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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. Like any other self-loading design without an external power supply, the action is cycled by the energy of the shot; this sends the bolt back to the rear, ejecting the empty cartridge case and preparing for the next shot . Generally, an open-bolt firing cycle is used for fully automatic weapons and not for semi-automatic weapons . Firearms using Advanced Primer Ignition blowback inherently fire from open bolt only.

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. Like any other self-loading design without an external power supply, the action is cycled by the energy of the shot; this sends the bolt back to the rear, ejecting the empty cartridge case and preparing for the next shot (or continuing forward again, if the trigger is held down and the weapon is an automatic). Generally, an open-bolt firing cycle is used for fully automatic weapons and not for semi-automatic weapons (except some semi-automatic conversions of automatic designs). Firearms using Advanced Primer Ignition blowback inherently fire from open bolt only.

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