/hand"gun'/, n.
any firearm that can be held and fired with one hand; a revolver or a pistol.
[1400-50; late ME handgone. See HAND, GUN1]

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      any firearm small enough to be held in one hand when fired. It usually fires a single projectile or bullet, and additional ammunition may be available in a revolving mechanism or magazine. Handguns may be used for target shooting, hunting small game, or personal self-defense. Automatic handguns are illegal in many countries, and private ownership of any handgun is restricted in most of the world. See also automatic pistol; pistol; revolver.

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Universalium. 2010.

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