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"Single action" means that the act of pulling the trigger only performs one function: releasing the hammer or striker, which strikes the firing pin or lever against the shell casing.

You'd have to cock the hammer of a revolver, or pull and cock the slide of a semiauto pistol for the trigger to function as single action.

Guns which cock and fire with one pull of the trigger are called double action.
"Who keep the fully-auto verses single action ideal?
Yeah, Hiero - oh they straight, culture merchants we kill"
- Opio, Heiroglyphics, "Mind, Body and Soul"
by ShazamVT April 03, 2008
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