About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed National Handgun Safety Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Course Completion Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

All types of handguns have sights and actions, and they may have safeties or magazines.

Firearm action on a revolver

Handguns can be classified by their action type. The action of a handgun is made up of parts that load, unload, fire, and eject the cartridge. Actions are either single-shot or repeating styles. Single-shot handguns (single-shot pistols) must be reloaded each time the handgun is fired. Repeating handguns (revolvers and semi-automatic pistols) have extra cartridges ready in a magazine or cylinder.