What is the Difference Between Automatic Pistols and Semiautomatic Handguns?

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What is the difference between automatic pistols and semiautomatic pistols?

What is the Difference Between Automatic Pistols and Semiautomatic Handguns?

Newcomers to firearms may be confused by the terms "automatic pistol" and "semiautomatic handgun." Because there are automatic rifles which can fire bursts with a single trigger pull, and semiautomatic rifles which fire one shot at a time per trigger pull, it would be logical to assume that an "automatic handgun" means the same thing.

This isn't the case; when referring to an automatic handgun the meaning is actually the same as a semiautomatic pistol. The term "automatic" in this case is used to differentiate between a handgun with semiautomatic action and a revolver. Revolvers use a rotating cylinder to advance a new bullet into place after the last one has been fired. Automatic handguns use a clip system and the force of the recoil to move the next bullet into the chamber. When it comes to handguns, "automatic" and "semiautomatic" mean the same thing.

   

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