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Definition: Semi-automatic guns are those which fire the round in the chamber, extract it, eject it, and load a new round into the chamber (if one is available in the magazine), each time the trigger is pulled. Most semi-autos will also cock the gun at the same time, but some semi-auto pistols do not.

The semi-auto is one of the most wonderful actions in the world - when it works. Some designs function perfectly almost always (the AK-47 comes to mind). Others are more finicky and have been known to cause problems. As with any other thing, not all of them are created equal.

Accuracy with a semi-automatic rifle will vary from terrible to fantastic, depending on the rifle's condition, design, and type of ammunition used. The semi-auto may be the least consistent of all rifle actions, from one model to the other.

Semi-auto pistols are similar in that some are not accurate, others are. Some are dependable, others are not. John Browning proved about a century ago that a semi-automatic pistol could be made to be extremely reliable, and accurate enough for military use... but this is not always the case.

Also Known As: semiautomatic; semi-auto; autoloader; autoloading rifle; self-loader; self-loading
Semi-automatic rifles and handguns can be very useful, and are not machine guns, despite what you've seen on the evening news.
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