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Common Firearms


Generally, bolt action rifles are the most accurate type of rifle. We recommend that novice hunters use a rifle chambered in .25 caliber or larger. Very popular calibers for deer hunting in Texas are the .270 and the .30-06.

Bolt Action

image of bolt action rifleCloseup image of open bolt action.

Lifting the bolt handle and pulling straight back opens the action. This will eject any cartridge from the chamber. If there is another round in the magazine, by pushing the bolt forward and the handle down into the locked position, that round will be loaded into the chamber. Working the bolt also cocks the firing pin within. Bolts can be easily removed for cleaning or for safe storage or transportation.



Lever Action

Labeled image of lever action rifleimage of open lever action

When using a lever action, the index finger operates the trigger and the other three fingers are placed in the ring of the lever to operate the action. Pushing down on the lever will open the action, eject any cartridge from the chamber and cock the hammer. If there is another round in the magazine, by pulling the lever back and up to its locked position against the stock, that round will be loaded into the chamber



Pump Action

Labeled image of pump action rifleimage of pump action position on rifle

When using a pump action, the hand supporting the forend, pulls that section back to open the action after firing. This will eject the spent cartridge from the chamber and cock the hammer. If there is another round in the magazine, sliding the forend forward to its locked position will load the next round into the chamber. If the firearm is empty the action can be opened by depressing a release button so the forend can be pulled back.



Semi-Automatic Action

image of semi=automatic rifle

The semi-automatic action utilizes the recoil and gas from the fired cartridge to work the action. After the shot is fired the bolt slides back, ejecting the spent cartridge. It then slides forward to feed the next round into the chamber. Each squeeze of the trigger will fire a round until the magazine is empty. When the magazine is empty the action will lock in an open position.

Military style semi-automatic rifle

Recently firearm manufacturers have expanded their production of semi-automatic rifles to include AR styles that are derived from models used by the military. They appear in a wide range of calibers which has increased their popularity among many hunters who find them particularly useful for hunting feral hogs.



Break Action

image of break action rifle Break action rifle close up

To open the break action, push the release button or lever, this allows the action to open on a hinge in front of the trigger, the chamber will rotate up and the barrel will rotate down. Opening the action usually ejects a fired cartridge. Unfired round must be removed manually. Usually these firearms have one or two barrels. The chambers hold a single shot for each barrel. There are no magazines.



Falling Block Action

image of rolling block action riflecloesup of rolling block action

Falling block actions have a lever below the grip that drops the block action down below the chamber and ejects the fired cartridge. The next round must be manually loaded and then the lever is pulled back to the locked position, which raises the block back to its locked position.

Watch a video on: Rifle Actions.