Striker-fired Hammer fired

We have a lot of new gun owners—my question to the village.
How important is it to understand the difference between a striker-fired and hammer-fired pistol? Especially if you are new to firearms.
I am asking because many of my friends who are new firearm owners automatically want a Glock, sig365, or an m&p shield. None of them are bad choices—education on the difference between safety mechanisms on a striker and a hammer-fired pistol could make a difference in your Comfort level of carrying. For me, I would not EDC any striker-fired anything. I like hammer-Fired because it checks off my boxes.
I put my thumb on the hammer when holstering to ensure nothing got caught in the trigger guard. All my DA/SA have no safety - but have a decocker. A few things about hammer-fired Pistols that I love. Yes, learning how to shoot the DA trigger takes practice. But, once you transition to Single Action, which is sweeter than any striker-fired pistol trigger. My opinion. Lights Out!!!

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For a new shooter - easier pistol construction means less problem with maintenance.
Is striker fired better shooter or easier shooter? Nope. It is just easier to operate.
What I have noticed at my Range - newbies are looking for least complicated tool, meaning - no hammer spur, no grip safety, no thumb safety. They sometimes choose “striker fired” pistol by its look, not realizing it has internal hammer.

Everything may, or may not change within next few months or years of shooting.

I personally prefer SAO hammer fired because I feel safe with them.
I can also shoot them better, but the reason is in their weight, not hammer.

Regarding putting the thumb on the hammer during holstering.
There is a back plate for striker fired pistols which can do the same job - Striker Control Device, unfortunately available for Glocks only.

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When I train a new shooter, I show all the different types; revolver, DA/SA, SA, striker-fired, and explain the differences. The first one I have them shoot is a .22LR in whatever style they choose, after letting them dry-fire to understand the feel of the different triggers, how the actions work, and what fits best in their hands. From there, they can try other styles, and as they learn more, they can better decide what works best for them; trigger actions, caliber, etc. Everyone develops preferences; I, like you, prefer hammer-fired, DA/SA, with no external safeties.

[edit] As I see I did not fully address your main question. No, it is not important that they understand the differences, per se, only that they find the style they are the most comfortable with, want to try first, and make sure they understand how to properly operate that particular firearm.

My point about explaining the different actions and showing how they work, helps them understand the how firearms work and reduces the stress of handling them. The various actions are one of the least important points when first learning, but is part of understanding how to operate that particular firearm.

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I don’t think it’s too important for a new shooter to know, especially since if they are that new, you get into overload/firehose pretty quickly and it can water down the drumbeat of the 4 rules. And the rules are the rules, and Rule #3 is rule #3, period, and once you start getting into striker/hammer/manual safeties, it just seems to inevitably end up coloring the perception of the rules in my experience.

I hesitate to go the route of a manual safety as a safety device for shooters who haven’t wholly internalized, through repetition, those rules yet, and have seen my share of shooters struggle with disengaging safeties in a timely fashion every, single, time, as well as remembering to reingage them, or remembering to decock…having a DA/SA or a SAO means you end up with a shooter reholstering a gun in single action with no manual safety engaged, often, somewhere along the line.

I just love me some KISS operation where possible.

Edit: Which still doesn’t mean no hammers, there are some good DAO hammer fired out there, if I were looking for that, I’d probably start with an H&K with a LEM trigger

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For me, I need to understand how a pistol works. Right now, I have spent many hours pouring over 1911history and the 1911 evolution. Different between 70 or 80 series. Or from 1911 -1924 are the original 1911 before the 1911A1 made changes to the grip and trigger. I watch videos on disassembling my pistols entirely after all the research and practicing with my 1911. I am now familiar with and comfortable carrying 1911.

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Knowing the firearm we use should be first thing, before we even start shooting it.

The funny thing is that my 2011 pistols are based on 1911 70 series… and even that I feel safe and comfortable with them. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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I think it’s important, like @Jerzy said. To know how the firearm works. Take a 1911, vs a SA/DA pistol. If the new shooter only has experience with the 1911, they wouldn’t know they can just pull the trigger on a SA/DA pistol. Or, knowing how the safety works, or lack of a safety lever on the firearm.

Yes, the new shooter should know how they work. Here’s where a little humility, and a good gun dealer come into play. Be humble enough to tell the person selling you the gun it’s your first one, and in turn, buy guns somewhere reputable enough to politely show you how it functions, breaks down, etc.

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Yes, absolutely they need to know how they work, as in, how to interact with the firearm, the ‘manual of arms’ or ‘user interface’. If this lever is here, it won’t fire, there, it will. Where applicable, first shot is longer heavier/follow ups are shorter/lighter, that lever resets it, and the like.

I prefer to initially only go as far as is absolutely needed for safe and effective operation, though, and that’s it. So for example I wouldn’t go into details about what a transfer bar safety is and how it works, like mechanically. Just the end result that you need to know as an operator of the machine.

To use an analogy, because I love analogies, if I were teaching a 15 year old how to drive, I would explain what the letters of the automatic transmission mean (D for forward, R for reverse, P for park, etc) but I wouldn’t get into gear ratios and how torque multiplication works and why the car shifts gears and the engine speed climbs and falls, nor would I even touch on the 4 cycles of an ICE, or how disk brakes work.

There is some subjectivity and situational variance here, depending on the instructor and the instructee, to determine what level of detail best fits the situation. A mechanically inclined person might not suffer that firehose effect if you get into the nitty gritty as an aside.

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Would you teach them to change a tire? Add Air to a tire? Add windshield fluid? How check the oil? It is a progressing of learning and growing. Firearm knowledge is essential to be competent around different firearms. That is my opinion. My analogy - what happens if the only car you know how to drive is Automatic? You and your family are stranded, and the only rental is a 5-speed manual?

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I agree with you :100:. However, I do carry both types, but always feel safer with DA/SA because I can simply see the mechanical assembly vs. the Stricker style, nothing there to see.

That said, it is mostly mental.

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As a 15 year old just learning how to drive, no, I’m not going to teach them how to drive stick yet. If they don’t yet know and are just now starting, and all of the vehicles in our entire family and friends circle are all automatics (they are) I’m not going to bog them down finding a stick shift add to the learning curve just yet.

Just like if I have a new shooter just starting out on a Glock 17, I’m not going to go find a CZ P01 to try to explain how to use a DA/SA as they are starting just in case that’s the only gun they have access to sometime later in life.

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I agree. that is why I Wrote–it is a progressing of learning and growing, meaning as a 15-year-old mom, dad will continue your education In the maintenance of a car

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If the question is about learning over time as a progression and growth mindset of moving forward, my answers will be much different than thinking of it as a “new firearms owner”

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As I think about it, there is actually a very simple thing that is probably an outstanding recommendation/“self led teaching” for both of these (and other) situations.

After the one on one instruction at the firing line or in the driver’s seat…read the owner’s manual.

Oh, the things I would have done more efficiently if I had read the manuals sooner lol

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IMHO the best thing to learn, striker vs hammer, is that with the striker there is nothing to snag on your clothing when drawing from concealment.

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Unless one has a DAO.

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Or spurless hammer- Langdon compact DA/SA

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Let the student make the choice, IMHO they should try both Hammer and Striker fired. Just make sure they learn how they both operate. Knowing the differences is important though. See below;

The striker fired pistol differs from a hammer fired pistol in that it does not rely on a hammer hitting a firing pin to ignite the primer of the cartridge . Instead, racking the slide to chamber a round partially cocks an internal spring.

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…or a DAO Sig P250, for example.

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I had to Google the Sig p250-- I want one now lol - WhY WHY

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