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Bearcat
Joined
Mar 23, 2022
Messages
57
Location
Clarksville Indiana
Where did the term called pistols come from?
From Wikipedia

A pistol is a handgun, more specifically one with the chamber integral to its gun barrel, though in common usage the two terms are often used interchangeably.[1] The English word was introduced in ca. 1570, when early handguns were produced in Europe, and is derived from the Middle French pistolet (ca. 1550), meaning a small gun or knife. In colloquial usage, the word "pistol" is often used to describe any type of handgun, inclusive of revolvers (which have a single barrel and a separate cylinder housing multiple chambers) and the pocket-sized derringers (which are often multi-barrelled).

The most common type of pistol used in the contemporary era is the semi-automatic pistol, while the older single-shot and manual repeating pistols are now rarely seen and used primarily for nostalgic hunting and historical reenactment, and the fully automatic machine pistols are uncommon in civilian usage due to generally poor recoil-controllability and strict laws and regulations governing their manufacture and sale.
Technically speaking, the term "pistol" is a hypernym generally referring to a handgun and predates the existence of the type of guns to which it now applied as a specific term, that is: in colloquial usage it is used as a hyponym to specifically describe pistols with a single integral chamber within its barrel.[2] The American Webster's Dictionary defines it as "a handgun whose chamber is integral with the barrel".[3] This makes it distinct from the other types of handgun, such as the revolver, which has multiple chambers within a rotating cylinder that are separately aligned with a single barrel;[4][5] and the derringer, which is a short pocket gun often with multiple single-shot barrels and no reciprocating action.[6] The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) legally defines the term "pistol" as "a weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having: a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s); and a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s)",[7] which includes derringers but excludes revolvers.

In contrast with modern colloquial usage, the term is technically synonymous with any handgun type, including all revolvers and derringers. UK/Commonwealth usage, for instance, does not usually make distinction, particularly when the terms are used by the military. For example, the official designation of the Webley Mk VI revolver was "Pistol, Revolver, Webley, No. 1 Mk VI".[8] In contrast to the Merriam-Webster definition,[4][5] the Oxford English Dictionary (a descriptive dictionary) describes "pistol" as "a small firearm designed to be held in one hand",[9] which is similar to the Webster definition for "handgun";[10] and "revolver" as "a pistol with revolving chambers enabling several shots to be fired without reloading",[11] giving its original form as "revolving pistol"
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,391
Location
Richmond Texas USA
There's a question that comes up when I see fellas with multiple handguns in their collection
Which one started it all = Was the Bees Knees that started your addiction?
Nice Single Actions Jim~~~
Gary
Well now that we got the Revolver Pistol thing sorted out, I think. Back to the main event :)
The 357 in the middle I bought new in 1967 after selling my Single-Six.
In 2001 I started SASS and needed another Shooter so then came the top one.
Well things went along pretty good until I joined this form in 2003. I just thought I was happy with 2 old Rugers. I saw pictures on here of those funny looking Flattop shooters and thought geeeeeeee I need some of those to make into 45 Colt with the pretty Colt looking frame. Well my SASS shooters also need 51/2" barrels and a case hard frame. Then I started talking with that guy named Flatgate and things just went down hill from there. :) To make matters worse when you do SASS and decide to get a new Pistolie, you have to get two so they match. Notice in the pictures all the matching pairs of shooters and a back up of course.
1657240427818.png


1657240532060.png
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,769
Location
NYS
More Ruger Porn..... MAGNIFICENT..!!!

p.s. I didn't read all the above posts but, FWIW, I've always called my handguns "pistols" and I have no idea why.... In my backward NYS, our licenses came from the County Clerk's "pistol permit division" until they gave it a new name with the word "Safety" somewhere in the title... :oops:

J.
 

hdonlybob

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
316
Location
Brodhead, Wisconsin
OH Gosh, brings back some really great memories..
I had well over ~100 three screws, and loved them all. Especially the flat tops.
Sold most all of them ~16years ago..
However, I still have this old lonely .22 Single six hanging around.. :)
 

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vlavalle

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 10, 2022
Messages
75
Location
Chandler, AZ
During the 1800-1900's most cap & ball were referred to as pistols. It was only with the advent of cartridge guns, especially Double action swing out or break top cylinder types that the term revolver began to be used more. I have heard of people early on being pistol whipped, but never revolver whipped. I have heard of original Walkers and Dragoons being called Horse pistols, but never horse revolvers. Because someone decided to put a "technical" definition around these pieces, does not change what the actual nomenclature was, and how it was used. Automatics were never anything other than "self loading pistols" in Europe then the USA, until people got tired of calling them that. also,Thesaurus.com lists "revolver" and "pistol" as synonyms. ,I can agree that there are technical differnces and if you want to get hung up on them such as single chamber versus multiple chamber, fine. But most are not interested in the semantical differences. this is short, and too the point. last few sentence say it all (IMHO) https://www.ssusa.org/content/origin-story-the-word-pistol/.
Well, it is really the definition of words, and I am setting it straight as to the difference between a pistol and a revolver. It has nothing to do with "single chamber versus multiple chamber" at all. A pistol loads the round IN THE BARREL prior to shooting it, which of course, a revolver does not. I quite agree that most people do not know this and tend to call any hand gun a pistol, which is incorrect. Like I said, it is like calling a truck a car.

Also, the expression 'pistol whipped' goes back to the early days of handguns, when the handguns were actually pistols, and hence the origin of this expression. All muzzle loading handguns are pistols. And today's semi-auto handguns also fire the round while it is sitting in the barrel, and they are pistols as well. But revolvers definitely are not.
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
Well, it is really the definition of words, and I am setting it straight as to the difference between a pistol and a revolver. It has nothing to do with "single chamber versus multiple chamber" at all. A pistol loads the round IN THE BARREL prior to shooting it, which of course, a revolver does not. I quite agree that most people do not know this and tend to call any hand gun a pistol, which is incorrect. Like I said, it is like calling a truck a car.

Also, the expression 'pistol whipped' goes back to the early days of handguns, when the handguns were actually pistols, and hence the origin of this expression. All muzzle loading handguns are pistols. And today's semi-auto handguns also fire the round while it is sitting in the barrel, and they are pistols as well. But revolvers definitely are not.
Who are you setting it straight for? Kind of like wondering how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? What is the point? Basically it seems like you did not like the documentation I gave you previously because it did not fit your point of view? www.ssusa.org/content/origin-story-the-word-pistol/ Just wondering? Because it seems to me, that article went a long way to 'setting it straight".(IMHO)
 

vlavalle

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 10, 2022
Messages
75
Location
Chandler, AZ
During the 1800-1900's most cap & ball were referred to as pistols. It was only with the advent of cartridge guns, especially Double action swing out or break top cylinder types that the term revolver began to be used more. I have heard of people early on being pistol whipped, but never revolver whipped. I have heard of original Walkers and Dragoons being called Horse pistols, but never horse revolvers. Because someone decided to put a "technical" definition around these pieces, does not change what the actual nomenclature was, and how it was used. Automatics were never anything other than "self loading pistols" in Europe then the USA, until people got tired of calling them that. also,Thesaurus.com lists "revolver" and "pistol" as synonyms. ,I can agree that there are technical differnces and if you want to get hung up on them such as single chamber versus multiple chamber, fine. But most are not interested in the semantical differences. this is short, and too the point. last few sentence say it all (IMHO) https://www.ssusa.org/content/origin-story-the-word-pistol/.
"Thesaurus.com lists "revolver" and "pistol" as synonyms" because people use the terms loosely and interchangeably, as I stated before, and this is very evident here in the forum. But that does not mean that it is used correctly, according to the actual definition. In general, people do not know the difference between these two terms, and that is what I m pointing out here.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Messages
59
Everything has to be named or put in a slot. Pistol vs Revolver. Is a Camaro,
Well I guess the argument that most don't give a damn about is still ongoing.
Maybe those that give a crap about what a gun is called should start their own thread.
I started this post to show what my old bullet throwers looked like. Last time I checked this was a gun forum not a dictionary. :)
great set of Rugers! I know I would rather fill my hand with a Blackhawk any day,,, over a plastic grip under a steel slide.
 

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