Striker fired question and concern

Striker fired question and concern

This is a discussion on Striker fired question and concern within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been shopping now for some time looking for the right EDC for me. I've consistantly leaned toward handguns with an exposed hammer. Only because ...

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Thread: Striker fired question and concern

  1. #1
    Member Array radtek1986's Avatar
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    Striker fired question and concern

    I've been shopping now for some time looking for the right EDC for me. I've consistantly leaned toward handguns with an exposed hammer. Only because that's what I'm used to. Every firearm I've owned had one. So, I've grown accustomed and comfortable with the visual and tactile "hammer".

    However, yesterday I finally took a good long look at a couple striker fired autos and theres one or two that's really caught my attention. The Ruger SR9, in particular. It's super thin, thinner than the 1911's I've looked at in my opinion, yet it has an incredible 17+1 capacity! Yet, it also has a good deal of that "service" size I've owned for many years feel to it in what seems to be a very concealable package. Modest price with famed reliabilty and customer service. Finally, it just felt "right"..if that makes any sense compared with the literally dozens of models I've put my hands on. Just a very good fit for my hand.

    Here's my question, or more specifically, my concern.... what are the advantages as well as disadvantages with a striker vs. a "hammer". For example, I've always enjoyed the ability to "decock" a hammer on an auto. So, what happens when you've fired off a few shots, and "reholster" or put it away? Is it basically, "locked and cocked"? My understanding is that you have to dry fire it everytime you go to take it down to release that striker. I was always taught it's not good to dry fire too much.

    I guess I'm just having trouble feeling "safe" without that darn hammer, even though I know darn good and well that a striker fired auto can be just as safe as one with a hammer.

    Help...I really like that SR9 the more I've thought about it all day and the more I've looked into it!!


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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Member Array batpot's Avatar
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    Looked through those links, and didn't see an answer to this...
    What about the trigger resets? Don't strikers tend to be "snappier" after each pull? Or is that entirely dependent on the type/setting of the gun?

  4. #4
    Member Array spyshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radtek1986 View Post
    I've been shopping now for some time looking for the right EDC for me. I've consistantly leaned toward handguns with an exposed hammer. Only because that's what I'm used to. Every firearm I've owned had one. So, I've grown accustomed and comfortable with the visual and tactile "hammer".

    However, yesterday I finally took a good long look at a couple striker fired autos and theres one or two that's really caught my attention. The Ruger SR9, in particular. It's super thin, thinner than the 1911's I've looked at in my opinion, yet it has an incredible 17+1 capacity! Yet, it also has a good deal of that "service" size I've owned for many years feel to it in what seems to be a very concealable package. Modest price with famed reliabilty and customer service. Finally, it just felt "right"..if that makes any sense compared with the literally dozens of models I've put my hands on. Just a very good fit for my hand.

    Here's my question, or more specifically, my concern.... what are the advantages as well as disadvantages with a striker vs. a "hammer". For example, I've always enjoyed the ability to "decock" a hammer on an auto. So, what happens when you've fired off a few shots, and "reholster" or put it away? Is it basically, "locked and cocked"? My understanding is that you have to dry fire it everytime you go to take it down to release that striker. I was always taught it's not good to dry fire too much.

    I guess I'm just having trouble feeling "safe" without that darn hammer, even though I know darn good and well that a striker fired auto can be just as safe as one with a hammer.

    Help...I really like that SR9 the more I've thought about it all day and the more I've looked into it!!
    you'll probably get a lot of opinions here on what one person likes over the other. but here's what i have observed..

    the striker fired pistol has a consistent pull on the first round and every round thereafter. the double action pistol with an external hammer has a double action pull on the first round and a single action pull every round after that. some people find it difficult because usually when you're out shooting you chamber a round and you will be in single action mode. and single action becomes more comfortable. some people just don't like the longer stronger double action pull.

    i may be wrong but i believe a striker fired pistol like a glock, when the trigger is pulled you are still pulling back on the firing pin a little bit before it is released. so it's not necessarily the same as a cocked double action pistol.

    that are numerous automatic safety devices on striker fired pistols (like the sr9 trigger safety and firing pin safety) to help you feel safe.

    i'm not sure about the sr9, but the m&p is a striker fired and it does not have to be dry fired before disassembly.

    you can always look at a 1911 or a gun with a similar setup. they have an external hammer and when you holster it, you set the manual safety instead of decocking it.

  5. #5
    Member Array radtek1986's Avatar
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    Thanks spyshot and cvhoss. That answers my questions at the moment anyway..

    I've honestly been around long enough to know good and well that there's nothing about a striker that makes it any the more "unsafe" as a hammered one. One of the first lessons my pop taught me when he took me out shooting as a tot was that the only TRUE safety is between the shooter's ears! Everything else is redundant. So, I'm not specifically "afraid" of strikers, so much as just not accustomed to them. Like I say, I've always had that visual and tactile use of a "hammer". Holding on to and/or fireing a striker just seems to set me off my game a bit.

    However, in the light of getting an EDC that really works for me in eveyr way possible, I'm just gonna have to get used to it. The more I've looked at it, that Ruger SR9 just "works" for me. A silly thing like a hammer seems like an awful reason to turn away from something that is, otherwise, about as close to everything I'm looking for in an EDC that I've found.

    Thanks again.

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    There are different types of striker fired pistols.

    The HK P7 is carried uncocked. When you squeeze the grip, you cock the striker fully, essentially putting the trigger into single action mode: click ==> boom. Consistent, even trigger operation.

    A Glock is in an internal half-cocked position once it is charged. When you pull the trigger, you finish cocking the striker against its spring, then release it to fire the round. There are two disadvantages, to my thinking, in this. First is that the trigger stacks---you are pulling against the striker spring, so the resistance on the trigger goes up as you near striker release. Second is that you do not have so-called second strike capability. If the gun misfires, you are left with an entirely decocked striker and the trigger is non-functional. You must rack the slide to recharge the weapon. Consistent but uneven trigger pull. I believe (but am not certain) that the Ruger SR-9 is a similarly partially cocked striker system.

    A Springfield XD is carried fully cocked by the slide action. It has a manual grip safety and a trigger safety. Once in a firing grip, it is a single action pistol, so you get a consistent, even trigger operation. It has no second-strike capability and must be racked in the event of a misfire.

    So, there you have it. The biggest problem I have with strikers is the lack of second strike capability. (I don't know if the P7 has second strike, but it at least seems possible by the design, though you might have to unsqueeze and recock, which would be a little awkward.) If I were to carry a striker fired pistol, I would want a non-stacking trigger. Your mileage, and that of many happy Glock owners, might vary, of course.
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    Member Array batpot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    There are different types of striker fired pistols.

    The HK P7 is carried uncocked. When you squeeze the grip, you cock the striker fully, essentially putting the trigger into single action mode: click ==> boom. Consistent, even trigger operation.

    A Glock is in an internal half-cocked position once it is charged. When you pull the trigger, you finish cocking the striker against its spring, then release it to fire the round. There are two disadvantages, to my thinking, in this. First is that the trigger stacks---you are pulling against the striker spring, so the resistance on the trigger goes up as you near striker release. Second is that you do not have so-called second strike capability. If the gun misfires, you are left with an entirely decocked striker and the trigger is non-functional. You must rack the slide to recharge the weapon. Consistent but uneven trigger pull. I believe (but am not certain) that the Ruger SR-9 is a similarly partially cocked striker system.

    A Springfield XD is carried fully cocked by the slide action. It has a manual grip safety and a trigger safety. Once in a firing grip, it is a single action pistol, so you get a consistent, even trigger operation. It has no second-strike capability and must be racked in the event of a misfire.
    thanks for this...I knew of the Glock style; assumed all strikers worked the same.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Glad to help.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    I use my SR9 as my EDC and for IDPA.

    To me, the big advantage of a striker fired gun is that each trigger pull is the same. For a typical DA gun, the first trigger pull is long and relatively heavy, and the subsequent shots would be SA. It can be difficult for people to adjust between that first shot and the next shots.

    That's not to say that there aren't hammer-fired guns with consistent trigger pulls. A SA-only gun like a traditional 1911-type gun or the Sig P220 SAO will have the same trigger pull for every shot. However, it would help to become familiar with the operation of the gun, and how to safely carry and handle a gun that's meant to be carried in Condition 1.

    DAO guns have consistent trigger pulls as well, though they'll all be relatively long and heavy double action pulls.

    To me, a striker-fired gun is a compromise between the ease of use of a DAO gun, and the consistency of a SAO gun, with the striker-fired gun's trigger pull weight typically resting somewhere in between that of a SAO and DAO gun.

    SR9 specifics:

    Since the gun is striker-fired, it really doesn't need a manual safety. However, I came from shooting borrowed 1911's in IDPA, so the manual safety in a 1911ish position was an easy transition for me. If there is any worry about "what to do" with a striker-fired gun, then just pop the safety on. However, even if you don't use the safety, the gun is perfectly safe, as the striker is only partially cocked and won't do anything as long as you keep your booger hook off the bang switch.

    The trigger pull is typical for a striker-fired gun. You'll likely never encounter the SA "glass rod breaking" trigger of a good 1911 with a striker-fired gun, but with my SR9, the trigger pull was fairly smooth and not too heavy. It got smoother with use, and can also be improved by polishing certain parts. My trigger reset has always been crisp and positive. I've heard complaints about some striker-fired guns having mushy or indistinct trigger resets. My SR9 reset has been great right out of the box.

    Other positives of the gun are: slimness, capacity, elevation adjustable rear sight, and not having to pull the trigger to disassemble the gun.

    To me, the biggest downside to the gun is that there aren't as many aftermarket parts for the SR9 as there are for the Glocks or M&Ps. Hi-Viz just recently came out with a fiber optic front sight, and there are some holster makers who don't have a mold for the SR9.

    When I was originally shopping for a gun, I was looking for an inexpensive 1911 (like the RIA), but ultimately decided that I couldn't afford to regularly shoot .45ACP at this time. 9mm 1911-style guns were cost prohibitive as well, and the pickings were slim and inconsistent at the time. I read about the SR9 and then held one in a gun shop, and it just fit.

    My SR9 is probably a better defensive gun that it is a competition gun, but I think a striker-fired gun is a VERY good option for a home or self defense pistol.

    -JT

  10. #10
    Member Array radtek1986's Avatar
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    Cthulhu, you read my mind. I'm looking at the SR9 for the same exact reasons, only, you just said it far better than I could ever..

    It's got the size, the capacity, and price I like. Made by a solid company with a proven customer service track record. And most importantly to me, it just "feels" right. It fits my hand perfectly, especially when I flip the reversable back strap. I like the way it shoots, I'm actually more accurate with it than the FS92 I had for years.

    My only complaint has been, not the stricker, so much as the lack of a hammer. Like I say, I've just always had that tactile and visual effect of a hammer. The handfull of times now I've rented or borrowed a striker at the range just seems to "throw me off" a bit. However, not a huge problem that some practice won't fix.

    Thanks again to everyone. For many years now, I've looked to forums such as this one for information, and, this one, is by far, been the most helpful in answering my questions and providing much needed research info.

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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Well, the SR9 (as well as the XD) does have a striker indicator. A little nub connected to the striker sticks out of the rear of the slide as you pull the trigger to indicate the striker position.

    If the trigger has been pulled and the gun didn't cycle to partially set the striker, the indicator isn't visible. If the slide does cycle and the striker is partially cocked, the indicator is just visible. As you pull the trigger, the indicator slowly protrudes from the rear of the slide until the trigger breaks, and the indicator pops back into the hole.

    -JT

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    More and more Police Departments are moving in the direction of striker-fired weapons. They're simple to operate and usually high capacity. You'll notice many of the big name firearms training institutes encourage striker-fired weapons too.

    Just a thought.
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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Good thought and good point, Thumper.

    -JT

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