About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Hunter Ed Washington Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Certification Card.

Learn More Register for the Course

The firing sequence for handguns and shotguns is very similar to this sequence shown for a bolt-action rifle.

Continue to see a more detailed cross-section diagram as well as step-by-step explanation of the firing sequence.

Cutaway: Bolt closing with parts labeled

The bolt moves forward, compressing the firing pin spring and inserting a cartridge into the chamber.

Cutaway: Cartridge chambered

The firing pin is held back under spring tension.

Cutaway: Firing pin strikes primer

When the trigger is pulled, the firing pin moves forward, crushing and igniting the primer in the cartridge base.

Cutaway: Cartridge is fired

The primer ignites the gunpowder, generating gas pressure, which forces the bullet forward and out of the barrel.