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Another type of firearm is the semi-automatic, self-loading, or autoloading shotgun. Many people mistakenly call these shotguns “automatic shotguns.”

Semi-automatic shotgun

A semi-automatic shotgun shoots, ejects the empty hull, and loads fresh shotshells from the magazine each time the trigger is pulled. The trigger must be pulled for every shot. The action usually remains open after the last round of ammunition is fired and there are no more shotshells in the magazine.

Open the semi-automatic shotgun action by pulling back the operating handle. Usually the action will remain open if the operating handle is pulled all the way back. Depress the release button to close the action. Semi-automatics usually have tubular magazines.

Automatic firearms continue to fire as long as the trigger is depressed and there is ammunition in the magazine. Automatic firearms are illegal to possess in Washington.