Most revolvers today are modeled after the Colt Single Action Army, as it’s still the most popular revolver ever made. There have been some modifications over the years, most of them to do with how it’s fired. A double action revolver is commonly held to be far more efficient and allows the shooter to fire the rounds easier.
The Difference Between Double and Single Action
Single action means that the trigger only performs one action, releasing the hammer and pushing the firing pin. So the hammer must be cocked each time before the trigger can be pulled, one shot at a time. Single actions have the same weight to the trigger pull every time and are usually lighter than a double action.
A double action is a trigger that performs two actions, pulling the hammer back, then releasing it. You can fire a bullet with every pull of the trigger, though each pull is very long, and there are different weights to them. Double actions generally have a heavier pull to them, as well.
One of the biggest differences between the two is how they handle the recoil. Single actions tend to push the barrel up, particularly those that have the classic plow handle. Double actions force the gun against the web of the hand.
Why Choose a Double Action Revolver
While choosing between a single and double action is always a matter of preference, revolvers are much easier as a double action. As well as only needing to pull the trigger in order to fire, the double action’s cylinder can be opened and loaded and unloaded all at once. A single action requires loading one cartridge at a time.
Double action revolvers fire faster than single actions, and the longer trigger pull acts as a secondary safety since it’s more difficult to fire the gun accidentally.
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