Chris Heuss for TTAG
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Reader JS writes . . .

I know, striker-fired is the future (like gender-less bathrooms and free college), and hammer-fired guns like my personal favorite, the Beretta 92, are relics of an ancient past. It is just a matter of time until all of those antiquated guns with those pesky external hammers take their place alongside pagers and Palm Pilots in the dustbin of history, right?

I sure hope not, let me explain why.


I fully recognize the benefits of the modern striker-fired pistol; namely, consistency of trigger pull and simplicity of operation. Additionally, this is in no way meant to try to persuade people not to use striker-fired pistols.

This is simply my attempt to explain why I continue to cling bitterly to the more classic hammer-fired designs, and to make clear that there are practical reasons why I do so beyond my natural abhorrence for change.

Dan Z for TTAG

1)  I believe that DA/SA pistols with external hammers are inherently safer. I know that guns don’t shoot by themselves—if they did I would be under constant attack in my own home.

But it’s impossible to deny that it’s more likely that you’ll unintentionally pull a five pound trigger than a 10-12 pound trigger. Though I majored in the liberal arts, I’m sure there is some law of science that governs that principle.

The Truth About Guns

As all of the real “operators” out there are currently shouting at the screen, “My trigger finger is my safety!” True, if you don’t put your finger on the trigger, your pistol won’t fire.

In a perfect world that’s easy. But, as cases such as an NYPD cop who inadvertently shot a man in a darkened hallway demonstrates, mistakes can and do happen in the real world. Even to those who have allegedly professional training.

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

2) Re-holstering is a much safer affair for DA/SA pistols with external hammers. In addition to the heavier trigger pull of a de-cocked pistol decreasing the likelihood of mistakenly snagging the trigger during insertion in the holster, the ability to place your thumb on the hammer provides a second line of defense against unintentionally perforating any of your lower extremities.

Jeremy S. for TTAG

For those who appendix carry that’s especially significant considering the extremities in the immediate vicinity tend to be of great sentimental importance to most men. And there’s the femoral artery, too.

If you don’t believe me, just go to your nearest Google machine and search for Larry Vickers’ ban on appendix carry in his classes. In his comments on the matter, the highly respected firearms guru specifically referenced the safety issues endemic to appendix carry when you “add in a pistol like a GLOCK or an M&P.”

Hmmm. What do those pistols have in common?


3) There’s just something about shooting a hammer-fired pistol that feels right. I think of it like driving a stick shift (remember those?). Yes, an automatic is easier to learn, is more conducive to texting while driving (not that I have ever done that or condone it), and saves you from those embarrassing stalls at stop lights.

But there seems to be something missing; the relationship between the driver and the car is non-existent.

Or, for the carnivores among us, compare it to the difference between cooking on a propane grill and the glorious aroma and flavor of charcoal. It requires a little more work, some extra time, practice, and finesse, but the end result is gastronomical greatness.

For me, mastering the double action pull of the Beretta 92 was much the same. It took a little bit of time, but was certainly not an insurmountable obstacle. And the end result was worth the struggle.

Every shooter should be intimately familiar with his or her firearm, so practice shouldn’t be shied away from in any case, no matter the firearm in question.

For all of these reasons, I’m a DA/SA hammer kind of guy. And the truth is, I’m in some great company. Think of all of those historic figures who have preferred the hammer; M.C., Thor, Jesus (a bit of a stretch, but he was a carpenter, right?). How can you go wrong with company like that?

Though I admit there are plenty of fantastic striker-fired pistols on the market that are accurate, reliable, and affordable, I hope that gun companies don’t stop developing new hammer-fired pistols.

Unfortunately, the future doesn’t look great based on current market trends. Nevertheless, in my house it will always be hammer time.

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    • SA/DA is a perfectly valid design…and ownership choice, I know there’s a group-think who sucketh at the striker fired scrotum, but they’re just narrow minded individuals who need to grow in their understanding of firearms. Its understandable, after all there’s a very big learning curve in mastering firearms.

      • Oy! I’m leaning on getting a hammer popper for public carry. Glock for home use. Squat down too hard and who knows what might happen with a loaded chamber and no safety.

        • Assuming you’re carrying in a holster, nothing will happen.

          Back in the dark days when concealed carry permits weren’t a thing I concealed a model 10 SW in ways i wouldn’t dream of carrying a Glock, but things change, and while I wouldn’t carry a safetyless striker pistol in the front of my pants like I used to pack a DA revolver, I’m in no fear from the former in the OWB holster I carry in now.

          For those with less experience I totally get the fear of an ND. Give it years of familiarity though and I suspect you’ll find that you no longer worry about your own gun going off unintentionally, regardless of configuration.

          It’s not a knock on anyone, just an observation; when you’ve lived for years and years with a gun attached and it never goes off without you willing it, you relax about the matter.

        • IMHO, if I had a CCW, I’d carry my P64 hammer down.

          Without cocking the hammer the bigger question would be “can I pull the trigger in a stress situation” than it is “could it possibly ever negligently discharge” 😀

          I mostly joke. Not CCW’ing and rarely open carrying (just on my property occasionally as my state basically won’t issue permits for the former and the later is illegal except hunting, range or your property), I do feel more comfortable with a DA/SA gun than a striker fired gun. That said, my G71 would be my go to. But for open carry around my property I tuck my Cz82 in to its old leather holster on my belt with a spare mag in a mag pouch. 12+1 and then another 12 of 9mm MAK JHP had better be enough for whatever I’d need it for. If not, I might as well not have been carrying a gun. And I at least feel less like I am going to have an ND holstering and unholstering than my G17. Not that I haven’t carried my G17 and I am not “scared” of it. But I just like my Cz82 more (also my P1. But the much larger and heavier, and single stack, P1 would not be my choice in any situation other than range fun, over my G17).

      • WTF does your reply have to do with my comment…???
        OR, are you just a “turd in the punchbowl” troll…???

        I’m thinkin’ you’re just a “turd in the punchbowl” troll…

    • “…if they did I would be under constant attack in my own home.”

      Hah, you and me both, brother.

    • So SA is OK as long is it isn’t on the first shot? Why do assume that the nervous trigger finger only applies to the first shot of DA/SA? Your reasoning here would indicate you should think DAO as the only acceptable platform — long pull on every shot. Also, why do assume the officer wouldn’t have pulled the trigger if it was in DA. No evidence to support this claim.

      • Because that first shot on you hair triggered plastic fantastic is going down your leg, it takes more intent to fire the first one with a DA/SA weapon. by the time you are in SA you should have acquired your target. He actually said that in the article. In a panic fire situation, your are going to be spraying everywhere but at the target with that easy pull striker, if you manage to find the safety. If you carry safety off, say good by some appendage.

    • Same here I like hammered fired handguns.It’s late 2021 I’m hoping sig S&W……will make a micro 9 hammered fired in the size and capacity of the p365 and hellcat .

      • Well, if you’re set on Sig or S&W it may be a while. In the meantime, 2 nice hammer fired subcompacts are the Ruger Security compact and the Springfield XDe.

  1. And yet Springfield and Taurus, among others, have introduced new DA/SA hammer-fired semiautomatic pistols in the last six months to a year. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      • Guv, I’m developing quite a list of things Ruger should bring back. Semi auto 44mags come to mind. But although the P87 (or 97?) was the first 45 I shot, I much prefer the lines of the Stoeger Cougar 45 I just picked up. If they did bring back the P line, it’d need to be 1911-thin or pack about twice as much ammo as the originals. The P345 wasn’t bad, but no one wanted it back then.

        • The P series was designed for the 9mm (15 round, 17 in aftermarket mags). The grip wasn’t wide enough for a double stack in .45. They had a 10 round .40 but that was during the AWB and I’m not sure if there was room in the mag for a couple extra.

        • The P345 is the softest shooting .45 I have ever used. And it’s accurate, and I am accurate when I shoot it. It’s not going to win any beauty contest but I am biased towards pleasant shooting guns that are very accurate.

    • I currently shoot striker fired handguns exclusively but I am looking at getting a CZ 2075 RAMI to appendix carry. All the reasons the author mentioned played a role in leading me to want a da/sa for appendix carry.

      • As a RAMI owner and carrier, they are a tough little SOB to conceal without heavily printing since they are pretty wide and heavy. but on the plus side you can bludgeon someone to death when you run out of ammo.

        Since it prints so bad, I have relegated my Rami to winter carry and broke down and bought a Walther PPS M2 for hot weather carry here in Texas.

        But I hope your search for a Rami is easier than mine. I spent 6 weeks looking for one in stock.

    • @Texheim,

      I said the same thing for years. Grew up with 1911s and still love them. Something about the extra “control” an external hammer provides. But then I eventually built a Glock from the ground up. And then another. And then another. Now I love both 1911s and Glocks.

      Not too fond of revolvers or XDs. Too each his own preference.

  2. There is such a thing as a DA/SA striker fired pistol. It’s one of my favorite pistols of all time (Walther P99). Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a unicorn design these days (can’t tell if it’s because of Walther’s patent or because nobody is interested int he concept.) The main issue I have with most DA/SA pistols is weight. For the weight of my stripped down P229 Legion, I can carry a Glock 34 with an optic and a light.

    When they make an optics compatible P99 or something similar, call me. Until then, I’ll stick to my tactical brick.

    • I have a Canik TP9v2 (authorized??)_copy of the P99. The only striker I own, and love it. The de-cocker is great. It’s my EDC, and the best feeling ramp when chambering a round of all my stuff

      • I have several striker fired handguns, m&p, glock, sig, p99. The p99 is by far my favorite. Like Bcp above, I don’t know why they never caught on better. Though, s&w had a copy, one of the baby eagles was a copy, and, as you reference, apparently Canik had a copy. Maybe they did catch on, but their time has passed-but it still seems more like they just were not popular. May have had something to do with the paddle mag release (which I prefer).

  3. an NYPD cop who inadvertently shot a man in a darkened hallway

    Bad example. Remember the NYPD has their sidearms modified to have trigger pulls rivaling that of double-action revolvers, despite being striker-fired.

    • Yep, it does prove that ‘things happen’ but if you’re worried about that sort of problem (being unable to keep your booger picker off the bang switch AND being scared of doors opening a floor below you) your only solution is to use a manual safety.

  4. I have an opinion. I think the best carry is a black powder derringer. I mean it is hammer fired, they can be in very large calibers and they can be pocket carried. It feels better in the hand in my opinion.

    It’s like fine dining vs eating at mcdonalds. You know what I mean? It takes a little more effort to eat in a fine establishment than micky dees because you need to dress nice, keep elbows off the table and spend more money.

    A black powder derringer takes practice to load fast, shoot well and hit accurately and it’s just a nicer looking gun. It’s safer too if you want. You can put a percussion cap on it after you draw or do an Israeli drawn black powder combo in wich you put the cap on as you draw it!

    The market trends are disappointing though. it doesn’t seem like we will be seeing a resurgence of black powder carry. Also if you need more than 1 round you probably shouldn’t be carrying.

  5. I trained with and carried a P226 while LEO. I now CCW a P229 since 2009. love it. I do own a S&W M&P 9mm…I like it, but I like my Sig DA/SA…much mo betta.

  6. Yes, I agree with everything you’ve stated. I too like the weight of a steel gun, the added round count and the safer environment of a DA in my pants.

    I carry a CZ Rami with a cajun gunworks trigger job, and I carry a Glock 43. I always feel better with that larger Rami nuzzling my manhood.

  7. I now only own the highly reliable Glock products. They are glorious, even though they are striker fired..

  8. I might add that if safety is of utmost concern then carry your striker-fired pistol un-cocked and learn the Israeli draw technique – to perfection.

  9. My nightstand gun is always a DA/SA pistol. A .357 at sometimes, otherwise a Berretta 96. If I’m awoken in the middle of the night, I don’t want to have to worry about a) discharging before I intend to due to a lighter trigger or b) wondering if the safety is on.

  10. Meh…l carry a lowly Taurus 709 striker fired pistola. Round chambered & safety “on”. I’ve trained to flick it off. Wow. Driving on I-80 today was a helluva’ lot more dangerous than my carry method😫

    • I-80 in Pennsylvania at Hickory Run will make your striker-fired pistol discharge unintentionally. Oh, the potholes!

      The paving crews are getting there (very slowly).

  11. I carry a Glock…. I train with a Glock and train and train and train live fire ……dry fire….holster draw…..reholstering. Train train train….I am comfortable carrying it. Trigger discipline is not a given it is a learned skill from training……. I’ve got nothing against hammer fire… I really want to pick up a sig legion 223…. and if I decide to carry it I will train the same way I do with my Glock… I find it funny to say one gun is safer than another… there can be accidents with both types of fire….training is your best way to reduce your chances of a ND…. just my opinion

  12. 1. Finger off the trigger until you are READY to shoot with a striker-fired gun – hammer-fired guns can make you lazy about this…

    ** I see way too many folks prepping of the trigger when it isn’t time to shoot

    2. Tau Development Striker Control Device addresses this with Glocks – support for other pistol models may be forthcoming…

    ** The SCD is why I switched from carrying a hammer-fired gun to a Glock.

    3. That’s like, your opinion, man.

    Mine differs 😉 It is cool we can shoot what we like, though!

    • False, most hammer fired pistols have much less take up than just about any striker fired pistol except the APX and PPQ. You know that you can’t ride the trigger like you can on a Glock-like pistol so instinctively keep your finger off the trigger until you are going to pull it.

    • I’ve become too accustomed to the heavier trigger pull of a Glock. It came back to haunt me while shooting a demo with a CZ TS Orange. I had the gun on target, but the sights weren’t perfectly aligned with the center yet. I placed my finger on the trigger and the gun fired, sending the bullet through the outer ring if the target instead of the bullseye.

      If anything, DA/SA triggers teach you to be careful, because of that sweet, crisp, light single action pull.

  13. I’m w/pwrserge. It’s the weight.
    I love hammer fired pistols. My Sig 226 is the (gun) love of my life. There is just something about an all metal, hammer fired gun that the “plastic” guns just don’t have.
    But, it’s the weight. Anything much over 16 oz is just too heavy anymore.
    Without breaking the (non existent) bank, I’ll stick with my LCP or LC9.
    And no, I won’t have a Glock of any flavor. They just don’t point right for me.
    Good article.

    • Totally agree about the weight. My 27 oz Kimber compact is too heavy, but my 16 oz Kahr (well, a it more with 8 rounds of 9 mm) just kind of disappears.

      • If you carry all the time, the weight doesn’t matter – you get used to it. I seriously don’t notice my carry gun at all, and it’s nearly 3 lbs. If I’m wearing pants, I’m carrying.

  14. I’ve always flinched at the sight of someone using “appendix carry.”

    I warn them they’re at risk of going off half-cocked.

  15. When I got my P-01 from Cajun gun works I was tickled pink. Glass trigger, a CZ with sights, combat trigger and trigger job. One problem though, I needed a custom gun belt, two pair of suspenders, and that’s for a compact gun with an ALLOY frame. I understand the P-01 is no Walker Colt but I can’t do that. If I’m going to carry a double stack, hammer fired, it’s going to have an HK in front of it. I still have the P-01 though. She’s just to pretty to let go, not that I would.

    • As is my GP100. I carried a couple DA/SA pistols for a while (Beretta 92fs and Ruger P95) but now I’ve stuck with the GP for over 5 years. Mostly I prefer the .357 magnum, especially the hot loads, but it’s also a lot easier to thumb the hammer back for a SA first shot if you need a higher degree of accuracy.

  16. DA/SA Decocker. Check.

    Manual Transmission. Double Check. (I never learned how to drive an automatic 😉

    Charcoal over propane. Triple Check!

    Bud, you’ve got some great company.

    I can’t get past the little flippy lever on the trigger of Glocks and kin. It screams “Micky Mouse”, and the polymer frame screws up the balance something fierce. Added to that I just don’t feel safe with the things!


    • Don’t forget the striker’s much touted “consistency of trigger pull” which really just means the trigger sucks every damn time.
      It’s like communism – if everyone’s poor, there’s no one to be jealous of.

  17. I’ll trade my Glock 19 when the laser pistol comes out…..That way if I make a mistake he’ll be vaporated with no trace. No body…No conviction. 🙂

  18. It is always good to have options but each to their own.

    A couple possible disadvantages come to mind with DA/SA hammer fired pistols often not mentioned.

    In a very high stress situation someone who has not well trained with the DA trigger pull may be much more likely to miss that critical first shot possibly hitting innocents nearby. While I can shoot pretty well DA first shot with two handed hold my accuracy goes way down with one handed shooting while I can still shoot accurately with a striker fired pistol.

    It has been noted that in high stress SD situations that those with hammer fired pistols often do not decock when holstering and are unaware of such which is a potentially dangerous situation.

    A self defense shooting may not be over with one shot. With a DA/SA pistol after that first shot trigger pull the SA may be a very light 3.5 – 4 LBs with very little take up versus the around 6 LBs of many striker fired pistols with significant takeup like my Gen 2 Glock 19.

    As always one should go with whatever they are trained with and confident with but IMO there is no simple answer one best trigger system.

    • It’s pretty funny but I usually get that first DA shot on target better than the follow-up SA shots.

      Been shooting DA/SA weekly for 5 years.

    • You said: “In a very high stress situation someone who has not well trained with…”
      I would like to note that untrained personnel in high stress situations with (Insert any dangerous device here) are a threat to themselves and those around them. It’s pretty silly that we are still insisting that a p226 or 92fs are inherently more dangerous than a g19 or an m&p. There are pros and cons for both systems, inherent danger being on both sides of the equation for both types of weapon. It’s not very complicated, let me explain:
      DA/SA has more complicated manual of arms and makes training important to avoid first shot delays and/or negligent discharges during reholstering.
      Striker fired has a simpler manual of arms and makes training important to avoid firing early due to poor trigger discipline or negligent discharges during reholstering.

      Can we move on please?

      • “Can we move on please?”

        No. This is a religious matter, and anyone who disagrees with me is a nudnick who must change their mind, or be subjected to endless debate.

  19. If your argument for DA/SA is safety you missed that boat. The manual of arms for DA/SA are as complicated as it gets for a handgun. First shot DA, subsequent shots SA. Decock. Put decock lever back into fire. Unless you are one of those idiots that thinks a decock lever is a safety that works backwards. Just before I retired I got very vocal on the range when I saw a sergeant about to holster a DA/SA, cocked, finger on the trigger into a Safariland SSIII. She was offended and complained to my lieutenant that I was insubordinant. I pointed out that I was an investigator and equal in rank and furthermore I was the senior range officer and, as such, outranked everyone on the firing line. Even the sheriff. He blinked and said, “You’re right.” I should have let her shoot herself in her fat ass. I don’t give a shit what you shoot DA/SA, DAO, SA, striker fired, revolver (SA or DA) they are all dangerous. You better know what the fuck you are doing.

    • Gee, my P225 trigger in SA mode has a trigger pull that is about the same as a P320 striker-fired trigger.

      It seems to me that my P225 cocked is just about as safe as a P320 chambered.

      Still have to keep the finger off of the trigger until the sights are on-target

    • On one hand I’d consider the author’s Beretta 92 to be probably the safest pistol ever invented, but as Ron White likes to say, ‘you can’t fix stupid’.

    • Yea, I had a Lieutenant come to do her quarterly shoot. Her phony fingernails were at least an inch long. No way for her to insert her trigger finger into the trigger guard without holding the weapon in her off hand and placing it in her strong hand! I wouldn’t let her shoot and sent her home to cut her nails. She was not a happy camper.

  20. As for conceal carry guns, I appendix carry my shields and glock. But for my Sig P229 Elite, the DA/SA is not the reason I dont carry appendix, it’s the beavertail that pokes my abs when I bend foward. So I carry it at 3:00. AWIB is my favorite way to carry, but its not the most comfortable if you are physically active and always moving around.

  21. Agreed. I had been carrying an M&P 9 for years, and a 1911 before the M&P far longer. I never had the same level of safety comfort carrying the hammer less M&P, and so I bought an FNX9, carrying that for a few years. Then the XDE9 was released ( I retired at the same time and so T shirts replaced a coat jacket) and I grabbed one of those. Been carrying the XDE9 for 6 months and the lighter, smaller pistol was the cats meow. Sure I lack the 17+1 rounds of lead in the larger pistols but I can easily carry 1 or 2 extra 8 round mags without difficulty. I don’t usually follow trends, and don’t plan on changing, so the SA/DA is staying on my hip for the duration. I surmise that most of today’s shooters, including LEO under 50 have never carried a 1911, with a Glock or other striker type pistol being their first and current choice. Therefore they lack the experience and proficiency using a hammer fired pistol, and hence the preference for the striker design. Perhaps I am wrong. Any comments ?

    • First semi-auto I ever fired was a 1911 in basic training. In fact my first handgun ever.
      The first non revolver I bought for myself was my P226, which I will not part with.
      Still have my Ruger single six, sold the Super Blackhawk .44 mag. The .44 was way too heavy, hard to conceal like Dirty Harry, and just plain no fun to shoot.
      Weight is the issue. Age and orthopedic issues. Sucks to get old, don’t it?

      • Yes Sir, sucks to get old…still beats the alternative….

        My $0.02 worth…Been carrying a P365 for a year and a half. It’s the first (and only) striker that I’ve liked enough to carry full-time…no issues so far at 2K+ rounds. I still tote my old P220 and/or a S&W 640 Pro when the occasion (or nostalgia) calls for them.

    • Jacque, it’s just a matter of enlightenment. I worked at a medium sized rural department. Before they developed a F.T.O. program they used to throw new deputies in the car with me. I hated it. (They asked me to be an F.T.O., but I saw refusing was a way to keep the green troops out of my car.) Anyway, after riding with me more than one switched from DA/SA or striker fired to 1911. The biggest impediment to those young guys was cost. Most of my 1911s were at least a little custom. Robar, Novak, etc. When they heard $2500 +/- that was the end of that.

  22. I have 1 DA/SA gun left in the collection.
    Its also the least fired gun I own. Nothing wrong with it. I have a pair of plastic fantastic guns that get some use.
    But for me.
    Its an old warhorse. Good old 1911. SA trigger all of 3.5 pounds all 5 of them.
    When a better design comes out after 108 years of manufacturing.
    Someone let me know.

  23. Yes…. I’m in total agreement…. My USP .45 is my go to for concealed carry…
    On a side note, I just got my first Beretta 92fs last Friday….. Very nice pistol…
    Although, after I get the Colt Delta Elite 10mm, I’m going for a Glock of some sort…

  24. Never cared for DA/SA. I cocked the hammer when I qualed with the M9. Also cock my police positive the few times a year I take it out. Single action is my preference. XD fully cocked striker or cocked and locked has worked better than heavy trigger pulls for me. The heaviest trigger I pull on purpose is my SKS. Practice makes permanent on drawing and reholstering. As for appendix carry, I’m willing to bet my life that it doesn’t offer enough of an advantage over my 4 o’clock carry

    • Same for me. I’ve never found a DA/SA gun whose trigger wasn’t too long in DA mode. I’d rather have a DA only semi-auto. Then, the manufacturer can optimize the reach in that mode (e.g. Kahr).

      I also run revolvers single action. The only exceptions have been my wife’s Colt Diamondback and a Ruger LCR. (Having shot the LCR in .38 Special, I would buy one in .32 caliber.) I’d like to try a Kimber K6S to see if its double action is as good as claimed.

      External hammers are fine. I really like my Gold Cup.

      As far as prevention of unintentional discharges is concerned, even DA isn’t sufficient if your finger is on the trigger. Back when my local police force carried S&W model 10s, a cop shot himself during a foot pursuit. He convulsively pulled the trigger when he stumbled. If you are that concerned about pulling the trigger inadvertently, carry a semi-auto with a thumb safety or an SA revolver with the hammer down.

    • The original concept of the DA/SA revolver was that the DA was for up close and fast action and well aimed shots would be done SA. Nobody in the 19th century ever imagined Jerry Miculek would come along and make 400 yard shots with an upside down DAO J-frame using his pinky finger. So I guess if you want to commit to an insane practice regimen for a few decades anything is possible, but for me, if I had to engage an adversary beyond 10-15 yards I’d thumb the hammer back first.

  25. I fired my DA/SA and now carry a hammer too. #1 it’s not a gunm,. #2 no restrictions. #3Meat Cleaver got dull

  26. TOP 4 reasons I carry a 1911.

    1. Back to back world war champs.

    2. .45.

    3. Invented by the greatest firearms designer ever.

    4. 1911.

  27. I own an carry both DA/SA and striker fired guns. I know some keyboard commandos will frown at the idea of not sticking to one design, or even one model. Never the less I practice at a range with man sized plates, and never have a problem hitting center mass on the DA pull. I just picked up a CZ P-01 that I can shoot better than my brothers Glock 19. I can shoot the P-01 almost as well as my M&P 2.0 compact. And I have been shooting M&P’s for years. If you can put rounds on target and it feels good then use that gun. This is America. For now, we are still free.

  28. I carry a Ruger P89 on occasion and have Since 1994. Excellent handgun. Yes it is a tank but, I’ve never had an issue with it’s performance. Wouldn’t trade it for any of the striker fired guns out there. I do carry a Shield 9mm when better concealment is required.

  29. Of the three pistols I’ve bought my daughter, her favorite is the FNX45. And she says she shoots it the best. She lives a couple thousand miles away, so I’ve only had the opportunity to dry fire it once. I liked the DA trigger–solid, consistent pull like my Kahr–but the SA mode seemed really mushy, and I didn’t care for it as it had little feel. I wonder if it feels different during live fire.

  30. I superscribed to Gun Week later called the Gun Mag for decades and after the Glock was invented there were numerous horror stories of people shooting themselves and other people all accidentally. Last year I believe it was either in Gun World or Guns Magazine carried a story of a cop who got of his car at a minor traffic stop and stumbled and shot an innocent passenger sitting in the car he stopped. I could list a whole page of such accidents and all with fired guns that had no manual safety. Its just like walking around with a revolver with the hammer cocked back. No one in their right mind would carry a revolver that way but because they do not understand how many striker fired guns work they think nothing of carrying them in their waist band without a holster, under their pillow, or in a purse with no holster or in a pocket with no holster. There was last year a video of a cop off duty in Columbus , Ohio shifting his striker fired gun from one pocket to another in an elevator with his wife and guess what it went off and he shot himself with it. It never would have happened with a double action hammer fired gun even one without a safety.

    If guns came under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Safety Commission no striker fired gun without a manual safety would have ever been allowed on the market and ditto for that idiotic unsafe take down system of a glock and its many copy cat brands.

    And remember those fools who say “it will never happen to me because I am perfect” are the very ones who are next to be involved in an accidental shooting.

  31. I dont believe that DA/SA is inherently safer.

    I do believe the design lends itself to lots of options.

    I am also more accurate with many DA/SA guns (especially for successive shots) than with most striker guns.

    Plus – there are so,e cool designs like the Beretta 92 and CZ-75.

    Reason enough.

  32. My personal experience is you stick with what’s familiar. I bought a Sig P226 in the mid 1980’s and learned to shot a Wundernine. Around 20 years later it was time to modernize and I ended up with a railed/quick reset P226 in 357 sig. Just last year I specifically went out to get something modern and lighter – a Walther PPQ but I came home with an old but unused P226 Elite single action only. Tonight I sold my cow for 3 magic beans.

  33. I, generally speaking, agree with the writer… I carried a P229 and P239 for CCW, and a P226 was my nightstand gun for years.

    HOWEVER… I traded those in for a P320 Compact for the simple reason that I shot it better, and it felt better in my hand. I mean, I REALLY miss my P239… it was the stainless SAS variant, and was just beautiful… and shot it really well. I really like a good DA/SA trigger. But the P320 was just a better gun overall in my hand. My P320 is only marginally larger than the P239 and easier to carry concealed than the P229, and carries as many rounds in a flush magazine as the much larger P226.

    Like I said, I agree DA/SA is inherently safer… but it is only one piece of the overall puzzle.

  34. I went out to the range with the wife’s M-9 recently. Fired 10 decocked rounds each from 7 and 10 yards. I haven’t actually fired DA since 2011. I was amazed that I hit a B-27 target 80% at 7 yards and 50% at 10 yards and placed 19 /20 shots on the underlying Q-bottle target. I never shot that well when I had to qual with the pistol. That is what stress will do to you and why I am not going to carry a DA/SA pistol

  35. Fact of the matter is that you will never get a striker trigger to feel anywhere near as nice as a tuned hammer fired trigger. That is enough for me. That said I own both.

    My go to is a 226 and my secondary is a m9a1 tho

  36. I enjoy carrying and shooting my Bersa Thunder.
    The long DA pull is also easy to stage, so if you “need” to shoot it in defence, you have a split second more to decide if you “really need” to use it.

    But I’m also comfortable carrying my Ruger Security 9. Only way to carry it with one in the tube, is to leave it cocked (single action internal hammer/upscaled LCP II internals). Locked is by choice as it also has a trigger dingus safety. Just hard to find the break.

    I say whatever you are comfortable carrying, practice with it diligently and safely, and it will be good.

  37. I own and enjoy shooting Glocks. However; I am far to cowardly to carry one everyday.

    My carry guns are all Smith and Wesson Third Generation pistol, 9mm, 10mm or .45 ACP. Not onlydo they have a manual safety that rotates the firing pin out of alignment with the primer and the hammer, they have a manual disconnect safety that can disable the gun.

    I hate to seem ignorant, but it would be nice if you identified all of the pistols.

  38. I’ve found 1911 hammer offers an easy and reliable way to lower a ready pistol to half-cocked safety. Not that I had anything against the strikers I’ve carrier. Just a security blanket feeling.

  39. I think the writer was creating a straw man in his opening paragraph.

    Nobody cares what other people carry and/or how they carry it. Its a free country (mostly). I’m just glad you’re carrying.

  40. I’m not convinced that hammer-fired pistols are safer than striker-fired pistols. But I am convinced that many people think they are, mostly because they can ascertain the condition of the firearm by glancing at the hammer.

    Being a revolver guy, I’m most comfortable with DA/SA or SAO hammer-fired pistols. Hammer-fired DAO pistols are out of favor since they represent the worst of both worlds.

  41. Yeah, I’m gonna be that guy here. You realize that striker fired pistols are, like, 100 years old? That they were adopted prior to World War I? I mean, just look at the FN Model 1910: designed by none other than John Browning, firing his rounds (.32 and 380 ACP). Saying that striker fire is new fangled technology is just silly

    • “Yeah, I’m gonna be that guy here. You realize that striker fired pistols are, like, 100 years old? That they were adopted prior to World War I? I mean, just look at the FN Model 1910”

      Fired my friend’s P-08 Luger once. Liked the trigger a lot. Found out recently that the Luger is a “striker-fired” pistol. Didn’t give it much thought when we broke it down for cleaning, but we had a “modern” semi-automatic on our hands, from way back when.

      • “Any firearm without a flash pan should be treated as suspect.”

        Finally, we have someone who understands firearms, and proof of concept! ‘Bout bleedin’ time. (although, I think slow match firearms are indisputable champs in proven technology)

        And….anyone who abandons dial-up internet connections is just asking for catastrophic failure.

  42. “Re-holstering is a much safer affair for DA/SA pistols with external hammers. In addition to the heavier trigger pull of a de-cocked pistol decreasing the likelihood of mistakenly snagging the trigger during insertion in the holster,”

    So does this mean you only carry DA/SA with a decocker, or before reholstering, do you lower the hammer manually while pulling the trigger or put a finger in front the hammer and pull the trigger?

  43. The industry both training and Manufacturing pushes the latest and greatest guns. If you try to get a trainer to train you on your twenty year old handgun they will turn their nose up at you.

    Revolvers are just better for some people. But try and get your local gun instructor to give you a class on a revolver. It will be very difficult for you to find one who wants to do it. They prefer you have a semi-auto handgun especially one that’s been within the last two years.

    I brought my Ruger P89 to class and the instructor said he wished he had known ahead of time, and he would have provided me a Beretta 92 for for training in the class?

    My P89 has been my first carry gun. Production ended I think in 2007. I like the decocker. I see no reason to buy a new 9mm hand gun.

  44. I don’t think anyone mentioned that a hammer-fired pistol will hit primers much harder than today’s striker-fired pistols will. Try launching a No. 2 pencil by dry firing. The hammer-fired pistol will kick the pencil to a much greater height, and therefore should detonate the primer of any kind of garbage ammo you might be forced to use.

  45. Nothing like the trigger pull of a SA firearm. I am so much more accurate with a p226 than any striker fired gun from a distance.

  46. Some double-action-only (DAO) pistols, such as the Ruger LC9 and LC380 (the original LC9, before they made a striker-fired model available) are the best of best of both worlds (or the worst of both worlds, depending on your opinion). Their trigger is like a fine, smooth revolver’s trigger (with the same benefits and drawbacks).
    1) Consistent trigger pull, like a revolver
    2) Looonnnnng, moderately heavy trigger pull, almost as long as a revolver, but smoother and with no stacking.

    The long trigger pull of the LC9 and LC380 takes some getting used to, but it’s better than most revolvers, like a very smooth revolver. It’s also not quite as heavy a trigger pull as most revolvers, although it’s certainly not a light trigger either, but that’s the point! It’s a safer trigger pull because it’s long and heavy, like a smooth and well-tuned revolver.

    The trigger is long enough that the safety seems unnecessary on the DA-only LC9 and LC380.
    (Do I carry with the safety off, you ask? No, because I’m in a no-carry state, so I don’t carry because I can’t carry, because NOBODY is allowed to carry in the People’s Republic of New Jersey except cops!)

  47. For the one-handed shooter, the choice between glock/xd/swmp in condition 0 or fnx45tac/springfield1911/cz75sp01 in condition 3, is not a choice at all. What does it take to kill a non-condition 0 striker-shooter? Grab one of their hands. A hammer-shooter can face-palm you out to the front kick and have the piece cocked and trained before you block the kick. (If it isn’t more like ‘get back up and get your breath’) I have two glocks that are great for “what went bump?” and GET OFF MY LAWN. But for backing up the shotgun or rifle or CCing, a true One-handed handgun is king. And single action is quickly becoming my thing. Next, short 454 super blackhawk.

  48. A bullet went through my 13 year old daughters bedroom window from someone shooting 700 yards away.
    DA/SA pistol, new shooter. They shot five shots, on the sixth, accidentally discharged from the recoil a sixth round went at a upwards angle and it went over the target and backstop, over the river, and into the bedroom she just walked out of. 2100 feet away. It is easy to be safe for a new shooter with that first shot with the long travel at 8-10 lbs of pull. Then they have their finger on a trigger, round in the chamber, and 4 lbs of pull with nearly zero travel until the magazine is empty. That’s how it happened. A new shooter is safer with 6 lbs of pull and a long travel trigger every shot than a DA/SA trigger that requires practice and discipline because of the inconsistency from the first shot to the follow up shots. Just my 2 cents.

  49. No external hammer, no safety/decocker, no sale. That’s just me. My pistol lives in a holster, trigger covered, fully loaded with safety off, on my belt or off. Before it leaves the holster for anything but firing, routine inspection, cleaning, etc., I click the safety on. When it goes back into the holster, the safety is clicked off. If I have to pull the pistol after that, it is ready to go bang. No, I don’t forget.

  50. A well thought out and written article. It captured what I knew in my mind were all the reasons that made sense to me. I’ve always felt a small bit of concern when carrying my Glock 43, round chambered in the OWB holster. Despite practice drawing, and holstering, I still felt overly guarded when carrying, drawing and holstering. With my CZ P-07, I don’t feel nearly as concerned due to the deliberate and heavier amount of pressure needed on the trigger.

  51. I am a retired deputy sheriff. I served 30 years with the same office. When we changed from revolvers to the S&W model 645, we were trained excessively in SA/DA pistols. I retired shortly after we changed to model 4506 pistols. I had been to the range once (50 rounds) with mine, and was given it upon retirement. I bought a couple more pistols with that operating system, and have carried the CS45 for over 20 years. I also collect Walther pistols. I totally agree with you. I spent several hours looking for a new pistol that was hammer fired, SA/DA in .45acp and haven’t found one yet.

  52. Kansas Deputy, Have you considered the CZ or FN hammer fired models, SA/DA in .45 ACP? Both are fine pistols.


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