As someone new to the handgun side of shooting I wanted to ask to get some clarification on how terms are typically used. I'm only asking because I've seen posts here or there which seem to contradict my basic understanding of the term pistol. Term: Handgun This is the generic term for a firearm which is designed to be fired with one hand. (Yes I know the typical stances use both hands for stability.) This would include semi-autos, revolvers, single-shots, etc.. Term: Pistol According to dictionary definitions (and my uneducated understanding), this is synonymous with handgun. However, I've seen more than one posting that seems to indicate the term pistol does not apply to revolvers. So how do you all use these terms? Do you consider it incorrect to call a revolver a pistol? And if so, what about things like Derringers, are they pistols?