Pistol vs Rifle: Difference and Comparison

We have evolved from the era of bow arrows to the guns and canons and now to the bombs. The development in firearms has increased the safety of the countries.

The pistols and rifles are used in different ways, but they are live snatching machines. Pistols and rifles are used for the same purpose.

So they are used interchangeably, but they have some differences between them. Here are some of the basic differences between pistols and rifles.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pistols offer greater portability due to their compact size, making them ideal for personal protection.
  2. Rifles provide increased accuracy and range, making them suitable for hunting and long-range shooting.
  3. Rifles use a longer barrel, resulting in higher bullet velocity and better stability in flight.

Pistol vs Rifle

A pistol is a type of gun that is small in size, light in weight, has very short barrels, and they are used to fire at objects only at a short distance. A Rifle is a type of gun that’s seen as heavy ammunition as it is heavy in weight, and it Is used to fire at objects at a far range.

Pistol vs Rifle

The pistols are small in size and have a short range of firing capacity. As these are small in size and lighter in weight, they are easy to be carried. And the firing is also comparatively easy due to its small size. It can be fired with one hand o sometimes both.

The rifles are long-range guns. These firearms are larger also heavier in weight. These are not that much easy to carry. While firing, the person has to hold the rifle with both hands and should have extra support with the shoulder.

So these rifles are not carried along always.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPistolRifle
Size and weightSmall in size and lighter in weightLarge in size and heavier in weight
Barrel sizeShort barrelsLong barrels
Range The shooting range of pistols is less The shooting range of rifles is more
Velocity of bulletHalf of the velocity of the bullet by riflesThe double of the velocity of bullets by pistols.
UsesNormally used for self defense purposeNormally used for war purposes, hunting

What is Pistol?

The pistols are small in size and have a short range of firing capacity. As these are small in size and lighter in weight, they are easy to be carried. And the firing is also comparatively easy due to its small size. It can be fired with one hand o sometimes both.

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The barrels in the pistols are also small in size. The pistols are easy to use, and there are much more advances in comparison to rifles. These pistols have safety features to assure that there is no accidental firing.

To fire, a small pressure on the trigger is enough to fire the bullet. But practice is needed to fire the bullet at the right aim as the aim gets missed due to the recoil motion of the gun.

Recoil motion means that the next bullet is getting reloaded and ready to be fired. 

There are different types of pistols used in today’s time. Normal people can have a pistol, but that pistol is only legal if the person has a license.

People carry pistols mainly for self-defense. It is normally carried by high authority persons. Common people are not allowed in India to carry pistols. 

pistol

What is Rifle?

The rifles are long-range guns. These firearms are larger also heavier in weight. These are not that much easy to carry. While firing, the person has to hold the rifle with both hands and should have extra support with the shoulder.

So these rifles are not carried along always. To use rifles, proper training is very necessary to know all the facts and processes to handle this deadly weapon.

The rifles are used for distance firing. The rifles can be used from a distance of 400 feet. These guns are mainly used for hunting and war purposes. The rifle bullets are very damaging.

The name rifle is given due to the process of rifling in the barrel. This process gives the bullet more power and higher accuracy. The barrels of the rifles are comparatively larger than that of pistols.

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The rifles are not easy to carry. These are balanced on the shoulders of the person and held by both hands. As the bullets are of higher velocity, the recoil velocity is also very intense.

The user should be properly trained with the use of rifles; otherwise, an even gets damaged from the recoil motion. There are different types of rifles with modern technologies. They are Spencer rifles, semi-automatic rifles, etc.

There are some rifles that can be used by standing them on a stand due to their weight.

rifle

Main Differences Between Pistol and Rifle

  1. Pistols are small in size and lighter in weight, but on the other hand, the rifles are large in size and heavier in weight.
  2. The pistols have short barrels, but on the other hand, the rifles have long barrels.
  3. The shooting range of pistols is less in contrast to the shooting range of rifles is more.
  4. Pistols have half of the velocity of the bullet by rifles. On the other hand, the rifles have a double velocity of bullets of pistols.
  5. Pistols are mainly used for self-defense. On the other hand, rifles are mainly used for hunting purposes.
Difference Between Pistol and Rifle
References
  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s002210000540
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0085253815522564

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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14 thoughts on “Pistol vs Rifle: Difference and Comparison”

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