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Generally speaking, the ammunition is held in a magazine (or clip, as some people refer to it), that snaps into a slot on the underside of the receiver. To load the first round off of the magazine, you pull back the charging handle which is part of the bolt assembly then release it to strip off the top round out of the magazine and force it into the chamber, ready to fire. The pulling back of the charging handle compresses a spring, which gives it the force to forcefully push forward into firing position.

Each subsequent firing of the gun works the action via gas pressures to push the bolt back within the receiver, which on it's spring rebounded return, strips off the next round. With the AK-47 in full auto, this action happens repeatedly with the round being fired each time the bolt is fully locked up, as long as the trigger is depressed until you release the trigger or empty the magazine. In semi-automatic mode, you have to release the trigger in order to fire the next round with a subsequent pull of the trigger.

I guess that's about it in a nutshell.

Hope it helps some.
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