Firearm action

Firearm action

In firearms terminology, an action is the system of operation used to load rounds and/or seal the breech. In many weapons a breechblock reciprocates in the receiver of the firearm.

The term is also used for the physical parts inside the weapon that carry out the system of operation.

Actions are generally divided on the basis of what provides the energy for its cycle, and how they lock the breech.

Automatic actions

Recoil operation

Recoil operation is a type of locked-breech firearm action used in semi-automatic and fully-automatic firearms. As the name implies, these actions use the force of recoil to provide the energy to cycle the action.

Examples of recoil operation

* Short-recoil - Colt M1911, CZ75, Browning Hi-Power, HK USP, Glock, M2 Browning machine gun, MG42, Ceska Zbrojovka Vz 52, M82
* Long-recoil - Browning Automatic Shotgun, Femaru STOP Pistol, Mars Automatic Pistol
* Inertia - some Benelli shotguns

Blowback/Blowforward operation

Blowback operation is a system in which semi-automatic and fully-automatic firearms operate through the energy created by combustion in the chamber and bore acting directly on the bolt face through the cartridge.

=Examples of blowback operation=

*Simple blowback - MP 18, MP 40, Uzi submachine gun, Walther PPK
*Roller-delayed blowback - SIG 510, CETME, HK G3, HK MP5, HK P9
*Gas-delayed blowback - HK P7, Steyr GB, Volksturmgewehr
*Lever-delayed blowback - FAMAS, AA-52
*Toggle-delayed blowback - Schwarzlose MG M.07/12 and Pedersen rifle
*Chamber-ring delayed blowback - Seecamp pistol
*Hesitation locked - Remington 51 pistol
*Blish Lock - early Thompson submachine guns
*Blow forward - Steyr Mannlicher M1894, SIG AK53, Hino-Komuro, Schwarzlose Pistol

Gas operation

Gas operation is a system of operation used to provide energy to semi-automatic and fully-automatic firearms. In gas-operation, a portion of high pressure gas from the cartridge being fired is used to extract the spent case and chamber a new cartridge. There are three basic types: long stroke gas piston (where the gas piston goes the same distance as the operating stroke of the action parts, and is often attached to the action parts), short stroke gas piston (where the gas piston goes less than distance as the operating stroke of the action parts), and direct impingement (AKA "direct gas", "gas impingement", where there is no piston, and the gas acts directly on the action parts.) A fourth type, now considered obsolete and ineffective, are those systems based on the Bang rifle that utilize a muzzle cap to capture gas after the bullet has left the barrel. While this system is successful in boosting the operating power of recoil operated guns, it is insufficient and too susceptible to fouling for use as the primary operating system.

Examples of gas operation

*Short-stroke gas piston - FN FAL, HK G36,
*Long-stroke gas piston - M1 Garand, AK-47
*Direct impingement - M16, AG-42
*Gas trap - Gewehr 41, Bang rifle

Manual operations

Manual operation is a firearms term describing any type of firearm action that is loaded one shot at a time by the user rather than automatically. For example, break action is a form of manual operation using a simple hinge mechanism that is manually unlatched by the operator exposing the chamber(s) for reloading.

Bolt action

In Bolt action firearms, the opening and closing of the breech is operated manually by a bolt. Opening the breech ejects a cartridge while subsequently closing the breech chambers a new round. The three predominant bolt-action systems are the Mauser, Lee-Enfield, and Mosin-Nagant systems.

Lever action

Lever action firearms uses a lever to eject and chamber cartridges. An example of firearms using lever action are the Winchester Repeating Rifle and Marlin Model 1894.

Pump action

In Pump action firearms, a grip called the fore end is manually operated by the user to eject and chamber a new round. Pump actions are predominantly found in shotguns. An example of firearms using the pump action are the Remington 870 and Winchester Model 1897

Break action

A Break action is a type of firearm where the barrel(s) are hinged and can be "broken open" to expose the breech. Multi-barrel break action firearms are usually subdivided into over-and-under or side-by-side configurations for two barrel configurations or "combination gun" when mixed rifle and shotgun barrels are used.

Falling Block

A Falling Block action is a type of single shot firearm where the opening and closing of the breech is activated by a lever. An example of a firearm using the Falling block action are the Martini-Henry and Ruger No. 1.


Other methods of operation include Nordenfelt action, the Gardner gun action, the Rolling block action, the Screw breechblock action, the Rotating crank action, the Trapdoor action, the Snider breechblock and Lock breechblock action.

External links

* [ Types of Firearm Actions]

ee also


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