Education|Beginner’s Guide To Firearms

Welcome back to Beginner’s Guide To Firearms and Shotgun Basics: Part Two. In part one of Shotgun Basics we covered the 3 common types of shotguns, actions, and ammunition used in shotguns. In part two we will cover rare/obscure shotgun types, nomenclature, and firing cycle of a pump-action and semiautomatic shotgun.

As, always this guide is here to provide new shooters the core concepts of shotguns and their function. Let’s dive into Shotgun Basics: Part Two.

Obscure Shotgun Types

Last week we covered the 3 common shotgun types. For a refresher the 3 common shotgun types are break-action, pump-action, and semiautomatic. Today, we will be covering the other shotgun types.

The shotguns we will be focusing for part two are:

  1. Lever-Action
  2. Revolver-Action
  3. Fully Automatic

Lever-Action Shotguns

Black Aces Lever-Action Shotgun

First, on our list is lever action shotguns. Lever action is a type of firearm action which uses a lever located around the trigger guard area (often including the trigger guard itself) to load fresh cartridges into the chamber of the barrel when the lever is worked.

Revolver-Action Shotguns

Next, we have revolver-action shotguns. Revolver-action shotguns are just like their revolver counterparts. A revolver is a repeating shotgun that has a revolving cylinder containing multiple chambers (each holding a single cartridge) and at least one barrel for firing. Before firing a round, the hammer is cocked and the cylinder rotates partially, indexing one of the cylinder chambers into alignment with the barrel, which allows the shell to be fired through the barrel of the shotgun.

Fully Automatic Shotgun

Finally, we have fully automatic shotgun. An automatic shotgun is an automatic firearm that fires shotgun shells and uses some of the energy of each shot to automatically cycle the action and load a new round. It will fire repeatedly until the trigger is released or ammunition runs out. Automatic shotguns have a very limited range, but provide tremendous firepower at close range.

Shotgun Nomenclatures

In nomenclature we will cover the two most common types of shotgun nomenclatures—the pump-action and semiautomatic shotgun.

Pump-Action Nomenclature

Image from DNA Tactical

Receiver ‑ The receiver is responsible for holding all the mechanical parts together. These parts traditionally include the trigger housing, any mechanical safety(s) and the bolt or bolt carrier group. Unlike some rifles, shotguns tend to only have a single receiver.

Ejection Port ‑ An outlet in the receiver of a shotgun through which the spent shells are ejected from the chamber following a normal firing sequence.

Tubular Magazine ‑ A tubular magazine commonly found on pump-action shotguns, stores cartridges end-to-end inside of a spring-loaded tube running parallel to the barrel, or in the buttstock.

Barrel ‑ Simply, the discharging tube of a gun. The tubes are meticulously engineered and bored out to provide an exit path for the discharging shotshells. Once the projectile is fired, it’s guided through the barrel bursting out the muzzle by expanding gas forces.

Muzzle ‑ The discharging end of a shotgun (end-point of a barrel) where the shotshell exits the gauge.

Sliding Fore-end ‑ Frequently referred to as a “Forestock”, this is the forward grip of a shotgun. On pump-actionshotguns, the fore-end slides back and forth to load and unload (eject) shells to and from the shotguns chamber.

Loading Port ‑ A port to manually load shotshells into the tubular magazine.

Trigger ‑ A lever that is “pulled” or squeezed to initiate the firing sequence (discharge a cartridge).

Trigger Guard ‑ The portion of a firearms frame (receiver) that wraps around the trigger, providing for additional protection and safety.

Pistol Grip – A part of a pump action pistol grip shotgun connected to the rear of the receiver that is gripped by the hand, usually textured to provide additional traction for a firm hold of the shotgun.

Sight – a mounted sight on a shotgun nearest the muzzle; the sight is used in taking aim and target acquisition while sequencing the firing of a shotgun.

Safety – mechanism that is toggled to provide an extra safety measure; it locks the trigger, hammer and bolt from initiating the firing of the shotgun, and helps ensure prevention of a negligent discharge.

Action Release ‑ mechanism that is usually located near the trigger guard that acts as an unlocking mechanism allowing for the action bar and bolt to slide back and eject an undischarged chambered shotshell.

Semiautomatic Shotgun

Image from DNA Tactical

Receiver ‑ The receiver is responsible for holding all the mechanical parts together of a firearm. These parts traditionally include the trigger housing and bolt carrier group. Unlike other rifles, gauges tend to only have a single receiver.

Ejection Port ‑ An outlet in the receiver of a gauge through which the spent shells are ejected from the chamber following a firing sequence.

Tubular Magazine ‑ A tubular magazine commonly found on pump-action shotguns, stores cartridges end-to-end inside of a spring-loaded tube typically running parallel to the barrel, or in the buttstock.

Barrel ‑ Simply, the discharging tube of a gun that dictates direction of travel of the projectile. The tubes are meticulously engineered and bored out to provide an exit path for the discharging shotshells. Once the projectile is fired, it’s guided through the barrel, out of the muzzle by the expanding gas forces.

Muzzle ‑ The business end of a shotgun (front end of the barrel) where the shotshell exits.

Fore-end ‑ Frequently referred to as a “Forestock”, this is the forward grip of a shotgun. On pump-actionshotguns, the fore-end slides back and forth to both load and unload (eject) shells to/ from the shotgun chamber(s).

Loading Port ‑ A port to manually load shotshells into the tubular magazine.

Trigger ‑ A lever that is “pulled” or squeezed to initiate the firing sequence (discharge a shotshell).

Trigger Guard ‑ The portion of a firearms frame (receiver) that wraps around the trigger, providing for additional protection and safety.

Front Sight – a mounted sight on a shotgun nearest the muzzle (front end); the sight is used in taking aim and target acquisition while firing the shotgun.

Rear Sight ‑ a mounted sight on a shotgun nearest to the stock (back end); the sight is used in taking aim and target acquisition as well as assisting the operator in identifying the front-sight while sequencing the firing of a gauge.

Safety – a mechanism that is toggled to provide an extra safety measure; usually locks the trigger, hammer and bolt from commencing with the firing sequence of the shotgun, and ensuring prevention of a negligent discharge.

Grip ‑the area of a shotguns stock held by the operator’s rear most hand.

Stock‑ also referred to as a shoulder stock, buttstock, or a butt. The rearmost part of a shotgun, traditionally attached to the receiver or chassis, and held against one’s shoulder when firing the shotgun. The stock enables the shooter to firmly support the device and comfortably aim. The stock also helps manage the recoil between the receiver and operator’s body.

Recoil pad ‑ attaches to the “Butt” of the shotgun; is the rear most end that is pressed directly against the operator’s shoulder and helps mitigate excessive recoil when the weapon is discharged.

The Action ‑ the mechanical operation of a semi-automatic shotgun, uses the force generated by the last shot to automatically eject the empty shell and chamber the next shotshell after each trigger pull.

Bolt Release ‑ refers to a mechanism traditionally located on the receiver on a semi/full automatic shotgun, used to release the bolt and or bolt carrier, allowing the weapon to be readied for firing.

Operating Handle (Charging Handle) ‑is a mechanical lever on a semi-automatic shotgun which, when manipulated, results in the hammer beingcocked or locked in the firing position and ready to initiate the sequence of fire. The charging handle has a number of necessary functions; it facilitates the ejection of a spent or unfired shotshell from the chamber; it can load a shotshell from the tubular magazine, or drum, or by hand into the chamber; it clears a stoppage such as a jam, double feed, stovepipe or misfire; it verifies that the shotguns chamber is clear of any shotshells or other obstructions; it moves the bolt in to battery, acting as a forward assist; it releases a bolt locked to the rear, such as would be the case after firing the last shotshell of the shotgun equipped with a last-shotshell-hold-open feature.

Action Release ‑ usually located near the trigger guard and acts as an unlocking mechanism allowing for the action bar and bolt to slide back and eject an undischarged chambered shotshell.

Firing Cycle Of A Pump Action Shotgun

• The magazine is loaded with ammunition.

• Then, the forestock is pulled to the rear to eject any empty ammunition from the chamber, cock the hammer and simultaneously load a new shell into the chamber.

• The forestock is then moved forward to push the block and firing pin into place against the cartridge. At this point the shotgun is ready to fire.

• Pulling the trigger will cause the firing pin to strike the end of the cartridge and fire the projectile.

Firing Cycle Of A Semiautomatic Shotgun

• The ammunition is loaded into the chamber.

• Once loaded, you only need to pull the trigger to fire the shotgun.

• When the trigger is pulled, the ammunition in the chamber will fire instantly.

• The energy from the fired round will kick out the empty shell and subsequently load another shell into the chamber. Making the shotgun ready to fire again.

Conclusion

That wraps it up for Shotgun Basics: Part Two. In part two we covered obscure shotgun types, nomenclatures, and firing cycle of a pump-action and semiautomatic shotguns. I hope this guide gives you a deeper understanding of the basics of a shotgun. In Shotgun Basics: Part Three we will cover shotgun gauges, chokes, and shot patterns.

If you have any questions please feel free to drop them in the comments below.

Thanks For Reading

If you enjoyed this post, hit that like button, share it a friend, and subscribe. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or comments. Please feel free to drop a comment. Be Humble. Train until only savagery remains and stay deadly ladies and gents.

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