“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” — 1791
There are two types of handguns – revolvers and semi-automatics. Either is fine for self defense. Which one you carry decide to carry will depend on several factors, including at least some of those discussed on our FAQs page.
As the name implies, a revolver uses a rotating cylinder with multiple firing chambers. Revolvers are generally simpler to operate than semi-automatic handguns, and many prefer a revolvers to semi-automatic handguns because revolvers are easier to load and shoot, and becasue they are less complex, there is less that can noramlly go wrong with a revolver. Also, because of the way a revolver operates, malfunctions are normally easier to correct. However, the downside to carrying a revolver is that they generally hold less ammunition than a semi-automatic, and although revolvers are easier to load, reloading can take longer, and must be practiced often to become proficient, especially in high-stress situations.
These firearms were once commonly referred to as "automatics." This led to a great deal of confusion among those unfamiliar with firearms. Thankfully, that term has fallen out of favor with anyone having any actual knowledge of firearms. It is now typically used only by hoplophobes such as leftist politicians, news reporters, and anti-gun propaganda groups Contrary to what these individuals would have us believe, a semi-automatic firearm is not the same an an automatic firearm. While an automatic firearm will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held down, a semi-automatic firearm only fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled. The user must release the trigger and pull it again for each subsequent shot.
Many people prefer to carry semi-automatic handguns for self-defense, because they typically hold more ammunition than revolvers, and they are normally much faster to reload, as they use a detachable magazine that holds additional ammunition, and can be quickly and easily swapped out.
The action is a group of moving parts used to load, fire, and unload a firearm. Revolvers and many semi-automatic handguns have different types of actions. They are:
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