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Handguns

Handguns at Metro Pawn & Gun

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson

A handgun is a firearm designed to be held and fired using either one or both hands. This characteristic differentiates handguns from long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, which are usually deployed and operated from the shoulder. Primary handgun classifications are the “revolver” and the “pistol,” the latter of which includes single-shot pistols, semiautomatic pistols, and machine pistols.

Although the words "pistol" and "handgun" are often used somewhat synonymously, firearm experts make a technical distinction in that the term "pistol" specifically refers to a handgun having a single chamber integral with the barrel. This contrasts from the other main type of handgun, the “revolver,” which has a revolving cylinder containing multiple chambers. As such, the “handgun” is generally considered the parent category of most non long-gun firearms.

The Revolver

A revolver is defined as a repeating handgun that has a revolving, mechanically indexing cylinder containing multiple chambers for ammunition and at the barrel for firing. The rounds may be fired by cocking a hammer manually for each shot or by pulling the trigger rearward repetitively to advance the revolving cylinder. These mechanics are known as single-action or double-action. Single-action revolvers can only be fired by cocking the hammer and then releasing it with the trigger. Single/double action revolvers still have an exposed hammer that can be cocked, facilitating either style of shooting, while others enclose the mechanism entirely in the body of the firearm, making them double-action only.

It comes down to a matter of preference mostly, but having the single-action capability is typically favored by people who hunt or shoot competitively, as it takes far less effort to drop the hammer with the trigger than having to pull the trigger through both phases of the action. Once all rounds are expended, the cylinder can be flipped open to extract the spent casings and insert new ammunition.

Prolific use of the revolver throughout history has made it among the most recognizable of all firearms. Its simplicity of design and reliability persist to this day, enjoying popularity in the private sector for defense, hunting, and sporting applications. One thing that makes revolvers so popular is that there is little that can go wrong. Short of having some type of catastrophic malfunction, the round is fired, the cylinder advances, and the next round is fired.

The Pistol

A semiautomatic pistol is a magazine-fed firearm in which the energy of each fired cartridge cycles the action, ejects the spent casing, and advances the next cartridge into firing position. Depending on caliber, the removable magazines can hold anywhere from 5 rounds up to 20 or more, and these magazines can be quickly removed and replaced to provide sustained fire. This operating efficiency and enhanced ammunition capacity make the semiautomatic pistol desirable for military, law enforcement, and civilian self-defense applications.

With multiple moving parts that must function in perfect harmony by design, the semiautomatic pistol requires slightly higher user proficiency than a revolver. Care must be exercised in the proper maintenance, lubrication, and selection of ammunition to avert malfunctions such as jamming, failure to feed, or failure to eject. Being able to mitigate any unexpected operational anomalies is essential for a shooter to manage his or her firearm, especially during a hostile encounter.

The 9mm pistol is among the most prolific semiautomatic handgun types in production. Beretta’s M9 pistol has been the standard issue sidearm of the United States military since 1985, and is now being replaced with the Sig Sauer P320, a modular handgun system that can convert between 9mm, .357SIG, and .40S&W calibers. Many Law Enforcement agencies utilize the 9mm Glock as their service pistol, and civilian use of this caliber is equally abundant.

Other Handguns

In addition to the revolver and semiautomatic pistol, there are other firearms that are part of the handgun class. Single-shot break-action models like the Thompson/Center Contender can be chambered in cartridges from .22 Long Rifle to .45-70 Government. Used predominantly in competition shooting and hunting, the flexibility of this design stems from the user’s ability to swap calibers by simply changing the barrel.

Falling more aptly into the category of historic curiosities, multi-barrel pistols such as the Pepper-box, developed in the 1830s, allowed the user to fire multiple rounds without reloading or cycling an action by other means. Over a century and a half later, the COP .357 Derringer premiered as a 4-shot handgun that used an internal ratcheting/rotating striker to fire each of the four chambers in sequence.

While still popular with handgun enthusiasts, black powder firearms occupy their own niche in the world of shooting sports. Paying homage to the foundational age of small arms and the chronicle of their use, these weapons are still used for reenactments, hunting and shooting tournaments world-wide.

Our Selection

Our selection and pricing of new and used handguns is the best you’ll find in the Minneapolis area. We have great relationships with Glock, Sig Sauer, Beretta, Springfield, Taurus and many more. From .22 pistols to .50 caliber revolvers, from turn-of-the-century guns to modern combat models, we offer something for everyone. Magazines, holsters, optics, gun cases and other accessories for your handgun are available in our shop as well.

We also specialize in personal defense and competition-grade handguns, with highly regarded models from Ruger, Beretta, Springfield, Kimber and KelTek to name a few. If you need to purchase a handgun, have a handgun for sale or want to pawn one for a cash loan, contact us or stop by our store today. With knowledgeable staff, awesome selection and customer service second to none, you will be happy you did! Our inventories are always in motion, so visit us to find the exact handgun you have been looking for.