If you’re in the market for a new firearm, there are many pros and cons of a gun you consider. Many models seem very similar, and sometimes you can choose between two similar options, thinking that there’s not much difference. But there is always a difference, and that’s no exception for striker fired vs hammer fired weapons. So then, what distinguishes them? What do they have in common? Which gun would be most effective for your needs?
The firing methods have changed drastically over the years, for both striker fired pistols and hammer fired pistols. In fact, their development coincided with the introduction of metallic cartridges and more advanced manufacturing techniques. As a result, the Hammer-fired and striker-fired weapons techniques were standardized and are still used today.
Thus, we need to better understand the difference between hammer fired and striker fired weapons to make only the right choice.
A Note on Forms of Handgun Operation
First, striker vs. hammer fired are not the same as double-action and single-action. All these modes of operation are available with both hammers and strikers.
- Double action – when you pull the trigger, two things happen: (a) it cocks the spring tied to marking the ammo, and (b) it frees the hammer.
- In single-action, the pistol’s trigger works only with one move: it fires once, and that’s it. To fire again, you need to clock the hammer and repeat the action.
- Hybrids are also made for hammer-fired pistols and striker-fired handguns. The hammers, guns, or strikers pistols are as good for any action type, even though most people prefer one type of action over the other.
What Are Hammer-fired Pistols?
When we talk about hammer-fired pistols, the slide is shifted back in a pistol with a firing pin, thereby cocking the hammer. The hammer is held fully back by engagement in the trigger lug and additionally by a tension spring.
Most hammer-fired pistols have a standard safety which makes carrying the gun a lot easier and secure. And to fire the pistol, you must first switch the security on the off position.
Once done firing, the pin is pulled backward by the spring, the slide cocks the hammer (also called a reset), and the pistol is waiting to fire anew.
Hammer-fired Pistols Typical Advantages
- Simple visual and palpable evidence of cock/decock condition.
- Manual operation for tensioning and also decock.
- More room for power and a heavier, thicker impact hammer.
- Additional possibilities for improving action due to the capacity to re-tighten the hammer manually.
- It’s usually easier to manage the slide (using a hammer gun) than with a typical firing pin gun.
- The average single-action hammer pistol has a more reliable trigger pull than the standard firing pin pistol.
Notable Hammer-fired Handguns
There are many hammer-fired pistols brands out there, and some of the most noteworthy and overall best are:
- Springfield XD-E
- Taurus 92
- CZ 2075 Rami
- Beretta PX4 Storm
- CZ 75
What Is A Striker Fired Pistol?
So, first of all – what does striker fired mean? And why do some people prefer pistols with firing pins? Well, the main reason is that firing pin pistols are easier to learn to shoot.
That’s because there’s no need to cock the hammer back, and when it comes to manual safety, most models don’t require you to actively engage and disengage it.
Striker-fired pistol triggers offer the shooter an easy operating experience; simply load the handgun, cock the slide, and it’s ready to shoot. Even pulling the trigger is easy since it weighs a lot less than the one on a double-action pistol.
Striker-fired Pistol Typical Advantages
- Fewer parts.
- Low cost.
- Easier to learn its maintenance and disassembly.
- More moderate weight.
- Small size.
- A more under bore axis.
Notable Striker-fired Handguns
Some of the most popular and overall best striker fired pistol brands are:
- FN FNS-9
- Heckler & Koch
- Sig Sauer P320
Striker Fired Vs Hammer Fired Comparison
The main difference between hammer fired and striker fired is in their methods. When we speak about functionality, a hammer fire weapon is partly external, while a striker-fired gun is entirely internal. Also, each of these systems has a different utility and depends mainly on the type of gun you want or need it for.
First, let’s talk about striker fired vs hammer fired power. A striker-fired gun will have a consistent trigger pull all its lifetime. Of course, unless the weapon is modified. And even if it is, the trigger weight will remain the same after the modifications. And this is a great and convenient feature since it gives you more consistency. When you train with this pistol, the trigger weight will remain the same. It will provide you with a lot more control over the gun, especially as the practice hours pile up.
Ease of Carrying
A striker-fired pistol has a polymer frame and is, therefore, a lot lighter than other pistols. For guarding, firing pin pistols became available in compact and subcompact versions.
Some gun experts would state hammer-fired pistols are not suitable for guarding. However, it’s been proven that many models are excellent for this purpose, too.
Of course, safety is the most crucial thing no matter what model, regardless if we talk about Glock, Heckler & Koch, Beretta, or any other model. We encourage you to use weapons in a safe way. According to the National Rifle Association, there are few rules to take into consideration when using a gun, regardless of what type. And one of the most important ones is to make sure that the gun is unloaded and the safety is on.
Now, the good thing is that some hammer fired pistols have a decocking mechanism that locks the firing pin. This is the main difference compared to a standard decocking lever. So if someone with ill intentions gets their hand on your pistol and doesn’t know how to disarm the safety, it can save your life.
Quick Guide Summary
All and all, the striker-fired pistol offers excellent fight potential and an equal trigger pull with every shot. For those who didn’t have enough time to practice (and we all are sometimes), the latest striker-fired pistol is undoubtedly the most suitable choice. And that is thanks to their consistency and simplicity.
On the other hand, hammer-fired weapons are excellent for more experienced people. Their most significant benefit is the precise trigger pull and accurate shooting sessions.
Another important thing to remember when weighing the pros and cons of striker fired vs hammer fired weapons is that one is not inherently better than the other. Both guns can be excellent for self-defense; they simply function differently, and it is up to you to decide which design you prefer.