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Old 04-02-2014, 16:45   #1
1Glock17
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" Handgun " vs. " Pistol " ? Thoughts please...

I apologize if this is posted in the incorrect forum. (Please move it to the correct one if I posted in the incorrect one.) I've noticed that antigun people tend to refer to a sidearm as a " handgun " while enthusiasts refer to a " pistol ". Is one term more professional than the other? Or should it not really matter to us as sidearms owners?
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Old 04-02-2014, 16:52   #2
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A "handgun" refers to a revolver and a semi auto. A "pistol" refers to a semi auto.

That said, I know they get interchanged quite a bit.
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Old 04-02-2014, 17:19   #3
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All I know is the word "automatic" is used too often and incorrectly when the media refers to firearms.
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Old 04-02-2014, 17:21   #4
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All I know is the word "automatic" is used too often and incorrectly when the media refers to firearms.
No doubt...
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Old 04-02-2014, 17:22   #5
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I think the more proper term is 'gat'.
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Old 04-02-2014, 17:26   #6
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Old 04-02-2014, 17:29   #7
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Technically a pistol is a handgun with the chamber as part of the barrel.

Muzzle loaders, single shots and self loading (semi or full auto) handguns are pistols.

A revolver has a chamber that is not part of the barrel.

They are all fired from the hand and therefore handguns.

And yes I know there are a handful of "one off" or "experimental Design" examples that break the rules.
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Old 04-02-2014, 17:34   #8
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I think the more proper term is 'gat'.
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Old 04-02-2014, 17:51   #9
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You left out "burner"


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Old 04-02-2014, 18:20   #10
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Old 04-02-2014, 18:30   #11
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You can't pistol-whip someone with a revolver.
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Old 04-02-2014, 18:50   #12
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I once heard them called a hand banger. Yes you read that right, hand banger.


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Old 04-02-2014, 18:55   #13
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Unless it is 1917 and you are in the Canadian Army in the trenches. Then a Colt 1911 was referred to as a 'revolver'.
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Old 04-02-2014, 18:59   #14
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Quote:
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You can't pistol-whip someone with a revolver.
That's correct, you Buffalo them.










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Old 04-02-2014, 19:19   #15
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Old 04-02-2014, 19:21   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batesmotel View Post
Technically a pistol is a handgun with the chamber as part of the barrel.

Muzzle loaders, single shots and self loading (semi or full auto) handguns are pistols.

A revolver has a chamber that is not part of the barrel.

They are all fired from the hand and therefore handguns.

And yes I know there are a handful of "one off" or "experimental Design" examples that break the rules.
This^
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Old 04-02-2014, 20:29   #17
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You can't pistol-whip someone with a revolver.
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Old 04-02-2014, 21:08   #18
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What about "skinning my smoke wagon"?
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Old 04-02-2014, 21:29   #19
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I use handgun as a catch-all for any type of handgun, no matter the action type. I use pistol for autoloading pistols, revolver for revolvers, and a more specific description for things like single-shot break-open or bolt-action handguns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batesmotel View Post
Technically a pistol is a handgun with the chamber as part of the barrel.

Muzzle loaders, single shots and self loading (semi or full auto) handguns are pistols.

A revolver has a chamber that is not part of the barrel.

They are all fired from the hand and therefore handguns.

And yes I know there are a handful of "one off" or "experimental Design" examples that break the rules.
Generally a good guide, but somebody usually points out that Samuel Colt's patent was for a "revolving pistol" and that muddies-up everything.



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Old 04-02-2014, 21:58   #20
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Quote:
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Generally a good guide, but somebody usually points out that Samuel Colt's patent was for a "revolving pistol" and that muddies-up everything.



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What the heck did Sam Colt know about ironmongery?
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Old 04-02-2014, 21:59   #21
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Revolvers were sometimes termed 'revolving pistols' back in the day.

The term 'automatic' can also refer to 'automatic loading'...as it does in 'Automatic Colt Pistol'.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:42   #22
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In the real world, lots of people use "pistol" and "handgun" interchangeably. The explanation by Batesmotel is very correct, but known mostly to folks who are at least somewhat well versed in firearms and the associated terminology.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:16   #23
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What about "skinning my smoke wagon"?


Was that Kurt Russell in Tombstone?
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:40   #24
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What about "skinning my smoke wagon"?
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:58   #25
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Was that Kurt Russell in Tombstone?
I'm your huckle bearer.
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