Cocking is preparing the firing chain for the next round.
In systems with a rotary hammer, cocking is usually
a matter of the bolt pressing the hammer back down into
engagement with the sear as the bolt moves rearward.
In systems with a spring powered striker or a fixed striker
the sear usually catches the striker or bolt after it has
reached its rear limit and starts to move forward.
In fully-automatic guns with a separate striker and bolt,
some mechanism must be provided to release the sear once
the fresh round is fully chambered.
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