Maybe you’ve heard about the terms single action vs. double action once in the past, but you might not really know what they’re about. In this article, you will learn about the differences between these two kinds of firearms. Now, it’s time to give a detailed explanation concerning this interesting topic in order to clarify any doubts.
Triggers. Let’s start by explaining something about the trigger, which is merely a mechanism used by firearms like pistols, revolvers, and semi-automatic pistols. A trigger works together with a hammer, which must be cocked and then released in order to pull the trigger and fire. In other words, you cock the hammer, pull the trigger, the hammer is released, and there your shot goes. If you’re a fan of action movies, you probably have seen these types of weapons being fired. A single action trigger requires the hammer to be cocked first, before pulling the trigger and firing the gun. Therefore, there’s no way of shooting without having cocked the hammer previously. It’s called single action because pulling the trigger requires one action and hammering requires another. On the other hand, the double action performs both actions at the same time. This means that when you pull the trigger the hammer is cocked and released simultaneously.
Pros and Cons. Up to here it can seem like a simple explanation, but these are not the only differences between single action and double action. There are some pros and cons. For instance, a single action trigger is better in two ways. It gives the user more control over the weapon since it requires a light force to pull the trigger, in contrast with double action where extra force is required due to hammering. Also, it’s considered a safer way to use a gun, because if the gun is not hammered, you can’t fire at all. Using a double action trigger is faster and more efficient in case of emergency, but this requires training and a lot of experience.
Trigger mechanisms. Let’s talk about the different kinds of weapons you can find, according to their kinds of trigger mechanisms. There are single action (S.A.) guns, double action/single action (D.A/S.A) guns, and double action only (D.A.O.) guns. You can easily recognize them by their initials. However, there are some variations to this. An Austrian named Gaston Glock designed a semi-automatic pistol without single action or double action triggers. Why? Because Glock pistols use a striker system rather than a hammering one. This is another interesting approach in firearms, for sure.
Now you know a little bit more about single action and double action. It’s not that complicated if you can understand how firearms actually work, in terms of mechanics and how to manipulate them. Just as a reminder, guns are not toys, and if you’re planning to get one, remember to prepare yourself and get some training.