By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes
There are basically three types of handguns—the revolver, the semi-automatic, and the automatic. All three are commonly misnamed or misrepresented in fiction.
With an automatic weapon, the cartridges load into a removable magazine. It’s called automatic because when you pull the trigger, it automatically fires repeated bullets until you take your finger off of the trigger. As the shooter fires, the brass shells of the cartridges are ejected from the weapon.
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380 semi-automatic
Image by Avicennasis, wikimedia commons.
A semi-automatic also has cartridges that load into a removable magazine, which, in a pistol such as this one, fits into the handle of the gun. However, one trigger pull equals one shot, and the brass shell from each cartridge is automatically ejected. The weapon does…
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