How Do Guns Work? Revolver Trigger Types

by
posted on March 14, 2017
colt-cobra-trigger.jpg
When you read articles or hear gun experts talking about revolvers, you'll hear a lot of confusing terminology being thrown around. The facts are actually rather simple. Here are the three basic types of revolver trigger systems.

Single-action-only (SA) 
This type is the oldest of the systems and requires that the hammer be manually cocked by the shooter for each shot. While slow, it offers a light trigger pull that is conducive to accuracy.

Single-action revolvers such as the Colt Single Action Army were popular in the American West and remain so today among cowboy action competitors and traditionalists. 

Double-action/single-action (DA/SA)
This system is so named because pulling the trigger will cock and release the hammer. Most double-action revolvers can also be fired in the single-action mode as well. When fired in the double-action mode, most revolvers offer a long, heavy trigger pull that is not conducive to accuracy. For this reason, most double-action shooting is done at close ranges in self-defense scenarios.

Most modern revolvers are of double-action/single-action design, such as the Colt Python, Ruger SP100 and S&W Model 29. This includes even large-bore models that will seldom, if ever, be fired in the double-action mode.

Double-action-only (DAO)  
In this system, pulling the trigger cocks and releases the hammer. There is no provision for single-action operation. This system is found commonly on small revolvers intended mainly for concealed carry. Most examples have the hammer spur removed for added concealability, while others employ an integral hammer.

Latest

Federal Sweepstakes Winner Lede
Federal Sweepstakes Winner Lede

Federal's 100th-Anniversary Sweepstakes Winner Announced

The venerable ammunition manufacturer just gave away over 54,000 rounds of ammo!

Throwback Thursday: John Ruthven, 20th-Century Audubon

“I’ll keep painting as long as birds fly and I can lift a brush.”

Reviewed: Stoeger XM1 .22 PCP Air Rifle

One shot on a squirrel and this is our reviewer's new favorite air rifle. Could it be yours, too?

10 Rules For Off-Road Vehicle Safety

ATVs, side-by-sides and dirt bikes are great...if you know and practice these rules.

8 Home Security Tips You Forgot During Quarantine

Heading out on vacation again (finally)? Send the burglars a postcard that says, "Not Today, Buddy."

How to Sharpen an Axe

A sharp axe is a safe axe.

Interests



Get the best of NRA Family delivered to your inbox.