what is single/double action?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by huckleberry, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. huckleberry

    huckleberry Member

    Will somone please explain the meaning of single action/double action? what it means, how it works, pros/cons? Pleeeeease!:confused:
  2. 1984cj

    1984cj New Member

    Single action-
    When referring to a revolver it means that you have to pull the hammer back with your hand or thumb every time you want to fire a shot(cock it and then pull the trigger) Examples are Colt Single Action Army(SAA) Ruger Blackhawks, Ruger Vaquero, Ruger Super Blackhawk and MOST common percussion cap revolvers.

    When referring to a Semi Automatic pistol it means that you have to manually cock the hammer for the first shot but not on subsequent shots because the slide cocks the hammer for you. Examples are Colt 1911 style pistols and Browning High Powers.

    Double Action
    For revolvers it means that when you pull the trigger it cocks the hammer and then fires the pistol (albeit very quickly). For a revolver this must be done for every shot. Most double action revolvers can also be fired in single action mode as well. Examples (in my experience) are Most revolvers with a swing out cylinder.

    For a Semi Automatic pistol means that when the hammer is not cocked you can pull the trigger and it will cock and fire the pistol. you do not have to cock and fire the pistol with the trigger for every shot because the slide cocks the hammer when it cycles. This type of action is sometimes referred to a Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA) Example FEG P9

    There is another option which is Double Action Only (DAO) this is simply a revolver or pistol that can't be fired in single action. Examples Glock pistols and I think that Berretta makes a version of the 92 that is DOA and the Browning BDA is DAO.

  3. huckleberry

    huckleberry Member

    Thanks for clearing that up for me.
  4. captlee

    captlee Guest

    what is single/double action

    single action/double action pistols have a unique feature: semiautos after
    pulling the slide back and chambering a round and firing the fisrt round the
    pistol will chamber the second round, however now the trigger will now
    set back as if semicocked and there is reduced pound pressure to pulling
    the trigger to fire the second round until all rounds are discharged and the
    slide normally remains in a rear cocked position leaving the ejection port open,
    after removing the empty magazine and loading a second loaded magazine
    you release the slide by pulling the slide back all the way or disengaging the
    slide release lever, now the pistol is chambered and cocked ready to repeat
    firing with the first trigger sqeeze being maximum pressure and the second
    and remaing being possible half the pressure pull poundage(1st=5lb 2nd=2.5lb)
    Revolvers that are single action/double action are similar regards to the 1st
    and 2nd shots fired with the difference being that these revolvers do not require being cocked as in pulling the hammer back, you only need to pull to
    depress the trigger and the trigger mechanism will react with the 1st trigger
    sqeeze at max pressure and 2nd sqeeze at half pressue sqeeze until all
    round are discharged from the cylinder. All revolvers that I have fired feature
    the ability to cock the hammer back at each shot if so desired.
    Double action only semi-pistols and revolvers have the same trigger pressure
    for each pull and so do single action revolvers. double action
    revolvers after loading the cylinder you only need to pull the trigger to
    fire the revolver; double action only semi-pistols need to have the slide
    pulled back to chamber the first round and to cock the hammer for external
    and internal (hammerless) to fire them and each trigger pull will also be
    max trigger pressure. I have never seen a single action semi-auto pistol
    only revolvers and they have to have the hammer manually cocked back
    for every shot. Captlee
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
  5. Duck

    Duck Guest

    I'd like to buy a paragraph, Alex.
  6. Parry-Jones

    Parry-Jones New Member


    I started 9mm range shooting recently and use a Caracal or Sig 226. I wear glasses for reading so at 10 and 15 Meters I use my reading glasses to see the front sight clearly and the target is a blurr. At 20 and 25 meters I tried without my glasses (just safety glasses of course) and could see the target but the sights of course are blurred.

    What does an experienced shooter do? if in the field there's no time to put on glasses so how does one train to become an accurate shooter, with or without reading glasses? I am told that the front sight is all important. Any ideas most welcome.
  7. canebrake

    canebrake New Member


    Any hammerless revolver like the Else Arrrr.


    And the Elsie Pea.

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  8. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member


    First, usually the new members stop by the introduction thread and let us know a bit about themselves.

    Second, the date of the last post is displayed in the upper left of the heading when you read a post.

    Third, welcome to the forum. You will find there are members here that can help you with this. Just give it a day or so once traffic on the site picks back up. :D
  9. Parry-Jones

    Parry-Jones New Member


    Thanks for the guidance, will intro in the right forum.

    I was interested in the single vs double action forum as I found the Sig 226 threw me off at first in that it is both. So the question to this forum is why have both DA and SA? what is the advantage?

  10. ajnucch

    ajnucch New Member

    That was a very helpful answer, and explained clearly, Thank Yo, as well !