As the cartridge is fired, the bullet travels down the barrel and the side pressure within the cartridge case forces the elastic brass case tightly against the walls of the firing chamber to act as a gas seal, while the rearward thrust of the gas within the cartridge case is transmitted to the face of the breechblock. Since the bullet is very much lighter than the breech assembly, it is out of the barrel before the rearward action has opened the breech appreciably. As the breechblock is blown back, the pressure within the cartridge case drops rapidly, and the cartridge case contracts. Thus the extractor in the fact of the breechblock draws the empty cartridge case back with it until it is ejected through a port in the slide. As the slide goes back, it operates an interrupter mechanism which prevents the trigger from functioning until ready for the next shot. The breechblock durjng its rearward stroke, compresses the recoil spring below the barrel and also the spring around the striker. The sear catches the striker and holds it back as the recoil spring pulls the slide assembly forward to chamber the next cartridge rising from the magazine.
Before another shot can be fired, pressure on the trigger must be released to enable the trigger spring to push the trigger forward far enough to operate the interrupter so that contact can be made for the next pressure on the trigger.
A pocket pistol which would fire automatically as long as the trigger was held back would be an extremely dangerous instrument, as the pistol would rise rapidly after each successive recoil. This interrupter mechanism assures that only one shot will be fired with each pull of the trigger. It is possible for a pistol expert to fire about 6 shots in one second, however, with this arm. When the last shot has been fired, the magazine follower rises to interfere with the for ward movement of the breechblock, thereby holding the breech open to inform the shooter that his pistol is empty. When the magazine is withdrawn, the slide runs forward. When a loaded magazine is inserted in the handle from below, the slide must again be drawn bac\t and released in order to chamber the first cartridge to start firing again.
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