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I Did not know this.......Technically speaking

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Sullyman, Feb 23, 2012.

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  1. Sullyman

    Sullyman Member

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    I was listening to NPR today about Glocks. The author of a book about Glocks referred to a "pistol" as a semiautomatic handgun like a Glock as opposed to a revolver. A pistol and a revolver are subsets of a handgun. I guess I always thought a "pistol" could be a semiautomatic, derringer, single shot or a revolver. But even going to Wikipedia (for what it is worth) there is a distinction. A Revolver is a Handgun with a revolving cylinder with multiple chambers. A Pistol is where the Chamber is integral to the barrel.

    Hence a revolver is not a pistol.
     
  2. spazzymcgee

    spazzymcgee Member

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    Correct. Calling a revolver a pistol is like calling a magazine a "Clip".
     
  3. Sullyman

    Sullyman Member

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    or any tissue a Kleenex
     
  4. newbuckeye

    newbuckeye Member

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    ^^^^some people will quietly correct you, some will sigh and remain silent.....
     
  5. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    ATF Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide

    Technically a pepperbox is a pistol, not a revolver.

    The division of handguns into pistols and revolvers was formalized in my memory by the 1968 Gun Control Act, (which is now Title I of the Federal Firearms Regulations, with the 1934 National Firearms Act conprising Title II).

    There will be a test next Thursday.
     
  6. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    This has been a change in terminology that people who write dictionaries have been trying to force on us for quite a while. Everyone I know uses "pistol" as a synonym for "handgun", and it's the people, not some arbitrary committee, that make our language what it is. I'll continue to consider any handgun a pistol (though in truth I rarely even use the word anyways, preferring handgun instead).
     
  7. Sullyman

    Sullyman Member

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    Ok thus far the three people who have responded knew the distinction. There have been over 60 views. How many others did not know?????????

    Am I the only one who did not know a revolver is not a pistol?????? If so I'll crawl back into the corner and do remedial training :)
     
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I'm going to take the liberty of quoting member Loosedhorse here:

     
  9. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    You say tomato...

    I knew the difference. I don't really care. USPSA shooters were adamant about the difference between a clip and a magazine. I don't really care.

    As for what Sam Colt would have thought, had he been alive with the SAA was invented, I don't care about that either, except in 1873 they didn't have any name for a semi auto.
     
  10. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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  11. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I bow to Hatcher's "Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers". After all, he da man, or was, anyhow.
     
  12. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    Jeez, I wonder what the Mateba Unica 6 was classified as by the ATF since it was recoil operated...

    TCB
     
  13. khegglie

    khegglie Member

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    So the Rossi Ranch Hand is a pistol....
     
  14. FMF Doc

    FMF Doc Member

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    Why are we allowing the government to dictate to us what we shall of shall not refer to an item by? Don't them control enough of my life without telling me what I should call my BOOM STICK!
     
  15. 316SS

    316SS Member

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    Oh dear, this again. As has been discussed once or twice before on this forum, the word came from the Middle French pistole and referred to a small weapon capable of being fired from one hand, i.e. a handgun. It predates the autoloading design by centuries.

    It all depends on what your definition of the word "is" is.
     
  16. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    Revolvers are pistols. There is 50 years of history and writings between the invention of revolvers and pistols that pretty thoroughly establish this. I don't know where this latest thing about about revolvers not being pistols comes from but its nonsense. As far as the fed goes they bought a lot of pistols that were revolvers before the 1911 was invented and they can call ketchup a vegetable but it doesn't make it true.
     
  17. exavid

    exavid Member

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    I seem to have several handheld firearms of various types in my gun safe.
     
  18. kozak6

    kozak6 Member

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    You should have made this a poll.

    Personally, I side with Sam Colt.
     
  19. silversport

    silversport Member

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    so when in the days before semi automatic pistols they called revolvers "pistols" they were really talking about something that hadn't been invented yet???...really???...

    (whoops...I see this has already been covered...nothing to see here...:D)

    Bill
     
  20. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Member

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    A revolver must be a pistol. Over top of the door at my club it says, "Pistol Range"....lol. Either that, or we just don't have a revolver range.
     
  21. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I never knew it was actually factually defined between the two. I always thought it was the old "Every square is a rectangle but not every rectangle is a square" thing.

    A revolver is a pistol. A pistol MIGHT be a revolver or a semi-auto. A semi-auto is never a revolver, etc. I generally call a revolver a revolver and a semi-auto a semi-auto. Unless I'm buying a magazine. Then I might say to the guy behind the counter, "I am looking for a magazine for my pistol". Semantics aside, I have never been in a gun shop that started looking for something that would fit a revolver when I say that:neener:

    Actually, if I'm in informed company, I usually refer to my handguns by make and model. Most shooters know what a Glock is. Most know what a Blackhawk is, etc.
     
  22. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Prior to 1900, handguns of all kinds were called "pistols," although they might be described in more specific words, such as revolver, six-shooter, single-shot, etc. This continued to a degree after 1900, but after the introduction of Colt and other box-magazine fed pistols came about these were often called " automatic pistols," or "automatics" for short. Today the word "pistol" has largely replaced "automatic"

    Somehow I'm not going the lose any sleep over all this. :D
     
  23. jdh

    jdh Member

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    Why are the called revolvers when the cylinder rotates?
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Revolve, Rotate, same differance.
    Would you call them Rotators instead of Revolvers?

    re·volve [ri-volv] Show IPA verb, -volved, -volv·ing.
    verb (used without object)
    1. to move in a circular or curving course or orbit: The earth revolves around the sun.

    2. to turn around or rotate, as on an axis: The wheel revolves slowly.

    rc
     
  25. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Member

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    The revolver is a pistol that has come to be better known by its nickname.
     
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