single action vs double action

Single Action Vs Double Action Revolver: What To Choose?

Revolvers, which we also call wheel guns, have a revolving cylinder containing multiple slots and one barrel for firing. They are available in different variants according to their shapes, sizes, and action.

Moreover, these revolvers are still used as a backup and off-duty handgun for officers and security guards. Many of our readers who are firearm hunters, in defense or sports have to carry revolvers.

Well, based on action, there are two types of revolvers; one is the single action revolver, and the other is the double action revolver. Now, which one do you think will be appropriate for you?

Here, we have provided detailed reviews of these two revolvers and hope that you will find them to be helpful.

Double action vs. single action:

A revolver has gun actions, which are usually of two types, i.e., single action and double action. A gun action implies how it works in relation to ammunition.

1. Single action:

This is the type of gun action where you need to fire by cocking the hammer and squeezing the trigger in one single shot. Pressing the trigger and not cocking the hammer will give you zero result.

In single action, the pulls are smooth, crisp, and short with a weight of a few pounds as the only work is to press the trigger and nothing else.

2. Double action:

This gun action involves two steps. One is pressing the trigger and then releasing it. Here, there is no single action feature and the most astounding part is that the striker will return to its decocked position after each shot.

Double action revolver vs. single action revolver:

You must be in a dilemma as to which one will be the right revolver for you to meet your fulfillment. For that, we have provided you with some information on each type of pistols and you will surely have a distinct idea about them.

So, let us discuss the difference between single and double action revolver covering the pros and cons too.

1. Single action revolver:


what is a single action revolver?

This revolver works on the principle of single action. Hence, you have to cock the hammer with the use of your thumb or supporting hand.

It works as the cylinder advances to the next round and locks it in place with the barrel aligned with the chamber. You have to pull the trigger, and the hammer will be released and finally fires the round in the chamber.

The Colt Paterson Revolver, the Colt’s Dragoon and the Colt Single National Army pistol of the American Frontier era are some of the well-known single action revolvers.


  1. Due to single action feature, the trigger pull is lightened, smooth and crisp.
  2. Shooting by most shooters is of higher accuracy by this revolver.
  3. These are perfect for self-defense because of the rock-solid, substantial fame which gives power advantage.


  1. By only triggering and not cocking the hammer will give you no shot.
  2. You gotta cock the hammer each time you give a shot.
  3. Working with the single action revolvers is very time-consuming.

2. Double action revolver

This revolver is based on the double action as the name suggests. The stroke of the trigger generates two actions. You have to pull back to the cock position, which indexes the cylinder to the next round. After that, you must release the hammer to strike the firing pin.


  1. These revolvers are best for high stressed situations because no safety catch release or separate cocking is required.
  2. They enable you to shoot faster shots compared to single action revolvers.
  3. You can safely use them as they have long trigger pulls.


  1. The long trigger pull is sometimes uncomfortable for the beginners.
  2. There is a different feeling for long pulls of these revolvers for the customers as they sometimes feel the pull and sometimes feel no pull.

Final thoughts:

Eventually, you need to be concise in choosing the types of revolvers right for you. First, get yourself clear about the purpose, size and other things before buying any one of them. Your ultimate goal is to give the best shot, and therefore, the revolver you choose must be comfortable while handling.

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