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Old February 11, 2008, 08:33 AM   #1
wilkerr1
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How does striker-fired pistols work?

Hi All,
I figured I would come out of Lurking to have a question answered. I just got into pistols about 9 months ago. I was looking at a Ruger SR9 on Bud's and was curious how stiker-fired pistols work since there is no hammer? Is there a internal hammer built into the slide that strikes the primer? Also, does anyone have anything bad to say about the SR9s?
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Old February 11, 2008, 08:47 AM   #2
HammerBite
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In a hammer-fired pistol the firing-pin spring is located in front of the firing-pin and holds the firing-pin to the rear. When the hammer strikes the firing-pin the firing-pin is driven forward into the primer and then rebounds to the rear.

A striker is similar to a firing-pin with the exception of the spring being located in back of the striker and forcing it to the front. When the pistol is cocked the sear holds the striker in a rearward position. When the pistol is fired the sear releases the striker, which flies forward under the impetus of its spring and strikes the primer.

The above paragraph describes a single-action striker-fired pistol, as was perfected by John Browning. In the new double-action striker-fired pistols, such as a Glock, when the slide is racked the striker is latched back far enough to be clear of the breech face when feeding a round, but not far enough to fire the pistol if released. When you pull the trigger the striker is pulled back farther, then released.

Last edited by HammerBite; February 11, 2008 at 09:21 AM.
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Old February 11, 2008, 08:48 AM   #3
SDC
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A striker is basically just a firing-pin that is propelled by a compressed spring instead of a hammer, and the sear holds that firing-pin back in the "cocked" position until the trigger is pulled. I haven't handled an SR9, so can't help with that question.
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Old February 11, 2008, 09:20 AM   #4
wilkerr1
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Thank you all for clearing up my question. Learn something new everyday. Thanks once again, you all are always helpful.
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Old February 11, 2008, 11:09 AM   #5
DBski
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The SR9 is a fine firearm. It is accrurate, reliable, and pretty easy on the pocket book. Itis slim to make it easier to conceal and 17 rounds of 9mm.
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Old February 11, 2008, 11:10 AM   #6
DMK
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Quote:
A striker is similar to a firing-pin with the exception of the spring being located in back of the striker and forcing it to the front. When the pistol is cocked the sear holds the striker in a rearward position. When the pistol is fired the sear releases the striker, which flies forward under the impetus of its spring and strikes the primer.
It's funny how so many folks fear the cocked hammer on a "cocked and locked" 1911, yet don't realize that striker is under spring tension all the time.

Of course, the striker is pulled back only enough to keep it from hitting the primer. When you pull the trigger, it pulls the striker the rest of the way back before releasing it at the point of "trigger break". (At least that is how some striker fired guns work, I may be assuming they all do it that way)
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Old February 11, 2008, 11:24 AM   #7
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The SR9 is a fine firearm, having owned one myself. However, there are some issues you need to be aware before jumping in and purchasing one. First, and most importantly, there are some issues with the barrels Peening, even after only 200 rounds. Mine had this problem. Others had it, too.

http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/view...19774&start=15

Scroll down to the bottom of that forum and see the pictures a member posted. Next, there are some magazine glitches, something that is quite common with most new releases. My firearm was a low serial number, 13xx. It had peening after 200 rounds. There are also corrosion problems of various internal parts on some of the guns. Some of the steel was turning "yellow" even after only one trip to the range and thorough cleaning. If you search the Ruger forum, you will find a thread relating to that issue. Last, the trigger pull can be inconsistent. Some guns have beautiful triggers on them, some guns can't produce a group. Not to be negative or a downer, I would just be patient with a new release and let the kinks get worked out.
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Old February 11, 2008, 11:25 AM   #8
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+1 to the excellent explanation given by HammerBite, with one addition. Most striker fired pistols could be described as modified double action or a cross between single and double action as explained above. Depending on the manufacturer and model there is usually some amount of precock built into the design to reduce the amount of trigger effort required to complete the cocking action before releasing the striker. In other words the action of the side may leave the striker 20-95% cocked.
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Old February 11, 2008, 12:10 PM   #9
Alleykat
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The XD's striker is full cocked.
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Old February 11, 2008, 12:45 PM   #10
HammerBite
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Quote:
Depending on the manufacturer and model there is usually some amount of precock built into the design to reduce the amount of trigger effort required to complete the cocking action before releasing the striker.
That is what the marketing guys want you to believe, but that isn't the reason for the design.

A striker's natural resting place is fully forward, protruding from the breech face. That is not a good place for the striker to be when a round is being chambered for two reasons:
  • Slamfire.
  • A striker protruding from the breech face would get in the way of a cartridge coming up out of the magazine.
The forward motion of the striker must be arrested before the cartridge is stripped from the magazine. The fact that the resultant trigger pull is easier than a full double-action stroke is just a happy consequence.
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Old February 11, 2008, 01:08 PM   #11
sholling
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Quote:
That is what the marketing guys want you to believe, but that isn't the reason for the design.

A striker's natural resting place is fully forward, protruding from the breech face. That is not a good place for the striker to be when a round is being chambered for two reasons:

* Slamfire.
* A striker protruding from the breech face would get in the way of a cartridge coming up out of the magazine.

The forward motion of the striker must be arrested before the cartridge is stripped from the magazine. The fact that the resultant trigger pull is easier than a full double-action stroke is just a happy consequence.
While you are technically correct you're missing my point. In general the more precock built into the design the less work must be done to complete the cocking action and release the striker. Depending on the leverage used in the design that work can either be pull weight or travel, or more often a happy combination of weight and travel. The end result is that it's quite possible to build a reliable striker fired pistol with a buttery smooth 3-1/2lb trigger with a crisp break. You just won't find many like that right out of the box because of liability issues.
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Old February 11, 2008, 01:22 PM   #12
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sholling . . .

Yes, I interpreted your remark as implying that the easy trigger pull was the sole reason for the design. My error.

I agree with what you said in post #11.
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Old February 11, 2008, 09:16 PM   #13
vox rationis
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This is not an SR9 but it is the prototypical striker fired mechanism, check out this nifty site:

http://www.genitron.com/glock23/intglock.html
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