Semi-automatic firearm
Overview
 
A semi-automatic, or self-loading firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

 is a weapon which performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges
Cartridge (firearms)
A cartridge, also called a round, packages the bullet, gunpowder and primer into a single metallic case precisely made to fit the firing chamber of a firearm. The primer is a small charge of impact-sensitive chemical that may be located at the center of the case head or at its rim . Electrically...

 remain in the weapon's feed device or magazine. Typically, this includes extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case from the weapon's firing chamber, re-cocking the firing mechanism, and loading a new cartridge into the firing chamber.
Encyclopedia
A semi-automatic, or self-loading firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

 is a weapon which performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges
Cartridge (firearms)
A cartridge, also called a round, packages the bullet, gunpowder and primer into a single metallic case precisely made to fit the firing chamber of a firearm. The primer is a small charge of impact-sensitive chemical that may be located at the center of the case head or at its rim . Electrically...

 remain in the weapon's feed device or magazine. Typically, this includes extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case from the weapon's firing chamber, re-cocking the firing mechanism, and loading a new cartridge into the firing chamber. Although automatic weapons and selective fire
Selective fire
A selective fire firearm has at least one semi–automatic and one automatic mode, which is activated by means of a selector which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in...

 firearms do the same tasks, semi-automatic firearms do not automatically fire an additional round until the trigger is released and re-pressed by the person firing the weapon.

While all basic firearm actions require the action to be cycled manually before the first shot, semi-automatic as well as automatic and selective fire actions are differentiated from other forms such as single-action or double-action revolver
Revolver
A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. The first revolver ever made was built by Elisha Collier in 1818. The percussion cap revolver was invented by Samuel Colt in 1836. This weapon became known as the Colt Paterson...

s, pump-action
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...

, bolt-action
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 with a small handle, most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon...

, or lever-action
Lever-action
Lever-action is a type of firearm action which uses a lever located around the trigger guard area, to load fresh cartridges into the chamber of the barrel when the lever is worked. Most lever-action firearms are rifles, but lever-action shotguns and a few pistols have also been made...

 firearms by eliminating the need to manually cycle the weapon after each shot. For example, to fire ten rounds from a semi-automatic firearm or a selective fire weapon set to fire semi-automatically, the action would initially be cycled to load the first round and the trigger would need to be pulled ten times (once for each round fired). For the other forms, the weapon's mechanism would require cycling manually prior to firing the next round. An automatic or a selective fire weapon set to fire automatically would be able to fire continuously as long as the trigger is held until the magazine or feed device runs out of ammunition
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...

.

Early history (1885–1945)

The first successful design for a semi-automatic rifle
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...

 is attributed to German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

-born gunsmith Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher, who unveiled the design in 1885. The Model 85 was followed by the equally innovative Mannlicher Models 91, 93 and 95 semi-automatic rifles. Although Mannlicher earned his reputation with his bolt action rifle designs, he also produced a few semi-automatic pistols, including the Steyr Mannlicher M1894
Steyr Mannlicher M1894
The M1894 Steyr Mannlicher blow-forward, semi-automatic pistol was an early semi-automatic pistol.-General features:This earliest Steyr Mannlicher pistol, manufactured by FAB.D'ARMES Neuhausen, Switzerland, was designed to be self loading and to use a special rimmed cartridge in 6.5 mm caliber...

, which employed an unusual blow-forward action
Blow forward
Blow-forward is a firearm operation where the barrel is virtually the only moving part of the weapon that is forced forward against a spring by the cartridge pressure and friction of the projectile against the rifling...

 and held five rounds of 6.5 mm ammunition that were fed into the M1894 by a stripper clip
Stripper clip
A stripper clip or charger is a speedloader that holds several cartridges together in a single unit for easier loading of a firearm's magazine. A stripper clip is used only for loading the magazine and is not necessary for the firearm to function...

.

Semi-automatic shotgun

A few years later, American gunsmith John Moses Browning
John Browning
John Moses Browning , born in Ogden, Utah, was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world...

 developed the first successful semi-automatic shotgun
Semi-automatic shotgun
A semi-automatic shotgun is a form of shotgun that is able to fire a cartridge after every trigger squeeze, without any manual chambering of another round being required...

, the Browning Auto-5
Browning Auto-5
The Browning Automatic 5, most often Auto-5 or simply A-5, is a recoil-operated semi-automatic shotgun designed by John Browning. It was the first successful semi-automatic shotgun designed and remained in production until 1998...

, which was first manufactured in 1902 by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal
Fabrique Nationale de Herstal
Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal — self identified as FN Herstal and often referred to as Fabrique Nationale or simply FN — is a firearms manufacturer located in Herstal, Belgium....

 and sold in America under the Browning name. The Auto-5 relied on long recoil operation
Recoil operation
Recoil operation is an operating mechanism used in locked-breech, autoloading firearms. As the name implies, these actions use the force of recoil to provide energy to cycle the action...

; this design remained the dominant form in semi-automatic shotguns for approximately 50 years. Production of the Auto-5 was finally ended in 1999.

Blowback semi-automatic

In 1903 and 1905, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company
Winchester Repeating Arms Company
The Winchester Repeating Arms Company was a prominent American maker of repeating firearms, located in New Haven, Connecticut. The Winchester brand is today used under license by two subsidiaries of the Herstal Group, Fabrique Nationale of Belgium and the Browning Arms Company of Morgan, Utah.-...

 introduced the first semi-automatic rimfire
Rimfire ammunition
A rimfire is a type of firearm cartridge. It is called a rimfire because instead of the firing pin of a gun striking the primer cap at the center of the base of the cartridge to ignite it , the pin strikes the base's rim....

 and centerfire
Centerfire ammunition
A centerfire cartridge is a cartridge with a primer located in the center of the cartridge case head. Unlike rimfire cartridges, the primer is a separate and replaceable component....

 rifles designed especially for the civilian market. The Winchester Model 1903
Winchester Model 1903
The Winchester Model 1903 was the first commercially available semi-automatic firearm firearm made by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.-History:...

 and Winchester Model 1905
Winchester Model 1905
The Winchester Model 1905 , is a blowback-operated, semi-automatic rifle produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company beginning in 1905 and discontinued in 1920. This rifle loads cartridges from a 5 or 10-round capacity, detachable box magazine located immediately forward of the trigger guard...

 operated on the principle of blowback in order to function semi-automatically. Designed entirely by T.C. Johnson
T.C. Johnson
Thomas Crosley Johnson was an American firearms designer. The son of a President of the Yale Safe and Iron Company, Johnson was trained as an industrial engineer and worked for several companies before coming to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company...

, the Model 1903 achieved commercial success and continued to be manufactured until 1932 when the Winchester Model 63 replaced it.

By the early 20th century, several manufacturers had introduced semi-automatic .22 sporting rifles, including Winchester
Winchester Repeating Arms Company
The Winchester Repeating Arms Company was a prominent American maker of repeating firearms, located in New Haven, Connecticut. The Winchester brand is today used under license by two subsidiaries of the Herstal Group, Fabrique Nationale of Belgium and the Browning Arms Company of Morgan, Utah.-...

, Remington
Remington Arms
Remington Arms Company, Inc. was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. It is the oldest company in the United States which still makes its original product, and is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in North America. It is the only U.S....

, Fabrique Nationale and Savage Arms
Savage Arms
The Savage Arms Company is a firearms manufacturing company based in Westfield, Massachusetts, with a division located in Canada. The company makes a variety of rimfire and centerfire rifles, as well as marketing the Stevens single-shot rifles and shotguns...

, all using the direct blow-back system of operation. Winchester introduced a medium caliber semi-automatic sporting rifle, the Model 1907
Winchester Model 1907
The Winchester Model 1907 , is a blowback-operated, semi-automatic rifle produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company beginning in 1906 with production ending in 1958. It was fed from a 5 or 10-round capacity, detachable box magazine located immediately forward of the trigger guard...

 as an upgrade to the Model 1905, utilizing a blowback system of operation, in calibers such as .351 Winchester
.351 Winchester Self-Loading
The .351 Winchester Self-Loading is an American rifle cartridge.Winchester introduced the .351SL in the Winchester Model 1907 self-loading rifle as a replacement for the Winchester Model 1905 and the .35SL...

. Both the Models of 1905 and 1907 saw limited military and police use.

Notable early semi-automatic rifles

In 1906, Remington Arms
Remington Arms
Remington Arms Company, Inc. was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. It is the oldest company in the United States which still makes its original product, and is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in North America. It is the only U.S....

 introduced the "Remington Auto-loading Repeating Rifle
Remington Model 8
The Remington Model 8 is a centerfire, recoil-operated, semi-automatic rifle designed by John Browning and produced by Remington Arms beginning in 1906.John Browning was granted on October 16, 1900 for the rifle, which he then sold to Remington...

". Remington advertised this rifle, renamed the "Model 8" in 1911, as a sporting rifle. This is a locked-breech, long recoil action designed by John Browning
John Browning
John Moses Browning , born in Ogden, Utah, was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world...

. The rifle was offered in .25, .30, .32, and .35 caliber models, and gained popularity among civilians as well as some law enforcement officials who appreciated the combination of a semi-automatic action and relatively powerful rifle cartridges. The Model 81 superseded the Model 8 in 1936 and was offered in .300 Savage
.300 Savage
The .300 Savage cartridge is a rimless, .30 caliber rifle cartridge developed by the Savage Arms Company in 1920. It was designed to replace the less powerful .303 Savage in their popular Savage Model 99 lever-action rifle...

 as well as the original Remington calibers.

From 1890 to 1910, the French studied and designed many semi-automatic rifles. The Meunier rifle
Meunier rifle
The Meunier rifle evolved as a part of the program initiated in 1890 by the French military to develop a semi-automatic infantry rifle that would eventually replace the Mle 1886-93 Lebel rifle. Four government research establishments proposed over 20 prototypes...

 was adopted but only 1,013 pieces had been produced when WWI broke. It was accurate and reliable, using a long recoil system and a high-velocity round. The first semi-automatic rifle adopted and widely used by a major military power (France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

) was the "Fusil Automatique Modele 1917
Fusil Automatique Modele 1917
The Fusil Automatique Modele 1917 was a semi-automatic, gas-operated, infantry rifle that was placed in service in the French Army during the latter part of World War I. It was chambered in the then-standard 8mm Lebel rimmed cartridge used in other French Army infantry weapons of the time...

 R.S.C." This is a locked breech, gas-operated action which is very similar in its mechanical principles to the future US M1 Garand
M1 Garand
The M1 Garand , was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S...

. The French Model 1917 was the first general issue self-loading rifle and contained features that were seminal in its field. A number of features first found on the M1917 would later find their way into many now more widely known, more widely produced designs. The M1917 was fielded during the latter stages of WWI
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Its drawbacks were the length of the rifle in trench use and the peculiar clip it used. However its shortened and improved version using the Berthier clip, the Model 1918 R.S.C., gave complete satisfaction during the Moroccan Rif War
Rif War (1920)
The Rif War, also called the Second Moroccan War, was fought between Spain and the Moroccan Rif Berbers.-Rifian forces:...

 from 1920 to 1926. The Lebel
Lebel Model 1886 rifle
The Lebel Model 1886 rifle is also known as the "Fusil Mle 1886 M93", after a bolt modification was added in 1893. It is an 8mm bolt action infantry rifle which entered service in the French Army in April 1887...

 bolt-action rifle remained the standard French infantry rifle until replaced in 1936 by the MAS-36 despite the various semi-automatic rifles designed between 1918 and 1935.

Other nations experimented with self-loading rifles between the two World Wars, including the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, which had intended to replace the bolt-action Lee-Enfield
Lee-Enfield
The Lee-Enfield bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle was the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century...

 with a self-loader, possibly chambered for sub-caliber ammunition, but discarded that plan as the imminence of the Second World War and the emphasis shifted from replacing every rifle with a new design to speeding-up re-armament with existing weapons. The Soviet Union and Germany would both issue successful self-loading and selective-fire rifles on a large scale during the course of the war, but not in sufficient numbers to replace their standard bolt-action rifles.

Notable gas-operated rifles

In 1937, the American M1 Garand
M1 Garand
The M1 Garand , was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S...

 was the first semi-automatic rifle to replace its nation's bolt action rifle as the standard-issue infantry weapon. The gas-operated M1 Garand was developed by Canadian-born John Garand
John Garand
John Cantius Garand was a designer of firearms best known for creating the first successful semi-automatic rifle to be widely used in active military service, the M1 Garand....

 for the US government at the Springfield Armory
Springfield Armory
The Springfield Armory, located in the City of Springfield, Massachusetts - from 1777 until its closing in 1968 - was the primary center for the manufacture of U.S. military firearms. After its controversial closing during the Vietnam War, the Springfield Armory was declared Western Massachusetts'...

 in Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield is the most populous city in Western New England, and the seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers; the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern...

. After years of research and testing, the first production model of the M1 Garand was unveiled in 1937. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the M1 Garand gave American infantrymen an advantage over their opponents, most of whom were issued slower firing bolt-action rifles.

The Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 SVT-38 and SVT-40, as well as the German Gewehr 43
Gewehr 43
The Gewehr 43 or Karabiner 43 is an 8x57mm IS caliber semi-automatic rifle developed by Nazi Germany during World War II...

, were semi-automatic gas-operated
Gas-operated reloading
Gas-operation is a system of operation used to provide energy to operate autoloading firearms. In gas-operation, a portion of high pressure gas from the cartridge being fired is used to power a mechanism to extract the spent case and chamber a new cartridge. Energy from the gas is harnessed...

 rifles issued during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in relatively small numbers. In practice, they did not replace the bolt action rifle as a standard infantry weapon.

Another gas-operated semi-automatic rifle developed toward the end of WWII was the SKS
SKS
The SKS is a Soviet semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 7.62x39mm round, designed in 1943 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. SKS-45 is an acronym for Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, 1945 Simonov system, 1945), or SKS 45. The Sks is a scaled down version of the PTRS-41 anti-tank rifle also...

. Designed by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov
Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov
Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov was a Soviet weapons designer; he is one of the fathers of the modern assault rifle....

 in 1945, it came equipped with a bayonet
Bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

 and could be loaded with ten rounds, using a stripper clip
Stripper clip
A stripper clip or charger is a speedloader that holds several cartridges together in a single unit for easier loading of a firearm's magazine. A stripper clip is used only for loading the magazine and is not necessary for the firearm to function...

. However, the SKS was quickly replaced by the AK-47
AK-47
The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova . It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year...

. It was the first widely issued weapon to use the 7.62x39mm cartridge.

Types of semi-automatic

There are semi-automatic pistols, rifle
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, and shotgun
Semi-automatic shotgun
A semi-automatic shotgun is a form of shotgun that is able to fire a cartridge after every trigger squeeze, without any manual chambering of another round being required...

s designed and made as semi-automatic only. Selective fire
Selective fire
A selective fire firearm has at least one semi–automatic and one automatic mode, which is activated by means of a selector which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in...

 firearms are capable of both full automatic and semi-automatic modes. The M14
M14 rifle
The M14 rifle, formally the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective fire automatic rifle firing 7.62x51mm NATO  ammunition. It was the standard issue U.S. rifle from 1959 to 1970. The M14 was used for U.S...

, produced at the Springfield Armory
Springfield Armory
The Springfield Armory, located in the City of Springfield, Massachusetts - from 1777 until its closing in 1968 - was the primary center for the manufacture of U.S. military firearms. After its controversial closing during the Vietnam War, the Springfield Armory was declared Western Massachusetts'...

 in Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield is the most populous city in Western New England, and the seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers; the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern...

, was the United States standard issue selective fire weapon for only eleven years (1957 - 1968). Due to the political maneuvers made by the US Army against the AR-15, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered the Springfield Armory to be closed in 1963. It officially closed in 1968.

Semi-automatic

Semi-automatic refers to a firearm which uses the force of recoil or gas to eject the empty case and load a fresh cartridge in to the firing chamber for the next shot and which allows repeat shots solely through the action of pulling the trigger. A double-action revolver also requires only a trigger pull for each round that is fired but is not considered semi-automatic since the manual action of pulling the trigger is what advances the cylinder, not the energy of the preceding shot.

Fully automatic compared to semi-automatic

The usage of the term automatic may vary according to context. Gun specialists point out that the word automatic is sometimes misunderstood to mean fully automatic fire
Automatic firearm
An automatic firearm is a firearm that loads another round mechanically after the first round has been fired.The term can be used to refer to semi-automatic firearms, which fire one shot per single pull of the trigger , or fully automatic firearms, which will continue to load and fire ammunition...

 when used to refer to a self-loading, semi-automatic firearm not capable of fully automatic fire. In this case, automatic refers to the loading mechanism, not the firing capability.

The term "automatic pistol" almost exclusively refers to a semi-automatic (i.e. not fully automatic) pistol. With handguns, the term "automatic" is commonly used to distinguish semi-automatic pistols from revolvers. The term "auto-loader" may also be used to describe a semi-automatic handgun. However, the term "automatic rifle" may mean a rifle capable of fully automatic fire. Both uses of the term "automatic" can be found; the exact meaning must be determined from context.

Semi-automatic

The mechanism of semi-automatic (or auto-loading) firearms is usually what is known as a closed-bolt
Closed bolt
A semi or full-automatic firearm which is said to fire from a closed bolt is one where, when ready to fire, a round is in the chamber and the bolt and working parts are forward...

 firing system. In a closed-bolt system, a round must first be chambered manually before the weapon can fire. When the trigger is pulled, only the hammer and firing pin
Firing pin
A firing pin or striker is part of the firing mechanism used in a firearm or explosive device e.g. an M14 landmine or bomb fuze. Firing pins may take many forms, though the types used in landmines, bombs, grenade fuzes or other single-use devices generally have a sharpened point...

 move, striking and firing the cartridge. The bolt then recoils far enough rearward to extract and load a new cartridge from the magazine
Magazine (firearm)
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...

 into the firearm's chamber, ready to fire again once the trigger is pulled.

An open-bolt
Open bolt
A semi or full automatic firearm is said to fire from an open bolt if, when ready to fire, the bolt and working parts are held to the rear. When the trigger is pulled the bolt goes forward, feeding a round from the magazine into the chamber and firing it...

 mechanism is a common characteristic of fully automatic firearms. With this system, pulling the trigger releases the bolt from a cocked, rearward position, pushing a cartridge from the magazine into the chamber, firing the gun. The bolt retracts to the rearward position, ready to strip the next cartridge from the magazine. The open-bolt system is often used in submachine gun
Submachine gun
A submachine gun is an automatic carbine, designed to fire pistol cartridges. It combines the automatic fire of a machine gun with the cartridge of a pistol. The submachine gun was invented during World War I , but the apex of its use was during World War II when millions of the weapon type were...

s and other weapons with a high rate of fire. It is rarely used in semi-automatic-only firearms, which can fire only one shot with each pull of the trigger. The closed-bolt system is generally more accurate; since the center of gravity
Center of gravity
In physics, a center of gravity of a material body is a point that may be used for a summary description of gravitational interactions. In a uniform gravitational field, the center of mass serves as the center of gravity...

 changes relatively little at the moment the trigger is pulled.

With full-automatic weapons, open-bolt operation allows air to circulate, cooling the barrel; with semi-automatic firearms, the closed-bolt operation is preferred, as overheating is not as critical, and accuracy is preferred in semi-automatic operation. Some select-fire military weapons use an open bolt in full-automatic mode and a closed bolt when semi-automatic is selected.

See also

  • Itajubá Model 954 Mosquetão
    Itajubá Model 954 Mosquetão
    The Itajubá Model 954 Mosquetão is a battle rifle of Brazilian origin. The weapon is a derivative of the Gewehr 43 but chambered in the .30-06 round.-See also:*Beretta BM59*MAS-49 rifle*Vz. 52 rifle...

  • Meunier rifle
    Meunier rifle
    The Meunier rifle evolved as a part of the program initiated in 1890 by the French military to develop a semi-automatic infantry rifle that would eventually replace the Mle 1886-93 Lebel rifle. Four government research establishments proposed over 20 prototypes...

  • Fusil Automatique Modele 1917
    Fusil Automatique Modele 1917
    The Fusil Automatique Modele 1917 was a semi-automatic, gas-operated, infantry rifle that was placed in service in the French Army during the latter part of World War I. It was chambered in the then-standard 8mm Lebel rimmed cartridge used in other French Army infantry weapons of the time...

  • M1947 Johnson auto carbine
    M1947 Johnson auto carbine
    The M1947 Johnson auto carbine is a semi automatic derivative of the actual machine gun. It was intended as a replacement of the M1 rifle but not accepted....

  • SVT-40
  • Gewehr 43
    Gewehr 43
    The Gewehr 43 or Karabiner 43 is an 8x57mm IS caliber semi-automatic rifle developed by Nazi Germany during World War II...

  • SKS
    SKS
    The SKS is a Soviet semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 7.62x39mm round, designed in 1943 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. SKS-45 is an acronym for Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, 1945 Simonov system, 1945), or SKS 45. The Sks is a scaled down version of the PTRS-41 anti-tank rifle also...


  • MAS-49 rifle
  • FN FAL
    FN FAL
    The Fusil Automatique Léger or FAL is a self-loading, selective fire battle rifle produced by the Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal . During the Cold War it was adopted by many North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries, with the notable exception of the United States...

  • Dragunov sniper rifle
  • Semi-automatic pistol
  • Semi-automatic rifle
    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...

  • Semi-automatic shotgun
    Semi-automatic shotgun
    A semi-automatic shotgun is a form of shotgun that is able to fire a cartridge after every trigger squeeze, without any manual chambering of another round being required...

  • Designated marksman rifle
    Designated marksman rifle
    A designated marksman rifle is the weapon used by soldiers in the designated marksman role. The DM role fills the gap between a regular infantryman and a sniper and DMRs have been developed with this middle ground in mind....



External links

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