We've all seen them before: that gun that goes off at the beginning of a race. That's a starter pistol, which actually gets its name from starting races and other events. A starting pistol is a handgun that is often a modified replica revolver that looks very similar to a real handgun. When it fires, the "bang" signals the athletes to commence the event.
In addition to starting races, these types of starter pistols are ideal for use in theatrical presentations because they are full-size and made of machined metal that can never fire real ammunition. They also feature realistic working actions and can fire blanks as fast as you can pull the trigger.