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Cycle-of-Fire Steps

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Before examining any firearm, the examiner must thoroughly understand the cycle of fire. This refers to the steps involved in discharging a firearm. Regardless of action type or design, the operation of all firearms follows the steps outlined in the cycle of fire.

The steps in the cycle of fire are as follows:

  1. Feeding
  2. Chambering
  3. Locking
  4. Firing
  5. Obturation
  6. Unlocking
  7. Extraction
  8. Ejection
  9. Cocking

The elements of these steps can be traced in the firing of any breech‑loading weapon.  In lower velocity firearms, some of the steps may be simplified or combined, but are nevertheless present in principle.

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