A striking mechanism that uses linear force by means of a compressed coil spring to fire the gun. The striker is usually the firing pin itself. More recently designed pistols tend to be striker-fired and also tend to have smaller slides, not needing to make room for a rotating hammer. Think of a ball-point pen. Pressing the button makes the pen emerge and lock in place, just like when a striker-fired pistol is loaded and cocked. Pressing the button again causes the pen to forcibly return upward, similar to the firing pin slamming forward to impact the cartridge primer.
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