Before anyone had developed a practical capability for delivering multiple loads to one barrel in quick succession (which is how repeating fire is usually accomplished today), gunsmiths were aggregating multiple loaded barrels into one place.
Some examples of multi-barreled pistols are: With the development of the revolver in the 19th century, gunsmiths had finally achieved the goal of a practical capability for delivering multiple loads to one pistol barrel in quick succession.
The most powerful handguns are capable of killing all game, including elephants.
An example of a single-shot pistol is the flare gun.
Although not intended to be a weapon, many variants have been made (See Flare gun).
Some handgun experts make a technical distinction that views pistols as a subset of handguns.
In American usage, the term "pistol" refers to a handgun having one chamber integral with the barrel, making pistols distinct from the other main type of handgun, the revolver, which has a revolving cylinder containing multiple chambers.
Previously there had been no such differentiation, and in fact Samuel Colt's original patent was for a "revolving-breech pistol".