Basic Firearms Features: What You MUST Know

Carly Brasseux // August 23

What do you have to know about firearms before buying and shooting one? This article will cover basic firearm features. I recently headed out to Lazy CK Ranch in the Texas Hill County for their Future Hunters Camp. I took my hunter’s education class (for the second time!) and want to share a few of those basic and fundamental topics we touched on.

You can never learn too much and it’s always great to have a refresher if needed. If you are new to hunting, have minimal exposure, or have been hunting for decades, but want a different way to learn more, the Lazy CK Ranch offers a Future Hunters camp where you not only have classroom instruction but in-the-field and hands-on learning, as well as the opportunity to harvest a doe. Interested? Email Carly Brasseux at carly {at} misspursuit {dot} com.

Basic Firearms Features

The basic features of most firearms include the stock, barrel, muzzle, action, safety, sight, trigger and trigger guard, and magazine.

Actions: What the heck is an action when referring to firearms?

The term refers to the type of trigger function it has (i.e., single-action, double-action, double-action-only, etc.), or it may refer to how a firearm is manipulated in order to insert ammunition into the firing chamber (break-action, bolt-action, lever-action, etc.)

Miss Pursuit Basic Firearms features

Common Actions on Rifles

  • Bolt Action
  • Lever Action
  • Pump Action
  • Semi-Automatic Action
  • Break (or Hinge) Action
Miss Pursuit Basic Firearms Features

Common Actions on Shotguns

  • Pump Action
  • Semi-Automatic Action
  • Bolt Action Repeater
  • Break Action with Single Barrell
  • Break Action Side-by-Side with Double Barrell
  • Break Action with Over-Under with Double Barrel

Safeties: What is a safety when referring to firearms?

The term refers to the mechanism used to help prevent the accidental discharge of a firearm, helping to ensure safer handling.

Common Safeties

  • Hammer Safety
  • Pivot Safety
  • Slide Safety
  • Cross-Bolt Safety

This is our list of what you have to know about firearms before buying and shooting one. For more resources, check out these articles:

Firearms for Beginners: Guns, Scopes, Ammo, and Ranges

Types of Guns: Rifles, Shotguns, and Handguns

About the Author

Carly Brasseux

Carly Brasseux is a determined and passionate freelance outdoor writer, published author, business owner and social media/marketing consultant based in Texas. In a world where women are the fastest growing segment of the hunting population, she is a major proponent of those women wanting to learn more about the outdoors and hunting. Her handle, Miss Pursuit, is an expression of her enthusiasm for all things outdoors, from educating women through her experiences learning to hunt over the last decade, to getting out with her kids to explore the wild. Her expertise in social media and marketing, as well as her vast network of people in the outdoor industry, have given her the influence to make an impact for years to come. Member of the Mule Deer Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Stewards of the Wild and the Texas Wildlife Association.