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  1. #1
    cougartex's Avatar
    cougartex is offline Senior Member
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    Hammer Fired vs Striker Fired

    Which do you prefer hammer fired or striker fired guns? What are the pros and cons of each model?

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    Freedom1911's Avatar
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    I see this question asked at other forums, and for me there is not much difference.

    They both go boom when you pull the trigger. I guess I like both equally. Hammered for nostalgia and striker for the new coolness.

  4. #3
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougartex View Post
    Which do you prefer hammer fired or striker fired guns? What are the pros and cons of each model?
    Well, there's more to it than just hammered guns vs striker fired as far as pros/cons are concerned.

    You can have hammered double action/single action, hammered double action only, hammered single action, you can have partially cocked striker fired and fully cocked striker fired...

    I tend to prefer hammered single action only in my guns with fully cocked striker fired being second as the triggers just seem be be smoother with less creep and no "squish"

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    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    To the shooter, there's not much functional difference.
    In a single-action semi-auto, the cocked hammer provides easy to see, positive proof of "ready to fire." In a double-action-only semi-auto, there's no practical difference at all.
    It just so happens that all of my pistols are hammer-fired, and all of my rifles are striker-fired. But if a striker-fired pistol—or a hammer-fired rifle for that matter—provided me with some other feature I found important or particularly useful, I would cheerfully buy and use it.

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    hideit's Avatar
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    i have a friend that will not buy a striker fired pistol because there is a spring that is always in compression - never in relaxation!!

  7. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hideit View Post
    i have a friend that will not buy a striker fired pistol because there is a spring that is always in compression - never in relaxation!!
    I'm not sure to which spring your friend refers: The striker spring is "relaxed" when the gun's chamber is empty and the striker is in the fired position. The magazine spring is "relaxed" when the magazine is empty. Is there another?

    Modern springs are not adversely affected by being left in compression.
    All springs "take a set" at a length shorter than when new and unused, but that happens almost immediately upon being used. Spring manufacturers allow for the expected "set" when the spring is made.

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    falchunt's Avatar
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    I know it is somewhat silly, but I just don't trust a stiker fired pistol. I like to see the hammer, just MO.

  9. #8
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    I'm fine with striker-fired pistols and like probably any other reasonable person, I'm more concerned with reliability and quality than the firing mechanism. As others have put it, I want to be able to pull the trigger and have the gun go "bang".


    Quote Originally Posted by falchunt View Post
    I know it is somewhat silly, but I just don't trust a stiker fired pistol. I like to see the hammer, just MO.
    Out of curiosity, do you feel that way about all firearms or is it just pistols? For instance, do you trust AR-style rifles, revolvers without exposed hammers, bolt-action rifles or pump-action shotguns?

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    Most of the hammer models are more appealing to look at, for me...but you cannot argue with the function of a Glock, XD, etc.

    I have both, and some days I like one, and some days, the other.

  11. #10
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Had both and never an issue with performance and function with either. I do prefer the feel of my "hammered" Sig while it's in SA over the feel of the "single action" XD's I had in the past.

  12. #11
    jathtech is offline Junior Member
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    real difference for me

    Striker Fire Vs. Hammer Fire.

    One of the benefits I have seen of Hammer fired pistols is the ability to do a single/double action trigger. This allows for re-strike as well for rounds that may have not been hit hard enough the first trigger pull, but I have only ever needed that once since I started shooting years ago. Another clear difference is the ability to de-cock the handgun to increase the trigger pull while keeping it off safety and still have it safe. you also have the option of cocked and locked with some guns, specifically the 1911 (which is single action only) and the fnp, fnx, etc. I'm sure there are others, but I don't know of them.

    the cons of most hammer fired pistols is the fact that something has the potential to obstruct the hammer and keep the gun from firing. if you are trying to fire from your pocket, cloth will get stuck under the hammer. if you are in thick brush or drop the gun in mud, rocks leaves, grass, anything could have the potential to keep the gun from firing. there's also a tactical side to this. An experience and trained person can (if god forbid you have to go up against one of them) potentially block the hammer with their hand as they disarm you and stick a knife in your skull. Another side to this with the 1911 for example, anyone who knows anything about the 1911 will be able to see that your hammer is not cocked, and can not be fired until you cock it manually. this can give the opponent a leg up in a serious situation, maybe giving them an opportunity to draw on you before you can cock the gun.

    While most of these cons probably won't ever come into play for the average shooter, they can be serious for certain niche groups, such as special ops, police officers, security guards, etc. never know when you're going to pull your gun on someone and some jackass one of his buddies tries to take your gun from you.

    not all hammer fired pistols have these disadvantages though, while retaining some of the advantages. These guns have internal hammers. one example is the new Taurus slim 709, and 740. many pocket guns have internal hammers too, but they are double action only and have a slit in the back, so mud, dirt and debris can still potentially clog them.

    Striker fired seem to be a great option as the mechanism tends to always fire when you pull the trigger. very little can go wrong. The disadvantages primarily are the opposite of the advantages of the hammer fired. you can't decock, you can't see it (usually, there are several that have external indicators). there's no re-strike capability (double/single action) it is mostly single action only. In some striker fired guns, the safety mechanism is not very reliable. some of them have the tendency to fire when dropped. this is why the better guns have 3 or 4 auto safeties.

    some of the benefits of the gun address the disadvantages of the hammer fired. it won't get jammed up by clothes, mud, dirt, etc. its, very reliable. it always fires. no one can see that your gun is decocked. If you decide to fire you have more time to rack it before the other guy has a chance to make a move. no one can block the hammer by grabbing your hand so you'll have a better chance of getting a shot off if a trained dude tries to disarm you.
    Striker fire is generally more simple for the shooter to deal with, but a lot of people like the look of the hammer fired better. I know I personally like hammer fired better.

    None of these factors (except the blocking of the hammer) should ever be an issue if the gun is of good quality and well maintained. whatever you choose to get, that should be your primary focus.

  13. #12
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    So much theory...

    One of the huge drawbacks to a striker-fired or concealed-hammer pistol is the difficulty of inconvenient dry-fire practice. You have to rack its slide for every practice "shot."
    With an exposed-hammer, single-action-capable pistol, one need only thumb-cock the hammer. (This is best done with the supporting hand, while maintaining the firing hand's properly-established and secure grip.)

    A side issue is that the best shooting will be done with a pistol that presents the very same trigger action for every shot. This tends to rule out the "Traditional DA" semi-auto which, on its second shot, transitions from a long DA-style pull to a short SA pull.
    If you have to re-strike any of your self-protection rounds, supposedly a "feature" of the Traditional-DA semi-auto, you either need to clean your firing pin or you need to find more-reliable self-defense rounds. (The only time I have ever had a misfire, it was because I had somehow forgotten to prime the case as I reloaded it.)

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    jathtech is offline Junior Member
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    I completely agree. I didn't think about that, it is easier to dry fire a hammer fired pistol to remember trigger pull because you can just reach up and cock the hammer back like a single action revolver.

    I also agree that if you are having to use re strikes, you have a serious problem. I would rather have it than not though, even if I never need it.

    I'm going to get the new FNX 40 from FN Herstal next week. It is an exposed hammer fired pistol, and it has all the cool features that I want. But Glock is the type of gun that all you need to know is how to put a magazine, rack the slide, and pull the trigger. It's probably better for the majority of shooters out there. But I personally spend a lot more time at the range, and the extra features mean more shooting for me.

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    I prefer hammer fired for the simple reason that the triggers are better. I've not learned to enjoy the "staple gun" feel of the typical striker fired guns.

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    cooper623 is offline Junior Member
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    as overkill said, i find that hammer fired guns lend themselves to a nicer smoother trigger pull and for that reason i prefer them. However, other than ergonomics and trigger pulls i dont have anything against stiker fired guns.

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    I've always been a "Hammer" fired gun man.

    I personally like DA/SA and a visible hammer.

    I also like de-cockers for lowering the hammer if I decide to stop shooting in the middle of a magazine.

    But that's just me.

    And most of it is my opinion, not that one kind is better than another.


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    SportivoX is offline Junior Member
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    I long owned an old format 1911 in .45. As single action the role of the trigger is to release the hammer. Simple.

    I recently owned a Taurus 24 7 Gen 2 Compact in 9mm. It's DA SA striker fired; capable of second strike: has trigger safety, chamber indicator, cock (SA) indicator; has a thumb safety which is also a decocker; thumb safety works on SA & DA mode. The trigger is moved backward in SA requiring a shorter travel when firing.

    When chambered it goes to DA mode then SA after the first shot. While chambering and pulling the trigger at the same time it goes to SA mode. When chambered and in DA mode pull the slide some 1/8 of an inch while pulling the trigger to go to SA. When in SA mode, it can be decocked.
    It's the thumb safety and decocker that attracted d most. The 'indicator' features are very important for its DA capability.

    Now the difference is just the visibility of the hammer.

    No, there's one more, in SA mode the 24 7 is not fully cocked, there's still a pull on the striker before being released. A very short fraction of an inch. It has a smooth trigger pull in both mode, though.

    Now, what's my point here? There can can be safety features in striker fired pistols. 24 7 has full of safeties. With DA, you can dry fire without racking the slide.

  19. #18
    GCBHM is offline Member
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    I think it is all personal preference. I love both to be honest. I carry a Glock 19, and I have the 17 as well just b/c they have a low profile and work really well for concealment while giving maximum load. My wife carries the S&W Shield, which is a really nice little pistol. My favorite pistol is the single action hammer fired BHP followed closely by the Cold or Springfield 1911 and the Sig P226 MK25. I know the CZ75 is a really popular pistol. I have not shot one, but it does feel really good in the hand. Lots of great pistols in both categories.

  20. #19
    denner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jathtech View Post
    I completely agree. I didn't think about that, it is easier to dry fire a hammer fired pistol to remember trigger pull because you can just reach up and cock the hammer back like a single action revolver.

    I also agree that if you are having to use re strikes, you have a serious problem. I would rather have it than not though, even if I never need it.

    I'm going to get the new FNX 40 from FN Herstal next week. It is an exposed hammer fired pistol, and it has all the cool features that I want. But Glock is the type of gun that all you need to know is how to put a magazine, rack the slide, and pull the trigger. It's probably better for the majority of shooters out there. But I personally spend a lot more time at the range, and the extra features mean more shooting for me.
    Another disadvantage of the striker fired weapon is it's tight and/or low tolerance striker pin channel. If it gets dirty, too much oil, any oil, sludge, residue, mud, dirt, whatever, it is much more prone to light strikes on the primer, or no strike at all. The hammer fired pistol's firing pin channel is much more forgiving in that regard and generally has substantially more energy hitting it's firing pin under all circumstances.

    Thus, a much better option for hard primers under adverse conditions. I can apply copious amounts of oil in the firing pin channel of my 92FS with no ill effect, try that with a striker fired pistol. I just don't see all these obstructing of hammer scenarios as that relevant or realistic. US Special forces, and the US military by far employ more hammer fired pistols as their weapon of choice.

    If what you say occurred with any regularity or at all they would not use them. It hasn't happened to me nor anyone that I know of and I'm not hearing that as a complaint, or issue, from any information that I've run across. Especially any military testing and trials and actual combat to denote as such. Shooting any semi from a pocket, unless you have ample room for the slide to work is not optimal in my opinion regardless of the pistol action.

  21. #20
    SportivoX is offline Junior Member
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    yes, it's a matter of personal preference. honestly, the hammer adds beauty to a pistol. the striker doesn't because it can't be seen. I like the looks of how the 1911 GI's hammer and grip tail (or tang) fit together when cocked.

    @GCBHM
    It made me smile when you said the BHP is your favorite, it's not popular here but I'm eyeing on one now, hope to have it soon.

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