When it comes to famous gun instructors, many people think of names such as Jeff Cooper or Massad Ayoob.
Yet, one name that is often forgotten is Ed McGivern.
Ed McGivern was an exhibition shooter, a shooting instructor, and an author.
He loved to wow a crowd with his shooting skills.
One of his tricks was to show how he could drive a nail into a piece of wood with a single shot from his revolver.
In the 1930s, Ed McGivern became the “World’s Fastest Gun.”
He was timed shooting five shots from a Colt revolver, into a hand-sized target in 1.1 seconds.
Someone once challenged Ed that he couldn’t shoot a can thrown in the air 20 feet before it hit the ground.
Ed had never tried the feat before.
But, a few months later he used his .38 colt revolver to shoot a can six times before it hit the ground.
Along with being a quick gun, Ed also worked with law enforcement.
He traveled around the U.S. teaching federal and state police marksmanship.
His main focus was teaching how to put a lot of lead on target, in a quick amount of time.
He trained police to accurately shoot their revolvers at long distances.
When someone asked Ed why he didn’t shoot semi-automatics he said, “Automatics are just too slow. I can shoot faster with a revolver.”
In other words, one of the fastest shooters in the world loved hammer-fired revolvers.
This brings up the debate on whether hammer-fired or striker-fired pistols are better.
This is a question that comes up a lot when folks are thinking about buying a pistol.
First, you have to understand how they differ.
A hammer-fired pistol has a trigger that releases or both cocks and releases a hammer to strike a firing pin.
The firing pin hits the primer of the round, causing the pistol to fire.
Basically, the firing pin does not move until the hammer strikes it.
One advantage of a hammer-fired pistol is that you can manually cock or decock an external hammer.
Also, a hammer-fired pistol is typically heavier compared to striker-fired.
With the hammer cocked, it’s easier to manipulate the slide vs. the slide of a striker-fired pistol.
A big reason shooters prefer hammer-fired pistols is that they usually have a better trigger pull than striker-fired pistols.
For example, if you have ever shot a 1911 you know how smooth the trigger is.
A few popular hammer-fired pistols are the Sig Sauer P226 and 1911 pistols.
A striker-fired pistol has a completely different system.
The striker inside the slide operates with spring pressure.
When the trigger is pulled the striker releases and hits the primer of the chambered round.
The majority of striker-fired pistols have fewer parts. For instance, a Glock has about 34 parts, while a 1911 has about 58 total parts.
Since fewer parts go into striker-fired pistols they are often less expensive.
With fewer parts comes easier function, maintenance, and cleaning.
If you’ve ever taken apart a Glock to clean it, you know how easy it is compared to other pistols.
Some of the most popular striker-fired pistols are Glocks and the Smith & Wesson M&P series.
With either a hammer-fired or striker-fired pistol, you can find a gun that is great for concealed carry or home defense.
You may notice the crisper trigger pull with a hammer-fired pistol.
Or you might like the ease of use that comes with striker-fired pistols.
There is no question that striker-fired pistols are simpler with fewer parts…
But if you like the trigger pull with a hammer-fired pistol, and notice better accuracy, it might be the best option for you.