In modern firearm designs, a firing pin and primer are used to ignite the propellant in the cartridge which propels the bullet forward. The firing pin must travel a short distance, creating a short delay between the user pulling the trigger and the weapon firing, which generally decreases accuracy.
There are two approaches to electrically firing the cartridge. One method retains the primer, which functions analogously as a conventional primer. However, rather than being struck by a firing pin or by equivalent mechanical means, an electric current serves to detonate the primer. After which, the provided action delivers the thermal impulse necessary to ignite the propellant, which then deflagrates, producing pressure. The second approach is called electrothermal-chemical technology which utilizes a plasma cartridge. In this mechanism, an electric current is used to generate plasma that ignites the propellant in a controlled manner.
- Gromer, Cliff (December 6, 2004). "Remington's Model 700 EtronX Centerfire Target Rifle Redefines The Big Bang Theory". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 18 December 2017.