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gmh1013
December 31, 2009, 12:29 AM
I have never owned a striker fired auto ...I guess being able to look and see if the hammer back would be a "safety issue" ?
plus most of them are plastic these days (glock etc)
I have heard (Ruger SR9) having problems with the striker not hitting hard enough etc.
Any advantage of striker vs Hammer other than snag on clothes?

Homerboy
December 31, 2009, 07:05 AM
I've owned a few Glocks but sold them. Plastic pistols just aren't my thing. The big benefits to hammer fired are: second strike capability in case the round doesn't go off,, visually seeing the condition of the gun, and safer in holstering. We always trained to place our thumb on the back of the hammer as we holstered,. If the trigger is pressed accidentally (think you're gonna be calm and cool if you ever do pull your weapon, regardless if you fire it or not?), your thumb prevents the hammer from coming back. If you want a consistent trigger pull, there are plenty of hammer fired, DAO guns around.

Plus, I just think they look better. Blocky, plastic guns just don't do anything for me.

roman3
December 31, 2009, 07:21 AM
Any advantage of striker vs Hammer other than snag on clothes?


No. Each gun has its own trigger feel only the shooter can decide what he/she prefers.


And the second strike capability is not how one should train anyway. Some rounds will never cook off even if your finger falls off from pulling the tigger over and over again.

TRB - Tap, Rack Bang (with a variation or two) was taught to me in the Military in the 80's and both LE academies I attended.

Sometimes pulling the trigger over again will do some good, sometimes its a needless delay, especially if the round never fires.

Homerboy
December 31, 2009, 10:14 AM
Unless you are a Navy SEAL, you're not gonna realize that the round did not go off in a real shooting. Tunnel vision sets in, the flash, the smoke, the noise, and the fact that you are probably crapping your pants, is what to expect. Self defense shootings are usually "OH CRAP! BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG". Nobody is advocating pulling the trigger all day on a dead round, but second strike is a very real benefit to hammer fired guns, and very often, the round will fire on a second pull, especially if you are shooting quality ammo. I know guys who have fired their weapons to slide lock and didn't realize they were empty.

Either way, pick the gun that is right for you. You'll know which that is when you pick it up. Don't listen to the gunstore clerk trying to push you towards a certain gun because "the cops use these, so they're the best". Cops also drive Chevy Caprices. Think they're the best? When I picked up a Beretta 92, it felt like it was made to sit in my hand. I have three of them now, even selling off other guns that didn't quite give me that "this is it" feeling, to buy more. If a striker fired gun gives you that feeling, that's the one for you. For me, the benefit of second strike capability, a hammer to rest my thumb on when holstering, and a visual confirmation of the gun's status, make striker fired guns not an option. The S&W M&P feels great in my hand, but it lacks the features that I look for in a semi auto (manual safety being one of them). If you like guns with a magazine safety, pretty much any 3rd generation S&W semi auto will have that feature. Some guys like it, others don't. You decide.

Cremon
December 31, 2009, 10:40 AM
+1 Homerboy. I liked a LOT of what you just said. I thought I was one of the only people who bought more than one of the same gun because it fit so well in my hand. The importance of the way a gun feels in your hand cannot be overstated.

I personally prefer hammer fired over striker fired guns for all the reasons Homerboy listed in his post. The biggest one being the visual test of SA set up followed by the DA repeat capability that the striker fired guns lack. (I hear that there are a few that CAN fire DA, though).

For years, the small caliber Saturday night specials comprised the majority of striker fired guns (especially back in the 80's) because it was (and still is) a cost/corner cutting strategy in gun making.

Some people are fine with striker fired pistols and never have any complaints. I do not disparage these people. I personally will not own one though.

_W_
December 31, 2009, 10:56 AM
I have no actual preference, and have a few of each.

But on guns like the Springfield XD, Ruger SR9 and Walther PPS, you can visually note the position of the striker to tell if its ready to fire or not. With the Glock, the condition of the gun id'ed by the trigger position.

And the M&P is available with a manual safety (option).

Shawn Dodson
December 31, 2009, 11:05 AM
As you didn't specify a purpose for the gun we're forced to assume from your mention of "snag on clothes" that you're referring to a defense pistol.

Striker vs. hammer would be the lowest level criterion to consider in choosing a defense pistol, IMO. How well it fits in my hand, how well I can easily and efficiently operate the controls, how well I can shoot it accurately, and, of course, caliber, would be my primary concerns.

In regard to second strike capability (of DA and some DAO automatics): as roman3 observed, pressing the trigger again when a misfire is encountered is not the way a shooter should train. I use the term "misfire" to apply to any situation in which you pressed the trigger and the gun did not discharge.

It may not fire for a variety of reasons (defective cartridge, failure to eject, failure to feed, double feed, empty chamber). Pressing the trigger again MAY possibly solve one of these problems, but it is a precious waste of time for clearing all others.

Whenever you experience a misfire you should immediately tap, roll & rack because it will most likely clear all stoppages except a doublefeed. Tap, roll & rack should be a conditioned reflex anytime you experience a misfire.

Cheers!

azredhawk44
December 31, 2009, 11:07 AM
The amount of time that passes between trigger squeeze and cartridge ignition is less on a striker fired gun than a hammer fired gun.

It's arguable, that all other factors being equal (trigger weight, firearm weight, barrel quality, cartridge quality, etc), a striker will be slightly more accurate since that delay between trigger pull and ignition gives physics less time to muck up your aim.

Strikers are less likely to have the firing pin inadvertently blocked by lint, dirt or other foreign debris.

What do I carry?

Hammer-driven guns. 1911's, CZ's, revolvers. I carry these "inferior" tools because they feel better in my hand.

gyvel
December 31, 2009, 11:18 AM
"Striker fired" covers a broad area. If you are talking about a pistol such as the Browning 1910 or the original Colt .25 auto, which are fired by spring driven strikers, you generally don't want to carry those pistols with a round in the chamber due to the fact that the striker is cocked and under spring tension.

In this case you are relying on a mechanical safety that could potentially become disengaged in carry; Not a good scenario.

Another disadvantage of that type of pistol is that, since the striker spring remains under constant tension over a period of time, it can become weak enough to not ensure reliable ignition.

A third disadvantage is that, unless the pistol has some sort of signal device (such as a protruding pin), you really don't know if it is cocked unless you are extremely familiar with its operating characteristics.

JCP281
December 31, 2009, 11:50 AM
I prefer striker for CC because it is usually a cleaner package. Cleaner package meaning there is nothing hanging off the back of the slide to get caught or print while bending over.

Hammered pistols are great though for all around function. I love being able to see if the pistol is cocked just at a glance(I do realize most striker pistols have some form of indicator nowadays, but you get my point). I love the addition of a decocker on a lot of them as well.

Homerboy
December 31, 2009, 01:29 PM
As you didn't specify a purpose for the gun we're forced to assume from your mention of "snag on clothes" that you're referring to a defense pistol.

Striker vs. hammer would be the lowest level criterion to consider in choosing a defense pistol, IMO. How well it fits in my hand, how well I can easily and efficiently operate the controls, how well I can shoot it accurately, and, of course, caliber, would be my primary concerns.

In regard to second strike capability (of DA and some DAO automatics): as roman3 observed, pressing the trigger again when a misfire is encountered is not the way a shooter should train. I use the term "misfire" to apply to any situation in which you pressed the trigger and the gun did not discharge.

It may not fire for a variety of reasons (defective cartridge, failure to eject, failure to feed, double feed, empty chamber). Pressing the trigger again MAY possibly solve one of these problems, but it is a precious waste of time for clearing all others.

Whenever you experience a misfire you should immediately tap, roll & rack because it will most likely clear all stoppages except a doublefeed. Tap, roll & rack should be a conditioned reflex anytime you experience a misfire.

Well, I just disagree. Pulling the trigger again is instinct. It would take a VERY dedicated shooter to train enough to not pull the trigger again, and just go right to tap, rack, bang. Again, in a real situation, you probably wouldn't even know it HADN'T gone off. Don't know how many people here have ever fired their weapons outside of a pistol range, but it is quite different than loading a snap cap in your mag and practicing on the range. Also, basic firearms safety dictates NOt clearing a dud round immediately. It could still go off. Not a good thing while you're clearing the gun.

Odds are, this will never happen. Modern ammo is quite reliable. Much more likely is a failure to extract or some other malfunction. So if the OP likes the way that Glock feels in his hand, he should get it. Second strike aside, the benefits of a hammer fired gun outweight a striker fired one. And they can be had in polymer if you choose.

gc70
December 31, 2009, 02:21 PM
Find a gun that feels good in your hand and buy it. The design of the firing mechanism - hammer versus striker - should probably not be the deciding factor.

Most striker designs are DAO (consistent trigger pull) that do not allow second-strike capability, but the Walther P99 / S&W SW99 pistols have DA/SA trigger mechanisms. Hammer-fired guns with SA triggers also generally lack second-strike capability.

Most striker designs have polymer frames, but the HK P7 is an all-steel gun. And a lot of DA/SA guns, such as HKs, Sig Pros, and FNP9s, also have polymer frames.

And the differences in new guns pale in comparison to the differences over time. The Colt 1903 is hammer-fired, but the hammer is fully enclosed by the slide, while the Savage 1907 is striker-fired, but has a cocking piece that looks like a hammer.

roman3
December 31, 2009, 02:22 PM
Well, I just disagree. Pulling the trigger again is instinct. It would take a VERY dedicated shooter to train enough to not pull the trigger again, and just go right to tap, rack, bang. Again, in a real situation, you probably wouldn't even know it HADN'T gone off. Don't know how many people here have ever fired their weapons outside of a pistol range, but it is quite different than loading a snap cap in your mag and practicing on the range. Also, basic firearms safety dictates NOt clearing a dud round immediately. It could still go off. Not a good thing while you're clearing the gun.

Odds are, this will never happen. Modern ammo is quite reliable. Much more likely is a failure to extract or some other malfunction. So if the OP likes the way that Glock feels in his hand, he should get it. Second strike aside, the benefits of a hammer fired gun outweight a striker fired one. And they can be had in polymer if you choose.

You know your not the only one on this forum that has experience "outside of a pistol range". Were you trained to pull the trigger a second time?

Homerboy
December 31, 2009, 06:41 PM
You know your not the only one on this forum that has experience "outside of a pistol range". Were you trained to pull the trigger a second time?

No I wasn't. Tap rack bang was taught to me as well, as it was taught to guys I went through the academy witt, but we had a choice of 1 striker fired gun (Glock 19), and 2 hammer fired (S&W 5946 and SIG 226), so in the interests of unifromity of training, second strike was never taught since Glocks can't fire a second time. In spite of this, I have seen guys completely disregard training in real encounters. 3 pistol quals a year shooting at paper targets didn't make me Rambo. The one shooting I got into (at a raging pitbull), I fired 6 shots before the gun jammed (Glock 19). had no idea it HAD jammed, since I was jumping onto the roof of my car at the time. Guys i worked with fired everything they had at armed suspects, and didn't even realize they were empty for a while.

44 AMP
January 1, 2010, 03:51 AM
For years, the small caliber Saturday night specials comprised the majority of striker fired guns (especially back in the 80's) because it was (and still is) a cost/corner cutting strategy in gun making.

Some people are fine with striker fired pistols and never have any complaints. I do not disparage these people. I personally will not own one though.


Note that the overwhelming majority of .22 autos are striker fired. This includes the pocket guns and the sport pistols. Colt, Ruger, Browning, S&W, Hi Standard, Stoeger, and many others make or made and sold huge numbers of striker fired pistols in .22LR.

Also there have been many designs of "service pistol" that are striker fired, from the Luger of the past to the GLock of today. Some are better suited to personal defense than others, but all have been used at some point or other.

I have a number of striker fired pistols as well as hammer fired guns. I like them all, each for what it is. If you won't own a striker fired pistol just because it is striker fired, you are missing out on a lot of good shooting.

Personally, I don't care for Glocks. I have shot a number of them, and do not wish to own one. There are a number of things I don't care for about them, but the striker firing isn't one of them.

gyvel
January 1, 2010, 06:06 AM
Note that the overwhelming majority of .22 autos are striker fired. This includes the pocket guns and the sport pistols. Colt, Ruger, Browning, S&W, Hi Standard, Stoeger, and many others make or made and sold huge numbers of striker fired pistols in .22LR.

Not even close to correct.

All Colt .22 autos have internal hammers, the sole exception being the short-lived Cadet sold in the 90s. (The Cadet was little more than an updated version of the old H-S Duramatic anyway.)

All High-Standard .22 autos all have internal or external hammers, the sole exception being the Duramatic (and the J.C. Higgins clone).

All Ruger .22 autos have internal hammers.

All Smith & Wesson .22 autos have internal hammers.

All Stoeger .22 autos are basically copies of Hi-Standards and all have internal hammers, the sole exception being the copy of the Erma EP 22 Luger copy they marketed.

In fact, I can't think of any .22 auto other than the three mentioned, the Bernardelli Babies in .22 short and long (not long rifle) and the cheap pot metal crap like Jennings that are striker fired.

Shane Tuttle
January 1, 2010, 01:12 PM
Can you physically pull back those "internal hammers"? Striker fired pistols have their own "internal hammers" in their own right...

Shawn Dodson
January 1, 2010, 02:30 PM
Can you physically pull back those "internal hammers"? Can you "physically pull back" the internal hammer of an AR15? M1 Garand? SKS? FN-FAL?

44 AMP
January 1, 2010, 02:43 PM
I was using the term striker fired for pistols without external hammers. And I was incorrect for doing so, as I lumped all into one cagtegory. Yes, most of the guns without external hammers do use internal ones, as opposed to those designs which are actually "striker fired" and have no hammer at all.

My bad! Sorry!:(

Shawn Dodson
January 1, 2010, 02:56 PM
Hey, stuff happens. The important thing is you manned up, corrected yourself and apologized!

Cheers!

Tamara
January 1, 2010, 03:25 PM
3 pistol quals a year shooting at paper targets didn't make me Rambo.

I should say not! I'm no Rambette and I feel like a slacker if I only make it to the range 3 times a month! (Skipped this past weekend because of the holidays.)

I would have serious reservations about the competency of any dept. whose officers only busted caps three times a year. :o

Homerboy
January 1, 2010, 04:31 PM
I should say not! I'm no Rambette and I feel like a slacker if I only make it to the range 3 times a month! (Skipped this past weekend because of the holidays.)

I would have serious reservations about the competency of any dept. whose officers only busted caps three times a year

Reality tells a different story. Range time means taking guys off the streets, and it means more money in ammo. I agree it should be more often, but realistically, you can't send every officer to the range once a month. Some guys shoot more often, (I did), but the majority of cops shoot less than 4 times a year, and when they DO go, french fries fall out of their holster when they draw and present the gun for inspection!

Tamara
January 1, 2010, 04:53 PM
...but the majority of cops shoot less than 4 times a year, and when they DO go, french fries fall out of their holster when they draw and present the gun for inspection!

Oh, believe me, I know. :(

We even offered LEOs free range time at the last place I worked, as well as a 10% discount on ammo and suchlike. Depressingly few took any advantage of it.

Homerboy
January 1, 2010, 05:16 PM
We even offered LEOs free range time at the last place I worked, as well as a 10% discount on ammo and suchlike. Depressingly few took any advantage of it.

Did they have to buy the ammo at your range? Some places make you buy their overpriced stuff, so even with a 10% discount, it's still pricey. More likely, shift work is HARD on a person. Being a cop is not a 9 to 5 job. when you have Tuesday and Wednesday off, you spend time with your family, not at the range. Some deptartments let guys come in an hour early once a month to shoot on company time. Most PD's really don't care. I recall when we went to the paintball ammo for our inservice tactical training. First time I went, you had a full 15 round mag. Next time, 10 rounds. Final time, TWO rounds. Seems the paintball ammo is expensive (this was the stuff that fired out of actual pistols, not some paintball gun)

Tamara
January 1, 2010, 05:57 PM
Did they have to buy the ammo at your range? Some places make you buy their overpriced stuff, so even with a 10% discount, it's still pricey.

No, they could bring their own. If Johnny Law brought his own ammo & targets, he could have walked in and out with a wave at the cashier. Plus (at the time) our range ammo was easily competitive, especially with the LE discount, with anything but the cheapest Wally World WWB.

It just boiled down to the fact that most cops are not shooters. Yes, they're issued guns at work, but they're issued radios, laptops, and cars, too, and that doesn't doesn't make them Ham buffs, IT guys, or SCCA club racers, either.

More likely, shift work is HARD on a person. Being a cop is not a 9 to 5 job.

I know. A couple of my part-timers were cops. (And I wish I'd only worked 9-to-5, instead of 11-to-9, six or seven days a week... :( )

gyvel
January 2, 2010, 08:51 AM
Apologies for not being clear

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was using the term striker fired for pistols without external hammers. And I was incorrect for doing so, as I lumped all into one cagtegory. Yes, most of the guns without external hammers do use internal ones, as opposed to those designs which are actually "striker fired" and have no hammer at all.

My bad! Sorry!

Oops! My bad, too. I was under the impression that you thought most, if not all, the .22s mentioned had spring driven strikers.

Sorry about that!

XDm-9mm
January 2, 2010, 10:52 PM
Are there any performance benefits to a hammer vs striker. Most of the hammer designs I've seen on Semiauto guns don't look like the hammer would get hung up on clothes. So what are the pros and cons? Feel free to be as detailed as necessary, I want specifics as well as personal preference info.

Thanks!

carguychris
January 2, 2010, 11:04 PM
One plus of a hammer is that you can hold the hammer of your DA/SA or DAO pistol down with your thumb as you holster it, preventing the pistol from discharging if the trigger is inadvertantly pulled.

Another plus is that many DA/SA or DAO pistols have second-strike capability, meaning you can hit a stubborn round repeatedly by simply stroking the trigger again. Some people argue that you're unlikely to realize that a round failed to go off during a real-world gunfight, or that clearing the pistol by racking the slide takes too long.

One plus of striker-fired designs is the cleaner, more snag-free profile. Another is that most striker-fired designs are mechanically simpler. A third plus is that the trigger pull is the same every time, without being as long and heavy as most traditional DAO designs.

Tamara
January 2, 2010, 11:06 PM
Near-duplicate threads merged.

NWCP
January 3, 2010, 06:37 AM
If you have a FTF a DA/SA action will allow you to try a second hammer strike with the errant ammo before having to go through clearing the bad round and chambering a new one. The only striker fired pistols I own are a Kahr PM9 and a couple of the HK P7s. I've yet to have a failure with any of them. While I like my Kahr and the P7s I do carry an exposed hammer pistol the majority of the time be it SA only, or DA/SA. Old habits...

44 AMP
January 3, 2010, 01:36 PM
Is psychological. Hammer guns provide a visual, and tactile means of telling when the gun is cocked, and when it is not.

Also, hammer guns always have a means (if not a safe one) for lowering the hammer, making the gun clearly visually safe.

A snag free draw is more a matter of the holster used, the clothes worn and your personal proficiency, but hammerless pistols do usually have less to snag on.