Four different types of pistols that you can buy

Types of Pistols: 4 Factors To Consider When Buying a Pistol


If you are a new shooter, you might struggle to grasp how to go about buying your first pistol especially due to the wide selection of available choices. In this post, we'll talk about the various pistol models you can buy as well as the factors you should take into account when buying a handgun.


What Is a Pistol?

 A variety of different pistols that you can buy

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A pistol is a compact gun that can be held in one hand. They are also known as concealed carry guns or handguns. They were developed in Europe in the 16th century and are currently among the most widely used weapons in the United States.


What Are the Different Types of Pistols


Handguns can be categorized based on their action type. The following list includes the different types of handguns that are currently available:


1)  Single Shot Pistols

 A grey and black single shot pistol

Credit: Eclats Antivols


The phrase "single action" refers to having to manually cock the hammer before you can fire. After manually reloading it, the gun is ready for another round of firing. Single-shot pistols can fire only one round at a time. They are the earliest kind of handgun and are frequently employed in wild game hunting and are therefore commonly known as hunting handguns.


2)  Multi-Barreled Pistols

 A grey and black multi barreled pistol

Credit: Joe Loong


Multi-barreled pistols are the exact opposite of single-shot handguns. They can fire multiple shots without having to reload.


3)  Revolvers

 A grey revolver also known as a wheel gun

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Revolvers are frequently referred to as "wheel guns." They have a spinning cylinder packed with cartridges at their center. Depending on the revolver, these cylinders can hold anywhere between five and eight shots. As soon as the shooter pulls the trigger, a fresh round is fired from the cylinder.

There are two types of revolvers: single action and double action. The single-action revolver is a Western-style firearm that needs to be cocked with the thumb before firing. On the other hand, the double-action revolver is a classic police-style firearm that can fire repeatedly with a firmer trigger pull.


4)  Semi-Automatic Handguns

 A black and grey semi-automatic handgun

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Most modern handguns are semi-auto pistols. They are commonly used by law enforcement, the military, and civilians.

A semi-automatic pistol uses the energy from the fired cartridge to automatically replenish the chamber for the next shot. Semi-auto handguns are mostly magazine-fed and let the shooter carry a lot of ammo along with extra magazines.


Less Popular Types of Pistols


Semi-automatic handguns, revolvers, multi-barreled pistols, and single-shot pistols are common handguns that are available. The following are some less popular types of handguns that you will find:


1)  Harmonica Pistols

 A grey and brown harmonica pistol with sliding magazine

Credit: Sporting Classics Daily


Harmonica pistols are pistols with sliding magazines. These pistols require manual magazine movement, setting them apart from semi-automatic pistols.


2)  Lever Action Pistols

 A silver, brown and bronze lever action pistol



The majority of lever-action weapons are rifles, but they can also be handguns. Lever action pistols are also popularly called Mare's Leg (a weapon made famous by Steve McQueen in the iconic TV series Wanted Dead or Alive). The Mare's Leg was made to resemble the old-fashioned western television shows that many people recall watching as kids.


3)  Automatic Hand Guns

 A black automatic hand gun also known as a machine pistol

Credit: Steve Z


Machine pistols or automatic handguns are capable of rapid and consecutive fire with a single pull of the trigger. Machine pistols typically have selective firing, which switches between fully automatic and three-round bursts for each trigger stroke. These types of handguns are uncommon and challenging to handle due to their small weight and quick firing capability.


4)  Bolt Actions Pistols

 A black and silver grey bolt-action pistol

Credit: Ballistic Magazine


A bolt-action pistol works similarly to how a door bolt opens and closes. These pistols provide greater caliber and ammo options.


Factors To Consider When Buying a Pistol


Not all handguns are made the same, so before choosing a particular model, you should carefully weigh your options. Here are four things to think about while purchasing a pistol.


1)  The Caliber of the Weapon

 Ammunition that is ready for loading into a pistol

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The size of a round is determined by its caliber. You must pay close attention to a handgun's caliber depending on its intended use. For instance, you will need a gun with a higher caliber if you wish to engage in competitive shooting. In contrast, a handgun with a lower caliber can be excellent for self-defense.


2)  The Cost of the Gun

 A pistol on some money

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You must be prepared to cover the costs associated with firearm ownership. To make operating your weapon safer and easier, you'll need to buy ammo, cleaning supplies, and other gear. All of these expenses need to be accurately predicted.


3)  Reliability

 A black handgun with some ammunition lying next to it.

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Stick with a handgun model and design that has a history of being incredibly reliable. Reading reviews to discover what past customers have to say about a product is a great way to determine a handgun's dependability.


4)  Try It Out Before You Buy It

 A man holding a black pistol in his hands ready to shoot

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Visit a gun store, show the salesperson the model you're considering, and ask them if you can have a look at the gun. Having the gun in your hands might help in decision-making. Ask the gun shop if you can fire a few rounds to test the pistol's recoil and other features. If you want to practice shooting before buying a pistol, you'll need shooting targets to use. Shooting at EasyShot targets can help with this.




This introduction to the various types of pistols is meant to familiarize you with some of the terminology and technical aspects of handguns. Remember to take into account the above factors before visiting a gun shop to purchase your first pistol.


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