Chamber (firearms)
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In
firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns for painting ...
s, the chamber is the cavity at the back end of a
breechloader A breechloader is a firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons ...
's
barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical A cylinder (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Eu ...
or
cylinder A cylinder (from ) has traditionally been a Solid geometry, three-dimensional solid, one of the most basic of curvilinear geometric shapes. Geometrically, it can be considered as a Prism (geometry), prism with a circle as its base. This traditio ...
, where the
cartridge Cartridge may refer to: Media * Broadcast cartridge, used in radio stations * 8-track tape cartridge, a 1960s-1980s music storage format * Compact Cassette, used with sound recording and reproduction and data storage for early microcomputers * ...
is inserted before being fired. The rear opening of the chamber is the breech, and is sealed by the
breechblock A breechblock (or breech block) is the part of the firearm action of a typical double-barreled shotgun, with the action open and the extractor visible. The opening lever and the safety catch can also be clearly seen. In firearms terminology, an a ...
or the
bolt Bolt or bolts may refer to: Implements and technology * Bolt (fastener) A bolt is a form of threaded fastener with an external male thread requiring a matching pre-formed female thread such as a nut. Bolts are very closely related to screw ...
.


Function

Rifle A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water gun ...

Rifle
s and
pistol A pistol is a handgun, more specifically one with the chamber (firearms), chamber integral to its gun barrel, though in common usage the two terms are often used interchangeably. The English word was introduced in ca. 1570 – when early handg ...

pistol
s generally have a single chamber integral to their barrels, but
revolver .357 Magnum The .357 Smith & Wesson Magnum, .357 S&W Magnum, .357 Magnum, or 9×33mmR as it is known in unofficial metric designation, is a smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produc ...

revolver
s have multiple chambers in their cylinder, and no chamber in their barrel. Thus, rifles and pistols can usually still be fired with the
magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated and Paint sheen, matte paper. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content (media ...
removed as long as a
cartridge Cartridge may refer to: Media * Broadcast cartridge, used in radio stations * 8-track tape cartridge, a 1960s-1980s music storage format * Compact Cassette, used with sound recording and reproduction and data storage for early microcomputers * ...
is inserted into the chamber, while a revolver cannot be fired at all with its cylinder swung out. The act of ''chambering'' a cartridge means the insertion of a round into the chamber, either manually or through the
action ACTION is a bus operator in Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the Federation of Australia, federation of the colonies of Australia as the seat of government for the new nation, it is Australia's l ...
of the weapon, e.g.,
pump-action Pump action or slide action is a repeating firearm A repeating firearm (or repeater for short) is any firearm A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual. The term is legally defined further in dif ...
,
lever-action Lever action is a type of repeating firearm action that uses a manually operated cocking lever A lever ( or ) is a simple machine consisting of a beam (structure), beam or rigid rod pivoted at a fixed hinge, or '':wikt:fulcrum, fulcrum''. A l ...
,
bolt action Bolt action is a type of manual that is operated by directly manipulating the via a , which is most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon (as most users are ). Most bolt-action firearms use a rotating-bolt design, where the ha ...
, or automatic action generally in anticipation of firing the weapon, without need to "load" the weapon upon decision to use it (reducing the number of ''actions'' needed to discharge). In firearms design or modification, "chambering" is fitting a weapon's chamber for a particular caliber or round, so a
Colt Model 1911
Colt Model 1911
is ''chambered'' for
.45 ACP The .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) denotes various John Moses Browning Cartridge (firearms), cartridge designs primarily used in Colt's Manufacturing Company, Colt and Fabrique Nationale de Herstal semi-automatic pis ...

.45 ACP
or
.38 Super The 38 Super, also known as 38 Superauto, 38 Super Auto, or 9×23mmSR, is a pistol A pistol is a handgun, more specifically one with the chamber (firearms), chamber integral to its gun barrel, though in common usage the two terms are often ...

.38 Super
, or ''re-chambered'' for .38/.45 Clerke. While the majority of firearms are chambered for one caliber, some are chambered for multiple calibers; however firing an oversized or undersized cartridge can be hazardous.


Forensics

The chamber is a key component to the practice of Forensic firearm examination. The chamber is known to imprint its surface striations irregularities on the
cartridge Cartridge may refer to: Media * Broadcast cartridge, used in radio stations * 8-track tape cartridge, a 1960s-1980s music storage format * Compact Cassette, used with sound recording and reproduction and data storage for early microcomputers * ...
case, in what are called chamber marks, due to the pressure produced when
shooting Shooting is the act or process of discharging a projectile from a ranged weapon (such as a gun, bow and arrow, bow, crossbow, slingshot, or blowgun, blowpipe). Even the acts of launching flamethrower, flame, artillery, dart (missile), darts, har ...

shooting
. Such imperfections in chamber may be produced in the manufacturing process or through extensive use. Such chamber marks are even more pronounced on substandard
firearms A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns for painting ...
or when firing a from an undersized chamber. In recent years there has been a push to automate this process via the use of automated firearms databases.
Ballistics Ballistics is the field of mechanics Mechanics (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its ...
identification has also seen the development of microstamping technology which purposefully creates chamber marks through engravings on the
firing pin #REDIRECT Firing pin , showing the integral firing pin A firing pin or striker is part of the firing mechanism used in a firearm or explosive device, designed to ignite combustions/detonations by delivering an impact (mechanics), impact force to ...
and breech face.


Sources


See also

*Glossary of firearms terms


External links


Chamber
Firearm components {{Firearms-stub