings be clean and snug.

Spatter can build up here and cause arcing and weld the tip to the wire.

Many wire feed problems are caused at the contact tip.

Keep the tip clean by wire brushing.

You can use nozzle dip but only after the tip is hot.

Special Mig pliers are designed to clean spatter from gas nozzle and remove contact tip

Spatter can build up on the gas Nozzle and cause poor gas flow and arcing.

You can purchase different length guns however longer guns do cause more wire feed issues.

GMAW Welding Guns

These semiautomatic guns includes the Contact Tip, Gas Diffuser, Gas Nozzle, Insulator, Cable Liner and Gun Tube (60°) in one package. The gun connector kit is extra.

MIG Gun Parts

Like everything else, we have found that one of the most convenient and lowest cost sources for MIG gun parts is Amazon . Other online sources include and Tractor Supply.

As an alternative you can also often buy direct from the manufacturer such as or . We also like the online tool offered by Bernard Welds.

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