Semi-automatic pistol

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A semi-automatic pistol (formerly termed an "automatic" as in .45 ACP) is a small, hangun that fires, un-chambers, ejects, and re-chambers a round of ammunition with every pull of the trigger.

Advantages

Semi-Automatic pistols are carried by most law enforcement officers. These firearms distinguish themselves from a typical 6 to 7 shot revolver through the use of a removable magazine (also called a "detachable mag") that has a higher magazine capacity (typically 15 to 17 rounds or more for a .9mm or .40 Smith and Wesson, and 13+ rounds for .45 ACP), that can be quickly reloaded allowing for a higher total rate of fire with fewer and faster reloads.

Features

Action Types

An "action" is the mechanism that moves the chamber with the spent cartridge out of the way, moves a fresh cartridge into place, and readies the gun to fire again.

  • Single Action or "SA" - The trigger is incapable of cocking the hammer, so it must be manually cocked prior to the first shot. The trigger pull is generally light. In semi-automatics, single-action models will typically have the hammer cocked by the slide with each round after the initial manual cocking.
  • Double Action/Single Action or "DA/SA" - The trigger cocks the hammer. In addition, the slide is capable of cocking the hammer. Although this mechanism is capable of employment in the single action mode, the first round is generally discharged in the double action mode with follow-up shots in the single action mode. This results in a marked difference in trigger pull.

Safety Features

Semi-automatic pistols tend to be available with a wider array of safety features than most other firearms, especially in progressive police states/Nanny states such as California, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Illinois where liberal bureaucrat lawmakers make more mala prohibitum laws to demonize then criminalize ordinary law-abiding gun owners and then authorize asset forfeiture (theft) of private property. California especially has a California Department of Justice Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale,[1][2] that strictly limits what handguns are allowed for purchase to a small variety that are "authorized" by the state with dangerous required features such as "magazine disconnect safety" and useless require features such as microstamping.

Some common safety features are:

  • Manual Safety - A switch, usually located at the end rear of the pistol, that enables or disables the gun, usually by blocking the firing mechanism.
  • Grip/Palm Safety - A pressure switch on the back of the grip that is disengaged by the web of the hand, enabling or disabling the gun. This is commonly seen on the M1911.
  • Trigger Safety - A trigger safety uses to interdependent components that both need to be pressed to successfully fire the gun, making it less likely for unintentional pressure to discharge the firearm. These are included on all Glock pistols.
  • Magazine Safety/disconnect - These disconnect or block the firing mechanism when the magazine is removed so that if there is a round left in the chamber, it cannot be fired. Magazine disconnect safeties, mandated in all new firearms by the Nanny state of California, are dangerous and can get you killed in the face of an armed criminal because if you accidentally hit or bump the magazine release button the mag will drop free or imperceptibly disengage from the magazine well causing you not to be able to fire the gun. This bumping of the magazine release can commonly happen with certain poorly designed holsters or waist packs where the magazine appears to be in the mag well but is no longer properly seated and hence the gun cannot be fired. Also in close quarters combat, if a criminal were to struggle with you for control of your gun and they deliberately push on the mag release button causing the mag to drop free to the ground, then you cannot shoot at them without reloading the magazine into the mag well.
  • Decocker - A switch that safely uncocks the firing mechanism.

List of Semi-Automatic Pistols

Here are the semi-automatics that are popular or of notable historic significance.

  • Glock - Despite there being 43 models of Glock pistol, the most popular models are the:

Handgun Calibers

See also


External links

References

  1. California Department of Justice Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale, Accessed February 12, 2015
  2. Hoffman, Gene, "Yes, we’re suing to overturn the California handgun Roster and microstamping!." Roseville, California: Calguns Foundation. Accessed February 12, 2015
  3. Glock Wallet Holsters on eBay, Glock Pocket Wallet Holsters by PocketHolsters.com, "Glock wallet holster" search on Duck Duck Go. Accessed February 15, 2015