Firing a cartridge is a physical and chemical chain reaction that takes place in a split second.
- The chain reaction starts with the pulling of the trigger, which releases the firing pin
- The firing pin strikes the primer and the priming compound detonates, creating a small flame
- The flame ignites the powder charge, which rapidly burns a high volume of gas. The gas is under very high pressure and seeks a path of least resistance down the bore to the muzzle (open end of gun)
- Of course, the bullet stands in the path of the expanding gas and the muzzle
- The gas pushes the bullet along as it travels to the muzzle