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Common actions on shotguns

Shotguns use many of the same actions as rifles—the pump-action, semi-automatic, and bolt-action. They also use a break-action as either a single barrel or double barrels. The double barrels can be arranged horizontally (side-by-side) or vertically (over-under).

There are four common types of shotgun actions:

  • Bolt-action
  • Pump-action
  • Semi-automatic action
  • Break-action
When handling any firearm, keep the gun pointed in a safe direction at all times! Keep your fingers away from the trigger unless you are ready to shoot! When you unload bolt-action shotguns, always look and feel into the open action. Double check to make sure that there are no shotshells in the chamber or magazine.