I like to keep myself ignorant when hunting.
Ignorance while hunting is like a tree that falls in the wild. Does it really make a noise if no one is there to hear it?
Not a good way to go about it. A DNR officer won't let you off the hook just because you have not taken the time to inform yourself.
A well educated hunter is the best hunter. It can keep you out of trouble.
To the OP I don't think that the presence of "Rifling" alone makes a gun a rifle? Pistols have rifling as do shotguns and black powder guns.
Your right the rules and regs are more than a bit ridiculous and complicated.
I don't know how many times I have read a hunter gets into trouble over some crazy rules that not only makes no sense but is so hard to understand you would need a lawyer to explain it to you.