Single Action vs. Double Action – Comparison & Differences

Single Action and Double Action are two types of triggers in firearms. Both are similar in many ways as well as have some key differences. A Single Action performs one kind of Action,: releasing the hammer or strike to fire the weapon. Double Action, on the other hand, performs two actions. The first one is cocking the hammer, and the other one is releasing it to fire the gun.

Main Difference

The preference between Single Action and Double Action depends upon the intended use or personal preference. Many users are confused about the difference between Single Action and Double Action. Discuss the main differences between both triggers in detail to justify people’s confusion.

What is a Single Action Trigger?

Single Action is a trigger that performs one Action. It releases the striker or hammer to fire the weapon. This Action requires the shooters to manually cock the striker or hammer before pulling the trigger. Moreover, Single Action has a lighter and more consistent trigger pull. Due to its light trigger pull, it can provide greater accuracy in some situations.

Furthermore, it is comparatively less safe due to its cocking before firing. Some revolvers and 1911-style semi-automatic pistols are good examples of Single Action. In addition, people mostly preferred Single Action because of its lighter and more consistent trigger pull.


  • Less safe
  • Accuracy is great
  • Lighter trigger pull
  • Consistent firing

What is Double Action Trigger?

Double Action is a trigger that performs two functions. The first one is cocking the hammer or striker, and the other one is releasing to fire the weapon. It offers the advantage that the shooter can fire the gun without cocking the striker.

Moreover, Double Action can provide less accuracy and is not easy to control because of its long and heavier trigger pull. Furthermore, Double Action can refer to an additional safety level because the heavy haul makes accidental discharge less likely.


  • Less accurate
  • Safe and secure to fire
  • Long and heavy trigger pull

Key differences between Single Action and Double Action

  1. Single Action performs one function, whereas Double Action performs two functions.
  2. Single Action provides more accuracy as compared to Double Action.
  3. The trigger pull of Single Action is light and consistent. On the other hand, Double Action has a heavy and long trigger pull.
  4. Single Action trigger is less safe, while Double Action can provide added safety.
  5. 1911-style semi-automatic is an excellent example of Single Action trigger, while some rifles and revolvers are examples of Double Action.

Comparison chart

Features     Single Action Double Action
Functions Performs one function Performs two functions
Accuracy Accuracy is greater Less accurate
Trigger pull Light and consistent pull Long and heavy pull
Examples 1911-style semi-automatic Some rifles and revolvers


We conclude that Single Action and Double Action triggers are two different triggers that perform other functions. They are further in their accuracy, safety, and pulling of the trigger.


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