July 10, 2019
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With more than 300 million nonmilitary firearms in private ownership in the United States, you would think people would be more educated about them, but misconceptions and downright misinformation abounds. Let's correct a few common mistakes.
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Today's Random Fact:
A pistol is a handgun - but not all handguns are pistols.
The defining factor that makes a handgun a pistol is a chamber that is integral with the barrel. Semi-automatic handguns have a barrel with the chamber built in, which means they are pistols. Revolvers, on the other hand, are not pistols, because a revolver contains a cylinder that's separate from the barrel and contains multiple chambers.
Clip vs. Magazine
In almost every action movie when somebody asks for a 'spare clip' what they really want is a magazine.
In small arms terms magazine technically refers to a box, drum or tube with a spring inside to help feed the rounds. Magazines can be a fixed part of the weapon, or detachable. Most detachable magazines can be removed and replaced with a full one to reload the weapon.
A clip is a device that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine or cylinder of a firearm. This speeds up the process of loading and reloading the firearm as several rounds can be loaded at once, rather than one round being loaded at a time.