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Old April 20, 2013, 08:25 AM   #3
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,126
Yup. Radial force is contained by the walls of the chamber. Rearward force is contained by the locking lugs and their slots in the forward portion of the receiver.

The bolt handle of a bolt-action rifle, when it serves as a third lug, is a "case of in-case" of failure up front--which is an extremely rare event.

The pressures from the rapid combustion are indeed contained within the chamber and barrel.

Recoil is the normal reaction from the mass of powder and bullet going in one direction and the gun itself pushed back in the opposite direction.
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