By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
Contrary to popular belief, Gaston Glock didn’t invent striker-fired pistols. The Colt Model 1908 and FN Model 1910 are/were striker-fired pistols, and they were designed by none other than John Moses Browning. Heck, he didn’t even invent polymer frames; Heckler and Koch beat Glock to that punch by more than a decade with the VP70. He also didn’t invent integrated trigger safety levers; Iver Johnson had those on their Safety Automatic Hammerless revolvers starting in 1897.
But he sure made them popular. The Glock 17 revolutionized the shooting world, and now virtually every handgun maker of note produces a polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol or indeed several.
It’s obvious why. They’re reliable, easily accurate enough for use as defensive pistols, whether it goes into a concealed carry holster or gun safe for an armed citizen or the duty holster of a police officer. They also don’t cost a whole lot.
Without the external safeties of many older handgun designs, they’re much easier to get into the fight as you just draw and go, unless you happen to have one with manual safeties on it. They run well, can get picked up easily and can be depended on and really don’t take a whole lot of computing power to figure out.
Granted, a person should shoot whatever they want to and certainly only carry a gun they are competent with. However, is it also possible that modern shooters are becoming lazy?
Here’s what I mean: Up until the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Glocks started to really catch on, double-action revolvers and semi-autos were pretty much the default choice for defensive handguns, though single-action semi-autos (ie the 1911 or the Browning Hi Power) were also fairly available and widely used too.
Now, double-action revolvers are easy to operate, but take a bit more work to shoot well due to the double-action trigger. You must have trigger control figured out to shoot one well. The same applies to double-action autos when decocked to double-action mode.
Double-action semi-autos require a bit of learning and practice for the controls to become second nature. Single-action semi-autos also require a bit of learning and practice. However, both can be learned fairly easily; guns aren’t exactly rocket surgery. Plenty of people have double-action revolvers and semi-autos, as well as single-action autos (and single action revolvers!) successfully in defense of their lives or that of others, so they are definitely capable of serving in that role.
However, there’s endless debates in print and on YouTube videos about how manual safeties get in the way and double-action triggers aren’t good for self-defense, despite decades of use of both indicating otherwise.
Just like how no one gets a manual transmission anymore, fewer and fewer people seem willing to put in the very modest effort required of the older designs despite their obvious merits.
Then you have the plethora of gun reviews out there, expecting every factory trigger to be light as a feather and as crisp as a frozen leaf. Again, even the plastic fantastics have triggers that leave something to be desired, but the truth is that a Beretta 92’s is very decent, even in double-action mode. Ditto Sig Sauer, CZ and plenty more besides.
So if a person is accustomed to a double-action trigger pull – a striker trigger is like the Babytown Frolics. Sure, they can be a bit numb but travel is light and short; none are as bad as some people make them out to be. The M&P series of pistols, for instance, was constantly complained about in that department and it’s difficult to seriously discern why.
Which begs the question of whether the modern shooter is getting a bit too spoiled, a bit too lazy. Granted, a person should carry what they’re most competent with, whatever that happens to be, but sometimes a bit too much convenience can short a person in other areas.
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.