It's Not An Automatic - or how different types of guns work
08/20/12 10:20 PM
Okay, I'm at my wits end already... everywhere I look there's someone complaining about automatic weapons this and automatic weapons that. From internet trolls to talking heads to so called experts on gun control. People seem to believe that people are strolling the streets with automatic weapons just looking to start gunning down people left and right.
Ignore for a moment the narrow mindedness required to make the leap that anyone who has a firearm is violent or looking to hunt people down - my frustration is that these same people who project that they have all the solutions don't even understand the basic mechanics of firearms. As they say after a good knockout, let's go to the tape:
Automatic weapons: Heavily regulated and often cost prohibitive in the United States, the basic functionality of a automatic weapon is when the trigger is pulled, the weapon will continue to fire as long as it has ammunition and the trigger continues to be held down.
Semi-Automatic: The vast majority of weapons sold today (including rifles, pistols, and shotguns) are semi-automatic. A semi-automatic weapon operates so that each time the trigger is pulled the weapon will fire one round, cycle itself, and be ready to fire another as long as ammunition is available.
Revolver: A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. As the user cocks the hammer, the cylinder revolves to align the next chamber and round with the hammer and barrel, which gives this type of firearm its name.
The hammer-cocking happens either directly (via the shooter pulling it back) or indirectly (via the first portion of the trigger pull in double-action revolvers.) In modern revolvers, the revolving cylinder typically chambers five or six rounds, but some models hold ten rounds or more. Revolvers are most often handguns, but other weapons may also have a revolving chamber. These include some models of grenade launchers, shotguns, and some rifles.
Pump Action: A pump-action rifle or shotgun is one in which the handgrip can be pumped back and forth in order to eject a spent round of ammunition and to chamber a fresh one. It is much faster than a bolt-action and somewhat faster than a lever-action, as it does not require the trigger hand to be removed from the trigger whilst reloading. When used in rifles, this action is also commonly called a slide action.
Video coming soon.
Bolt Action: Bolt action is a type of firearm action in which the weapon's bolt is operated manually by the opening and closing of the breech (barrel) with a small handle. As the handle is operated, the bolt is unlocked, the breech is opened, the spent cartridge case is withdrawn and ejected, the firing pin is cocked, and finally a new round/cartridge is placed into the breech and the bolt closed. Bolt action firearms are most often rifles, but there are some bolt-action shotguns and a few handguns as well.
Video coming soon.
Lever Action: Lever-action is a type of firearm action which uses a lever located around the trigger guard area (often including the trigger guard itself) to load fresh cartridges into the chamber of the barrel when the lever is worked. This contrasts to bolt action, semi-automatic, or selective fire weapons. Most lever-action firearms are rifles, but lever-action shotguns and a few pistols have also been made.
Break Barrel: Usually found in shotguns, small pistols, and black-powder "elephant" guns, a break action connects the barrel assembly to the breechblock with a hinge. When a locking latch is released, the barrel assembly pivots away from the receiver, opening the breech and, at least on better firearms, extracting the spent cartridge.