The break-action firearm operates on the same principle as a door hinge. Simple to load and unload, a hinge action is often chosen as a hunter’s first firearm.
- To open the action, point the barrel(s) at the ground. A release is pressed, and the stock drops downward. This allows the cartridges or 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, but some have up to four.
- Some models also have an exposed hammer(s), which can be dangerous.