Types Of Handguns

A handgun is a kind of firearm designed to be handled by one hand only (either one), and it is different from firearms like shotguns and rifles, which are classified as long guns. There are five basic types of handguns, although the number of guns that fall under those categories is vast. The five types of handguns (also called pistols) are: single-shot pistols, multi-barreled pistols, revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, and machine pistols.

The single-shot pistol is the oldest form of handgun and that is why it is also the most simple. In the 14 century ACE. that single shot pistols were used, they basically looked like little cannons made to fit in one’s hand (they even worked like cannons did). Of course, through the course of time, the ignition devices that these pistols employed were constantly upgraded and they became even more powerful. Single-shot pistols may not be considered practical, but they are never out of fashion. Nowadays, they are used for target shooting, as well as exhibition games.

The next step in the development of the various types of handguns were multi-barreled pistols, meaning pistols that provided the shooter with the opportunity to fire more than once before having to reload. Typical examples of multi-barreled pistols are derringers, pepper-box pistols, and howdah pistols.

At some point, however, gunsmiths realized that it would be much more practical to design a handgun that would use some kind of device to reload the same barrel, rather than having to handle multiple barrels. It was this realization that essentially gave rise to the modern revolver, which is essentially the most common of all types of handguns. As the name implies, the revolver is a cylindrical device (filled with cartridges), that revolves around a piece of metal. Each time that you pull back the hammer, the cylinder revolves at a fixed position so that it fills the ignition chamber with a new cartridge. Most revolvers have from five to eight chambers.

As for the remaining two types of handguns, semi-automatic and machine pistols, these are handguns that take advantage of the energy used to fire one shot so that the chamber is filled with the next cartridge, thus making the pistol ready to fire again without having to pull any hammer. Semi-automatic pistols either use a mechanical device to achieve this goal, or some kind of compressed gas that pushes the next bullet into the chamber every time you make a shot. Apart from selective firing though (as the one just described), machine pistols can fire all of their bullets by pulling the trigger only once and simply keeping the pressure on (until you are empty). Without doubt, machine pistols are definitely much more powerful compared to the other types of handguns, but they are not as effective as one would expect. In fact, machine pistols have proven to very difficult to handle, and if a semi-automatic pistol is not enough to do the job, the larger submachine gun which requires two hands to handle is usually chosen over the machine pistol.