To the novice gun collector or the beginner, it might come as a surprise that there are twenty-one different types of pistols: semi-automatic pistol, air pistol, machine pistol, Heckler & Kock P11, welrod, COP 357 Derringer, the regular Derringer, duelling pistol, Ruger Hawkeye, limp wristing, Harpers Ferry model 1805, Remington Rider single shot pistol, machine pistol, SPP-1 underwater pistol, TP-82, FP-45 Liberator, Osa, kiss of death, howdah pistol, the CZ-99, and the service pistol.
So What are the types of pistols?
So as you can see, there is a wide variety to choose from for today’s gun collector and/or shooting enthusiast. Each of these different types of guns functions somewhat differently than the others, and each has a different purpose as well. This article will examine some of these types here:
The semi-automatic pistol has a single chamber and barrel. Due to it’s powering mechanism, it will fire off a whole round once the trigger is pulled.
Popular with the Austro-Hungarian army, the machine pistol is a weapon that is characterized by being self-loading and have burst, or automatic fire capabilities.
Although not technically a firearm, the design is similar and the mechanism is similar. An air pistol fires projectiles through compressed air, whereas true firearms make use of a burning propellant.
Any pistol that has been issued to military personnel is classified as a service pistol.
This pistol was used during the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries and was composed of two to four barrels depending on the manufacturer. They got their name, howdahs, from the large saddles that were on the back of elephants during British Colonial rule. Hunters would use these elephants for their hobby and would use this sidearm pistol as well.
COP .357 Derringer
This weapon has good cartridge capabilities and is popular among defense experts and among law enforcement. The COP in this derringer’s name stands for “Compact Off-Duty Police” and was made by the now-defunct COP inc. company in Torrance, California.
The Ruger Hawkeye is a weapon that was manufactured for a short time but was discontinued in the 1960’s. The employed a “swiveling breechlock” mechanism, and was produced for a short time in the 1960’s. For whatever reason this firearm was not a commercial success, and it was discontinued.
Other Types of Pistols
Other types of pistols include the welrod, which was a vintage pistol used by the British Special Operations Executive and the American OSS during World War II; the CZ-99, which is often used by police and the Yugoslavian military since the early 1990’s; and the Harpers Ferry Model 1805, which was the first pistol issued by a national armory in the years 1805-1809. Reproductions of this last historic piece are made often, but only 200-300 originals are known to exist. The Remington Rider single shot pistol was made from 1860-1863, and the company manufactured just a little over 200 of them. Fewer than 40 of these historical pieces have been found to exist today.
The SPP-1 underwater pistol, the FP-45 Liberator, the Osa, the Heckler and the Kock P11 are all also pistol varieties that enthusiast could research and consider. Even if an original is difficult to find or no longer being produced, there are many reproductions that can be purchased in different locations and online. There are also various types of revolvers that many considered to be pistols as well. There are many resources available online for the pistol enthusiast. Simply do a Google search for “pistol varieties”.
Pistols and handguns have come along way over the years and have drastically improved with each passing year. Even though the most common of pistols would have to be the semi automatic; the revolver has continued to prove itself as a valued assest among gun collectors and users alike. If you have a gun that you would like us to add to our list, you can submit it in the comments section at the bottom of the page.