Single Action vs Double Action for Concealed Carry

Concealed carry refers to the action of legally carrying a gun in public. The primary purpose of this is to ensure self-defense if need be. No one anticipates situations that require you to defend physically defend yourself.

Although law enforcers are tasked with protecting people and maintaining peace, they are not always on time. It is, therefore, a good idea to have a concealed firearm to defend yourself if the situation calls for it. If you’re considering having concealed carry, there are several things you need to consider. One of these is having a concealed carry permit.

This permit certifies that you have been trained and are allowed to have concealed carry.

Besides the permit, you also have to consider whether you want a double-action or a single-action concealed carry. So which type of gun works best as concealed carry?

 It is hard for one to dictate which concealed carry to choose as it’s all a matter of preference. This article will analyze the mechanism of working and the benefits and drawbacks of both types of guns and offers. Hopefully, this will help you choose which single-action and double-action guns you prefer as a concealed carry.

Single Action and a Double Action Gun Mechanism of Working.

Generally, a handgun works by first pulling back the handgun slide. This causes the magazine of spring to position a bullet into the chamber. This also causes the hammer of the gun to cock back.

Pulling the trigger of the gun snaps the hammer forward. This subsequently pushes the gun’s firing pin into the primer of the bullet cartridge. Once this firing pin hits the primer, it fires up the propellant, sending out the bullet from the barrel at high speed.

The process described above occurs the same in single-action guns. Put, pulling back the slide in a single action gun cocks and locks the hammer back. Pulling the trigger drops the hammer, which fires the bullet.

You need to cock the hammer every time you use a single action gun. The trigger only serves to fire the bullet, thus the name, ‘Single action.’

This is, however, not the case with a double-action gun. The trigger in double action guns serves to cock the hammer and fire the bullet in one action. Thus, the name ‘double-action.’ Therefore, you only have to pull the trigger instead of pulling back the slide every time you want to fire.

You can, however, pull the pin in a double-action firearm before pulling the trigger.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Single Action Concealed Carry


The trigger pull in single-action guns is shorter and feels more natural and smoother. This also makes it more accurate when shooting.


The trigger of single-action guns does not mean cock and shoot the hammer. As such, you will have to manually cock the gun. Single action guns also have a slower reload. These factors make using the single-action gun more time-consuming than its counterpart. This can be a significant drawback during a gunfight.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Double Action Concealed Carry


Although the trigger pull of double action guns is longer and heavier than its counterpart, it serves the purpose of enhancing safety. The trigger design of double action guns ensures that one has to pull it for the weapon to fire deliberately.

The heavy trigger pull also gives you more decision time once you draw your gun.

The double-action of the trigger also serves to ease operating the gun. This is quite helpful as all you need to do is load the cylinder, aim, and shoot. This, however, compromises the gun’s capacity.

The double-action of the gun also helps to make the firearm shoot faster.


Although the trigger of the double-action gun has several advantages, it has some drawbacks too. This gun’s long and heavy trigger makes it hard to master it through muscle memory. It would help if you also learned how to de-cock the lever before re-holstering the gun.

The heavy and long trigger makes it harder for one to be accurate when shooting.

Comparison Between Single Action and Double Action Guns


This is the leading comparison between the two guns. It defines the purpose of the trigger in the gun. The trigger is a single action gun that only fires the hammer while the trigger in double-action guns cocks and fires the hammer.

Trigger Pull

The trigger pulls in single-action guns are smooth and light, improving one’s accuracy when using this gun. On the other hand, the trigger pulls in double-action guns are longer and heavier. This can affect accuracy when using this gun.


When reloading a single action gun, you will need to open the back gate of the cylinder, insert the rounds and rotate the cylinder. Reloading a single action firearm, thus, takes longer than its counterpart. Double action guns only require you to swing the cylinder from the gun frame then use a speed loader to load the rounds.


The long and heavy trigger of the double-action gun makes it safer than the single-action gun. Even so, several innovations help make both guns safer. These include safety notches, hammer blocks, trigger disconnects, and firing pin blocks.

Necessary Considerations

After analyzing the pros and cons of the single action and double action firearm, we’re sure you’ve decided which one works best for you. Whichever you choose, we think you must remember the following when having concealed carry.

Consider your Comfort and Capacity

The comfort and capacity of a gun can sometimes alter one’s decision of a firearm. Comfort can mean two things. It can tell how comfortable you are when handling and shooting the gun or indicate how comfortable you are carrying the weapon.

Settling in comfort is, however, not easy. You might have a small gun that you can comfortably conceal but one that is too small for you to shoot comfortably. You could also have a big enough gun for you to shoot comfortably but one that is too big for you to conceal comfortably.

Concealment of firearms is important as it ensures that the people around you don’t know you’re carrying the weapon. This is necessary as it prevents you from being a target in case of an attack. It is also important to properly conceal a firearm to prevent people from panicking. You should, therefore, prioritize the comfort of concealing the gun over the ease of shooting the gun.

Firearm capacity refers to how many rounds a gun can hold. Although smaller and easier to conceal, sub-compact and compact pistols have smaller capacities of about 6 to 8 rounds. Therefore, you should consider both comfort and capacity when choosing concealed carry.

No one wants to comfortably conceal a gun that will only offer a few rounds during a firefight.

A great option would be a small-caliber pistol like a 9mm, which will offer you comfort in some aspects while not compromising on capacity.

Carrying Positions

The most convenient way to carry a concealed firearm is through a holster. There are several shapes and sizes of holsters, each fitting people differently. Therefore, you should experiment and try out different holsters before settling on the best fit.

The five common styles of holsters include;

  • Inside the Belt

This holster is also known as an Inside Waist Belt (IWB) clipped onto your belt. The holster is positioned between your underwear and your pants. The main advantage of IWB is that they ensure you successfully conceal your firearm. However, these are the least comfortable and most challenging to draw a gun from.

  • Outside the Belt

This holster style is also known as an Outside Waist Belt (OWB). Like with the IWB, the holster of the OWB is clipped onto the belt. However, the holster is positioned outside your pants rather than inside. The advantage of this holster style is that it’s comfortable and easy to draw from. However, it is hard to conceal your firearm with this type of holster.

  • Bellyband

This type of holster has a band fabric that you can wrap around your waist. The belly band is helpful in scenarios where you don’t have a belt but is less sturdy and protective than the IWB and OWB options.

  • Shoulder holster

This type of holster requires you to wrap it around your shoulder like backpack straps with the gun on your supporting arm. Therefore, if you are right-handed, the holster will be on your left side, and if you are left-handed, the holster will be on your right side.

This type of holster is very comfortable. However, it will only offer concealment if you have a jacket on.

  • Ankle holster

This holster is positioned on one’s ankle and is the most comfortable. However, it compromises on draw speed which is important in an attack.

Other factors to consider before acquiring a holster are carrying positions, appendix and strong-side hip position, durability, and trigger coverage.


Once you have your concealed carry, you should practice with it several times before carrying it out in public. You can do this at home or a range; make sure it’s in dry fire. People with less experience in handling a firearm will require practice more than those with experience.

The whole point of practicing having concealed carry is to ensure safety. Make sure you get used to the feeling of carrying a concealed carry with a holster and drawing and firing it. You should only fire a loaded gun in a firearm in a gun range and with a permit.

You can, however, dry fire the gun if at home to get used to the feeling of drawing and firing the gun.

Exercise Safety

There are over ten safety rules that all gun owners should practice. For example, you should permanently remove the entire holster and then remove the firearm when disarming yourself. Additionally, ensure that your finger is on the trigger. This safety precaution ensures that you don’t accidentally fire the gun.

It would help if you also got in the habit of periodically cycling out your ammunition. Exposure of ammo to the elements might result in wear or corrosion. Therefore, regularly cycling out your ammunition ensures the quality of your ammunition.

In addition to these safety rules, ensure you pay close attention to these four fundamental rules of gun safety:

  1. Always assume that your firearm is loaded.
  2. Be careful to always point your gun away from anything you don’t intend to shoot.
  3. Do not put your finger on the trigger. Instead, keep it straight until you’re ready to fire.
  4. Always keep your eye on your target and what’s past it.

Understand the Law and Only Use your Firearm When Necessary

This is one of the golden rules of having a firearm. Having a firearm does not give you the green light to fire at everything and anything. Firearm owners receive training on how and when to use their firearms, but not all adhere to this rule.

You should, however, respect this rule and only use your gun when necessary and according to state and federal law.

Take Away

Both single action and double action guns have their fair share of pros and cons. It is, therefore, hard to tell anyone which gun is the best fit for them. Consequently, one should consider all the necessary factors for concealed carry and pick the one that fits them best. And whichever concealed carry you settle on, make sure you take the necessary safety precautions for yourself and others.

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