Basic Firearms Features: What You MUST Know

Carly Brasseux // June 20

What do you have to know about firearms before buying and shooting one? This article will cover basic firearm features. You can never learn too much and it’s always great to have a refresher if needed.

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.)

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

Commonly Asked Questions About Firearm Features:

What are the basic features that all firearms have in common?

All firearms have key features such as a barrel, action, and firing mechanism. These components work together to discharge a projectile. They also have a grip or stock for holding and typically include sights for aiming.

What are the features of a gun?

A gun typically includes a barrel, trigger, firing mechanism, magazine or chamber, and sights. Modern guns might also feature safety mechanisms, ergonomic grips, and various accessories like scopes or laser sights for enhanced accuracy.

What are the 7 functions of a weapon?

The seven functions of a weapon generally include loading, feeding, chambering, locking, firing, unlocking, extracting, and ejecting. These functions ensure the weapon operates smoothly and effectively during use.

What are the elements of firearms?

The primary elements of firearms are the barrel, action (which includes the firing mechanism), and stock. Other important parts include the magazine, sights, safety mechanisms, and any additional accessories for improved performance.

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
Protecting Your Firearms from Theft:: Firearms Security Alliance

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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.