2 Questions about animating a gun

I have two questions about animating a gun:

  1. Does everything need a bone, which is animated, or do i need just one bone and keyframe the object itself?

  2. What/how do i export the animation(s)? In a Character you have the mesh with the rig and the animations are only the bones (what leads me back to Question 1). I can use Blender and every Autodesk Software.

I wasn´t able to find anything in the Internet as it seems self-explaining for everybody…

Im not sure UE4 supports animations on gemoetries themselves… Tho it wouldnt surprise me if it actually does. What would work tho are morph targets, but it seems like an overkill for stuff that doesnt actuall deform softly.

However the classic way would be to rig your gun in your 3d software with bones for all moving parts… Then import that as a skeletal mesh via .fbx into ue4.

Then make all the animations on the skeleton (for whatever you have, shoot, reload, repair, etc. etc.) and just add them as skeletal animations for your gun skeletal asset.

Then just have them activate the animations in sync by casting those variables from your player blueprint to the gun blueprint whenever they change. (Here im not quite sure about the exact workflow options, anyone with more insight pls?)