When it comes to gun there are some major differences that are taken into consideration. The size, How you can conceal them and Hunting .Whichever you choose and how to do use them is up to you.
When looking for a gun the size can play a big part .While a handgun or a pistol is small. It fits in your hand .Some pistol/handguns even have silencer on them .Most handguns gun barrel sixe is 2-6 inches ,where a riffle/shotgun has a barrel of 18 -30 inches in length. A riffle/shotgun is sometimes longer than your arm. Sometimes the when it is shot is loud because there is no silencer for it.
Another major differences between the two are the conceal ability. Many crimes that happens also has to do with how well it can be conceal .If a person was robbing a bank and was trying to get away with it they would use a handgun, by putting it into the pockets and other small area. If a shot gun was being used it could not be concealed that well .In order to conceal a shotgun one would have to wear a very long coat and have the gun strapped to them underneath the coat. Most shotgun are used for hunting.
Hunting brings up another point. Hunters rarely use handguns to hunt with. They are harder to shoot long distance at the target .Riffles are best for hunters. Most commonly used for shooting long distance .A scope can be attached to it for a more accurate shot .Most hunters use a large caliber rifle when hunting deer. Depending what season it is depends on the shotgun type you use.
All types of guns are very deadly each has their advantages and drawbacks. When owning a gun you have to be very careful with them .Know there power and the capability of them. Be responsible when using a gun.