Minnesota Hunter Safety Course


Chapter 2: Know Your Firearms

A firearm is defined as any tool that shoots a projectile, with the use of burning gunpowder. In firearms hunting, a hunter can use a rifle, shotgun or a handgun to harvest game. Ultimately, the firearm used will depend on the game being hunted, personal preference, and of course hunting laws. In this chapter we will explore the evolution of firearms from early muzzleloaders all the way to modern-day rifles and shotguns.

One of the most important points of this firearms safety course is to learn and follow the basic rules of firearms safety. Keep these rules in mind as you learn about the inner workings of all firearms. We will go into more detail on these rules in Chapter 4.

  1. Treat every firearm as if it were loaded
  2. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction
  3. Be sure of your target, in front and beyond

Goals for This Chapter

You will be required to show the following skills and/or knowledge at your Field Day:

NOTE - the numbers listed below correspond the the program objectives listed on the "Firearms Safety Education Program" print-out, available in your exam center.

  • [2.1.1] Identify the five action types on rifles and shotguns, and name the parts on each firearm.
  • [2.1.2] Demonstrate how to operate the firearm's action safely.
  • [2.1.3] Show the correct steps in loading and unloading the firearm.