The Encyclopedia is a project of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights launched on 2 December 2013. The Enyclopedia aims to provide accurate, up-to-date information on weapons, the effects of their use, and their regulation under public international law, in a format that is accessible to non-specialists.+ Find out more
Bolts can be open or closed. Weapons which fire from a closed bolt (e.g. assault rifles) have a round in the chamber before the trigger is pressed. Weapons which fire from an open bolt (e.g. machine guns) have the working parts to the rear and no round in the chamber when the trigger is pressed. Open-bolt weapons are less subject to heating, but are also less accurate than those firing from a closed bolt. For machine guns, this is in part compensated by the bipod or tripod.
Bolt action refers to a gun mechanism activated by manual operation of the breech block that resembles a common door bolt.National Rifle Association of America’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Glossary, http://www.nraila.org/glossary.aspx?s=Glossary&st=&ps=.
Last updated on: 01 February 2014