Understanding Handguns: Hammer Fire vs Striker Fire | GunzMart Blog
I have been thinking about the different safety systems getting around these days (old & new), & thought it would be good for a thread. The Setup: The pistol was designed to go bang by John Browning. He shot at some rabbits in In fact the Sear and Hammer ledge no longer have a part IN FIRING the gun but rather become release its point of connection. We see the. One of them is to disengage the connection between the trigger and the sear ( hammer or striker, as the case may be in a particular pistol) each.
Glocks are the finest example of a striker fired pistol. Trigger Feel Trigger feel is an important quality when firing any gun, but this is probably the greatest difference between hammer and striker fired weapons.
Many shooters feel that striker fired pistols often have mushy, or soft triggers. Preparedness Depending on whom you ask, the biggest advantage or drawback of a striker is that — with a round in the chamber — the firearm is in condition one, ready to fire. This can be a benefit for experienced shooters who are comfortable on the draw, but can lead to accidental discharge or unintended fire with unprepared shooters.
In fact, when the Glock was first introduced to American law enforcement officers, there were a number of accidents before officers were properly trained. With a hammer fired weapon, all internal parts are at rest, not under tension.
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Of course, this can present a disadvantage in the event you need to draw and fire your weapon quickly. Concealment The blocky construction of most striker fired pistols can often make concealment and concealed carry a burden, since the square protrusions often stand out beneath clothes. However, when drawing from concealed carry, the lack of a hammer can reduce snagging and allow for a more natural draw. Performance While the boxy shape of a striker fired pistol may make it slightly more difficult to conceal, many strikers tend to perform better than hammer fired handguns.
The enclosed design helps keep debris out of the action of the gun, leading to less snagging. There are a few other performance concerns when choosing a pistol, however: Striker fired guns are often a bit more complicated, since the striker is replacing one or more parts of the gun.
The lighter pull of a cocked hammer fired semi-automatic can make it much easier to keep your sights on target when firing your first shot. Double-action strikers will typically have less energy than hammer fired guns.
Liberty Gun Works' trigger only functions in pull and release mode, while the other two have three-position safety selectors. The third position which would correspond to fully automatic on an M16 rifle activates the pull and release mode, while the center selector position causes the trigger to only drop the hammer when pulled.
Set trigger[ edit ] A set trigger allows a shooter to have a greatly reduced trigger pull the resistance of the trigger while maintaining a degree of safety in the field compared to having a conventional, very light trigger. There are two types: Set triggers are most likely to be seen on customized weapons and competition rifles where a light trigger pull is beneficial to accuracy. Single set trigger[ edit ] A single set trigger is usually one trigger that may be fired with a conventional amount of trigger pull weight or may be "set" — usually by pushing forward on the trigger, or by pushing forward on a small lever attached to the rear of the trigger.
This takes up the trigger slack or "take-up" in the trigger and allows for a much lighter trigger pull. This is colloquially known as a hair trigger. Double set trigger[ edit ] A double set trigger achieves the same result, but uses two triggers: Double set triggers can be further classified by phase.
A double set, double phase trigger can be operated as a standard trigger if the set trigger is not pulled, or as a set trigger by first pulling the set trigger. Double set, double phase triggers offer the versatility of both a standard trigger and a set trigger. Pre-set striker or hammer [ edit ] Pre-set strikers and hammers apply only to semi-automatic handguns.
Upon firing a cartridge or loading the chamber, the hammer or striker will rest in a partially cocked position. The trigger serves the function of completing the cocking cycle and then releasing the striker or hammer. While technically two actions, it differs from a double-action trigger in that the trigger is not capable of fully cocking the striker or hammer. It differs from single-action in that if the striker or hammer were to release, it would generally not be capable of igniting the primer.
The first pull of the trigger is pre-set. If the striker or hammer fail to discharge the cartridge, the trigger may be pulled again and will operate as a double-action only DAO until the cartridge discharges or the malfunction is cleared.
Sear (firearm) - Wikipedia
This allows the operator to attempt a second time to fire a cartridge after a misfire malfunction, as opposed to a single-action, in which the only thing to do if a round fails to fire is to rack the slide, clearing the round and recocking the hammer.
While this can be advantageous in that many rounds will fire on being struck a second time, and it is faster to pull the trigger a second time than to cycle the action, if the round fails to fire on the second strike, the user will be forced to clear the round anyway, thus using up even more time than if they had simply done so in the first place.
The Walther P99 Anti-Stress is another example. Relative merits[ edit ] Each trigger mechanism has its own merits. Historically, the first type of trigger was the single-action. On a single-action revolver, for which the hammer must be manually cocked prior to firing, an added level of safety is present.
On a semi-automatic, the hammer will be cocked and made ready to fire by the process of chambering a round, and as a result an external safety is sometimes employed. Double-action triggers provide the ability to fire the gun whether the hammer is cocked or uncocked.
This feature is desirable for military, police, or self-defense pistols. The primary disadvantage of any double-action trigger is the extra length the trigger must be pulled and the extra weight required to overcome the spring tension of the hammer or striker. These firearms generally have a manual safety that additionally may serve to decock the hammer.
Some have a facility generally a lever or button to safely lower the hammer. As a disadvantage, these controls are often intermingled with other controls such as slide releases, magazine releases, take-down levers, takedown lever lock buttons, loaded chamber indicators, barrel tip-up levers, etc. These variables become confusing and require more complicated manuals-of-arms.
One other disadvantage is the difference between the first double-action pull and subsequent single-action pulls. Because there is no difference in pull weights, training and practice are simplified.
Additionally, negligent discharges are mitigated due to a heavier trigger pull[ citation needed ].
Understanding Handguns: Hammer Fire vs Striker Fire
This is a particular advantage for a police pistol. These weapons also generally lack any type of external safety. DAO is common among police agencies and for small, personal protection firearms. The primary drawback is that additional trigger pull weight and travel required for each shot reduce accuracy. Pre-set triggers, only recently coming into vogue, offer a balance of pull weight, trigger travel, safety, and consistency.
Glock popularized this trigger in modern pistols and many other manufacturers have released pre-set striker products of their own. The primary disadvantage is that pulling the trigger a second time after a failure to fire will not re-strike the primer. In normal handling of the firearm, this is not an issue; loading the gun requires that the slide be retracted, pre-setting the striker. Clearing a malfunction also usually involves retracting the slide following the " tap rack bang " procedure.
Many similar approaches are argued for generally accomplishing the same end. Double-crescent trigger[ edit ] The double-crescent trigger on the MG 34, which enabled select fire capability without using a selector switch.
Pressing the upper segment of the trigger produced semi-automatic fire, while holding the lower segment of the trigger produced fully automatic fire. A double-crescent trigger provides select fire capability without the need for a fire mode selector switch.