Pistol vs Handgun: Difference and Comparison

Firearms are one of the most important parts of the safety of the country as well as for the individual. Firearms are the modern types of equipment used by the army and police in a country.

There are many types of firearms around. Two main types of firearms are handguns and long arms. Among them pistols and handguns are there. So here are some thread diameter differences between them.

Key Takeaways

  1. All pistols are handguns, but not all are pistols; “handgun” encompasses a broader range of firearms.
  2. Pistols are semi-automatic firearms with a chamber integrated into the barrel, whereas handguns include revolvers and single-shot firearms.
  3. The choice between a pistol or another handgun depends on the intended use, personal preference, and local laws and regulations.

Pistol vs Handgun

The terms “pistol” and “handgun” are used interchangeably, but technically, a pistol is a type of handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel, as opposed to a revolver.

Pistol vs Handgun

Pistols are firearms that are used for short-range firing. These are fired from a distance of meters.

If these firearms are shot from a long range, they will not be able to give the damage as they can do from a short range. These are fired with one hand or sometimes both.

Handguns are firearms that are mainly fired with one hand only. These are of many types, like revolvers, semiautomatic pistols, etc. There are less than eight cartages in the handguns.

The cartages are the packages of bullets. The cartages are in a separate magazine cylinder near the barrel.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPistolHandgun
Number of cartagesMore than eight cartages in a magazineLess than eight cartages in a magazine
Arrangement of magazineThe magazines are arranged in the gripThe magazines are arranged in the cylinder near the barrel
Trigger pullTrigger pull is lessTrigger pull is more
WeightLight weightHeavier in comparison due to the cylinder
Misfired cartridgeNot easy to removeEasier to removed from the magazine

What is Pistol?

The pistols were first used in the 16th century during wars. It was first used in Europe. The pistols are also a kind of handgun. Pistols are handguns, but all handguns are not pistols.

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Pistols have some distinct features that are not there in other handguns. Pistols are firearms that are used for short-range firing. These are fired from a distance of meters.

If these firearms are shot from a long range, they will not be able to give the damage as they can do from a short range. These are fired with one hand or sometimes both.

The pistols have their magazines in the grip only. There are no extra chambers allotted for the magazines.

The advantage is that this leads to a decrease in the weight of the pistol, and it can be managed to shoot using one hand only as the magazine is in the barrel, so it becomes tough to get out the misfired cartage.

The whole section needs to be removed. Pistols are normally not allowed for the common people to carry. High-rank police or army officers mainly carry these.

The people who have pistols should have legal documents from the government. Otherwise, carrying illegal firearms is a punishable offence in India.

pistol 1

What is Handgun?

Handguns are the guns that are fired, carrying them in hand. No extra stand or shoulder support is needed to manage the recoil speed.

These handguns are smaller in size and are for short-range shooting. The range of a maximum of 100 yards is best for the required damage to be done. 

There are many kinds of handguns. Some are automatic, and some are not. These handguns are of a variety of ranges and differ in the technologies used for their manufacture.

Handguns are firearms that are mainly fired with one hand only. These are of many types, like revolvers, semiautomatic pistols, etc.

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There are less than eight cartages in the handguns. The cartages are the packages of bullets. The cartages are in a separate magazine cylinder near the barrel. 

The pistol is also one kind of handgun only. The trigger pull of handguns like revolvers is a little harder than pistols.

These are also heavier in weight due to the extra cylinder magazine. The magazine of this firearm consists of less than eight cartages.

The unused or misfired cartages are easier to remove as these have a separate chamber. Handguns also need legal permission to be carried around. Otherwise, those are illegal if there are no supporting documents.

handgun

Main Differences Between Pistol and Handgun

  1. There are more than eight cartages in a magazine of pistols. On the other hand, less than eight cartages are there in a handgun magazine
  2. The magazines are arranged in the grip of a pistol. On the other hand, in a handgun, the magazines are arranged in the cylinder near the barrel.
  3. Trigger pull is less in the pistol in comparison to the trigger pull is more in other handguns.
  4. The pistols are lightweight in comparison to handguns, which have cylinders that are heavier in weight.
  5. The misfired cartages are not easy to remove. On the other hand, handguns are easier to remove from magazines.
Difference Between Pistol and Handgun
References
  1. https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.87.6.974
  2. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/PIJPSM-03-2013-0034/full/html

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Pistol vs Handgun: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Understanding the technical variations between pistols and handguns is crucial information in the study of firearms

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