A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...
containing multiple rounds of ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...
. These rounds are loaded from a magazine
A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines may be integral to the firearm or removable . The magazine functions by moving the cartridges stored in the magazine into a position where they may be loaded into the chamber by the action...
by means of a manual or automatic mechanism, and the action that reloads the rifle also typically recocks the firing action. The term repeating rifle is most often applied to weapons in which the next cartridge is loaded by a manual action, as opposed to semi-automatic rifle
A semi-automatic rifle is a type of rifle that fires a single bullet each time the trigger is pulled, automatically ejects the spent cartridge, chambers a fresh cartridge from its magazine, and is immediately ready to fire another shot...
s, in which the force of one shot is used to load the next.
Repeating rifles were a significant advance over the preceding breech loaded
A breech-loading weapon is a firearm in which the cartridge or shell is inserted or loaded into a chamber integral to the rear portion of a barrel....
single-shot rifles when used for military combat, as they allowed a much greater rate of fire.