A Guide to the Different Types of Handguns

Were you aware that there was a wide variety of firearms that you could get? Over the past few years, the government has forced the discussion to revolve around personal protection more and more.

One of the types of guns that you can use for self-defense and target practice is a handgun. But not everyone knows what a handgun is, how it works, and the best ones to get.

Here is a guide to the different types of handguns.


A revolver pistol is a type of handgun that has a revolving cylinder containing several chambers or places for holding cartridges. The cylinder rotates to bring each chamber in line with the barrel, which allows the user to fire cartridges consecutively. These pistols are popular for their classic design and rugged construction.

As with most other handguns, a revolver pistol varies from palm-sized derringers popular in the Wild West to larger handguns excellent for defensive purposes. Revolvers typically hold between six and eight cartridges but can accommodate up to twelve in some cases. They are reloaded by manually ejecting spent cartridges and inserting new ones individually into each empty chamber. For those looking to enhance their shooting experience with high-quality magazines, Natchez Shooting & Outdoors offers a wide selection that can fit various handgun models, ensuring you’re always prepared, whether for self-defense or target shooting.

Semi-Automatic Pistol

They are favored for their firepower, reliability, and ease of use. This type of firearm uses the energy from gunpowder used to discharge a round of ammunition and then configures a new round into the chamber for firing. They are commonly used for self-defense and target shooting.

Law enforcement officers and some military personnel use them due to their accuracy, grip, and stability. The size, type, and make of a semiautomatic pistol can vary depending on the make and model chosen. While some have higher magazine capacities, others have features such as improved accuracy, sight systems, enhanced triggers, and longer barrels.

The ideal semi-automatic pistol depends on what it is going to be used for and its context, as well as the shooter’s preferences. No matter the use, it should meet your needs and provide an experience that can bring years of enjoyment.

Single Shot Pistol

A single-shot handgun is the least complicated type of handgun out there and is great for beginners. A single-shot pistol is just what the name implies, having only one round in the chamber at any given time. This type of handgun requires the shooter to manually reload the weapon after each shot.

Single-shot pistols are relatively small in size and usually weigh less, making them ideal for carrying as a backup or keeping in the car. Single-shot pistols are also commonly referred to as muzzleloaders because the powder, and in some cases the projectile, must be loaded through the barrel muzzle, making them traditional and historic. You can fire multiple shots from a single-shot pistol by loading a fresh round after each pull of the trigger.


Derringer pistols are a popular type of handgun characterized by their small size and lightweight. This type of firearm is named after Henry Derringer, who designed and produced the first such weapon in 1852. Derringers are designed to be concealed and typically have a single- or double-barrel design with a distinct hammer, usually operated by a single button.

Most models are small and thus are associated with easy concealment. While these types of handguns are not generally used in target practice, they can be relied upon for protection against threats in close quarters. Derringers are typically chambered for smaller calibers such as .22, .38, .32, and .41.

Pocket Pistol

A pocket pistol is a type of handgun that is designed for concealed carry and self-defense. It is a smaller gun compared to a full-size handgun but is suitable for concealed carry as it is easy to conceal. Pocket pistols typically have shorter barrels, which makes them easier to carry.

In addition, these handguns are usually lightweight and can be used to carry for protection in the event of an emergency. Pocket pistols are also equipped with a variety of features, such as a magazine release, safety features, grips, and different types of triggers. As for accuracy, pocket pistols are not suitable for long-range shots due to their small barrel and size.

However, they are suitable for short-range shots, allowing the shooter to hit their target with ease. Ultimately, pocket pistols are great for self-defense, especially when you’re on the go and don’t have access to a full-sized handgun.

Compact Pistol

Compact pistols are a popular choice for concealed carry and home defense. They are lightweight, easy to transport, and small enough to fit in most pockets and purses. Compact pistols tend to have less stopping power than full-sized guns due to the smaller cartridge size, but they are more concealable.

Compacts are a great option for those who need to feel secure in uncertain situations and don’t require maximum stopping power. Examples of compact pistols include many popular single- and double-stack styles from SIG Sauer, Wilson combat, and Smith & Wesson. Many of these pistols have a shorter grip and shorter barrel than a full size, making them easier to handle and conceal.

Air Pistol

Air pistols are becoming increasingly popular for sport shooting, target practice, and competitive matches. They are powered by air, typically compressed air or CO2, and can shoot either steel, plastic, or lead pellets. The pellets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the type of ammunition depends upon the type of pistol that is being used.

Air pistols are easy to use, and when fired, the ammunition travels at a much lower velocity than traditional firearms and makes a noise that is much less intense. Depending on the pistol, air pistols can be accurate and effective when used for target shooting and for hunting pests and small varmints. Air pistols provide an effective and safe way to practice accurate shooting without disrupting your neighbors.

Here Is A Guide to the Different Types of Handguns

Different types of handguns are an integral part of any safety protocol. With the many different types, it can be difficult to decide which handgun is best for your needs. To make the best decision, consider all of the factors outlined in this guide.

Don’t forget to practice safe gun storage and handling to ensure the safety of yourself and all of those around you. Shop and compare now to find the right handgun for you.

For more tips and tricks, check out some more gun content on our blog!


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