About the Study Guide

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Although firearms have changed a great deal since they were first invented, the terms used for their parts have changed very little. Rifles, shotguns, and handguns have many similar parts. All modern firearms have three basic groups of parts—action, stock and barrel.

Gun parts: Action
The action is the moving parts of a firearm that load, fire, and eject the cartridge or shotshell.
Gun parts: Stock
The stock is the handle of the firearm.
Gun parts: Barrel
The barrel is the metal tube that the projectile travels through.