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Old 07-05-2011, 11:18 PM   #1
808g19
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Default Hammer fire or Striker fire pistol.

So what are the pros and cons? Which do you prefer and why?
School me on this.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:29 AM   #2
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So what are the pros and cons? Which do you prefer and why?
School me on this.
I have both kinds and both have advantages and disadvantages.

Striker operated guns generally have a much lighter trigger pull than hammer double action ones. This is because most of the striker guns partly compress the striker spring when the slide is racked or recoils and your finger just adds a little more energy. This is good, but deprives you of an immediate second attempt of firing a round if it doesn't go off the first time. You need to rack the slide to re-engage the striker.

My carry gun is a Kahr - striker operated. I'm very careful to carry ammo that fires reliably. No hard primer military surplus for this one.
My Baby Eagle and Makarov are single/double action hammer operated and have no such problems.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:58 AM   #3
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Strikers are pretty reliable. They will always require a re-racking of the slide upon a malfunction. If you pull the trigger and it goes *click* or nothing happens, you have to cycle the slide and insert a new round for operation to continue.


Hammers have two options: Single Actions and Double Action.

Most semi autos are SA. The slide going backward cocks the hammer, and if the hammer is back it will fire when striking a live cartridge after you pulling the trigger. DA guns will recock and release the trigger upon a single pull of the trigger. Essentially, a DA gun will go *click* each time you pull the trigger, vs a SA which requires the hammer being cocked each time, whether you do it or the slide action recocks it.

Then you have to consider if you want a weapon you can manually "cock and decock". A hammer fired weapon can be cocked/decocked. A striker fired weapon will only fire when a live round is racked into the chamber and cannot be decocked. You have to decide which you want.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:09 AM   #4
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The best trigger in the world is on a carefully tuned 1911 single-action pistol, which has a hammer. This pistol would be of the Series 70 kind. On this type, the functions in the slide (firing pin moving forward when the hammer falls) are independent of the trigger/sear/hammer functions in the receiver. The system makes for the best trigger because it is pulled straight back with no creep and no stacking: Crisp.

The second best trigger in the world is on a Glock, which is striker fired. As stated above, the striker is partially compressed.

When the trigger is pulled, there is some take up, a tad bit of stacking, and then the break is at about 5 to seven pounds of pull (out of the box). The trigger pull arcs slightly. This tendency affects trigger control and takes some work not to pull to the left (RH shooters).

Also, the trigger bar (in the receiver) engages the striker safety (in the slide). When the striker safety is depressed, it allows the striker to move forward to ignite the primer once the trigger bar has fully retracted the striker.

I prefer the simplicity of the Glock. It takes a while to learn to use it effectively, but it is a good system.

In contrast, the 1911 pistol can be learned in about 20 minutes of practice because the trigger is good for every shooter. One must learn too a solid grip to deactivate the grip safety, and it is necessary to remember to sweep down the frame safety to fire the pistol.

Believe it or not, this last thing is something I have a problem with. The Glock fits my habits better.

Which one should you choose? Either one is good. It depends on whether trigger is everything (choice: 1911) or if you prefer simplicity of controls (Glock).
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 808g19 View Post
So what are the pros and cons? Which do you prefer and why?
School me on this.
It might be easier to give a specific answer if you state your desired use & purpose for the gun. Some triggers are better suited for certain applications: target shooting vs. ccw vs. rapid fire, sport shooting, etc.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:34 AM   #6
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It might be easier to give a specific answer if you state your desired use & purpose for the gun. Some triggers are better suited for certain applications: target shooting vs. ccw vs. rapid fire, sport shooting, etc.
Personal/Home Defense & carry OC or CC.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:14 AM   #7
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I was a real holdout. First I carried 1911s, then Sigs, and I am finally converting to the striker fired Glock & S&W M&P handguns. I have a 1911 and a prize German Sig for the range. The change was in carry guns. The reason I changed is that a consistent trigger pull. Try a off hand shot with a 10lb Sig Sauer DA pull and you will see. The SA trigger afterwards was great. I don't carry a 1911 anymore because I have not had one I trusted my life to and I can't work on them to get them that way or afford an Ed Brown or other high end one.

Hammer guns have a double strike capability and the research I read said that would handle 80% of failures to ignite but it won't clear jams.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:18 PM   #8
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I thought the Glock system (striker fire) had the ability to reset and fire on a squib load just by pulling the trigger, that was one of the selling points when they came out in the late 1980's.

Don't they do that anymore?
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:30 PM   #9
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If the slide does not cycle the trigger goes dead. It makes dry firing a pain in the butt since you have to rack the slide every time.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:46 PM   #10
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If a double strike capability is preferred, then the choice is the DA/SA pistol (with hammer). Examples are Beretta, Sig, or FN. Trigger control on the DA/SA breed is more work to master, but it can be done.

Yet, failure to fire, when it occurs, is better addressed by racking the slide and chambering the next round instead of pulling the trigger again on a round that will not fire. Racking the slide to clear a dud round is done regardless of what action type. For this reason, I would not train to count on double strike capability.

Yet, the DA/SA is popular. Some consider it better for its inherent safety. The hammer is down and springs are relaxed. The first long trigger pull (at 10-12 pounds) requires the user be absolutely committed to taking the shot to get through the cocking sequence of the DA trigger.

Subsequent shoots will be SA (at 4-6 pounds), and now, if needed, the pistol is ready with a better trigger for higher hit potential. In competition, I have noticed that DA/SA shooters will throw the first shot from double action to get as quickly as possible to the better SA mode.

This tactic works fine for close targets, but on "standards" at 30 to 50 yards it is a rare shooter who can comfortably take the first shot from DA and hit center of mass. The transition then to SA with a fast and accurate follow up to have the second hole next to the first is the acid test for a DA/SA shooter.

It can be done, but it takes a deep commitment to the DA/SA pistol to achieve this feat, especially at speeds that rival the performance of the 1911 or Glock shooters who enjoy the advantage of the same trigger pull every time.
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