A pistol is a handgun, more specifically one with the chamber integral to its gun barrel, though in common usage the two terms are often used interchangeably. The English word was introduced in ca. 1570 – when early handguns were produced in Europe and is derived from the Middle French pistolet (ca. 1550), meaning a small gun or knife. In colloquial usage, the word "pistol" is often used to describe any type of handgun, inclusive of revolvers (which have a single barrel and a separate cylinder housing multiple chambers) and the pocket-sized derringers (which are often multi-barrelled).
The most common type of pistol used in the contemporary era is the semi-automatic pistol, while the older single-shot and manual repeating pistols are now rarely seen and used primarily for nostalgic hunting and historical reenactment, and the fully automatic machine pistols are uncommon in civilian usage due to generally poor recoil-controllability and strict laws and regulations governing their manufacture and sale.

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  1. UnionMillsNW

    Which Combo to take on a Road Trip?

    Hey Folks, I'm planning a road trip to some distant states this fall (TN, KY, AR, MO, ect). I'll be mostly avoiding major cities and camping along the way or staying with friends. I generally take a rifle with me on road trips. I'm torn between two options Option #1 AR-15 (5.56) w/...
  2. L84Cabo

    Video: Sgt. John A Chapman, Medal of Honor Recipient, Posthumously

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  3. M

    Pistols and Rifles (PCC) for Steel Challenge, Falling plates, and Bowling pins (pistol)?

    Recently moved to a new area and I am just now looking into membership at the nearest outdoor/Indoor range which is about 50 miles away. I will attend an orientation and get a membership as soon as I can. In addition to recreational shooting I would like to try one or more of the competitions...
  4. Nick Burkhardt

    Other State  Don't try to snatch and run at a gun store

    February 26, 2019 / Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA "Three alleged criminals tried to run out of the gun store with guns in hand, Caleb jumped over the counter and slapped the gun out of one of the guys standing there and then chased after the other two as they ran out the front door. Kelley saw...
  5. CountryGent

    SHTF ... only armed with pocket pistols?

    So, my beloved and I are up in Eugene for the very wacky cocktail party, of sorts. Alas, this one was not nearly as delightful as the last one, though we had fun together. There will be other antics in the summer months, including trips farther north, so other adventures are on the way, but I...
  6. PNWguy

    FYI: S&W rebate is not $50 for pistols.

    Sent in my rebate for military and law enforcement and was under the impression it was $50. Got the card and it is only $40. Went to the S&W rebate website and couldn't find any reference to the amount. I swore it was $50... Then I did an internet search and found this image on a forum...
  7. tac

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  8. Retired Guy

    Other State  AZ DPS dumping FN Pistols

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  9. PNWguy

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  10. HighlandLofts

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  11. N

    Tomb of the Unknowns Guards Begin Use of Custom M17 Pistols

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  12. Reno

    Long guns or pistols?

    Just for fun. I’m realizing I really don’t like pistols much. I own far more long guns. I think I need to start looking at this differently, as one can fit way more pistols in a safe lol. So which way do you lean?
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