Saskatchewan Hunter Safety Course


Chapter 1: Know Your Firearms

Rifle and Shotgun Parts


The three main parts of any rifle or shotgun are: the barrel, stock and action. Both rifles and shotguns feature a long barrel, and each is usually braced against the hunter's shoulder when fired. Each of these types of firearms consists of most or all of the following parts.

1. Stock


Supports the action and the barrel of a firearm and is made out of either wood or synthetic material. The stock may be a single piece or two pieces, depending on the manufacturer.


2. Action


Consists of a series of parts that load, fire and eject a cartridge or shot shell from a firearm. There are many different types of firearm actions which we will explore later in the chapter.


3. Barrel

Barrel & Muzzle

The barrel is the tube-shaped part of a firearm through which ammunition is fired. The inside of the barrel is called the bore.


4. Sights


An alignment device to help aim a firearm. In the image above, the rifle uses an open sight. Other types of sights include shotgun bead, peep or aperture, and telescopic.


5. Muzzle


The muzzle is the opening at the end of the barrel. This is where the projectile exits after it has been fired down the barrel.


6. Forestock


The forestock is the part of the stock in front of the trigger, that supports the barrel.