How Do Striker Fired Pistols Work?

A Striker Gun

Striker-fired pistols are some of the most popular handguns on the market today. A basic knowledge of striker-fired firearms can give you a better understanding of how they work.

What Is A Striker-Fired Pistol?

A Striker-Fired Pistol

A striker-fired pistol is a type of pistol that uses a spring-loaded striker instead of a hammer to hit the cartridge primer and fire the gun. The advantages of this type of pistol are that it is simpler than a hammer-fired gun, and the trigger pull is usually shorter and smoother.

How Do Striker-Fired Pistols Work?

In the most basic sense, striker-fired pistols operate in a very similar manner to double-action revolvers. Both utilize a trigger pull to cock and release the hammer (or, in this instance, striker). The main difference lies in how each system stores energy for firing. In a striker-fired pistol, there is no hammer. Instead, energy is stored in a tensioned spring when the slide is racked.

When the trigger is pulled, the sear releases the striker, driven forward by the tensioned spring into the primer of the chambered round. The striker hits the primer, igniting the powder. The expanding gases from the burning powder drive the bullet down the barrel and out of the gun.

Striker-fired handguns do not have an external hammer. This means that each trigger pull has the same weight, from the first to the final round, against the journal.


Mechanism Of Striker-Fired Guns

Striker-fired guns have a simple mechanism.

  • A striker-fired gun has a striker instead of a traditional hammer.
  • The striker is spring-loaded.
  • The striker is held in a partially cocked state by the trigger safety.
  • The trigger safety is released when you pull the trigger, allowing the striker to move forward and strike the cartridge’s primer, firing the gun.
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Advantages Of Striker-Fired Guns

  • Striker-fired guns are straightforward to fire since there is no need to cock a hammer before firing.
  • Striker-fired guns are less likely to misfire since there is no hammer to get caught on clothing or other objects.
  • The simplicity of the design makes striker-fired guns more reliable than other types of pistols.
  • The striker-fired mechanism can be found in semi-automatic and revolver handguns.
  • Striker-fired guns are typically less expensive to manufacture than traditional pistols.
  • Fire rounds at a higher rate of speed.
  • Considered to be beginner-friendly.

Disadvantages Of Striker-Fired Guns

  • The striker-fired gun’s firing pin is exposed, making it more susceptible to dirt and debris.
  • The trigger pull on a striker-fired gun is usually longer than the pull on a traditional pistol, making it more challenging to shoot accurately in rapid-fire situations.

Diff Trigger System: Dao, Sao, Partially Cocked and Da/Sa

Striker-fired pistols usually have a DAO or SAO trigger system. This means that the trigger only needs to be pulled once to cock the gun and fire it. However, some striker-fired pistols have a partially cocked trigger system, meaning the gun must be cocked manually before each shot. Additionally, some striker-fired pistols have a DA/SA trigger system, which means that the gun can be fired in double action (DA) mode or single action (SA) mode.

Why Striker-Fired Pistols?

Striker-fired pistols are becoming increasingly popular in law enforcement and self-defense communities. There are a few reasons for this:

  • They often have a built-in trigger safety that helps prevent accidental discharge.
  • They typically have a magazine disconnect safety that prevents the gun from being fired when the magazine is not inserted.
  • Many striker-fired pistols are designed with a Picatinny rail, allowing light and lasers to attach easily.
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Precautions: Striker Fired Gun Safety

As with any gun, it is crucial to practice safe gun handling and storage procedures. Striker-fired guns are no exception. When carrying a striker-fired gun, keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Do not point the gun at anything you are unwilling to destroy.
  • Know how to operate the gun safely.
  • Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
  • Store the gun safely, out of the reach of children and other unauthorized persons.
  • Be sure the gun is unloaded before cleaning or storing it.
  • Be aware of your state and local laws regarding the carrying and transport of firearms.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions for your particular gun.


What Is A Loaded Chamber Indicator?

A loaded chamber indicator is a type of safety. It allows the user to see if there is a round in the chamber.

What Is A Decocking Lever?

A decocking lever is a type of safety that helps prevent accidental discharge. This type of safety is typically found on striker-fired pistols. Additionally, some decocking levers can be engaged or disengaged as needed.

What Is A Picatinny Rail?

A Picatinny rail is a type of mounting system commonly used on firearms. This system allows for the easy attachment of lights, lasers, and other accessories.


Striker-fired pistols are a popular choice for many shooters due to their accuracy and ease of use. Striker-fired pistols typically have several safety features that make them a safe option for carrying and storing. When choosing a striker-fired pistol, consider your individual needs and preferences.

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