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Shotgun actions operate like rifle actions with slight variations depending upon the make and model. The 12 gauge shotgun is probably the most commonly used shotgun in Texas.


image of a semi-automatic shotgun
The Semi-Automatic reduces the amount of recoil the shooter experiences because the action utilizes the recoil and gas from the fired shotshell to work the action.

Pump Action

image of a pump action shotgun

Pump action shotguns are very reliable because the action is powered by the shooter. Apparent (felt) recoil is greater than a semi-automatic. Both pump action and semi-automatic shotguns have tubular magazines. When hunting migratory birds, the tubular magazine must have a plug inserted so that the total holding capacity of the shotgun does not exceed three shells (one in the chamber, 2 in the magazine).

Double Barrel- Side by Side- break action

double barrel side by side break away shotgun

closeup of double barrel side by side breakaway action



Double Barrel- Over and Under- break action

image of double barrel over under shotgun

 closeup of Double Barrel Over Under shotgun


Single Barrel- break action

Single barrel, breaking action

Closeup image of single barrel break action shotgun

When a break action is open, the firing pin cannot engage the primers on any shotshells in the chamber. When the action is open, shooters can see the empty chamber and know that the firearm is in a safe condition. Many beginning hunters start with a single barrel break action shotgun.

Watch a video on: Shotguns.