Is a Pistol the Same Thing as a Handgun?

Difference Between Pistols & Handguns in Leander TX

People who think there are too many guns and fear for their safety push for stricter regulations on firearms possession. Others feel if more stringent laws are passed, they won’t be safe and will no longer be able to protect themselves. Pistols and handguns have some similarities. Both are serious tools and can be operated by both trained and untrained people. The firearms education professionals from Online Texas LTC, a premier provider of Texas conceal carry online training, explain the distinction between pistols and handguns.

“Gun” in Common Usage

“Gun” is a term commonly used to refer to a handheld weapon. A gun fires a projectile at its target. The projectile can either be solid, liquid, or gas, but it’s usually in a solid state. Various improvements, including the invention of gunpowder and the use of iron in manufacturing, led to the creation of the modern gun. Pistols and handguns are examples of commonly used guns.

How “Handgun” Is Used

The term “handgun” is used to represent a small gun that is held and operated with one hand. A handgun has a short barrel, and most people find the operation of a handgun convenient. Handguns were produced for the first time in the 15th century. In the early days, their use was limited, and only a few wealthy people could afford them. Over time, handguns became more popular, and they’re currently used by law enforcement as backup weapons and by civilians for self-defense. Handguns are classified as either muzzle loaded (the ammunition is loaded from the front part of the barrel) or breech loaded (the ammunition is loaded from the rear part of the barrel). Revolvers and pistols are the most common types of breech-loaded guns.

What “Pistol” Means

Pistols are a type of handgun, and they were first produced in the 19th century. Most people use the words “pistol” and “handgun” interchangeably. The most distinct feature of pistols is that they contain one chamber that’s an integral part of the barrel, while revolvers have several revolving chambers with no connection to the barrel. Like all handguns, pistols are small and easy to carry. The diverse variety of pistols include single-shot pistols, semiautomatic pistols, multibarreled pistols, and machine pistols. An external safety mechanism is often incorporated in the design to prevent accidental discharge, keeping the user and other people safe. 

Whether you buy a pistol or handgun for self-defense, hunting, competition, or another purpose, make sure you have the proper training to use and care for it safely. Reach out to the firearms education pros from Online LTC Austin for the highest-quality training available. If you need outstanding safety training or you want to take a top-notch Texas online CHL class, call us today at 512-675-2124.

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