Striker fire vs hammer fire
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:38 AM   #1
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Default Striker fire vs hammer fire

Since my experience with handguns is exclusively with striker fired pistols and I've only dry fired a couple hammer fired pistols, I'm curious what is the real difference between them. I've heard reviews from people who love and swear by striker fired pistols and other people who hate them. Do you prefer either one over the other and why?

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Old 03-11-2014, 05:09 AM   #2
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The selling point for the striker fired hand gun was the notion that eliminating the hammer allowed the barrel to rest lower in the frame placing recoil lower, more in line with the shooters arm and reducing "muzzle flip" for faster follow up shots.

The practical reality is that LEO hit ratios dropped from 1 in 6 to 1 in 16 back in the 80's when most departments turned in their wheel guns for GLOCKS.

Personally, I own and shoot a decent collection of striker guns, DA/SA hammer guns and SA only hammer guns... And I've yet to find a striker trigger that will hold a candle to the clean break of any DA/SA "in SA mode" OR SA only gun.

...as for the "reduced" muzzle flip... I'm not an LEO and therefore am responsible for every round that leaves my gun, so emptying one, "under stress" as fast as I can pull the trigger, has never been a goal.

Good Luck

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Old 03-11-2014, 06:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tackleberry1 View Post
The selling point for the striker fired hand gun was the notion that eliminating the hammer allowed the barrel to rest lower in the frame placing recoil lower, more in line with the shooters arm and reducing "muzzle flip" for faster follow up shots.

The practical reality is that LEO hit ratios dropped from 1 in 6 to 1 in 16 back in the 80's when most departments turned in their wheel guns for GLOCKS.

Personally, I own and shoot a decent collection of striker guns, DA/SA hammer guns and SA only hammer guns... And I've yet to find a striker trigger that will hold a candle to the clean break of any DA/SA "in SA mode" OR SA only gun.

...as for the "reduced" muzzle flip... I'm not an LEO and therefore am responsible for every round that leaves my gun, so emptying one, "under stress" as fast as I can pull the trigger, has never been a goal.

Good Luck

Tack
Tack,

Having gone through that time in the 80's when Glocks replaced wheel guns, I remember one of the problems was the larger magazines. Many LEO trainers noticed the "spray & pray" mentality spreading amongst officers who believed they no longer had to worry about running out of ammo. Truth was that there were several reasons why police officer accuracy dropped and no one item could be blamed for most of it.

You are dead right about the Single Action trigger break! Clean, crisp, short and just overall more pleasant than any striker-fired gun I've ever shot. With practice, either is acceptable, but when you want serious target shooting, it's nice to be able to concentrate on the sights and not even have to think about the trigger pull because it's so clean. My Browning Hi-Powers break as cleanly now as they did 30 years ago and never let me down.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:20 AM   #4
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Most striker fire handguns rely on the trigger finger to "pre-load" the striker before the sear releases the striker.

A good single action only needs the release of the sear.

Being lazy, I prefer the single action (less work).

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Old 03-11-2014, 12:12 PM   #5
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One of the downsides of hammer fired especially in revolvers that tend to have a large rotational mass is inertia and lock time. Lock time is the tim it takes from the sear releasing the hammer to when the the firing pin strikes the primer.

The inertial mass of the hammer imparts forward momentum to a pistol and for new shooters who are doing things mostly right revolvers and some semi auto with large hammer mass tend to shoot a bit low.

Learning to shoot a clunky revolver well makes you a much better shooter when your shooting semi autos. Especially true if your learning on something like a ruger single action or colt saa.

Striker pistols have light mass little inertia firing pins with very fast lock times but most have long mushy triggers with no predictibility. Major reason i wont buy a glock or s&w m&p, the triggers are like dragging your finger through wet cement. The only striker pistol that has a decent usable trigger is the xdm, while not steller its predictable.

Having a hammer or not is a nonfactor in pistol choice to me. Whats more important is combat reliability and ease of getting it back into action if something goes wrong. I only carry semiautos for self defense and like a variety some have strikers some have hammers.

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Old 03-11-2014, 12:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanKaz View Post
Since my experience with handguns is exclusively with striker fired pistols and I've only dry fired a couple hammer fired pistols, I'm curious what is the real difference between them. I've heard reviews from people who love and swear by striker fired pistols and other people who hate them. Do you prefer either one over the other and why?

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Practically, there is a difference without distinction. You tap it with a hammer, or you poke it with a crowbar, either way you hit and ignite. In choosing your better pistol, other things will matter more.

Edit. Not an exact analogy, just an idea. Electric vs hydraulic steering. Very different in principle, but similar in the end result. Each could be found in a good car, or a crappy car. The endpoint, when it works well for you, you don't care what type it is.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:16 AM   #7
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Default Striker fire vs hammer fire

While Dan and JonM are right on about most striker triggers there are a few exceptions. I have two strikers for sure that have good triggers and they are the ruger SR and walther PPQ. The ruger has no mushy feeling and basically no take up and the PPQ is what striker triggers should have been in the first place because the firing pin is fully cocked with this model unlike glock. While you can have a lower bore axis with strikers because there is no hammer to be placed above the grip this to me is a bit over sold. Gun companies with hammers have an answer to this complaint like CZ, by placing the slide inside the frame. There is another myth that striker guns can take more abuse and still be more reliable as well because no hammer and firing pin is exposed in most( not SR, XD/XDM) to get obstructions in. Then you have people who want the same trigger pull every time and don't like da/sa or a safety to disengage when it's go time. I will say you can't beat a good single action trigger with any other option. Basically through this long spill I'm trying to say it's gonna come down to personal preference of what you shoot best and prefer for whatever reason. I like both. Get yourself a 1911 and a PPQ and have the best of both worlds lol


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Old 03-12-2014, 03:07 AM   #8
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Greg...

I agree, LEO training had not caught up with the new hi caps, and in many jurisdiction is still lacking.

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Tack,

Having gone through that time in the 80's when Glocks replaced wheel guns, I remember one of the problems was the larger magazines. Many LEO trainers noticed the "spray & pray" mentality spreading amongst officers who believed they no longer had to worry about running out of ammo. Truth was that there were several reasons why police officer accuracy dropped and no one item could be blamed for most of it.

You are dead right about the Single Action trigger break! Clean, crisp, short and just overall more pleasant than any striker-fired gun I've ever shot. With practice, either is acceptable, but when you want serious target shooting, it's nice to be able to concentrate on the sights and not even have to think about the trigger pull because it's so clean. My Browning Hi-Powers break as cleanly now as they did 30 years ago and never let me down.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:13 AM   #9
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Good info. My Bersa is a da/sa. My Ruger lcp is da only. I think I typed that right, so I'm not used to strikers.. my old service pistol Beretta M9 was hammered as was most anything I've picked up or fired... and I wasn't sure what the difference was or even if they broke down the "same way".

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Old 03-12-2014, 10:47 AM   #10
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I say that the strikers should go back to work so they won't be at home all day getting hammered

seriously, I've got a few of each variety and feel more comfy with the hammer fired.

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