It seems that more and more I’m seeing concealed carry type pistols being marketed as “double strike capable”, or having the ability to strike the same cardridge a second time with just another pull of the trigger. My question is, is this whole double strike capable thing just a marketing gimmick for traditional double action pistols that have always had this capability, or is double strike capability something that is a viable option for a self defense pistol?
It seems that most trainers who are worth their salt train shooters to rack do some variation of the tap-rack-bang sequence when the pistol stops going bang. With this double strike capability, it would allow a shooter to just pull the trigger again in the event of a light primer strike to hopefully ignite the cartridge on the second try.
Light strikes are a pretty rare occurance in my experience (Shooting Glocks, XD’s, and M&P pistols, I’ve had only one or two in about 50,000 rounds fired shooting factory ammo). Of those rare light strikes, how many of them would go off with a second hit, and how many of them were just a bad primer?
So, lets say that a person is in a defensive situation, and their pistol stops going bang. They have a pistol that has this double strike capability, and they train to keep pulling the trigger when the pistol stops functioning. This person will find themself behind the eightball when the round doesn’t go off, and they then have to initiate remedial action to clear the round from the gun, and get back into the fight, where if they had just initially cleared the pistol, they would be back in the fight sooner, and have a better chance to escape the encounter with their life.
When you see a pistol marketed as “double strike capable” just know that it is a traditional double action pistol, and it’s just a marketing gimmick for uninformed buyers. When your pistol stops functioning, you need to clear it, and you need to practice the sequence of clearing it instead of just pulling the trigger again and hoping for the best.