Distinguishing Between Single Action & Double Action

Single action and double action refer to the mechanisms behind the trigger of a firearm. In all firearms, the trigger is a lever that must be pulled with the index finger while aiming at the target. These triggers initiate the action that ends with the firing of the cartridge. This article will highlight the subtle differences between single action and double action firearms.

Single Action

In a single action pistol or any other firearm, the user pulls the trigger, which releases a hammer, and this hammer fires the cartridge. The pistol must be cocked manually to fire again. Because there is only one action (the release of the hammer), this mechanism is called single action. After every shot, the revolver must be cocked by the user. Most shotguns and rifles work on this principle.

Double Action

As the name implies, the double action trigger mechanism not only releases the hammer but also cocks it to keep it ready for the next fire. In the case of a double action revolver, the cylinder rotates with the next cartridge inside being positioned to be fired with the next pull of the trigger.

Key Takeaways

  • There is a single action of release of the hammer in a single action firearm, while there is the release of the hammer and its cocking in a double action firearm.
  • The trigger of a single action revolver is smoother than a double action revolver because it only needs to release the hammer. There is a bit of a compromise with accuracy in double action revolvers as the trigger is heavy and not as smooth.
  • Reloading a double action revolver is quicker and easier than a single action revolver.

Related posts:

Difference Between Clip and Magazine

Difference Between Hydrogen and Atomic Bomb

Difference Between Pistol and Rifle

Difference Between Carbine and Rifle

Difference Between Rimfire and Centerfire

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles