Rifles are classified by action, the functional mechanism that makes the moving parts work and cycles the rounds of ammunition. Bolt action, lever action and semi-automatic are the three types. Popular bolt actions operate on a simple design that requires manual cycling. They are easy to use and maintain. Lever action rifles also require manual cycling but usually sport shorter barrels, and are easy to swing, aim and fire. Semi-automatics like modern sporting rifles, are based on the popular rifle first made by Armalite, the AR-15, and offer the most versatility. Which choice you make comes down to personal preference. In reality, the next topic in this process is the most important for your decision.