Official Montana Hunting Safety Course Link to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Hello, hunter! Montana's online hunting course has moved. Click here to go to the latest version of the Today's Hunter in Montana course—the official hunting safety course of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The following course material is for reference only. Please go to the new course to complete your Montana certification.

Choosing the Right Ammunition for Your Firearm

Only one size of ammunition properly fits any firearm. Putting any other size cartridge into a firearm is extremely dangerous. The best way to make sure you are putting the correct ammunition into your firearm is to match the data stamp on the barrel of your firearm to the similar data stamp on the case of the rifle cartridge or shotshell. Be particularly careful with hand-loaded ammunition as it could be mis-marked.

Caliber and Gauge

Ammunition comes in different lengths, shapes, and diameters depending on the type of bullet or case used. You must choose a caliber or gauge that is suited to your firearm as well as the game you wish to hunt.Data stamps on gun barrels showing gauge and caliber designations

The Data Stamp

First, you must know the caliber or gauge of the firearm for which you are buying ammunition. To find that out, locate the data stamp on the barrel of your firearm. Does the data stamp on the ammunition match the data stamp on the barrel? If you are not sure always get help from a knowledgeable person. It is easy to be confused by all the different ammunition. Ask someone who is experienced and is familiar with your firearm to help you select the correct ammunition.



If you do not match the ammunition to the firearm, the cartridge could become lodged, explode, and cause serious injury to the user or a bystander. If the data stamp on the firearm does not match the data stamp on the ammunition, do not use the ammunition.

Montana Fish, Wildlife,
& Parks
White-tailed deer tracks
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Official hunting safety course for Montana hunters last modified: November 16, 2011
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