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HOW A FIREARM WORKS

Rack the Slide

On the backward motion the slide pulls and holds back the hammer, also know as cocking the firearm.

On the forward motion the slide pushes the next round off the top of the magazine and into the chamber. The
magazine spring then pushes the rounds up to the top of the magazine for the next reloading process.

The firearm now is ready to fire. Turn off all safeties and pull the trigger.

The hammer is now released and flies forward into the firing pin. The firing pin then moves forward and hits the
primer which is on the back of the chambered round. The primer creates a spark which ignites the gun powder in the
shell and pushes the bullet with great force out of the chamber and through the barrel.

Also at the same time the bullet is being thrown forward there is a backward force of the firearm and this force is
used to through the slide backwards ejecting the used shell, re-cocking the hammer, and the recoil spring pulls the
slide forward pulling a new round out of the magazine and into the new chamber.

This process keeps continuing until there are no more rounds in the magazine.

The slide being thrown back from the last bullet then comes forward and since there is no more rounds left, the slide
lock pops up and holds the slide back showing that the firearm needs to be reloaded.
FIREARM TAKEDOWN
Frame
The frame is the main structure of the
firearm. It's what holds every thing together
and makes the gun sturdy.

Magazine
The magazine stores the rounds for the
firearm. In an automatic, only one round can
be stored in the chamber so the rest are
stored in little spring loaded cartridges called
magazines.

Slide
The slide is the top part of the firearm. It runs
on rails on the frame and slides back and
forth. When you stick in a magazine for the
first time you rack the slide (pull it back and
let it fall forward), on it's backward motion it
pushes the hammer back and into position to
fire. On its forward movement it pushes a
round off the top of the magazine into the chamber. Then when a round is fired the power of the bullet pushes the
slide back automatically and it throws the empty casing out the ejection port and pushes the hammer back on its
backward movement. Then on the forward movement the slide pushes another round off the top of the magazine into
the chamber and the process repeats until the magazine is out of rounds.

Hammer
The hammer is what drives the firing pin into the primer on the bullet in the chamber. The one shown here is an
external hammer.

Barrel
The barrel is a metal tube which the bullet goes through to get out of the firearm. Inside the barrel are little groves
which are cut in a spiral around the inner side which is called rifling. The rifling causes the bullet to spin (like a
football when a quarterback passes the ball) and makes the bullet more accurate.

Bolt
The bolt holds the slide onto the frame. When this bolt is removed, it allows for the takedown of the firearm for
cleaning or changing and repairing parts. Also the lever on the end which fits flush against the side of the firearm can
be pushed upward to serve as a slide lock, which is used to hold the slide back.

Recoil Spring
After the discharge of the firearm the recoil spring is what pushes the slide forward and back into its original position.
The Main Parts of a Firearm
SLIDE

The slide is the top part of the firearm. It runs on rails on the frame and slide forwards and backwards. When you
stick in a magazine for the first time you rack the slide (pull it back and let it fall forward), on it's backward motion it
pushes the hammer back and into position to fire. On its forward movement it pushes a round off the top of the
magazine into the chamber. Then when a round is fired the power of the bullet pushes the slide back automatically
and it throws the empty casing out the ejection port and pushes the hammer back on its backward movement. Then
on the forward movement the slide pushes another round off the top of the magazine into the chamber and the
process repeats until the magazine is out of rounds.

SIGHTS

The sights on a firearm are for aiming where you want the bullet to go. To aim the firearm get into position, hold the
firearm out straight in front of you and look through the rear sights and you will see the front sight. The front sight
should be aligned right below your target and in the middle of the two rear sights (you should be able to see equal
amounts of daylight on the left and right side of the front sight). Now position the top of the front sight so that it is
equally level with the top of the rear sights. If the front sight is too high, this represents that the barrel of the firearm is
tilted upward and the bullet will shoot high of its target. If the front sight is too low, this represents that the barrel of
the firearm is tilted downward and the bullet will shoot too low.

EJECTION PORT

The ejection port is the hole in the side of the firearm where the slide ejects the empty casing out of the chamber to
allow room for a new round.

SAFETY

The safety is a lever that helps keep the firearm from unwanted firing. The safety keeps the trigger from being pulled
back, which prevents firing. Although safeties are very important to have and to use they should never be relied upon,
you should always follow the safety rules even if the safety is on.
TRIGGER

The trigger of the firearm is the switch that makes the firearm fires the round in the chamber of the firearm. A
semiautomatic firearm refers to one round will be fired each time the trigger is pulled. A fully automatic refers to a
multiple number of rounds will be fired per trigger pull.

TRIGGER GUARD

The trigger guard is what helps guard and protect the trigger and keep it from unwanted firing.

MAGAZINE RELEASE

The magazine release is usually a spring loaded button that when pressed pushes the magazine out of the firearm.
Mostly positioned on the left side behind the trigger, but sometimes they are located on the underneath side by the
bottom of the magazine.

MAGAZINE

The magazines store the rounds for the firearm. In an automatic only one round can be stored in the chamber so the
rest are stored in little spring loaded cartridges called magazines. Magazines are pretty much the same the only
really difference is that there are single stacked magazines and double stacked magazines. The single stacked
magazines are similar to the above only they are thinner and more compact, therefore they cannot hold very many
rounds. Double stacks are kind of staggered-like, like these two shown above. The image on the right shows about
how the rounds are stored, they are almost perfectly beside each other but because of this they are wider but they
hold a lot more rounds.

GRIP

The grip of the firearm is where you hold the firearm. There are many styles and colors. Some are made out of wood;
others are made out of plastic and rubber. The grip is very important, because you must be able to hold the firearm
comfortably and be able to maintain control. Most grips are changeable and another can be purchased and easily
added.
FRAME

The frame is the main structure of the firearm. It's what holds every thing together and makes the gun sturdy.

SLIDE LOCK

The slide lock is a little lever that pops up to keep the slide locked into the backward position. This is useful for
cleaning the firearm and clearing a jam or misfire. Also when you have shoot your last round and the magazine is
empty the slide lock will automatically pop up and hold the slide back to tell you that the gun is empty.

HAMMER

The hammer is what drives the firing pin into the primer on the bullet in the chamber. There are two basic types:
External (shown on the left) and Internal (shown on the right). As far as I know it's pretty much personal preference.
The external hammer is out in the open and can be pulled back with your hand or thumb where as the on the internal
hammer you must rack the side.

ACTION TYPE

There are two action types. One is called singe action. With a single action firearm you must rack the slide or pull
back on the hammer if you have an external hammer before you can fire the weapon and then from there on out the
power from the bullet will move the slide automatically for you. The other type is called double action. On a double
action firearm the weight of pulling back the hammer is fully on the trigger. That is that when you start pulling back on
the trigger the hammer starts to go back and then when the trigger get to the very end the hammer falls forward. So
the trigger pull on a double action firearm is a lot heavier and it takes more force than a single action to fire the
firearm. Also some fire arms are an either or, which means that you can choose which you want.
STYLES

Firearms come in many different styles to fit everyone's personal liking. Here are a few of the different styles/colors
that a firearm might be available in. Note: not all firearms may be available in all of these color configurations and
some maybe available in more. To find out please contact your local dealer or the manufacture.

DISCHARGES

Intentional
Trigger was pressed with the intent for the weapon to fire.

Unintentional

Voluntary unintentional Discharge


Trigger was pressed without the intent for the weapon to fire.

Involuntary unintentional discharge


Sympathetic response
Violent strenuous clenching of one hand results in a clenching of the other hand.
Startle reaction
Loud or unexpected activity causes a clenching of the hand.
Balance disruption
A feeling of falling may cause a clenching of the hand.

Accidental
A mechanical malfunction of the weapon causes it to discharge.
Failures

Pistol Immediate Action Drills


(Autos with slide mounted hammer drop)
The following are step by step clearance procedures for three types of stoppages common to auto pistols.

Class 1 Failure: (Failure to fire)

Indicators: trigger is pressed, firing mechanism falls, and weapon doesn't fire. Causes: Faulty or no cartridge in the
chamber. Clearance Procedure: (Tap - Rack - Assess with a twist) 1. Seat the magazine. 2. Turn the weapon 90
degrees to the right. 3. Cycle the slide quickly and hard while pressing up on the hammer drop lever with the thumb
of finger tips. When releasing the slide, roll the hand up and off the back of the slide.

Class 2 Failure: (Failure to eject)

Indicators: Trigger is pressed and nothing happens or the front sight can't be seen. Causes: "Stovepipe", failure to
eject, weak firing grip, defective extractor, insufficient lubrication. Clearance procedure: (Tap - Rack - Asses with a
twist) 1. Seat the magazine. 2. Turn the weapon 90 degrees to the right. 3. Cycle the slide quickly and hard while
pressing up on the hammer group lever with the thumb or finger tips. When releasing the slide, roll the hand up and
off the back of the slide.

Class 3 Failure: (Failure to extract) (Also called a double feed)

Cartridge or spent casing still in the chamber with a new round trying to chamber. (If in close proximity to your
adversary and a Class 3 malfunction occurs, you should be prepared to immediately attack using the firearm as an
impact weapon.)

Indicators: Press trigger, nothing happens, Class 1 malfunction drill does not clear it. Causes: Extractor, ejector,
magazine, ammunition, dirt. Clearance procedure: (Lock - Drop - Rack, Rack, Rack - TRA) 1. Lock the slide back. 2.
Discard the magazine to the ground (drop). 3. Turn the weapon 90 degrees to the right. 4. Cycle the slide three times.
5. Insert a new magazine and cycle the slide quickly and hard while pressing up on the hammer drop lever with the
thumb or finger tips. When releasing the slide, roll the hand up and off the back of the slide.