How you can Save your Life by Understanding a Firearm’s Cycle of Operations

By Rick Casner

The importance in your ability to quickly and efficiently diagnose and clear stoppages and malfunctions when they arise cannot be overstated. Fortunately, it is not as difficult to do this as you might think. It only takes you understanding a firearm’s cycle of operations and getting some hands-on experience with clearing common stoppages. The engineering principles guiding a firearm’s functionality is shared by nearly every firearm that has ever been made. There are eight steps to a firearm’s cycle of operations, which are:

1.       Feeding (Round is stripped from the magazine or is inserted by hand)

2.       Chambering (Round enters the chamber at the rear of the barrel)

3.       Locking (Locking surfaces mate to secure the firearm during firing sequence)

4.       Firing (Firing pin or striker is propelled forward and strikes primer at the rear of the cartridge)

5.       Unlocking (Locking surfaces disengage allowing the cartridges to be stripped from the chamber)

6.       Extracting (Extractor removes spent casing from chamber)

7.       Ejecting (Spent casing is ejected through ejection port)

8.       Cocking (Firing mechanisms are once again “cocked” for continued firing)

It does not matter if you are firing a long gun or hand gun, revolver or semi-auto pistol, the principles remain the same. Sure, the specific mechanisms will vary in their shape and size, however, the overall functionality of firearms remain the same.

For this reason, with even a little practice and an understanding of these principles you will begin to understand the theory behind a firearm’s functionality, allowing you to become more self-sufficient in caring for your firearm so that it may care for you when you need it most.

If you are interested in receiving training in these areas, please use the links below and we look forward to having you in class.

See you soon!

General Firearms Maintenance (Understanding the Cycle of Operations)

Intermediate Pistol (Stoppage and malfunction diagnosis and clearance)