Firearms Terms
Action Assembly: Contains the moving parts which load the gun.
Actions: Firearms are generally classified by their type of action. There are five basic types of action: bolt action, pump action, lever action, hinge action and semi-automatic action.
Aperture Sight: A firearm sight that contains a small hole that a shooter peeps through to aim at the target.
Barrel Assembly: The metal tube through which the bullet or shot travels when the gun is fired.
Calibre: The inside diameter of the barrel before the rifling has been cut, usually expressed in hundredths of an inch or in millimetres. For example, a .22 calibre barrel measures 22/100 of an inch in diameter.
Open Sight: A firearm sight that works by aligning an open rear sight and a front bead sight on a target.
Rifling: A series of grooves that twist through the barrel. Rifling makes the bullet spin as it leaves the gun, making it more stable in flight and therefore more accurate.
Safety: The safety locks the trigger and blocks the gun’s action so it cannot be fired.
Scope Sight: A firearm sight that includes a mini telescope which is mounted on the rifle.
Shotgun Choke: The narrowing found at the muzzle end of most shotgun barrels. The choke controls the pattern or spread of the shot and determines the distance at which the shotgun will be most effective.
Shotgun Gauge: Shotgun barrels are classified by gauge instead of calibre. The gauge is the number of lead balls it takes to reach one pound. Each ball is the same diameter as the bore. For example, a 12 gauge shot gun accepts 12 lead balls that together weigh one pound.
Sight: A device used to aim a firearm. There are three basic types of sights: open, aperture and scope.
Stock Assembly: The handle of the firearm.
General Terms
Archery: The art, practice or skill of shooting with a bow and arrow.
Big Game Carnivores: Big game carnivores are meat-eating mammals which have teeth along the sides of their jaws for cutting food. Only five of the large species of carnivores found in Alberta are classed as game animals: cougar, coyote, wolf, black bear and grizzly.
Big Game Ungulates: Big game ungulates are divided into two major categories: horned and antlered. Horned ungulates include bighorn sheep, mountain goats and antelope. Antlered ungulates include deer, caribou, elk and moose. All wild ungulates classed as big game in Alberta are cloven hoofed. This means each hoof is split into two parts.
Bowhunting: The sport of hunting game using archery equipment.
Field Dressing: The procedure performed by a hunter to remove the entrails and skin from his game to prevent meat and hide from spoiling.
Upland Game Birds: All upland game birds in Alberta are gallinaceous or “chicken-like.” Upland game-bird species include in Alberta include: pheasant, ruffed grouse, blue grouse, spruce grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, gray partridge, ptarmigan and Merriam's turkey.
Waterfowl: A large and important group of game birds that includes wild ducks and geese. Waterfowl nest in spring, raise their young over the summer and migrate south in the fall. Alberta’s waterfowl game species include: Canada goose, mallard duck, Ross's goose, snow goose, white-fronted goose.

Updated: Nov 27, 2014