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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It seems that regardless of brand, almost all of the new handguns introduced in the last decade or so have been striker fired (no hammer).

Whether military, police or personal protection, the market has clearly swung in that direction.

I have no axe to grind. My newer handguns have also been striker fired - mainly because I tend to buy what the military, police and other major law-enforcement agencies buy. I figure they must have pretty good reasons.

My only concern is probably a bit more trust in my older handguns that have a visible hammer, hammer drop safety, and double action ability to shoot from a hammer down position.

I want to be convinced and I want to feel striker fired handguns are better.

In my case, size is not a factor other than I am a big guy with big hands and large handguns are more comfortable for me to hold and to shoot.

What am I missing?

note: right after I posted this, a couple of links to similar topics came up so I will be reading them.
 

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Cheap and simple. There is nothing intrinsically "better" with a striker. Pull the trigger, it goes bang. Most don't like learning long heavy pulls or DA/SA. I don't own a striker, and have no plans to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I read the other topics and noticed they were pretty much all at least 10 years old (still worth reading).

What brought this up for me was that my primary home defense gun lately has been a P320 .45 ACP and whenever I reach for it (usually to put it up for the day) I am uncomfortable knowing it is cocked and loaded (no striker or loading indicator and no safety) and I am concerned I could accidentally fire it picking it up in the dark.

My older P220 .45 or M96 .40 could be left de-cocked, loaded and safety off. At night, if needed, I would simply have to pick it up, aim, identify the target, and pull the trigger.

If my need was for anything more than the slight possibility of self-defense, I would probably have a totally different perspective.

Eventually a XD-M® 5.25″ .45 ACP will arrive and perhaps the grip safety and trigger safety will resolve the situation for me.
 

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I own strikers, but there’s only one I will carry anymore—a P7.

Never really liked carrying Glocks, et al...and even though I think the HK VP9 is the best striker fired 9mm going, and I own several...they aren’t carry guns for me. Just don’t care for them. Mentally, I know that when they’re in a good holster, they’re as safe as any other gun...but I prefer SAO hammers and thumb safeties, or DA revolvers.
 

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@Jerry Mc - Reaching for the gun in the dark, not fully awake, is indeed a recipe for more bad happening than good, and you're to be commended for recognizing this concern and in assessing the risks in a realistic manner. (y) All too many gun owners unfortunately do not - or may not even know to take it into account.

If you are looking into switching to striker-fired guns without manual external safeties (discounting the now almost ubiquitous trigger safety), consider staging the gun with a holster that properly protects the trigger from undesired interactions. Even a "minimalist" trigger protector such as the MIC or Raven Concealment Systems ("RCS") VG2 - static-cord anchored to either your nightstand or bed-frame - will serve this purpose well (for weaponligdt-enabled, look to items like the RCS VG3 or Armordillo X-Fer). Alternatively, you can stage the gun in a holster: either standalone so that you can just rip it off and engage or staged for possible transfer on-body by either keeping it on a ready-belt that can easily be worn and securely fastened over your night-clothes or with an appropriate anchoring system (such as a paddle, UltiClips or, even better, Discrete Carry System ["DCS"] clips) that will secure the holstered weapon to your night-clothes.

In-truth, an argument can even be made for any shower/bedroom home-defense handgun to be staged in this manner (particular the latter, with some kind of true "ready" holster system that enables immediate on-body portability), but that typically also drags more than a bit of end-user preferences into the mix. ;)

Historically, the more recent (last two decades, maybe as much as two and a half decades, in-reality) push towards striker-fired handguns without manual external safeties (again, this is excepting the trigger safety) has been fueled by the desire for simplicity as well as the lesser training that is required to safely and effectively employ these types of handguns, particularly in the context of civilian armed self-defense. [I think it is important to note here that even though obvious external safeties are oftentimes absent with modern striker-fire pistols, they do each contain multiple safeties that allow for live-chambered carry with utmost dependability and safety.]

The less complicated the control interface/surface, the less likely it is for in-particular "less" trained individuals to successfully be able to operate the weapon in times of dire stress. This simplicity is carried forward into training, as well, where it then only muzzle awareness and trigger discipline needs to be cultivated and reinforced for the shooter: from novices to even experienced shooters, this again carries tremendous implications where it comes to one's effectiveness in dire stress: when was the last time that you as an instructor witnessed a student using a gun with a manual safety either fail to properly engage it when she should have, or disengage it when he had wanted to engage a threat? the same for competition stages, too? Even with only training or competitive stress on the line, for anyone who has been in the community for any length of time, we can readily attest that these instances are quite common, and that they sometimes happen to even quite experienced shooters.

And towards even the advanced shooters, there is some benefit as to consistency of fire-controls. While then finer aspects of the trigger path may be significantly different between the various striker-fired brands/platforms, the overall manipulations and techniques necessary to effect reasonable success with the weapons' use is rather standardized: insert the loaded box magazine, cycle the slide to charge a round in the chamber, press the trigger to discharge the chambered round - even stoppage remediation is standardized across-the-board.

As to better/worse?

I really don't think that's easy to determine. Similarly, I really don't believe that anyone can necessarily be talked into or out-of their preferred platform(s).:unsure: Really, there's a lot of pros-and-cons to play, and for the truly well-versed shooter, any one or the other may provide distinct advantages. The following -very recent- entry by one highly regarded SME, I think, presents this well (despite his having written the post with very different goals in mind) -


That said, as you have come across in another of our threads, I am also of the firm belief that it takes more than just cursory training for someone to become truly proficient with their chosen tools/instruments. Carelessness or simply insufficient experience can lead to not just sub-optimal results (lack of effective shots on-target) to outright disaster, and this latter is demonstrated quite well by the YouTube firearms personality Tex Grebner, who inflicted upon himself a gunshot wound to the thigh, when he conflated two pieces of gear with two handguns that had very different fire controls:


For as much as I do try to train under good instructors and then attempt to diligently practice (your can search up some of my other threads here easily, but this is an example that gives a decent quick-summary: CC a 3.8 compact), the embarrassing truth is that I don't do enough of either. :oops: As concession to this fact, I try to simplify my gear as much as possible. In that cited thread, you see that what I legally conceal-carry is exactly trigger, sights, slide-stop/release, magazine release, holster, magazine carrier, lights - ALL of it) what I train with in that context. Similarly, my main range/training gun - my 4.5-inch XDm9 (now at >55,000 rounds live-fire: "New" XDm9 from Cleveland - POA/POI &amp...) - is replicated as my main home-defense handgun. Would it surprise you, then, that my home-defense AR is also a function replica of my range and training beater (Lets see your AR setups... and Lets see your AR setups... - the RDS/LPVO compromise is based on my teenage daughter's inability to handle the AR with the weight of the LPVO...she is getting stronger, though, so this will likely change in the next couple of years)?

Without the ability to devote the time to truly become proficient (defined as pressured-cooked/under-stress) with multiple weapons, I instead choose to replicate what I have, so that my processor is less taxed at such critical moments.
 

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I read the other topics and noticed they were pretty much all at least 10 years old (still worth reading).

What brought this up for me was that my primary home defense gun lately has been a P320 .45 ACP and whenever I reach for it (usually to put it up for the day) I am uncomfortable knowing it is cocked and loaded (no striker or loading indicator and no safety) and I am concerned I could accidentally fire it picking it up in the dark.

My older P220 .45 or M96 .40 could be left de-cocked, loaded and safety off. At night, if needed, I would simply have to pick it up, aim, identify the target, and pull the trigger.

If my need was for anything more than the slight possibility of self-defense, I would probably have a totally different perspective.

Eventually a XD-M® 5.25″ .45 ACP will arrive and perhaps the grip safety and trigger safety will resolve the situation for me.
OK... So this is just "ME". My opinion, on what's important to Me....

Tools are tools. Proficiency at use is nothing but practice. There is nothing intrinsically better with hammers or strikers. Many users are proficient with either. Both are safe, both are effective. There is something to be said about the simplicity of a striker trigger. It is perfectly acceptable and effective....

HOWEVER.... for ME... I never got cozy with a short light trigger. And that was from a guy that said why would anyone want different, hammers are stupid, I don't get it.... I wanted a carry gun, tried a hammer... Sold all my strikers.

For ME... I don't like manual safeties. A DA pull is my safety. There is nothing accidental about pulling long and hard. I was finally comfortable. I didn't know what I didn't know. Not to mention, I love SA, and no matter how much money you sink into a striker, they are not a SA. And a 1911.... Sex.

All my guns are DA/SA except a 2011. No safeties, except the 2011. And yes, strikers have gotten very good. They are not going anywhere, and neither are hammers. For ME, and my abilities, and what is important to me... I will only use hammers for defensive hand guns.

And for YOU.... You have to find out what is important to you, and your abilities, and your needs. You do not have to pick what is popular with others, you just have to pick what is right for you. So many good guns out there, lots to be happy with.
 

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I tried to like striker fired guns. Bought Glock, XDM, M&P, XD, FNS and M&P (in that order over the years 1 to as many as two in a row) of a brand or another.

I do not carry them for concealed carry as none have supplied the accuracy of the hammer fired CZ's I do carry. Honestly, neither did the hammer fired Browning I bought prior to the Glock. I really like that gun, it just never shot well for me and had reliability issues with 147 grain ammo.

There (whoops, just realized I left the FNS pistols out of my list above, back in a minute) are things I really, really like about some of the striker fired guns. Nice groups just don't show up among the things in the lists.

The Glock. All I have to do is grab it to know why some people call them "blocks." It never fit my hand or felt good to hold or shoot.

The XDMs came next. Felt better in my hand and the 3.8" XDM 9MM made the Glock and the 5.25" XDM 9MM look pretty bad when it came to shooting nice groups. I liked that pistol but my wife shot it and it became hers after that range trip.

So I bought an M&P 9MM. I absolutely love the way the fit my and and feel when I hold one. But, reliability issues with one of the two and crappy groups with both led me to the CZ P07. Been carrying that one ever since (along with a short few months of CZ P01 carry).

The XD Tactical .45? I really like that pistol. Feels good in my hand. Shoots better than either of the XDM 9MM pistols and has everything I need in a handgun - except being small enough to carry concealed. It's still a great open carry (I open carry around my property) and range pistol.

The FNS pistols. Only the FNS Longslide comes close to meeting my need for good groups. The FNS pistols have a long list of cool features not found in many other striker fired pistols. Again the FNS long slide is bigger than I want to try to carry concealed. I did carry the FNS Compact a few times concealed when I felt the need for something smaller than the P07. But it lost out to another even smaller pistol several months back.

The M&P (second time around) 2.0 pistols. I'd bought my wife a 9MM Shield 1.0 and the little sucker shot so good it made the 1.0 full sized M&P look pretty bad. For a couple reasons I let that convince me that may S&W could make a full sized M&P that shot better than the older pistols and bought a 2.0 5" 9MM. Nope. Even after an Apex trigger kit (that didn't do a thing for the groups - which surprised me as I've always felt a nice trigger helped me shoot good groups, just not so with the 2.0 5" 9mm) I wasn't happy with it. I bought an Apex file to fit barrel for it and that tightened the groups up a noticeable amount, but still not where I wanted them to be.

Now, the 2.0 .45 Compact? Like the 1.0 Shield, the darn thing shoots great. If they ever require 10 rounds for me to legally carry a pistol, that 2.0 Compact .45 will be on my hip (after I get a red dot on the slide).

Then I bought myself a 9MM Shield. Like the one I bought my wife, it shoot great. I have no idea why the tiny M&Ps shoot better groups than the full sized M&Ps, but ours do.

Long post. Just wanted to say why I carry a hammer fired pistol most of the time. Nothing to do with not trusting the striker fired guns. All my striker fired guns I might thing of carrying have thumb safeties - just like my hammer fired guns. One of my other requirements for carry pistols is consistency. I operate them them the same way. The XD Tactical, the FNS pistols, the M&P pistols all have thumb safeties. As to all the CZ hammer fired pistols I own/carry.

I just can't be happy with an index card sized group at 5 or 10 yds. Not when I know I have pistols that shoot much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
“I just shot myself”

This was sort of a déjà vu moment for me. I purchased the various Browning BDA versions (9mm, .38 Super and .45 ACP and later .22 LR) of the P220 (sold from 1975) when they first came out. I loved them and shot them in various competitions.

The main problem was they were so new that no one made a holster to fit them but eventually I found I could fit them in a (left side) shoulder holster. In the timed fire I would draw the .45 (loaded but with the hammer down), shoot, lower the hammer, re-holster the gun and repeat.

Apparently at one point I failed to lower the hammer and the next time I drew the BDA I accidentally pulled the trigger (quick on the trigger, slow on the draw). 😉 The BDA fired while still in the holster.

Exact same result as the video. Also .45 FMJ (thank God), The bullet went into my left hip and exited next to my left knee. The bullet missed the hip and the knee and the foot. I did not even realize I was shot. I picked the bullet up, passed out, and my wife (an RN) drove me to the hospital (twice).

This is probably why I am uncomfortable picking up a cocked and loaded gun from the nightstand and am going back to the P220 .45, M96 .40 and P226 .40 (all with CT Laser Grips).

For me personally, I will probably stay with hammer drop DA/SA for the night stand but still practice with the striker fired for targets etc.

This skirts the (my) topic.

The military is not dumb and Law Enforcement is not dumb.

They must have some very good reasons for having gone so heavily to striker fired handguns. I have too little experience with them (so far) to make any sort of judgement - but then they are not buying nightstand guns.

My only law enforcement experience was as a Deputy Sheriff many years ago. I don’t even remember what we carried.

Guys?
 

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Military and Law Enforcement use whatever politics tells them to use.

If Sig made a wonderful hammer gun and offered to Law Enforcement for 1/2 price and Glock was $50 cheaper, large departments will go with cheap most times.

Sig and the military guns is a head scratcher, I'm thinking someone had pics of someone coming something they shouldn't so that's how they won the contract.

I only shoot 5 to 7K rounds per year, so I'm no expert but I've dumped hammer guns for carry.

My heavily modified striker gun is just as accurate as hammer fired guns, so for the sake of muscle memory I use the same guns.

I still own a few hammer fired guns but they rarely leave the safe in the last 5 years.

Gun Safety is between your ears, if you know you lack the ability to not do something dangerous, by all means use what you feel comfortable with.

To each their own in this category.
 

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This skirts the (my) topic.

The military is not dumb and Law Enforcement is not dumb.

They must have some very good reasons for having gone so heavily to striker fired handguns. I have too little experience with them (so far) to make any sort of judgement - but then they are not buying nightstand guns.
The lowest-common-deominator applies here to an extent. The other, politics and money, as @.45fan noted.

As I noted prior, it's much easier to train up inexperienced or less-experienced shooters to the striker fired handguns than it is to to through the functionalities of additional external safeties, de-cocking mechanisms and the like - or to train to-proficiency the double-to-single action trigger path (much less accomplish reasonable accuracy/precision with the longer and often heavier initial DA travel).

To-wit, how many SMEs run specialized-platform-only (i.e. 1911/2011 or DA/SA) classes, versus classes that only allow striker-fired guns?

Also to-wit, look at the rather abysmal shooting performance of the NYPD, having only to contend with what is an absurdly heavy -yet consistent- Glock trigger: imagine the added proficiency issues when more complicated fire-controls are added to the mix, remembering that some officers have even not only brought - but have actually used - the entirely wrong tool to/for the fight.

One must remember that at initiation state and for the vast majority of those who serve as military or law-enforcement, they are -NOT- small-arms experts either in terms of armorer-level knowledge or marksmanship. They are just like every other average Jane and Joe, and for us average civilian shooters, attending even one novice/beginner level training class as an observer or spectating at a local-level competition shooting event will quickly demonstrate to you in the most visceral manner (chiefly DA/SA inconsistencies and mistakes in operation of external manual safeties) why the ease-of-operation of the striker-fired handguns have won over so many.

----

Oh, and a confession -

I love me a good 1911/2011.

I don't own any, yet - and this is completely by choice, mainly because I don't want a divorce and don't want to be broke. 😅 Look at it this way: from when I was into airsoft, I had custom-built airsoft 1911s and 2011s that cost as much as real Wilsons and the like.

Thanks to the generosity of some of my good friends like Quack, I have had the opportunity to experience some very, very high-end 1911/2011s (just check out what he decided to use in a high-round-count, multi-day class: Ohioans For Concealed Carry Discussion Forums • View topic - Dirty 2011 after ~2000rds.), and it is precisely these experiences that keeps me itching to start down that path.

This, in addition to some superbly worked HKs and Berettas that I've had the opportunity to send some love from over the years have definitely convinced me that yes, using these pieces of magnificent hardware can probably take me "to the next level"....


There's a picture of the first 5 shots that I took out of his STI Tactical, back in the days before 2011s became the sought-after commodity of duty/defensive shooters, close to 10 years ago.
Except for the very first shot (I'd never fired that gun before), which was about an inch to the right of the group - all others printed a single ragged hole at 7 yards.

So, yes, maybe that's "next level" - but that, of-course, will also necessitate more training onto itself. 😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And for YOU.... You have to find out what is important to you, and your abilities, and your needs. You do not have to pick what is popular with others, you just have to pick what is right for you. So many good guns out there, lots to be happy with.
I think this is the very best recommendation I have read. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I did not put the P320 away but it is no longer on the nightstand (it is still handy).

When the P320 RXP arrives, it will be fun to discover it’s pros and cons.

The same with the XD-M® 5.25″.

I still think there has to be something (I am missing) that is causing almost all manufacturers to abandon old and proven hammer fired in favor of new striker fired hand guns.

I loved my Gold Cup (buying it did not help my marriage) but as much as I respected Jeff Cooper, I was never comfortable with a 1911 as my personal defense gun. I have no idea what a 2011 is…

Newer gun designs may be different but it’s still basically the same ball game. Chamber a round, point at the target and pull the trigger. With a bit of luck and training, the correct target will be chosen and the bullet will go where intended.

What was right or wrong or smart or stupid or safe or dangerous with a 1911 is the same with (fill in the blank).

I am not trying to change anybody’s mind about anything.
 

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I rejected striker-fired handguns for decades before buying my first one in 2011 (4.5 XDm).
I got comfortable with em, figured out that they were for real, and still have several that l enjoy regularly like my Walther P99s and PPQs.
Buuuuuut... there's a P2000sk on my hip every day, a USP on the bedside table, P30s at the ready (the only guns in the safe kept loaded) and S&W DA revolvers in a few spots scattered throughout the house.

Maybe I'm devolving a bit, but l still prefer a hammer over a striker, even if it's in a plastic frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think what I need is a striker fired .22 LR that duplicates one of my centerfire striker fired hand guns.

Colt did it with the Ace, BDA/Sig did it and Beretta did it.

SA? SIG?

With the current price of centerfire ammunition, this would seem like a no-brainer.

Would anyone else buy them?
 

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Completely disassemble a Glock 19 then do the same with a CZ 75BD....that becomes self explanatory as to why most are going to the striker fired firearms. I own both....like all I own, but I still like the S/A-D/A hammer fired handguns much better.
 

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I did not put the P320 away but it is no longer on the nightstand (it is still handy).

When the P320 RXP arrives, it will be fun to discover it’s pros and cons.

The same with the XD-M® 5.25″.

I still think there has to be something (I am missing) that is causing almost all manufacturers to abandon old and proven hammer fired in favor of new striker fired hand guns.

I loved my Gold Cup (buying it did not help my marriage) but as much as I respected Jeff Cooper, I was never comfortable with a 1911 as my personal defense gun. I have no idea what a 2011 is…

Newer gun designs may be different but it’s still basically the same ball game. Chamber a round, point at the target and pull the trigger. With a bit of luck and training, the correct target will be chosen and the bullet will go where intended.

What was right or wrong or smart or stupid or safe or dangerous with a 1911 is the same with (fill in the blank).

I am not trying to change anybody’s mind about anything.
A 2011 is a double stack 1911. Instead of making a full double stack frame like some (RRA) STI and others related made a modular polymer grip attached to a modular frame. You can now get different polymer grips, or alloy... Or like me steel...

20190715_114617.jpg


15 rounds of 10mm goodness.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Completely disassemble a Glock 19 then do the same with a CZ 75BD....that becomes self explanatory as to why most are going to the striker fired firearms.
I have never owned a Glock (they just never appealed to me). I think I once owned a CZ-75 but I don’t remember anything about it.

I am guessing that you were saying that the guts of a striker fired gun are far simpler to manufacture than a DA/SA hammer fired gun?

In the past I used to do all my own servicing on what were primarily Colt and Smith and Wesson firearms. Now about all I do is shoot them and clean them.

I have never disassembled any striker fired gun and probably wouldn’t know what to do with it if I did.

Perhaps one selling point (for the P320 anyway) is the P320 features a “modular” frame system that allows the metal internal frame that holds the pistol’s trigger and fire control mechanism to be removed from the plastic grip, so the grip can be swapped for something more ergonomic.

I don’t know if the other striker fired guns have a modular metal frame or not.
 

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I enjoy range time. Have bought, shot, sold, bought more., striker fired handguns. U practice enough with anything, you'll get good at it no matter the brand.

Wanted to try something different so bought a M9A3. FANTASTIC firearm. Learning da/sa was new to me and I LOVE the process of learning.

BUT, it is different.....and, most don't like different. We want to stay where we're comfortable, it's human nature.

Striker fired is the norm now, is what it is.

I'll compare it to XS Big DOT sights. I run them on a Shield, great sights, they work, as long as u train on how to use them so they become second nature. BUT, all my other handguns run 3 dot. So....I "don't like" the big dot and don't shoot the gun much because it's "different".

Pleanty of folks were fantastic shots with "x" handgun before striker fired came along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Wanted to try something different so bought a M9A3. FANTASTIC firearm. Learning da/sa was new to me and I LOVE the process of learning.
I saw “M9A3“and wondered what it was so I googled it and found it is basically the same as my 92FS (M96 in .40) which I love and what makes it even better is having the .22 LR version to practice with: M9A1_22

There are 3 different versions (If you can find them):
92FSR_22, M9_22, M9A1_22
 
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