Anatomy of the Handgun

Hello! So today we’re going to cover the basic anatomy of handguns. The category ‘handgun’ can be broken down into two basic types. And each type then has variations. But we’re just covering the basics today and maybe in a later post we’ll go over a few of the variations.

The two basic types of handgun are the Pistol and the Revolver. Most modern women will encounter more pistols than revolvers, so we’ll start with that.

Pistols ~

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The history of the pistol is rather unclear, primarily because of the misconception between the words ‘handgun’ and ‘pistol’. People often interchange these two names because they think they mean the same thing. I always did. But while talking to a gunsmith the other day, I was ‘set strait’ on which one was which. A handgun can be used collectively to mean any gun without a shoulder stock and that can be fired with one hand. While a ‘pistol’ is any gun that has a chamber that is integral with the barrel (which means it is in the barrel) and can hold multiple cartridges in the handle. Pistols are generally rather boxy and, especially the new ones, have a magazine which feeds the cartridges into the chamber through the handle of the gun.

The earliest record I can find of the pistol was made by Paul Mauser and his colleagues in 1889.

Distinguishing Features: A chamber that is integral with the barrel of the gun. Multiple rounds of ammunition in a magazine.gun-blog

Technically, a single shot is considered a pistol, except that is only can shoot one round at a time. It also had an interesting history so I’m going to do a separate post on single shots.

The general range that a pistol can shoot accurately is up to 200 yds.

The recoil can be significant, but for the most part, it’s pretty moderate.

Most common types of pistols today: Glocks, Colts, H&Ks (Heckler and Koch),

Springfield Armory, and the Smith and Wesson.

Revolvers ~

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In 1818 Elijah Collier of Britain invented the Revolver or revolving pistol which began to be mass produced in 1822.

Here in America, Samuel Colt invented what we now know as the Revolver in 1836.

Distinguishing Features: Revolving cylinder that contains the cartridges. Also, cap and ball or cartridge arms. Barrel length can be anywhere from 1” to 16”.

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The general range to be effective is up to 100 yds.

The recoil depends on the gun. Some have no ‘kick’ and some can knock you flat.

There are different reasons to own different types of handguns. Everybody has their preferences and will argue them in to the ground. However, it’s best, when looking for the right firearm for you, to try out a lot of different types until you find what you like best. Don’t let other people try to tell you what you need. You need to get the type that you are comfortable with or you won’t carry and shoot it.

And as a side note, let the haters hate. If you love what you’re carrying and it works for you, then that’s what matters. You don’t need their negativity in your life, anyhow.

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