1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Better??? Hammer or Striker?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by nobody.special, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. nobody.special

    nobody.special New Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    I own both types of pistols and like them all, but which one is "Better" and why?
    What are the pro's and con's regarding each type?
    Thanks in advance...
  2. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    Morgan County, Alabama
    I have both kinds. I don't think there is a "better" one.
    I like both. They're just different kinds of guns.
    If you mean "mechanically better," or "more reliable," I doubt there's any reliable objective criteria to go by. Any mechanical system is subject to breakage.
    If you mean what people "think" is better, that's a subjective thing and will depend on individual preference.
  3. nobody.special

    nobody.special New Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    I have both and like both too, but wasn't sure if one type offered any real advantage over another.
    For example, I've heard that a striker can be dry-fired "a lot" more whereas with a hammer it is only "ok" to dry fire and will eventually show more wear than with the striker. Also, with a Hammer you can de-cock, but not with a striker...

    So I guess... What tactical advantages are there with one over the other?
  4. Shipwreck

    Shipwreck Senior Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    Yes, as others states - its all preference.

    Not all, but most external hammer guns are DA/SA. WHereas, striker fired guns tend to have the same pull everytime, but generally have no 2nd shot capability (if the ammo doesn't go off the 1st time).

    I've been in phases where I had mostly all one type, or all the other.

    Currently, I prefer external hammer guns, as I like DA/SA for carry. I like the slightly heavier 1st shot to keep me from doing something stupid by accident. After almost getting robbed about 18 months ago, I have seen how it is when the adrenalin kicks in. It's hard to think rationally at that point.

    So, I'd prefer the 1st shot be DA. I have worked on my trigger on my 92FS that I carry - so the DA pull is actually very nice.
  5. Ben86

    Ben86 Senior Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    MS, USA
    Both are fine, just different. Are you comparing striker fired to double/single action hammer fired or DOA hammer fired guns?

    Hammer fired guns with true double action designs are better for dry practice because you don't have to rack the slide every time, like with a striker. Some like the "second strike capability." I use snap caps though. Striker fired designs usually have more consistent trigger pulls. Both designs are very reliable.
  6. bg226

    bg226 Active Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    Strikers strike the primer with less force.
  7. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    I'm couldn't tell you which is better.....

    I don't/won't own any striker fired pistols. I like a hammer on my semi auto's. Those striker fired pistols are pretty much all tupperware guns too. I don't like those either.

    Give me a nice 3rd generation S&W pistol in TDA, 45 or 9mm, I don't care which. :) TJ
  8. Grey Morel

    Grey Morel Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
    Butte Montana
    From my point of view, there really isn't much PRACTICAL difference between striker and hammer ignition, but here are my thoughts:

    Trigger Feel: Hammer guns tend to have smoother trigger pulls with far less creep - this applies to DAO, not just single actions.

    While striker guns CAN have nice trigger pulls, they usually are not as nice as a hammer simply because of the mechanisms involved. The more stuff you try to do, the worse it gets - evidence 'second strike' DAO striker guns such as the Taurus OSS and FN Fourty Nine.

    Reliability in Extreme Conditions: I'm not implying that one system or the other is inherently more reliable: I don't believe they are. BUT it is possible to experience failures with a hammer fired gun IF some junk gets on the hammer or cakes up on the slides posterior. Its not likely, and all you have to do is wipe the mud or whatever off to solve the problem, but It's possible.

    ( This is what usually happens in those 'Glock Reliability Tests' where the Glock fan buries a Glock and a Beretta/HK/Sig in the mud - the hammer is cocked, so junk flows into the hammer relief. Then when it comes time to shoot them the Beretta/HK/Sig doesn't fire, and the Glock does. 'Tester' then proceeds to hop around and extol the virtues of Glocks 'superior' reliability. 'YouTube' is full on ridiculous videos like this.)
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Dec 27, 2002
    northern california
    Advantages that a hammer equipped gun has over a striker fired on:
    1. When you holster a hammer equipped DA/SA pistol, you place you thumb on the hammer. This cues you if something, usually a safety strap or clothing, gets into the trigger guard and forces the trigger back as you insert it into the holster.
    2. In a holster with a safety strap, the hammer spur helps with the retention of the gun in the holster.

    From a training stand point, it is easier to detect when you jerk a DA trigger when you can see the hammer
  10. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Senior Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    Both have advantages and disadvantages.

    Post #9 hit the nail on the head. I'll add one advantage of a striker fired weapon (with no external safeties). It is easy to operate. Rack slide, pull trigger and bang.

    The rest is preference.

    I prefer the trigger pull on most da/sa or sa weapons. Can't say that I care for the trigger pull of any striker fired weapon that I've ever tried. XD seems really great to me, but it can't be mistaken for a good 1911 trigger pull...to me.

    That being said, buy one of each. You can never have too many!
  11. Adam5

    Adam5 New Member

    Sep 7, 2006
    Metro Atlanta, Ga
    There is no such thing as "better". Just personal preference.
  12. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Senior Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
    I have both Glocks and 1911's as my main CCW. Each has it's merits and is better suited to certain situations. But the 1911 is the only pistol with a hammer that I'll shoot.

    So I constantly go back and forth.

    -quicker/simpler to draw
    -way, way, cheaper than 1911.
    -horrible trigger that works fine
    -rust proof (Glock)
    -can handle more grit
    -better for less experienced shooters.
    -.40 is the largest I can conceal
    - sometimes harsh recoil (G23)
    -eats any ammo

    I carry a Glock when I can't control where I'm going. Hiking,work etc. Dirty conditions or rough nieghborhoods with gang activity.

    -way better range/accuracy
    -way better trigger
    -super expensive, the only 1911's i have that actually ouperform my Glock cost $1500+
    -made out of forged rust, $300 refinishing in Melonite/Hardhat/ Ion bond cures that....... mostly.
    -less capacity
    -more complex manual of arms
    -best for experienced shooters
    -only .45 I can conceal
    -buyer beware, there are alot of unreliable production guns out there.
    -finicky on ammo, lube, mags.

    I carry a 1911 when I'm on my time and choose where I go. Regular nights out etc. Or if I need pinpoint accuracy, busy areas, familly groups etc.

    Each has it's niche.....
  13. Rico567

    Rico567 Active Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Both....and neither.

    I shot a Colt 1911 Series 70 (modified by Wilson, including a great trigger) for 20 years. Then I got my first Glock. I will say that there was a period of adjustment, then I never looked back. I'm completely adapted to the Glock. If I went back to the 1911, I would adapt back to that.

    The differences portrayed by some are illusory, and mostly represent subjective preferences that can't be quantified....someone just "likes" strikers, or sneers at "tupperware." These things are meaningless.

    Both my old 1911 and my G21 can, and always have been able to shoot better than I can make them shoot (which, not coincidentally, is true of every gun in my cabinet). No change in triggers, sights, strikers or hammers, is going to change that.

    "Our fault, my dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves."

    - William Shakespeare, Julius C├Žsar.
  14. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane Active Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    All the pro hammer comments are found on a P99 (a striker).

    You CAN touh the back and tell if its in DA or in SA.
    You can decock the P99
    You do have double strike. Same with all Taurus striker fired.

  15. Confederate

    Confederate Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    Bethesda, MD
    Hammers only strike primers harder only if the springs are stouter. I personally like hammers over strikers. The only striker fired pistol I own is the Jennings J-22.

    That's the only one I would own. Every other auto I own has a hammer. I'd be willing to bet my life on a striker fired pistol, but not a Glock. I just don't like them.
  16. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Senior Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Missoula, Montana
    I hate, despise, LOATHE DA/SA pistols, esp those with no safeties/ability to be safely carried cocked-and-locked. Learning a manual of arms to the degree needed for it to be instinctual for you under duress can be difficult enough. It makes sense to me to keep things as simple and intuitive as possible. Putting two separate, distinct trigger pulls on the same pistol is flat out retarded and only complicates the training process. Then as if to add insult to injury, the DA pull still gives you all that creep and slack to take up before the SA pull kicks in. And most DA/SA autos exacerbate the problem with already long and gritty pulls. It's like intentionally making it as difficult to interface with this platform as possible. I am not a trigger snob. Anything not obnoxiously long and heavy is fine with me. Case and point, I like Glocks. I've never had a problem with the trigger on Glock. It's light enough to be usable, but not so light as to be a liability. There's no safety, which makes manual of arms that much simpler, instead of unnecessarily complicated, seemingly just for the fun of it. Because I use and train primarily with my Glock now, I know Rule III is non-negotiable--my finger doesn't even go in the trigger guard until the pistol is level in front of me and the sights are on target. And again, it's the exact same every time, so I only have to memorize and develop muscle memory for one set of actions. The trigger finger stays along the frame and is actually used to point towards the target as the pistol is pushed out in front of me, helping me find my sights faster and making aiming the pistol more instinctual. Very simple. Keep it simple.

    The only hammer guns I've ever like then have been the one's I can carry cocked and locked. And they've been carried cocked and locked exclusively. I've never bothered to fire a single DA round through my HK. Not a one. No need for a decocker, and the pistol is still hampered by the DA pull even in SA mode, so none for me. Make mine a SAO. Pretty much, make my hammer gun a 1911. Not too difficult to master. But still, my complaints with it have more to do with it's weight vs firepower and its cost. A full size service auto that weighs close to 40 oz unloaded should have more than 9 rounds, IMO. I have a G20 with 15+1 rounds of full power 10mm Auto, and it fits into a platform of roughly similar dimensions that is over half a pound lighter when unloaded. And it cost half as much as any reputable 1911 with the features I was looking for.

    So I didn't end up with a Glock because it is striker fired. I really have very little preference on the issue. I ended up with a Glock for other reasons, and just so happen to find it being striker fired perfectly acceptable.

    I'm not saying this is impossible because someone is always designing a better idiot, but I am saying that if you manage to pull this off with your Glock, you deserve to be shot and I hope it hurts.

    I cleared and triple checked my Glock 20 to attempt and induce this with the thumb break on my el' cheapo Uncle Mikes. The pistol has a completely stock Glock trigger, and was cocked (well, as cocked as Glock triggers get at rest), and man I tried. Just wasn't happening. So before declaring the myth busted, I took a patently Mythbusters approach and decided to see just what was necessary to achieve the result. Initially, I only managed to accomplish it with the holster off my body. Once I realized what had to happen--the stiff shorter molded plastic piece had to slide in perpendicular to the trigger, and barely fit in I should note, so the pistol had to be almost parallel to the deck. So I put the holster back on and discovered that no, oh, yep, it really is possible to bend my wrist at that angle, but it feels so unnatural and awkward, and requires the pistol to be oriented directly into the shooter, so I really have no sympathy for anyone that actually manages to pull it off.
  17. Big Bill

    Big Bill Participating Member

    Dec 13, 2008
    I really like my CZ 75 BD; and, I also like my XDM 45. They're both mechanically sound. So, for me it's a toss-up. Please don't ask me to choose. I think I actually like the XDM a little better. :)
  18. Red Cent

    Red Cent Senior Member

    May 20, 2010
    McLeansville, NC by way of WV SASS 29170L
    Do you know that the XDM was/is touted and advertised as a single action pistol and, therefore, can only be shot in Enhanced Service Pistol (IDPA)?
  19. Ben86

    Ben86 Senior Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    MS, USA
    Hammer fired guns can also give you different trigger options. With my cz75b it practically has three triggers in one. The first is a long DA trigger, at half cock I have a shortened DA pull, at full cock I have a single action pull that rivals some 1911s I've shot. I consider that a versatile trait. Although I might have to put up with a long, heavy initial trigger pull, I get a really light, short trigger pull for the rest of my shots. Which makes rapid fire really easy. I'm also fascinated by the mechanics of the SA/DA trigger mechanism.
  20. easyg

    easyg Senior Member

    May 19, 2007
    off-line mostly.
    Not true.

    The amount of force that the striker or hammer exerts on the primer is determined by the springs used.

Share This Page