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Difference between Pistol and Handgun

Difference between Pistol and Handgun

What’s the difference between a pistol and a handgun? This is a question that many people ask, but not everyone knows the answer. The key difference between these two firearms is that pistols are designed to be fired with one hand, while handguns require both hands.

What is Pistol?

The pistol is a caliber of ammunition typically used in handguns. Though less powerful than rifle rounds, pistols are still lethal at close range and can be easily concealable, making them a popular choice for self-defense. Pistol rounds come in a variety of calibers, with the most common being 9mm, .38 Special, and .45 ACP. While 9mm is the most popular option for self-defense, many experts believe that the larger .45 ACP is more effective at stopping an attacker. Pistol ammunition can also be used in some types of submachine guns and carbines, though these weapons are often chambered for higher-pressure rounds such as .40 S&W or .357 SIG.

What is Handgun?

A handgun is a type of firearm that is designed to be held and fired with one hand. Handguns are small and compact, making them easy to carry and conceal. They are also relatively simple to use, making them popular for self-defense. Handguns come in a variety of calibers, or bullet sizes, and can be either revolvers or semi-automatic pistols. Revolvers have a cylinder that holds the bullets and revolves as the gun is fired, while semi-automatic pistols have a magazine that stores the bullets and automatically loads them into the chamber. Handguns are typically less powerful than rifles but more powerful than shotguns.

Difference between Pistol and Handgun

There is often confusion between the terms Pistol and Handgun. Although both refer to firearms, they actually have different meanings. A Pistol is a small, hand-held firearm that is designed to be fired with one hand. In contrast, a Handgun is any type of firearm that can be held and operated with one hand. This includes both pistols and revolvers. As a result, all pistols are handguns, but not all handguns are pistols. So when you’re talking about firearms, be sure to use the correct term.


The main difference between pistols and handguns is that pistols are designed to be fired with one hand, while handguns can be fired with either hand. Handguns tend to have a longer barrel than pistols, which gives them more accuracy when firing. Pistol barrels are usually shorter in order to make the weapon easier to handle and conceal. Both pistols and handguns are used for self-defense, but handguns are also commonly used for hunting or target shooting.

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