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In repeating, bolt-action, and semi-automatic rifles, the magazine is the place that stores the ammunition that has not been fired. All magazines are spring-fed. On lever-action rifles, they can be a removable or a fixed tubular magazine; and on bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles, they are removable or on a hinged-floor and can hold a number of rounds depending upon caliber and magazine-style. When the action is either manually or gas-cycled, a cartridge is picked up from the magazine and placed in the chamber ready to be fired.

  • Magazines are designed with a spring and follower, which push against the cartridges to move them into the action. When checking a magazine to make sure it’s empty, you must be able to either see or feel the follower; if you cannot see or feel the follower, there may be a cartridge jammed in the magazine, which can be dangerous. Tubular magazines require close attention to make sure a cartridge is not jammed in the magazine.
  • Magazines may be detachable or fixed.
    • Detachable magazines allow you to remove extra ammunition from the firearm by simply removing the magazine.
    • Fixed magazines require the ammunition to be removed manually from the gun itself. These include tubular and hinged-floor-plate magazines.
Side view of a Modern Sporting Rifle magazine
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