One question many people have when they’re researching their first firearm is the difference between the various action types, and why it matters. The word “action” refers to how a breech-loaded weapon handles its ammunition. This includes how it loads, locks, fires, extracts, and ejects ammunition when you pull the trigger.
The term “action” when referring to firearms may refer to the type of trigger function it has (i.e., single-action, double-action, double-action only, etc.), or it may refer to how a firearm is manipulated in order to insert ammunition into the firing chamber (break-action, bolt-action, lever-action, etc.). More on this below.