Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What is a Pistol? The ATF Definition

Defined Under Federal Laws: 18 U.S.C., § 921(A)(29) and 27 CFR § 478.11

The term “Pistol” means a weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having:
  • a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s);
  • and a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s).
This below illustration shows the primary characteristics exhibited in the pistol category.


This illustration below details the primary characteristics exhibited in the Pistol category. Since pistol configurations differ significantly, various models in this classification may exhibit any of the illustrated components in a revised configuration, but not necessarily all components shown will be incorporated in any one given design.

For more on terminology and nomenclature of rifles, please click: 



This is per the ATF website below:


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