A semi-automatic rifle, also known as a self-loading rifle, is a rifle that fires one shot with every pull of the trigger. In comparison, a fully-automatic rifle will keep firing as long as there is still ammunition left.


As a successor to older bolt-action rifles, the ability for a semi-automatic rifle to automatically cycle its rounds increased the rate of fire greatly when compared to a bolt-action rifle. The first known successful design for a semi-automatic rifle was that of an 1885 design by Ferdinand Mannlicher; this design was then followed by a few other semi-automatic rifles designed by him, such as the Model 1893.


These rifles usually operate via gas operation, blowback or something similar.