9Jul/130

Briefing on Semi-Automatic Handguns

semi automatic handguns

Types of Semi-Automatic Handguns

Developed in the late 1800’s, a semi-automatic handgun is a type of pistol that has a single chamber and barrel and uses the power from each fired shot to load a new round into the chamber while simultaneously ejecting the used casing from the gun. This allows another shot to be fired as soon as the trigger is pulled again until the magazine is empty.

Ammo for semi-automatic handguns is loaded into a removable magazine that is commonly inserted into the grip of the gun. There are no current federal US laws regulating the maximum amount of ammo a magazine may contain though several states have imposed their own restrictions. Texas does not currently have any restrictions on ammo capacity.

Semi-automatic handguns only fire one shot per pull of the trigger, unlike fully automatic weapons that will fire continuously while the trigger is held down until the ammo limit is reached. A revolver can also fire a round for each pull of the trigger, but does so in a different way and is not considered a semi-automatic handgun. Revolvers don’t automatically eject the spent casing when a new shot is fired and typically hold fewer rounds than a semi-automatic. A revolver will also take longer to reload because you must manually eject the casings and load each round separately. Semi-automatic handguns reload much more easily since you can insert a fully loaded magazine into the gun very quickly. Some self-defense experts believe that these factors alone mean that semi-automatic handguns posses a significant advantage over revolvers. With any firearm purchase, though, the best choice is the one that is comfortable and easy for you to use.

The concept and design of semi-automatic handguns has been widely accepted as the most popular type of concealed firearm and also as the primary type of handgun for military and police use. Modern semi-automatic handguns are available for a wide range of bullet calibers, commonly ranging from .22 to .50 caliber.

As with any weapon, operational and safety training is vitally important as well as proper maintenance to ensure that it is used and stored safely.

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