The Mechanics

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The Frame

The frame, also referred to as the receiver, is the main component in a firearm. Attached to the frame is the barrel; the bolt too is inserted into the frame, and the trigger is mounted onto the frame as well.

The Trigger

The trigger is housed within the trigger guard; few multi-barreled firearms have more than a single trigger. Upon pulling the trigger, the firing pin strikes the primer, which in turn ignites the charge. Most handgun triggers function as single and double action, or only double action models.


As the name suggests, the safety of a firearm is a device that prevents the firearm from firing unintentionally. There are many different types of safeties, as each firearm has its own version.


A magazine is a box-like compartment that is used for feeding ammunition to the firearm. There are 2 types of magazines, a box magazine and tubular. A box magazine can be loaded up individual and carried around for quick reloading, while a tubular magazine requires manual feeding, one cartridge at a time.

Action Release

The action release is a function that separates the action mechanism from the firearm, usually for cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. In order to do so, use the action release lever or button located in different areas of different firearms.

PROVE a Firearm

Prior to handling firearm, you must learn to open the action and PROVE the firearm is ready and safe for use. PROVE-ing is a five-step process that comprises of unloading the weapon, ensuring the barrel is free from any obstructions. The steps are as follows:

  1. Point the firearm towards a safe direction.
  2. Remove all the ammunition.
  3. Closely observe the chamber.
  4. Verify the feeding path is clear.
  5. Examine the bore.

In order to effectively operate any given firearm, you must first be familiar with the type of action it uses. In this section, we will take a close look at the 7 basic actions in firearms – single, double, hinge, bolt, pump, lever and semi-automatic – and understand how they’re put together.