Chapter 2 - Firearms and Ammunition
A firearm is a mechanical device that launches a projectile at high velocity through a tube as the result of expanding gases from a burning propellant. Firearms have changed over the years, but are still based on forcing a projectile such as a bullet or shot through a barrel.
How Firearms Work
Understanding how firearms work and the correct way to handle them is the first step in becoming a safe and responsible hunter. When learning to handle firearms always follow The Four Primary Rules of Safe Firearm Handling to prevent accidents:
- Always point your muzzle (or bow) in a safe direction.
- Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and what lies in front of and beyond it.
Generally, there are three types of firearms: rifles, shotguns and handguns.
The three basic parts of a modern firearm are:
- action, which loads, fires and ejects ammunition
- barrel, a metal tube that the projectile passes through
- stock, that supports the action and in many cases, the barrel
- the end of the stock that is held against the shoulder. Sometimes fitted with a recoil pad.
- the front end of the barrel where fired projectiles exit.
- the beginning of the barrel that holds a cartridge or shot shell for firing.
- the rear end of the barrel, beginning with the chamber.
- the interior channel of the barrel through which fired projectiles travel.
- a mechanical device designed to prevent accidental firing (never to be used as an alternative to safe firearm handing).
- a compartment that holds ammunition for the action to load into the chamber. This can be built into the stock or a detachable container.
- the part moved by the finger that fires the cartridge or shotshell.
- Trigger guard
- a protective ring that deters the trigger from being accidentally struck or touched.
Parts of a Rifle
Parts of a Shotgun
Parts of a Handgun