The break-action shotgun operates on the same principle as a door hinge. Simple to load and unload, the break-action shotgun is the most popular firearm for clay target sports.
- To open the action, point the barrel(s) at the ground. A release is pressed, and the barrel drops downward. This allows the shotshells to eject or to be removed manually if the firearm is loaded.
- Hinge-action firearms have a separate barrel for each shot rather than a magazine. Most models have one or two barrels.
- Double-barrel configurations are side-by-side barrels or over-and-under barrels.