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How can I tell what type of action my firearm has?

Overview

There are a number of different action types that have been developed over the years to allow shooters to shoot their firearm with speed and accuracy.  While this is just a brief overview, we encourage you to take a firearms safety course or hunter safety course for a more in depth education and instruction on firearms.

PUMP ACTION FIREARMS:

With pump action firearms,shells are fed from the magazine into the chamber and then ejected by the back-and-forth pumping of the fore-end assembly. The “pump gun” is very versatile and often preferred for its simple, reliable design.  The Model 870 shotgun, Model 7600 centerfire rifle, Model 572 rimire rifle are all examples of pump action firearms.

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AUTOLOADING FIREARMS:

With autoloading action firearms, the first shell is manually inserted into the chamber and the action is closed by depressing the carrier release. After firing, the automatic mechanism then extracts and ejects the fired shell and continues to feed successive shells into the chamber, and fire them, with successive pulls of the trigger.
Autoloaders are sometimes inappropriately called “automatics.” The more appropriate term is “semi-automatics” due to the fact that the trigger must be released between shots. Due to the speed of the autoloading feature, autoloaders are extremely popular among hunters and generally deliver less “felt” recoil. The Versa Max shotgun, Model 1100 shotgun, Model 11-87 shotgun, Model 750 centerfire rifle, Model 597 rimfire rifle, and Model 552 rimfire rifle are all examples of autoloading firearms.

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BREAK ACTION FIREARMS:

With break action firearms, shells are inserted by hand into the chamber and are extracted and ejected either manually or automatically as the action is opened. Break action shotguns can be further divided into three separate types: single shot, over-and-under and side-by-side. Each name is rather self-explanatory.

Single shots have only one barrel and hold only one shell at a time.

Over-and-unders have two barrels, one stacked on top of the other.

Side-by-sides have two barrels which sit next to each other on a horizontal plane.

Break action shotguns are often favored by those who shoot competitive trap and skeet or enjoy the compact feel and unique handling characteristics associated with their design.

The Model 332 is an example of a break action firearm.

 

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BOLT ACTION FIREARMS:

With bolt action firearms, the bolt must be manually operated by opening and closing the breach in order to load a round in the chamber.  This is a very reliable design for strength and accuracy.  The Model 700 centerfire rifle and Model Seven centerfire rifle are examples of bolt action firearms.

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LEVER ACTION FIREARMS:

With lever action firearms, the lever must be manually operated forward and back to cycle the rounds. This style of rifle has been around since the late 1800's.  Remington does not produce any lever action firearms.

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