North Carolina Hunter Safety Course


Break Action or Hinge Action

Break Action

This firearm is available in single-barrel or double-barrel styles and is ideal for novice hunters due to the limit it places on shots per use. Most firearms with this type of action feature two barrels placed either side-by-side or in an over-and-under configuration. For loading, push on the action release lever and pivot the barrels down. The chamber will then be separated from the stock and firing mechanism so ammunition can be inserted. Once you close the action and release the safety, the firearm is ready for firing. After firing, press the release lever to open the action and eject the spent cartridge or shotshell. Some break-actions have automatic ejectors, others require that you manually remove the spent cartridge or shotshell. Break actions for rifles and shotguns may be designed to accommodate a wide variety of interchangeable barrels for rimfire and centerfire ammunition.

Important! Some break-action firearms have an exposed hammer. Be extremely careful when lowering the hammer to a half-cocked position.