Lowering the hammer would place the pistol into double-action mode. I'm not sure what you mean by "fire" mode, but if you're referring to single-action mode, that is when the hammer is either thumbed back into the cocked position, or is already cocked after chamberng a round or firing the first round. In each case, the pistol remains in single-action mode until the hammer is lowered again.Isn't there a way to avoid DA completely by dropping the hammer for the first shot? How specifically would I do that (e.g. rack the slide and drop the hammer in "fire" mode?
To safely lower the hammer, thus placing the weapon into double-action mode, place your thumb on the already cocked hammer, engage the safety, and then gently ride the hammer down to its resting position. Then disengage and reengage the safety to reset the trigger to the full forward position. The idea behind riding the hammer down slowly is be avoid undue stress on the safety drum from allowing the hammer to fall onto it with full force.
Some quick definitions:
- Double-action – when pulling the trigger performs two actions, first cocking the hammer, then tripping the sear to release the hammer
- Single-action – when pulling the trigger performs only one function, tripping the sear to release the already cocked hammer