What You Learned
Handguns can be either revolvers or pistols.
- They have three major parts—the frame, the barrel, and the action.
- The shorter barrel makes it more difficult to maintain safe control of a handgun.
- Not all handguns have a safety.
Here are some safety tips for handguns.
- Keep handguns out of the reach of inexperienced shooters and children.
- Do not handle a gun that is new or unfamiliar to you.
- Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
- Carry handguns with an empty chamber under the hammer.
- Make sure handguns are unloaded before you handle them.
The four common types of handgun actions are revolver, semi-automatic pistol, break-action pistol, and bolt-action handgun.
Revolvers can be fired only by squeezing the trigger. To fire a single-action revolver, you must cock the hammer by hand before each shot. To fire a double-action revolver, you can squeeze the trigger to cock and fire the gun or you can cock the hammer by hand and then squeeze the trigger.
Semi-automatic pistols are either single action or double action. To fire a single-action semi-automatic, you must cock the hammer by hand before the first shot only. To fire a double-action semi-automatic, you just squeeze the trigger to fire the first shot.
The break-action pistol is similar to the break-action rifle or shotgun. These guns shoot pistol, rifle, or shot cartridges. The bolt-action handgun is similar to the bolt-action rifle or shotgun. These guns may shoot rifle cartridges.
Here are some of the Washington laws and regulations that apply to handguns.
- It is illegal for a licensed dealer to sell a handgun to anyone under 21 years of age.
- Centerfire handguns used to hunt big game must be at least .24 caliber and have a barrel that is at least four inches long.