New York Hunter Safety Course


Always Match the Data Stamp First

Like rifles, shotguns have a data stampStamp on the firearm's barrel, and on the base of the ammunition indicating caliber or gauge. usually located on the right or left side of the barrel. It indicates the gaugeThe number of lead balls of diameter equal to the size of the firearm's bore, required to weigh one pound. and maximum length of the shotshell that can be fired safely. Gauge and shell length are also shown on the shell base and box.

Magazine Plug

A magazine 'plug'Inserted into a tubular magazine, used to limit the amount of shells a magazine can hold. is usually made of wood or plastic and is inserted in the tubular magazine to limit the number of shells a shotgun may hold. Federal law requires that the shotgun be limited to a capacity of three (3) shells (one in the chamberPart of a firearm where ammunition is loaded and ready to be fired. and two in the magazine) while hunting any type of migratory birdsBirds that migrate southward for the winter. Includes ducks, geese, doves, etc. including doves and waterfowlBird that lives on and near the water. (example - ducks and geese).


Understanding a Smoothbore Barrel

A shotgun used for shot features a smoothbore barrelBarrel that does not have any lands and grooves (rifling), meaning that there is no riflingSpiraled lands and grooves inside a firearm's bore (usually rifles and handguns). Give the bullet a spin as it moves down the barrel and out toward the target, increasing accuracy.. Rifles can be used for short and long distances. Shotguns are highly accurate for shorter distances.