Smith and Wesson Handguns
Smith and Wesson is the first to introduce the double action handgun. That means that a person can either cock the hammer and shoot, which is single action, but that he/she may also just pull the trigger and shoot, thus giving the handgun two methods of discharging. It is a good idea to learn the strength of the pull by practice in dry-firing. One first unloads the handgun, checking twice to make sure there are no cartridges in the chamber or in the cylinder, if it is a revolver. Then one cocks the hammer and shoots, or pulls the trigger and shoots. This is good practice.
S&W makes a full range of pistols, revolvers and derringers. They come in all the popular calibers, barrel lengths, handgrip finishes and plating. The revolver does not have a safety, while the pistol does. Usually, this consists of a bar that is drawn in front of the firing pin, thus keeping the hammer from striking it. The pistol differs from the revolver in other areas. It uses a magazine to feed the firing chamber, while the revolver rotates the firing chamber around a circle. Another difference is that the pistol uses gases from the cartridge to eject it and reload another while the revolver does not. The derringer is a smaller handgun with a very small barrel and shoots more in the manner of an over-and-under shotgun. It can come in all calibers, also. The derringer is used strictly for self-defense, as the short barrel precludes its accuracy beyond around five yards, although, of course, the bullet will travel much farther.
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