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Break Action Pistol

image of break action pistolCloseup image of break action pistol

Break-Action Pistols are a good choice for hunting. Many models have interchangeable barrels, allowing a choice of different calibers. Telescopic sights are easily mounted on some models. A release lever or button opens the action which is hinged at the front of the frame. The chamber rotates up, the muzzle down. Each shot is loaded by hand. The spent case is ejected by breaking the action open. It should be loaded only when ready to be fired. The half-cock position may be unreliable.



image of semi-automatic pistol

Semi-Automatic pistol with slide locked open.

Semi-automatics operate the same as shotguns & rifles. They feature a slide action which ejects the spent cartridge case, cocks the hammer and chambers the next round. Most have a last-round-hold-open feature where the slide will lock to the rear when the last round from the magazine has been fired. Most have a detachable magazine. To load the magazine, cartridges are pressed into the top, the magazine is pushed into the bottom of the grip frame. Many semi-automatics have an internal hammer.

Magazine clip for Semi-Automatic Pistol


Single Action Revolver

Single Action Revolver
Revolvers have rotating cylinders that hold cartridges ready to fire. The cylinder is both the magazine and  the chamber. The rotating cylinder aligns each cartridge with the barrel. In single action revolvers, cocking the hammer back fully into the firing position also rotates the cylinder for the next shot. When loading, placing the hammer in a half cocked position allows the cylinder to rotate freely for loading and unloading.



Double Action Revolver

image of Double Action Revolver

Double-action revolvers can be fired in the single action mode, cocking the hammer rotates the cylinder and locks the hammer in the firing position. Or when the hammer is down, when the trigger is pulled, the cylinder rotates to the next chamber, the hammer is cocked and then released, firing the round. There is a button to release the cylinder for loading and unloading. The cylinder is hinged to the frame and will pivot open to the left side.

.image of Double Action Revolver cylynder opened to the side.