Automatic firearms can operate in a variety of ways:
These different systems are sometimes combined, especially
in larger arms such as artillery pieces.
Even in small arms, designers can and have mixed and modified
them in a variety of ways,
so the categorizations about which systems are used
in different circumstances (for example in pistols versus
rifles) are simply guidelines.
- Inertia (Blowback)
- Delayed Inertia (Delayed Blowback)
- Short Recoil
- Long Recoil
As this is a general discussion,
some clever details of unusual and eclectic designs aren't
See for example the caseless Heckler & Koch G11,
rotating-feed FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon,
gas-delayed Steyr GB pistol, gas-operated IMI Desert Eagle pistol,
That said, most of the characterizations in this section fit
actual practice well.
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