What You Learned
All modern firearms have three basic groups of parts—action, stock, and barrel.
Before using a firearm, you should become familiar with its parts. The bolt-action rifle and the pump-action shotgun are commonly used firearms.
Pulling the trigger to shoot a shotshell from a shotgun or a cartridge from a rifle or handgun causes the firing pin to strike and explode the primer in the base of the cartridge or shotshell. The fire from the primer ignites the gunpowder, which burns rapidly and converts to a gas. The gas rapidly expands and drives the projectile(s) through the barrel with great force.
Firearm actions are either single-shot or repeating styles. The types of actions are break (or hinge) action, bolt action, lever action, pump action, and semi-automatic action.
A safety mechanism is a device that blocks part of the action. It is intended to prevent the firearm from being fired accidentally. However, safeties are mechanical devices that can fail when least expected or can be bumped easily from the safe position.
A sight is a device used to line up the muzzle with the shooter’s eye so that he or she can hit the target. Common types of sights are bead, open, and telescopic.
Rifles have a long barrel with rifling and thick walls to withstand high pressures. Handguns have a short barrel with rifling and thick walls to withstand high pressures. Shotguns have a long barrel with thinner walls that are typically smooth.