Firearms

Handgun Actions

Break

  • Each shot is loaded by hand
  • The spent case is ejected by breaking the action open
  • It is loaded only when ready to be fired
  • The half-cock position may be unreliable

Revolver

  • Rotating cylinders hold cartridges ready to fire
  • The cylinder is both magazine & chamber
  • The rotating cylinder aligns each cartridge with the barrel
  • Modern revolvers are either single action or double action

Semi-automatic

  • Operates same as shotguns & rifles
  • Most have a detachable magazine
  • Cartridges are pressed into the magazine, the magazine is pushed into the bottom of the grip frame
  • Semi-automatics feature an action which ejects the spent round, & chambers the next one
  • Many semi-automatics have an internal hammer
  • Some have a "thumb safety"

Bolt

  • Operates like rifles or shotguns
  • Each round is loaded by hand
  • Spent case is ejected by pulling bolt back

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