Single action vs. double action?

This is a discussion on Single action vs. double action? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Can someone please explain in a very easy and understandable way what the difference between single action and double action is to a blond? Is ...

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Thread: Single action vs. double action?

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    Ex Member Array Daniella's Avatar
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    Single action vs. double action?

    Can someone please explain in a very easy and understandable way what the difference between single action and double action is to a blond?

    Is weapons like HK P2000 and HK USP and Kimber Custom all double action?

    Sorry for the blond question..

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Well, you've listed two that can be had in DA or SA, and the Kimber, which is SA only.

    Basically, a true SA means that the hammer is fully to the rear (cocked), and the trigger pull to release it is typically very light.

    DA (in true form) means that the hammer is fully at rest (uncocked) on a loaded chamber, and the trigger pull to fire the weapon is longer and heavier, since the trigger is pulling the hammer all the way back against the hammer spring.

    HK has mechanical inserts that allow the USP (and maybe the 2000) to be carried SA (cocked & locked- hammer back, safety on, loaded chamber) or DA (loaded chamber, and a hammer-drop safety will drop the hammer to the resting position without contacting the firing pin).

    Some companies offer trigger mechanisms that are somewhere in between (the Para Ordnance LDA- Light Double Action; the HK LEM and -IIRC- the Sig DAK). These all allow the hammer to be basically at a "half-cock" position that requires a longer, heavier pull than SA, but a lighter & shorter pull than true DA. Clear as mud, now...?

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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Single action means the hammer has to be pulled back to fire the gun. Double action means with hammer down you can pull the trigger to make the hammer come back and fire. The HK's can be set up to work either way. I don't have a Kimber, but I believe it is single action only.
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    In the simplest terms:

    A double action trigger does two things (hence, double): it cocks the weapon and fires it. Examples are revolvers where one need only pull the trigger for the hammer to go fully to the rear and then be released.

    A single action trigger does only one thing (hence, single): it releases the hammer/fires the weapon. The hammer must be cocked by some other method (by pulling it back with your thumb, for instance). An example is the Colt 1911 style pistol, where you must manually cock the hammer before the weapon can be made to fire.

    There are other systems out there (Double Action/Single Action, "Safe Action," DAK, LEM, and so on) but these are the basics.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Ex Member Array Daniella's Avatar
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    Got it,thanks!

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    To add a DA/SA gun such as the HK USP (on variant) can be carryed DA , after the first shot it becomes SA with the slide cocking the hammer (as all SA auto's do).
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    Ex Member Array Daniella's Avatar
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    Then where does DAK and LEM come in?

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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Simplest (not necessarily the BEST) way I've always described it:

    Double action: pulling the trigger draws the hammer back and drops it
    Single action: pulling the trigger just drops the hammer

    -JT

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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniella View Post
    Then where does DAK and LEM come in?
    I think they are SIG and H&K attempts at a lighter double-action trigger pull. I'm not sure if they're similar to the Glock 'safe-action' trigger system, which is pretty much what the Ruger SR9 has as well. I'm also not sure if they offer double strike capability.

    The 'safe-action' type trigger system is a sorta-double-action set up. As the slide cycles, the striker is semi-cocked. Pulling the trigger retracts the striker the rest of the way, then releases it. This set up doesn't offer double strike capability...if the striker hits the primer and there's no 'boom', you've gotta cycle the slide to reset the trigger.

    -JT

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    AEA
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    To confuse you further......most DA's are SA's AFTER the first round is fired.

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    Yes, DAK, LEM and LDA are all different types of double-action (only) triggers that are lighter than traditional double actions. They do not transition to SA after the first shot, as do most conventional DA (also known as DA/SA, as opposed to DAO - double action only) systems.

    With the DAK, at least, double-strike capability (that is, if you pull the trigger on a dud round and the ation does not cycle, you can pull the trigger again and the hammer will fall) exists.

    Man, I know a lot of relatively useless stuff...and so do the rest of you!
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Man, I know a lot of relatively useless stuff...and so do the rest of you!

    Nothing is useless if it helps someone else.
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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadeye72 View Post
    Nothing is useless if it helps someone else.
    Knowing 'useless' stuff is fine. What bugs me is often I will know something 'useless', but have NO idea WHY I know it.

    The Taurus PT 24/7...what kind of trigger system is that? From what I've heard, it's DA/SA, but if you hit a dud round, you can 'revert' to DA to get another strike on the primer. Huh?

    -JT

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    The Taurus PT 24/7...what kind of trigger system is that? From what I've heard, it's DA/SA, but if you hit a dud round, you can 'revert' to DA to get another strike on the primer. Huh?
    Actually, all DA/SA pistols that I know of work that way. Remember, pulling the trigger cocks the hammer and releases it - if the hammer is already back, great, but if it isn't (either because it's the first round or a dud round) the trigger will still cock the hammer.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Actually, all DA/SA pistols that I know of work that way. Remember, pulling the trigger cocks the hammer and releases it - if the hammer is already back, great, but if it isn't (either because it's the first round or a dud round) the trigger will still cock the hammer.
    But the Taurus 24/7 is striker-fired, isn't it?

    -JT

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