Encyclopedia Article


A pistol is a firearm, or gun, that can be used with one hand, leaving the other hand free for defense or the use of another weapon. There are two main classes of pistols: revolvers and automatics. Revolvers are multi-shot firearms, meaning individual bullets are encased in a revolving element. Automatic pistols are more modern and involve multiple bullets stored in a magazine chamber just below the barrel of the gun.

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"A nine-shot revolver, June 12, 2011" by Woody Hibbard is licensed under CC BY.

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