Saskatchewan Hunter Safety Course


Chapter Summary

Now that we've gone through the different rifle and shotgun actions available to hunters, you should be able to identify, load and unload these firearms safely. Let's take a moment to review the important points you learned in this chapter.

  • The first four commandments are known as “The Vital Four ACTS” of firearm handling.
    • Assume every firearm is loaded.
    • Control the muzzle direction at all times.
    • Trigger finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard.
    • See that the firearm is unloaded - PROVE it safe.

  • The three main parts found on any firearm are the barrel, stock and action. Other important parts include the sight(s), trigger, trigger guard, muzzle, and magazine.


  • There are two types of magazines found on rifles and shotguns - tubular and box-type. Box-type magazines are removed from the firearm to load cartridges. Tubular magazines are usually a fixed part of the firearm.

  • There are different types of actions found on rifles and shotguns. Be sure you are able to identify a bolt action, lever action, pump action, semi-automatic action, and break (or hinge) action.

 Lever Action 

  • Bolt and lever action firearms are found mainly in rifles. To load a lever-action, swing the lever down and away from your body.

 Break Action 

  • Break action rifles and shotguns are recommended for beginning hunters since they have limited shots per use


  • Chokes help control the spread of the shot from a shotgun. The further the target, the tighter the choke you need to use. Be sure to know the types of chokes available, as well as the target distances they are used for.