What Are The Two Basic Styles Of Firearm Actions

In firearms, the action is the mechanism that performs the basic operation of firing a cartridge. There are two types of firearm actions: single-action and double-action. Most pistols have a single-action action, while most revolvers have a double-action action. shotguns usually have a pump-action or a semi-automatic action, and rifles can be either bolt-action or semi-automatic. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the two basic actions and discuss some of the pros and cons of each.

Why Learn About Firearm Actions?

Firearm actions are important to understand for many reasons. For one, they provide a basic understanding of how a firearm works. Secondly, different styles of firearms have different types of actions and it is important to know the differences between them in order to make an informed decision when purchasing a firearm. Finally, some people simply enjoy learning about the inner workings of things and firearms are no exception!

What Are The Two Basic Styles of Firearm Actions?

There are two basic styles of firearm actions: single action and double action. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, which you should consider when choosing a handgun.

What Is Single Action:

A single action (SA) firearm is one where the trigger performs only the single function of releasing the hammer or striker to discharge the weapon. Typically, this means that the hammer or striker cocks on the previous cycle’s upstroke of the slide, and is then released by pulling the trigger.

What is Double Action:

A double action (DA) firearm is one where a single pull of the trigger can both cock and then release the hammer or striker to discharge the firearm. In a DA revolver, for example, each pull of the trigger will first cock the internal hammer before releasing it to strike the firing pin and discharge the round. In contrast, a SA revolver requires that the shooter first cock manually before each shot. Alternatively, a Double Action Only (DAO) firearm is a DA firearm where it is not possible to cock the hammer separately. Thetrigger pull always performs both functions.

There are also semi-automatic pistols that are double action only, such as many Glocks. In this case, the striker is partially cocked when the slide cycles, and pulling the trigger completes the cocking and then releases the striker. This can be thought of as a “half-cocked” state. Single action only (SAO) pistols also exist, in which the hammer or striker is fully cocked manually before each shot. Some examples of SAO pistols are the 1911 and its variants, and some revolvers such as the Colt Anaconda.

What Are The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Each Action Type?

Double Action:

There are a few key benefits to single action firearms. First, since the trigger only performs one function, it can be lighter and shorter. This can be an advantage in situations where speed and precision are important, such as competitive shooting or self-defense. Additionally, SA weapons tend to be more reliable since there are fewer moving parts that could potentially malfunction.

However, single action firearms also have a few potential drawbacks. First, they typically require two hands to operate – one to cock the hammer and one to pull the trigger. This can be difficult or impossible in some situations, such as when one hand is injured or occupied. Additionally, SA weapons tend to have heavier trigger pulls, which can make them more difficult to shoot accurately.

Double Action:

Double action firearms offer a few key advantages over their single action counterparts. First, they can be fired with one hand, since the trigger both cocks and then releases the hammer or striker. This can be helpful in situations where one hand is injured or occupied. Additionally, DA weapons typically have lighter trigger pulls than SA weapons, making them easier to shoot accurately.

However, double action firearms also have a few potential drawbacks. First, since the trigger performs two functions, it is usually longer and heavier than a SA trigger. This can make DA weapons slower to fire and more difficult to control. Additionally, because of the increased number of moving parts, DA weapons are typically less reliable than SA weapons.

Difference Of Two Basic Styles Of Firearm Actions?

The main difference between the two styles is that single action only (SAO) pistols have a manual safety, while double action (DA) and double action only (DAO) pistols do not. This means that you must remember to disengage the safety before firing SAO pistols, while DA and DAO pistols can be fired without first disengaging the safety. Additionally, SAO pistols typically have heavier trigger pulls than DA or DAO pistols.

Tips on Drawing Single Action

Since SAO pistols typically have manual safeties, it is important to remember to disengage the safety before drawing your gun. Additionally, because SAO pistols typically have heavier trigger pulls, you may want to consider using a lighter spring or trigger job to reduce the weight of the trigger pull. Finally, make sure that your gun is properly holstered so that you do not accidentally discharge it while drawing.

Tips on Drawing Double Action

When drawing a DA gun from a holster, it is important to keep your trigger finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. This will help prevent accidental discharge. Additionally, you will want to grip the gun firmly with your non-dominant hand and place your dominant hand on the back of the slide. Once you have a good grip, you can then rack the slide back and chamber a round. Finally, disengage the safety (if applicable) and take aim. When you are finished shooting, remember to re-engage the safety and holstering the gun.


1.What are the two basic styles of firearm actions?

There are two basic styles of firearm actions: single-action and double-action. Single-action firearms require the shooter to manually cock the hammer before each shot, while double-action firearms cock the hammer automatically with each trigger pull.

2. How do I clean my firearm?

Cleaning your firearm regularly is important to maintain its performance and longevity. To clean your gun, you will need a cleaning rod, patches, a bore brush, and cleaning solvent. First, remove any ammunition from the gun and make sure the chamber is empty. Then, attach the bore brush to the cleaning rod and run it through the barrel several times to remove any built-up residue. Next, dampen a patch with cleaning solvent and run it through the barrel to remove any remaining dirt or debris. Finally, dry the barrel with a clean patch and reassemble the gun.

3. What is the difference between a revolver and a pistol?

A revolver is a type of handgun that has a cylinder that rotates to align the chambers with the barrel, while a pistol is a type of handgun that has a magazine that holds cartridges in place until they are needed.

4. How can I tell if my firearm is unloaded?

The best way to ensure your firearm is unloaded is to check it yourself. First, remove any ammunition from the gun and make sure the chamber is empty. Then, look inside the chamber and barrel to make sure there are no cartridges present. Finally, engage the safety mechanism and dry fire the gun to ensure it is unloaded.

5. How should I store my firearm?

You should always store your firearm in a safe place where it cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals. If you have children in your home, it is important to keep your gun locked up and out of their reach. You should also regularly clean and inspect your gun to make sure it is in good working condition.

6. What are the basic rules of gun safety?

There are four basic rules of gun safety: always assume the gun is loaded, never point the gun at anything you aren’t willing to destroy, keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, and be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

7. What should I do if I accidentally discharge my firearm?

If you accidentally discharge your firearm, the first thing you should do is call 911 and report the incident to the police. Then, you should render first aid to any injured individuals and secure the area to prevent further accidents from happening. Finally, you should cooperate with investigators and answer any questions they have about the incident.

8. What are the laws regarding firearms in my state?

firearm laws vary from state to state, so it’s important to know the laws in your area. You can typically find information on your state’s website or by contacting your local law enforcement agency.

9. I want to buy a gun. How do I do that?

The process of buying a gun varies from state to state, but there are a few general steps you will need to follow. First, you will need to choose the type of gun you want and make sure it is legal in your state. Then, you will need to find a licensed dealer and fill out a background check form. Once your background check is approved, you will be able to purchase the gun.

10. I am a victim of domestic violence. How can I protect myself?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. First, you should call 911 and report the incident to the police. Then, you should get a restraining order against the abuser. Finally, you should consider getting a gun for self-protection. You should only get a gun if you are comfortable with handling one and familiar with gun safety rules.


There are two basic types of firearm actions- the single action and the double action. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, which we will explore in this article. Knowing which action your firearm uses is important for understanding how it works and how to use it safely. We hope you have found this information helpful and informative.

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