A Brief History of Pistol – for newcomers

Last updated: November 18, 2022

A brief history of Pistols or handguns must be released before delving into that topic. The history of handguns is very intricate and intertwined with other guns. Therefore, this article will provide a rough overview of what one should know, especially for newcomers to the subject matter.

Pistoia Underground Museum

Why Name Pistol?

The vocabulary for handguns varies around the world. In English, they are called pistols, which comes from the French word “Pistolet” and Italian “Pistolese”. This is derived from the city where this innovation first originated: Pistoia Ref.Pistoia Underground Museum

The pistol was invented in the 16th century, during a time when medieval wars were often taking place across Europe.

A pistol is a small firearm that can be carried by an individual, as opposed to a larger cannon. The working principle of a pistol is that the user ignites black powder using a flintlock mechanism, which propels the bullet out of the barrel.

Pistol and Short Gun?

The term “pistol” originally only referred to a handgun with a fixed barrel, but as times have changed and military advances have been made, the term has come to encompass all types of short guns.

In Europe, they are commonly known as pistols, while in America they are simply called handguns because of their small size.

Now, don’t worry too much about the vocabulary. If we translate the word “short gun” into English, we will get the word “Shotgun”, which, of course, is a shotgun.

Short Gun

Incidentally, nowadays the definition of a gun is becoming more and more precarious. Because we have short guns that can shoot like submachine guns or machine guns, plus modern submachine guns are almost always short guns


The types of handguns are divided by operating system and history.

Handguns Operating

revolution history Handguns Operating
revolution history Handguns Operating

Single Shot

The flintlock musket is an ancient system that relies on loading bullets and gunpowder into the barrel. This method was borrowed from the old-fashioned flamethrowers which would set fire by using dynamite fuses/firecrackers. Firing continuously is very slow under this system and usually requires volley firing, involving multiple rounds from several gunners simultaneously.

Multi Barrel

A Multi barrel system, or “Multi Barrel”, is a gun that can fire multiple bullets simultaneously by way of relying on the number of barrels to assist. The rounds fired per minute are 4 to 16 depending on the number of barrels.

multi-barreled guns have a shared history with shotguns; dating back to this time period, the gun was also developed with


The harmonica loading system is a type of breech-loader that is side-loaded. The shape of the gun is cross-shaped, and there is an accordion magazine inserted in the middle. This system requires time to move the accordion by hand between shots, and Harmonica guns were some of the first semi-automatic firearms developed.


The revolver feeding system, in its simplest explanation, is a reloading device that we commonly think of when talking about revolvers.

The original muzzle-loading design was gradually replaced by the side-loading breech loader method as ammunition technology developed. This latter action type saw widespread use by cowboys during America’s western expansion and has since evolved into the form most often seen today.


The purpose of a semi-automatic gun is to allow the shooter to fire continuously without having to manually cock the weapon each time. 

The Semi-Automatic Disconnector: How Does It Work?

Semi-automatic firearms have several different operating systems, but they all essentially perform the same task of automatically reloading and cocking the weapon after each shot is fired.

Auto loading

The term semi-automatic pistol comes from the self-loading action characteristic of the gun. In older models, shooters were responsible for feeding ammunition manually into the chamber. Semi-automatic firearms cut down on those steps by reloading automatically after each shot is fired.


Pistols have a long and varied history, with different designs and operating systems. The most common type of pistol is the semi-automatic, which reloads automatically after each shot. This makes them easier to use than older models that required manual reloading.

While pistols were originally designed for hunting or self-defense, they are now commonly used in sport shooting as well.

Whatever their purpose, pistols continue to be one of the most popular types of firearms. If this article was helpful and informative, please let us know in the comments below.


how much is a pistol

Generally, pistols range in price from $100 to $1,000 or more. Some high-end models can even cost up to $5,000.

what pistol does the army use?

The army uses the M9 pistol. It’s a 9mm, semi-automatic pistol that was designed for the United States military in 1985. It has a magazine capacity of 15 rounds, and is capable of firing both single and double-action.

how to aim a pistol?

Some shooters prefer to align the sights of the gun with the target and use a sight picture, while others prefer to focus on the target and let the gun naturally drift up or down until it is aligned with the target. Many shooters find that they are able to shoot more accurately if they combine elements of both methods.

what is a double action pistol?

A double action pistol is a type of handgun that is able to fire both single shots and double shots. This type of weapon is often favored by law enforcement and security personnel because it allows them to fire rapidly when needed. Additionally, double action pistols are also considered more accurate than single action pistols.

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