The Pistol is widely defined as any type of firearm designed to be fired with one hand. This includes derringers, ancient "hand cannons", and novelty sorts such as a cubic puzzle that transforms into a working, muzzle-loaded gun. Pistol designs are as variable as the people that design them.
Here at Gun Review Spot we tend to focus on the types of pistols that people actually own, and use for personal and home defense, competition, and hunting while skipping over antique and "novelty" pistols that rarely get any use. After all, it's hard to competently write a review on a pistol that was handed down over the course of seven generations, all of which have never fired it.
Primarily, the information you'll find here will include cursory overviews of various guns that are well loved by their owners who happen to be willing to share a bit about them. These pistols tend to be still being made or have recently been removed from the production lines but are still being carries and used on a consistent basis for their intended purpose.
Pistols fall into a whole host of sub-categories. Some gun enthusiasts make a point to develop elaborate classification mechanisms that rival the library Dewey decimal system in complexity. We try to follow Einstein's advice to "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler," and thus we have chosen to group all pistil reviews into a four distince sections:
1) Service Pistols - this is by far the largest category of the bunch. Service pistols are traditionally adopted from designed produced for military and law enforcement agencies. They are usually "full size" in nature and feature a 4" to 5" barrel.
2) Compact Pistols - these handguns tend to be closely related to their service pistol brethren. Usually, the only difference between the two is that the compact variation has a shortened grip that allow the pistol to be concealed inside-the-waistband with ease. All other features, including barrel and slide length, remain the same.
3) Sub-Compact Pistols - if you love your service pistol, but need something very small for a backup gun, then the sub-compact is the choice for you. The action and safety systems of the service pistol are all incorporated, for the most part, into the the sub-compact variation of the gun. Problems can develop in the radical shortening of the slide, barrel, and frame however, and often a number of compensating design elements are integrated into these pistols to keep them operating properly on a consistent basis.
4) Pocket Pistols - the smallest members of the group, pocket pistols are purpose built to be easily concealed. Included in this group are small semi-auto pistols, small-frame revolvers, and single or double shot derringers. These guns are not considered to be an acceptable primary weapon by many due to the resulting lack of penetrating power allowed by the small cartridges that are necessary to produce a pistol that is functional but still fits in the pocket.
5) 1911 Pistols - without any doubt, John Moses Browning's legendary design adopted by the U.S. Military in 1911 is the most loved and most copied pistol of all time. The guns is a service pistol by nature, but as pretty much every gun company that makes pistol now has added a 1911 variant to it's lineup, we have decided to dedicate a separate category to this legendary firearm. After all, only Glock makes a G22, but any number of companies are currently making 1911 pistols.
The newest pistol reviews can be found below. Links to further sort them by the above five categories are provided at the top of each list.