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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Gentlemen a quick question. When I first started shooting in the mid 60s , a pistol was a handgun of which there were different types semi-auto , revolver , single shot. Now it appears that only semi-autos are pistols. Have I been mistaken all along are was there change in definition at some point. I always thought Colt patented the first as a revolving breech pistol
Thanks for any help
Gerald
 

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I agree with your assesment..to me a pistol is a handgun and may be any of the different flavors. This current trend of calling autoloader only "pistols" is at the most WRONG!
 

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It has always been my belief that handguns covers the gamut. Pistols are and have always been semior automatic handguns. Wheel guns have always been revolvers.

Never heard it any other way.

_________________
if it flies it dies, if it runs it's done

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Zahn on 2001-05-20 20:48 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was really wondering at what time the change was made . I know that the first flintlocks the various militarys offered were called pistols ( the various sea service pistols, coat pistols , and later horse pistols )and I do think that the wording in Colts patent was revolving breech pistol. I was looking for some insight on the history of why the word pistol now applies to autos.
Thanks
Gerald
 

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All of my life 40+ years except for the last few, the word Pistol covered all types of hand guns. But, for whatever reason the nomenclature was changed by whomever. Pistol is still correct, otherwise why would a "semi-auto" PISTOL not just be called a Pistol? A revovler is a revolving chamber pistol. You guys can call them what you want but a Pistol is still a Pistol irregardless of what handle you wish to impose upon them.
-Shields UP!-
-JHG-
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello all I was just curious as all dictionarys list a pistol as a firearm to be fired with one hand. I thought it sounded like something a gun magazine writer might have said in the past and has become the gospel. I have only really started shooting again for the last couple of years after about a 7-8 year lapse and have been chastiezed (have no idea if I spelled that one right) for saying pistol when talking about a Smith 44 mountain gun . I did not overlook the fact that my buddies who ripped me over this could'nt hit a bull in the #ss with a bass fiddle. So I guess I am out of touch
Thanks again
Gerald
 

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As Cooper points out, they are ALL pistols (semi-autos, revolvers, single-shots), SOME of them are revolvers.

Also, as pointed out by Cooper, Colt himself called his revolvers "revolving pistols".

Unlike "magazine" and "clip", which are two very different things, "pistol" may be used generically and is a more elegant term than "handgun" (if I'm using BOTH hands is it a HANDSGUN?).

Rosco
 
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