Double and Single Action Firing

When the M9 service pistol is taken off safe, it is capable of firing in both a double and a single action mode.

Double Action Mode

The design of the M9 service pistol causes the first shot fired to be a double action shot.

In double action firing, two actions occur as the trigger is moved to the rear; the hammer moves to the rear, cocking the pistol, and then the hammer moves forward, firing the pistol. More pressure is required on the trigger to fire a double action shot due to the distance between the trigger and hammer and the weight of the trigger. A double action shot requires approximately 9 to 16 pounds of pressure to move the trigger rearward.

Maintaining sight alignment and sight picture are harder when firing a double action shot. Therefore, the sights will more than likely move outside the aiming area when applying trigger pressure.

Single Action Mode

In single action firing, the pistol is already cocked because the cycle of operation in the first double action shot leaves the hammer cocked to the rear. Therefore, the only action taking place as the trigger is moved to the rear is the hammer moving forward, firing the pistol. A single action shot requires approximately 4 to 6 pounds of pressure to move the trigger rearward. Therefore, the application of trigger control is easier when firing a single action shot.

To enable the first shot to be fired single action, the pistol's hammer can be manually cocked with the thumb:

Note: The pistol must be taken off safe before it can be thumbcocked.

• Use the left thumb to pull back on the hammer to cock it. This ensures that the firing grip of the right hand does not have to be broken.

• Ensure that the hammer moves all the way to the rear.

• Ensure the trigger finger remains straight along the receiver until the pistol is fully cocked.

• Re-establish the firing grip with both hands once the pistol is cocked.

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