Semi-automatic firearms contain a self-loading mechanism, which enables a user repeated shots with each pull of the trigger. Unlike an automatic weapon which requires one depression of the trigger for consecutive discharges, a semi automatic firearm requires a depression for each discharge.
Both automatic and semi-automatic weapons fire significantly faster than single or bolt action firearms, which require a cock-back or pump after each shot. There are three main classifications for semi-automatic weapons:semi automatic handguns, semi automatic shotguns, and a semi automatic rifle.
The semi automatic rifle was first created in 1885 by German engineer Ferdinand Ritter Von Mannlicher. The new firearm which required no manual loading between shots quickly became a success.
Shortly after it's inception, innovation hit the market and the semi automatic rifle took on thee distinct different forms. Each style (blowback, gas operated, and recoil operated) possesses a unique operating mechanism, which enables the weapon to reload without intervention from the shooter. The blowback semi automatic rifle uses energy from the moving cartridge case to power its mechanisms and enable an automatic reload.
The blowback semi-automatic rifle is spring operated, fires a low powered ammunition, and is considered to be an archaic model. The gas operated semi automatic rifle is the more common type, used in the M4, M16, and AR15 models.
Lastly, the recoil model is similar to a blowback design, except the function is slightly delayed which allows for more powerful ammunition to be discharged. Listed below are the firing specs for the semi automatic rifle used by the United States military-
The M16A2 5.56mm rifle is a lightweight, gas-operated, magazine-fed, weapon designed for either burst (3-round discharges) or
semiautomatic fire (single shot) through the use of a selector.
Length: 39.63 inches (100.66 centimeters)
Weight, with 30 round magazine: 8.79 pounds (3.99 kilograms)
Maximum range :3,600 meters Maximum effective range:
Muzzle velocity: 2,800 feet (853 meters) per second
Rate of fire:
Cyclic: 800 rounds per minute
Sustained: 12-15 rounds per minute
Semiautomatic: 45 rounds per minute
Burst: 90 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
Unit Replacement Cost: $586
The semi-automatic shotgun uses gas to eject an empty shell and subsequently load another round; this weapon can fire a 12 or 20 gauge cartridge with every trigger depression while requiring no manual loading. Popular models of semi-automatic shotguns include:Remington 1100, Mossberg 930, and the Beretta AL391.
These firearms are commonly used for recreational sports such as skeet, clay, or trap shooting. The average semi automatic shotgun is 50 inches long, weighs 8 lbs, and fires 12 or 20 gauge cartridges.
Semi automatic handguns typically use recoil energy to mechanically reload ammunition. The initial round is manually loaded into the chamber by pulling back and racking the slide. Once the trigger is depressed and a shot is discharged the recoil operation of the firearm will automatically eject the casing and reload the chamber.
Semi automatic handguns are used as a sidearm for infantry men in the military. Popular makes include-Beretta 92, Browning 9mm, and Smith & Wesson .45 ACP. Semi automatic handguns are lightweight, easy to conceal, and can fire as fast as the shooter can depress the trigger.
The Beretta 92 is used by the United States military and its specs include:
Barrel length-4.7 inches
Feed system-loaded through a detachable box magazine which holds 15-20 rounds of ammunition.