Handgun Triggers & Parts

Handgun Triggers & Parts

GRITR Sports has gathered a collection of high-quality handgun triggers and parts that can enhance your shooting experience.

Pistol Trigger Mechanism: How it Works & What the Parts Are

A pistol trigger mechanism sets the firing sequence in motion. Its parts include:

  • Trigger:  The part you press to initiate the firing process.
  • Hammer/Striker:  Depending on the system, the hammer hits the firing pin that hits the round's primer, while a striker contacts the primer directly.
  • Firing Pin:  This pin strikes the primer, igniting the propellant and firing the bullet.
  • Seer:  It holds the hammer or striker back until the trigger is pulled.

Hammer-Fired vs. Striker-Fired Pistols

When we talk about pistol triggers, you'll often hear the terms hammer-fired and striker-fired.  These phrases actually refer to the type of firing mechanism a firearm uses.

In a hammer-fired system, the action starts when you pull the trigger.  In a hammer-fired system, pulling the trigger releases a hammer,  which then strikes the firing pin,  igniting the primer to fire the bullet.  Traditional pistols and revolvers commonly use this kind of system.

On the other hand, in a striker-fired system,  when you pull the trigger, it retracts and then releases a spring-loaded striker.  The striker hits the primer, igniting the cartridge and firing the bullet.  This design tends to be simpler with fewer parts and is used in many modern handguns like Glocks.

Different Action (Trigger) Types

Different firearms have different action types which determine how the handgun trigger operates:

  • Single Action (SA): In SA firearms like the 1911 pistol, the trigger performs a single function of releasing the hammer or the striker. The hammer/striker must be manually cocked before each shot.
  • Double Action (DA)/Double Action Only (DAO): In DA firearms like revolvers, pulling the trigger both cocks and releases the hammer. DAO is a variant where the hammer doesn't stay cocked, instead returning to the uncocked position after each shot.
  • Double Action Striker-Fired: In pistols like Glock, the striker rests in a half-cocked position, and pulling the trigger completes the cocking and then releases the striker, making the pull relatively light and short.
  • Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA): In firearms like Beretta 92FS, the first shot is DA, with subsequent shots being SA, as the cycling action of the gun cocks the hammer.

Browse GRITR Sports' selection of the best handgun triggers and parts to find the perfect upgrades for your pistol. We offer top-tier tactical triggers for all popular pistol platforms, including Apex Tactical triggers for Glocks, S&W, and others, as well as trigger kits and trigger upgrades.


What is a pistol trigger?

A pistol trigger is a lever that, when pulled by the finger, releases the hammer or striker to discharge the firearm.

Can I modify my pistol's trigger?

Yes, many gun owners choose to modify their pistol's trigger to improve performance or comfort. However, it's crucial to ensure that any modifications are done safely and legally. Always consult a professional gunsmith for any alterations to your firearm.

What is a single-action trigger?

In a single-action (SA) trigger, the trigger only performs one action: releasing the hammer or the striker to fire the gun. The hammer or striker must be manually cocked before the gun can be fired.

What is a double-action trigger?

A double-action (DA) trigger performs two tasks: cocking and releasing the hammer or striker. This means you can fire the gun just by pulling the trigger, without needing to manually cock it first.