Difference between pistol and revolver?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by jasmck, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. jasmck

    jasmck New Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    I am trying to settle a friendly dispute with a friend. The other day we got into an argument of whether all revolvers are pistols, even though all pistols are not revolvers. I argued that Both revolvers and pistols are handguns, but that revolvers are not pistols. My friend argued that underthe common vernacular, the word revolver and pistol could be used interchageably, although, we agree that a semi auto pistol is not a revolver.

    Webster's defines pistol as a handgun whosese chamber is integral with the barrel, and revolver as a handgun with a cylinder of several chambers brought succesively into line with the barrel and discharged with the same hammer.

    Webster's clearly supports my position, but it isn't good enough for my friend to settle our lunch bet. Does anyone know of a higher authority?

    Thanks for your help,

  2. Common language (read, sloppy) usage does allow for the use of "pistol" to mean either a semi-auto or a revolver, though that is not technically correct. To shooters, "pistol" refers only to semi-autos, never to revolvers, and a revolver, of course, is, well, a revolver, a wheelgun, a sixshooter, or sometimes even a hogleg, but never a semi-auto. It's kinda like using "rifle" to refer to any long gun firing a bullet, but technically "rifle" refers only to those with lands and groves (rifling) in the barrel, not smoothbores like muskets.

  3. jeep45238

    jeep45238 New Member

    Nov 7, 2005
    "pistol as a handgun whosese chamber is integral with the barrel"

    Last I checked, no revolver puts the round into the barrel, fires, then pulls the round back into the cylinder and cycles to the next round, but EVERY pistol I know of has an intrigal chamber built into it's barrel.
  4. wundudnee

    wundudnee New Member

    Mar 31, 2001
    Perry, Kansas USA
    Here's what my Webster's says about revolving pistols.

    pistol: noun. A small firearm made to be held and fired with one hand: Most pistols are now either revolvers or magazine-fed automatics.

    revolver: noun. A pistol with a revolving cylinder containing several cartridges so that it can be fired in quick succession without reloading.

    Here is a picture of my "revolving" pistols. :p :D

    Oh yeah, I've heard all the revolver/pistol arguements and I really don't get the controversy.
  5. tom vito

    tom vito New Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    But then wouldn't this allow a "shotgun" to be considered a rifle? There are rifled shotgun barrels.....
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