A handgun is a firearm designed to be handheld, in either one or both hands. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from long guns such as rifles and shotguns (which are mounted against the shoulder).

Major handgun subtypes are the revolver and pistol; other subtypes include derringers, single-shot pistols, semi-automatic pistols, pepperboxes, and machine pistols.

The overlapping variations in meaning of the words "pistol" and "handgun" are discussed below.

Although handgun use often includes bracing with a second hand, the essential distinguishing characteristic of a handgun is its facility for one-handed operation.

Read more about HandgunTypes of Handguns, Operating Mechanisms, Advantages of Handguns Versus Shoulder Firearms, Disadvantages of Handguns Versus Shoulder Firearms, Handguns and Gun Politics

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... Antique gun Colt Diamondback Gunspinning Handgun effectiveness List of handgun cartridges List of cartridges by caliber List of revolvers Rat-shot ...

Famous quotes containing the word handgun:

    I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off—you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
    Harry Fink, U.S. screenwriter, Rita Fink, U.S. screenwriter, Dean Riesner, U.S. screenwriter, and Don Siegel. Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood)