Concealed Carry & Home Defense

CCW Weekend: Is A Double-Action Only Trigger Better For Concealed Carry?

By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

The advent of the poly striker pistol has brought with them a galaxy of pistols for home defense, service use or concealed carry with a short- to medium-length single action trigger pull. Some have come to expect far more from a trigger system than merely going “bang” every time; if there’s any grit, a long travel or anything more than a 4-pound pull, some people will tell you the pistol is junk.

Is that realistic? Or is it something that a person used to a competition race gun might say? Believe it or not, a double-action only trigger might be a better option on a concealed carry gun.

A target pistol or (as mentioned) a race gun for competition is very well suited to a hair trigger, as quick, crisp shots that don’t require much in terms of a pull are a benefit. Likewise, a light trigger on a hunting rifle can be a great aid as well; good shots on game can be fleeting and the quicker the break, the better. On a carry gun, though, there are a few reasons to consider a stiffer trigger pull.

One of the reasons is that a harder trigger pull is a guard against accidental discharges.

Passive trigger safeties are, of course, perfectly safe; mindfulness and a bit of safety training can virtually AD-proof just about any pistol, along with a good concealed carry holster with adequate trigger guard protection. Despite this, a number of accidental discharges occur anyway because the person carrying wasn’t paying close enough attention.

That said, some people like to keep their eggs in more than one basket so to speak, and a good insurance policy against a sensitive trigger is the longer, harder pull of a double action trigger. Even if snagged by a piece of clothing or if trigger discipline is broken for a moment, a stiffer trigger will prevent a negligent discharge from happening.

In other words, a short-travel trigger that pulls with 5 or fewer pounds of force could be pulled inadvertently – there are plenty of reports of it happening, after all – but ana 8-pound (or greater) trigger is far less susceptible. A harder trigger pull all but guarantees that a pistol is only going to fire because someone meant it to.

Revolver fans will also point out that the double-action revolver is one of the most ND-proof guns around for precisely this reason. After all, a double-action revolver trigger often has a trigger pull in the 10- to 14-pound range, which means it only goes “bang” when you mean it. Likewise, a single-action discharge will only happen deliberately as you have to manually cock the pistol first.

There’s also the possibility of an accidental discharge while drawing your gun, which is just as dangerous as an accidental discharge while holstering or handling a gun.

When revolvers were the standard in law enforcement, some officers would actually have the spur cut off the hammer, essentially making their service weapon DAO with both circumstances in mind. Double-action only autos have also been deployed with a number of departments nationwide, so the notion clearly has some merit.

Again, none of this is to say that your or anyone else’s poly striker pistol is unsafe, as they aren’t. Trigger discipline and a bit of mindfulness are really all that are needed to ensure safe handling and safe carrying. However, since it can be viewed as a safety feature, having a harder trigger pull is not such a bad thing.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.