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Old March 12, 2012, 03:00 PM   #1
Canik
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Single action vs Double action

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of single action hand gun??

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of double action hand gun??

Which mode is best. ???
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Old March 12, 2012, 05:06 PM   #2
Clifford L. Hughes
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Canik:

You didn't specify revolver or pistol. On a pistol double action lets you get the first shot off faster in most cases. After the first shot, in most cases, an auto loader is shot single action.

A double action revolver, on the other hand, can be either single or double action on the first and subsequent shots. On single action revolvers the hammer must be cocked for each shot.

On single action only auto loaders the hammer can't be pulled with the thumb and the trigger must activate the hammer for each shot.

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Old March 12, 2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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Single action- best for slow fire-all the bullseye shooters in the 1940s and 50s could have told you that. Best for hunting.
Double action-best for defensive shooting when speed counts.
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Old March 12, 2012, 05:42 PM   #4
Misssissippi Dave
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Single action pistols generally have a lighter trigger pull then double action pistols. This makes staying on target easier to do. The single action normally has a much shorter trigger pull since you are not having to cock the pistol with the trigger pull. Single action pistols generally are easier to learn to shoot accurately.

Double action involves a longer trigger pull and normally allows you to back off the trigger if you decide not to shoot. It is generally considered a safer action for self defense only because it reduces accidental discharges. Shooting accurately with double action pistols generally takes more practice to learn how to shoot this type of pistol action.

Pistols with SA/DA triggers generally give you the best of both worlds to a point. You still do need to spend a fair amount of time learning to shoot accurately for the double action side since it probably will be what you will be using in a self defense mode.

Most of the time you will find single action semi-auto pistols have a safety lever you must move to the fire position to fire the pistol. Often but not always double/single action semi-auto pistols do not have a safety lever to move and have a de-cocking lever to safely lower the hammer after loading to place them back into the double action mode.

There are also other types of actions as well.
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Old March 13, 2012, 02:55 AM   #5
Canik
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thankk you all for your replies

and dave what are the others action..??
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Old March 13, 2012, 05:01 AM   #6
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There are pistols that are halfway in between, like Glock and their "Safe Action".
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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In terms of actually shooting a gun quickly and/or accurately, I can't think of a single advantage to double action in auto pistols. DA was a great advance in revolvers, but a retrograde step in auto pistol design. When was the last time a new DA design was introduced? Just about everything today is either single action, or some form of pre-cocked striker system.
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Old March 13, 2012, 08:33 PM   #8
Misssissippi Dave
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Another type of action that comes to mind is the safe action of the Glock. There are striker fire pistols that half way cock the pistol when fired and you complete the cocking when you pull the trigger. It really isn't double action in its true sense nor is it single action.

The last double action only pistols I can think of are the Ruger LCR and the Sig P250. I do prefer the P250 and have a few of them. The P250 has only 3 controls. Take down lever, Magazine release and the ambi slide release. It isn't difficult to learn the controls. The trigger does take some getting use to unless you have spend time shooting double action revolvers. The P250 was only designed to be a double action polymer pistol and not one that can be converted.
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Old March 13, 2012, 10:29 PM   #9
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@RickB, Sig DAK and HK LEM are both relatively recent double action designs. Para-Ord LDA is also relatively recent, but I don't know if it's as different as the DAK and LEM designs from traditional double action design.
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Old March 13, 2012, 10:38 PM   #10
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I'm partial to DA/SA w/ an exposed hammer and a de-cocker.
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Old March 13, 2012, 10:58 PM   #11
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I'm partial to DAO (P3AT) and Glock/XD triggers, but I carry for SD/consistantcy, not bullseye accuracy.

At the range, slow fire, aimed bullseye-type shooting is SA revolver time.

SAO semi spooks me for SD carry--I just may be too nervy when stressed to manipulate safety and be easy on the trigger when I really need to and it's just that "may" that spooks me.

But that's just me and a man's got to know his limitations.
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Old March 14, 2012, 12:32 AM   #12
arentol
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Read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_%28firearms%29

Return with any remaining questions.
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Old March 14, 2012, 11:36 AM   #13
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I have a question after reading that. Why should anyone believe a Wikipedia entry? It could have been written by almost anyone.
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Old March 14, 2012, 11:40 AM   #14
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"Just about everything today is either single action, or some form of pre-cocked striker system."

I like my FNP-45 USG. DA/SA, or SA cocked and locked, and it has a decocker.

I like my Rohrbaugh R9. It has a spurless recessed hammer and the Rohrbaugh brothers call it DAO on the site.
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Old March 16, 2012, 05:30 PM   #15
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In a semi-automatic, there are three basic action types: Single-Action, Double/Single-Action, and Double-Action-Only.

With a Single-Action semi-auto, the hammer/striker is cocked either manually or by the slide riding back over it when the gun cycles. The advantage of a Single-Action is that you get a relatively light, short trigger pull that is consistent for every shot.

A Double/Single-Action semi-auto is one that can have its hammer/striker cocked in the same way as a single-action, but a longer, heavier trigger pull can also be used to fire the gun when the hammer/striker is not already cocked. The advantages of a Double/Single-Action are that many people feel more comfortable carrying a gun of this type without a manual safety and that this action type allows for a second strike in the case of a misfire without having to manually cock the hammer/striker or manually cycle the gun.

A Double-Action-Only is pretty much exactly what it says. The hammer/striker cannot be manually cocked and is not cocked by cycling the slide. As such, the shooter will have the same longer, heavier trigger pull for every shot. The advantages to this system are the same as those of the Double/Single-Action but you also have a consistent trigger pull for every shot like a Single-Action (though you give up the short, light trigger of the Single-Action). Also, some people feel that this setup is the safest because the shooter must pull through the longer, heavier, more deliberate trigger for each shot.

There are also guns like Glock which don't fit concretely into any of the three categories. Glock's "safe-action" is considered DAO by the ATF, but in actual practice it is much more like a single-action. A Glock's striker is partially cocked when the slide is cycled and brought fully back and then released by pulling the trigger. A Glock does not have a second-strike capability and, unless modified, also has a relatively short and light trigger much more like that of a single-action pistol.

In a revolver, you also have Single-Action, Double/Single-Action, and Double-Action-Only, but they mean slightly different things.

A Single-Action revolver can only have its hammer manually cocked by the shooter. This means that a SA revolver must be manually cocked for each and every shot. The advantage to this system is that, due to the designs of SA revolvers, the gun can be made smaller, lighter, and simpler than a DA revolver without sacrificing strength. The mechanism of a SA revolver also allows the frame to be made in such a way as to make the gun balance and point better in some people's hands.

A Double/Single-Action revolver can be manually cocked just like a SA revolver, but it can also be fired by simply pulling the trigger although the pull will be longer and heavier. A DA/SA offers the shooter faster repeat shots since manually cocking the hammer is unneccessary, but the shooter also retains the option of a shorter, lighter SA shot if so desired.

Just like with a semi-auto, a Double-Action-Only revolver is pretty self-explanatory. The hammer cannot be manually cocked and the shooter must pull through the longer, heavier DA trigger for each shot. The advantages to this system is that many people feel it to be safer because the more deliberate trigger pull is required for every shot and that it forces the user to practice DA shooting exclusively (DA shooting is the type considered by most to be best for self-defense). A DAO revolver can also have its hammer spur removed or have the entire hammer enclosed within the frame since there is no reason to manually manipulate the hammer. A bobbed or fully enclosed hammer makes the gun less apt to snag on clothing or holsters when the user attempts to draw it quickly.
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Old March 16, 2012, 05:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
I have a question after reading that. Why should anyone believe a Wikipedia entry? It could have been written by almost anyone
So could anything on TFL. It's the internet. All information and advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.
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Old March 16, 2012, 07:48 PM   #17
Nick S.
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LCP

When I bought my Ruger LCP the salesman said it was double action only. If what I just read above in Wikipedia is right then what it really is is called pre-set hammer...right?
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Old March 17, 2012, 08:32 AM   #18
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When I bought my Ruger LCP the salesman said it was double action only. If what I just read above in Wikipedia is right then what it really is is called pre-set hammer...
The distinction amounts to picking nits.
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Old March 18, 2012, 02:17 PM   #19
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The differences have been well explained. Which one is best is the one you practice enough with to achieve the level of proficiency you want. For ccw, the standard I use is whether I can cover all my shots with the palm of my hand at 25'. If there is more distance, I can usually get away or, if the situation warrants, get closer. But, to me, it is all about practice...
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Old March 18, 2012, 02:39 PM   #20
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When I bought my Ruger LCP the salesman said it was double action only. If what I just read above in Wikipedia is right then what it really is is called pre-set hammer...right?
Yep. In general, you will find gun salesman to spend the bulk of their time being salesman and a minimal amount of time being gun experts. You have to know. If I ask a gun salesman it a question, it is generally an intelligence test for the potential unknown question I might ask.

People may argue about it, but that wiki was well written and accurate by my account. Even on TFL, we may argue about the name of something.
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Old March 19, 2012, 01:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbt
I have a question after reading that. Why should anyone believe a Wikipedia entry? It could have been written by almost anyone.
Nobody asked anyone to believe that entry. I asked him to read it and return with any remaining questions. The great thing is that if he did return with any questions that resulted in someone identifying missing or incorrect information in that Wikipedia entry ANYONE HERE could go ahead and fix it. Then, as an example, that entry would be partially written by you. Would that give you more confidence in it?

In other words, if Wikipedia is wrong then fix it yourself, and if it isn't then don't complain.

All that being said, the vast majority of Wikipedia entries are factually accurate and a fantastic source of information on all manner of topics. For instance, if you are considering buying a Mosin Nagant you can find out all sorts of basic information about them directly from Wikipedia, then you could also find out about the ammo it uses as well, including basic ballistics information. No need to bother people on forums like these for basic factual information, you can focus on opinion or more detailed facts instead.

These days if you discount Wikipedia as a useful and valid information source you are only making things harder on yourself. Don't get me wrong, if you are writing a formal paper you can't use Wikipedia as a primary source, but you can use it to find primary sources.

The above conversation about pre-set hammers proves my point exactly by the way. Without that entry nobody here would have mentioned all the minor sub-actions possible like that one and would have left the OP less informed than he could be. That one link, if read, provides a ton more information than he would otherwise ever have gotten here.
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