In modern usage, the terms “single-action” and “double-action” almost always refer to handguns, as very few if any rifles or shotguns feature double-action triggers. While a “single-action” revolver or semi-automatic must always be cocked prior to firing (either manually or by the operation of the firearm), most “double-action” handguns are capable of firing in both single- and double-action modes. Only “double-action only” firearms are incapable of firing from a cocked hammer. It is a common misapprehension that “double action” refers to the ability to fire in both modes, but as stated above, the term stems from the number of actions performed by the trigger when pulled, not the operating modes it is capable of using.
While many European and some American revolvers were designed as double-action models throughout the late 19th century, for the first half of the 20th century, all semi-automatics were single-action firearms, requiring the firearm to be carried cocked with the safety on, or with an empty chamber (Colt M1911, Mauser C96, Luger P.08, Tokarev TT, Browning Hi-Power). The difference between these firearms and single-action revolvers is that while a single-action revolver requires the user to manually cock the hammer before firing, a single-action semi-automatic is automatically cocked when the user cycles the slide to chamber a round. Thereafter, every time a round is fired, the hammer is recocked by the cycling slide and is thus always cocked unless the user manually lowers the hammer, or pulls the trigger on an empty chamber (firearms lacking automatic-hold-open feature only).
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Walther introduced the first “double-action” semi-automatics, the PPK and P.38 models, which featured a revolver-style “double-action” trigger, which allowed the firearm to be carried with a round chambered and the hammer lowered. After the first shot, they would fire as single-actions. These double action, or “double action/single action”, pistols rapidly gained popularity, and the traditional single-action rapidly lost favor, although they still retain a dedicated following. Today, a “typical” revolver is a “double-action”, which can be fired in single action when wished, and the most common form of a semi-automatic is the “DA/SA”, carried in double-action mode but firing most of its shots in single-action mode.
#BCFirearmAcdemy #Firearms #Training #BC #Canada #Delta #Vancouver #CORE #Hunter #Education #CFSC #License
Eric Beer | BC Firearm Academy
3229 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5V 4B8