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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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The smallest firearm used, intended to be fired from one hand, now of many patterns, and bearing a great variety of names. Pistol carbine, a firearm with a removable but-piece, and thus capable of being used either as a pistol or a carbine.

(Science: chemistry) Pistol pipe, a pipe in which the blast for a furnace is heated, resembling a pistol in form. Pistol shot. The discharge of a pistol. The distance to which a pistol can propel a ball.

Origin: F. Pistole, pistolet, It. Pistola; prob. From a form Pistola, for Pistoja, a town in Italy where pistols were first made. Cf. Pistole.